Charlestown – A Clockwork Orange
"Actually it's electric", says Rob, referring to the bright orange ex-milk float parked next to the roundhouse on Charlestown's harbour wall. Together with the big orange umbrellas, the Orange Farm Shop makes quite a statement and can be spotted literally a mile off. Some folk may be mistakenly drawn to the colourful display hoping to have their broken-down car repaired by the RAC or their mobile phone upgraded by Orange Communications, but frankly they'd be disappointed. Most, however, will be very happy to discover lots of delicious edible goodies.
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Feel Good Food
01726 850242 or 07860 455812
Orange Farm Shop, The Roundhouse, Charlestown Harbour
Open every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year
10am (ish) to 4pm (ish)
4 day-a-week summer opening hours: Thursday 21st April, 10ish to 6ish, later on those magical summer evenings
We’d been tipped off before hand that something was afoot in sleepy Charlestown and being health food and beach nuts we headed straight for the glowing beacon in the harbour.
Rob and Clare greeted us with sunny smiles and happy banter on an equally sunny and happy Sunday and clued us up on what they are about, while we sipped on steaming mugs of carrot and beetroot soup and dunked hunks of homemade spelt bread.
It turns out that the Orange Farm Shop grows, makes and bakes most of the produce on sale, from the delicious soups to the sweet honey made from their own bees and the eggs laid by their own rescued ex-battery hens.
“We are as green as we are orange” glowed Rob. “Everything is either picked from our own land or sourced locally from within Cornwall. We are unique to Charlestown and people travel from far afield to shop here.”
The roundhouse is a veritable treasure trove of all that you’d expect to find in a health food shop, and then some, it’s contents changing with seasonal availability.
After finishing our healthy version of cup-a-soup on the beach we did a spot of crabbing in the many rock pools, skimmed a few pebbles and admired the enthusiasm of a group of teenagers braving the March sea in speedos and bikinis. With our appetite whetted it was back to the beacon of orange to sample coffees and cakes and to stock up on fruit and biscuits to satisfy the pre-dinner pangs on the journey home.
Before we left Charlestown we had time to wander around and see what else this historic harbour town had to offer. More than first meets the eye, that’s for sure. The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre tells the story of Charlestown from its origins as a tiny fishing village, to iron foundry, china clay port and it’s recent transformation as a home to tall ships and a location for film sets.
The five year old amongst us, (or was it the thirty five year old?) spotted The Tall Ships Creamery which has amazing Cornish ice cream, a perfect excuse for a brief respite before checking out the selection of art galleries, antique and retro shops and finally doing a quick recce of the Triathlon course, an event which takes place on July 30th this year as part of the popular Regatta Week.
Driving home we reflected on our enjoyable day in Charlestown, how the March sun had ironically made our cheeks glow a healthy orange and how easy it would be to direct other would-be soup dragons to the orange den: just head towards the sea and look for the orange glow!