Alternative shopping in Looe
Souvenirs from Cornwall often leave much to be desired whether it is beach-found shells, a stick of traditional Cornish rock or a lucky kitsch Cornish pixie that will probably never make it out of the suitcase once you’ve got home, but this guide offers another way of ensuring that everyone knows just what a great place Cornwall is to visit.
This guide looks to take you through the alternative shopping selection available during family holidays in Looe and Polperro, so this year you can come back with more than just a cheap fridge magnet and instead have a whole host of traditional and exceptional gifts to wow family and friends, as well as keeping the fridge stocked with quality fresh produce for quite some time.
A Cornish nibble
Whether you are looking for a quick bite before exploring the many alternative and slightly quirky shops that call Looe in Cornwall their home, or you are searching for your tea for the evening, the town is a great place for fresh, local and traditional produce. While this guide looks to go beyond the typical Cornish pasty it is still a great place to start. Sarah’s Pasty Shop offers some great examples of the traditional Cornish pasty for visitors to sample and, being family run for over 25 years, they can offer some great advice and stories about the local area. So pop in to get a freshly made Cornish pasty for lunch – it’s likely to have been made just that very morning.
Pengelly’s Fishmongers is another great example of true Cornish produce that is prepared fresh every day. Catching a variety of Cornish fish every morning off of the coast of Looe, this fishmonger is the place to go for the catch of the day. Another family run business, the Pengelly family have been working with fish for around a century so you know they’re the ones to trust for your mullet and mackerel.
From fish and the Cornish pasty to something a bit sweeter to sink your teeth into, if there is one thing the Cornish know how to make it is something to satisfy those staying in coastal Looe holiday homes with a sweet tooth. The Corner Cottage is one prized by locals just as much as it is by visitors to Looe, as its extensive range of fudge ensures that there is a flavour for everyone. From Extra Creamy Butter fudge to Death by Chocolate, the choice is yours! If fudge isn’t your thing, the owner Kevin has a collection of shark teeth on display that he finds most of himself so you can pick up a truly unique gift or even just a necklace for yourself.
Cornish Goodness in Polperro is there for those who haven’t had their fill of sugar for the day. Offering a bit of nostalgia, the shop has nearly every kind of old fashioned sweet you can think of, with close to 100 different jars to browse through.
Next to the Cornish pasty, Cornish ice cream is up there amongst the greatest traditional produce made in the county and Treleavens Ice Cream in Looe offers some of the best. There are over 90 flavours to choose from including the indulgent Chocolate Kisses and the weird and wacky Cornish Blue Cheese and Pear – don’t worry, it must be good, as it was named as the best new product award at the Royal Cornwall Show!
The smelly stuff
From sweet tastes to sweet smells, Gill & McColl are the best in the area for homemade soaps. Each made from their own special recipe of pure essential oils, Gill & McColl offer a Cornish souvenir that will have you returning again and again.
And everything else
The county may be famed for the Cornish pasty but few will know the Cornish also stock a great cuckoo clock selection too. Going Cuckoo is the quaint shop that stocks stunning hand crafted Cuckoo clocks made by master clock maker Helmut Kammerer in the Black Forest in Germany. While they may not be Cornish there are few other places at which you would be able to pick up such a thing in the UK.
Looking for a gift to take home with you? Look no further than Purely Cornish, as their extensive range of hampers can be filled with all manner of genuine Cornish produce – the perfect souvenir to take back after a holiday.
Finally, if you are looking for a real taste of Looe’s alternative shopping there is nowhere quite like the Guildhall Market. Selling near enough anything you can think of, this is one market that really does have it all.
Image Credits: Pengelly’s Fishmonger, Treleavens Ice Cream, Photographer: James Ram, Kate Hopkins [flickr.com]