Yes, clickbait.  There is NO Sam Smiths in Cornwall, even on the west coast beloved by tourists from Rochdale and Bradford.


But that’s the mirror that greeted me in the bathroom at the busy looking Hilltop Cafe near Tintagel, which I only mention because they served me a lovely breakfast on the Wednesday morning.

Obsession with Padstow Brewery

My campervan had been comprehensively stocked by Mrs RM before I left, mainly with packets of Ainsley’s soup.  If Ainsley wishes to sponsor me I’ll gladly ditch Piper’s crisps.


The Hilltop Cafe was a joy.  Lovely staff dealing with (mainly) lovely (but hot) customers, bar a young couple who pointedly said,

“Shall I tip ?”

“No, wasn’t that good was it ?” as they passed me.  Try not tipping in the States, Karen.

It was good, though.


I bet you can’t guess what those little balls are.

I tipped, though not as much as Rishi’s discount gave me back.

Fortified, I headed down the lanes to Trebarwith Strand, where the Mill House promised 11am opening and special gold plated beer tipping facilities.

Love a stream running by a pub

My, what a lot of signs.  With my dodgy eyesight I get scared by one-way systems and tables blocking the bar and an absence of any staff.

One way of stopping bar flies

The Landlord was eating his breakfast, it looked as good as mine, and I felt obliged to apologise for entering the open door.

“Half the weakest” please my usual order.

Never go for an Olympics (?) themed beer

He was friendly, if functional, and rightly determined I should follow the one way system out via the loos.

I’ll be honest now; pubbing in the South-West was often a tense affair, with the sense you were carrying the London plague into their pubs and shops. That’s no comment on the publicans, who were a friendly lot, just a sense of foreboding that their tiny NHS could be overwhelmed at any moment.

I felt more comfortable outside in the sun, underneath an Tarquin’s umbrella.

Fantastic pub

A lovely pub in a glorious setting, and that Tintagel was a cool 3.5.  But I wished I was there a year earlier (or possibly a year later).


15 thoughts on “TIPPING IN TINTAGEL

  1. “There is NO Sam Smiths in Cornwall”

    I’m willing to be there’s one or two folks named Sam Smith in Cornwall. 😉

    “mainly with packets of Ainsley’s soup”

    Too bad I can’t send you some of my wife’s freeze dried seafood chowder.

    “Try not tipping in the States, Karen.”

    Indeed. And bonus for using the name Karen. 🙂

    “I bet you can’t guess what those little balls are.”

    Some kind of potato?


    Did their one-way system have you exiting by the tiny door with the “no smoking” sign?

    “One way of stopping bar flies”

    Turn one of those arrows around and you’d have everyone clumping together as bar flies. 🙂

    “just a sense of foreboding that their tiny NHS could be overwhelmed at any moment.”

    I think the curve has been sufficiently flattened by now. 😉

    “and that Tintagel was a cool 3.5. ”

    Two 3.5 scores in a row? Blimey!



    1. The curve has certainly flattened, but many was the time I heard locals talk of the “R” rate creeping above 1.001 in Dawlish or Plympton in the way you’d talk about the approaching army Genghis Khan.

      I’m happy to be sponsored by Mrs Russ’s Chowders.

      Good start om the beer, yeah ?


  2. That’s a timeless Sam Smiths mirror, made today just the same as when I first drank their beer in June 1973.
    And no new beermats for forty-something years until the mobile ‘phone ban.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Martin,
        Absolutely not Wrexham,
        I have a tray of a very similar design, and not much smaller, but there’s no tiny letter indicating the manufacturer.
        I suspect that Humphrey might get his coopers to give him a hand ‘crafting’ the mirrors and trays in an outbuilding of t’Old Brewery in Tadcaster.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Paul, I was wondering whether Sam’s beers might have been available in Cornwall, at one time.

      When I first move back to Kent in late 1978, after four years in Manchester and a year and a bit in London, Old Brewery Bitter often popped up in the free trade, so possibly Sam’s may have ventured even further afield.

      They re-trenched, some time in the early 80’s after Humph decided, probably quite correctly in my opinion, that quality was suffering. So whilst continuing to supply their tied estate in London, Humph wouldn’t supply anywhere beyond the confines of the M25.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. T’other Paul,
        Yes, possibly available in Cornwall at one time.
        In the early 1970s “There is a very flourishing free trade which forms the bulk of the business” so there could have been a distribution depot for the South West.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. T’other Paul,
        The 1979 Good Beer Guide has Sam Smiths OBB on at CAMRA’s Old Fox in Bristol and that’s most of the way to Cornwall.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. T’other Paul,
        I’ve now had a proper look at my 1979 GBG and Cornwall was supplied by three local brewers – Blue Anchor, St Austell and Devenish, much top pressure from the latter two reducing their entries – and four nationals – Bass Charrington ( Draught Bass in a quarter of the entries ), Whitbread (Tiverton), Courage (Plymouth) and Watneys (Ushers,Trowbridge).
        Theakstons Old Peculiar was in three Devon pubs, Robinsons Best Bitter in one and Sam Smiths in none.
        And there was no Sam Smiths listed in Dorset or Somerset.
        OBB in three Bath pubs and four Bristol pubs suggests that Avon was as far as Sam Smiths got then.

        Liked by 1 person

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