The Sunshine Cafe is tucked away in the pretty Cornish coastal town of Penryn. I went just before the Summer holidays, as like much of Cornwall it can get a bit busy there, and with it being quite a small town there is very limited parking. I managed to go on an unusually quiet day and it was so peaceful and charming.
The Sunshine Cafe has been on my radar for a couple of years now, I have had friends recommend it to me & I have also been following them on social media, drooling over all their delicious vegan food and drinks. It did not disappoint, in fact it was a lovely place to stop for a bite to eat. The café space it bright, calm and a very friendly place, I loved the decor and how everything on the menu is plant based with an emphasis on using good local produce. I could have sat in there all day, I felt very relaxed. The food was delicious, I had the vegan beans & sausage on sourdough with a side of sweet potato fritters and an Almond Milk Matcha. I didn’t have room for a sweet treat, but I did spy quite a few options like a vegan croissant, brownies, and carrot cake. If you’re in Penryn, I highly recommend it even if you are not plant based, the food is incredible.
They also have a wonderful yoga space attached to the cafe they offer so many classes throughout the day, from pilates to yoga and guided meditation. I need to go back, so I can attend one of the vinyasa or pilates classes.
Sunshine Cafe and Yoga, Hill Head, Harbour Village, Penryn, TR10 8JU
The town of Lostwithiel is just 3 miles from where I live, it has such a rich and vibrant history, and it dates back as far as the 12th century. It is set in the most stunning countryside and is right on the bank of the river Fowey, and at one point in history it was a very busy port, mostly for tin. The river is not as deep as it once was, but is still very popular to swim in and kayak. I love to sit on the river bank and enjoy a picnic in the Summer months.
This small town boasts beautiful country walks, stunning woodlands and lots of places to stop for a coffee/lunch or browse the many antique shops. It even has a castle named Restormel Castle which dates back to 14th century and the views from there are stunning, over the valley and the ancient medieval town of Lostwithiel.
There are so many historical houses, cottages, and buildings dotted around the town. One of my favourite things to do is just walk up and down all the tiny cobbled backstreets to see all the old cottages, medieval passages, and beautiful buildings. I take so many photos every time I go (which is at least once a week).
The main church, St Bartholomew’s has a 13th century steeple, and the stone bridge over the river Fowey is impressive and dates back to the 15th century, but there has been a crossing at this point for centuries. This is a town very rich in history and if you’re there on a day the tiny museum is open (which has free entry) then you have to pop in.
The river bank is a popular place to picnic, and the water is shallow and a nice spot to swim, if you like wild swimming. A lot of people also go to the chippy and get fish & chips to eat in the evening at the picnic tables along the riverbank. There are also quite a few charming pubs, with great food options. Can’t beat a good pub lunch.
I love the cottages with pretty coloured front doors and windows, I have so many favourites and daydream about what it would be like to live in one. There are so many hidden gems that are just off the main streets, tucked away down small windy lanes. Lostwithiel is quite hilly, but it’s well worth venturing up them to see the views and the pretty buildings.
The Mess Hallis quite a new café in Lostwithiel, they serve lovely coffee. It has a very welcoming feel and the decor is bright and calm. A very enjoyable place for lunch and if you manage to visit on a nice sunny day their outdoor patio area is charming.
I also love to take photos of pretty/intriguing classic cars & Lostwithiel is a great place to do that, the cute Figaro is always parked there and is just so sweet. Cornwall is a Mecca for VW vans, and I do like it when they look like they’ve been used and loved. I also like a business who uses a classic van, and the Morris Minor I spotted was very cute indeed. Also you just can’t beat a nice Land Rover Defender.
In terms of shopping, you might think being a small town it would be lacking, but this is a bustling community and a place well known for its antique shops. Although a few closed after the pandemic, there are still plenty to browse, I always come away with the most random mix of items. There is a fantastic General Store, called Watts Trading, it has a vintage, classic vibe and sells so many lovely food items, local gifts and sustainable home wears. I like to get lots of my Xmas gifts in here as it has so many thoughtful/environmentally friendly items.
Lostwithiel is not short on cafés and places to grab a Cornish pasty or a cream tea. We like to go to Q. Street Coffee, on Queen Street. They do a wonderful selection of Vegan and Gluten Free cakes a well as milk alternatives. I like to have their granola and yoghurt or breakfast or a vegan sausage sandwich. The menu is good, and they use local produce and bake many of their own cakes.
I love to visit Alice In Scandiland who sells beautiful Scandinavian home wear as well as lots of Cornish handmade artisan products too. The stock changes up quite regularly, so if you see something you like in there make sure you snap it up as chances are you will miss out. I guarantee if you pop in you will make a purchase, I have left with the most eclectic selection of products, everything from magazines, candles, handwash to a wooden bench and even a massive bunch of Eucalyptus (at Xmas).
I think some lesser known places in Cornwall are well worth a visit, if you’re staying near Looe, Fowey or heading to the Eden Project then Lostwithiel is close by. If you have a couple of hours to spare, it is a great place for a peaceful walk, coffee, and a browse of the independent shops. Great destination if you want a day away from the beach and the crowds. It is super friendly, a real community feel and compared to many towns, villages in Cornwall there are many people still resident there, so not just Airbnb or holiday lets.
Whilst my husband and I were up in Scotland earlier in the year helping take care of my dad, we took the opportunity to do a quick overnight trip to Edinburgh. It was a chilly couple of days, but we made the most of it, at least being dry and this is a city with so many lovely coffee shops to stop in to warm up!
In fact, our first stop as soon as we got off the train was to visit The Milkman. This is such a popular café in Edinburgh, if you enjoy good coffee, a sweet treat and a cosy atmosphere then I can highly recommend visiting.
We stayed at another one of the hotels in the Locke Group (which we stay at quite often in Manchester). The Edinburgh Eden Locke was in a great location, very central, and it looks understated but charming from the street. Our room was bright and modern, all their hotels are styled to perfection. What I like about this hotel group is that they’re mini apartments, so you have a kitchen and dining area.
Although it was cold (March) we lucked out with the weather staying dry and one of the days we had blue skies all day! We love to just explore and get off the beaten track, discovering new places and stumbling across cafés and pretty streets. Also it is always so much quieter even if you just go one street over from the main tourist locations!
No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard Graveyard to visit the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s most famous dog! The graveyard dates back to 1650, and it is also rumoured to be where J.K Rowling got the inspiration for many of her characters names in her Harry Potter novels, if you search the gravestones you will find graves with names quite similar to those in the books, like McGonagall, think Scrimgeour, Riddell and Moodie. So keep your eyes peeled if you’re a Potterhead.
After a walk around the graveyard, you have to pop into the Greyfriars Bobby Bar for a pint of locally brewed Innis & Gunn!
If you have ever visited a Brewdog, you will know they have an extensive selection of beer to pick from and their Vegan food options are AMAZING too! Best Vegan Burger and chips I have had in a long time. Edinburgh has recently opened one of the Brewdog Hotels, called the Doghouse. We didn’t say here (unfortunately) but the bar attached to the beer themed hotel is open to the public, and it was the perfect place to rest our legs and refuel after a long day of walking. I like that they have good Alcohol Free beer as well as a selection of Vegan and Gluten Free beers too!
We have visited Edinburgh quite a few times over the years, as my family live about an hour North of the city. So we have visited all the main attractions like the castle, Scottish Museum, National Portrait Gallery and done a few of the ghost tours too. On this visit, we decided to just explore the streets, and visit some new areas of the city.
I am a sucker for looking on Instagram for new & fun looking vegan food options and I knew next time I was in Edinburgh that I 100000% would be paying a visit to Considerit. They’re an all vegan bakery and their doughnuts and sweet treats are incredible. I had a tough time picking what to have (never a bad thing) I went for the pistachio and white chocolate and my husband went for the double chocolate, they were HUGE! Well worth the walk, and it was nice to get out of the city centre and explore the area.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a sunset in Edinburgh, you will not be disappointed, it is my favourite time of day in the city. The buildings glow, and look like they’ve been painted a golden colour. The castle looks stunning bathed in the light of the sunset. I do love that Edinburgh has so many of its historical buildings still intact. The cityscape looks almost as it would have hundreds of years ago, and there is something very magical about that! I can see why J.K Rowling took so much inspiration from this beautiful city.
The Milkman Coffee, actually has two locations in Edinburgh – very close together (on Cockburn street), and because we loved the first café so much we decided to stop at the other one before we got the train home. This one at the top of Cockburn street is very bright and airy, it is a calm oasis from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh. They had some fantastic Vegan cakes on offer and the coffee was top notch once again.
Let me know what you love to do in Edinburgh, any must see places, cafés or secret spots you have discovered.
If you haven’t seen part one of my Cornish Coffee Shop series, you can click through and check it out. In the past couple of years Cornwall has stepped up not only its coffee game, but we are becoming very spoilt for choice when it comes to lovely cafés too. I remember when we were super limited, and it was more of a tea shop/old fashioned vibe, but not any more!
I’ve shared 4 more of my go-to cafés in this post, don’t go shouting about them too much though, I still want to be able to get a seat.
First up is STIR, which is run by a super friendly couple, this is their new premises in Wadebridge, and it has become our go-to stop or coffee when we are in town. Not only do they make delicious drinks and cake, they have a perfect spot to stop and enjoy it. They have outside (and inside seating), the outside feels almost Mediterranean, so peaceful. It has a terrace vibe with plants and colourful patio furniture. They’re nestled at the end of a row of independent shops in The Cedar Barns and STIR themselves also have a fantastic range of Cookbooks, cookwear and local artwork.
So you can enjoy a coffee and a cake then browse the shelves for a cookbook or two, they have an extensive selection to pick from.
If you’re travelling from Wadebridge to Newquay (or the other way) along the A39 Atlantic Highway then you would have seen Hawksfield, which is a collection of Independent & small shops, cafés, and businesses. It is a cool location to stop at for brunch, a coffee and some retail therapy, oh & a cheeky ice cream too!
On this site is a café we have been going to for a while now called Strong Adolfo’s it has a real classic surf, biker, Californian vibe, I love it! Their menu is seasonal, and their ingredients are locally sourced, as is their coffee (origins coffee roaster) and they have a good eco ethos (using their food waste as bio-fuel).
Now the vibe is chilled, and the decor is very cool, but the menu is EPIC! You can expect to queue for a table at breakfast & brunch time, it is well worth it. They do classic full English (and a vegan option too) as well as American style pancakes, granola and some lovely smoothies. Their breakfast stops at 11am, so arrive early, so you’re not disappointed. Their equally amazing lunch menu starts at 12.15.
They also have an impressive cake counter, with so many in-house baked treats, they are big on FIKA (Swedish tradition of coffee and cake). I can never resist one of their Vegan cakes, no matter what time of day. It is always so relaxed, and you get a very warm welcome, even when it is very busy (over the Summer) you never feel rushed. Oh & the view over the Cornish hills is breathtaking no matter what the weather.
Pollen Café opened in Truro, in 2020, it has quickly become my go-to café for a matcha latte and a cake. They offer delicious locally made cakes, all almost entirely Vegan and quite often they’re refined sugar free and gluten free. Perfect to go with a coffee, tea or in my case a matcha.
Pollen offer a lovely breakfast & lunch menu, all locally sourced ingredients and fresh to order. I am a big fan of their chia pots, acai bowels, and they do their own homemade granola! For lunch I tend to get a gluten free bagel with vegan bacon lettuce & tomato (VLT) delicious!
I have to mention the cakes, again, Pollen stock my favourite EVER cakes. They’re locally made in small batches by the Conscious Kitchenery (based in Newquay). They have the most incredible flavours like, Kiwi~Apple~Marigold and Pineapple, Pecan Butter Caramel, Mandarin, Tonka Bean. My personal favourite is Matcha Mint Choc Chip. They’re a chilled cake, with the consistency of a cheese cake, encased in chocolate, so full of flavour, and they look STUNNING too!
These Conscious Kitchenery cakes are made in small batches (locally) and the flavours are tailored to the seasons, as well as being Plant based, Raw Vegan, Refined Sugar Free And Gluten. I am telling you, they’re well worth making a trip to Pollen just for a cake, savour every bite.
Nalu Coffee House is my newest spot for coffee, they opened less than a year ago. Located on cliff road, Newquay (opposite Aldi) perfect if you don’t want to go all the way in to town for a coffee. The decor in Nalu is gorgeous, think plant heaven, Bali vibes with a modern twist. They have both inside and outside seating, and even a cool takeaway hatch. I want all their furnishings for my house!
Nalu serves up delicious healthy smoothies, as well as the best coffee, iced coffee, matcha and tea. So on a warm day you can cool down but you can also warm up on those Autumnal days too. They always have a scrummy selection of homemade cakes and sweet treats for that afternoon pick me up.
They carry a good selection of vegan and gluten free options and plant based mylks. I think their chia breakfast pots are the perfect way to refuel after a swim or if you want something warm you have to try the brekkie wrap.
Their food is prepared fresh and is seasonal, they offer a lovely selection of wraps, poké bowels and classic avocado on toast. So if you want a calm plant filled oasis in what can often be a very hectic Newquay then this is the café for you. Oh & their pink and turquoise cups are super cute too, I am sure they help make my drink taste even better (its the small things that count!)