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Preview of Vol 1: A Cornish Feast

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We arrived early on the first Sunday in October, after an out of the blue message on Instagram from Louise, the owner of the cabins in the trees, inviting us for one of their Sunday feasts. The 45-acre property is mostly woodland, located in a quarry on the west coast of northern Cornwall. An absolute treat for the eye, you immediately think that you never want to leave. After claiming the land at an auction over the phone one rainy afternoon, Louise got to work creating this eco-friendly hideaway. Taking inspiration from Californian architecture, she built four pods on stilts that sit amongst the trees. The interior is simple, seating enough for three on the ground floor, with a built-in ladder leading you to the bed above. At the moment these pods sleep two apiece but in the coming year, Louise hopes to build one that sleeps up to four. 

Upon our arrival, we found a place to park the car before making our way up the remainder of the hill. Halfway up a friendly dog came to greet us, as if knowing we weren’t really certain where to go, he led the remainder of the way, through the trees, past the goats until we met Lily, one of the staff members at Kudhva. 

 She happily gave us a tour of the grounds and eventually led us down to where the feast would take place. The outdoor kitchen runs on solar panels and sits at the top of a waterfall. We felt as though we’d stumbled onto the Lost Boys hideaway. There was a fire being stoked by Tan & Mor, a wood-fired catering business based in North Cornwall that would be serving the fare that day. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I expected from the day, there wasn’t a lot of information to be found. What it was though was community and food at its purest. There was no artfully decorated banquet table, no plates from a local ceramist, no official introductions. We finally met Louise who had been off picking up the rum for their cocktail of the day, Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Her personality was infectious and anyone who met her immediately relaxed in her presence. As we chatted to her about Kudhva, what she had built and her future plans for her new business it became clear that none of this had happened by chance. 

 She happily gave us a tour of the grounds and eventually led us down to where the feast would take place. The outdoor kitchen runs on solar panels and sits at the top of a waterfall. We felt as though we’d stumbled onto the Lost Boys hideaway. There was a fire being stoked by Tan & Mor, a wood-fired catering business based in North Cornwall that would be serving the fare that day. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I expected from the day, there wasn’t a lot of information to be found. What it was though was community and food at its purest. There was no artfully decorated banquet table, no plates from a local ceramist, no official introductions. We finally met Louise who had been off picking up the rum for their cocktail of the day, Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Her personality was infectious and anyone who met her immediately relaxed in her presence. As we chatted to her about Kudhva, what she had built and her future plans for her new business it became clear that none of this had happened by chance. 

With sixty plus attendees enjoying themselves, meeting new people and queueing up for the heavenly fare by Tan & Mor, Louise has created a community. Perhaps because there are no motives behind it, just the love of the land she’s purchased and her passion for creating an environmentally friendly space, people have gravitated to that. 

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Towards the end of the afternoon the local youths who had been hanging out in the quarry as cool kids do, resurfaced to stretch their musical muscles and have a grime freestyle rap session. Kids, teens, parents and grandparents danced and chatted as the hours rolled by, creating an almost lazy summer feel. The cold air reminding you once in a while that it was most certainly October. 

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Being a photographer first and foremost, it wasn’t until later in the day that I was finally able to put my camera down long enough to try the food that Chef Andrew Tuck of Tan & Mor had cooked up. There were three things on the menu, all cooked over the food fire that Andrew had made earlier that day. The name Tan & Mor is from the Cornish words meaning fire and sea respectively. Quite apt as many of the dishes they create are just that. Beautifully cooked fish over fire. On offer was whole mackerel with pickled cabbage and smoked chipotle mayo, oysters or smoked aubergine with a beetroot relish. Entry to the event is free and one only pays for the food and drink that they have. It’s a great way to get people together and let’s face it, as soon as you see the mackerel on the fire there’s no turning back. 

Words & Photography by Ariana Ruth

Ariana ChristoffersComment