Saturday, 29 December 2007

Gazetteer - W. Stevenson & Sons, Newlyn, Cornwall

One Cornwall's best assets is its majestic seas and stunning coastline, and within it a bounty of some of the best seafood to be found in the world. Being in Cornwall at any time of the year is such a treat - the fresh air, the landscapes and beautiful beaches, the friendly and warm people, but the it's the freshly caught fish, lobsters and crabs that really get me excited. These are fished in local waters and are sold glistening and supremely fresh, or in the crab's case, alive and pinching.
Newlyn is a small port close to Penzance that sees most of its catch head up to Billingsgate Market, and ultimately many of the fine restaurants in London and across Britain.
The Stevenson family have been fishing since the early 1800s, and now how several retail outlets in Cornwall, as well as a fleet of trawlers and an export business. They will also send up a mixed box of fish on an overnight courier from as little as £40.00, which will include some the the freshest fish you could possibly lay your hands on (contact the store for further details).
I visited their shop on the harbour in Newlyn intent on buying crabs for a crab bake on the beach that evening, as I had heard that the local Newlyn crab are some of the best in the country. The store had a very fine array of beautifully fresh fish; Pollack, Turbot, Hake, Bream, and fine Megrim Sole among others. As I was in the business of buying crab, I was rewarded with a large container full of big, meaty claws which once belonged to some very handsome crabs indeed. I had initially intended to buy live crabs and dispense with and dress them myself (which I must admit I am rather squeamish about - it's the underside I can't stand..) however I was saved by the convenience of these menacing claws that were packed full of sweet, white meat. I also bought a dozen live scallops (diver caught and not dregded from the sea bed) - a bargain at £6.00 per dozen, and a kilo of fat, shiny mussels. These were packed in a polysterene box and were taken home lovingly to be cleaned and prepared for cooking on the beach.

W. Stevenson & Sons,
Newlyn, Cornwall.
01736 362998

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