Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snow? What snow? No, it is just crisp and cold and sunny here! Still one room available over Christmas if you are intersted!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Roasted Mediterranean vegetables with minted cous-cous.

This is infinitely variable, as long as there is lots of flavour, garlic, lemon and herbs, the rest is totally flexible! I have adapted the recipe from the 'Kitchen Doctor'.

serves four

1 red onion, sliced into wedges
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow pepper
10 cloves garlic, can leave in skin or not
10 cherry tomatoes
1 aubergine, in chunks
sprig or two thyme, leaves stripped off
same of rosemary
20 pitted olives
joice of one lemon
1 tsp paprika
olive oil

chop and prepare all veggies, pop it all in a dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast, uncovered, 25 mins ish, in oven at 180 c ish.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous

250g plain couscous, place in shallow, wide bowl, to allow steam to escape, add under one pint of boiling stock, leave for 3 mins., then add juice and zest of one lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, loads of fresh chopped mint, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and leave for 10 mins.

serve, can put roasted pine nuts or hazelnuts on top, or other nuts or seeds. Yum.
Special Christmas offer

We still have one room available for our Christmas break, see previous post for details. If you are thinking it would be nice to get away for Christmas, but that everywhere will be booked up by now, give me a ring. We will offer the room, it is the rooom with private bathroom, normally £275 per person for the four nights , for just £225 per person, this is a saving of £100 for a couple. Or, if you wish to come alone, I will waive the single supplement (normally £100), just charge the original amount, ie £275.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas at Michael House

We currently have only one room (the room with private bathroom) still available for our four day Christmas Special:

Christmas break, 2009

Fancy being looked after and spoiled over the Christmas period? Get away from it all, relax, walk and have tea by the open fire at Michael House, followed by delicious festive meals! We are offering a four night break over Christmas again this year, as follows:

Arrive on Wednesday 23rd December, in time for afternoon tea by the fire and a three course evening meal.

On Christmas Eve, have a leisurely breakfast. Enjoy the day as you choose and afternoon tea will again be served by the fire, and a three course evening meal will follow.

On Christmas Day, another leisurely breakfast will precede a four course Christmas dinner in the early afternoon. Supper will be buffet style.

On Boxing Day, there will be a light lunch after another leisurely breakfast, afternoon tea (if you can manage it!) and a three course supper. Guests will depart on the Sunday morning, after breakfast.

Four nights, partly full board, £300 per person for the en-suite rooms, and £275 for the room with private bathroom. A single supplement will apply.

Bookings for earlier or later dates will be at the normal rate.

Comments from previous Christmas guests:

‘A wonderful way to spend Christmas’

‘What a fabulous way to spend Christmas…a brie and cranberry soufflĂ© to die for…thanks for all the cosseting and pampering – we really needed it’

Friday, October 23, 2009

We have availability over the coming weekend, and there will be a free extra hour. We very generously will not be charging for this!

I do love the extra hour, but, oh I so hate the early darkness that results.

Next week, half term, we are very busy but have the odd room available and the following weekend is free so far. I will nto be cooking on the evening of Saturday 31st, as we have our Treknow Festival of Lanterns, which should be fun, do come down and join in. I have pestered for veggie sausages etc., so need people here to eat them up, or I will get told off for making a fuss and then not eating them!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The sun is shining, the forecast for the next few days is not bad, but the guest house is empty! If you are thinking of a few days in Cornwall, hope to see you! The half term week - 26th onwards, is filling rapidly though, but there is still some availability.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

spice crusted tofu with maple glaze

this is from Veggie Chic, by Rose Elliot, adapted by me!

serves four

1 tbs. paprika - Rose says three, but this is a lot of paprika!
3tsp. ground cumin
3tsp. ground coriander
1 and a half tsp. salt
3, 8 oz packs firm tofu, drained
6 tbs olive oil
9 tbs. boiling water - I leave this out altogether, it takes too long to evaporate I find, let me know what you think!
6 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 and a half tbs. maple syrup
2 oz. toasted pinenuts, to sprinkle over the top, if wished

mix spices in a bowl and spread, with the salt, on a large platter.

cut the tofu into fingers, aprox four or six per packet

coat the tofu in the spices on all sides

heat the olive oil in a large pan, cook the tofu for four- five minutes on each side

mix the water if using and the maple syrup and lemon juice together. Pour over the tofu. it is supposed to disappear very fast, leaving a glaze, but i find it takes a while!

Serve immediately, with the pinuts sprinkled over. Yum. Experiment with this recipe.
Quinoa, almond and caper filled peppers

This recipe has been requested, is quite yummy, and unusual, not the familiar way to stuff a pepper! I have adapted it from a recipe I found on the internet for a stuffed tomato! So, other vegetables can be used.

measurements are very approximate - I just bung it all together, and it varies, but this is part of the delight!

for four people:

approzimately half a cup of quinoa, I like the red one. Cook this in three times the volume of water, for about 20 minutes.

Take the tops off four smallish peppers (preferably not green ones), remove the seeds and keep the 'lids' with the peppers. Make sure the peppers can stand up, slice a little off the base if necessary! Boil for approx five minutes in water, drain and cool.

meanwhile, chop and cook an onion in a little oil - I use sunflower oil.

Chop up a handful of almonds, mix with the onion, and add about a tablespoonful of capers, and a similar amount of currants.

mix all ingredients, pop in the peppers, put the tops on, drizzle with olive oil and place in an ovenproof dish and cook in a medium oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with rich tomato sauce:

one tin tomatoes in tomato juice, chopped

some garlic - 2 or three cloves

approx. one tbs. olive oil

a couple of sundried tomatoes, chopped

a splosh of red wine

herbs if you like

cook this gently for as long as possible - one hour is fine.

whizz in liquidiser briefly.

Serve with fresh vegetables of different colours and roast potatoes. looks good and tastes
yummy! I even found a photo, but it doesn't have the sauce

Friday, October 02, 2009

As we move away from summer, the beaches are looking more like this, just one Sky, waiting to play ball, and few people around.

This coming weekend, 3rd and 4th October and thereafter, we have availability at Michael House, so do get in touch and come for a couple of days or more!

Our three nights for the price of two offer, see the website, also starts now.

Hope to see you soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Until Sunday 6th September, we are fully booked, but, after that, we do begin to have some availability. So, if you are thinking of coming to Cornwall and might be interested in this area, give me a ring or email. the weather forecast is not looking too bad, but don't hold me to that, as it keeps changing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We do have one en-suite room available from Sunday 16th August until Saturday 22nd August, if you are thinking of a visit to Cornwall soon! Otherwise, apart from the odd night, we are very busy until the second week in September.
check out page 89 of the September 2009 edition of Cook Vegetarian magazine!
The best ever scone recipe!

This recipe, which I always use for scones, has to be the best ever! The scones are crumbly, yummy and can be frozen, if you make so many you cannot eat them in one go! The recipe comes from the October 2004 edition of Good Housekeeping magazine, and the recipe has been requested, so I thought I would add it here...

8oz s.r. flour
3oz butter
1 and a half oz sugar
1 large egg
approx 2 tbsp. milk or buttermilk

preheat oven to 220c (200 for fan oven)

I use a food mixer, place the flour in and mix in the butter, and sugar, mix egg with milk, mix in, add more milk if doesn't form nice firm ball.

Flour clean work surface and flat baking tray. Roll out dough to 1 in thick. Press floured 2in cutter into mixture and pull out without twisting. Use all mixture. You should have 8 scones, I never seem to have this many!!

Brush each scone with milk and then sprinkle with flour. Bake for 10 - 12 mins. Try not to eat immediately.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

We stil have availability later this week, so do give me a ring or email if you are coming this way!
Goats' cheese, pinenut and oven-roasted tomato charlotte

This is a recipe from Cafe Paradiso, by Denis Cotter. He runs a restaurant in Cork, Ireland, and is inspired in his combinations of flavours. I have indicated the things I alter in this recipe, but included the original recipe, as requested by a recent guest to Michael House.

for 6

6 beef tomatoes - or any ripe tomatoes, but more of them!
olive oil
6 cloves of garlic - I use less, this is a lot!
450g goats cheese - I use less, can be soft sort or hard, nice with the hard version
200g cream cheese - I use Philadelphia
2 eggs
3 egg whites
100-150g single cream
50g pinenuts, lightly toasted
basil, fresh
black pepper
100g puy lentils - I often do not do this part
1 red onion
120mls basil oil, don't even know what this is, unless you just mix oil with basil and let it sit around for a while!
wilted greens - again, never use this, but the dish is very rich, so does need simple vegetables with it

roast the tomatoes - cut into thick slices (he says remove the seeds, I never do!). Oil some trays, lightly oil the slices of tomato with olive oil, roast on medium oven for approx 45 - 50 mins. should be a bit dried out when done, but not completely, with some blackened bits, caramelised.

put cheeses, garlic and whole eggs in food processor, whizz to smooth puree, add egg whites one at a times with motor running. transfer to a bowl and add enough cream to give thick pouring consistency. stir in pinenuts and basil.

preheat oven to 190c. lightly oil six ramekins or dariel bowls and place a little piece of greaseproof paper in each, and place in a large ovenproof dish. put a tomato slice in, then some of the custard, then tomato, and finish with custard. half fill the big dish with hot water and place the whole thing in the oven for around 40 minutes. run a knife around the bowls to help with removal.

for the lentils, which do go very well with the dish, soak if you wish then boil them until tender, mix with red onion chopped up and basil oil. serve with the charlottes. yum.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Old Post Office, Tintagel

During most of August we are very busy at Michael House. However, during the week beginning 2nd August we have availability, so, if you are considering coming to Cornwall for a few days we hope to hear from you!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Over the next few days, including this weekend, we do have some availability, give us a ring or email if you are thinking of coming to this part of Cornwall. If you like fresh berries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries and raspberries, this is the place to be! We have never had such a crop, it is brilliant and goes a small way to compensating for losing all our echiums last winter! The baby ones we have potted up are mostly doing well, we have over 50 in pots and several where they seeded.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Just to let anyone reading this know, we do have some availability over the coming weeks, and dont forget, until the end of June, we are still offering our 'three for two' special, see the website for details -

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Since when has Peru been in Britain?

Our obsession with British, preferably Cornish, asparagus has reached a bit of a low point. On two occasions in supermarkets recently, (one of them we really thought would have higher moral standards), the box said British asparagus, but the bundle itself, on bringing it home on the first occasion, said Peru! When this happened for a second time, no asparagus came home! I wonder if the season here has been very short because of the hard winter and the boxes were not changed in time, but surely this was breaking the Trades Description Act? Hope we have not had the last of the British asparagus already.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Just to let anyone thinking of coming to Cornwall this weekend, 4th/5th/6th June know, we do have some availabilty over the weekend.

We had a great time at the Royal Cornwall show today. The weather, contrary to earlier forecasts, was perfect, warm, sunny and with a gentle breeze. As well as an obsession with echiums, I now have a developing interest in streptocarpus, which, despite its disease like name, is a beautiful group of elegant houseplants. I have three on the mantelpiece in the dining room and just bought another two, all are variants of blue and purple.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This weather is so wonderful!

Here is the recipe I use for making elderflower cordial. We have only just finished last years cordial, I had quite a lot in the freezer.

20 elderflower heads - washed
1 sliced lemon
2 tsp citric acid
3 and a half lb white sugar
2 and a half lbs boiling water

Pour boiling water over the ingredients in large pot. Stir to dissolve sugar. Stir daily for five days, strain and bottle in sterile bottles. Keeps in fridge for quite a while, or freeze in plastic bottles, leavng air gap for expansion. Serve with tap water, sparkling water or lemonade, with lemon or mint, or use in sorbet. One of the essential tastes of summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cornish new potatoes and asparagus

If you love new potatoes and asparagus, the local varieties of both are here at present and we are making good use of them! Delicious.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I will love my website more, I will love my website more, I will love my website more...

This should be my mantra henceforward. It is only once something has gone for a while that you truly appreciate it. I rather took the presence of my website for granted. However, it disappeared about a week ago, and I instantly knew how much I valued it! The site has been moved to a new server, so I hope it will not vanish again.
Thank you Jonathan for getting it sorted and Steven for keeping me up to speed with what was happening, as the site went and came on different computers at different times!
Phew, that was exhausting

Thursday, May 07, 2009

the problem with the website continues, I am not happy. Please ring me on 01840 770 592, or email on or

Friday, May 01, 2009


something terrible seems to have happened to the website. Please do not interpret this to mean Michael House no longer exists! We certainly do, and the webiste should be restored to full function as soon as possible. Please give me a ring if you wish to gather information, or to make a booking, or email me. 01840 770 592.

We only have one room available, for sunday May 3rd, over this coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Have a good weekend. The weather is looking promising.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Just to let you know that the normal email address for Michael House,, is working again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just a note to let anyone reading this know that our server for the Michael House email is not currently working. So, if you wish to contact me by email, please use until I update this blog.

sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The green shoots of recovery.

Now, where have I heard that before?

But these green shoots are real, they are echiums. Four of them and very precious to me!

Anyone who has read my blogs in the past will know I am a bit obsessed with echiums! They are magnificent, they are also known as 'rocket plants' as they reach around 12 - 14 foot high in their second or third year, with lovely purply blue flowers which bees love. This variety is called Pininana, there are others, some with a very different, ground covering, non biennial habit. The herb, borage, is a close relation. They share the flower colour and furry, slightly rough, leaf surface.

This is a goldfinch sitting atop one last year. I know, I know, it could be anything, but you will just have to believe me, it is a goldfinch!

We had so many last year, that it was easy to take them for granted, and this year was set to be our best ever. We wrapped some up against the frost, we had a few younger ones in pots in the polytunnel.

We lost them all to the severe winter.

I was gutted, the sticks of dead echium stood as testament in the ground for a while, they have now all been removed. The garden centres have lost theirs too, so it will be a while before we can get any. So, there will be no echiums this year, and only next year if I can get a few soon which are fairly advanced. The following year, however, should be good, if we do not have any more killer frosts!

So, now you can see why those little seedlings are so precious to me! I am constantly checking other pots and the garden for more!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TV in guest room

I'm not sure this is even worth blogging about, but there is now a working TV and digibox in one of the guest rooms, the one with private bathroom. We have never had TV's in the rooms, and this has suited most people, there is a TV in the sitting room and it feels good to escape the TV in the bedroom. However, I stopped renting my old(ish) TV and they let me just keep it, so there was a spare one, so, as there was the link to the aerial in room 3, we have set it up in there!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cornwall Today
Allow me a little brag a moment please! We have been featured in Cornwall Today for May 2009, as one of the '10 Best Veggie Eateries'. OK, so there are not 10 vegetarian restaurants in Cornwall, so they chose a couple of guest houses as well, more to the north and east, as there is a paucity of vegetarian places to eat in these areas. But, it is nice to see Michael House in a list of this sort, do have a look. It is great that they have taken up the cause of vegetariansm, they picked May, as it includes Vegetarian Week, 18th-25th May. We offer evening meals to non residents, but obviously offer priority to our resident guests, but it usually works out fine if people wish to book a meal.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Easter weekend and next week

Over the Easter weekend, we do have the odd night available, so it is worth ringing/emailing if you are thinking of coming this way. Later next week, we have availability.

Have a great Easter break.
Where's my ball? Throw it, throw, throw it. Now.

Monday, April 06, 2009

blog by a beer.

how kan a beer do it's own blog, see uther blog for my vews on this matta

Monday, March 30, 2009

A new place to fall in love with - The Dizzard

There are still so many new places to discover around this area. Yesterday, Simon and I visited The Dizzard. We have become interested in visiting places with special or ancient trees, and The Dizzard is home to a small woodland of ancient oaks and other trees, near the coast. It is only a few miles beyond Crackington Haven, where one of our very favourite cafes, The Haven, just happens to be!

After a delicious and simple lunch at The Haven, we parked in the hamlet of Dizzard, by a farm. From there, a farm track took us to this field. What a farm track. I sank to nearly the top of my wellies in mud at one point, and we have not had very wet weather recently! The woodlands are to the right of this picture, in the valley.

There were photo opportunities at every step. The trees in the part we visited are several metres tall, but apparently the ones nearer to the sea are far smaller, stunted by the wind and salt. We could not get past a swampy section, which Berri found irresistible, but which the rest of us found impassable.

The fungi and lichen are everywhere, testament to the pure air of the area.

The dogs had almost a better time than we did and are still exhausted after playing constantly whilst we were there.

This is Berri in a very muddy puddle

This is Berri after getting out of the puddle.
We sat on the grass on our way back to the car and listened. Peaceful, the sea in the distnce, chiff-chaffs, rooks, a thrush, blue tits, robins, and skylarks were all recognisable, and other bird song we did not know. I thought I saw a swallow at one point. But, it is very early, maybe I was wrong. A perfect, soft, warm, spring day.
We wended our weary way home, to wash the dogs in the bath, I have never seen them so muddy, and it wasn't just mud either, from the squidgy cow trodden track!
This is a place we hope to visit again and again, at different times of the year, possibly approaching it from the coast path to see a different aspect.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Don't forget to switch off your lights and electrical equipment this evening at 8.30 for one hour, for Earth Hour.

Of course, also do not forget to put your clocks forward one hour tonight...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coming weekend.

This coming weekend, March 21st and 22nd, we have some availability still. The weather forecast is looking good, why not get yourselves down to Cornwall for a few days! Give me a ring or email if you are intersted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'During National Vegetarian Week, between Monday 18th May and Sunday 24th May, 2009, Michael House Vegetarian Guest House will be offering a special rate of £150 for two nights, for two people, bed breakfast and evening meals included, in our en-suite rooms, or £125 for our room with private bathroom. This is a saving of over £50.00. This cannot be taken with any other discounts. See the website,'

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today, the weather was just superb. Still, warm and sunny, what could be better for an early spring day?

This little barn thing is at Lerryn, near Lostwithiel.

We still have availability for Easter, so give me a ring or email if you are thinking of coming this way.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pinky Murphys Cafe, Fowey.

I have to tell you about this cafe. It is wonderful. It is different, quirky, a one off. We visited today when on a visit to Fowey on a wet Tuesday at the beginning of March. It was pleasantly busy, it has comfy chairs, wonderful food, originally presented, great atmosphere, something different to look at in all directions, books to read, puzzles to do, perfect. And great for vegetarians. We had a vegetarian platter. And it was just that. It came on a wooden platter, with a selection of dips and sauces and fresh bread and delicious salad. It was magical. We went back for tea and that was fantastic too, again beautifully presented, I won't say more or it will spoil the surprises if you get there. I think it was well used by local people, always a good sign, but we did not feel like intruders. And it is friendly, arty, there is great music playing, and there is a full size sculpture of a man relaxing outside to see in the summer! I hope to go back, soon!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Half term week.

We have availability for this week, over half term. So, if you are considering coming to Cornwall, give me a ring or email. The weather is settled at present, very still, quite mild. Apparently there is high pressure over the area, the result we are experiencing is that the wood burning stove will not burn properly and lets out clouds of smoke into the room when it is opened. The log stove is situated in our little cottage behind the house, where we sleep, so no danger of guests getting clouds of smoke in their faces!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Naming the guest rooms.

For ages, probably a couple of years, I have been considering naming the guest bedrooms at Michael House. But, choosing names has been fraught with pitfalls, probably mainly of my own imagination! I plan to make felt names to put on the doors and to give far more info and photos on the website, as I am aware how much people like to get an idea of the place they are visiting.

So, the names. Cornish flowers, local to the area, typical. Room three, the room with a private bathroom and views out to the back of the house, is easy. Echium. The room has many echiums swaying around beneath the window. But, even this easy choice went slightly wobbly recently, as I was worried the echiums would all die in the recent cold weather. They seem to have survived, but may be a bit straggly this year.

Then we thought of the lovely wispy shrub so typical of coastal areas, the, erm, er, the, oh no whatever is it called? You know, it's name is like that exotic plant that is used in making a tangy paste for flavouring cooking. We spent ages trying to remember. Tamarisk. That's it. We have planted one in the front garden now, so that we can name a room after it! I couldn't find a suitable photo to post here.

OK, so that is two sorted. For the third, we went through a lot of ideas. Valerian, sounds like a disease, thrift, sounds like the room may be a bit spartan, sea pink, another name for thrift, the room might be a bit pink. The latest idea is hebe. Surely there can be nothing wrong with that? It sounds fun, short, blue, and we have loads of it, it thrives here.

Let me know if you have any suggestions, or can think of any reasons why the ideas I have had are no good!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Have a laugh

if you need a laugh, have a look at my other blog, and you can have a giggle at my expense!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Of course, I will offer 5% discount to members of Compassion in World Farming as well, this is one of my favourite charities, they do such a lot to further the welfare of farmed animals.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I have decided for 2009 to offer a 5% discount on bed and breakfast to card holders of the following organisations:

Viva, Vegetarian Society, Vegan Society, Animal Aid, Peta, WSPA.

This will not apply with any other special offers, eg the three for two spring and autumn offer. Please show your card when making payment. And no, you cannot get 30% off by belonging to all the organisations! But yes, you can get 15% off by staying for five nights or over and therefore qualifying for the 10% reduction.

Monday, January 05, 2009


I plan to occasionally include recipes that have been popular at Michael House here. I will of course acknowledge their source!

chocolate torte.

This is vegan and quite, quite yummy! Very sophisticated, it looks good, and tastes wonderful, and is almost alarmingly simple to make. It has been taken from Rose Elliot's book 'Vegan Feasts', which I use increasingly and recommend highly. My admiration for Rose goes back to her first book, 'Not Just a Load of Old Lentils' which I believe she wrote when she was around 16. My favourite book of hers has to be her 'Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking' , but I wonder if not many of these were printed, as it did not seem to be around for long, and most people have not heard of it. Perhaps the recipes have been printed in other books?

Anyway, on with the torte!:

serves 8 - 10 - I sometimes make half the quantity, and make individual tortes in little tins.


for the base - 100g, 3 and a half oz. vegan plain chocolate
175g, 6 oz. vegan digestive biscuits - eg Doves Farm

for the top - 200g, 7oz, vegan plain chocolate
250ml soya cream carton
1tbs rum
chocolate curls to decorate


melt chocolate for the base over pan of simmering water, or in microwave. Break up the biscuits, in a mixer or by bashing in a bag! Add the melted chocolate. Press into the base of a greased tin, approx 21cm or 8 and a half ins. Chill.

Melt the reminder of the chocolate as before. Add the rum and soya cream. Spread over base and chill for at least 3 hours, covered, longer if possible. Decorate as needed. Good dessert to make ahead.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!