How to Celebrate in Cornwall: Birthday Ideas for Adults
Heading to the South West for a celebratory shindig? Here's our guide to spending a birthday on the Cornish coast.
Brigitte Bardot once said: 'Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.' Frankly, we couldn’t care less which age you’d prefer to live within, but we do enjoy the sentiment that every age can be enchanting. And here at Plum Guide we certainly know how to come up with an enchanting birthday party so leave it to us to guide you on the best ways to celebrate a birthday in one of England’s sunniest counties, Cornwall. From our favourite places to indulge in the region’s incredible local produce to unmissable cookery courses – not to mention bucket list activities and a windswept wellness experience – we're sharing our guide to the best Cornwall birthday ideas out there.
Take a seafood cookery course in Padstow
Rick Stein’s harbourside fish and seafood cooking courses will give you something to brag about. Choose from making a showstopping lobster thermidor, Singapore chilli crab, oysters or fish dishes like vanilla sea bass or haddock with mussels. There are meat, game and veggie options too, but there’s little more satisfying than enjoying a freshly caught fish dish you made yourself with a glass of chilled white and a sea view. (NB if you’re not comfortable offing a lobster or crab, choose the fish rather than shellfish options.)
Nathan Outlaw in Rock
Anyone happier eating food than making it won’t be getting any judgement from us. And Cornwall isn’t short on restaurants powered by well-known, well-skilled chefs. That's why our Cornwall 3-day itinerary includes it's fair share of them. Nathan Outlaw is one of our favourites, and his always classy seafood-focused Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac provides expertly prepared tasting menus starring the very best Cornish catches. The laidback seaside setting also helps to strike a perfect balance with its white tablecloths and two Michelin stars.
Paul Ainsworth at No 6
Paul Ainsworth at No 6, also with a Michelin star, focuses on modern British food made with Cornish produce. It’s set in a cosy Georgian townhouse with relaxed, friendly service – and there’s not much more to add, apart from that you could do a lot worse than have a birthday here.
Enjoy a clifftop hot tub at The Scarlett
This is one of the most dramatic and, frankly, inspired places in the world you could think of to stick a hot tub. Perched on a clifftop, spa-goers can remain warm and toasty in the water, whether they’re sunning themselves, stargazing or enjoying a storm (though if you bring your champagne in with you, it does admittedly go down much easier when there’s no rain in it). Retreat inside to the day spa for a hammam, pools, meditation and massages.
Visit the Eden Project
One of the best things about getting away to Cornwall is the opportunity to escape in nature. Truth first: there will be lots of other people at the Eden Project. But you will also find enough enthralling rainforest plant species under the iconic domes to beat the average millennial’s houseplant collection by some distance.
Try your hand at foraging in the wild
As Cornwall birthday ideas go, this one’s a little different. Head out onto the lands surrounding Portwrinkle fishing village (which gets top marks for its funny name) with a professional forager from Totally Wild. Depending on what you find, you could be cooking up a wild risotto, elderflower cheesecake or orange and hogweed seeds cakes over an open fire. A great one for anyone who fancies themselves as a forager but is fearful of plucking the wrong mushroom. Course leaders are all government accredited, so you’re in safe hands.
Go dolphin and whale-watching
Amateur Attenboroughs in need of their next nature immersion can head out on a boat from Penzance (one of our favourite areas to stay with the whole family) with Marine Discovery in search of seals, dolphins, porpoises and seabirds. If you’re lucky you might spot one of the giants: humpback whales, minke whales, basking sharks or leatherback turtles all live in these waters.
Taste English wine at Camel Valley Vineyard
There’s little better than sitting in sunshine, sipping fine wine just metres from where it was made. And these expert viticulteurs might just have more gold awards to dust than bottles in their home cellars (the list is incredibly long). To enjoy one of the best Cornwall birthday ideas, visit the family owned vineyard for a tour and tasting on the terrace and then select your favourite vintages to bring home.
Helicopter St Ives
Who doesn’t go big on their birthday? Fools, that’s who. Soar from St Ives to Land’s End and back, peering down at a rugged English coastline and feeling sorry for anyone down there who didn’t have this idea for their big day. Your knowledgeable pilot will point out landmarks like Pendeen Lighthouse and the open-air Minack Theatre on the cliffs.
Stay in a Plum Guide home
At Plum Guide, we’re well versed in selecting the best holiday properties for discerning travellers: our neurotic home critics have tested the best homes out there, and whittled them down to the top 3%. Yes, they’ve tried the beds, scrutinised the shower pressure and measured noise levels by the decibel to ensure we only list the very best. So think less mouldy holiday cottage without hot water, and more elegant beachside bothole whose owner you’ll be tapping up for interiors tips. You’re very welcome.