The tale of Mousehole and Stargazy Pie

Would you try the quirkiest Cornwall dish?

This one’s not just for the foodies amongst you, but for the foodies that are willing to try anything once. If you’ve never heard of Mousehole before then we’ll start by filling you in, it’s a little fishing village in west Cornwall that has the look about it that could have been made to grace the front of postcards. It’s not all about summer holidays though…oh no…Mousehole comes into its own throughout December – so much in fact that it attracts visitors in their thousands.

For one thing, The Mousehole Lights are a flickering festival of colour and light, and they see the entire village (even down to the boats that bob quietly in the harbour) ablaze with illumination every evening throughout the festive season.  Anyway, the 23rd of every December is known locally as Tom Bawcock’s Eve, and it’s celebrated by eating Stargazy Pie. Bear with us, we’ll explain…

A long long time ago the weather was so bad for so long, forcing the fishing boats to stay in the harbour, that the people who lived in the village were on the brink of starvation. As the storm lulled for a short time, a young lad named (you guessed it) Tom set out to see what he could catch and managed to return with just enough fish to keep the village alive until the weather cleared.

The fish was baked into one huge pie, which became known as Stargazy Pie, and a feast ensued, and the tradition seems to have stuck. Every year as the 23rd December rolls around you’ll find the unusual looking dish proudly served up in the inn on the village’s quay, and at dinner tables throughout the village. If you visit during the illuminations look closely at them too, as amongst the Christmas trees, the stars and the stockings there’s always at least one proud recreation of a Stargazy Pie to honour the tale!

About the author

Kelly Marsh

I'm Blue Chip's Content Manager, so I get to spend my time finding out where you should go, what you should do and the best places to eat during your holidays...well someone's got to do it! When I'm not blogging you'll find me getting lost on various walks around Devon, visiting National Trust properties to help fill the Downton void and hiding at the back of my local yoga class.

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