For those unfamiliar with the great creation that is the pasty, allow me to enlighten you. It really is touchingly simple: pastry, stuffed with good hearty English ingredients like swede, folded over, and baked until golden brown. The Italians (probably) nicked it from US. Take that, calzone.

Even though it in all likelihood originated as an easy meal or snack for the lower classes to take out and about with them during their day’s work, made cheaply and using ingredients straight from the earth of England’s green and pleasant land, it has evolved to become one of Britain’s best-loved, while still hanging on to its roots in England’s West Country (you can almost hear the Cornish accent whisper in your ear as you take a bite).

While the West Cornwall Pasty Company might not be the first pasty company, it is certainly now one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, now bringing the classic foodstuff to the nation. Reasonably priced, it also sells other things to go with your pasty, such as crisps, drinks, and other solid British snacks such as sausage rolls.

As a chain, you’d think that the quality of this food would be questionable, but it even passes the French test (a.k.a. my fiancé), getting the thumbs up from a nationality that is famously picky about the quality of its meat. However, what you get is a range of seriously delicious, satisfying and traditional foods that never fail to disappoint. I certainly had no beef with my traditional Cornish pasty (containing beef, swede, potato and onion, FYI), and neither did my fiancé, who also sent a sausage roll down after it.

You won’t get fine dining here; the outlets take the form of open shop fronts that offer little or no seating, meaning that you are expected to make like your Cornish forefathers and eat on the move. Still, there is nothing wrong with this. Warm Cornish pasties eaten on Windsor’s Long Walk in the sunshine on a temperate April day? Yes please.


Locations: most high streets