This pasty shop is found at a lot of train stations across the UK and sometimes you'll even find one on the high street. The pasties are made in west Cornwall, but cooked freshly in store. There is a large selection of flavours with different meats and vegetables and the traditional Cornish pasty comes in two sizes. Before I was a vegetarian my favourite flavour was the pork and apple, but now I eat whichever vegetarian one is still in stock (as there isn't usually many of each vegetarian flavour). The pastry is really good and flavoursome, but sometimes there is a little bit of burn around the edges which doesn't taste too good.
One problem I have with the pasties is actually a positive point for most people. The pasties are just TOO HOT when you get them. This is great if you're taking your pasty away to eat at home, but when I get a pasty to eat at the train station, I'm usually in a rush and need to eat quickly which usually ends up with a burnt roof of my mouth. Of course, everyone would complain if they were stone cold, but it's just something to bear in mind if you're in a rush.
A pasty is around £3 depending on what you get. They also sell potato wedges, sausage rolls, a range of breakfasts and sometimes pizza. They also have fair-trade coffee and soft drinks in the fridge.
The staff are always really friendly in the branches I have visited and they always give you a napkin which is nice since they are quite messy to eat!
Now for the scary bit: pasties are bad for you. It's sad, but true. These pasties are delicious because they're so full of fat. A pasty will typically contain about 700 calories and 30g fat, which is a fair amount considering most people will just pick one up as a hot snack! I'm surprised they haven't released a new low fat pasty, but it would probably be inedible!
The authenticity of this establishment is enhanced by pictures of pirates on the walls, and an Eastern European gentleman behind the counter - so it really felt like I was had wandered into Cornwall! I went for a "Traditional". I was disappointed to see it was a "turnover" design, with the crust on the side. I know some people will argue that this is how proper Cornish pasties are made: I just prefer the one with the crust on the top.
The pastry was pretty good. Quite crisp, but a little greasy, and the crust is a bit thick: you need a drink to wash it down. The filling is not "mashed" like in other pasties and contains an impressive mix of identifiable ingredients: beef, swede, potato, a nice amount of black pepper. It was tasty, but a bit "swede-heavy", and I felt it lacked depth and maturity... almost like it had been microwaved instead of baked. The other disappointment was the price: £2.80 is more than double that of Gregg's!
Myself and my family were recently staying over in Chester for the weekend to celebrate my Uncle's 75th birthday. The day we arrived was cold and as we were all hungry we decided to go straight for lunch. We came across the West Cornwall Pasty Cafe and decided this would be the ideal place to eat. Oh how wrong we were!! We sat down at two tables but immediately had to move as the the door to the cafe was wide open which made it quite cold, after reading through the varied menu we all decided upon the large traditional pasty, we were told they would be about 30 minutes because they had only just gone into the oven, we didn't mind waiting because we thought they would be fresh, hot and hopefully tasty. We ordered drinks and some large chunky chips to munch on whilst we waited for our pasty's to arrive. Although 2 cups of tea arrived instead of 2 cups of coffee we decided not to complain and just drank the tea. After exactly 30 minutes our food arrived, we all cut into our pasty's and were shocked to find just chunks of vegetables in some sort of liquid (water??), I lifted the pastry off the top of my pasty to see if there was any meat inside and discovered two very small pieces of what looked like beef joined together with a strand of fat, one piece of the meat was dark the other was pink, I took the pasty back and complained to the Assistant behind the counter, he offered me another pasty, by this time my taste buds no longer fancied it, so I chose a small sausage roll instead and was given another portion of chunky chips to make up the difference in the price. The rest of the family didn't bother to eat their pasty's either. To be honest we were alll pretty much disgusted and disappointed with the food especially my Uncle who decided to complain to the Manager, he told him that it was the worst Cornish Pasty he had ever tasted. The Manager apologised and gave us our money back, he said that their pasty's were made fresh in Cornwall and brought over to Chester. My family have all been to Cornwall and had the pleasure of experiencing the taste of a real Cornish Pasty and believe me when I say they are nothing like what they sell and try to pass off as traditional Cornish Pasty's in the West Cornwall Pasty Co Cafe in Chester.
86 UK Outlets
15 New Café/Kiosks in the last year 2009 - 2010
CEO: Richard Nieto
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You may find a whiff of Cornwall sweeping down the High Street - powerful and forthright marching along like the North Korea Army all sprightly, teetering on flamboyant 'pretty boy' flair, destined to make an appearance during the luncheon gallivant. That'll be the West Cornwall Pasty Company. Their quest is to marinate every nasal hair follicle in their wake, the unmistakable aroma of pasty. Then you start seeing those adorable black and yellow paper packets held close to the chest, warming ones soul, treated as if a 'parcel of love,' its short-lived within five minutes it's contents devoured, all that'll be left will be the black and yellow paper bag and like an orphan child it'll be left somewhere forgotten. In a flicker of time, that warmth it once gave unconditionally lost forever, until the next scheduled pasty luncheon.
Waving gently in the breeze, their logo attached on the side wall masonry displays a famished Pirate, sinking his pearly whites into a succulent pasty, how many Pirates have you seen do that while window shopping? In my default stupor I found myself gazing into the West Cornwall Pasty Company's establishment; or shall I say shop cupboard. I miraculously avoided the munching pirate wooden stand outside, which was well hidden from view, due to a hive of legs and bags. A blast of heat hit my face from the walk-in cupboard establishment; it drew me in. My hunger pangs by which point had reached my cerebellum, the realization does take its time. Her heat blasts were welcoming; it was as if invisible little fingers were pulling me inside the pasty kiosk, it wasn't her alluring scent, by that time I'd got use to the aromatic seduction plan, it was the warming bursts of heat that clinched the deal.
Shiver my Timbers I've got Splinters
The stylized wooden pirates stand I assume outside, to shatter shins walking swiftly by. Pirates aren't exactly friendly are they? So I guess their thought process would be:
"Alright, don't go in, I'll bruise the femur instead, take that! Aaarrrgh!" - Or "You did get a pasty, cool, but watch where you're going, take that! Aaarrrgh!"
Either way it appears the West Cornwall Pasty Company is going to leave you with a more permanent mark rather than using more traditional methods such as the offerings of a delicious pasty, which they do, but it seems it doesn't suffice. A shin bruise is an extra colourful option, along with a splinter, older heavier signs saved for the hardened inner city public.
Still waiting wondering what savouries to delve into, I noticed the queuing system reminded me of an interchangeable 'Rubix Cube.' People were entering the cupboard bustling in to view the continental styled encased display of pasties, moving along the elongated counter pointing out their preferred type of pasty to no-one in particular. I grant that all pasties do look the same, so for members of the public coming in from the cold into a pasty cupboard; disorientation may occur. I for one viewed a menu directly behind the continental counter and smacked my lips when observed a 'Lamb and Mint' flavoured pasty.
Hearty pasty not kind to yee hearties (or shins)
£2.80 pence, for a lunch, what a treat! I'll splash out. You can have a hot beverage to accompany the pasty, but I declined, and kept it simple; 'just a lamb and mint pasty.' I knew my order, although there were quite a few aromatically seduced floaters, disorientated that they just walked in to a pasty cupboard, stroke shop-window. Some more adept professional people who knew the drill, walked in, did their business, walked out. However, behind the counter the makers of pasties had endless room, to perfect their thin crusts and pack the fillings in as you would a Tesco's plastic bag before its untimely split. I came to the idea that the West Cornwall Pasty Company was in fact a 'pasty cupboard tardis.' All areas in the 'pasty tardis' was pristine clean, admittedly 'no toilets' or obvious seating area inside, unless in my default stupor I missed a trap-door that caters for this comfort in a pasty cellar, where rotten old crusts go. I'll be right at home.
Once you've been handed the piping hot pasty by the asbestos fingered Polish counter attendant; whose leathered hands have grown accustomed to extreme temperatures. In pain, I try to adjust my hand grip and Houdini my way out of the mass wave of disorientated people deciding on what crust styled pasty trimming they would prefer. Yes, there are no seats either. It's just a pasty cupboard. Miraculously I just avoided the pirate again and started to nibble on the trimmings. My 'not for vegetarian consumption' lamb and mint filling tore into the roof of my palate as if a new horse-shoe fitting, the problem was, unlike the horse, I felt it. I'll be rubbing skin off with my tongue for a day or so now. This West Cornwall Pasty Company really likes to inflict pain in some way, 'no pain; no gain;' although 'gain' is referring to the derriere; which this pasty was obviously modeled on, a sizeable Jamaican ladies rear; as lovely as they are, of course; West Cornwall pasties.
Pleasingly the mint taste had a bold strength and aroma fit for a Trebor mint; this complimented the sweet tender lamb chunks. There is something very enlightening by slowly devouring a sizeable pasty and taking time out for re-fueling. The mind wanders. Was I eating an honest piece of 'West Cornwall' pasty? 'West' is location wise rather precise, it is slightly endearing, gives the impression that produce have been assigned to pasty consumption, in that particular area. Almost personalizes the whole pasty experience; with the array of filling options, they certainly know how to cater for the masses, without losing that intimate touch. Probably why they're successful and have taken over the 'tricolour of Delice de France' baguette kiosks, recently. This is an emerging food-chain movement linked to 'Glocalisation;' produces sourced out from Cornish fields of traditional crops to localized food companies, fresh and ready to order direct to the high street consumer. The pasties are delicious, yet the only matter that does evoke a smidgeon of inevitability is it is definitely branded as a fast-food outlet. I finish off my lovely pasty and ask myself I wonder if this pasty fad has the legs to take us through this ambiguous period of 'austerity.' I hope so, their company produce ethos is admirable.
West Cornwall pasty company at Clapham Junction is one of the food places you pass in the station. It's right by where you exit the station and put your tickets through the barriers.
I have eaten from this chain before at a different station (can't remember which one), and the selection there was less varied.
Here they do crisps (tyrells) , drink bottles (like diet coke etc..), freshly baked pasties, wedges, pizza slices etc...
Although it makes you think it's hot food from looking at it (it's stored in a way that makes you think it's heated) it isn't always.
I had a slice of pizza and wedges earlier and they were slightly warm. Which with pizza is fine, but with wedges makes them taste pretty nasty. They give you sachets for the wedges like bbq sauce, ketchup etc.. if you ask for it.
The food is packaged in small paper bags. The pizza slice was given loose in the bag and the wedges come in a small pot. I think it must be quite a successful business, lots of people must pass it each day and buy from there.
The quality of the food isn't anything great, but it's ok enough for a snack especially when you can't see any other places selling hot food around.
The website http://www.westcornwallpasty.co.uk/ is quite cool but not what i expected it to be like. There's a bit of history written in old English which I didn't know about.
If you click on pasties you'll see they mainly sell meat ones, not good if you're a vegetarian like me. I noticed that when looking actually but when I saw the pizza I wanted it straight away and even if i had seen it still would've picked the pizza slice.
-Quick to get food assuming there's no queue (when i was there only one person was buying something). The staff are quick at getting everything together.
-Good spot for a fast food company.
-Quite small because it's food designed to be taken away.
-Nice snacky food
-Cheese&Onion Pasties fill you up (i've tried one before and the pasty was nice)
- It's become quite a well known place
-Would be better if food was heated up when you get it instead of being left sitting there in the frame going cold.
-Quality of pizza is edible but quite bland for the £1 something you pay.
-Even McDonalds wedges taste better so i reckon they could improve on them somewhat.
- Get sour cream & chive dip for them. Best thing that goes with wedges in my opinion (maybe i'm just being picky but i would have liked them to offer it, again- McDonalds do)
Overall I think this is a good idea, many places sell pasties etc but this one's made quite a name for itself and become successful. I'd recommend it again if you want something snacky on the go.
According to The West Cornwall Pasty Company website (which by the way seems to take far longer than it should to load thanks to gimmicky, horrible overdone use of flash in their design), the whole mission of their chain is to provide traditional, tasty and robust fare. Um, mission failed then?
I'm lucky enough to only have just encountered TWCPC and have only eaten there as recently as four hours ago (won't be repeat business, sorry!) but suddenly I'm rather thankful that my town has such an abundance of Greggs and Sayers!
This review is solely based on the Chester branch (although all of them are decorated in the same absolutely horrid 'student pirate party in a bedsit' style) in terms of service/cleanliness but food and so forth is obviously going to reflect chain-wide, okay? Good. First impressions - well, I was lured in by the seasonal offering of roast parsnips (photographed in a full-sized portion cup and looking all deliciously crispy) so me and my boyfriend decided to chance it.
The layout is typical coffee-shop - chiller cabinet for drinks, main heated area where pasties are, menu in background - and the decor is the aforementioned pirate-student inspired scheme with just about every advert/print related to surfing or Cornwall all over the walls. This branch in particular is very cosy small but the furniture was well-placed using the space to the advantage of the customers (not just needlessly cramming more tables in for the sake of it).
The service left a lot to be desired - c'mon, it's Christmas! Smiles and manners go an awful long way! - several times the guy had to ask what we wanted or what drink we had picked (when he could have clearly looked himself) and was incredibly rude, blatantly more interested in talking to his co-worker (to the point that he didn't immediately serve us, just looked at us if we'd give up and walk away!) and made the whole transaction very uncomfortable on our part. The staffing seemed to be very low for what is a two floor establishment - apart from the guy on the till and his female crony, there was no-one else around (or doing anything for that matter) which leads me to my next bugbear...
IT WASN'T CLEAN. We got our food (weren't offered a tray even though we were obviously going to struggle with two plates, drinks and our shopping bags) and walked to the nearest table. Oh, not cleared away. Um. Okay. Next table. Not cleaned either. Let's try upstairs? There were several doors marked staff only left wide open for people to see grotty cleaning cupboards, piles of dirty dishes and there was a general unclean feeling. Very disappointing. Upstairs wasn't much better but we found a table that was cleared of plates (had to give it a quick wipe ourselves as it was so sticky) and sat down.
We ordered two tomato, cheese and basil pasties, a portion of potato wedges, the seasonal parsnips and a orange juice (which we weren't offered glasses for...) which came to £9.50 which is completely outrageous if you consider competitive prices from similiar places, hell, we could have paid five pounds more and went to Pizza Hut for all you can eat and drink. Maybe if the food had lived up to expectations, I wouldn't have minded but I still feel the price of the pasties alone (£2.90) are excessive whatever the taste!
The pasties themselves were blandly forgettable - not particularly tomatoey and the filling looked rather insipid and processed - with the pastry being a neither one thing or the other affair. Not flaky or crispy. Just rather hard, dry and far too much of it. The potato wedges were along the same line - bland, not particularly warm (though they were microwaved or reheated somehow when we ordered them) and the parsnips were a huge disappointment. Not crispy or even the portion size pictured on the poster in the window! Thank god we had been given some tomato sauce to help everything go down a little easier.
The West Cornwall Pasty Company have gone for looks over detail (although I've seen more inspired taste in a Little Chef outlet) and thought that with 'wacky character' they could charge a stupid amount of money for a very poor pasty product. They should probably spend more money on cleaners, nicer staff and a expert pasty chef.
I really can't recommend this place to anyone! The price doesn't compete with similiar chains, the service is awful (I've had more charming and competant customer service going to a MacDonald's drive through!) and it's main product is terrible.
The West Cornwall Pasty Company is a chain of smallish café / restaurants mostly found in south-west England. They specialize in a range of pastry products loosely based around the traditional Cornish pasty. Add to that a variety of hot and cold drinks, and that's about it for what they sell.
The main upside of these shops is that they provide a fairly reasonably-priced and overall agreeable venue in which to have a sit-down snack lunch. At the Cirencester branch last Friday for example, from the sit-in menu we had two pasties, a sausage roll, a portion of 'oven-baked potato wedges' and one fruit drink and it all cost approximately a tenner. You buy exactly the same range of goods if you're taking your meal away, only it's sold at slightly lower prices - about 75p to a quid less for a £3-ish regular sit-in pasty, for example.
Despite the option of eating in-house, the cafes themselves aren't the best places to linger as they are rather garishly decorated (you can get a good idea of what the décor is like by visiting the company's website). The main theme is 'pirates in Cornwall' so accordingly, a lot of the surfaces in the shops are painted black. The rest of the furnishings have an olde-worlde feel: there're wooden pub tables and chairs, and lots of rough-hewn looking shelves with pots and 1930s bric-a-brac etc. on them. Also they have thrown pretty much everything else you can think of that's vaguely Cornish into the mix, so as well as the posters and life-size cut-outs of pirates you find other decorative features such as painted wall-murals of Cornish fisher-folk with their wares on the beach, and worse, perfectly good surf-boards that some fool's drilled holes in so that they can be fixed to the ceiling. It's all extremely theme-pub-ish.
None of this would be anywhere near so objectionable if the pasties themselves passed muster. The traditional Cornish pasty has a steak, potato and vegetable filling; in addition to these the West Cornwall Pasty co. sells a range of other flavours including lamb and mint, salmon, and god help us all, even chicken tikka filled pasties. We tried a lamb and a salmon pasty. The fillings are OK and tasty enough but there isn't nearly enough of the filling provided, considering that up to about a third of what you get in each pasty is made up of dense, dry, not particularly appetising pastry which really nees some kind of help to get you swallowing it down. It's neither puff pastry nor a nice short-crust, but more a sort of golden-brown hybrid of the two that doesn't taste of a great deal. They weren't clearing the tables at the café the day we went, and hence we could see that previous diners had left much of the pastry element of the pasties they'd bought behind on their plates - and who can blame them because the stuff is as tough as old boots. I'm aware of the 'rule' with 'traditional' pasties - ie. they say that you should be able to drop them down the shaft of a working tin-mine and the pastry's so hard the pasty remains intact - but I think in this case it's carrying authenticity much too far. (Incidentally, the potato wedges were dried out too, and weren't worth bothering with.)
In summary you can get a perhaps less self-professedly 'authentic' pasty at Greggs the bakers, which despite being sold from less characterful surroundings, and being comprised almost entirely of puff pastry and mashed potato and nothing else, costs less than half the price and is in my opinion more than twice as good to eat than what's on offer at the West Cornwall Pasty co. The Pasty co. shops are a nice idea in principle, but poorly executed in practice because they're let down by the poor quality of their flagship pasty product, which is a shame.