The new nostalgic haven for vintage lovers
Words and photographs by Rebecca Bentley
With Cornwall’s growing vintage scene and a well-established title as the UK’s foodie capital, it seems only fitting to combine the two – which is exactly what Justin Lowe has done with Gorblimey’s, a new retro café and farm shop that serves a full English with bubble and squeak in the morning, and wood-fired pizzas in the afternoon, all made from fresh local ingredients.
Its roadside location along the A390 into Truro makes it the perfect place to stop off before or after a trip into the city, and Justin’s vision is to create an authentic British café that takes you back to the 1940s and ‘50s. It’s a welcome addition to the area, and Justin is a friendly and inviting character who is always up for a natter about all things vintage – especially cars.
The café is decked out with retro diner furniture, pretty floral pictures, granny chic lamps and a wall plastered with pages from mid-century ladies’ magazines, and Autocar ads that make for a cheesy read while the sound of Glenn Miller merges with the whooshing of passing cars.
Justin says: “My parents used to take me to Dinan in France as a kid. We’d eat at one of the best places I’ve ever tasted wood-fired pizzas, and it just had an amazingly cosy atmosphere, like being at home. Wheelhouse in Falmouth is similar, and I wanted to recreate that relaxed and homely atmosphere and nostalgic feel in Gorblimey’s.
“I love the period from the 1930s to ‘50s, and things from the Second World War, which my house is full of. So this place is like an extension of my own home – it’s me, really. I’ve always wanted to do this, and I’ve had some life-changing experiences in the last few years that have inspired me to just go ahead and it,” explains Justin.
Keeping it local is high on Justin’s agenda, and all the ingredients in the café and farm house are sourced from within a few miles. The vegetables, fruit and eggs are from a local farm, the meat comes from St Agnes and the jams and chutneys are made by a lady who lives around the corner – it couldn’t get much more local than that.
For £7, Gorblimey’s offers two pizzas that come with traditional toppings such as chicken and red onion, ham and pineapple and the simple but classic mozzarella. There are also veggie options and home-made cakes, tea and coffee served throughout the day.
Debbie Barton, who lives in nearby Penstraze, says: “I’m a neighbour and when I saw the open sign I had to come into and try it out. My husband and I used to eat at an amazing Italian pizza place in Gloucester that did wood-fired pizzas, and I hadn’t tasted one as good since I tried Justin’s today. The really thin base gives it an authentic Italian taste – it’s delicious.”
Justin also takes orders for fresh game from his farm shop, including rabbit, venison, wood pigeon and pheasant all supplied by a gentleman just down the road. He’s never short of an idea or two either, and has lots exciting plans in the pipeline.
Justin says: “Gorblimey’s will be available for hire for parties, and I’ll be holding gigs and themed nights here too. I’m also hoping to hold a summer festival in September this year that will be filled with vintage food and music, retro cars, a bit of burlesque and pampering for the ladies with retro make-overs. There’s a big field at the back, so we’ll have space for camping too.
“At the moment I’m seeing where the business goes, as there’s so much we can do here. I’m always bringing in retro knick knacks from home and changing things around to keep it fresh. I’m currently serving pizzas from noon to 3pm but will soon be serving them till 9pm from Thursday to Saturday, and will hopefully get licensed soon too.”
As if a vintage festival wasn’t enough, Justin will also be selling retro furniture and pet accessories from the front of his farm shop too, so watch this space. Gorblimey’s is currently open from 7am to 4pm, with the view to staying open for longer in the coming months. To find out about any upcoming events and special offers, visit the Gorblimey’s Facebook page at: