If you don’t like Cornish people, don’t have three holiday homes there, Gordon Ramsay

It’s a huge issue in the county, where the average detached house costs 23 per cent more than in 2019

Emma Henderson
Friday 25 March 2022 19:20 GMT
Gordon Ramsay has not one, not two, but three holiday homes in Cornwall
Gordon Ramsay has not one, not two, but three holiday homes in Cornwall (AFP via Getty)

Imagine being able to afford a second home in the middle of a chronic housing crisis – in one of the poorest yet most beautiful counties in the country – where locals are being pushed out by rich elites.

Yes, I’m talking about Cornwall and Gordon Ramsay, who has not one, not two, but three holiday homes in Cornwall, worth a reported £11m in total. He was also lucky enough to be able to escape to Cornwall during lockdown, while people like me, whose family live in Cornwall, were not able to visit, just like millions of others around the country who couldn’t travel to see loved ones.

Although he’s happy to have escaped there and benefited from all its glories, it seems the celebrity chef, “can’t stand the Cornish”, he told BBC Radio 2’s Vernon Kay. Charming.

He was talking about his dream dish to make, where he, “would go down to the beautiful Cornish coast and get a little line-caught seabass and do that with a little light crushed potatoes. Trust me I absolutely love Cornwall, it’s just the Cornish I can’t stand.”

But he can stand to buy up property to use as holiday homes and benefit from all the beautiful things Cornwall has to offer: views, space, beaches, fresh air, good restaurants etc. Just not all the lovely people who look after these wonderful things for everyone else to visit and enjoy.

As someone who grew up in Cornwall, I’m all too aware of how much it has to offer, and how many arrogant people like Ramsay take its people for granted.

When in Cornwall in the first lockdown, he lived in Rock – perhaps one of the most boring places in Cornwall in my mind. It is also known as Kensington-on-Sea. If you’ve ever been to Rock, you’ll know there’s nothing there and it’s hugely overshadowed by plenty of other places in Cornwall.

While living there under lockdown rules, he didn’t stay local to Rock, according to reports in Cornwall Live. He was frequently spotted in Fowey, Newquay and Port Isaac – a 50- , 40- and 16-minute drive respectively from Rock. Apparently he had a “negative reaction” from the locals because of these sightings. That’s likely why local people are rightly annoyed at him. He’s just another elitist man thinking the rules don’t apply to them, (*cough* Boris *cough*).

In his interview he added: “God knows why we took so much s*** from the Cornish.” God knows why he doesn’t get it. People were only allowed to leave their homes for exercise or to buy essentials, not to drive 50 minutes around the county. His total lack of recognition of his privilege – being able to escape to another home during lockdown, with your family – and then not obeying rules is beyond shocking. He’s a household name, and so is his mug, yet he didn’t care about being seen.

His actions are the epitome of what local people would hate. And the sheer arrogance of his remarks and behaviour suggest an air of superiority, as if Cornish people are stupid for calling him out. I mean, how dare they, for he is the all-important person who shouts and cooks on TV.

Owning multiple houses only adds fuel to the fire. It’s a huge issue in the county, where the average detached house price is now £456,241, according to Rightmove. This is up 9 per cent on the previous year, and a huge 23 per cent up from 2019.

If celebrities and other people with numerous holiday properties contributed to the local economy more, it would at least be some support for the county. It’s also notable that Ramsay has 35 restaurants, but not one of them is in Cornwall, where he could give back and employ local people.

Cornwall has some of the worst transport links in the whole of the country. Our facilities such as doctors and schools are few and far between, and are some of the most remote too, with hospitals often being more than an hour away. A second-home tax that is fed back to the local council and used to support infrastructure is much needed.

But he’s not the only one at it. In February Tim Smit, the man behind the Eden Project, one of Cornwall’s biggest man-made attractions, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, also recently said on a podcast that he wished locals could be “a bit more f***ing articulate”. Anyone would surely be offended by that. No doubt the hundreds of employees at Eden and the Gardens of Heligan would be.

Cornwall has a deeply proud heritage and history that still pulsates throughout the county today. And if people want to enjoy Cornwall for all its wondrous glories, that includes its people too.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in