Relocating to Truro – An Insider’s Guide – with Kate Attlee

Thinking of relocating to Truro and wondering what is it really like living in Cornwall’s most desirable locations? We’re asking people to share their own perspectives in a new series of Insider Guides, starting with Truro-based food entrepreneur and ex-Masterchef contestant, Kate Attlee.

In 2018 Kate Attlee successfully applied to appear on Masterchef, where she won many admirers for her soulful, global approach to cooking which saw her incorporate elements from both her British and Iranian heritage. She made it through to the quarter finals before returning home to Cornwall with the life-goal of following a career in the food industry – fuelled by encouragement from the likes of John Torode, Gregg Wallace and Jay Rayner. 

Kate was born in Cornwall and went to college in Truro. Simply put, “it’s home,” says Kate, who lived in London for several years before returning to her Cornish roots and relocating to Truro to get married and raise her two daughters. 

Running an acclaimed supper club (The Arjomandi Kitchen) gave this creative chef a culinary outlet, allowing her to experiment and build a local following. Now, with daughters Ava and Audrey both in school, Kate saw her opportunity to embark on a new project and give her food a permanent home. She opened her deli, Sabzi (which means ‘green herbs’ in Farsi), in Walsingham Place in Truro at the start of December 2019. Serving delicious coffee and an eclectic, colourful and seasonal array of salads, Sabzi is now dishing out the most sought-after lunch boxes in the city.  

Kate uses organic produce sourced as locally as possibly. She prepares everything fresh on a daily basis, and the selection is always changing so her customers never get bored. Sabzi sells out every day, but that’s intentional. “I don’t want wastage, I want freshness and variety,” says Kate, who has designed the complete set-up to be zero-waste and plastic free. 

Kate explains that she loves serving customers and thrives on the interaction: “It’s really important to me to have that face-to-face relationship with the people eating my food. My kitchen here feels very much like my kitchen at home, so it’s quite personal handing out food over the counter!”

When Kate and her husband decided to come back to Cornwall to start a family, they choose Truro. As Kate explains: “It offered the best balance between the Cornish lifestyle and having amenities and good transport links. With young children I think practical considerations are really important, and my husband works away a few days a week so hassle-free travel is important.” Kate has shared some of her favourite things about Truro below – for more practical information about relocating to Truro take a look at our Location Guide.      

Kate’s favourite walking spot: Idless woods is beautiful. This is my regular dog walking spot, and a place my children have spent endless hours playing with sticks and getting covered in mud. We’re so lucky to have places like this on our doorstep. 

Kate’s treat day out: My ultimate day out would have to be a spa experience at St Michael’s in Falmouth, followed by an early dinner on the terrace at Hotel Tresanton over in St Mawes. One of the reasons I love Truro is the ease of access to places like Falmouth (a 20-min train ride) and the countryside around here. The Roseland Peninsula is especially beautiful and it’s great fun to travel around on the boats which connect Truro, Falmouth, Trelissick and St Mawes.

Cornish food and drink: I’m a big fan of Rising Ground Coffee, which is roasted and packed in Wadebridge. They choose small parcels of the very best green coffee and then roast it to perfection. I serve filter coffee which surprises some people who are used to espresso machines, but once they’ve tried the coffee in this pure unadulterated form they absolutely love it!   

Favourite local stores: I love the zero waste shop here in Truro. The Refill Store is in Lemon Street Market and the quality and choice of dried ingredients is fantastic. They are so helpful, they fill up my big containers of things like chickpeas and lentils every week, so there is no waste and I never run out. 

For clothes I love The Vor Store on Cathedral Lane. The selection of brands is great, the clothes are stylish but also wearable, and the service is always very friendly.  

The best thing about living in Truro is: There is a fantastic community in Truro which I think surprises people sometimes, as it is a city (albeit a small one!) When my children were really little this was even more important to me, as it was like having an automatic support network. It’s a city with a big heart, where people are genuinely friendly and caring towards each other. It’s also really attractive, with loads of nice architectural features and of course the Cathedral as a focal point. I’m really proud to have opened my business here, and grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received from the community.   

We hope you enjoyed this article, and if you want to read more about Truro, do check out our Truro location guide.