so my friends took me to the japanese gardens at st mawgan – a beautiful bit of escapism in the cornish countryside – filled with zen gardens, azaleas, bamboo and bonsai trees – its worth the visit.. whilst you are in st mawgan go and see the monastery there, it dates back from the 6C; not sure if you can go in, but take a walk around it. the village of st mawgan is very pretty and there is also a good pub with big garden there.
i then went to see kim’s exhibition in st ives; st ives must have more art galleries and crafts studios per square foot than any other town i have been to. i love its winding streets, up and down, higgledy piggledy , surrounded by the sea all round, its a really atmospheric town. probably best to visit out of the high season and school holidays. we popped into the tate st ives, to see the ceramics of Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada – starts off with the influence of the japanese ceramicists and ends with contemporary pieces. i love the views out to the sea through the circular windows.
i also popped into the barbara hepworth gallery, probably my favourite place in the whole world – the gardens, the house, the sculptures and the workshops are just inspiring.
we ate lunch on the terrace at porthgwidden beach cafe, which looks onto the beach. the only downside to st ives is the distance from london- its even further than padstow! however, as I had to visit my mother and liverpool, i took a flybe plane from manchester airport to newquay, which took 45 mins and the same price as a one way train ticket; this worked as my mother lives close to the airport, but if you have to drag one and half hours to the airport, and go through the whole airport security, then its definitely much easier by train.
back to padstow – if you have had enough of the rick stein empire, try the basement restaurant, which actually have an outdoor summer house to sit in, despite its name – its forte is sea food and is of a very good quality.