cornwall with a japanese flavour

a few years ago 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.

whilst I am down there, I always try to make a visit to 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 usually pop into the Tate St Ives too.

i also pop 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!  I think you just have to take a good book on the train and see it as a way to relax and catch up on reading.  I am reading Remarkable Creatures at the moment, by Tracy Chevalier, which a friend gave me.  the film Ammonite is based on the main character, so interesting to see how the different adaptations of Mary Anning.

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. Paul Ainsworth has a good daily menu too.  I am really looking forward to getting down there this summer, not only to see the lovely coast again, but also to visit our lovely friends.

barbara hepworth

one of the things that are high ‘on my list of things to do’ is the barbara hepworth sculpture park in wakefield;  not forgetting the yorkshire sculpture park, which i have visited – apparently they are not far from each other, so you can do both parks in one day.

closer to home, you can also go and see the wonderful sculptures of henry moore in perry green – its a lovely day out.

i ventured to epping a few years ago; i didnt realise that the end of the central line could be so pretty – our lovely friend Lyn (who incidentally sends me so much information on what to do in london – she is a busy cultured soul) –  lives in a cute little cottage there and invited us for lunch followed by a scenic drive to Henry Moore  in Perry Green.  it was so peaceful and pleasurable walking around the grounds seeing all the sculptures and Moore’s workshops

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the sculptures are placed all around the estate, some you catch glimpses through holes in the greenery;  the sculptures themselves are breathtaking in scale and very tactile. its definitely an interesting day for children, both young and grown up.  unfortunately by the time we arrived, the house where he lived was already fully booked, so its a good idea to reserve in advance – it just means that i now have a good reason to come back again.

31Aug2013_0087 31Aug2013_0082

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cornwall with a japanese flavour

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.

st ives and barbara hepworth

about an hours drive from padstow takes you to the furthest point of cornwall – st ives and penzance – 2 contrasting towns.  st ives is higgledy piggledy tiny cottages up and down and around the wonderful surrounding beaches – i have been once before in august, which was far too busy, but at this time of year it was perfect.  you must make a visit to the barbara hepworth house – see her sculptures, her home and workshop and her beautiful garden – all so inspirational!  the tate is closed for refurbishment until next spring, but the cafe at the top gives great views. have lunch at the porthgwidden beach cafe – delicious and right onto the beach.

barbara hepworth

rainy days are made for visiting museums – go and see the beautiful marble and carved sculptures of barbara hepworth at tate britain;  shown alongside her partner ben nicholson’s paintings, the exhibition is very enjoyable – the only drawback is that you want to touch and feel them – they are so tactile. it is now high on my list of things to do to visit -the barbara hepworth sculpture park in wakefield;  not forgetting the yorkshire sculpture park, which i have visited – apparently you can do both parks in one day.

closer to home, you can also go and see the wonderful sculptures of henry moore in perry green – its a lovely day out.

i ventured to epping a couple of years ago, didnt realise that the end of the central line could be so pretty – our lovely friend Lyn (who incidentally sends me so much information on what to do in london – she is a busy cultured soul) –  lives in a cute little cottage there and invited us for lunch followed by a scenic drive to Henry Moore  in Perry Green.  it was so peaceful and pleasurable walking around the grounds seeing all the sculptures and Moore’s workshops

31Aug2013_0008

31Aug2013_0026

the sculptures are placed all around the estate, some you catch glimpses through holes in the greenery;  the sculptures themselves are breathtaking in scale and very tactile. its definitely an interesting day for children, both young and grown up.  unfortunately by the time we arrived, the house where he lived was already fully booked, so its a good idea to reserve in advance – it just means that i now have a good reason to come back again.

31Aug2013_0087 31Aug2013_0082

Continue reading