cornwall

I have finally made it back to Padstow  – its been more than 3 years since I have been – staying with my lovely friends Jon and Kim, who moved down here several years ago.  Each time i come, there are new enterprises popping up;  including  hawksfield, a recent enterprise of vintage furniture, health food and deli products, flowers, homeware by Jo and co.   the cafe there is also a fun place to meet – its more informal, but also does breakfast.   Hawksfield is just outside of Wadebridge.

we had lunch at Potager in Constantine, a cafe /restaurant housed in a garden centre which had been left to be delapidated and over the years has been restored ,to provide a really lovely space for meeting, arts and crafts workshops and really tasty healthy food. 

I also walked over to the Old lifeboat station, Edward Woodward’s old house In Hawkers cove – again a beautiful spot and if you go early, say 9am, its practically deserted, even in the height of the August tourist season.  sadly, it’s been sold and apparently being developed into something swish, which is always sad.  

A new stopping place, just outside of Padstow is Margo’s – a restaurant that opens from breakfast, right through to dinner; the food is locally sourced and seasonal and you can also find local products for sale – chocolate, gin, wine and preserves.  there is also a garden centre and flowers shop selling locally grown flowers.

A great place to eat is  Appletons, a very tasty rustic Italian style food restaurant at trevibban mill.  the food is locally grown and raised, with some of the vegetables grown on site.   this is a local cornish vineyard that produces its own wine and cider,  you can  have wine tasting tours which sound fun – if only i drank wine!  i noticed that you could buy home spun wool too. its always lovely to see new places opening up – i realised that we have been coming to Padstow for over 20 years now as my friends have always had a place there.

We walked up again to the nearby granite obelisk which was built in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, offering stunning views and quietness from the busy centre of Padstow.

 

 

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.

Port Eliot

Robert was invited to Port Eliot to speak about his book – it was his first time ever to a festival;  Port Eliot is not your typical music festival – its set in beautiful grounds around an old Manor House and church and river;  it started in the 90’s as primarily a literary festival, but expanded to become a great all round family outing with music, arts, crafts as well as the books.  sadly it seems that this will be the last one for the foreseeable future due to financial feasibility (this was one of the reasons given)…..  its a lovely gentle introduction to festivals for those who hate crowds and queues, as this one seems very calm, great food and drinking spots and all in all actually relaxing.  fingers crossed for more in the future!  this was actually my second time to Port Eliot and fortunately it didnt rain – the first time it poured non stop and was a mud bath and not a great introduction to festivals…..

to make it worth the long journey down to Cornwall, we decided to visit our old friends Jon and Kim, who now live in Padstow for a few days;  we caught the Great Western train from Paddington and although we had managed to get a great deal on a first advanced ticket, we wished we had reserved the pullman dining car.  it looked so Agatha Christie with table cloths – being served a 3 course meal is definitely a stylish way to pass the 4 hour train journey.  fortunately we missed the heatwave in london to arrive to a comfortable 21C.  we did a day trip to Fowey, ate delicious tapas lunch at Pintxo, picked up great sourdough bread and cake from Quay bakery and popped into any old lights, which has a great selection of vintage style lights. Fowey has lovely meandering streets with a lovely view down to the harbour and is where the renowned author Daphne du Maurier resided – Rebecca is one of my favourite books and films.

Padstow is renowned for Rick Stein, who seems to have taken over the whole town with various eateries, delis and gift shop, but Jon booked well in advance lunch at Paul Ainsworth’s restaurant.  its Michelin star, but at lunchtime there is a set 2 or 3 course lunch menu for each season.  it is very reasonable, beautifully presented and delicious – without being too rich and heavy.  I rarely eat in such restaurants – I much prefer home cooked style food, but its nice for a treat now and again.  it appears that you have to book several months in advance to get a table in July!

another day trip out worth doing is to see the  japanese gardens at st mawgan – a beautiful bit of escapism in the cornish countryside – filled with zen gardens, azaleas, bamboo and bonsai trees .  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 garden to sit in.

cornwall

I just returned from a few days  in padstow to see my good friends Jon and Kim – and the weather has been considerably more tolerant than in london;   each time i come, there are new enterprises popping up;  we passed by hawksfield, a recent enterprise of vintage furniture, health food and deli products, flowers, homeware by Jo and co.   the cafe there is also a fun place to meet – its more informal, but also does breakfast.   hawksfield is just outside of wadebridge.

wadebridge is a town to get your shopping, but it was lovely to discover a vintage shop Cornish Vintage selling 1970’s home stuff – really took me back to my childhood.  I managed to buy a few fun things for the kitchen, including some pastel coloured pyrex bowls .

a new stopping place, just outside of Padstow is Margo’s – a restaurant that opens from breakfast, right through to dinner; the food is locally sourced and seasonal and you can also find local products for sale – chocolate, gin, wine and preserves.  there is also a garden centre and flowers shop selling locally grown flowers.

a great place to eat is  appletons, a very tasty rustic italian style food restaurant at trevibban mill.  the food is locally grown and raised, with some of the vegetables grown on site.   this is a local cornish vineyard that produces its own wine and cider,  you can  have wine tasting tours which sound fun – if only i drank wine!  i noticed that you could buy home spun wool too. its always lovely to see new places opening up – i realised that we have been coming to padstow for over 20 years now as my friends have always had a place there.

there is also a new coffee shop in town that specialises in just coffee, some special blends named after the local padstow beaches – you can buy the coffee, the coffee machines and filters and buy a cup of coffee too.

we walked up to the nearby granite obelisk which was built in 1887 to commemorate the jubilee of queen victoria, offering stunning views and quietness from the busy centre of Padstow.

harlynbay21nov2016_0004

 

arts and crafts workshop in Cornwall

so it’s official. a 3 day workshop/ retreat with myself,  Ros Badger at badgers velvet & Adam Calkin , from April 27th to 30th. The perfect long weekend in the a perfect arts and crafts house in Cornwall.  Tuition, materials, all meals, wine & accommodation for £650. Adam is the creative force behind the wallpaper of the moment, Adam’s Eden;    and Ros is truly the most dynamic creator of all things, a natural stylist & all round clever creative with making beautiful gifts and objects for the home, she can up-cycle absolutely everything and turn it into a coveted treasure.. I’ll be encouraging you to take not so ordinary photographs in the beautiful surroundings, turn it into a postcard; learn how to style an old masters still life, and together with Ros will create a series of keepsakes to take home, including a calico bag with cynotpye image, a botanical watercolour, a bound paper book. No experience needed from you, just enthusiasm. Email Porth en Alls for more information or message me with your email & I’ll send  it over. Porth en alls is at Prussia Cove near Penzance. It is one of the most unspoilt and beautiful places in the world. Join me & Ros & Adam this April for a creative and unique but relaxing weekend.

 

home grown in cornwall

i have come to see my good friends Jon and Kim in padstow again – and typically the weather is changeable, showers, wind and sun;   on a plus side this  makes the landscape more striking and dramatic.  each time i come, there are new enterprises popping up;  we passed by hawksfield, a recent enterprise of vintage furniture, health food and deli products, flowers, homeware by Jo and co.   the cafe there is also a fun place to meet – its more informal, but also does breakfast.   hawksfield is just outside of wadebridge.

a new stopping place, just outside of Padstow is Margo’s – a restaurant that opens from breakfast, right through to dinner; the food is locally sourced and seasonal and you can also find local products for sale – chocolate, gin, wine and preserves.  there is also a garden centre and flowers shop selling locally grown flowers.

a great place to eat is  appletons, a very tasty rustic italian style food restaurant at trevibban mill.  the food is locally grown and raised, with some of the vegetables grown on site.   this is a local cornish vineyard that produces its own wine and cider,  you can  have wine tasting tours which sound fun – if only i drank wine!  i noticed that you could buy home spun wool too. its always lovely to see new places opening up – i realised that we have been coming to padstow for over 20 years now.

there is also a new coffee shop in town that specialises in just coffee, some special blends named after the local padstow beaches – you can buy the coffee, the coffee machines and filters and buy a cup of coffee too.

we walked up to the nearby granite obelisk which was built in 1887 to commemorate the jubilee of queen victoria, offering stunning views and quietness from the busy centre of Padstow.

harlynbay21nov2016_0004

 

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.

cornwall in the winter

this week i came to see my good friends Jon and Kim in padstow – and sadly the weather was rainy and stormy;   on a plus side this  makes the landscape more striking and dramatic.   we managed to dodge the rain with a brisk walk on harlyn bay -and on the way back we passed by hawksfield, a recent enterprise of vintage furniture, health food and deli products, flowers, homeware by Jo and co.  apparently the cafe there is also a fun place to meet.   hawksfield is just outside of wadebridge.

fortunately we did have a dry day and we decided to visit St Mawes, somewhere i hadn’t visited before.  we took the lovely king harry ferry which makes the journey shorter, but also great fun – as with most of cornwall, there are stunning views.  we ate the best fish and chips at the watch house –  a lovely restaurant just near the front.  i noticed that st mawes is quite upmarket with its two hotels, the idle rocks and the tresanton. 

i love cornwall out of season, the beaches are empty, you can get a table at all the restaurants and although the weather is erratic, the skies and vistas are just breathtaking.

on our way home, we had coffee and cake at the arts cafe in truro – the best selection of art materials under one roof (almost as good as cornellisens my all time favourite shop).

a great place to eat is  appletons, a very tasty rustic italian style food restaurant at trevibban mill.  the food is locally grown and raised, with some of the vegetables grown on site.   this is a local cornish vineyard that produces its own wine and cider,  you can  have wine tasting tours which sound fun – if only i drank wine!  i noticed that you could buy home spun wool too. its always lovely to see new places opening up – i realised that we have been coming to padstow for over 20 years now.

harlynbay21nov2016_0004

kingharryferry23nov2016_0059

 

 

 

the harvest moon

last night it was too cloudy to see this supermoon, though i did manage to see it nearly at its fullest on sunday evening in suffolk, where the skies can be so clear you can see the stars twinkling.

img_5490

last september i managed to catch the full moon known as the ‘harvest moon’ – so called because it signals the time when corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice – the chief indian staples are ready for gathering.   here is the full moon on the padstow estuary – its the view from my friends’ house – the red house apartment.  its actually one of my favourite images in my book stolen glimpses.

harvestmoon27Sep2015_006827Sep2015_0071R