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DIANE WHALLEY ART

paintings 034-002Due to time restrictions I have decided to concentrate on my art. But I thank all of you who followed Pictures and Patisserie over the past year. I would like to take this opportunity though to inform you that I am still writing a blog all about art and arty things on my website www.dianewhalleyart.co.uk. I do hope that you can find time to take a look. Thank you.

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Pure Pleasure

Diane

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SIR TERRY FROST EXHIBITION ~ NEWLYN ART GALLERY…

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Newlyn Art Gallery’s Sir Terry Frost exhibition – Green Below, 2003, the last painting by the artist

I felt so privileged during the Christmas break to have visited a most wonderful – and certainly colourful – exhibition of works by leading modernist painter Sir Terry Frost (1915 – 2003). It was a treat for my birthday and would have been a treat for any occasion and for anyone in the vicinity of Newlyn and Penzance – two very popular resorts in the extreme south west of Cornwall. The exhibition was divided between the two galleries – Newlyn Art Gallery exhibited his later work and Penzance’s The Exchange was showing some of his earlier work – bringing together some of his most acclaimed paintings, sculptures and collages from public and private collections across the UK. There were works from his life in St. Ives in the early 1950’s, his time away from Cornwall and his return to the county when he took up residence and a studio in Newlyn in the 1970’s until his demise in 2003. And all was organised by the Tate St Ives in consultation with Sir Terry Frost’s estate and in collaboration with Leeds Art Gallery and the two galleries in the south west. He was one of the artistic greats of his time along with fellow artists Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Roger Hilton, Mark Rothko, Victor Pasmore, Adrian Heath and Barbara Hepworth – all of whom were his friends or colleges.

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Autumn Rings Andueze 

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Purple and Green

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Sir Terry Frost’s Sunburst framing Clemmy

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Blue Winter 1956

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Red, Black and White 1955-6

I have admired this great mid-twentieth century artist for a long time and felt lucky that I had the opportunity to see some of his original work and prints. I love the way Sir Terry Frost used colour and simple forms to create impact with his paintings – they impart an energy and intrigue. And continue to be admired by many well into the twenty first century and I foresee will continue to influence art of the future. Sir Terry Frost and the other great names of that era were bold innovators of form and colour and they have most certainly impacted upon my art works.

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High Yellow, Yorkshire, by Sir Terry Frost c.1955

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Walking Down the Quays by Sir Terry Frost, 1954

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A Sir Terry Frost display at The Exchange in Penzance

Sadly, the Sir Terry Frost exhibition has now ended in the SW but the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange continue to offer some exciting works by local and national artists – and in such great locations too – who could possible resist calling by!

Both galleries have there own cafes but the Old Coastguard in Mousehole is a treat with sea views in which to dine too – we did and we were not disappointed – I can recommend the Sticky Date Pudding with brandied prunes and hazelnut ice cream; and the crème brulee and the lemon verbena panna cotta where also good enough to die for!

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Contemplating Force 8 (1960) at The Exchange, Penzance

Diane x


FOWEY CHRISTMAS MARKET WEEKEND

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Christmas is a very special time of year for many reasons not least the Fowey Christmas Market which takes place during the first weekend of December. The small harbour side town comes alive with the switching on of the lights on the Friday night by Father Christmas, of course! His mode of transport is a little more creative than his usual sleigh as he arrives by boat. Local traders are open to welcome visitors and there is a buzzing congregation around the church with carols and Christmas elation ringing out – not to mention the squeals of excited children! Many events take place during the weekend and there is much to sample from the market traders based throughout the town – from marquees on the town quay and in Webb Street in the heart of Fowey to a packed hall at Fowey River Academy’s sports hub at the top. The community hall and church also open their doors to show case the talents of local artists and crafts people. And for the past two years I have been there with a friend in the Webb Street marquee offering textile art, acrylic paintings, Christmas cards, stationery, tree decorations, charming wooden reindeers, Fowey estuary map lampshades and my own sweet treats.

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It was so lovely to see so many friendly faces return from last year and all keen to enjoy the great festive spirit. Even the strong winds did not deter and I have heard on the grape vine that it was the best year ever. Fowey Christmas Market just keeps on growing and getting better. Everyone already seems so excited about the 2016 event – the first weekend of December – it will most certainly be in my diary!

I had hoped to share some pictures of the weekend’s events with you, but I was so busy on my stall that I never had the opportunity to escape with my camera, so instead I have a few pictures of some of my work that was on show and some of those that were keenly snapped up, along with all of Sally’s reindeers and several of her wonderful lampshades.

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Two Green Pears!

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Sandbar – low tide!

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Red boat II in Fowey!

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Lone Sheep!

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Harbour sunset!

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Roses!

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Textile art- Love Camping and Woof – Dog!

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By the sea – looking through the window!

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Fowey harbour!

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Boat race!

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Beach huts!

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Cornish ware daisies!

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Sheep – Shirley!

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Redbreast!

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Flying Kites!

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Stockings and tree Christmas tree decorations!

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Coming soon are instructions on how to make these playful and pretty decorations.

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Big love elephant and heart mixed media print.

Alongside us in the Webb Street marquee were photographer Susanna Stables, jeweller Sarah Windslade, textile designer Misty and Boo, felt designer Heartfelt; designers: Polkadot Shirley, Windswept Girlie, Ways with Willow, Claire Harris fused glass, Lullabellas handknits, The Strand cakery; Fowey Festival; and cider company Fowey Valley Cider to help along the merry making!

And to finish are a couple of artworks that were not on display at the Fowey Christmas Market but always on display, along with many others, in my studio gallery just outside of Fowey – feel free to message for a viewing.

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Christmas begins now!

Diane x


PATTERNS AND ART AROUND US ~ MALLORCA

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Reflections in the water

I can’t resist snapping away when I see a pattern – whether it be an intended design or an accidental creation of nature. Pattern is everywhere in the mundane and the splendid, and everywhere I go I see it. We walk over it; we walk under it; it passes us by; it’s on our table or in our wardrobe. I see it on the beach; amongst the clouds; in a pool of water; or simply the reflection on a window. And as the sun moves and the rain pours, or frost bites, new patterns are continuously created. If we are imaginative enough some of these patterns around us can be used in design that can make a difference to our environment and the way we live. Of course when I was on the Balearic island of Mallorca recently I saw loads of patterns there too! And art and design was plentiful at every corner and sometimes when I least expected it. Take a look for yourself – mind you I can only share a little of what I saw as there was so much pattern and art that I just could not record it all! I can only hope that you see what I mean?

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Roof tiles!

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A balcony rug

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Colour change of a building

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Colourful tiling on the outside of a wall

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Geometrics on a pier!

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A colourful collection of hats for sale sit as a sculpture on the pavement

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A canopy!

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The canopy’s shadow!

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A street light by day

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Spot the drain pipe down the cathedral wall!

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Sunlight and tree. Shadows and railings

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More shadows!

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A play with shadows

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Natural form!

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Manmade – glass in Palma, Mallorca

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Behind a glass cupboard door in Portocolom

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Natural discoloration on a wall

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Even barbed wire in the sunlight takes on art!

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Bark

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Shutters

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Powerful colour and shapes from the stained glass

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An apartment block has less colourful form, but still striking all the same!

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Pattern of a stairway

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Manmade and nature – sculpture and pattern

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Not intended to be a sculpture – but this practical form takes on art!

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A tree creates its own natural pattern against the grey sky

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A terrace curtain catching the wind!

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Dramatic form in the harbour at Portocolom – a sculpture by Albert Rouiller (1938-2000)

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Post boxes!

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Sculptural forms in the sunlight – dancing patterns!

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Almost marble-like milkshakes

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Angular pattern – still under construction!

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A take on blue and white stripes!

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Toes and tiles – natural form and manmade!

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Not a pattern but where design becomes an accidental sculpture – when someone places a single hat on one of its hooks!

It just goes to show that pattern, art, nature and everyday items are all one!

Diane x


    

 

A TRIP TO MALLORCA ~ OR IS IT MAJORCA?

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I have been away – yes I managed to escape from the children and fly off to the warmth of Mallorca, or should I spell it Majorca, what ever the spelling the pronunciation is always the same … the two ‘lls’ and the ‘j’ both become a ‘y’ and we say ‘Mayorca’ – but don’t ever spell it this way! I have done a little detective work on this and lots of reasons appear to be given for the two different spellings and I am not sure which to believe – I am always happy to hear from anyone who actually knows what this is all about – but for now I am sticking with the spelling ‘Mallorca'; the one with two ‘l’s’ as I believe that to be the correct spelling in Catalan and Mallorca is Catalan after all – or is it? Anyway we’ll leave this conundrum well alone for now because I just want to share with you my wonderful experience of this wonderful Balearic island. And just in case you did not know – Mallorca is one of the Balearic islands just off the east coast of Spain across the water from Catalan country. Yes we are back to the Catalan association and If I am not careful I will be entering another debate over the languages of Spain and Catalan, but as I don’t want to entertain this I’ll swiftly move on….

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The beautiful old fishing village of Portocolom, Mallorca – I wish I could keep it a secret!

… I am very lucky that I already live in the beautiful county of Cornwall in England. But sometimes it just does not matter how lucky you are living in such a wonderful place it is always good to get away and have a change of scenery – still beautiful scenery of course! And I wanted to take in a little art and culture of Mallorca which has been so underrated for far too long. Even though I like the beach I could not describe myself as a beach girl and whilst there are some fantastic beaches and calas on the island it is also known for its artists – Salvador Dali and Joan Miro being two – architecture and unspoilt landscapes.

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Gaudi influenced design (above) and more typical Mallorcan style of the Palais des Rois de Majorque (below)

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The flight was a challenge – as for the first time I was flying with cabin luggage only and just how does a girl manage with a bag just 50x40x20cm? I decanted my creams, lip gloss and perfume, left behind the manicure set and shared the toothpaste, shampoo, after sun and sun cream (small tube only) with the main man’s bag – not that he knew. I let him pack his two shirts, one pair of shorts, one pair of trousers, two pairs of pants and two pairs of socks (he assured me he planned on doing some washing whilst we were away!). And then, when he was not looking, I slipped in a few things of mine, namely the camera and its attachments, hair drier, beach towels … there was definitely going to be no room in my miniscule bag. I had clothes – just a few bits and pieces – shoes, magazines and a handbag to pack in mine! The airline we were flying with stipulated … strictly one bag only to board. To cut a long and tedious story short … we made it through security and the flight and before we knew it we were jumping into a taxi at Palma airport without having to wait for hold luggage. All I can say is that I am hooked on cabin luggage only; and do you know … I still took too much!

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El Molinar – a scenic 25 minutes walk along the promenade to central Palma

We had a wonderful reception at 10pm at night from our wonderful host Harry. Silvia, his wife, could not make it. But between them they have created a little haven of comfort and style. We were staying in their El Molinar urban seaside loft apartment for a few nights. El Molinar is just east of Palma city and just west of the airport. It is an area that has experienced a recent revival and the pretty sea front properties are now in demand and commanding large amounts of Euros. We chose this spot as it is just a 25 minute walk from the sights of Palma city without all the city hustle and bustle.

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If you feel like a breakfast stop or a short snack break the café Fibonacci by the port of El Molinar is perfect!

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The Cathedral of Mallorca – so beautiful outside and in!

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We made it to the Palau March Museum and Esbaluard – the museu d’art modern i centerporani de Palma. I was mesmerised by the architecture and art of the city. Our two days there were just not enough. We had hoped to visit the spectacular round Bellver Castle – but sadly it was closed on the Monday afternoon we were there!

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Palau March Museu with sculptures by Henry Moore and Cornwall’s very own Barbara Hepworth, and paintings by Salvador Dali. And many more …

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Esbaluard museu d’art modern

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Not able to tear ourselves away from the fantastic location of the Esbaluard museum – located in a former 16th Century fortress – overlooking the whole of Palma and its marina and coast, we stayed a little longer to dine at the Esbaluard restaurant. I was in heaven – watching the sun set and surrounded by art, dining on delicious duck and goats cheese open sandwiches and drinking a chilled glass of Cava … or two!

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And then the next day we were gone and by bus on our way to a peaceful coastal spot on the east of the island to the most beautiful and unspoilt fishing village of Portocolom.

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I was certainly seduced from the start. The place we were staying in was described as a beautiful house in Portocolom – and it most certainly is! Our host was the charming Carmen. She led us through her traditional Mallorcan house – room after room of well preserved character. The house is like a tardis – a delightful one – hidden behind a simple and modest façade.

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A beautiful house in Portocolom – truly!

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Both properties had been sourced through Airbnb. And both properties were a hit. I am hooked on Airbnb when looking for accommodation, hooked on El Molinar, hooked on Portocolom and Carmen’s beautiful house, hooked on the food we ate and hooked on all the wonderful art, architecture and history of the most beautiful island of Mallorca. Oh – and I was hooked on the food too! We ate tasty toasted mozzarella and tomato sandwiches, gooey chocolate muffins, apple tart, lemon custard pie, huge ice creams, tapas (Spanish nibbles) and the popular Spanish dish of paella. And we drank hot cappuccinos, decadent milk shakes and glass upon glass of chilled Spanish Cava.

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Paella at the Tapas Club, El Molinar, Palma de Mallorca (above) and delicate apple tart at a street café on Palma

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In Spain and Mallorca many restaurants offer a set menu of the day which often includes three courses and sometimes water, wine and coffee, as did ours at Portocolom’s harbour side restaurant Sa Llotja. With the menu of the day you are a little restricted in choice, but there is normally something to suit.

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Lemon custard pie at Santuari de Sant Salvador, Felanitx – so delicate, so delicious – I am going to have to create a recipe for something similar to this one … coming soon!

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A long but pleasant trek along country roads up to the twin peaks of Santuari de Sant Salvador

The golden colour, delicate flavour and soft texture of the lemon custard pie was just one good reason for a walk up 510 metres and the Santuari de Sant Salvador is another. All I can say is … spectacular! We caught a bus from Portocolom to the working town of Felanitx – not a lot here – and walked approximately five kilometres – up and up – passing olive groves; dodging goats and the many cyclists that make this journey; weaving along winding roads; cutting across the hairpin bends; and following the pilgrims trail to the peak. The sanctuary is now a hotel, but a charm remains and you are free to roam around the buildings, monuments and the giant cross. The views are truly spectacular from the top of the highest mountain of Serres de Llevant from where you can see much of the south east coast, including Portocolom and the rural farming communities inland. The walk back down was a lot easier!

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Of course being on holiday we had to do all that you are expected to do but would never dream of doing back at home in Cornwall – to indulge oneself in giant ice creams and sweet milkshakes. Whilst they were not sophisticated they were delicious and much appreciated in the September heat.

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All I can say now is a very big thank you to Silvia, Harry and Carmen for giving us the opportunity to stay in your wonderful homes on the fabulous island of Mallorca to see all the fabulous things Mallorca has to offer – we will be back! Cornwall I love you – but I think I have just had a love affair with Mallorca!

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No city is a city without a little graffiti – not done by me – but truly represents the smile I had in Palma!

Gracies Mallorca!

Diane x


APPLE AND ALMOND CAKE WITH TOFFEE SAUCE

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The autumn is suddenly upon us – there is a chilly bite to the evening air and morning dewy grass dampens my sandal strewn feet – yes, I am still wearing sandals as a last ditch attempt to hang onto summer. Not that it was a good one in England this year, but we did have a few sunny days – just not enough of them. But autumn comes with its own beauty and charm – leaves fluttering to the ground creating a carpet of gold, red and orange; branches laden with jewel-like berries; fires dancing in the log burner; and the final flourish of apples falling from the trees in the orchard. Either ready to eat, pummel into juice or cook with – or all of them!

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There are so many wonderful delights to be made with apples: crumble, pies, tarts, chutneys, sauces and cakes. Cakes I will come to in a moment but first I want to tell you about what we sometimes do with our bumper crops – press them! Apples for pressing to make our own apple juice, cider and wine. And we have our own hand made juicer, not made by me, oh, of course not, but by the practical one of the house – my man! But before getting to the juicy bit we have to spend a little time sorting through the apples that the no so little ones anymore collect for us over the weeks.

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We then remove any bad ones and cut away bits that are not required and then they are washed in an old bath tub before being tipped, a few at a time into the pulper, and then into another machine and out comes the juice, faster than Niagara Falls. This then has to go through a process of sterilization, separation, decanting, brewing, fermenting and storage. I will save the details of all of this for another time – my better half would normally do this, so I have a little learning to go through myself before I can share the detailed process with you.

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My forte is the creation and baking – using a few stolen apples from the orchard – of a moist and sweet cake drizzled with a golden sauce.

Apple and Almond Cake with Toffee Sauce

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You will need for the cake:

  • 20cm (8″) base lined cake tin
  • 225g (8oz) softened butter
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 125g (4oz) self raising flour
  • 75g (3oz) ground almonds
  • 1tsp almond essence
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 eating apples of your choice, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1tbsp Demerara sugar

For the toffee sauce you will need:

  • 200ml (7floz) double cream
  • 50g (2oz) dark Muscovado sugar
  • 50g (2oz) light brown soft sugar
  • 25g (1oz) butter

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To make the cake pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C fan oven) mark 4. Then put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and with an electric mixer combine thoroughly until pale and creamy.

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Spoon the mixture into the pre-pared cake tin, level and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20mins.Remove from the oven and quickly, but carefully, press the apple slices onto the top of the part baked cake so that they sink slightly. Sprinkle over the Demerara sugar.

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Return to the oven and finish baking for approximately45-50mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10mins. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

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This cake can be eaten entirely on its own and it is just as delicious without the the sauce, but if you want a little decadence continue with the sauce and here is how you make it. Simply take all the ingredients for the toffee sauce and place them in a small saucepan. On a gentle heat melt all the ingredients and then simmer for approximately 5 mins until slightly thickened. Cool slightly.

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Then all that is left is to drizzle a little around the entire cake, slice, pour and serve. The cake and the sauce is great warm or cold and for a little further indulgence try  the duo with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of clotted cream.

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Who says that the short days, longer nights and cooler air cannot bring happiness?! I am about to sit down in front of the comforting glow of our wood burning stove with a plate of warm cake and sauce – I am very happy!

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Apple pedestal in acrylic by Diane

Diane x


TOP 10 GREAT PLACES TO VISIT IN CORNWALL

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There is no doubting that Cornwall is one of the most beautiful counties of England and within in it there are many wonderful places to visit – spectacular scenery, great coastline, superb beaches, blue waters, pretty and historical towns, colourful gardens and grand properties….no wonder global film companies come to Cornwall. The most notable production in very recent times is, of course, Poldark. All this aside, I have my personal favourite places I enjoy visiting time and time again – some of which I did manage to squeeze in during this summer – and now I want to share them with you. Actually, if I were to be honest, I don’t really want to share as they may get busier for when I want to next visit, but I feel that would be a little selfish – it is only fair that you get the chance to enjoy them too! So, here we go….. Oh, and by the way, they are not in any particular order, but as I live just outside of Fowey I am going to start with my home town.

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Fowey as seen from the other side of the river.

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On the south coast of Cornwall can be found the ancient port of Fowey – a small, pretty harbour set at the mouth of the Fowey River. From here you can simply chill out or use it as a base to explore the south coast. But you don’t have to leave Fowey at all to have a great time – there are varied and many places to dine from pubs to fine restaurants. The clothes, gift and interior shops along the narrow streets offer an eclectic mix of things to peruse and purchase. There is a butcher’s and deli, fish monger’s; a couple of bakeries, ice cream parlours and sweet shops; a small convenience store and a pasty shop. From the quay side are great views across the river and two ferries run everyday from each end of town. There is kayak and canoe hire, motorboat hire and organised trips up the river and out to sea. A stroll along the esplanade will take you to Readymoney beach, St. Catherine’s Castle and the coastal footpath. Fowey has been an inspiration to the writings of many famous authors – in particular Daphne du Maurier who also resided in Fowey and Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch who lived close by. The town holds a literary and music festival every May and in August there is the very popular Fowey Royal Regatta when the town bubbles with extra visitors, entertainment and a wonderful air display by the world famous Red Arrows. And for more than just a day visit there are several B&Bs, hotels and holiday rentals in the town and camping just on the outskirts. There is ample parking and a local town bus. Many attractions are near by including the Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lanhydrock house and gardens, The Ship Wreck Museum at Charlestown and the quaint cove of Polkerris.

Fowey can be found off the B3269 from Bodmin and the A390 from St Austell through Par.

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PADSTOW

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You will not only find a picturesque harbour and town here, but Padstow also offers a fantastic sandy beach where you can never feel crowded.

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However at weekends and holidays the town tells a very different story when it can be very busy. We have the famous celebrity chef, Rick Stein, to thank for putting Padstow in the limelight. That said it is one of my most favourite places to visit in Cornwall and I have not been disappointed yet. There are great little shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and pubs in the harbour area and for the more energetic there is the picturesque walk along the beach or coastal path, and an inland walk and cycle trail along the camel estuary. A ferry operates regularly from the harbour or beach across to Rock which offers even more expanse of sandy beach. And there is the beautiful house and gardens of Prideaux Place just on the outskirts of the town.

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Great food and cakes at the Cherry Trees café and delicious patisseries at Rick Stein’s.

Padstow is on the north coast just off the A389 from the south or the B3276 from the west.

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A hideaway on the coastal path!

ST.IVES

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It is easy to sea why St Ives is so popular with artists – past and present – as the light is so unique to this wonderful town on the north coast of Cornwall. But it is not only artists who find St Ives so attractive as there is a good selection of cafes, restaurants and bars; a variety of shopping opportunities; many galleries to peruse and just a mile away the seaside resort and village of Carbis Bay.

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This town is blessed with spectacular sandy beaches, pretty cobbled streets and quaint architecture. And, because of its link with the art world, it has the Tate St.Ives gallery – part of the Tate gallery group.

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And when the sun shines there are plenty of simple pleasures on the beach to keep the children happy.

St Ives is on the north coast and is approached from either the B3306 coast road or the A3074 off the A30 at Lelant.

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MOUSEHOLE

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Ever since I lived close to Mousehole – quite a few years ago now – I have harboured a soft spot for this very pretty little harbour which is still a small fishing port. When the tide is out there is a great expanse of sand, but there is still enough beach to enjoy even when the tide is in. From the heart of the town are great walks along the coast and into Penzance. There are a few shops – mainly little galleries – to mooch round and cafes, restaurants and pubs in which to find good food. The fishing port of Newlyn is close by.

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Kids just love the open space and parents love the safety of the enclosed harbour. Mousehole is also a great place to visit just before Christmas when they have a spectacular display of lights.

Mousehole is off the B3315 or you can cruise along the coast road through Newlyn from Penzance.

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ST.MAWES

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Found tucked away on the south coast is the charming and exclusive small port of St Mawes. It is just an estuary crossing away from Falmouth – there is a ferry service that operates between the two – yet they could not be more different; but both lovely. St Mawes is on the scenic Roseland Pensula which is a popular area with walkers.

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Whilst I have not been inside the castle myself I have – on good authority – been told that it is quite a spectacular example of one of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses. I intend to put it on my agenda when I am next that way.

St Mawes is situated off Falmouth’s Carrick Roads by water or off the A3078 from St Just in Roseland if approaching by road.

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CHARLESTOWN

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Great Poldark filming territory Charlestown – with its resident square rig ships and unspoilt landscape, it is always pleasing to the eye. And appropriately, for its association as a shipping port, it has a Ship Wreck Museum.

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Charlestown also offers beaches with some rocky outcrops, enjoyable coastal walks, pubs, cafes and restaurants and a courtyard of art and crafts.

It is on the south coast of Cornwall, close to St Austell off the A390.

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MYLOR AND MYLOR BRIDGE

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Mylor and Mylor Bridge are two small places on the waters edge of Mylor Creek. It is popular walking terrain and, by virtue of being close to the port of Falmouth, they are frequented by sailors – when the tide allows. They thrive on water activities. They offer a peaceful respite from the more buzzing port of Falmouth where you will find shops, places to dine, beaches and the National Maritime Museum. There are lots of other pretty places to stop at in the area too.

You will find them off the A39 just north of Falmouth.

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THE LIZARD AND KYNANCE COVE

This area of Cornwall is the real lands end of England – The Lizard is the furthest point south on the English coastline and offers stunning scenery, great beaches, in particular Kynance Cove, fabulous walks and pretty villages to explore.  

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There are pleasurable walks, as well as convenient parking, to the lighthouse.

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Because of its rural and rugged location the Lizard area never seems too busy – well certainly hasn’t all the times I have been there! The Lizard is for walkers and for those who want to get away from it all.

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At Lizard point there are great views out to sea and a café for a little respite.

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And just 17 miles away you can find the beautiful gardens and beach of Trebah. But closer to the Lizard Point are the pretty waterside villages of Cadgwith and Mullion Cove. And just a short drive away is the waterside village, harbour and beach of Coverack.

The Lizard can be found at the end of the A3083 from Helston.

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Coverack harbour

PENZANCE

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A colourful water front town with large beaches, long promenade, great parks and St. Michael’s Mount – a small tidal island in Mount’s Bay of Penzance. And close by is the rugged land of Poldark country with its tin mines and scenic coastal walks.

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Another popular local attraction, just 9 miles south of Penzance, is the Minack Theatre perched high on the cliffs above the Atlantic sea where a variety of productions are performed.

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The Miracle Theatre performing at the Minack close to the spectacular beach of Porthcurno.

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Penzance is located on the south coast of Cornwall off the A30 and beyond it continuing west is Land’s End.

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THE GREAT NORTH COAST BEACHES OF WATERGATE BAY AND PERRANPORTH

We are fortunate in Cornwall to have many fantastic, sandy beaches – they easily match up to those in the Mediterranean – and a couple of my favourites are on the north coast. I wish to clarify that I have been told that there are many more great beaches in Cornwall, but have yet to visit some of those suggested, so maybe I will be updating my choice of beaches in the future! But for now I do love the beaches at Watergate Bay and Perranporth that have just 11 miles between them with the town of Newquay in the middle. They both offer great expanses of flat, golden sand, blue water and some great surfing waves. perranporth and cake 204 perranporth and cake 249

PERRANPORTH not only offers 2 miles of golden sand – when combined with adjoining Perran sands – but some interesting rock formations for exploring. Just one word of warning – when the tide comes in it comes in quickly and therefore tidal awareness is paramount to safety, if you don’t want to get trapped in one of the caves or on top of a rock! There is a busy and buzzing beach café which is actually constructed on the beach – the Watering Hole – with good food and superb views. But, be warned, due to its location it is very sandy and at times loud with happy chatter and laughter. On a chilly day and after a brisk walk along the beach I would recommend the hot chocolate topped with a mountain of cream and marshmallows.

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This is a place to go for the beach and coastal walks as the town is small and basic.

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WATERGATE BAY is just north of Newquay and easy to discover as you drive along the coast road from Newquay. Another spectacular 2 miles of golden sand – at low tide – and blue water front with a frequently exciting surfing swell. Popular for events, including the annual beach polo, and desirable to film makers and celebrities. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant overlooks the bay and has brought an influx of new and discerning visitors to the region.

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The beach is just as spectacular when the tide is out as the tide is in; by day and night; whether for relaxing or energising. It is great for picnics, playing ball, building sandcastles, walking and lazing in the sun.

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It is a beach for dogs too – all welcome!

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Perranporth is off the B3285 just south of Newquay and Watergate Bay can be found on the B3276 just north of Newquay and close to St Mawgan.

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A recent high tide at Perranporth!

Here are only my first thoughts of my top 10 favourite places to visit in Cornwall, but as I write I can think of more wonderful places to tell you about soon.

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Diane x


BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM SWIRLS

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With it being a busy week ahead – as I have already mentioned it is the Fowey Royal Regatta – I wanted to make something sweet for a quick energy burst, but also something easy to make and pack into tins to take to the various great events that the week offers. And with some blueberries already in the fridge and cupcake lovers in the house, blueberry cupcakes sprang to mind with a luxurious topping of white chocolate butter cream to satisfy the party-time spirit. There is no slicing with cupcakes too; so, simply grab, peel back the wrapper and party!

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For the cake you will need:

  • 12 cup muffin tin and 12 muffin cases
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 225g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 225g (8oz) self raising flour
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • approx. 100g (4oz) blueberries, washed and drained

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C) mark 4.

Place one muffin case into each of the muffin tin holes and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, butter, flour, eggs, baking powder and essence with an electric mixer. (If you are doing it by hand then beat the sugar and butter together until light, then beat in the eggs a little at a time. When all the eggs have been used, stir in the flour, baking powder and essence.) Finally, stir in most of the blueberries, retaining a few for decoration.  Divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. It is most likely that the blueberries will sink to the bottom of the cakes – this is fine and creates a lovely jammy base. Set aside to cool.

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For the indulgent white chocolate butter cream:

  • 275g (10oz) icing sugar
  • 125g (5oz) softened butter
  • 100g (4oz) white chocolate
  • approx. 2 tbsp. double cream
  • a few reserved blueberries

Break the white chocolate into chunks into a heat proof bowl. Place this over a saucepan of gently simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In the meantime, in another bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar until thoroughly mixed and soft. Add the cream and melted white chocolate and mix until a soft butter cream. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag or tube and with a smooth edged nozzle pipe swirls on top of the cakes. Top each with a blueberry and serve, or pack and take to your special event or day out – happy eating!

Serves 12

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They are best eaten within 3-4 days, if they last that long!

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I may not get the chance to write again this week as the Regatta not only keeps us busy with social activities but it is the busiest week of the year on our campsite. But I will catch up with you as soon as I can when the excitement all calms.

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Blueberry cupcakes with white chocolate cream swirls – great for all occasions!

Diane x


5 TOP REASONS TO VISIT FOWEY ROYAL REGATTA

461Fowey Royal Regatta has many more than just five reasons why you should attend this annual event that takes place around the third week of August – this year (2015) 16th-22nd – and I don’t just mean because there are nine members of the Red Arrows. But I just wanted to share with you my personal top hits that make the event so special to me.

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Number 1 – The Red Arrows (can you spot the deliberate twist in this picture?)

But for me the highlight of the whole week and the first good reason to attend this great event is the Red Arrows spectacular air display on Thursday at 6pm. They are known as the world’s most famous aerial display team and all the years I have been watching they have never failed to disappoint. The display takes place right over the river with great viewings from the town and the surrounding hills. And to follow is the arrival of the giant pasty by boat from Polruan.

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Number 2 – The Carnival night

The second most popular event during the week for me is the ever weird and wonderful carnival night on Wednesday with the parade marching off at 7.15pm from the top of the town at Squires field and weaving a way throughout the town.

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Number 3 – Two great firework displays

At number three are the two wonderful firework displays. The first on Monday night at 9.30pm with music on the quay before and after. And the second on Saturday night at 9.30pm preceded by an illuminated  and decorated boats procession and music on the town quay before and after the display.

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Number 4 – all the river/water activities throughout the week.

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We must not forget that this is a Regatta and was originally founded for all the sailing and boat races and competitions. These take place throughout the week kicking off with a yacht race from Fowey to Flushing on the Sunday. But a favourite is the raft racing on Tuesday at 6pm. These are followed by swimming races at 6.45pm. Anyone and everyone can join in by filling in the correct entry forms from the Fowey Regatta shop, harbour masters office (for the raft races) or from the Regatta website.

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Number 5 – Fowey and all it has to offer during Regatta and always

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various AprilMay08 024Sept 07 023february14 129And five great reasons to visit Fowey at any time are: the river and the river activities; the picturesque town full of great little shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and pubs; the beach and the walk along the Esplanade to it; the many wonderful walks on both sides of the estuary taking in coast and country; and, of course, the annual Royal Regatta – if I don’t see you at this year’s Regatta maybe in 2016 from 14th until 20th August.

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Diane x


FOWEY ROYAL REGATTA AND CARNIVAL ~ CORNWALL

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It is less than a week away – The Fowey Royal Regatta happens every year in August (16-22nd August this year, 2015) – when the tranquillity of the small, pretty harbour side town of Fowey comes alive with colour, frivolity, events, competitions, music and an increase in visitors all keen to experience one of the most popular Regatta’s of the country. It is not just for sailing enthusiasts as there are many land based activities that are great for land lovers too.

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The Red Arrows performing above the Fowey River Estuary

674Everyday there is something exciting to see, do and join in from the spot the pasty competition in the programme to the ever popular air display by the spectacular Red Arrows – they come from no where and swoop through the estuary for an amazing performance of intricate manoeuvres.

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Flora Dancers jig their way through the town adorned in white and embellished with flowers – all can join in; there is a very competitive pasty eating competition when entrants get the opportunity to eat as many free pasties as they can – not for the faint hearted!

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On Wednesday evening there is a colourful carnival procession that weaves through the streets of the town. A giant pasty arrives by boat from the other side of the river on Thursday night – after the Red Arrows have zoomed away – when children can dig into a chunk of Cornish pasty (adults too, if any is left!). And there are two very sparkling firework displays: one on Monday to start the Regatta and a finale on Saturday, preceded by an illuminated dinghy and decorated boat procession – all lighting up the harbour with breath-taking glory.

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You can see creatures from Newquay Zoo, enter the crab catching competition, take part in the estuary swimming race, design a raft for the raft racing, listen to story telling and watch magic shows; or simply relax during the day, or dance the night away, to the music on the town quay. Music ranges from rock’n’roll to pop to the Last Night of the Proms, and more!

Many of the local retailers have a day of dressing up and all week offer a Spot the Stranger competition for young and old. Fowey offers art galleries, interior and gift shops, a varied choice of cafés, restaurants and pubs. There is a butchers and deli, bakers shops, fish mongers, pasty shops, sweet shops and ice cream parlours. For sailors there is a choice of two sailing clubs: The Royal Fowey Yacht Club and The Fowey Gallants Sailing Club and there are many river races for sailors to be challenged.

The Fowey Royal Regatta is a great week for everyone.

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August 2011 349Big Boats in Fowey07 050August 2011 319raft racring2014 113DSC_0202And just in case you miss this year’s great event the 2016 Fowey Royal Regatta will take place from14th-20th August. See you soon at one of them!

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Diane x