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 Galleryexhibited his later work and Penzance’s The Exchangewas 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.
Autumn Rings Andueze
Resting Orange 2000
Purple and Green
Sir Terry Frost’s Sunburst framing Clemmy
Blue Winter 1956
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.
High Yellow, Yorkshire, by Sir Terry Frost c.1955
Walking Down the Quays by Sir Terry Frost, 1954
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 Coastguardin 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!
Contemplating Force 8 (1960) at The Exchange, Penzance
Christmas is a very special time of year for many reasons not least the Fowey Christmas Marketwhich 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.
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.
Stockings and tree Christmas tree decorations!
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.
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….
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.
Gaudi influenced design (above) and more typical Mallorcan style of the Palais des Rois de Majorque (below)
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!
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 apartmentfor 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.
If you feel like a breakfast stop or a short snack break the café Fibonacciby the port of El Molinar is perfect!
We made it to the Palau March Museumand 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!
Palau March Museu with sculptures by Henry Moore and Cornwall’s very own Barbara Hepworth, and paintings by Salvador Dali. And many more …
Esbaluard museu d’art modern
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!
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.
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.
A beautiful house in Portocolom – truly!
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.
Paella at the Tapas Club, El Molinar, Palma de Mallorca (above) and delicate apple tart at a street café on Palma
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.
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!
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 Salvadoris 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!
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.
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!
No city is a city without a little graffiti – not done by me – but truly represents the smile I had in Palma!
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.
Fowey as seen from the other side of the river.
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.
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.
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 Placejust on the outskirts of the town.
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.
A hideaway on the coastal path!
It is easy to sea why St Ivesis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MYLOR AND MYLOR BRIDGE
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.
THE LIZARD AND KYNANCE COVE
This area of Cornwall is the real lands end of England – The Lizardis 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.
There are pleasurable walks, as well as convenient parking, to the lighthouse.
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.
At Lizard point there are great views out to sea and a café for a little respite.
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.
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.
Another popular local attraction, just 9 miles south of Penzance, is the Minack Theatreperchedhigh on the cliffs above the Atlantic sea where a variety of productions are performed.
The Miracle Theatre performing at the Minack close to the spectacular beach of Porthcurno.
Penzance is located on the south coast of Cornwall off the A30 and beyond it continuing west is Land’s End.
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 Bayand 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 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.
This is a place to go for the beach and coastal walks as the town is small and basic.
WATERGATE BAYis 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 Restaurantoverlooks the bay and has brought an influx of new and discerning visitors to the region.
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.
It is a beach for dogs too – all welcome!
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.
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.
Fowey 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.
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 Arrowsspectacular 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.
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.
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.
Number 4 – all the river/water activities throughout the week.
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.
Number 5 – Fowey and all it has to offer during Regatta and always
And 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.
It is less than a week away – The Fowey Royal Regattahappens 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.
The Red Arrows performing above the Fowey River Estuary
Everyday 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.
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!
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 Arrowshave 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.
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!
What great picture opportunities I had the other day…. so with my zoom lens to the ready I snapped away whilst consuming copious amounts of tasty homemade Blondies topped with huge dollops of Cornish clotted cream. You could say I was in heaven – eating cake and photographing the action in the sky on a glorious summer’s day in Cornwall. My daughters had been a little sceptical about the pleasures of an air show, but soon got into the swing of things as the sun shone and a few pilots walked by!
RNAS Culdrose Air Dayhappens just once a year and attracts thousands – enthusiasts, holiday makers, the curious – and us! Actually, I had never been to this event before, even though I have been to other air shows, but the master of the house thought it would make a great family day out and do you know what?….he was right. It’s not a show just for men. There was a giant hanger full of shopping opportunities; outside stalls and vans of all kinds of food and drink; entertainment for the children; professionals to talk to; and many impressive aircraft to peruse, at ground level as well as being amazed at the spectacular show in the air. Display after display captivated the audience vying for a prime spot close to the run way. We managed to steal a square large enough for our picnic blanket and us to sit down and enjoy homemade sausage rolls, roasted red pepper and tropical fruit couscous, steak, salad and mushroom sandwiches, slices of creamy Cornish brie and, of course, a finale of my homemade Blondies. But do you know something….I was so in awe of the pilots and their magnificent flying machines that I totally forgot to take a picture of us and our picnic, but here are a few photographs of what I did capture of our splendid day out at Culdrose. I would recommend it to all – women and children included – and I suggest for extra comfort that you take a folding chair, grab your spot as early as you can and sit back and enjoy. As well as the fantastic displays in the air there is very entertaining commentary throughout – I was particularly entertained by that of the Italian commentator! I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for the 2016 date and let you know.
I wish I could intelligently inform on all the aircraft but I can’t – but I can tell you that there were performances by Chinooks, Migs, Wildcats, Hornets, Breitling Wingwalkers, Sea Vixen, Muscle biplane, Folland Gnats, Corsair, Black Cats, Kittyhawk, Hornet and the Italian version of the UK’s red Arrows – the Frecce Tricolori – described as one of the most famous aerobatic display teams in the world. I name only a few and those few were prompted by the wonderfully informative souvenir programme.
I did literally take a few hundred pictures, mainly of aircraft, but a few quirky ones too…
These chairs will certainly come in handy and so will my Blondie recipe coming in my next blog. Blondies are great for transporting for picnics, camping, lunch boxes and Air Day treats at Culdrose. I just hope there have not been too many flying machines here for you!
For some the camping season will have started a few months ago, but for us at Polglazeours has only just begun – we start just as the summer school holidays begin and we finish just after it ends. It does mean it has been a busy few weeks preparation and a busy week welcoming our first few guests and getting back into the swing of things.
This is the reason why I have neglected pictures and patisserie – there has simply been no time to write! But now I have managed to steal a moment away as many of our guests have departed for the day to visit the many sights, go on the many walks and explore the many pretty villages and towns that surround us here in Fowey and Cornwall. I list just a few for now: The Eden Project – a spectacular transformation from former quarry to superb gardens, biomes and an educational adventure about the planet and nature;
The Lost Gardens of Heligan – beautiful historic gardens; Lanhydrock– a superb late Victorian country house with gardens and wooded estate owned by the National Trust; the old stannary town of Lostwithiel– renown for its antique shops and the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery and caféwhere my daughters, my mother and I have spent many an happy hour, or two, dining on the delicious home made food and wonderful cakes.
The River Fowey estuary – Fowey on the left and Polruan on the right
Finally, for now anyway, but not least I would recommend my harbour side home town of Fowey– packed full of interesting and individual shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries and great views across the River Fowey and out to sea. There is a small but very pleasant beach a short stroll away along the Esplanade; scenic walks and two ferries to transport you across the river. In the summer boats can be hired from the Town Quay and close to Albert Quay is a kayak centre; and a ferry operates to Mevagissey when the weather allows. Visiting yachts are numerous and sailors are well catered for at the two yacht and sailing clubs in the town. More about Fowey, its artists, shops, restaurants and attractions very soon.
Fowey side of the estuary with Readymoney beach just hidden in the cove on the left
For now though I want to share with you something sweet which I like to make for our own camping trips. They are ideal for any outside eating and travelling as they store and transport well – they can be made at home to take with you or are just as easy to make while you are camping as no baking is required, merely a camping stove for a bit of melting and relaxing stirring.
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE SQUARES
You will need:
a 17x27cm (7×11″) baking tin, lined with baking paper extending the rim (makes it easy to lift out for cutting)
180g (6oz) shortbread or rich tea biscuits )
180g (6oz) digestive biscuits ) or a mix of any other plain biscuits total weighing 360g (12oz)
2tbsp cocoa powder
180g (6oz) butter
3tbsp golden syrup
3tbsp caster sugar
approx. 200g (6-8oz) white chocolate
approx. 100g (4oz) cranberries
Place the butter, caster sugar and syrup into a saucepan and on a low heat melt the three ingredients together, ensuring that they do not burn on the bottom of the pan and that all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until chunky crumbs or place in a large plastic bag and with a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Most of the biscuit should resemble large crumbs, but it is nice to leave some larger pieces. Tip the crushed biscuits into the caramel sauce and thoroughly combine. Spoon into the prepared tin and set aside to harden. This can be done in a fridge, if available, but not necessary. In the meantime, break the chocolate into chunks and place into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Check occasionally and stir to prevent the chocolate from burning. When melted and a white chocolate sauce has formed remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries. You may like to add more or less of the cranberries to your taste. Pour this over the biscuit base and level. Set aside to cool and harden. Again this can be done in a fridge, but absolutely not necessary – just takes a little longer to set. When hard enough remove the block from the tin and on a chopping board cut into squares – to whatever size you want. Eat immediately – they won’t last long – or store. They keep well (not that they have hung around for long in our house) and pack well as sweet treats for busy days out or can be served more as a pudding with ice cream.
YEEHAW – What a busy weekend the last one was. But the highlight was visiting the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan– near Mevagissey in Cornwall – to see the fantastic Miracle Theatreperform faultlessly once more. We have been following the Theatre’s performances for the past three years and we haven’t once been disappointed. The greatest compliment to the performers is that our teenagers love them too – and we know how fickle teenagers can be – they laughed and laughed all the way through Saturday night’s saga of gun slinging, whiskey swigging and fast paced brawling – well kind of fast paced! In fact, we were all in fits of laughter. On this occasion they were performing the Magnificent Three; a spaghetti western adventure on a tiny transportable stage with a backdrop of rhododendrons in Flora’s Green in the Northern Gardens. The large flat lawn sheltered by giant rhododendron bushes offers a perfect place to picnic and to be entertained. Of course we took a picnic and some comfy folding chairs – as instructed when the tickets were purchased. It was a mild evening, but not a bright sunny one and so light coats and blankets were required to keep any chill away. We turned up as the gates opened and already a queue had formed – those eager to get prime front row positions. Our spot centre to the stage – though three rows back – was quickly secured with a picnic blanket, chairs and picnic hamper. For a while there was a lot of shuffling around until everyone was content with their pitch. I was content when the cork to the bottle of prosecco was popped and the music began to play marking the beginning of the story. And as The Magnificent Three is touring across the wild south west until the 29th August I cannot divulge too much about the story other than it is about the wild west, a person’s greed, a watering hole called Hope Springs and that there are six talented performers – not three! And that it has been magnificently written and directed by Bill Scott and music by Tom Adams. What I can share with you are some of the pictures I managed to snap in between the excited bobbing heads in the two rows in front of us – we’ll have to get wiser and arrive earlier next time.
Setting the scene and waiting for action.
And the action begins….
Then there was an interval where we just had to eat cake – my home made chocolate brownies with splodges of lightly whipped cream mixed with a little Bailey’s Irish Cream. They tasted even better served outdoors on a napkin. My most indulgent chocolate brownie recipe.
The light was dimming but the drama was not and the stage lights gave out a golden glow as the second half burst into action.
Before we were ready for it to end – we were having too much fun – it was all over and the Magnificent Three had become the Magnificent Six. My eldest daughter had enjoyed it so much that she said she wanted to see it all over again – and she has never said that before, for anything! One day I hope that we can get to thank the very talented performers and the rest of their team in person for their consistently entertaining shows. For now – thank you Miracle Theatre for being so magnificent….YEEHAW!
It was a case of a spoon in every bowl – and they were just for me! The rest of the family were struggling to get a look in. I have always been a bit of a dessert fanatic and those presented at the Beach Hut at Watergate Bay looked so decadent that we all fought for the spoons. On this occasion I cannot claim them as mine – they are the recipes of the team at the Beach Hut restaurant and bar. The listings on the menu were just too tempting to ignore and an order was placed – we were only meant to be there for a bowl of chips and a quick drink!
Instead the boys tucked into giant, tasty burgers and we girls shared a bowl of nachos and some fries. The dessert menu had already been spied and so we were saving ourselves! My better half – he will be reading this – had suggested earlier that afternoon that as it was a lovely summer’s day we should head to the north coast, stroll along the beach and have a quick drink and chips. We were all up for that. The girls did question the walk bit of the plan as they had both been busy the night before. The eldest daughter had been out all night at her school leavers Ball and after party, and the younger had been at a camp out with a few of her friends – so no real sleep for either of them for 24 hours. Luck was on their side; there was very little beach as it was high tide and so there was very little dry land to walk. There was nothing more to do other than to go straight to the restaurant and bar – The Beach Hut.
It was a lovely warm evening and many people were still on the beach so we had no problem being seated on the glass fronted terrace. We had the outside in. A welcome breeze could be felt through the pulled back roof without having to endure a full sea blow. And if it rains the roof can be closed and we all keep dry. From there we had fantastic views right across the beach and bay and I could indulge in one of my favourite pastimes – people watching!
There were surfers making the most of the early evening waves; children playing ball and making sandcastles on the rapidly reducing beach; walkers scrambling the rocks trying to keep their toes dry; couples canoodling as the sun prepared to set; and a group of very optimistic revellers were setting up seats for an evening of merry making. Well, as most coastal residents know, setting up camp with a rising tide always provides a little entertainment and we were not to be disappointed. The sea crept ever closer to the party goers toes and they decided in their wisdom to build a dam of sand. That would have been okay if it hadn’t been for the simple fact that the tide was still rising and the waves rolling faster. At one point there were at least eight pairs of hands scrapping, patting and sculpting their sand defence. But with the sea most definitely in control the inevitable happened and as the waves got bigger their dam got weaker and the mound was breached – a lido was formed. Wisely the wine bottles were grabbed and chairs lifted. Already being in bare feet it no longer mattered that they were paddling. Squeals and laughter rang out from the beach and from all those on the Beach Hut terrace who had found great amusement from the beach party antics. The boys in particular, more the big boy rather than the small one, found the whole episode enthralling.
Little did we care about all the playfulness of those on the beach or the boys fascination with it all, we girls were too intoxicated with the desserts – warm and rich chocolate brownie with cherry ice cream, whipped white chocolate ganache with raspberries and caramel crunch, and a huge bowl of salted caramel ice cream blanketed in whipped cream and jewelled with giant chocolate dazzles and marshmallows. My scoops were washed down with a refreshingly chilled glass of chardonnay. As for the boys – well, they did manage to find a few crumbs and scrapings at the bottom of the bowls.
Three very happy girls and two distracted boys departed from the Beach Hut well satisfied with our visit. It is certainly a chill out zone with friendly staff, fresh, modern décor and a very appetising menu. And, as we reluctantly departed, luck was on our side, there was even less beach to walk on than when we had arrived, so we just had to watch the finely toned surfers instead!
Watergate Bay is a superb beach resort and, when the tide is out, it offers a huge expanse of sand for playing on, sitting on, swimming from and walking along. We do actually love walking and we have strolled along the sands at Watergate many times before. At low tide the beach of fine, golden sand stretches for over two miles. It is backed by a wall of cliffs offering great coastal walks with super views across the blue waters of the Atlantic. During the busy period from mid May to the end of September RNLI lifeguards patrol the bay. Unlike many other highly rated beaches in Cornwall dogs are still allowed during the main season; there is just so much room!
The Bay is on the north Cornish coastline approximately three miles north of Newquay town on the way to Mawgan Porth – simply take the coast road north out of Newquay. It is home to surfing events – with hiring facilities and lessons – festivals and, once a year in June, home to beach polo. It is not only famous for its great beach – when low tide – giant surfing waves and one of the best beach side cafes in Cornwall – the Beach Hut – but also for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant and The Watergate Bay Hotel. I have eaten at Fifteen and a lovely evening it was too. Not only did the food look good but so did the giant droplet shape lights that appeared to be falling from above. The food lived up to Jamie’s reputation, but be sure to have plenty of money or a friendly credit card with you – I am so glad that I went and I will certainly go again and I would recommend the experience. Though I have not yet experienced the delights of the Hotel it does look enticing and I feel another outing to Watergate bay coming soon!