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My favourite artist in Cornwall is St Just-based Jessica Cooper, whose simple lines and pared-down still lifes are confidently, deceptively simple. I have been coveting a piece for about five years, and wish I had struck then, as Jessica’s star has since ascended, deservedly, into the Cornish A-list. Meanwhile, my budget has stayed decidedly D-list.
Anyway, looking costs nothing, and fortunately Read the rest of this entry »
Enjoying the announcement of a micro-festival at Barefoot (the place I was rave-blogging about the other day) over the Easter weekend to celebrate the launch of their surf school and record label – uh-huh, a record label on our very own Lizard Peninsula. It’s £30 for a day ticket (£45 for the weekend) but I see BF have managed to lure some interesting folky/acoustic names to the deep south, plus it is being opened by none other than Michael Eavis (if ever there was a good festival omen…).
I’ve been checking out the artists, and here are the ones that caught my eye. The beard count is reassuringly high.
Matthew P (summery acoustic…)
Harry Fricker (guitar-as-drum)
The church on the beach at Gunwalloe on the Lizard – a beautiful, little-visited spot on the Lizard.
I’ve just realised that I don’t have a picture of the church itself set against the sandy beach, so this post will have to serve as an incentive to visit for the full scenic effect. It is just down the road from the Barefoot Kitchen, subject of my last gushing post.
Alert! Alert! I just discovered a perfect little place out on the Lizard, on a wind-beaten cliff above Gunwalloe. For the past year, word has been reaching me of Barefoot Kitchen being ‘right up my street’ and when I finally made it over to this remote area of Cornwall, so indeed it was. Right up my muddy, single-vehicle-access Cornish lane, in any case.
Occupying Helzephron House (previously home to the Helzephron Herb Farm), this cafe/shop has the kind of pared down intuitive design that makes me think a Swede MUST have been involved at some stage. The shop has a small selection of products, some their own, others carefully chosen, for example gorse-scented candles, the Ghillie kettle, retro wooden bodyboards, earring studs made of softened seaglass, seaweed design aprons… I wanted to bring it all home. The coffee was great, the fish soup fragrant.
Whenever my sister comes to stay with her array of sharp camera lenses, I demand immediate possession of the memory stick so I can use the pictures on pasties & cream, hence an artier than usual selection – and several more photography-based posts on their way.
Oh and Barefoot is opening a surf school in coming months AND does pop-up restaurants in conjunction with Lime Tree. AND there are sea views, when the rain’s not slashing against the window.
One of the more trying aspects of my job is having to go and sample the occasional spa for an article. And so it was that I had to accomplish this rare and terrible task the other weekend: a 90-minute ™Relax into Radiance treatment, care of Spiezia in Trelowarren‘s new spa.
But actually I was almost as excited about taking my first dip in their heated outdoor pool under the November sky. The temperature of the water was roughly 25ºC, which I thought was very fair under the wintery circs.
As my friends and family will know, I have developed a slightly strange obsession with the temperature of swimming pools around Cornwall lately, so I can actually tell you where this places it against other pools in west Cornwall… should anyone wish to know. No? Ok, so moving on.
Spa or no spa, Trelowarren was already pretty much one of my favourite places on earth – a peaceful and incredibly romantic woodland estate reaching all the way to the still banks of the Helford River.
I have been going there since I was a child so just in case I am no longer capable of objectivity, I call upon Daphne du Maurier for description: ‘a shock of surprise and delight, lying indeed like a jewel in the hollow of the hand’. She used to hang on the estate quite a bit and found inspiration here for her pulse-quickening novel Frenchman’s Creek.
Anyway, so Trelowarren has teamed up with luxury organic skincare company Spiezia to open the Walled Garden, a rather lovely new treatment room in one of the estate’s original walled gardens. (Full account in December’s Cornwall Today…).
Trelowarren, Helston, Cornwall TR12 6AF. T 01326 221224. www.trelowarren.com
Gourmet salt is in – it’s official. And at the forefront of this trend is Cornish Sea Salt, which everyone seems to be obsessing about. Stein, Hugh FW and Gordo all use it; it’s on every restaurant table in Cornwall; and I interviewed a chocolatier in St Ives the other week who said she simply cannot make enough Cornish Sea Salted chocolate to meet demand!
There is part of me that wants to mutter ‘it’s just salt, for chrissakes’, but I have to say, after a thorough and thirsty investigation, that it really is very good salt (& it is certainly reassuringly expensive).
Anyway that much is old news. What’s new is that Cornish Sea Salt have now brought out a range of aromatic ‘pinch pots’ in flavours such as chilli, caramelised onion, roasted garlic and… APPLE AND CHERRY WOOD-SMOKED. I just took the lid off and it smells so good I’ve actually been sticking my nose in there every five minutes since 9am. It smells like a cross between smoked cheese and the embers of a big beach bonfire.
In Cornwall’s steady move towards food & drink domination, three new bottled drinks hailing from these parts are hitting the shelves this summer. (Domination is a slight exaggeration, but we do now have 100% Cornish ‘champagne’ from Camel Valley, tea from Tregothnan, ‘aval’ from Polgoon, all manner of Very Expensive premium juices, such as Helford Creek and Cornish Orchards, not to mention the ridiculousness that is bottled Cornish spring water.)
Two of the new brews are alcoholic, but the third is no shrinking violet. I’ve been sipping away selflessly to bring you some tasting notes:
Cornwall’s favourite cider, Cornish Rattler, has given birth to a fruity new Rattler infused with red berries.
The look: cloudy, red, girly, new surfy label. The taste: fruity but not Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been looking for a reason to air my pictures of a particularly quirky weekend last ‘summer’ that I spent in a classic 1950s caravan on an iron age fort on the Lizard. And I think I’ve found one: Lovelane Caravans, the hosts in question, are imminently opening (post-Easter) their own little Love Lane Campsite in a field over at Roskilly’s, near St Keverne on the Lizard.
Lovelane lady Anna, an ex lingerie designer, Read the rest of this entry »