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In this most dead of seasons in the far west, it’s a struggle to find somewhere open for any sort of refreshment, let alone somewhere cosy or chic. All the more fun, then, to discover not one but two interesting new cafes in the space of a few weeks. First up, the Dog & Rabbit in St Just. As befits a cafe in this most herbal and tight-knit of towns, it’s mellow and hand-knitted, with recycled cardboard for clipboards, vintage furniture, and a table selling home-made jam and properly free-range eggs.

(Marks deducted for being about to close in February!)

18 Bank Square, St Just, TR19 7HJ Penzance, Cornwall. T 01736 449811.\

Time to blog about my biggest Cornish crush in some time. There’s a newish Cornish clothes brand on the scene – not as out there yet as Cornish stars Finisterre and Seasalt, but it has been quietly growing over the past few years and collecting fans. EKO (Earth Kind Originals) is the work of Cornish maid Helen Davies, who moved back to St Just from London to start an eco-aware, coastally inspired clothes label.

Other than occasional desperate dashes to New Look’s Apricot range, the best of a truly shocking bunch on Penzance’s high street, I aspire to move away from cheapie cheap high-street crap. The prices can only belie a world of sweatshop darkness, the clothes don’t last, and the colours are never quite right.

My EKO Dusk till Dawn scarf, pictured above, has been welded to my neck since it arrived – it’s a tactile cotton-cashmere mix but the real sell is the ingenious string of buttons and buttonholes down the edges, which allows you to fasten it any way you like and however artlessly you do it, it seems to look great.

Other things I like: the models look like real people; the catalogue makes you want to Read the rest of this entry »

king's arms cornwall st justking's arms cornwall st just

I have been woefully lacking in blog material recently due to six crushingly dull weeks on crutches – and I didn’t think micro-analysis of the Tash-Summer storyline on Neighbours would pass muster.

Anyway, I am now in possession of a perfectly healed greater trochanter (hello world!), which called for a celebration: a mid-week outing to the King’s Arms in St Just for midday pints of Tribute, and a steak and ale pie.

The old granite-fronted pub, on the square in St Just, has won a plethora of awards since new owners Brad and Molly took it over a year ago. We found a warm welcome, spick and span bar, and some pretty exceptional pie (£9.95, served with parmesan mushy peas and mustard mash), so I think I’ll award it the Read the rest of this entry »

cape cornwall by photographer matt cardy (via

Hello! This surreal photograph of the night sky above Cape Cornwall has finally lifted the low-hanging, post-operative fog of daytime telly, cups of tea and snoozing.

Thanks very much for your kind well-wishing comments by the way – the surgery seems to have gone well (I even got sent high-res images of the inside of my hip joint to prove it – a slightly grisly souvenir). And thus far I’ve navigated the precarious new world of crutches without major incident. Can’t carry? Just throw. I am working on the transportation of tea.

So, what do you think of this photo? It is the work of South West-based photographer Matt Cardy and this year it made the cut for the Press Photographer’s Year 2010, an exhibition currently showing at the foyer of the National Theatre in London.

Just outside St Just, Cape Cornwall is one of Cornwall’s great wild spots. It’s my favoured land’s end (would I like a theme park and some greasy chips with my cliffs? no thanks!), and I like the stone stack set against the gradually intensifying red-orange glow and the sci-fi stars. I found this picture to have hidden depths – at first glance, it looked simple alongside the other more urgently moving images of war and human suffering that make up the exhibition. But it’s a real slow burner…

I thought the light in the picture must have been from the sun but Matt told pasties & cream: “the yellow Read the rest of this entry »

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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