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A few ale-addled snaps from Mazey Day in Penzance last week. It was my first and I loved it – the chaotic anything everything goes atmosphere is pure Penzance. One couple had dressed up as hippies – which is akin to dressing in camouflage.

I want to get more into top-five lists on pasties & cream, so I’ll kick off with my top five Golowan festival highlights:

1) The DJ in the Arts Club garden dropping Black Box ‘Ride on Time’ at 3 in the afternoon. Not only did he get away with it – people went crazy.

2) Singer Dom Youngman at the busk-off at Zero Lounge’s alfresco bar on Mock Mayor Wednesday (incidentally, was anyone else confused by the brisk trade they were doing all week in Veuve Clicquot??! Do these people know of a secretly booming industry in Cornwall that I don’t?).

3) Pondlife ska at the Dock (listen here) – young and old dancing in the streets and things starting to get messy.

4) Mr B’s new vintage ice-cream van’s first outing.

5) Of course, Pirates on the Prom – 8,734 pirates and a real pirate ship. Rad.

Till next year…

penzance arts club cornwall

Where oh where would we be without the Penzance Arts Club?

A little while back, the lovely Emily Evans and Harry Gordon-Smith took over the Club (after rumours of a boutique hotel) – located in the instantly memorable old mansion, once the Portuguese embassy, at the bottom of Chapel Street.

I say instantly memorable because, although I only visited Penzance maybe once as a child (for a Kneehigh Theatre production at the Acorn – we have to save it!), the extravagant seaside mansion and its intriguing side entrance etched themselves on my memory.

Let’s be honest, the restaurant situation in Penzance is pretty dire at the moment – I really love a chilli and chorizo pizza and a pint of Otter in the Crown, occasionally get a Curry Corner or Sukothai takeout (both good & friendly) and I stop for a Corona and some tapas at Mackerel Sky now and again but there’s really not much else cooking.

Or at least there wasn’t until the Dining Room at the Penzance Arts Club opened a few weeks back. I made it over last weekend to try it out and it’s brilliant – and *very big cheer* it’s priced with locals in mind. The room is pure shabby chic, with sweet French perfume bottles as mini vases, simple rustic furniture and white tablecloths, and Breon O’Casey paintings on the walls.

Check out the colours in the food – it looks like an abstract art canvas! The chef makes extensive use of Dan the Potager’s salad boxes, which are stuffed with bright, wild greens, and lots of edible flowers.

Bruschetta, giant prawns with aoili and fishcakes were all fantastic – oh, and we met a nicely sticky end with limoncello cake and cream topped with roasted almonds. There are worse ways to go.

Penzance Arts Club, Chapel Street, 01736 363 761/www.penzanceartsclub.co.uk

penzance arts club cornwall

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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