Archive for the 'Places to visit' Category



Marsha Drew – Jewellery in silver, inspired by the North Cornwall coast

On my trail of Cornish artists and crafts people I have found the wonderful Marsha Drew, an independent jeweller, designing and individually hand crafting every piece of work, inspired by natural forms found near to her home on the North Cornwall coast.
Here is what Marsha has to say about her work and her life working in Cornwall…
” OK, where do I start….
 
I was born in the good old Treliske hospital many moons ago and lived in Falmouth for my first few years before my folks moved up to Gloucestershire. Fast forward a few years and I found myself heading back down into Cornwall every summer to work and now I’m back in full effect, living and working in my beloved Cornwall.
 
Living up in “The Shire” was brilliant, being so close to the Cotswold hills, beautiful little villages and amazing woodlands. But its not Kernow, there’s no sea up there and, I think that’s what I love most about Cornwall is the sea. Strangely enough I don’t surf and rarely go in, I prefer to observe and gain inspiration that way.
 
I’d been making jewellery for a few years, nothing spectacular, just gemstones and glass beads and was selling it at a few small festivals and events at various locations in the South West. In 2008 I discovered the Silversmithing and Jewellery (BA Hons) Degree at Truro College and spent the next three years immersed in learning how to make real jewellery.
 
My Foldform Collection is the result of my work and research during the final year at Uni. Foldforming is a relatively new system of shaping sheet metal by folding, forging then opening to reveal beautiful organic forms. The inspiration for this collection comes from the ocean waves and as I live in North Cornwall, very close to the sea its hard not to be influenced by the big blue. I’m lucky enough to live in between the sea and a small woodland and both these influences can be seen throughout my work”.
Check out some of Masha’s lovely work below or visit her website here.
 

Turning Leaf Ring

Riptide Studs

Turning Leaf Earrings

Riptide Bracelet

Turning Leaf Bangle

Double Drops Pendant

” I take all my photos on the beach which is just at the end of the lane where I live and couldn’t wish for a better photography studio”. All images © Marsha Drew

If you are visiting Rock, Polzeath and the North Cornwall coast then you must pop into The Winter Gallery at Polzeath to see Marsha’s work and other Cornish artists work.

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The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls

A quick review of the The Fisherman’s Apprentice

Marine biologist Monty Halls is down in Cadgwith working in one of the toughest professions in the country , fishing. With fish stocks depleting and various quotas put on the fishermen, fishing is a dying trade and is getting harder and harder to make a living.  With fishing being taken over by the big trawlers and their nets trawling the sea beds the fishermen of Cadgwith are still fishing in the traditional way with small boats using lines, small nets and pots to catch their wares. Monty is being taught by local fisherman Nigel Legge a seasoned Cornish fisherman who has fished from Cadgwith all his life. Monty has been lent Nigel’s boat Razorbill and is left to go to sea with his pots to catch crab and lobsters.  On his 3rd day in Cadgwith and on his first trip Monty caught just 5kg of crabs, whilst on a good day a fisherman could catch 500kg. Monty’s 4th day in the fishing cove and  the weather is too bad to go out so he catches up with Tonks one of the local fishermen working in his workshop. The fishermen may find themselves shorebound for up to four months a year due to bad weather, however that’s the way it is which they accept and gives the fish stock time to breed.
The following day Monty brings in 16kg of crab, just enough to be sold to the fish trader who collects their catches. With a smile on his face Monty has to prepare for a day out with Tonks on a larger boat to do some larger scale fishing. Half a tonne of crab from hundreds of pots and a hard day at sea the crew return. Monty decides it’s not for him and he would rather try and catch the more lucrative lobster further inshore, so he head out in Razoebill to sets his pots and leaves them for a day or two.  Next day, with little rest Monty’s out with another local chap Danny; out with the big boys catching real fish, the Monkfish. After a few hours and I can only empathise with Monty, he is spewing up over board and useless to the skipper. With a boat getting filled up with top quality ‘Monk’ Danny would not turning back. Monty’s day got worse when he became unconscious and started choking on his sick, we’ve all been there! 😮  Five and a half hours later and with a green crew man the boat returns. Monty, delighted to be back on dry land and ready to get out on his little boat the next day to check his lobster pots. With a good catch under his belt he at last feels like a proper fisherman having made a decent wage from the sale of his lobster.
Another great programme of lovely Cadgwith showing the difficult lives of the Cornish fisherman. With another 4 episodes on Wednesdays 8pm make sure you don’t miss out on this eye opening series.

Missed it? Catch it here on BBC iPlayer

And the big question is where is Rueben?

Rough Tor, the 2nd highest point in Cornwall

For those interested in the geology of Cornwall you must watch The Great British Countryside with Hugh Dennis and Julia Bradbury that was on BBC last week. Pick it up on iPlayer here before it disappears into the ether. It was a great programme with an interesting insight into how Cornwall was formed millions of years ago.

They touched on the moorlands of Devon and Cornwall which spurred me to write this post. Rough Tor pronounced Row-ter with its summit 1313 ft (400m) above sea level, making it the second highest point in Cornwall. With its rough craggy rocks it’s a spectacular walk to the summit and achievable by most able bodied person with a bit of will power. Allow yourself an hour to the top and another hour to walk back down again. Why not pack your rucksack with a couple of pasties and a flask of tea and walk to the top of the tor for you lunch? It an ansom’ view!

Here are a few pics from a recent walk to the top. I will touch on Rough Tor again in later posts but for now enjoy these few pics and if the weather is looking pretty this weekend, get those pasties from down Rowes bakery and  get up there.

To give you a starting point in finding the place here is the Telegraph’s walk of the month of Rough Tor and Brown Willy – that’s Cornwall’s 1st highest point!!

 

Cath Bull’s brave leap of faith to St Just…

In my quest to show off some of Cornwall’s artistic talent of which there is plenty I stumbled across jeweller Cath Bull from St Just, nr Penzance. A fellow listener to Radio 4 as she drifts off to sleep trying to decipher the shipping forecast and what might be brewing in the Atlantic.

Although not Cornish and only having lived in the county a short time this is the story of one ladies leap of darkness to the west of Cornwall but fingers crossed the future is looking bright…

‘I was not born in Cornwall, Leeds was my birthplace. I have lived in various places in the UK with the last 25 or so in Lancaster. I moved to St Just, near Lands End, October 2010. This was the outcome of being diagnosed with a form of arthritis, and neither the health service or benefits system seemingly being able to cope with the intermittent nature of the illness, with my families help and support decided to move down here. It was a leap in the dark, and after some admittedly shaky moments, the ferocity of the Atlantic storms took me by surprise, Lancaster is relatively sheltered by comparison, and the fierce winter, being practically snowed in, I now feel it was and is a good place to be.

I trained initially as a Goldsmith, gaining a National Association of Goldsmiths Diploma, then went on to gain a BA in jewellery design at Birmingham. I have worked in other areas, bookbinding, production pottery, textiles, graphic design for screen printing, at the point where PC’s were just becoming widely available. For now I have two outlets and am hoping to build on that. One is the Arts and Crafts Gallery in St Just, and the other is Bohemia in Market Jew Street, Penzance. I don’t as yet have a website, but my details can be found on www.cornwall-arts-and-crafts.co.uk under jewellery, and also www.landsendchamber.co.uk.

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The jewellery I make has changed. It has become more colourful and freer. Walks on the beaches nearby with my camera have fuelled more ideas that I hope to carry out soon. The round rug is a new departure. It was inspired by walking down the Cot Valley, October just gone, in an unseasonably warm spell. The sea and sky were summer blue tones but the bracken had turned so there were also the rich russets and rusts of autumn. And then the soft glow of lichen on the rocks. I didn’t have my camera with me that day, but when I got home I dug out all the colours and started working on it. This is still a work in progress. The light down here is at first overwhelming, and even on a winters day can be blindingly bright. But being a jeweller I love all things that glisten and gleam. And the granite does just that in the sunlight. I hope I can carry on working and making things for other people to enjoy and feel quite eager to crack on with the ideas that come through living in this incredible landscape.

 


Miss Peapod’s, Penryn

Do you ever feel like popping in somewhere warm and welcoming on such a grey and miserable day like today? Well, should you ever find yourself in Penryn you should be sure to make a visit to Miss Peapod’s at Jubilee Wharf.

Bright flowers on a retro table will soon cheer you up!

Jubilee Wharf is an award winning development with a mixture of housing, workshops, offices and a children’s nursery. Community creation & revitalisation – a hub for craft makers, quality childcare onsite from Jumblies Nursery, health & fitness classes and the café for socialising. It was built on what was the old coal merchants but has extremely green credentials, they have just installed photovoltaic panels and there are  4 x  wind turbines on the distinctive shaped roof.

To Drink?

We have only been to Miss Peapod’s for coffee but have plans to go back and eat next time!

They make their own pasta and bread and exploit all the seafood brought to them from a local fisherman. Expect specials like crab ravioli and fresh sardines, king prawns grilled in caper, chilli and parsley butter or for people with more simple tastes there are homemade burgers with chips and toasted ciabattas with fillings such as roasted seasonal vegetables and homemade butter bean hummous.

They seem to have regular event evenings and they were busy planning one when we were there. This weekend they have the wonderful Megan Henwood who was BBC Young Folk Award Winner who, ironically I photographed all the way up here at a garden party in Henley on Thames a few years ago.   Have a look at the website for more details www.misspeapod.co.uk

Origin please!

You may notice from the photos that the coffee at Miss Peadpod’s is Origin. Did you know that Origin is a Cornish company? I didn’t!

They were established in 2004  and are based in the depths of Cornwall near Helston and they distribute their coffee to restaurants, hotels, delis & cafes in Cornwall and everywhere else. You don’t even need to go down the A30 to try it, we saw on their website their coffee is being used in Malmaison and Hotel du Vin but its a good excuse to nip back to the home county isn’t it? Check their website for more info www.origincoffee.co.uk.
Happy days!

The final dash to Land’s End with the 3 Hungry Boys

In the final leg of Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys the chaps set off in Daisy in the direction of the Lizard. This weeks episode was the best yet, some of my favourite parts of Cornwall covered and the with The Lizard being closest to home. I have covered the Lizard in previous posts – just type The Lizard into the search bar at the top.

The boys are given the thumbs up from the people of Tregothnan to visit Asparagus Island, a lump of rock in the Atlantic. The boys wanted to go camping before the end of their trip and Asparagus Island was their destination. About a mile walk from the Kynance Cove National Trust car park the island is approachable on foot when the tide is out! With a short walk along the sandy beach of Kynance Cove the boys climb the steep cliffs to the top of Asparagus Island. After pegging out their tent, the tide had come in and they were now totally stranded in a lump of rock in the sea!

Thom the hunter grabs his spear gun and takes orders for the other two boys supper and head to the water whilst Trevor and Tim grab their fishing rods and head off to the rocks with a more relaxing way to catching supper. After a couple of hours all the boys return with nothing but excuses! No fish supper for you boys tonight! So with limited supplies the boys have some peppery rice for supper. They happened to find some sea beet growing on the rocks which made the rice more appetising giving them some greens for the day. Still, it could be worse, sitting on an island around a roaring fire listening to the sound of the sea as the sun goes down whilst tucking into a bowl of rice is almost heavenly (except the rice bit!)

After a good nights sleep listening to the waves crashing around them the boys get off the island and back to their trusty milk float, Daisy. In need of some protein Hugh gets contacts them and puts them in touch with Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, the 13th Baronet and current owner of the 1000 acre Trelowarren estate who has some pests on his land. The estate is near the mouth of the Helford river which almost cuts the Lizard peninsula off from the mainland. Still, with little clue why they are travelling to Trelowarren the boys meet Sir Ferrers Vyvyan to see what protein he can offer them. Is it rabbit problems, pigeon eating the crops or the beast of Bodmin’s offspring moving in on the Lizard?  After a short introduction Sir Ferrers Vyvyan informs the boys that they have a grey squirrel problem on the Lizard (like most of  the UK) however as the Lizard is almost an island they are trying to eradicate the grey squirrel and bring back the native red squirrel to the area.  As lovely as grey squirrels are they are huge pests to young trees and very aggressive hence the decline and almost extinction of our native reds. Although I have never eaten squirrel myself I have heard it’s a very tasty meat. So armed with a shotgun the lads head out with Sir Ferrers to look for squirrels in the tree tops. With little luck on the squirrel front Sir Ferrers shoots a wood-pigeon to help towards the boys supper. After some foraging on the estate the boys get some sorrel, oyster mushrooms and wild garlic to add to the wood-pigeon. The Trelowarren estate has a restaurant serving local produce and foraged food and is well worth stopping off for lunch or dinner if in the area. To find out more about Trelowarren and to see the sample menus click here.

The boys them have a cook-off with the chefs at Trelowarren who rustle up a rabbit recipe. Trevor rustles up a pigeon breast cooked with sautéed oyster mushrooms, garlic mash and sprinkling of sorrel. To see the meals being cooked it’s probably easier to check out the 4oD website rather than relying on my methodology – have you seen me in the kitchen? Needless to say the Lord of the manor gave full marks to the boys for their efforts of foraging and producing a tasty meal.

Sir Ferrers recommended the boys visit a sea salt producer on the Lizard in Porthkerris. I hate to say it but I’m one step ahead here. Check out my previous post on Cornish Sea Salt Co. by typing something along those lines into the search bar on the top of the blog. Trev’s idea here was for Tom to catch some fish and to bake them in the salt – salt baked fish I think it’s called! Well, whilst the boys are shovelling salt Tom is trying to catch a few fish for supper. By the end of the fishing session Tom had reeled in six pollock off the cliffs at Porthkerris to fill their bellies that evening.

With the final push to the end of this wonderful island we call Great Britain the boys jump in Daisy and with a 30 mile journey the boys arrive at Sennen. They meet up with the Sennen lobster hatchery for a days work at sea releasing baby 1” long lobsters into the sea in the hope they will survive and make it to adult lobsters. Unfortunately with a 1 in 15,000 chance of survival their time in the ocean is often short-lived as many are snapped up by predators.

As the boys are releasing 1000’s of babies they are also checking lobster pots and harvesting some good sizes specimens or lobsters and crabs for their last cook up of the trip. The final tweet was from Polgoon vineyard back up the A30 where they make their own wine and cider who offered the boys some work harvesting discovery apples to earn some cider for their last supper. Polgoon vineyard has won several awards for their produce and supply some top establishments such as Fortnum and Mason, Rick Steins Deli, River Cottage Canteen and Deli and John Lewis to name a few. To find out more about Polgoon vineyard  or to buy some of their produce check out their website here.

Final stop boys – Lands End! The boys pull up on the cliff tops at Sennen and see the Longships lighthouse of Land’s End in the distance.  Trevor gets to work on the shellfish they have been given making this one of the tastiest banquets one could dream of, all washed down with a drop of Polgoon Cornish black cider. After their fish platter they are back in Daisy and heading full speed for Land’s End. For those of you that don’t know much about Land’s End there is a modern leisure complex (a good day out for young families im sure) there and not just a romantic old weatherbeaten sign post saying New York 3147 miles thataway!  Beyond the leisure complex built by Peter De Savary some time ago when I was in my youth there is a sign post and a telescope – but I doubt you can see New York even on a clear day!

So the series is over – its been great so if you were not fortunate to watch it first time around, pick it up together with Hugh’s other great programs here on 4oD.

Now what time is Caroline Quentin on tonight…

a belated Cornwall with Caroline Quentin…

Apologies for the late post of Caroline Quentin’s Cornwall but I have lots going on at present! But here it is before the next episode tomorrow…

Caroline kick starts episode 5 at Prideaux Place situated  in Padstow with its own herd of fallow deer which have been roaming the estate since 485 AD. It is said that if the deer die out then the Prideaux family will disapppear too. The population of the deer became just six in 1926. George V sent down a stag from Windsor but it is said the game keeper shot it by accident.

Interestingly the back of the house is still as the American Army left the house for D-Day in 1944 when soldiers from a US combat batallion occupied the house. The rooms untouched, have many memories of those American soldiers. The lady of the house recently uncovered some letters for the mother of John Fontaine, sadly no longer with us whom must have died in service. Other soldiers names still appear on the wall in thier memory as they sadly never returned to their loved ones.

Robert Hocking, a man whos videos I have shown in past posts. A proud Cornishman who has a organic vegetable business in the Port Eliot estate who loves to spend a Sunday morning on his white leather armchair in the corner of his polytunnel reading the Sunday papers, and yes I did say polytunnel! Robert who runs Buttervilla Funky Leaves is a purveyer of fine fruit and veg. His website is well worth a look, he has had a lot of press and chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen resturants use his leaves. Not only are Roberts videos a great reminder of Cornwall’s past but his current business is a great tribute to Cornwall for producing such wonderful produce. Robert also does vegetable boxes which can be bought through the Dig For Victory website. If you live within a 30 mile radius of PL13 1PA then delivery is free.  So all you Cornish and Devonians out there log onto Dig For Victory and buy some veg! It’s ansome! If you are struggling for what to do with veg then two must have books are the Riverford Farm cook book which can be bought here and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Veg book which is a must for every kitchen, vegetarian or not!

Caroline then went onto talk about Robert’s other passion of perserving Cornish history on film. Some of his videos I have posted previously which you will find on this blog. Robert shows Caroline a video of his family sailing Redwings in Looe. the video can be seen here

The redwings championships still take place and Robert’s family have won the silverware more than any other family in the town. Robert, not a sailing man and the black sheep of the family prefers to keep his feet on dry land. Florence, Robert’s great neice was entering the Redwing race and won another cup for the family silver collection.

Next stop and Caroline is sitting on the ledge of one of the engine houses at St Agnes eating a pasty, hers is half savoury and half sweet. Personally I have never had one like that but it is said that in days gone by the miners would have had it half and half. I just prefer meat and veg in my pasty!

Another visit to the Camel Valley vineyard at the end of the grape growing season and they are now picking them ready to be pressed. The vineyard are launching their new 20th anniversary wine and it will take place at Nathan Outlaw St Enodoc Hotel at Rock with top wine critic Tom Stevenson and writer Suzy Atkins.  The wine got top marks all round, a wine where the grapes are grown and bottled all in the small vineyard tucked away in the Camel valley.

Good old Cornwall! I will try to get tomorrow’s episode on the blog sooner next week, but before I do that I will have to post about Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys, on tonight at 7pm on Channel 4.


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