St Ives Day Four

This post is devoted to one of my favourite places it St Ives.

Is it the Tate, packed to the rafters with beautiful art? No.

Is it Porthminster beach, a wonder of golden sand and proud palm trees? No.

It’s the Hub, a restaurant and bar in the harbour.

1395857_923763031330_1797896673_n

1395234_923763006380_172448251_n

I’ve been coming to St Ives for quite a long time, and I’ve seen the Hub transform from a bar which did a bit of food to a proper, family restaurant. The menu is a burgerfest (hot dogs if you’re feeling adventurous), bolstered by hale and hearty sides and a decent selection of craft beers.

1385582_923762467460_22757925_n

1385980_923762612170_1832949342_n

1379738_923762716960_1602244244_n

I’ve raged on here about a lack of decent veggie burgers before – a mushroom is not, and never will be, a burger! So I was delighted to see the Hub offering proper, well-conceived veggie burgers. I had a falafel burger, piled high with chilli jam, charred corn and guacamole, stacked in a plump brioche bun. Proper consideration has gone into making the vegetarian options as exciting and delicious as the rest of the menu.

1385347_923762981430_959784795_n

1382321_923762786820_869109392_n

1395399_923762572250_909233699_n

1383875_923762826740_1828954788_n

Because I’m greedy, a burger just didn’t seem enough. I ordered apple slaw and macaroni cheese, topped off with a gloriously zesty iced tea. I was soon backtracking on my decision, as I left the restaurant barely able to walk and couldn’t eat for the of the day. Well, not MUCH.

1006336_923762557280_129551955_n

562328_923762926540_2010126184_n

1005010_923762911570_385244325_n

The staff are great, the atmosphere is laidback, and the food beats any of the veggie burgers I’ve had in London so far. And it’s great value! Strongly recommend it if you’re down this way.

1379263_923762956480_1701853684_n

Once I’d regained the use of my legs, I headed home, spotting some amazing graffiti on the way:

1377359_923763091210_240936779_n

1391675_923763191010_954441961_n

1395421_923763131130_1360197608_n

And finally home to fire up the woodburner, and settled down with Douglas Coupland’s ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’. It started out nice and normal(ish) and ended up as a nighmarish post-apocalyptic vision of the future. So, um, that was a nice relaxing holiday read!

1379786_923762457480_100881201_n

1379316_923760626150_1741901795_n

1378223_923759169070_1310621813_n

1375149_923759393620_1938747493_n

St Ives Days Two and Three

Days are very fluid in Cornwall. Time becomes elastic, with some days seeming to whiz by, and others going on forever. My second and third days here already seem ages ago already. I’ve stopped wearing a watch and am finally stating to loosen my grip on my phone, meaning I tend to go hours without any idea of what time it is. I can highly recommend that!

More beach time and more wandering – you can’t get round the town without spotting at least one Hepworth sculpture!

1394462_923646400060_838633593_n

1391536_923644434000_1600170371_n

 

1381811_923646370120_1241600001_n

1380647_923645566730_2094135593_n

 

1391429_923645561740_776067471_n

1383225_923645751360_496632016_n

1381958_923645646570_998541853_n

1380119_923645656550_1752097534_n

Less common, though is the sight of a fox in a tiara…

1380253_923644718430_2005241864_n

Yo homes, to Bellair (Terrace)

1006314_923646350160_2034821511_n

Making use of the fantastic kitchen in the property, I made some extremely lazy comfort food – pasta in red wine and tomato sauce, with Portobello mushrooms pan-fried with rosemary and garlic, and a super simple panzanella. Not worth recipising (that’s a word!) on here as it was very basic.

600357_923759228950_883713725_n

1383165_923760735930_1434234485_n

1380463_923760710980_1070745968_n

I also made the cheesiest toasty known to man. The Bruce Forsyth of toasties.

1391731_923760616170_72728938_n

Porthmeor Cafe Despite the proliferation of grilled cheese at home, we did manage to eat out at an old favourite. The Porthmeor cafe is perched centrally on the beach, complete with a glass roof and little cubby holes outside. Great value for money, boasting some of the nicest staff in St Ives, and full of imaginative culinary creations, it’s somewhere I keep coming back to.

1383607_923644538790_806701020_n

Only open at lunchtimes during the Winter, lunch takes the form of a variety of tapas-style dishes. It’s a dream for vegetarians – veg dishes are seamlessly integrated into the menu without feeling a) tacked on, or b) like you’re missing out on all the decent stuff.

1375978_923644543780_1422085241_n

1377357_923644593680_691946663_n

It’s worth saving space for pudding though, which is consistently delicious. I opted for treacle tart with blood oranges and marmalade syrup…

1381542_923644688490_1525633279_n

1395801_923644658550_995258490_n

 

The dress code? More stripes, of course.

1376325_923644299270_857650056_n

St Ives Day One

Greetings from, um, rainy Cornwall!

Within 24 hours, I went from the sweaty confines of central London to the salty air of St Ives. I’ve been here less than a day, but I’ve already eaten my body weight in various Cornish delicacies and taken about 5 million obligatory photos of the beach (see below).

1406_923012131140_1517324803_n

1413_923012001400_2102030095_n

1003244_923012111180_1414471380_n

 

1003217_923012545310_503821854_n

 

 

Holiday posts can be awfully boring, a 2013 version of the snooze-inducing slideshow, but because so many people now choose St Ives as a holiday destination, I thought I’d write some recommendation posts this week for newbies. There are heaps of restaurants and cafes, and choosing where to go can be a little overwhelming. Don’t worry though, being the intrepid, courageous explorer that I am, I’ll step up to the plate (literally) and suggest the best.

Firstly, though, is our wonderful accommodation. I’m staying in the gorgeous Velnoweth house. Four bedrooms, a wood burner, ridiculously comfy sofas, and a massive kitchen are just some of the amazing assets. This morning I’ve even been grappling with the house cappucino machine. (I failed, but I’m DETERMINED to improve)

1235352_923011881640_1036905391_n

1391697_923012859680_1794518564_n

1384319_923012844710_1318392783_n

1384016_923011866670_677066699_n

1380822_923011971460_374057487_n

When in Cornwall, you can never have too many stripes:

1377281_923012984430_1187033471_n

The four essential fabric groups for holidaying in the West Country: cable knit, tweed, waxed cotton, wool:

1381230_923012884630_38967536_n

 

1381332_923014157080_1159595713_n

Porthminster Cafe I saw one review describe this Art Deco space as looking like the set of Poirot. All white walls and sloped ceilings, Porthminster is much more towards the fine dining side of St Ives. This time though, we only went for afternoon tea. An absolutely perfect flat white and a gooey blondie that gave me a huge and instant sugar rush.

1378518_923012295810_1737786089_n

1379797_923012440520_1625701730_n

603478_923012230940_2130196142_n

The Loft Very much tucked away, The Loft has a team of charming staff, an outside terrace decked out with fairy lights, and a rather hearty menu. As a vegetarian, it can be difficult to find inventive meals in a town based on seafood, but the waitress very kindly allowed me to combine different sides from the meat dishes, creating my very own meal.

After some tinkering, I ended up with smoked butter mash (GLORIOUS), kale sauteed in butter, apple and red cabbage slaw, and a genius crispy poached egg. Dipped in breadcrumbs and fried on the outside, and yet still perfectly runny on the inside, it’s something I’m keen to try and recreate at home. Also boasting a diverse cocktail menu, I started off the evening with a delicately flavoured elderflower Collins. Full of twinkly candles and dim lights and with Laura Mvula songs playing softly in the background, The Loft is a great choice for a simple but elegant supper. Oh, and the triple-cooked chips are what dreams are made of.

1013360_923011572260_1117752120_n

487615_923012660080_1901232983_n

1378362_923011647110_1939397928_n

1379831_923011776850_480212151_n

1380244_923011736930_553450975_n

1380480_923011562280_450298304_n

1395876_923011826750_1690900654_n

1395146_923012754890_1744478631_n

1392099_923012680040_45432944_n

 

Event Alert: ZOOFEST 29th June

I don’t usually do pre-event write ups, but I’m making an exception for what’s going to be an absolutely fantastic day this Saturday.

My friend Flo, being the insanely talented & hugely creative young whippersnapper that she is, is putting on a festival this weekend in Surrey. It’s to launch her brand new company, The Human Zoo Theatre Company, which if she’s anything to go by, will be a hotbed of new talent…

So if you’re Surrey-based and not going to Glasto this weekend, why not come along and support the arts while also having an amazing time? There ain’t no party like a Surrey party.

 

That’s an overview of what’ll be going down in a Surrey field on Saturday, but the team are constantly announcing new acts and fun things over on their Facebook page and also on Twitter.

I’ve just heard that tickets are flying out of the window, so you need to be QUICK and book your tickets now! Bring your friends, bring your whole family, bring your onesie that looks like a pig, but ultimately COME ALONG!

Weekends in the Country: Bateman’s

I’ve never appreciated living in Sussex quite as much as I am right now. Of course, during the week, it means I spend what feels like half my day on the train, but at the weekends…well, I’m more than grateful. We’re surrounded by endless fields that come alive in May with lush verdancy, complete with grazing cows and the odd chicken (sometimes the VERY odd chicken…) And of course, we’re in a National Trust hotspot, bordering with Kent. And so, Mama Simmons and I took off in the car for a country road trip.

blog 139

Sloping along the winding path through banks of wild flowers at Bateman’s, I stopped for a minute to feel the sun beating on my shoulders, and to breathe in the scent of a nearby azealia. I suddenly felt a million miles away from the dawdling, sweaty, claggy train journeys that bookmark my weekdays now. For those of you who haven’t been card carrying members of the National Trust since you were born (like me…), Bateman’s is Rudyard Kipling’s house, and boasts rolling lawns, overgrown meadows, a working mill, and the occasional friendly chicken.

blog 079

blog 066

blog 210

blog 143

At this time of the year, the wisteria was in fine fettle, there was green as far as the eye could see, and lazy bees drifted through rustling trees.

blog 242

blog 132

blog 217

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.  (and duck).

blog 195

blog 177

Of course, a true middle-aged Saturday wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a garden centre. I got a bit overexcited. I’m going to be spending my Sunday morning planting up round carrots (wut!), purple cauliflower, strawberries and pineapple mint. PINEAPPLE MINT!

blog 296

Bottom line: the National Trust is ace. Find your nearest properties here , but I’d strongly recommend getting a membership card – a young persons card is £26 a year, and you really only need to visit three properties and it pays for itself!

blog 144

blog 278

blog 266

 

blog 280

 

blog 128

blog 232

blog 204

blog 148

My week in pictures

I don’t usually do these kind of posts as I think they’re a bit of a cop out, but things have been absolutely crazy the past week and a half. After coming back from holiday, things went into hyperdrive and I went from being a freelancer to working full time in a London entertainment PR agency. I’m enjoying every minute of it. It’s one of those jobs where you can’t wait to get started in the mornings, and I couldn’t be happier about working there.

But awesome job aside, I’ve barely had a minute to sit down and blog. So to fill the gap, here’s a selection of pictures of what I’ve been up to (spoiler alert: mostly eating). To sum up, I did the following: went to an open air screening at London Zoo (more on that soon), ate, went to a hen do, rehearsed for a musical in a gun room, accidentally attended an ‘Ibiza Pizza Party’ in a tiny village pub in Surrey, drank cocktails with pipettes in, wore an oversized cricket jumper, and ate some more. Not pictures are the pheasant impressions I did with friends at the end of the night. Don’t ask.

8zlP8jgPk78unM0RKoN_KUJG36qxGzN4WGChEW4GHRo 422063_10151621886401944_1958144318_n b8KE67b-H3r6tbcKwUEeh0hdrL2jT1Mn_khGHPrUAUg AN5TRKfz1rOOjJgfQx9TYDjy00styg8bUmpv6w-VRoM A3uXJY5pdA9zP3SE1w7AT28KL4DO4z2T-FBn1aWwW5g 941372_862976093840_1778063436_n f6ORMUYEwfoINcOzEHuIo7cXuUoPBxoX-aqNrBPjQNU jAVA1PVsykD3Qhb599omcxQh05VjclVGs3sHJfVX6B4 OCZIQmcnRp0uCkEhnPqwIbaA1NVX2NRGYm4m9PGQC_EERZP_tAQxXBa4NAdm_uO5VCaN5ZEj7MLDfAS7eLPDWs JmYKLVzdqK3beYzniLhkv1YJHrwmcrP5jm627P5CviMnlieHn2HCcqFuiw0eqHxIl9Hi88otCcFqwtgortZvDQ JXQrFBhMlZmz9DuoWFStS1Ltm02b7oB5AzenaIHXhOU s_24hJxpHgHn2qKF-PZbPLtvczkwRv9w69GbylwWmaY s6XnPkanNCjNYRLaoSU_8to4YrY-8lAvSavEybZ58rU oQf5TRb3JCb1A9obG89q_peUmmxw6hffitSK_OovBis UpDKhqxMqDlgCwNXkrOfImCnz48OK4CFEy7ZBgqA-fQ XbnAhU76vAn0csyYzAeGumb_cj8q9UbAeBzaBRVoCSc UljbGLUOYKUw2MRx2UHYnvqmn-nWCPLyFSqQkw9Sm9w Y8YgqYiYyi5vOOYBEvJ9FK0JrCKq85oAKDjClEVTMmQ yR9N2sZmxGVojUm6FUQiDQju8-DMW45mUaQfw0EVKS0 Yrrle1BQ-qoy4JJ3_YiHR0qWFDP-5dztrpk-a1sojUc 8tRwbpvmrEk8XCfxdHXQQF__RzSDR3JHtIV87CG_A_U 0gtnEFILC2R3zlFifGgFWbGpa04AWSBYRQNAJoAn-Eg 2v-abfb1XfUUoZWj0iALaIcckRH31Zcq65qVxBE3Z9M 7RTzLhmj_3CK2KytKfw4pP4n7Pooaa-bMiwPF_9Wg3A