Tag: Cornwall

How was your Bank Holiday weekend?

I heard the rest of the UK were basking in a lovely mini-heatwave.  I wish I could say it was the same for us down here in North Cornwall but it wasn’t.

The weather last Saturday was a good start.  After little T’s ballet we picked up a friend of hers who was going to have a sleep-over at our place, then we headed to Exeter to watch a football match.  It was lovely in Exeter.  It was just the right combination fo not too hot and not chilly.  On our way back home, we could smell people having bbqs at their homes.  It was early evening and my husband had plans to light the fire and just sit till night-fall.  But as we headed arrived in Cornwall, we saw sea-mist in the distance and our hearts sank a little bit.  By the time we turned into our driveway, we knew that our plan of sitting around the fire was gone out the window.

The next day, our house was still surrounded by sea-mist.  We had plans of spending the day in the beach, but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  Thankfully though, the mist cleared up towards mid-day and little T and her friend still managed to have some paddling pool fun.

I’m hoping the weather will be better at the end of May when T’s next term-breaks comes, especially since we’re expecting a visit from some family members.  It would be nice to be able to take them to the beach sans the sea-mist and have lovely bbqs in our garden.  Then again, this is Cornwall.  I think the weather down here is more unpredictable than any other place in the UK.  I could be wrong of course 😉

What about you?

How was your bank holiday weekend?

Easter Break: Two Little Girls and a Beach

On Monday, T and her friends go back to school.  This Easter break was all about visiting and spending time with family up in the Midlands for us.  We also had a lovely short city-break at Birmingham where we were lucky enough to watch the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain perform at the beautiful Symphony Hall in Birmingham.  T was absolutely enthralled just watching them play, especially the cellos.  We think she was very much inspired by them.

And so we’re back in the sticks, where our life consists mainly of play-dates and impromptu trips to the beach after the husband is done with his work.  It’s lovely now because Spring seems to have sprung out of the depths of wherever it was hiding when Winter overstayed its stay.  Temperature has risen and it’s possible once again to walk on the beach without looking like an Eskimo or a North Pole explorer out for a ride with his wolf-dogs.  And so the husband went out with shorts and sandals …

I must admit.  I wasn’t as brave as him.  I still came out with a coat (although to be fair, a much lighter one), and the kids were also in hoodies and wellies.

And so we found ourselves on our favourite local beach, Sandymouth which I’ve mentioned more than a dozen of times on this blog.  I can’t repeat myself enough, it really is a must-visit beach if ever you find yourself in North Cornwall, especially with kids in tow.

The two girls decided that it was way more fun to walk around in bare feet even on a pebbly beach, so they plonked themselves on a drift-wood and took their wellies off, before deciding to try to climb the many interesting rock formations found on the beach.

Why do kids never listen to you when you tell them not to do something?  I told them not to climb higher, they ignored me.  And so I said, “If you get stuck, you’ll have to spend the night there, because I’m not climbing up there to get you down”.  Thankfully that worked and they slowly made their way down again and joined the husband exploring by the rock pools.  He found them a little crab to play with before setting it free.

We love it here.  It’s perfect for a long walk on the beach, especially when the tide is low. There are lots of rock pools to discover which both my husband and T love.

We ended the day with the two girls, walking back with their beach find of the day …. driftwood.

What about you?

How was your Easter break?

 

National Trust Beaches in North Cornwall: Our latest Fave – Sandymouth Beach

In my attempt to prolong summer (if only that’s possible!) I’ve been delaying this last featured post on National Trust Beaches here in North Cornwall for days now.  Perhaps, it’s because it’s the last and maybe because September is almost over and still no sign of an Indian summer.  And as I type this, the orange pile of leaves in our garden is piling up daily.  Did I mention it’s also gray and dreary outside? …

The first beach we visited was Northcott Mouth, then Duck Pool.  They are both lovely beaches, although Duck Pool isn’t really safe for swimming, but perfect for rock-pooling.  We enjoyed both, but our most favourite one is Sandymouth.  I can’t believe we’ve lived here in Cornwall for almost a decade now and yet have never visited this beach.  It’s just absolutely beautiful!  A perfect combination of vast expanse of beach (especially during low-tide), lots of unusual rock formation, even two waterfalls, and when the tide is low, it leaves big puddles of water, perfect for the little ones to swim in.

We visited late August, so there were still lots of tourists around, probably having their last hurrah for the summer.  We were lucky the weather complied with us.  Lovely blue skies and good enough temperature.

We went with friends and T was with her best-friend F and his little sister M.  It was just the perfect playground for these energetic kids.

Then T and F decided to play tag with the waves.

The kids also spent time splashing about in this big pool of sea water.

As for the grown-ups, we enjoyed looking at the interesting rocks and their formations and other seal life found on the beach.  As mentioned, during the low-tide it exposes a vast area of beach, perfect for long walks.

One of the reasons why my husband wanted to visit this particular beach is that, apparently if you’re lucky and the tide is really low, you might just catch a glimpse of a shipwreck.  Sadly we couldn’t find it that day.  But hey, luckily for us, we just live nearby.

Sandymouth also has a National Trust cafe nearby, but I think it is only seasonal.  The beach also has coast-guards around and is near at least two camp-sites.  Perfect for holiday-makers.

We loved it so much we came back the next day, although admittedly we haven’t been back since then.  Hopefully we’ll manage to do just that when the weather improves.  This is definitely a beach to put on your list the next time you’re in Cornwall.

Polzeath in the Summer

We don’t go much to Polzeath, even though it is a lovely beach.  Perhaps, because we live by so many other beaches equally as lovely as the said beach.  Yes, admittedly, we are a bit spoiled when it comes to beaches all because we live in North Cornwall.

A few weeks ago, we had family visit, even though we knew it was going to be a bit crowded, we thought it would be nice to take them there since they’ve never been.

And I’m glad we did, even though it was busy, it was still a beautiful day to be out on the beach along with the holiday makers.

Before T and her cousin hit the waves with their bodyboards, they had fun burying each other in the sand, as you do when you’re on the beach.

And when that was done, they hit the waves, along with many, many, people.

After enjoying the waves of course, we all had some Kelly Whip ice-cream – summer wouldn’t be complete with that.

And then it was time to go, even then, the beach was still busy and there were lots of surfers enjoying the waves in Polzeath.  Perhaps, that’s one of the reason why this beach is so popular?  If you wonder what it looks like when it’s not busy, you can have a little peek here.

It’s lovely to see Cornwall busy with tourists.  Once the summer is done, a lot of the small villages here become like a ghost town.  It’s the first of September while a lot think that summer is over, I don’t think it is gone yet.  Yes, T will be back in school on Monday, but if we’re lucky, we might have an Indian summer only then will I feel that it is indeed over.

Have you been to Polzeath?

What’s your favourite beach in your area?

A Country Kid’s Post: Beachcombing on an Autumn Day

It was a beautiful late autumn day, not wanting to waste it, our little family decided to head for the beach in Polzeath after little T’s ballet a few Saturdays ago.

When we arrived, there were people getting ready to go in the water in their wet suits, there were dog-walkers around, and people, who were like us, not wanting to waste the lovely day indoors. Here, let me share some photos with you:

It was a lovely day of walking on the beach and just breathing in the cold autumn air.  T and the Historian had fun doing a bit of beach combing and exploring the few caves dotted around the cliffs of Polzeath.  We ended the visit with ice-cream – as it should always be.

A breath of fresh air on the beach, with lovely weather, ending it with ice-cream, what more can we ask?  Bring it on winter, we’re ready for you!

Have you visited the beach lately?

Here’s a little shortie of what the day was like…

A Country Kids Post: Playing Tag with the Waves

It’s officially little T’s first week of summer and it doesn’t feel like it at all.  Not allowing the grey skies and low temperatures to dampen our summer spirit, we decided to brace it and have a little fun at the beach.  It was summer after all, right?

When we got to the beach, people were already in the water and the beach was also covered in sea foam.  These energetic folks were wearing fleecies, not exactly summer wear, I know.

The plan really was to just play on the sand and maybe, T could have a little dip in the water.  But the waves were too strong.  They decided to just play tag with the waves.

Here’s T and her dad getting read to be “tagged”.

A playful wave came by and caught them by surprise.

Before they knew it, both the dad and the daughter were soaked with sea water.  It was actually a scary moment for me.  I had this brief scenario in my head where both were swept into sea, luckily they weren’t.  In fact, they were both giggling.  But I decided to be the party pooper and announced it was time to go home.  After all, they were both soaked with sea water and it wasn’t exactly a warm day either.  T of of course had some change of clothing, but the husband didn’t.

Later that night, my husband admitted that the wave at one point, was really strong and he feared that there would be both carried away.  That’s it.  No more playing tag with the waves, I announced.

Looking at these photos, you wouldn’t think that they were taken in the summer, would you?  They look more like Spring.  Were those few glorious days of summer last week or lot then?  Oh well.  We’ll just have to learn to make the most if it then.

What do you think?

Has summer decided to pack it’s bags and say “Hasta la vista, baby”?

Then again, this is England, with its ever-changing weather, there might just be a “heat-wave” tomorrow – brace yourselves folks!

Summer Exhibition for Jewellery and Art Lovers

We woke up to a lovely warm Sunday morning.

Right after breakfast, we dropped by little T’s best friend’s house (one of her many best-friends) to give him his birthday present and to eat some delicious birthday cake with coffee.  Then we did some errands, went off to pick up M, the mum of another of T’s best-friend’s who also happens to be a friend.  She asked if T would want to stay behind to play with W, of course she said yes. So off we went, sans the children to a friend’s summer exhibit at Rock.  Yes, the weekend was all about friends.

It was one of those lovely rare-child-free moments where we got to pretend we were grown-ups attending an art and jewellery exhibition. We mingled, sipped prosecco, ate delicate looking canapés, looked at beautiful paintings and pretended that we could afford art works worth about four figures and that we didn’t have responsibilities and kids who were probably running around like loonies as we sipped our lovely wine and nibbled daintily (or so we tried) at chocolate coated strawberries.

M and I oohed and aahed over the lovely delicate jewellery handmade by our friend, choosing our favourites and at the same time wondering where we would wear such lovely pieces, while T’s dad trailed behind us feigning interest.  We giggled with the idea of showing up and wearing our friend’s intricately designed jewellery at the school gate.

Chloe Michell’s jewellery are unique one-one-of-a-kind pieces.  If you’re looking for something that’s just a little bit extra special, I have a feeling you’ll find it in her collections which are all handmade and delicately made in Cornwall.

Then we moved on to the lovely paintings by her mum artist Danka Napiorkowska, and I wish I could afford them all.  My favourite among the others was a painting of Cape Verde fish which was about £1,200.  I also saw another one I loved but was even more expensive at £2,000.  When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy all her paintings.  (Note to self:  Buy lottery ticket which I never do).

She had beautiful painting of fishes and flowers.  I loved her fish pieces which according to Chloe, she painted during one of her Cape Verde trips which isn’t surprising because they made me think of lovely warm tropical days with the wind billowing and sand in my feet.

I also loved her crockery where she had her lovely designs of fishes on beautiful Wedgwood plates.  And not just plates, but mugs, jugs as well.  Her pieces are beautiful.  Like her paintings, I wanted to take them all home with me.

If you’re in the area at the moment, do drop by for a visit, especially if you are like me who love beautiful unique pieces whether it is jewellery, crockery or a work of art, you won’t be disappointed.

Danka Napiorkowska and Chloe Michell’s Summer Exhibition is still on and is open daily till the 27th of this month from 10am – 6pm at the Rock Institute near Wadebridge here in Cornwall.

At the end of our visit, thanks to the Historian, I didn’t come away empty-handed.  I went home with a lovely print from Danka’s fish collection which is now hanging proudly in our living room.

I’m also now a proud owner of one of her large Wedgwood plates with her beautiful seafood design.

The historian also chose a lovely Chloe Michell silver necklace with a love heart for little T.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

If you’re nowhere near Cornwall, and love art do you can always head over to Danka Napiorkowska’s website and don’t forget to visit Chloe Michelle’s jewellrey too.

 What about you?

Do you like collecting art pieces and jewellery too?

A Country Kid’s Post: Fascinating Rock Formations on Widemouth Bay

I mention Widemouth Bay a lot in my posts, perhaps it’s because it’s our go-to-beach especially during the cold months.  There are lots to do there, apart from the fact that it’s lined with lovely restaurants like Elements and the Bayview Inn, there’s a long stretch of sand to do beach combing, and rock pools to discover, cliffs to climb and also Widemouth bay is known for its fascinating rock formations.

Just look at the following photos:

What really struck me is that they don’t look the same.  They have different colours, textures and shapes.

Some of them look like they’ve been stacked and some look like sandwiches (as T said) like the one below.

And some of the rock formations make a perfect slide for little ones to clamber on.

And slide back down again.

Look at me!

Apparently these rocks in Widemouth are known as Upper Carboniferous rocks (327 to 299 million years ago).  No wonder they have fascinating shapes, colours, sizes, markings and textures.  I guess one can say that time sculpted these rocks into what they are now, interesting and beautiful rock formations.  It’s not surprising that one can also go fossil hunting in the area, though of course don’t expect it to be like the Jurassic coast where fossils abound.  I don’t think (unless you’re an expert) it’s as easy to find them down here in the North Cornish coast than in Devon.  I remember when we went to Lyme Regis, I wasn’t expecting to find anything, but we came home with more than a handful of fossils.  We keep them in a special jar up our book shelf.

Have you been to Widemouth bay?

Have you tried fossil hunting?

Dining by the Sea: Bayview Inn (A Sort of Review)

Since it’s the Easter break, we’ve been dining out a lot lately.  Our latest jaunt, was at the Bayview Inn, another restaurant and hotel, along Widemouth bay, here in North Cornwall.  Last time I shared about our meal at Elements, another lovely restaurant by the sea, this other one is also located on the same stretch to Bude.

As always, we went for a walk before our meal.  Since we didn’t book a table (they were actually fully booked), we ended up sitting in the conservatory, which wasn’t so bad at all, because it overlooked the playground where little T happily played while waiting for our meal to be served.

And as I mentioned, since we didn’t phone in before coming, we had to order by the bar, which of course we didn’t mind at all, except when the place became so busy, you had to queue even to ask for a glass water.

The husband had their homemade fish pie with vegetables which he said was really good.  I had a taste and I agree with him.

I had the Crevettes cooked in butter, served in a salad with a side dish of chips.  I love seafood and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

And as usual, little T ordered their kiddie pizza.  We couldn’t convince her to order something else.  She did manage to eat at least half of it.

For dessert, my husband I just ordered a cappuccino each, while the little one had a dinky dessert of a brownie with ice-cream. Sorry for the lack of photos, this is why I also call my posts “A sort of review” as opposed to a “proper” one, complete with photos of the whole place, with amenities and all.  This is also why I can never be a food blogger, because I always forget to take photos.  I like to eat you see and when the food is in front of me, I forget about anything else!

Would I recommend the place?  Definitely.  Just don’t expect a large variety of food in their menu.  I think Elements restaurant have more choices in food.  But what they have at the Bayview Inn is done really well.

Is it a family friendly place?  Oh yes it is!  They have a playground where kids can have a little play while waiting for their food to be served.  There are also tables outside, so you can eat your meals when the weather is good and it’s not too cold or breezy.

Good value?  Yes, they Bayview Inn was a bit cheaper than Elements.

Service:  We had none, but that’s because we didn’t book a table and had to order from the bar. Although to be fair to them, they did come and ask if our meal was okay, so I can’t really comment much on their service.

Location?  Just like Elements, the Bayview Inn is in a lovely setting, right in front of the coast. Even though we weren’t seated by the window overlooking the coast, I can imagine that it must also be lovely to watch the sunset while eating your meal.

Would we go back?  Yes, especially if we have friends or family visiting, and because of its location.  The Bayview Inn also within walking distance of the beach, handy in the summer!

What do you think?

Does this sound like a place you’d dine in if you were visiting Cornwall?

Do share.

Dining by the Sea: Elements (A Sort of Review)

It’s lovely to have meals out once in a while, although we don’t do it often.  We prefer to cook and eat at home, which makes eating out even more special when we do.

And as mentioned on this post, we decided to have a meal out last week and since our favourite restaurant by the beach isn’t open on a Monday we chose a different restaurant which we’ve always driven by, but never manage to drop in and give it a try.

This time we thought it’s about time we did.  Elements is a Boutique Hotel and Restaurant that serves Italian Food (Yes I know, there’s nothing Italian about the name.  I wondered about that too.)  It’s located along the beautiful stretch of Widemouth Bay on the way to Bude, North Cornwall.  It has a lovely setting which is along the coast, overlooking the Atlantic ocean.  We’ve never been to that part, when we visit, we usually head for the beach and walk along the cliffs that is closest to it.

Before our dinner, we decided to go for a short walk, especially since we brought Doc along with us.  It was a lovely one, but after a while we reluctantly left the hills and headed back to the restaurant which was empty save for another family of three, who was dining there with their daughter who appeared younger than little T.

The husband always asks if they have any local beer.  I think it’s nice the way he likes to support the local brewery around Cornwall or any place we visit.

And here’s little T looking over at the menu – she decided on their kiddie pizza specials.

I opted for the lobster tail and king prawn linguine.

The husband ordered an antipasta platter

Did we enjoy it? Let the photo speak for itself.

As mentioned, it’s a lovely location and a great place to watch the sunset while you eat your dinner.

Time for little T’s favourite part of any meal – dessert.  She ordered a chocolate indulgence sundae complete with a candle.  While her dad and I had affrogato (a scoop of ice-cream, topped with a shot of espresso and liqueur) which I forgot to take a photo of, and that’s the reason folks, why I can never be a food blogger.  I’m lucky that I actually remembered to take photos of our meal, most times I gobble it up a before even remembering anything.

Imagine sitting at this table for two with you husband. wife, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend or even by yourself, watching the sunset and eating a lovely meal while sipping a glass or two of wine.

Verdict:

Food was okay. It wasn’t mouth-watering or anything unforgettable.

Service was superb.

Setting was perfect.

Very family-friendly.  In fact, it seems to be popular with families with little ones.  While eating, another family came in, this time with two small boys (younger than T).  It’s obvious that they do cater to families with young children, since there are children’s books in hand, complete with crayons you could use to keep the little ones occupied while waiting for the meals to be served.

Our bill was reasonable too.

Would we go back? Definitely!

Would we recommend it?

Yes, but don’t expect the meals to be superb.  To be fair though, we wouldn’t know what the other dishes tastes like.  But Elements is definitely worth visiting, especially for its setting and service and if you have your little ones in tow.

What’s your number one priority when choosing a restaurant to have a family-meal out?

Do share.