• Britain

    Mevagissey

    There is a small traditional fishing town in Cornwall called Mevagissey. I don’t know why but my mind meanders into its narrow steep streets that wrap themselves around tiny old cottages of cob and slate, maybe because it is a lovely sunny day here, and the waters of the Hudson are that calming shade of cerulean that makes you think of all things sprightly. In Mevagissey, Adi and I met a pasty lover. An English Cocker Spaniel who after bathing in the waters on a bright spring day filled with sunshine had pattered in with a pasty in his mouth, looking quite so solemn. He brought humour to that musty…

  • Britain

    Chasing Pasties and Pubs in Looe

    During an Easter break in 2015, we arrived at a Victorian cottage called Sunnybank, positioned high above the village of Looe, upon a hilly road. It was in the late hours of  night when we reached it and yet we were stumped by the quaint prettiness of the village strung together by festive fairy lights, the sound of the sea in the backdrop crashing against the rocks and emphasising upon the solitude of our cottage. In the morning, we found the windows of the living room opening out to views of the sea one side, and on the other, rows of cottages clinging to the sides of cliffs in a higgledy-piggledy…

  • Britain

    To Daphne's Fowey

    The Cornish landscape in my mind is branded with swashbuckling smugglers, hidden coves, stormy seas and vast swathes of moors, ever since I got sucked into the vortex of Daphne du Maurier’s world. How tales of smuggling fill the imagination with romantic connotations. Time has a habit of standing still in England’s south western county of Cornwall. The towns and villages retain a vibe of simplicity. This is how it must have been in the old days, you think, as you hear stories of fishing and smuggling that go hand in hand with the narrow, cobbled lanes of these hilly outposts of the Cornish southeast quarter. Yet the picture was…

  • Britain

    Barmy Basset Hounds & Martins of Port Isaac

    The thing with eating your ice cream on the sly is that you gotta pay for it later when your wife goes into an artisan fudge confectionery and arms herself with a sizeable waffle cone. Topped up by gigantic dollops studded with moreish caramel bits. We had reached the village of Port Isaac (an easy drive from Padstow, Boscastle or Tintagel in Cornwall) when I needed to use the loo at the carpark facing the sea, the water guzzling cow that I am. FYI Cows can drink up to and over 90 litres of water on hot days. I came out of the loo and why there stood my husband quietly tucking into a mint chocolate chip ice…

  • Britain

    Elvis Legs: Boscastle to Tintagel

    The path of less resistance can lead to Elvis Legs. This is how. My husband was never much of a one for walking-hiking holidays (even though he used to love climbing mountains as a teenager). His idea of holidays were more in the realm of lazing and packing in the good grub. But then I happened to him. The day that took place he had  signed himself up for legs that would shake like The King’s. A shout-out to Bruce who introduced me to the term. Getting back to Adi, he is a hiking convert, and boy he gets attached to things in a pretty solid way. For instance, when he had change to…

  • Britain

    Hardy's Boscastle

    “I found her out there On a slope few see, That falls westwardly To the salt-edged air, Where the ocean breaks On the purple strand, And the hurricane shakes The solid land.” Looking at those mesmerising opal-sapphire hued waters, just like the view that glistened in the midday sun below me, Thomas Hardy would have contemplated upon his chance meeting with the love of his life in the village of Boscastle. Dramatic environs such as these must surely serve as an elixir to seal in young love. Hardy, if you are not acquainted with the man, wrote Tess of the D’urbervilles and challenged the traditional notions of morality in Victorian England. I have always wondered…

  • Britain

    Ed Has a Little Bottle-Fed Lamb

    If you have been dreaming of Bruges, a guest post by a fellow blogger, dream on, and then may I bring you back to the Cornish climes? This post is about Meg, a border collie, her master Ed, a farmer, and new-born lambs. Now The Byre is an atmospheric barn conversion in Lostwithiel, Cornwall (you can book it through Cornish Cottage Holidays). We had a fantastic bargain. For 8 nights we paid up £385 and Ed threw in a free night. Now no one in all our years of renting cottages in the countryside has been ever so kind as Ed. A free night! Egad. We had one more day of exploring…

  • Britain

    Portloe

    Atop the cliffs of the Roseland Peninsula, I sit on the ledge with the wind in my hair and  the Celtic Sea below me. Had I taken a few hefty steps back in time to let’s say the mid 1800s, I would have peered and spied upon smugglers at work. And wondered if I might claim a share of their loot of French brandy. That is the kind of contraband these smugglers – who doubled up as fishermen –  stored in the cellars of their farmhouses in the village of Portloe. The scene was serious here on the Roseland Peninsula so much so that Customs had to maintain a strict watch here. I…

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    Giants and Saints of St. Michael's Mount

    On an April noon when an army of clouds invaded the blue sky and cast a black and silver sheen upon the landscape, we arrived in Marazion. Captivated by its name the first time I visited it about four years ago, I fell in love with the ancient market town. You will see why, by and by. Before I gather steam, here’s a brief note. If you are in Mousehole, Marazion is just a few miles away. Marazion has a ringside view of a fairy-tale island that juts out of the Celtic Sea – St. Michael’s Mount (the silhouetted rocky outcrop you see above). The tidal island is a sister counterpart of St. Mont Michel in…

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    Sea, Salts and Sail in Mousehole

    In the fishing village of Mousehole in West Cornwall which falls understandably within the Cornish area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) zone, a maritime festival takes place every two years from which I have culled the title for this post. A photographer called Paul Massey (poor thing shares his name with an English criminal gunned down in 2015) describes it as an incomparable experience. He notes: ‘To watch as the harbour slowly fills with wooden boats is almost akin to time travel. It reminds me of the old sepia postcards showing the Mousehole fleet of fishing luggers lying abreast, hauling canvas and pulling on cordage. The sights, sounds, and smells all…