Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Grand Tour - Cornwall part 2

Well after our drenching the previous day, Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and turned out to be the hottest day of the week! Typical as our next call was to the Eden project. Our companions had been here before but were so amazed at how the whole of the former quarry had now been developed that the trip was as enjoyable for them as us.

We started , as you do, with a coffee and cream scone in the delightful dining area. Outside there were individual tables but inside it was set up a bit like a school refectory and the food on offer was a real treat. Often these places are very pricey for what is usually mediocre food, but not here.

Duly refreshed we tackled the tropical zone first. What an amazing array of plants and we were lucky to find most of them in flower.

The heat was quite overpowering so the gushing water was a welcome relief offering a little cooling spray as you passed. Obviously some people find it all too much and they provide a cool room half way round for you to take a breather.

The outside areas are devoted to more familiar plants and part is set out as an allotment with its own quaint potting shed.


All together it was a very interesting experience,

Our next port of call was the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Now I am not sure if we perhaps visited it at the wrong time, many if the larger shrubs were just going over, but though I love gardens and the weather made the tour round very pleasant, I wasn't as bowled over by them as I thought I would be.
Don't get me wrong they were very pleasant to visit but not as spectacular as I had imagined from all the publicity they receive.

I loved the jungle walk and the kitchen gardens, but I think I preferred the gardens at Lanhydroch over all.

On our return to base we called at Fowey. I had often seen glimpses of it on these house hunting programmes and the reality this time certainly matched my image.

It is stunning. However you do need calves like a weightlifters to manage the hill down into the town (and back up again). The small selection of boutiques and shops is a delight and the harbour and estuary with all the boats is picture perfect. My photos don't do it justice at all.

We finished our little break with a trip to Truro, and a bit of retail therapy, which was all for our grandchildren and not us at all!. Truro is a lovely city.

The cathedral is beautiful and there are some lovely buildings. It boasts a fair sample of decent shops and was very pleasant despite the fact that by now the weather had reverted to our good old British norm: grey skies and drizzle!

However our spirits were definitely not dampened and we were all happy to slip back a little into childhood as we treated ourselves to a trip on the Launceston steam railway. Not a long journey by any means but a pleasure for all that.

 We did visit one other place while we were here and I am sure there will be many who recognise it instantly

Port Isaac... a shame we didn't actually meet Doc Martin, but we did visit the school, which is a cafe and bar and enjoy a cold drink talking to the barmaid about the experience of having the film crew there.
And I have to say she was very complementary!

Well that was it. We were so sad to have to pack our cases and return home, but once there with the kettle on it wasn't so bad and we have next years holiday to start planning now......although of course I have to tell you about our trip 4 weeks later to Northumberland again and Hadrian's don't go too far....

Jenny xx

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Grand Tour........Cornwall

Well I do hope you are in for the long haul, 'cos these next couple of posts are a bit picture heavy and wordy!
I have been very fortunate over the last few years to visit some beautiful parts of our British Isles, but I had never been to Cornwall until about a month ago. I can't believe that it is already 4 weeks since we came home the time has simply flown by.
We stayed in a lovely barn conversion in St Tudy just outside Wadebridge, a pretty market town on the river Camel.

Imagine living in one of those apartments, what a stunning view over the river and a public park on this bank! Of course the glorious sunshine really showed it to its full advantage.

Our first full day was taken up with no less than four car boot sales, again in glorious sunshine. (Take a look at my previous post for pictures of some of our finds.) The last one which was an afternoon start was at Lanhydroch. As we were leaving we saw the signs to the Lanhydroch House, which is part of the National Trust and so we thought we would check it out. We were so glad we did as it turned out to be a stunning house and gardens, with a lovely tea room and off road cycle tracks. You can even hire bikes there.

The house was previously a private residence of the Agar-Robartes family, and despite a devastating  fire in 1881the house was restored and used as a family home until the families decline during the First World War when several members of the family including the heir to the estate were killed.The house passed into the hands of the National Trust in 1953.

Love the way that some of the history is painted onto objects or embroidered as on this tea towel!

The following day was a little  more overcast as we made our way to Boscastle...Such a picture postcard village, it is hard to believe the devastation caused by those floods 10 years ago!

We called into one of the local shops and was shown where the water level came to ....above the doors. Even though we have all seen the film dozens of times it is very hard to imagine what those few minutes must have been like.......

Then next we were off again and this time to Tintagel the legendary birth place of King Arthur. At this point I feel I should point out that although we may not have clocked up miles of walking on this holiday we certainly made up for it in the amount of climbing we did!

The views certainly made the effort worth while though I sometimes question peoples intelligence when you see families with young children wearing flip flops and elderly people with crutches, in high heeled boots climbing something like this!!!!

 On the Tuesday we had decided to cycle the Camel trail to Padstow a round trip of about 11 miles. So we duly arrived at the cycle hire shop to be told we could have any bike there as they didn't think there would be a rush as the weather forecast was so rubbish that day. It looked fine at the time and we all agreed, 'What's a bit of rain, it won't hurt us', and duly paid up and mounted our bikes.

Famous last words..... about 5 minutes in the heavens opened, a complete cloudburst. We got soaked right through to our underwear despite the fact that our coats were supposed to be waterproof. Well our intention had been to cycle to sorry Padstow, have fish and chips near the harbour and a wander round and then cycle home. For some reason we rather changed our plans, cycled there, turned straight round and cycled back, went home, showered and changed and then drove to Padstow by which time of course the sun had come out and it was a glorious afternoon.

 Do you recognise this shop.... the subject of 'The Fixer' Alex Polizzi. Loved that series, wonder if it is still doing well!

So that's part one of 'The Grand Tour'. Hope I haven't bored you rigid, but must say I am in need of a drink now. In part two we visit Eden and Heligan and even manage a trip on a steam train.

Bye for now, have a good week where ever you are,

Jenny xx

Monday, 2 June 2014

Cornish booty.....

Well I've had my photos from our hols put on discs to save space on my computer and haven't managed to sort through them all yet, so thought I would just show some of the bits and pieces I picked up at car boots and CS while we were there. Yes I know, aren't we sad, travelling over 300 miles to root about in other peoples rubbish!
I have to say we were amazed at how many CS there were. Every small town seemed to have 3 or 4 and they were the tidiest and best arranged shops I have been in anywhere.
Not a huge haul by any means as we were a bit restricted for space in the car with four suitcases, walking boots etc. but some nice bits all the same.......
Yet another Noddy, this time for my grandson to tempt him away from my much older ones!

Orange beads to add to my stash....have you ever tried to find yellow or navy big beads, it's as if they have all been spirited away. I look at every car boot and CS and I have only ever found one mustard yellow necklace which I wear all the time. I would love to make a bracelet and perhaps another necklace but just can't find the beads!

Another piece of Masons to display on my dresser

This little fella actually came from an Antique and bric a brac shop, isn't he so kitsch? Only cost a couple of pounds but I really love him. Not a true Cornish piskie, but he will be a lovely reminder of a fabulous holiday.

Another cute deer to add to Olive and Edna......

We have decided to move from Facebook to our own website, and are currently setting it up. We are also hoping to do a pop up shop in the next couple of months in a gorgeous local tea room if we can get it arranged. So if you are near to Lincolnshire, keep popping back for further updates.

While I am talking of this I am also looking for broken bits of vintage and modern jewellery to recycle. Odd earrings, pendants chains etc. so if anyone is having a clear out and wants to send them to a good home I will gladly accept them and try to use as many of them as possible in collage pieces.

I also found this.....

I believe it's barkcloth, though I realise it's the cotton equivalent of the original stuff. I am thinking of cushion covers and maybe small vintage style bags, but have not decided yet. The pretty pink flowered is two very narrow curtains and the more autumnal one is one large curtain. Plenty of fabric to play with. Is there anything I should know about laundering this? It is the first time I will have used it and I don't want to spoil it before I begin!
As I said not a great haul but some nice pieces.

I have also picked up a few bits locally since we returned home....

A really pretty pink bead necklace which I couldn't bear to break up, so have gifted it to a friend with a penchant for all things pink....

The most exquisite seed pearl brooch, which I believe to be from around the 30s or earlier as it has the old 'C' clasp. Again this is a keeper and I know I will love wearing it.

And finally this rhinestone button. Not sure if it has any age to it but it is so pretty and will add a bit of bling to one of my new necklaces.

Well that's about it for now, hope you are still awake, it turned out to be a bit of a marathon! Off to wind down with my latest Anne Cleeves book in the Vera Stanhope detective series. The stories are quite gripping and I am enjoying reading again, which I have not done for a little while.

Have a good week
                                                                            Jenny xx