Things to do in St.Ives

While my friends jetted off in the school holidays to exciting international destinations my family drove to Cornwall, it seemed like an unfair substitution. Now, years later, I can truly appreciate this amazing county, and particularly take advantage of its close proximity to London. Serene sunny beaches, stunning sights, charming pubs, long countryside walks and a carefree lifestyle, Cornwall is a blissful destination for a refreshing minibreak. A few weeks ago I visited the coastal town of Penzance to see family and took a day trip to St Ives. This idyllic seaside town offers unspoilt beaches, a thriving art scene, quaint cafes and craft shops, here is an insight into my favourite things to do in this charming Cornish destination.

Porthgwidden Beach – the number one attraction in St Ives, this lovely small beach is a sheltered stretch of land with crystal clear sea and the occasional seal sighting in the bay.

Cream tea at Olive’s – Tucked away in the backstreets of St Ives this tiny neighbourhood café is often named the best cream tea in St Ives. For less than £5 you can indulge in a huge fresh crumbly scone with a generous helping of homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream and a pot of tea.

Burger from Blas Burgerworks – these gourmet burgers are made from fresh local ingredients and are addictively tasty. The naturally reared, free range meat are cooked to perfection on the charcoal grill and are accompanied with toppings of your choice. Definitely the best burger I’ve ever tasted in Cornwall.

Tate St Ives for art – An architecturally spectacular modern gallery with sea views and local and international artworks. Located nearby to Porthmeor Beach.

Pasty at Pasty Presto – we couldn’t resist trying the World’s best Cornish pasty. This bakery was recently awarded the highest accolade for its traditional beef and vegetable pasty, flaky rich pastry filled with a tender delicious seasoned filling.

Little Jems Jewellery for vintage jewels – this small shop stocks beautiful one-off antique pieces of jewellery at reasonable prices.

Ice-cream at Moomaid – At the end of a day in St Ives nothing is better than a luxury Cornish Ice Cream from Moomaid. This creamy rich ice-cream made on the Farm at Tremedda Zennor and comes in a variety of indulgent flavours.

More information on St Ives here.

***My new travel book, CORNWALL by Weekend Journals is available to order here. Use the code TMM10 to get 10% off.***

Matisse Cut-Outs, Tate Modern

It is difficult to dislike the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition. This expressive and colourful display of creativity and passion is currently livening up the white walls of Tate Modern.

This show features work from the final chapter of Matisse’s life. When the artist began to get ill in the 1940s, he became unable to paint and so swapped his brush for scissors initiating a new medium of paper cut-outs. After undergoing a crucial and risky operation in 1941, he felt he had been given another chance and a second life, explaining perhaps why his final works are so celebratory and liberated. He depicts subjects of wonder and fascination on both a small and huge scale.Although flat, the energetic shapes and patterns seem to create a magical depth and as you look longer the compositions appear more complex and the patterns become more intriguing.

I have always loved the work of Matisse, reminding me of long summers in the South of France, where I often saw his paintings in Nice or Vence. The collages are something I discovered later, but love equally, simple works but with an amazing ability to capture the imagination.

Every piece in this Tate Modern show exudes happiness… dancing figures and exotic creatures, beautiful shapes and joyful colours. We witness the artist’s studio layout, the decorative Oceania paper scene that covered the walls. The blue nudes are simple and classic, studies of the female form that work in tandem with Matisse’s earlier sculpted nudes, similar in pose and mood. The psychedelic Jazz prints are loud and humorous, depicting scenes from the circus and theatre.

Amazingly as Matisse grew older and his mobility became more limited, his technique seems to loosen and broaden… his final works show a surge in energy with a greater sense of movement and power. Bigger works such as the Snail are emotive and triumphant, he describes it as ‘abstraction rooted in reality’. The roughly torn pieces of paper are arranged in a playful spiral, the giant masterpiece manages to evoke a tiny creature.

Even now the shapes, shades and patterns remain imprinted on my memory. This is a cheerful and life-affirming collection of works, offering a colourful glimpse into the mind of Matisse.

Continues until 7th September 2014, book here.