Sunday, 10 July 2016

ST.IVES, CORNWALL

I've been visiting Cornwall with my family and friends for as long as I can remember, so it has a fond place in my heart! Over the years I have built up a number of favourite places that I always return to, as well as a few new discoveries from my most recent trip...

Having just come back from a lovely week of holidaying with the fam in the quaint little fishing town of St. Ives, I thought I would put together a little list of my go-to spots and things to do in this cute little corner of the UK!

Keep on reading for lists of my absolute must-sees which I highly recommend if you every find yourself in the area...
TOP 5 PLACES TO EAT IN ST. IVES

- PORTHMEOR BEACH CAFE - Best for fresh smoothies and a Cornish take on tapas - 
I love this place for its gorgeous view of this busy surfer beach, and its great variety of food. They offer a delish range of healthy juices and smoothies, and an array of yummy tapas style dishes, as well as a very tempting cake cabinet!!

- PORTHGWIDDEN BEACH CAFE - Best for a sheltered lunch stop with a view- 
Tucked away overlooking Porthgwidden Beach, this place is a bit of a hidden gem, with gorgeous panoramic views from their huge window. It's pretty relaxed here, a really calm and friendly vibe, with great service, and doggies are welcome on the terrace too!

SCOFF TROFF CAFE - Best for a quirky lunch pit-stop with something for everyone - 
This place has a quirky, industrial vibe, with bright metal chairs and re-used palettes for table tops. The menu is so extensive, you are bound to find something you like! They do good coffee and there re are some great vegan/vegetarian options too, I opted for a chickpea falafel, filling and delissh!

- SEAFOOD CAFE - Best for fresh seafood and a great fish and chips !
Situated right in the heart of the cobbled, winding side streets of St. Ives, this place serves lovely, fresh food, with Seafood top of the agenda. It's nothing too fancy, just great, top quality ingredients, and they do a top-notch beer-battered fish and chips!

THE ALBA RESTAURANT - Best for a proper evening out - 
Located in the heart of harbour, the top floor of this place is a lovely restaurant with beaut sea views, and excellent quality food, perfect for a special occasion or a proper sit-down evening meal to round off the holiday!

SWEET TREATS

-RAW CHOCOLATE PIE -
 When in Cornwall it would be rude not to sample the local delicacies, and it is renowned for its fudge...! Whilst I used to be an absolute fudge fiend, these days I really enjoy trying healthier alternatives so I was over the moon to discover this place! Their delishhh raw/vegan fudge and choccies are perfect for a guilt-free sugar fix, and they even do a divineee coconut-cream ice cream with gluten-free cone! They incorporate superfood ingredients such as lucuma and goji berries into their bars, with bases of coconut oil, cacao and nut flours - this place was a holiday highlight ;)

-MOOMAID OF ZENNOR-
 Offer a great range of ice cream and sorbets, including a yummmmyyy vegan dark choc sorbet mmmmm!

- I SHOULD COCO -
An independent chocolate shop, where they hand-make their choc on site! Great selection of fun chocolate slabs, and a patisserie style counter with a selection of different truffles for when you really want to treat yaself!
THINGS TO DO

ART & MUSEUMS
St. Ives is an artist's hub thanks to its gorgeous natural light and stunning views, and it is also home to one of the Tate Museums! For such a small seaside town, it's a great feat that it hosts such an impressive gallery, so I would def recommend a trip to explore the modern art offerings here! It is currently under renovation, so I am excited to see it unveiled next Summer when it reopens. St. Ives is also home to the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden - this place pays tribute to this talented sculptor with a fascinating insight into her life and works. The pieces are displayed beautifully in a soothing oasis of a garden, perfect to wander around on a sunny Summer's day.

TRIP TO CARBIS BAY
Walking along the beautiful coastline to the nearby beach of Carbis Bay gives you a great alternative view of St. Ives. If you are feeling super lazy you can even whizz across on a 2min train ride! Carbis Bay has to be one of my favourite and in my opinion most beautiful beaches in the UK! The sea is such a stunning shade of turquoise you will forget you are in England at all! They have a lovely spot called The Sands Cafe, perfect for a meal or drinks right on the beach with gorgeous nautical themed decor and dreamy aquatic views!

EXPLORE THE STREETS
Wandering around the cute little cobbled streets, you will discover beaut harbour views, unique independent shops and inspiring galleries. I love looking at all the seaside themed paintings and modern sculptures in the numerous art shops! On this trip I also discovered Sweet Lime Studio, a gorgeous little lifestyle and accessories shop with an array of bohemian inspired goods! For an on-the-go refuel, grab a pasty from a local bakery, or pick up an ice-cream and enjoy in the harbour! (Just beware of the seagulls!)

OTHER MUST SEE SPOTS IN CORNWALL

A bit further afield, but I would highly recommend paying these spots a visit if you get the chance:
- THE MINACK THEATRE 
- ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNTS, MARAZION 
- MOUSEHOLE
- PORT ISAAC 

TOP TIPS
BEWARE OF THE SEAGULLS More a warning than a tip, but be super careful when walking around the harbour with food, shield it from them if possible and look out for more secluded spots as they will attack! Seagulls love ice creams and pasties as much as we do...!

PACK FOR ALL WEATHER - British weather is infamously unreliable and this little corner of the UK is no different! We had a mixture of rain and shine, so I was glad to have both my sunnies and brolly with me...!

DO YOUR RESEARCH - As with any touristy spot, the quality of eateries and shops can vary hugely. I discover new faves every year, and always do plenty of research to find those elusive hidden gems! Hopefully my tips will help you find some of the best spots that St. Ives has to offer!

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