St Ives

Tidal pool, Greg Martin

How to get your Vitamin Sea boost – all year round!

11Oct
Wave at Carbis Bay Beach

Mineral Rich Sea, Carbis Bay Beach

Get your Vitamin Sea boost – all year round!

Did you know that sea swimming is highly beneficial to both body and mind?

Mineral rich sea water can help your immune system and boosts the respiratory system.

Being in, on or under the water calms the mind, helps with anxiety and depression and releases endorphins that have significant therapeutic benefits. It is also great fun! 

There are some very special places to swim in Cornwall.  It is possible to swim all year round if you know the right spots.  Here’s our round up of the best beaches, and some very magical pools to take the plunge!

 

Porthcurno beach, Adam Gibbard

Porthcurno Beach, Adam Gibbard

Seek out the best beaches

Whether you jump in off the harbour wall or sprint in from the sands, there is nothing like a refreshing sea swim.  In and around St Ives we recommend Porthminster (5 minutes walk down the coast path from Chy an Carrack and the base for the St Ives Boxing Day Swim!), St Ives Harbour and Carbis Bay as the most sheltered beaches, and Porthmeor for waves and surfing fun.

Picture perfect swim spots with golden sands and stunning scenery that are making a big splash on Instagram these days include Porthcurno Beach (west of Penzance) and Kynance Cove (on the Lizard).

Whatever the time of year, most of us will prefer a wetsuit if going all in. More hardy types need nothing more than their swimsuit (or maybe birthday suit) and a sense of adventure.

Just make sure you heed the safety flags and sea condition warnings. Swim where the lifeguards can keep an eye on you!

 

Pullandase Pool - Greg Martin

Pullandase Pool, Greg Martin

Take a dip in a secret tidal pool

There are magical tidal rock pools tucked away in secret spots around the dramatic coastline of West Cornwall.  Pools such as Boat Cove at Pendeen in the far West, and Pullandase at Porth Ledden are really worth a visit.

Many were created by miners for their children to swim safely. When warmed by the sun they are great for a quick dip, besides being a safe space when the waves are crashing.  Learn more about these special pools in this fantastic article by Greg Martin.

 

Jubilee Pool Rhi-annes

Jubilee Pool, Rhi-annes

Swim in style!

For a more stylish sea water swimming experience, you can‘t beat the Art Deco Jubilee Pool on Penzance Promenade. A sheltered sun trap, recent investment has upgraded the pool and facilties. From Spring 2020 geothermal technology will help heat a hot spa pool to a balmy 35 degrees.

Cornwall, being a mining county, is also dotted with freshwater quarry pools and lakes.  Kernow Adventure at Kessel Quarry, Penryn is one of the best with open water swimming, wakeboarding and inflatable obstacle courses to challenge all the family.

Wherever you take the plunge you are certainly going to feel the benefit!

To stay at Chy an Carrack and get your Vitamin Sea – check out our availability and book online!

Porthminster Gallery Nick Pumphrey

Art in St Ives

01Feb

A quick look at the art movement that made St Ives famous throughout the world, and a round up of upcoming exhibitions to catch in the town.

Alfred Wallis at Chy an Carrack

Alfred Wallis at Chy an Carrack

During and after the second world war, and for a quarter of a century, St Ives became a hub for an internationally successful collective of modern artists, initially including Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Winifred and Ben Nicholson, Wilhemina Barns-Graham, Margaret Mellis and John Wells, amongst others.

Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood were particularly inspired by the primitive paintings of retired St Ives seaman Alfred Wallis.

This movement, boosted by talented and forward thinking Cornish artists such as Peter Lanyon, and young abstract artists such as Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter, congregated in and around the small harbour town and created an inspirational body of work that influenced other great modern artists including Rothko (who visited Cornwall in the 50s) and reached all corners of the globe.

Tate St Ives Award Winning Extension (Pic - Hufton+Crow)

Tate St Ives Award Winning Extension – Hufton+Crow

In 1980, Tate took over the running of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gallery, and by the mid 80s plans were afoot to bring a Tate gallery to St Ives, to show works from the Tate collection of artists who had lived or worked in St Ives.

Opened in 1993, Tate St Ives, with a large, award winning extension completed in 2018, houses a permanent collection showing the St Ives School, and a feature gallery with changing exhibitions.

This year, with an exciting internationally flavoured programme, Tate St Ives hosts a first UK retrospective of Egyptian-Canadian artist Anna Boghiguan (8/2-6/5/19); Lebanese artist Huguette Caland has her first UK museum solo exhibition (18/5-1/9/19) and Nigerian-born contemporary artist Otobong Nkanga will install new and existing works (20/9/19-5/1/20).

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gallery – her St Ives home, workshop and garden, from 1949 til her death there in 1975 – has a permanent exhibition of her sculptures in her living room and garden, and the preserved sculpture workshop.  This can be visited on a joint ticket with Tate St Ives and is highly recommended as a must-see.  See if you can also spot her sculptures around the town.

Chy an Carrack perched above the beach - viewed through a Hepworth sculpture

Chy an Carrack perched above the beach – viewed through a Hepworth sculpture

The fantastic value Art Pass (£18/£14 concessions, available from all participating venues) will give you a week’s access to Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum, as well as:
the Leach Pottery, St Ives, founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, among the most respected and influential potteries in the world.
Penlee House Gallery and Museum – which shows Luminaires: Victorian Photographers in West Cornwall until 16/3/19, followed by Artists, by themselves – portraits of the Newlyn School and Lamorna Group including works by Stanhope Forbes, Fred Hall, Dame Laura Knight, Dod Procter and Richard Weatherby,
Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange – shows a lively programme through 2019 of contemporary work in all media, from national and international artists.

It’s worth dipping into members’ exhibitions at the Penwith Gallery, home of the Penwith Society of Arts, and the St Ives Society of Artists, which was founded in 1927.

Simon Williams Shape Shifters Porthminster Gallery

Simon Williams – Shape Shifters, Porthminster Gallery – New Beginnings

This rich artistic heritage also gives a great selection of commercial galleries and our top picks to appreciate and browse include:
Porthminster Gallery (feature image – Nick Pumphrey/Visit St Ives) – in an old pilchard-press building, this fascinating gallery features original works by established St Ives School artists, as well as up and coming and St Ives based contemporary artists, sculptors and ceramicists.  They open 2019 with their annual New Beginnings exhibition (until 23/3/19) of artworks by artists new to the gallery including Porthmeor Studios based Simon Williams.
Anima Mundi – at the cutting edge of contemporary art and this year featuring provocative Cornish artist Samuel Bassett (13/4-18/5/19).
– the Belgrave – hosts regular exhibitions of work by major artists associated with the St Ives Modern Period and kicks off 2019 with St Ives artist Bryan Pearce (4-25/3/19).
– the New Craftsman – focuses on craft makers, ceramicists and reputable artists including Rose Hilton, Matthew Lanyon, John Miller, this year’s highlights include Emma Jeffryes and Michael Praed.

Further afield, our top recommendation would be a visit to Kurt Jackson’s Foundation Gallery, in St Just.  This year’s exhibitions start with a retrospective of the late Peter Jackson, who was taught by William Scott, Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost (13/4-18/5/19).

Immerse yourself in art with a special short break Art Lovers package at Chy an Carrack, with a luxury welcome gift bag including free Art in Cornwall book, suggested weekend itinerary and helpful hints for the best art venues to visit in and around St Ives – see Special Offers for more details.

Awards flying in for St Ives

17Jul

Awards are just flying in for St Ives this year!

Tate St Ives has won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 award, following its £20m extension to the iconic building that sits above Porthmeor Beach.  Its a fantastic re-imagining of the striking seaside gallery, providing much more space for both a permanent collection and contemporary exhibitions.  The current Patrick Heron retrospective is vibrant, colourful and full of the joys of summer.  Read more about the museum award here.  The building extension also received both a 2018 RIBA South West and National Award in recognition of the outstanding architecture.

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives and Carbis Bay, St Ives have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag again this year.  The Blue Flag is the international standard for the best beaches in the world only achieved with the highest water quality, safety, cleanliness and environmental standards.  Porthminster Beach, Porthmeor Beach and Carbis Bay also all received the Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award.

Marvellous May

22May

May is the month when you really start to feel summer in on its way, days lengthen, the sun shines and you can feel the warm sand beneath your toes.

There is plenty to do in St Ives – here’s our guide to making the most of May!

With the warm weather its the perfect time to get into the water – try stand up paddle boarding from the gentle beaches of Porthminster below the house or Carbis Bay just along the coast path.  Surfers can head to Gwithian across the bay or Porthmeor, St Ives. Both have excellent surf schools so if you have never surfed or SUP’d before why not book a lesson?

Patrick Heron – Azalea Garden: May 1956 – Tate
© The estate of Patrick Heron

Tate St Ives launches its main summer exhibition in May (til 30 Sept ’18) and this year the Patrick Heron retrospective brings a life-affirming splash of colour and energy.  The internationally renowned post-war artist was based on the wilder side of St Ives, near Zennor, surrounded by dramatic landscapes and perched overlooking the sea.

Over 300 working artists open their studios to all from 19-28 May 18 in Open Studios Cornwall.  There are many based in and around St Ives and it is a great chance to meet contemporary artists and learn about their skill, book into a workshop or pick up something special.

St Ives Food and Drink Festival (11-13 May 18) – set on the golden sands of Porthminster Beach – just below Chy an Carrack, you can pop down for local and fusion food, chef demos and sample some cracking Cornish beer and spirits.  Our favourites this year were Tarquins Gin Bar and the fish burgers!  Local boy Tom Brown, previously head chef at Outlaws at The Capital, who has just opened his own new London venture Cornerstone, did a great demo scallop dish.

If you want to make the most of the light evenings and the best local seafood – why not have a beach barbecue?  Mackerel fillet burgers are highly recommended as a quick and easy supper, that taste even better on the beach. Just add ciabatta, crisp lettuce, tomato slices, spring onion and a parsley, tarragon and Dijon mayonnaise to raise them to a sublime seaside feast, whilst the sun sets over the waves.

 

 

 

St Ives Food and Drink Festival - credit Lizzie Churchill

St Ives Food and Drink Festival Will Tempt Your Tastebuds

03May

Its fast becoming one of Cornwall’s culinary highlights – the St Ives Food and Drink Festival – and this year looks to be a winner!  Set on the glorious sands of Porthminster Beach on 13 & 14 May 2017, we can guarantee you will catch the mouthwatering aromas from Chy an Carrack’s front door!

Fresh Lobster - credit Matt Jessop Visit Cornwall

Fresh Lobster – pic Matt Jessop Visit Cornwall

Featuring demonstrations from the best Cornwall based chefs including well known names Nathan Outlaw, Jack Stein, Ben Prior and Mitch Tonks, celebrity chefs such as Frances Quinn (Bake Off winner) and Jane Devonshire (Masterchef winner) plus guest chefs from the area’s top restaurants including the Porthminster Beach Café, the Alba, and Rick Stein Restaurants there will be skills and brilliant food abounding.

Some of the regions best food and drink producers will be at The Market to display the fantastic array of produce and beverages this county has to offer – be ready to take home a good haul!

To get a flavour of the festival why not check out this tasty Cornish lobster recipe from the Porthminster Beach Café cookbook – Cornish Lobster with Vanilla Mayonnaise & Citrus Salad.

Plus there are street food stalls, kids activities, music, a food trail through the town and much more.  Not to be missed!

Find out more here.  Check our online calendar for availability and prices for the weekend.