Things to do
By Olga Polizzi
There are wonderful things to see. I love The Lizard peninsula, because it’s so mysterious and slightly spooky. St Ives is full of good art galleries: I visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden (tate.org.uk) time and again. Newlyn Art Gallery (newlynartgallery.co.uk) shows young Cornish artists, and Truro has Lemon Street Gallery (lemonstreetgallery.co.uk), which sells contemporary art.
There are great places to eat, too. The Hidden Hut (hiddenhut.co.uk) on Porthcurnick Beach throws pop-up feast nights and if you don’t book tickets in the first half hour they’re on sale, you miss out. Of course there’s also Rick Stein (rickstein.com) in Falmouth. We like to take the ferry across to have dinner there. I took an Italian architect friend to St Ives recently. The plan was to walk across the beach to Porthminster Cafe (porthminstercafe.co.uk). However, the tide had just gone out and I hadn’t realised how soggy it would be. By the time we arrived, his nice Gucci loafers were ruined, but the lovely people at the cafe poured us each a cold glass of white wine and we sat outside eating mackerel. It really was as good as anything you could think of.
Around the hotel
St Mawes offers a haven of both tranquility and activity, depending on your mood. Naturally, we don’t want to exhaust you while you’re on holiday, but there are plenty of pursuits at the hotel and around the bay to enjoy. Just ask our front desk team to help make arrangements for you.
Check out Charlie Polizzi’s wondrous jewellery and luxurious but wearable collection of ladies clothes.
Victory Steps, St Mawes
The best walks are along the coastal paths. There is a delightful three-mile stroll past St Mawes castle, built by Henry VIII in 1542 and through the fields beside the sea to the 14th Century church of St. Just-in-Roseland, which John Betjeman called ‘the most beautiful churchyard on earth’. A regular ferry during the summer months will take you to the other side of the harbour where there are longer walks past the lighthouse, to Porthscatho and beyond.
From May to the end of September, our skipper will take you sailing around Falmouth bay.
Take the ferry to Falmouth
The 20 minute journey takes you across Falmouth Bay past two castles. When you disembark at the Prince of Wales Pier we recommend you turn right and explore High Street. The cluster of little shops, bakeries and cafes are delightful.
Explore Penwith which inspired many of the artists who lived and painted in St Ives. Zennor, Cape Cornwall, Sennen Cove and the moors in between St Ives and Penzance are all a must.
Visit the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, The Leach Pottery, The newly extended Tate St Ives and our favourite the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. For lunch we recommend The Gurnard’s Head.
Truth or Legend?
According to The History of the Kings of Britain, Tintagel Castle is the birthplace of King Arthur. Merlin is said to have lived in the caves below. Truth or legend, this quest will take you to some of the most dramatic coastline in North Cornwall.
Follow Philip Marsden’s voyage through time and place, from the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions of Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay country to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west.
Eating & Drinking
Aside from a constellation of Michelin starred chefs there are also surprises like The Hidden Hut on Porthcurnick beach making quite a name for itself.