September in St Ives
The promised Indian summer has at last made an appearance and I am delighted to have an afternoon out of the office in St Ives.
I think a lot of people who live in Cornwall have a bit of love /hate relationship with this coastal hot spot. I must say most of the time I love it, but I do tend to visit out of season when it is a bit quieter. However I do have an immediate win with a parking space right by the harbour although I nearly squash a few tourists getting to it. I wouldn’t normally dream of trying to drive in – the best option is to park and ride from Lelant on the branch line which hugs the coast and gives you a birds eye view of the beaches and turquoise waters on the way – breath-taking every time.
It’s the end of September and the town is still buzzing with life and I really have to dodge the shoppers who are in holiday mode and are moving at a snail’s pace along Fore Street. There is no sign of an economic slowdown here unless they are all window shopping…
I am just popping in to town to visit our friendly chocolate suppliers at I Should Coco. It’s always great fun to see what creations they have on offer and they don’t disappoint with Halloween skulls and rugby world cup figures in milk, white and green (?) chocolate!
I am amazed at how many new shops, cafes and restaurants have popped up since my last visit. I know shopping is not what anyone comes to Cornwall for, we aren’t exactly known for our cutting edge couture unless you are looking for a new best wet suits! Well not only does St Ives have amazing beaches, incredible restaurants and lovely ice creams but I do actually think shopping is pretty good too. (Not that I get to Oxford Street very often to compare).
The town is home to some really interesting and unusual shops and if I am ever struggling to choose a birthday present for someone St Ives will always come up trumps. In fact it is now our mainstay for Christmas shopping too. Move over Amazon, this is much more fun and there is the option of lunch and wine mid-shop (and getting the train home of course). There are a few high street brands but nothing too mainstream; Joules, Crew, Musto, Fat Face and Seasalt all fit in with the coastal vibe. For something more individual Academy and Clotworthys offer a more eclectic mix of clothing brands including several I have never heard of which must mean they are high end!
So after a stroll down Fore Street, it’s around to the harbour where the majority of the restaurants, cafes and bars are plus an ice cream shop or two. The smart seafood menu at Alba sounds very tempting but the more relaxed atmosphere of the Porthgwidden Beach Café beckons. Sister restaurant of the upmarket Porthminster Café (which we also love), this little hideaway has a pared down menu and a location to die for. I only have time for a quick coffee stop today but I’m relieved to see that my mainstays of calamari and Caesar salad are still on the menu for my next visit, phew!
Chocolate | St Ives