Cornwall LivingIssue #90

News and views October 2019

Is this Cornwall’s  most unique attraction?

Google ‘disaster relief visitor centre,’ and you’ll be surprised to learn the only one like it in Europe, is located in the heart of Cornwall. The centre is tucked away on Charles Street in Truro – it’s interactive, thought provoking, family friendly, educational, inspiring, and it gets five star TripAdvisor reviews. So what is this place?

ShelterBox Visitor Centre tells the story of the Cornish charity, from its origins in Helston to its position today as a leading international humanitarian organisation. ShelterBox has responded to earthquakes, flooding, drought, storms and conflict all over the world, helping over 1.5 million people. The visitor centre shows how the charity responds to disasters, from what sort of aid to supply, to making sure the right aid gets to the right people, and how providing emergency shelter helps people start to rebuild their lives. It’s one of Cornwall’s hidden gems, and to top it
all off, admission is free!

For more information call 01872 302600 or visit


Welcome to Melinsey Mill

Tucked away in one of Cornwall’s hidden valleys near Truro, you will discover Melinsey Mill. This local family business is run from a restored 16th century water mill. Melinsey is a one off, a wonderfully Cornish mixture of eccentricity and charm.

According to county records there has been a mill on the site since 1210 and the mill as it stands today has been on the site since 1565.

When you walk around the pond you pass a mermaid, walk under a lampshade tree and travel through a teapot arch. After your journey you might be ready for a homemade light lunch, cake or cream tea.

If the weather should be unkind, seek refuge inside the mill or in the rustic shelters and large firehouse.

For more information call 01872 501049 or visit


Moving on to new pastures

After four years trading at Par Market and more recently at the Par Market Food Hall, owner of The Wine House Cornwall, John McCormick is moving on to a new challenge and will be working for Ellis Wharton Wines, an independent Cornish wine and spirits company based in Par.

With over 200 Cornish gins, spirits and wines and plenty more from around the world, there is going to be a great selection to choose from and John will ensure that all the most popular gins from his time in the Wine House make the move with him.

John tells us: “I would like to thank my customers for all their support over the last four years and I hope that many of you will come and find me in my new home.”

For more information visit


A Falmouth guide for parents of students

It’s that time of year again when classes are returning for their new year and new students are eagerly awaiting their first year of studies. With all the attention being focused on the children, we thought a bit of advice for the parents was in order with some dos and don’ts when visiting your offspring.

Don’t even think about staying at their place – you may have fond memories of student life or think that you’ve brought your child up to be clean and wholesome, but beware!

Do book somewhere with enough space for your child to visit. Tempting as it may be to spend your days and evenings with them in a pub or restaurant, it’s also nice to have a cosy space to retreat to for some quality family time. This makes staying in self-catered accommodation a good option, so you can fit in a home-cooked family favourite during your visit.

Lastly, don’t forget to tell them to have fun. It’s what university is all about! And luckily for Falmouth based students, they have a beautiful university town to make the most of, with beaches and coastal walks nearby as well as a great watersports centre next to the maritime museum.

If you want to find a place to stay that combines all of these elements in one beautifully luxurious package then make sure to book a room at The Oceanic Suite Hotel, perfect for a great send off for your child’s next year at uni.

For more information call 01326 389330 or visit


Delightful home furnishings in Penryn

Based in Penryn, Just Delights has a brilliant selection of products ranging from greetings cards to painted furniture, homeware, gifts and an extensive range of stationery. The boutique shop stays up to date with the latest interior design trends, providing customers with inspiration to create a stylish home. With unique items such as vintage furniture and handmade ceramics you’re sure to find that statement piece. The soft furnishings, including sofas and cushions, have a coastal feel that’s complemented by wicker baskets stocked full of blankets that will help create that perfect cosy space within your home. Here at Cornwall Living we absolutely love the beautiful ceramic face planters that will brighten any corner of your room. The shop itself is a pleasure to visit, so make sure to pop by when you’re in the area and peruse the gorgeous selection of products for yourself.

For more information call 01326 379075 or visit


An electric revolution

If you thought your cycling days were over then think again! A cycling revolution is happening at Bridge Bike Hire, on the Camel Trail, who are now one of the leading Cornish test and hire centres for electrically assisted bikes (E bikes). With 36 years’ experience of hiring bikes, Bridge Bike Hire is perfectly placed to supply a range of makes, models and drive systems, with many of the bikes sourced from local cycle shops such as Clive Mitchell and Wadebridge Cycles.

By identifying the growing popularity of E bikes at an early stage, Bridge Bike Hire not only provides a shop window for manufacturers and bike shops but also allows cyclists, who for whatever reason may need a little assistance when tackling an incline or longer ride, to enjoy the stunning, traffic-free environment of the Camel Trail.

A day’s E bike hire costs a very affordable £25 for the day and E bike packages will be available off-season and will include expert advice, guidance, lunch at the Quarryman’s Pub and coffee in Padstow, all for just £40. With Cytech trained mechanics and a pool of experienced seasonal staff, you can be assured of both excellent customer and bike service at Bridge Bike Hire. And if E bikes don’t spark your interest, their range of over 400 bikes means there’s something for everyone – including the option of buying a gift voucher to cover a day’s hire.

For more information call 01208 813050 or visit


Holiday home tips

In an ongoing series of holiday home tips, we hear from George at Cornish Traditional Cottages about some of the most desirable features in your Cornish holiday home.

Cornwall has one of the most competitive markets in the UK for holiday lets. Whilst in July and August there’s plenty of room for all of them, if you’re looking to maximise your return and attract holidaymakers outside high season it’s a different matter. Some ways to make your property more appealing are to keep your colour palette neutral to create a sense of cleanliness and space, it’s then possible to add some vibrant touches of colour through throws and cushions. Furthermore, holidaymakers appreciate flexibility in a holiday cottage so adding some practical features like a zip-link bed so that guests have the option of a double or two single beds is good idea. A large dining table and sofa beds also help provide more options for space.

For more information call 01208 893980 or visit


Meet the artist Joe Armstrong

Joe Armstrong grew up in London where he studied Art and Design at Epsom School of Art for five years. After working in advertising for a number of years in London, Joe moved to Cornwall in 1986 and had a successful 30-year career as a Graphic Designer.

Painting however was always a long-held desire for Joe and he has since digressed into painting full-time. Joe is now showing and selling work in galleries around Cornwall and has collectors and followers around the world. “I get so excited when confronted with a blank canvas on my easel. I love utilising colour to represent natural surroundings. I also love the texture of oil paint on canvas and use a palette knife and my hands to create it, this gives my work a more abstract and less precise finish and I’m glad that my paintings have a vibrant and spontaneous look and feel.” Joe tells us.

For more information call 07955 146112 or visit


Tales from an underwater world

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a charity that rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. Each season, the sanctuary rehabilitates more than 70 pups that have been rescued for various reasons, from malnourishment to being separated from their mum.

The sanctuary also provides a permanent home to animals that need special care from the expert Animal Care team. When you visit, you can experience wonderful marine animals up close and personal, and learn all about their individual stories.

Grey seals are the most common species found around the Cornish coastline, but did you know that they are incredible divers and can stay underwater for up
to 45 minutes at a time?

To learn more about the fascinating marine world and to hear the residents’ amazing rescue stories, be sure to pay the Cornish Seal Sanctuary a visit.

For more information visit


Environmentally minded flooring

As customers increasingly look for more environmentally friendly products, the team at Alfords Flooring provide advice on what to choose from their collection to meet this expectation. Alfords currently supply a carpet underlay which is made up of 85% recycled fibres such as plastic bottles and other single use products, as well as being 100% recyclable after use. Then there’s the practice of using long lasting products such as Amtico LVT, which has a 25-30 year guarantee.

For sustainable carpets, choose high quantity 80% to 100% wool from suppliers such as Axminster, Brockway and Penthouse, as it’s a kinder material than plastic for the environment. Similarly Moduleo is an eco-conscious brand, manufactured in a Belgium production plant that meets the strictest EU air and water properties. This luxury vinyl flooring is not only eco-friendly in production, but also in practice as cleaning doesn’t require harsh chemicals and it has insulating properties that help cut down on heating requirements.

For more information call 01326 564860 or visit


Showcasing the very best of Cornish art

Head to The Summerhouse Gallery in Penzance and you’ll find a beautiful, welcoming space that displays a stunning selection of Cornish art. Located only a stone’s throw from the wonderful St Michael’s Mount, the aim is to create the perfect place to discover painting, jewellery, sculpture and glass in a relaxed manner. The beauty of art is in its ability to connect. This is the ethos that sits at the core of Summerhouse, with varying artists from the established to the up and coming. Owner Jayne Elliott tells us: “We are delighted to announce that Imogen Bone is our featured artist of September and as part of the show we will be holding a meet the artist event here in the gallery. ‘Still Waters’ is a beautiful, expressive body of work that will be supported by some of the best Cornish art throughout September.”

For more information call 01736 711400 or visit


There’s loads to do this autumn at the Polurrian

Situated atop the cliffs with panoramic coastal views, the Polurrian is an incredible location for your holiday. And if you visit during the autumn you can experience the beauty of south west Cornwall when the holiday crowds have dispersed! There’s so much to experience in the local area, with local gardens and attractions to explore while the weather is still mild.

The hotel is also situated on the South West Coast Path, which offers miles of stunning walks and convenient access to Polurrian Cove beach. And for those looking to explore further afield, the Lizard peninsula is renowned for its unusual geology, array of botanical life, expanses of heathland and beautiful wildlife.

The hotel runs some great activities and events such as the Woodfired Sessions that take place every Sunday and showcase local musicians alongside wood-fired cuisine. The hotel also has a Health Club, which provides relaxing treatments to help guests or day visitors revitalise and rejuvenate.

For more information call 01326 240421 or visit


Keep your home safe with ColourFence

To remind us all to survey our home security this autumn, October is Home Security Month. With this in mind it’s important to choose the right garden fencing, and Colourfence is an excellent candidate. The surface is smoother, making it harder for burglars to get a foothold and climb into your garden; the material is tough, so it can’t be easily damaged or destroyed; and it isn’t susceptible to fire the same way wooden alternatives are. Colourfence also produce high quality secure gates, which are made from a combination of Colorbond steel and square tubes. The gates come in a variety of sizes and lengths and can come with a range of locks, handles and drop bolts. So, if you want to secure your home make sure to get in touch with the Colourfence team.

For more information call 01840 537547 or visit 


As if upgrading isn’t rewarding enough

Tired of your outdated tech slowing you down? This summer Stormfront are giving you the opportunity to stay up to date with the latest and greatest Apple Mac with their trade-in promotion.

When you trade-in any eligible Apple device at Stormfront, you will not only receive the trade-in value of the device to put towards a new Mac, but Stormfront will also put an extra £100 towards your new Mac, allowing you to buy a new MacBook Air from as little as £824.

You can even make your Mac more affordable by using Stormfront’s Easy Upgrade plan to spread the cost over 24 or 36 months, after receiving your trade-in top-up!

For more information visit


Discover a history of Cornwall

This September the Museum of Cornish Life is celebrating Cornish craft and trade. The museum will be taken over for two weeks to host the ‘Helston Makes It’ festival from 14th to 28th September (with free entry!). The programme includes workshops, demonstrations and talks. On 28th September the final event welcomes demonstrations of blacksmiths, crab pot makers, textile artists, quilt makers, serpentine turners and many more skilled makers.

Over the autumn the museum is hosting a varied exhibition programme including a photographic exhibition from Penlee House Gallery & Museum. ‘Fictitious Cornwall’ will share the story of authors who have been inspired to set their famous books in Cornwall. So what are you waiting for? Go and be entertained!

For more information call 01326 564027 or visit


Polwhele House allows children to pursue their passions

Discover a school where children come home with more than a good education. Polwhele House is located just outside Truro, and features exceptional facilities such as the onsite Riding School with resident ponies, which has just been awarded five-star status, and a Performing Arts Programme which enables children to have a tailored stage school experience. Polwhele pupils thus have an experience unique within Cornwall. There is also the possibility of staying in the family-run Boarding House overnight if the activities are just too much fun – or if parents need the flexibility of weekly or occasional boarding. The remarkable setting has to be seen to be believed and visitors are always made welcome following a phone call.

For more information call 01872 273011 or visit


Don’t miss Fire & Steam: BikeLights 2019

This exciting Fire & Steam arts and heritage project from Wadebridge Creative Hub, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and FEAST, celebrates the fascinating railway heritage of Wadebridge and Bodmin, which boasted one of the earliest UK railways, launched in 1834.

Twin ‘BikeLights’ illuminated, bicycle-based events, in Wadebridge on Saturday 12th and Bodmin on Sunday 13th October, will host wonderful, wheeled artist and community light creations and installations, including a ‘Coasters Camel’ light locomotive.

Other creative learning experiences for schools and the community will include heritage visits to partners, Bodmin & Wenford Railway and Pencarrow, while new public displays and materials, created especially for local museums and online, will help this unique heritage reach new audiences.

For more information visit


A breathtaking exhibition by Kurt Jackson

In this mesmerising new body of work, leading contemporary artist Kurt Jackson immerses himself – sometimes literally – in a tributary of the Helford river. This unique landscape of sessile oak woodland that fringes the Helford river famously inspired Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel Frenchman’s Creek and continues to inspire countless artists. For this exhibition, the Jackson Foundation will host a fascinating series of events and workshops in partnership with the conservation charities Plantlife, the National Trust and the Helford Marine Conservation Group, each of which work to protect and promote the delicate ecosystem of this unique corner of Cornwall.

“This is a fragile place, a delicate and ancient piece of land and water – a beautiful place to linger, to watch and to witness.” – Kurt Jackson

‘Kurt Jackson: Frenchman’s Creek’ runs until November 2nd at the Jackson Foundation Gallery, St Just. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

For more information call 01736 787638 or visit


Interior workshops at Cotton Mills Design House

After the recent move into their purpose built premises in Truro, the Cotton Mills team are setting up exciting interior workshops. Owner Ali Cary tells us: “After years of helping clients, the main question is always, ‘where do I start?’ So, as part of the new store’s objective, we are now offering workshops to get people off the ground!”

Mood Boards are a great way of expressing yourself and can really help define the look you are after. The Cotton Mills team are delighted that DESIGNERS GUILD are going to run the first Mood Board workshop. During the four-hour workshop you’ll hear a talk by a leading DG designer, before being shown how to create your own mood board using DG fabrics. Taking place on Friday 27th September between 10am and 2pm, places cost just £25 but are limited, so be sure to secure yours soon by emailing

For more information email 01872 278545 or visit


Waste not, want not with Cornico

Cornico Coffee is excited to announce the opening of its all-new, zero-waste coffee roastery! To celebrate, the team are keen to showcase the unique characteristics of their coffee offerings, with an emphasis on seasonality, whilst raising money for a great cause, with a Macmillan coffee morning.

Every year, 500,000 tons of waste coffee grounds end up in landfill. At Cornico Coffee Roasters, the team are always thinking about their impact on the environment, which is reflected in all of their products.

They’ve gone to great lengths to provide a sustainable packing solution, their coffee bags are bio-oxo and bio-degradable, their labels are made form a combination of sugarcane and hemp, even their tape is made from cellulose!

So, for a pick me up that’s sure not to leave you feeling down about your contribution to a sustainable future, why not try a cup of Cornico Coffee?

For more information call 01637 880343 or visit


Kick-start your dream career

Truro and Penwith College offers a diverse mix of University Level Courses ranging from Silversmithing and Jewellery to Cyber Security.

Delivered within a strategically condensed timetable covering just two days a week, students fit life around their lectures – whether it’s a family, a part-time job or even extra study.

With smaller class sizes allowing for plenty of opportunity to benefit from one-to-one support, the Truro and Penwith College University Centre has been rated top in Devon and Cornwall for student satisfaction, for the second year in a row!

Applications are still open for courses starting this September so, if you’ve yet to embark on the career you’ve always dreamed of because of time commitments elsewhere, there couldn’t be a better time than now.

For more information visit


A magical location for new antiques fair

Famous for its Bluebell Festival, Enys House is set to be filled with antiques and fine art, which once adorned this historic building. Ludgate House Antiques will be hosting the first Enys Antiques and Decorative Fair from 28th to 29th September. The fair is being organised in conjunction with Enys Gardens by Ralph Retallack and Nicki Fuller, providing an opportunity for Cornwall to showcase quality antiques and home furnishings, gardenalia, architectural salvage, objet D’art, bijouterie and an excellent choice of period furniture.

Dealers have been carefully selected to complement one another and will display items throughout the house and garden so you can wander through both, discovering the stunning wares on offer. The beautifully shabby décor of Enys is a designer’s dream and a fantastic backdrop for dealers to display their antiques. The bare plaster walls and floorboards, sweeping staircase flooded by the roof lantern and tall oak library shelves speak of another time and provide a dramatic setting for the first antiques fair to be hosted here.

We hear from Nicki who tells us: “For some time we have felt there’s a gap for a quality country house fair of this type in Cornwall, and like so many others we fell in love with Enys the first time we visited. Our aim is to establish the Antiques & Decorative Fair as a not-to-miss date in the calendar, one which dealers and buyers alike will look forward to. We would also like to thank Wendy Fowler (co-owner) and Emma Powell – Thomas (Events Organiser) of Enys for their support in this venture.”

For more information visit or @ludgatehouseantiques on Instagram


Why do Bluebird Carers care?

While most of us help each other regularly, few stop to consider why we do it. So, why do we help those in need?

Helping each other, it turns out, affects pretty much every area of our daily lives – family, health, education, and work, all have some element of helping that is necessary for their efficient function. Statistics show that those who consciously help others are happier and healthier than those who don’t. So what does this mean? It means that helping other people can benefit you both mentally and physically.

At Bluebird Care the team help and support each other daily, providing daily care and support for clients and enabling them to stay in the comfort of their own homes. The care team help in many different ways, from making someone smile and enabling them to experience new things for the first time, to holding someone’s hand when they’re upset by events beyond their control. Bluebirds couldn’t imagine doing anything else. We hear from Emma, who tells us: “Being able to give our clients the support they need to live day to day is extremely rewarding. Sometimes we are confronted with the harsh realities of people struggling to overcome illness or disability and this encourages us to appreciate the little things in life that we all take for granted. Each day we leave work feeling satisfied that we have done our best to help – and that is why we help others.”

For more information call 01872 276006 or visit


Secure your home with Longrock Windows

Located in Penzance, Longrock Windows is a family run company offering a comprehensive range of doors and windows tailored to suit Cornwall’s unique environment. Crewed by a team that understands your need for style as well as unrivalled functionality, Longrock Windows appreciates the importance of security when it comes to your home. For this reason, its doors are fully enforced with a triple sealed outer frame and multi-point locking system; approved by locksmiths, British Standards and even the Police, these locks are the most secure on the market with an array of functions that make life easier, while also adding multiple layers of security to your home. If you’re interested in investing in new windows why not head to the Cornwall Home Show this October and have a chat with a member of the team?

For more information call 01736 363113 or visit


Padstow’s newest hotel offering

Since its acquisition in the autumn of last year, this idyllically located, 58-room hotel has been utterly transformed into a stylish boutique by the exciting, luxury Harbour Hotels brand.

A recently completed full renovation has introduced vibrant interiors, luxury fixtures and fittings, excellent service and injected some Harbour Hotels personality. Each newly refurbished room features complimentary gin and sherry, flat-screen TVs, Egyptian cotton sheets, The White Company toiletries – and, if you book early enough, those dreamy harbour views!

For the foodies, the hotel’s Kitchen, Bar & Terrace offers casual, all-day dining, with enviable harbour views to boot. Designed by John Pollard, the menu champions the best locally grown produce, farm-raised meat and wild caught seafood, all of which contributes to a deliciously tempting menu that changes with the seasons.

Padstow is home to a wealth of culture, plus wellness, foodie and adventure-based activities. As well as recommendations of the best local attractions and activities in the area, the hotel, like all Harbour Hotels, also offers a range of its own unique ‘Experiences’, designed to make your stay
a memorable one.

For anyone hoping to escape to Cornish comfort within easy reach of one of the Duchy’s most sought-after coastal towns, the Padstow Harbour Hotel is a must. But don’t just take our word for it – give the team a call, book your break and discover for yourself what sets the Harbour Hotels brand apart.

For more information call 01841 532486 or visit


Fresh from the harbour

Quayside Fish is an award-winning Cornish fishmonger situated in Porthleven – an archetypally Cornish fishing village on the south coast. Weather permitting, fish and shellfish are landed directly to Quayside Fish from small inshore boats owned by local fishermen. The team also sources sustainably from day boats landing at Cornish ports such as Coverack, Polperro, Looe and Fowey, so you know what you’re buying is always fresh!

As well as the freshest fish and seafood, Quayside Fish offers high-quality Cornish meats, available to order and sourced from local farms. Anybody who’s visited the shop will know that the shelves are kept brim-full with wonderful Cornish produce, with everything available to order on the website, as well as over the phone.

Winners of Silver and Gold awards from Taste of the West, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, if you’re looking for fresh Cornish fish from a traditional fishmonger, Quayside Fish is definitely the place to visit.

For more information call 01326 562008 or visit