What Biden should have done in West Cornwall
The G7 summit in Cornwall has and come - but for when you return President Biden, here's what to do with your time...
It can’t have escaped your notice that the G7 Summit was in Cornwall last week. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States joined Boris, plus invited guests from Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa & even the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, Kate and Wills turned up.
Hosted at Carbis Bay, near St Ives, we thought we’d make a few Muddy suggestions as to what Joe et al should do in West Cornwall if they are lucky enough to return.
Up and at it early, this may be a day off but there’s lots to fit in. Before settling down for his daily routine of morning coffee we recommend Joe should head down to the award-winning beach at Carbis Bay for a cold water swim. By June the water temperature could be as warm as 14C, barely even cold(!) and perfect for a bracing start to the day, before the beach gets busy with families. The white sand and sheltered beach means if the tide is up and the sun is out that the whole place will at least look tropical!
Joe will need to be up the lane and along the A3074 into St Ives before the traffic if he wants any chance of parking – traffic is usually restricted in St Ives during the day but pre-9am he should be able to get a spot in the beach front Porthmeor Car Park. He’ll have time to walk round to the harbour for a coffee and donut from the Yallah Kiosk before heading back round to the peace and tranquility of Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden (above) – the Tate is great but a walk round Hepworth’s garden gives proper insight into the St Ives artists who made this town so famous.
No idling watching the surfers at Porthmeor, there’s time for that later. For now, back into the car and set off driving the coast road out of St Ives, past Leach Pottery and heading west for Zennor, where he should be just about on time for his elevenses at the Moomaid Parlour. Sadly he’s a month early for the shack in the field but the cafe in the village is still pretty awesome – if he gets his cone to go, he can eat it walking down the lane to the coast path to look out over the view (above). Just watch out for seagulls and the lure of the mermaid…
Cornwall’s tin mining heritage is iconic and given G7 will be discussing a greener future it’s important to understand Cornwall’s history. West of Zennor is the stunning Cornish coastline around Pendeen and St Just that was once at the heart of the Cornish tin and copper mining industry, and Joe can drop down into the Geevor Tin mine to see Cornwall from a different perspective.
All this mining talk means the only one thing on the menu for lunch: a traditional Cornish pasty. While it is tempting to head up to Wheal Rose to Ethrington‘s, which has some of the best we’ve tasted, we think Joe shouldn’t waste time on the A30 which is always super busy, so he should grab a pasty in Pendeen instead – perhaps from Count House Cafe, and then eat it on the cliffs looking out over the abandoned mines. Again, watch out for seagulls.
It’s not a Cornish day off without a beach (or two) and Joe will be spoilt for choice – Sennen (above) and Porthcurno are both stunning but the carparks will be busy by mid-afternoon, so he needs to head off the beaten track – Porth Chapel is just as beautiful as Porthcurno but a little quieter. It does involve a walk and a scramble though, so if Joe wants to take it a little easier, Porthgwarra might fit the bill. Should he fancy, he could also take his second dip of the day – this was where the famous swimming scene in Poldark was filmed.
Alternatively, should he not feel like sitting on the beach, perhaps a tour round the Minack Theatre overlooking the beach would be more his thing. Built into the rocks literally out of the cliff, creator Rowena Cade conceived the theatre as a place for a friend to put on a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Afternoon tea time and it’s back up to the north coast to the Rosemergy Farmhouse Tea Garden where for just £5 he will be treated to a pot of tea, warm scones, fresh from the aga, Cornish clotted cream, strawberry jam and a West Penwith location that’s hard to beat. Remember Joe, in Cornwall it’s jam first.
Joe will no doubt want to check out Cornwall’s other famous industry, fishing, so next stop is Newlyn to take a walk down to the harbour (if he has time he could also call into Mousehole – above). It’s not a Cornish holiday without a second stop for ice-cream (let’s call this one pudding first), so while he is in Newlyn, Jelbert’s is a must – there’s only one option on the menu, vanilla ice cream with clotted cream on top. Plus, it’s owned by the family of British Olympic Rower, Helen Glover.
Supper reservations are going to be essential in June, but where to go? Will it be a more formal restaurant for a sit-down meal, like The Shore in Penzance, or perhaps over to the super foodie Porthleven to Kota or The Square. Sticking with Porthleven, something informal might also suit Joe better: the fish and chips from Landed are highly recommended, as are the harbour front mussels at the Alabama music inspired Mussel Shoals.
The sun sets between 9pm and 9.30pm in June so if he eats fast, Joe will want to hightail back up to the north coast to get the best glimpse of the green flash – a Cornish sunset over the Atlantic is pretty iconic and he’ll be wanting a sundowner to go with it. Godrevy is a pretty nice place to see out the day but he will need to plan ahead and bring his own drinks – Lovetts in Newlyn has a pretty good selection, so he can stock up while he eats his ice cream.
Alternatively, Joe could do worse than head back to St Ives now the traffic should have calmed down and nab a late booth at West Porthmeor, where he can have a glass of Cornish fizz and watch the last of the surfers as the sun slips below the horizon.
Or, if that all seems too busy, he can end the day with a pint of Cornish beer on the sea wall at Porthleven and then head back to Carbis Bay for a Penzance Gin &T in his room!