Whether you consider it art work or vandalism, there is no denying that street art is hot right now. Last year, Sotheby’s held an auction of Banksy pieces, selling them for up to £500k – something made illegally, with an innate transience, created in a public space, sold for half a million. It’s unbelievable (and some think, unethical), but whatever your opinion, it’s a fact that street art has evolved into a specific aesthetic and art form with its own super stars, known outside of their own circle and scene.
The English seaside gets a bad rep. And it’s true, you can’t guarantee the weather, but there’s something special about Cornwall that means that doesn’t really matter. It’s raining for a week? Grab your wellies or wetsuit and get stuck in anyway. Sun shining? Then the area really comes to life with surfers, kayaking, coastal walks and cream teas.
St Ives is a pretty seaside village on the northern coast towards the end of the peninsula. It’s one of the most popular holiday spots for a lot of Brits (and, weirdly, also a lot of Germans, Austrians and Swiss. Apparently a famous romance novelist sets a lot of stories here) but the atmosphere manages to remain laid-back, creative and authentically Cornish. Everyone from artists to surfers, gourmet travellers to action-adventurers rubs shoulders at ice cream parlours along the pretty harbour or in the water.
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Salt water, sunshine and fresh seafood. White sand beneath your feet and blue water stretching beyond the horizon. Caribbean turquoise hues in the south of England; kayaking across the blue next to fishing boats, seals and surfers. A laid-back, slower way of living, local food found on the seashore, sweet, juicy lobster brought in that day. The English seaside gets a bad rep, but when it works, it really works.
1. PETERSHAM NURSERIES
This little oasis away from the city is the perfect day trip for anyone who wants to escape for a local lunch. Petersham Nurseries is a veritable treasure trove of plants, flowers and garden supplies, but for me, the real reason to take the tube or boat out to Richmond is The Café. New Head Chef Damian Clisby, previously head chef at HIX Soho and Cotswold House, works alongside Culinary Director Lucy Boyd to create seasonal menus of fresh, local produce, beautifully presented and impeccably cooked. The setting is in one of the greenhouses, populated with mismatched wooden tables and chairs and surrounded by greenery.
Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond
Tube stop: Richmond Station / Thames River Boat from Westminster Pier