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lesstravelled In a modern world, exploring Cornwall at its wildest restores a timeless sense of belonging
PIN NAC LE
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L U X U RY
L I FE STY L E
C O R NWA L L
COASTAL | COUNTRY | TOWN | MODERN | PERIOD
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L U X U RY
L I F E STY L E
C O R N WA L L
noun 1. the act of driving something along 2. the ﬂow or the velocity of the current of a river or ocean stream
verb 1. to become driven or carried along, as by a current of water, wind, or air 2. to move or ﬂoat smoothly and eﬀortlessly
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On the cover Land’s End by Tom Young (page 38) tomyoungphotography.co.uk
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PROUD TO BE PART OF
Drift is published by: Engine House Media LTD Holbrook, The Moors, Porthleven, Cornwall TR13 9JX www.enginehousemedia.co.uk www.levenmediagroup.co.uk
ISSN 2632-9891 © All rights reserved. Material may not be re-produced without the permission of Engine House Media Ltd. While Drift will take every care to help readers with reports on properties and features, neither Engine House Media Ltd nor its contributors can accept any liability for reader dissatisfaction arising from editorial features, editorial or advertising featured in these pages. Engine House Media Ltd strongly advises viewing any property prior to purchasing or considerations over any financial decisions. Engine House Media reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit such material prior to publication. Engine House Media Ltd cannot take responsibility for loss or damage of supplied materials. The opinions expressed or advice given in the publication are the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of
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Engine House Media Ltd. It is suggested that further advice is taken over any actions resulting from reading any part of this magazine. Engine House Media Ltd is a multi-platform media business with a passion for everything Cornish. Visit www.enginehousemedia. co.uk to find out more. Our mission is to create READ-WATCHEXPERIENCE media opportunities marrying together consumers with the fabulous businesses across Cornwall. Our publishing and marketing teams are specialists in creating print and online communications, devised to achieve a range of marketing objectives. With over 20 years of marketing, brand management and magazine experience we develop effective communications that deliver your message in a credible and creative way. We operate across all media channels, including: print, online and video.
T E A M
Foreword As destinations go Cornwall is in a class of its own. It’s hard to find words that effectively describe just how wonderful it is. For this very reason, we created Drift, every page taking you on a journey. In our quest to bring you the best of Cornish luxury, our second volume continues where the first left off. We ease into Cornwall’s adagio lifestyle with the work of renowned fused glass designer, Jo Downs (page 25). We then delve into the creative collaboration between two premium companies, Legacy Properties and Iroka, who have created the ultimate in luxury Cornish properties, both inside and out (page18). Surrounded as we are by the ocean, we experience an award-winning sportcruiser yacht, Sunseeker’s Predator 50, (page 32) and it’s appropriate that our culinary journey
sees us sample some of the freshest seafood in waterside locations (from page 48). Cornwall is also a place where great stories begin. We speak to Marcel Rodrigues, a Savile Row milliner who’s made the journey south (page 76) and Cornish-born entrepreneur, Gideon Bright whose changing robes are now ‘de rigeur’ amongst the great and good of the outdoor activity scene, across the UK and beyond (page 128). Tales of passion and success don’t end there – Graham Mitchell, scriptwriter for some of the BBC’s most prestigious dramas, has found his way back to Cornwall, where it all began (page 154). So, let us take you, page by page, on a voyage through the pinnacle of Cornwall’s luxury lifestyle, welcoming you to our exclusive readership, whose aspirations know no bounds.
Join our team We have an exceptional and loyal team here at Leven Media Group but as a fast growth business we’re always interested in talking to outstanding individuals. If you’re a superstar of extraordinary talent then we would love to hear from you. Call Andy Forster on 07711 160590 or email email@example.com
Visit drift-cornwall.co.uk to read more about our writers 7
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Helford Passage, Cornwall One of the finest plots in one of the best addresses in Cornwall. A spacious detached house, set in beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds with outstanding southerly views across the Helford River. EPC - E. Guide Price ÂŁ2.5m
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Constantine Bay, North Cornwall Available for sale for the first time since 1952, a spacious detached family house set in an exceptionally large plot about 300m from one of the best surfing beaches in Cornwall. 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms. EPC â€“ F. Offers Over ÂŁ1.75m
jonathancunliffe.co.uk 01326 617447
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The The Thebest best bestproperties properties properties on on onyour your yourdoorstep doorstep doorstep
Truro, Truro, Truro, South South South Cornwall Cornwall Cornwall
Truro, Truro, Truro, South South South Cornwall Cornwall Cornwall
Generously Generously Generously proportioned, proportioned, proportioned, elegant, elegant, elegant, period-style period-style period-style property, property, property, three three three reception reception reception rooms, rooms, rooms, four four bedrooms, four bedrooms, bedrooms, cathedral cathedral cathedral views, views, views, rearrear garden, rear garden, garden, 2195 2195 sq 2195 ft, sq EPC=C sq ft, EPC=C ft, EPC=C
Impressive Impressive Impressive family family family home, home, home, four/five four/five four/five double double double bedrooms, bedrooms, bedrooms, double double double garage garage garage plus plus ample plus ample ample parking, parking, parking, front front and front and rear and rear rear gardens, gardens, gardens, oakoak flooring, oak flooring, flooring, 1605 1605 sq 1605 ft, sq EPC=C sq ft, EPC=C ft, EPC=C
BeaB bedb exte e
Guide Guide Guide £800,000 £800,000 £800,000 | Freehold | Freehold | Freehold
Guide Guide Guide £650,000 £650,000 £650,000 | Freehold | Freehold | Freehold
Truro, Truro, Truro, South South South Cornwall Cornwall Cornwall
Malpas, Malpas, Malpas, South South South Cornwall Cornwall Cornwall
Immaculate Immaculate Immaculate detached detached detached family family family house, house, house, private private private south south south west west west Stunning Stunning Stunning river river and river and woodland and woodland woodland views, views, views, four four bedrooms, four bedrooms, bedrooms, facing facing facing garden, garden, garden, fivefive double five double double bedrooms, bedrooms, bedrooms, conservatory, conservatory, conservatory, mature mature mature gardens, gardens, gardens, double double double garage, garage, garage, large large sun large sun terrace sun terrace terrace with with with close close close to city to city tocentre, city centre, centre, 3290 3290 3290 sq ft, sq EPC=C sq ft, EPC=C ft, EPC=C delightful delightful delightful aspect, aspect, aspect, 3019 3019 sq 3019 ft, sq EPC=F sq ft, EPC=F ft, EPC=F
PerP loca l river
Guide Guide Guide £785,000 £785,000 £785,000 | Freehold | Freehold | Freehold
Guide Guide Guide £775,000 £775,000 £775,000 | Freehold | Freehold | Freehold
Talk Talk Talk toto us to us today us today today Chris Chris Clifford Clifford Chris Clifford Head Head of Residential of of Residential Head Residential 01872 01872 243243 201 201201 01872 243 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
George HillHillHill George George Associate Associate Associate 01872 243243 205 01872 243 205 01872 205 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Staci Staci Staci Shephard Shephard Shephard Residential Residential Residential Team Team Team Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator 01872 01872 01872 243243 206 243 206 206 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
savills.co.uk | savills.co.uk | savills.co.uk | Follow Follow Follow us us onus onon savills.co.uk savills.co.uk savills.co.uk
Savills Savills Cornwall Cornwall
0187201872 243 200 243 200
The Roseland, The Roseland, South South Cornwall Cornwall
Bolenowe, Bolenowe, WestWest Cornwall Cornwall
Beauitiful Beauitiful cornish cornish stone stone barn conversion, barn conversion, five five bedrooms, bedrooms, three three bathrooms, bathrooms, gardens gardens and grounds and grounds extending extending to about to about half anhalf acre, an 2744 acre, sq 2744 ft, EPC=D sq ft, EPC=D
Rural setting, Rural setting, far reaching far reaching views views of Carn of Brea Carnand BreaStand St Ives Bay, Ivesadjacent Bay, adjacent barn, four barn,double four double bedrooms, bedrooms, large large entertaining entertaining patio, patio, 1762 sq 1762 ft, EPC=E sq ft, EPC=E
Guide Guide £750,000 £750,000 | Freehold | Freehold
Guide Guide £750,000 £750,000 | Freehold | Freehold
Constantine, Constantine, South South Cornwall Cornwall
Breage, Breage, WestWest Cornwall Cornwall
PeriodPeriod double double fronted fronted stone stone cottage cottage in a rural in a rural location, location, convenient convenient for Falmouth for Falmouth and the and Helford the Helford river, four river,double four double bedrooms, bedrooms, 1918 sq 1918 ft, EPC=F sq ft, EPC=F
Charming Charming conversion, conversion, elevated elevated position position with stunning with stunning sea and searural andviews, rural views, four spacious four spacious bedrooms, bedrooms, three three bathrooms, bathrooms, generous generous balcony, balcony, 2274 sq 2274 ft, EPC sq ft,CEPC C
Guide Guide £450,000 £450,000 | Freehold | Freehold
Guide Guide £695,000 £695,000 | Freehold | Freehold
what what can can we do we for do you? for you?
COASTAL | COUNTRY | TOWN | MODERN | PERIOD
FOWEY | SOUTH CORNWALL | GUIDE PRICE Â£1,150,000 | EPC E
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COASTAL | COUNTRY | TOWN | MODERN | PERIOD
ST CLEMENT | TRURO | SOUTH CORNWALL | GUIDE PRICE Â£1,895,000 | EPC D
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SIMILAR PROPERTIES REQUIRED
A STUNNING EQUESTRIAN FAMILY HOME Rejerrah | Newquay | Cornwall 6 Bedrooms | 4 En Suites including a separate guest annex Guide Price £1,200,000 (Freehold) David Ball Luxury Collection is delighted to offer for sale this superb equestrian home, situated in five acres of pasture land and complete with a stable block and sand school. With other features including a triple garage with studio above, a heated indoor swimming pool, plus five generous bedrooms including a wonderful master suite – an early viewing comes highly recommended.
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T: 01637 850850 | E: email@example.com | www.davidballagencies.co.uk/luxury-homes-search
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*DRIFT--02--Contents v2.indd 16
C O N T E N T S
At a glance
18 T H E
25 F I N E
A RT F U S I O N
32 L I F E
112 B U T T E R F L Y
Creating dream homes
114 B A C K
In conversation with Jo Downs
38 I N
56 F RU I T S
O F T H E H AT
152 B E S T
154 P O S T
84 P R O P E RT Y
SOUL OF THE THING
There’s poetry in Suki Wapshott’s paintings
Marcel Rodrigues talks hat making
Wristwatches from Rolex
The new Aston Martin Vantage
Graham Mitchell talks BBC drama
158 B L O O D
At the top end of the Cornish market
104 T R A N S C E N D I N G
What inspires artist, Linda Matthews
150 T I M E
With the Knightor Winery experts
76 T I P
A N D I N S P I R AT I O N
Recipes from The Hidden Hut
68 T A L K I N G
136 I N S T I N C T
Gideon Bright tells the dryrobe story
144 T H E
Dinner at Rick Stein Porthleven
61 B E S T
We talk to Jack and Charlie Stein
H I S T O RY
Cornwall’s life-saving motorbike charity
162 E V E N T I D E
The conception of Tintagel’s footbridge
C O M F O RT
The hallmark of Celtic & Co clothing
128 S E A S O N S
The art of observation with Tom Young
48 B R O T H E R S
F RO M T H E B R I N K
We meet Young Adult author, Emily Barr
118 S H E E R
Aboard a Sunseeker sportscruiser
Jewellery from Michael Spiers
Signing off for autumn
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EDGE WO R D S B Y DA N WA R D E N
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I N SPI R AT I O N
At the pinnacle of Cornwall’s luxury property market, interior design stops being about what’s ‘in vogue’ and instead sets an unmatched, unfaltering standard of its own.
This is really why the Legacy/Iroka partnership works so well. It’s based on trust, on Legacy’s confidence in Iroka’s unrivalled ability to share a mindset that does not cut corners – one that pays close attention to each and every detail and finishes the job without fault. After all, isn’t this something we all want when commissioning a company to transform our home interiors?
ere at Drift, we’re fortunate enough to see and meet the minds behind some of Cornwall’s most luxurious properties. This has led us to the conclusion that luxury homes – the kind that occupy a class of their own – offer so much more than mere curb appeal. Indeed, for those of us who wish to enjoy the best that life in Cornwall has to offer, making a house a home is as much about the interior as how it appears from the pavement.
Legacy Properties and Iroka have been collaborating on award winning, design led properties in Cornwall for more than five years. Over that time, the two growing businesses have developed a working relationship that focuses on delivering the highest standards of finishing and attention to detail that Legacy customers have come to expect. As Legacy’s Managing Director, Nick Long tells us, he and his team “demand a ‘no compromise approach’ to quality from our skilled trades and partners, and value and support those that we trust to deliver to our exacting standards, time after time.”
The last paragraph, in our opinion, sums up the ethos behind award-winning Cornish property developer, Legacy Properties. But that’s not to say that their homes aren’t beautiful from the outside, because they most certainly are – there’re no two ways about it! Appealing to those who wish to live in the utmost high-end luxury, Legacy’s premium properties enjoy the very best in every aspect, from the build – where the finish is second to none – to the interiors, which are realised in partnership with Cornish interior specialists, Iroka. In fact, catching up with Neil Simpkin, who only recently joined Legacy Properties as Sales and Marketing Manager, he tells us how impressed he’s been so far by the quality of the finish in everything Legacy builds. In fact, he goes as far as to say: “If it’s not right, we start again.”
Iroka was launched in the summer of 2006, as we learn from Managing Director, Luke Weller. Having initially launched the business with a vision of creating a retail space – showcasing some of Europe’s finest furniture, window treatments and flooring – it soon became apparent that there was
MAIN Contemporary chic
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I N SPI R AT I O N
Having spoken to Luke and learned just how comprehensive Iroka’s interior design service can be, we take a look at one of Legacy Properties’ latest developments – The Rocks in Holywell Bay – to see the finished result. It doesn’t take long to realise that the partnership is a match made in heaven; Legacy’s trademark build quality simply will not settle for anything less than the best, something Luke and his team of interior designers are firmly on board with.
great demand from clients for assistance in bringing purchases together and making them work with their existing interiors. “While the displays looked amazing, we found that our clients wanted more than a gallery of quality product.” So Iroka changed tack, moving away from being a showroom and instead becoming what Luke describes as a “giant interactive design studio.” Iroka’s current interior design service is a formidable contender for the best in the south west, but how has it evolved? “Due to our geographical location and the general growth of the second home market in the south west,” explains Luke, “there is no doubt that holiday homes now account for some 70% of our turnover as a business.” He tells us that there are things his team have become specialised in, much through circumstance and necessity rather than by design. “Most of our clients are looking for a fully managed, ‘hands off ’ service. I have clients that I have designed and fitted more than one property for and still never met! At the most extreme end of our service, we will design a property’s interior to include layout re-modelling, new bathrooms and kitchen, right the way through to floor and wall finishes, lighting design, and of course, all of the furnishings and home accessories.”
“Our customers rightly demand the very best in every aspect of what is likely to be their dream home,” Nick elaborates. “We have learnt to place our trust in the Iroka team to always deliver perfectly thought-through interiors that remain aspirational, without simply following the fashion.” Indeed, as you take in the stylish, open-plan living, kitchen and dining areas of these fabulous homes; tread along the wide plank engineered oak flooring and enjoy the warmth radiating from beneath the boards via remote access underfloor heating, you begin to get an idea of the sheer quality on offer at The Rocks. From the rugs in the living space, to the plush wool carpets in the bedroom, to the elegant simplicity of the furniture and finishing touches, everything has been realised with a delicate master stroke, resulting in high-end homes that feel fresh yet homely – a balance rarely struck in brand new show homes.
TOP The Rocks
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I N SPI R AT I O N
dose of black steel tubular finishes and maybe some touches of heavy navy velvet and soft grey textured rugs; for me, this walks the line between current fashion and our location.”
While we have him, we can’t resist asking Luke what’s ‘in vogue’ right now, and whether or not these trends translate along the Cornish coast. He explains: “Generally there is a trend for darker finishes in the market. Rich deep timbers and marble on heavy stones, with a hint of even terrazzo paired against coloured glass.”
With an exceptional command of their combined industries, Legacy Properties and Iroka together prove that, when it comes to realising your dream home, whether buying brand new or redecorating an existing property, you needn’t look further afield than the Duchy. As Nick finishes: “To know we are collaborating with other talented Cornish businesses and delivering world class, award-winning homes without having to look for talent outside of Cornwall, is an achievement we should all be very proud of.”
Black brassware and fittings are still abundant too, according to Luke, and there are “still large format wallpapers and luxe velvets hanging around from last year.” This, however, is sometimes difficult for us in the south west, as the high-end design trends sometimes just don’t transmit to a Cornish clifftop with sweeping views. “We have to carefully select elements of trends that we can blend with lighter and paler finishes using washes of whites and pale grey,” Luke confirms. “For me it feels like a blend of Nordic coastal, with a
LEFT Style and substance
A B OV E Re-defining luxury Cornish property
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fusion WO R D S B Y M E RC E D E S S M I T H
We take a look at the career of one of Cornwall’s most high-proﬁle designers.
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C R E AT E
for the rest of my life’. Passion – I mean that raw, almost childish passion for a thing – is the secret to success in anything, isn’t it? I’ve been lucky in that I found my passion early in life, but honestly, the rest has been down to commitment and a great deal of hard work. There are lots of artists here in the south west with exceptional talent, but it’s not enough, you need that something extra to make it in the arts. I’ve heard people call it ‘business sense’ but it’s not that. It’s commitment, an absolute commitment to following your dream. Creatively, I’ve always felt confident, but business wise, I’ve simply learned. Trial and error have been two of my greatest allies! And taking advice from others has made all the difference. If I don’t know something, I just ask someone who does. It’s really that simple. My success is the result of my own passion, every ounce of my energy and the wisdom and support of a whole string of other people who have helped me build Jo Downs Handmade Glass, and who now give me the freedom to make work while they take care of the day-to-day running of the company. I come into my studio each day and get hands-on with fused glass, and that’s my definition of success.”
used glass artist Jo Downs has always known that talent is not enough. In a region brimming with creatives, she has set the standard for professionalism in the arts, creating a successful, design-led company based on the value and integrity of her original, handcrafted work. Since graduating from university 25 years ago her talent and technical expertise have made her an unrivalled specialist in her field, with a portfolio that includes commissions for high profile public venues like the Royal College of Art London, and the Flying Boat Club on the Isles of Scilly. Here, she tells us what it takes to build a meaningful career as an artist, and how focusing on her passions has been the secret to her success.
Jo, you are one of Cornwall’s most high-profile creatives. What does that kind of success mean to you? “I think ‘success’ means different things to different people. For me, it means the freedom to spend my life making beautiful work. When I first discovered glass fusing at university, I didn’t think ‘Wow, this could make me really successful’, I thought ‘Wow – I love this stuff, I want to mess about with it every single day
RIGHT Jo Downs
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C R E AT E
How did you get started as a fused glass artist? “I originally planned to study ceramics, but at college my tutor said I had a talent for colour and texture and he suggested I try working with glass. I enrolled for a degree in Glass and Ceramic Design at Sunderland University and that’s where I first tried glass fusing. All that came out of the kiln was this glorious, melted lump of colour – but I fell in love with glass right there. When I graduated, I spent some time working with established glass artists, people like Mike Davies, Galia Amsel and Rebecca Newnham, and then set up my own workshop in London. I’m well known for my galleries now, but that’s not how I started. I went straight into bespoke commissions and that was a steep learning curve. Hilton Hotels and P&O Cruises approached me to make large scale installations, and that’s where I really found my focus. Commissions have always been my passion, and still account for the majority of my studio time. In 2001, when my first son was born, I set up my studio here in Cornwall, and over the next few years I developed a range of interior pieces. They sold well at independent galleries across the country, so in 2005 I set up the first dedicated Jo Downs gallery in Padstow. Now I have five galleries in Cornwall, and one in Surrey, and a small team of talented glass artists who work with me every day here at the studio. I design, we make, and then the most successful pieces are pulled together into collections for the galleries. On the commissions side, I work from a separate studio with its own kiln and workspace, and I focus on bespoke work for private clients. That’s where I love to be, with my dog Izzy, my radio and shelves of glass in every conceivable colour.”
What do you love most about creating bespoke work? “One off, large-scale work is where fused glass goes ‘fine art’, if I can describe it like that. Going back to my college tutor’s comment about
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Interior Design | Furniture | Homewares | Kitchens | Flooring | Window Dressings
Interior Design Designing the most exciting projects in the South West since 2006. Interior Showrooms: Hayle & Wadebridge www.irokainteriors.co.uk | 01736 757333
C R E AT E
into the glass. It’s an exciting journey for me and my client, and at the end of the project there is that wonderful moment when the finished work is installed in its rightful place. I never get over the thrill of that.”
colour and texture, those are the things that make fused glass such a special medium to work with. Colour and texture are both enhanced by light, so the larger a work is, the more it captures the natural light in a space. It’s incredibly satisfying, as an artist, to see my work reach its full potential like that. I also really enjoy the process of creating to a brief. Clients come to me with some extraordinary ideas – I have been asked for swimming pool floors, four-storey chandeliers and spectacular glass ceilings – and every idea pushes my creativity just a little bit further. Put simply, clients come to me for something beautiful and totally unique. It’s a special thing to work with people who’ve created a beautiful home, or a beautiful business space, and to make something meaningful for them. I begin by meeting with the client, visiting the space where the commission will sit, and finding the balance between what the client wants and what’s possible in fused glass. From there I will make sketches just to frame an idea, then the actual design process is really about experimentation and getting straight
What inspires your work above all else? “Living and working in Cornwall is my greatest inspiration. The landscape here is so varied and yet so unique. So much of my work is inspired by the shapes and colours of the Cornish coast, from the rolling ocean to the quiet little rockpools, the brilliant blue of a Cornish cove or the dusty gold of the moorland. It’s the same for everyone who is drawn to this part of the world, isn’t it? We want to celebrate the natural beauty of the place. Nearly every commission I make here reflects my clients’ passion for Cornwall, and in some sense brings the inside and the outside together. What could be better than creating work inspired by the place I love, for people who love it as much as I do? It’s a pretty nice way to live my life.” jodowns.com
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NAU T I C A L
An award-winning sportscruiser that is setting the standard for ocean enjoyment.
eading the world when it comes to luxury performance motor yachts, Sunseeker, originally named Poole Power Boats, was founded by brothers Robert and John Braithwaite in 1969. Changing its name in 1985, Sunseeker has since become a global icon, with every boat the result of an uncompromising and unmatched approach to design, craftsmanship and performance. From its manufacturing base in Dorset, Sunseeker produces around 150 boats every year. Constantly setting new standards and benchmarks, from the dynamic Sport Yacht models, through to the luxurious Manhattan range, iconic Predator models and its majestic Yachts range, each Sunseeker is the result of an uncompromising approach to innovative design and engineering excellence. Never settling for second best, it is this spirit of excellence that has driven Sunseeker to its pre-eminent position in the leisure marine industry today.
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NAU T I C A L
shower and fold-down transom seating. Finally, the integral garage (where specified) can accommodate a Williams 325 Jet Tender, launched via the hydraulic bathing platform.
The stunning Predator 50 launched in January 2018, has already sold over 30 boats worldwide and is currently collecting a haul of awards. In late 2018 the model was awarded ‘Best Sports Cruiser – up to 55ft’ at the Asia Boating Awards, and more recently has won the accolade for ‘Best Sportscruiser over 45ft’ at the 2019 Motor Boat Awards.
While the Predator 50 boasts truly class leading design and luxury, performance is still at the heart of this true sports cruiser which is fitted with the new Volvo Penta D8-600 engines, mated to shaft drives with optional electric steering and joystick manoeuvrability.
Every detail of the Predator 50 has been designed to perfection, but this boat’s hidden treasure is its entertainment space. The open-plan design is enhanced by the addition of a fully opening hardtop roof and beautifully executed cockpit glazing, bringing the outside in. The spacious saloon makes an equally idyllic setting for entertaining guests in opulent luxury with panoramic views. This makes the Predator 50 a truly open or enclosed cockpit boat, unusual in this size of sports boat.
The judging panel at the 2019 Motor Boat Awards commented on presenting the award: “With vast quantities of glazing, extra volume and delivering a strong mid range performance, with surprisingly light steering and predictable low speed handling, the Predator 50 demands attention. These days it’s more about comfort, refinement and ease of control, and this is where the Predator 50 really shines. This is what customers now demand and the Predator 50 delivers them in a very elegant and well rounded package.”
The interior is just as impressive, with a combination of fine materials and large windows ensuring the full-beam master stateroom, which comes with a generous en suite, achieves the perfect blend of comfort and elegance. The forward VIP cabin exudes a light yet luxurious feel and features a scissor berth for complete f lexibility. Up to four guests can be catered for in style and comfort on the water or an additional bunk cabin can be created in lieu of the lower saloon to increase the accommodation to six.
On accepting the award, Sunseeker CEO, Christian Marti said: “The Predator 50 exemplifies the latest in Sunseeker’s cutting edge design and sets a new benchmark for the smaller performance format. Since it was launched at Düsseldorf Boat Show last year it has had an outstanding reception from customers and media alike. We are thrilled to have won this award and it underlines our ability to keep giving our customers the best in class across every segment we operate in.”
A yacht for all occasions, the Predator 50 also has ample exterior space. A stylish and highly sociable deck boasts a spacious foredeck seating and sunbathing area complete with optional retractable pram hood canopy. Moving aft, Sunseeker’s ‘Beach Club’ concept offers an inviting space for family and friends to enjoy the optional built-in barbeque, overhead
Whether it’s a long weekend exploring the coast and coves or a day out on the water, the Predator 50 won’t disappoint with its combination of comfort, class and style. sunseeker.com
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F O C U S
The art of
OBSERVATION WO R D S B Y DA N WA R D E N
Travelling far and wide with his camera in hand, Cornwall nevertheless holds a place deep in Tom Young’s heart.
isit Tom’s website and hit the tab called ‘The Motherland’; it soon becomes clear just how deep an impact Cornwall has had on him. “Documenting my adventures helps to keep the creative juices flowing,” he explains, “and having a camera allows me to tell the story in my own way.” In his work there is a palpable zest for adventure, an insurmountable drive to explore the deepest, wildest reaches of his home county. But it doesn’t stop there. Tom is a great believer in the old adage that ‘variety is the spice of life’, and while he loves exploring Cornwall with his camera to hand – particularly the rugged land and seascapes of west Penwith – he is by no means bound to home soil. “I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world on surf trips with my camera by my side, which has also given me the opportunity to meet lots of new people.” somewhat taken over his day-to-day, it’s good to know that he still finds time to jump in the sea with his camera. As he says: “There’s nothing quite like it.”
Having formed a love for portraiture on his travels, Tom continues to diversify his work. While he admits that commercial work has
A B OV E Tom Young
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A B OV E A flawless day on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia
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TOP Landâ€™s End BELOW Jubel Beer shoot
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A B OV E Taken for Vice at 7th Rise on a Thera-Sea retreat
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A B OV E Tasmanian shapes
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A B OV E Tom Raffield in the workshop, working on a Chelsea Flower Show installation
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WORDS BY BETHANY ALLEN
D I A LO G U E
The Stein’s name is evocative of delicious fresh fish enjoyed by the water; of beautiful seafood restaurants, numerous television series and a resoundingly successful business.
Combined, the brothers’ skills in the food and beverage industry forms a match made in heaven. When discussing how they collaborate as a team Charlie remarks: “We collaborate very well, even though we’re five years apart we’re pretty similar. We recently filmed a series called Wine, Dine and Stein in South Africa about food and wine, that’s just aired in Australia and that definitely brought us closer.” Jack’s ears prick up at the mention of their South Africa trip and he adds: “It was amazing, we went to twelve vineyards around Cape Town. Charlie would go and select the wine and I’d speak to the chef who was there, then we would figure out a menu and finish the tour with a big dinner.”
ick and Jill Stein opened The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow back in 1975. From humble beginnings, the business now employs over 600 passionate people and includes 12 restaurants, 40 hotel rooms, self catering accommodation, four foodie shops and a cookery school. While Rick and Jill are both still at the helm, their three sons – Ed, Jack and Charlie – are all closely involved in the business and it’s fair to say, the Stein family passion for fresh fish, simply cooked, is stronger than ever. Ed is the eldest and works closely with Jill and his wife Kate to plan and design the interiors. Jack is the middle son and Chef Director of the Stein’s business, overseeing all the menus at every restaurant, and youngest son Charlie looks after all things wine, designing and developing the business’ wine list and beverage offering.
It’s evident that both brothers are extremely passionate about their chosen industry. In response to this statement Charlie laughs and says: “I just love wine, it’s what I’ve grown up with, and it’s the matching of food and wine that really fascinates me, having come from a foodie family.”
Jack and Charlie are involved with the running of the restaurants; both brothers dedicate time to forging relationships with producers and suppliers, with Charlie visiting France and other countries around the world to liaise with wine suppliers. Thanks to Cornwall’s exceptional local produce, Jack doesn’t have to travel as far and it wouldn’t be out of the question for you to find him traipsing around a local farm looking for new produce.
For Jack, his love of the food industry and decision to pursue a career within it, not only stems from being around food his whole life – it also rides on the fact that when he was completing a degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Ancient History at Cardiff University, it became evident to him that a
LEFT Jack and Charlie
A B OV E Rick Stein, Porthleven
A B OV E Rick Steinâ€™s Cookery School, Padstow
D I A LO G U E
lot of his peers were driven to go to London afterwards because there wasn’t the industry in place at home. Comparably, Cornwall’s food industry was booming, allowing Jack to move back home. “I got to a crossroads when it was time to make the decision of moving home or moving on and I thought, this is where I’m from, this is where I was born, I love the lifestyle down here, I love the beach, it’s the perfect place to be.” His eyes light up and he says: “There are very few places in the world where you can be cooking for lunch, go for a surf in your split and then go back to work. So that’s the real reason, that’s my passion – it’s for Cornwall.”
The main goal for the dinners is for them to be a fun, laid back and enjoyable experience for customers, allowing them to utilise the information that the brothers provide in a relaxed environment. “Hearing me and
To showcase their mutual love for food and wine as well as providing another opportunity for them to spend time together, Jack and Charlie have set up wine dinners, which take
place in all the restaurants out of Cornwall (in Barnes, Marlborough, Winchester, and Sandbanks) and in the Cookery School in Padstow too. “People can be quite nervous about making the right choice when pairing food and wine – we want to eradicate that and help people see that once you have a think about it, it can be quite easy,” says Jack. The other aspect to the dinners is that they allow Jack and Charlie to connect with customers. “I don’t work on the floor anymore and Jack oversees the running of all our kitchens,” Charlie comments, “so it’s a great chance for us to engage with our customers.”
A B OV E The Cookery School’s open and interactive layout
D I A LO G U E
with a 2017 Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie from the Loire Valley; and a half lobster served with thin-cut chips and mayonnaise. Expertly matched with ‘Ava Marie’ – a 2016 Chardonnay from Hemel-en-Aarde, South Africa – Charlie told us: “South Africa is the most exciting country in the world, the best for producing wine.” As we sipped our chardonnay, he explained that only 5,000 bottles of it are made and that he only gets about 45 of them. “I don’t get to try this often, so I will be enjoying some with you today!”
Charlie ramble on about life and the universe is a good opportunity for customers to connect with us and our story, we talk about the family and express our views on food and wine. Predominately we want to promote interesting wine and food pairings, but it’s also a great opportunity to have a few drinks with our customers and have a laugh.” When it comes to how the brothers set up the menus for the events, they tend to stick to a theme that revolves around the provenance of the wine and then Jack chooses food to complement this. “If you go to France, Italy or Spain the winemakers create their wine to be served alongside local foods,” says Charlie. “For example, if you go to Burgundy in France and order the Coq Au Vin, it will be paired with a local wine to elevate the dish and this stands as a rule of thumb with most regions and dishes.”
The Cookery School is an extremely important part of the business, offering day courses and workshops for people to learn how to cook the freshest fish and shellfish, as well as being used for the inhouse apprentice scheme, internal training and wine dinners. It encourages people to have a hands-on approach to food. “We are so disconnected from food these days,” Jack muses. “Everything comes from a packet, even on a small scale – to take a whole fish and fillet it brings you closer to a process that we’ve become estranged from.”
The most recent wine dinner took place at the Cookery School in Padstow on 3rd July, which I was fortunate enough to be invited to, and as we climbed the steps to the reception room, we found ourselves guided through to the glass-fronted cookery room overlooking the harbour. Sipping our champagne (Beaumont des Crayères), we began mingling and getting to know our fellow guests, before being shown to our tables – laid out in a very sociable horse shoe shape. Taking our seats, we were welcomed by Jack and Charlie, and it wasn’t long before they introduced us to the first of the five courses – Oysters Three Ways.
“It’s a great venue,” continues Charlie. “The space is interactive thanks to the open layout – when you’re at a restaurant everything is behind closed doors whereas at the Cookery School, Jack can do demonstrations and we encourage people to ask questions, talk to each other and talk to us.” When discussing the aspirations for the Cookery School’s future, Charlie explains: “We want to get people closer to the produce. Cornwall is an amazing place for produce, from the veg, to the fish, to the butchery trade. There are so many small producers doing amazing things. It’s great to get guests closer to the story of produce, to take customers on a journey regarding
Charming throughout, the brothers deftly guided us through a tapestry of flavour – the food courtesy of Jack; the perfectly balanced wine list curated by Charlie – and so the evening flew by. Highlights (if I had to do the impossible and choose!) included the initial course of oysters, paired perfectly
D I A LO G U E
wine and want to share this fascination with their customers. It seems like this is a natural progression from the wine dinners – to actually go to the country the wine is from and see the produce growing in the fields.
where food comes from, where wine comes from and how to prepare fish and food in the right way. It gives people the opportunity to learn about the food and beverage industry as a whole. Expanding on the experience and genesis of food and wine.”
The next dinner is taking place at the restaurant in Winchester on 17th October and will be an exploration of Spanish food and wine. Keep an eye out for upcoming dates on the Rick Stein website and experience the brothers’ love for food and wine first hand. “Everything we do as a company is built around the customer experience and if we can deliver a carefully selected wine list and good recommendations that go with food, it’s useful for everyone to know.” The dinners therefore act as a microcosm for the Stein’s business as a whole, and this is what it all boils down to: indulging in the shared experience of enjoying great tasting food and drink among friends.
With this being said, Charlie is taking the concept one step further by instigating guest trips to wine regions so they can experience the wine in the vineyard it’s come from. Similarly, Jack is hoping to introduce culinary tours of Cornwall to the Cookery School next year. “I want to show people what we as chefs get to experience all the time, which is how wonderful Cornish produce is and how wonderful the suppliers are. If you really love food, for me that’s the next step for keen foodies – to actually experience what the chefs experience when they source food from local suppliers.” It’s clear that both Jack and Charlie are fascinated by the provenance of food and
A B OV E Rick Stein’s Cookery School
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C U I SI N E
Waterside dining that combines fish and flavour with front-of-house flair.
ith its ‘toes-in-the-water’ position, Rick Stein Porthleven sits right on the harbour’s edge. Part traditional building, part glass-fronted conservatory, the restaurant itself is a combination of laid-back luxury and modern chic. Opened by the Stein family in 2014, their influence is felt throughout: Rick and Jack with the menu; Charlie with the wine list; Jill and Ed with the gorgeous interiors.
A Grey Goose vodka and orange for me and a Tarquin’s Cornish gin and tonic for my better half make the perfect liquid companions while we read the menu. Head Chef, Ashley Gains prides himself on presenting a vibrant menu that changes with the season, and always celebrates the freshest of seafood. Being this close to the water, why wouldn’t you? We choose the fish and shellfish soup and the moules marinière to start, followed by crab linguine and the Indonesian seafood curry.
We enter through a sliding glass door that reveals a double-height restaurant space with an impressive vaulted ceiling. Assistant Restaurant Manager, Claudia, meets us with a beaming smile and the offer of a seat on one of the comfortable leather sofas in the bar area, where we are invited to relax and enjoy a pre dinner drink while perusing the menu. Rick Stein’s businesses have always been a family affair and as we chat happily with Claudia it’s no surprise to hear that her sons Olly and Jack both work with her during the high season.
I’ve heard from a friend that Stein’s house wine is delicious so when Claudia returns to take our order we also order a bottle of Rick Stein Spanish White. Made with virura and verdejo grapes we are promised a wine that is ‘charmingly fresh and fragrant’. We are shown to a table in the conservatory area where we have a vista across the harbour of fishing boats gently bobbing in the calm waters. You can see the reflection of the water in the crystal glassware that adorns the table. Call me old fashioned, but I do love a beautifully laid table!
A B OV E Head Chef, Ashley Gains James Ram
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C U I SI N E
richness of the crab meat perfectly. The curry is fragrant and the rich sauce plays host to a combination of sea bass, hake and prawns, served with a fresh green bean and grated coconut salad that cleanses the palate.
Ashley runs an open kitchen where you can see his chefs at work, and the aromas that emanate are simply mouth watering. Our starters arrive and herald the beginning of what promises to be a delicious feast. The soup is delicately flavoured so that it’s neither overpowering nor underwhelming, maintaining the perfect balance of taste. The mussels are a steaming bowl of succulent fruits of the sea, so fresh they almost melt in the mouth. Throughout, Claudia is on hand, always attentive but never intrusive. I’m glad I listened to my friend about the wine, it’s every bit as delicious as she promised and gives other, more expensive bottles a definite run for their money.
Sadly we can’t find room for dessert – so delicious was our food that we have cleared our plates, on both courses. Claudia brings us a pair of espressos as we reflect on our evening. We agree that Rick Stein Porthleven has achieved that much sought after combination of an ambient atmosphere in which you can relax, but one that also makes you feel special. It’s not a fine-dining restaurant, but it certainly offers fine dining. It is a place for foodies that crave simplicity and informality combined with amazing flavours and incredible views. If you love seafood and excellent service, you’ll love Rick Stein Porthleven.
A short intermission between courses allows us to soak up the view. As the sun starts to set the lights of the harbour begin to twinkle, it’s all truly magical. Our mains are equally as delicious as our starters. The crab for the linguine is hand-picked and paired with careful touches of chilli and garlic that cut through the
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C U I SI N E
En plein WO R D S B Y S I M O N S TA L L A R D
Irresistible recipes from Simon Stallard, founder of Cornwall’s best-kept foodie secret, The Hidden Hut.
Extracted from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard (HarperCollins, £20)
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C U I SI N E
Starter: Chicken and Wild Garlic Soup SERVES 4-6 INGREDIENTS:
1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled
3 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for roasting
100g wild garlic leaves, roughly sliced (keep the flowers if you have them)
1 large chicken, jointed (you can ask your butcher to do this) and breasts reserved for another recipe
4 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
3 celery sticks, roughly diced
1 small handful of mint leaves, ripped
1 onion, roughly diced
1 small handful of coriander leaves, ripped
1 leek, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method Once roasted, return the chicken to the pan and pour over 2 litres of cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours. Strain the soup and return the broth to the pan. Take the chicken from the sieve, remove the skin and shred the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Leave the meat to one side.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven), gas mark 7. Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan over a high heat and add the chicken legs, skin side down, along with the wings and the carcass (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan). Fry over a very high heat, to brown all over. Transfer to a roasting tin and coat in a little more oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 15–18 minutes until a deep golden brown.
Divide the wild garlic among serving bowls and top with the spring onions. Divide the shredded chicken between the bowls and add the herbs.
Add the vegetables to the same pan (there should still be some oil in there) and put it back over a medium heat. Sweat the veg for 2 minutes or until starting to soften but not colour.
Taste the broth and check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Ladle it over the chicken and greens in the bowl, and sprinkle over the garlic flowers, if you have them.
Extracted from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard (HarperCollins, £20)
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C U I SI N E
Main: Beef Shin Ragù SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS:
1 rosemary sprig
For the beef and sauce
250ml red wine
450g trimmed beef shin
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp olive oil
400g pappardelle pasta
40g butter, plus an extra knob of butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, grated
Shaved Parmesan, to serve
1 celery stick, finely chopped 2 onions, finely chopped
For the gremolata
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 anchovy fillets (fresh or tinned)
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp olive oil 2 anchovy fillets (fresh or tinned)
Method the casserole and cook in the oven for 3½ hours or until tender, reducing the temperature to 160°C (140°C fan oven), gas mark 3, after 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4. Rub the beef shin with the olive oil and season it. Heat a flameproof casserole dish on the hob. Add the beef and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, until browned. Lift out and put to one side.
When the ragù is nearly cooked, start making the gremolata. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and season with pepper, then give it a couple of whizzes to roughly cut and blend together. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Take off the heat and, while the pan is still warm, add the 40g butter and leave it to melt, then add the carrots, celery and onions. Put back over a low heat and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and bay leaves, and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the anchovies and tomato purée. Stir in and cook for another 1 minute.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain and add the knob of butter. Once the beef shin is cooked, carefully lift it out. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary.
Add the rosemary sprig and the wine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer to cook off the alcohol and release the rosemary oil. Pour in the stock and carefully add the beef shin, pouring in the resting juices. Bring to the boil, then cover
Using two forks, shred the succulent meat and return it to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve spooned over the buttered pappardelle with the gremolata drizzled over and topped with a few shavings of Parmesan.
Extracted from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard (HarperCollins, £20)
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C U I SI N E
Dessert: Orange and Cardamom Cake SERVES 8
For the syrup
Juice of 1 orange Juice of ½ lemon
3 whole oranges (ideally blood oranges, if available)
50g granulated sugar
375g ground almonds
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
375g caster sugar 2 tsp baking powder
9 large eggs
1 orange (ideally blood orange), peeled, pips removed, sliced into 5mm-thick discs
Crème fraîche, to serve (optional)
1 handful of pistachio nuts
Method Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put the orange and lemon juice in a saucepan and add the sugar and the cardamom seeds. Cook over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, and then increase the heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.
Put the oranges in a saucepan over a medium heat and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook gently for 2½ hours. Remove the oranges, then cut them in half and remove any pips. Put into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Leave the cake in the tin and put on a wire rack, then arrange the orange slices over the top. Pour over the syrup and leave the cake in the tin to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4 and line a 25.5cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Weigh out 550g of the orange purée and put it in a large mixing bowl. Mix the orange purée with the almonds, sugar and baking powder using an electric beater.
Put the nuts between two sheets of baking parchment and use a rolling pin to crush them roughly. When the cake is cool, turn it out of the tin and sprinkle with the crushed pistachio nuts. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.
While still mixing, add the eggs, one at a time, until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
Extracted from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard (HarperCollins, £20)
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the PLAYING FIELD WORDS & PICTURES BY CHRIS TUFF
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QU E N C H
In the shadow of their continental counterparts, Britain’s winemakers, particularly in Cornwall, are nonetheless producing wines of superb international acclaim.
Knightor are relative newcomers to the world of wine-making. They planted their first vines in 2007 and made their first wine in 2010. The rosé they produced from their modest crop of grapes won a gold medal at the United Kingdom Vineyards Association Awards, setting the bar high for future wine production. In 2011 they established their own winery and now produce around 50,000 bottles annually.
he Knightor Winery is situated almost perfectly equidistant from their two vineyards at Seaton and Portscatho, and only a stone’s throw from the Eden Project. The typically Cornish huddle of restored, granite farm buildings are set around a central courtyard nestled in four acres of gardens, pasture and orchards, above St Austell Bay. Whilst it is a busy, working winery, it has also become a popular venue for weddings, feasts and long, lazy Sunday lunches. Adrian Derx, Director of the winery explains that this was not part of his original vision, but the addition of a bar, large dining and events area and a shop has helped sustain the development of the winery and vineyards. When I arrive, on one of the hottest days in August, everyone is busy with preparations for a wedding the following day. Despite the f lurry of activity, the General Manager, Anna McCleave, takes time out to walk me around the sun-drenched courtyard, walled herb garden and meadow, complete with gazebo and a lily covered pond reminiscent of a Monet painting. On a perfect summer’s day, it seems an idyllic, timeless, rustic and romantic setting for the next day’s celebrations. The short, guided tour ends at the winery, where I am introduced to Knightor’s Winemaker, David Brocklehurst.
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QU E N C H
Survey recorded southern Britain.
It is really only in the last 20 years that English wines have shed their second rate image and achieved respectability and acclaim on the international stage. Today, the best English wines are world class and stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the finest Champagnes and Burgundys. But wine making in England has a much longer, if chequered, history.
Today there are more than 400 vineyards in England and Wales and around 3,500 acres of vines. But, despite the steady rise in popularity of home-grown wines it is hardly a large-scale industry, nor are our isles synonymous with wine production compared with our continental cousins. Nevertheless, the fact is we are producing some very fine wines.
Whilst we know that the Romans brought wine to Britain, it is less certain that vines were grown here at the time. What is known, is that after the Norman conquest vines were grown and wine produced, mainly at monasteries, because the Domesday
As David says: â€œWhile English sparkling wines have deservedly taken centre stage, English still wines are often still under-rated
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QU E N C H
and sunlight, they wouldn’t ripen. Basically, a lower yield results in higher sugar levels, riper grapes and riper flavours.”
and overlooked. 20 or 30 years ago the quality wasn’t very good and it was those still wines that gave English wine a bad rep’. But that’s all changed – the English wine business is now more professional. There has been greater investment, research and acquisition of knowledge and skills, all of which has resulted in some really great wines.”
“Another limitation of our climate,” he continues, “is that we need varietals that are strong flowering and early ripening. Varieties that tend to grow best in the English climate are Bacchus, similar to a Sauvignon Blanc and really aromatic. The English climate also brings out elderflower, hedgerow aromas.” David points out Pinot Noir, “which can be used for still, rosé, red and sparkling wines, depending on the year and conditions,” as well as Chardonnay, which he says also does well, “mainly for sparkling but sometimes still.” Adrian Derx, Director, is the founder of the Knightor Winery. He was responsible for finding the locations for the vineyards, planting the first vines and establishing the winery, so who better to ask about the wines? “Our wines, like most English wines are lighter and more delicate than the bigger,
The major challenge facing British wine makers is our marginal climate, which results in a far lower yield per vine than our continental counterparts. However, while the grapevine is most productive in sunnier, hotter climes, the highest-quality wines are often produced where the vines grow at the margin of their existence. As David points out: “Some of the world’s finest wines are produced from lower yielding vines – it is a question of quality over quantity and makes for more distinctive and characterful wines. If we allowed the vines to have a big crop, given the autumn weather, with a lack of warmth
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QU E N C H
bolder, heavier wines from grapes produced in hotter climates. They are acidic in nature and particularly lend themselves to sparkling wines and still wines that work well as an accompaniment to food. They are refreshing on the palate, light, crisp and perfectly complement and cut through rich sauces and oily fish.” Talking to him, it is clear that Adrian is a man of vision with winemaking in his blood. His mother is Italian and grew up in Lazio, where her artist parents grew vines and made their own wine. However, what is surprising is that Adrian’s own background is running a successful IT company. He had considered moving to Italy and starting a vineyard there, but it was not a dream his wife shared. Not one to be easily deterred, he decided to look closer to home and after much searching, settled on two separate plots of land that he thought would be suitable for vines to thrive; gently sloping, well drained, south-facing fields, protected from the wind by high hedges. The rest, as they say, is history. Adrian’s Italian idyll is alive and well, only in Cornwall!
something quite neutral like a sparkling base wine,” explains David. “We then select another wine and along with grape skins this is distilled. From that we get a clear brandy. Then we take our unique blend of herbs, spices and citrus rinds and add those to the brandy. It is left to infuse for a week or so and the herb infused brandy is then added to the base wine. Finally, it is fortified with a little more alcohol to bring it up to about 15%.”
Their latest venture is also inspired by Adrian’s Italian heritage – vermouth. This took two or three years of experimentation working with Consultant Winemaker, Salvatore Leone, who helped develop the Knightor Vermouth. “It begins with a wine,
Adrian tells me that the vermouth is favoured by Tarquin’s Gin for an excellent dry martini, and how it’s being used for cocktails at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. He’s keen for me to sample it and see what I think, recommending that I try it as a spritz with soda, ice, a slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary. It sounds like the perfect drink at the end of a perfect August day, and it is. Light, refreshing and aromatic – quite simply, it’s summer in a glass. knightor.com
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Tip ofthe WORDS BY F I O N A MCG OWA N
A hat maker for two years, Marcel Rodrigues has nonetheless become a master of his craft.
introduced to the American market when the beaver population was falling thanks to over hunting. Today, hat makers use rabbit and mink fur felt as a slightly less expensive option. I can attest that there is a difference in texture between rabbit and beaver felt – marginal to my untrained fingertips, but probably a massive contrast to those in the know.
ho knew hats could be so complex? After an hour spent in the company of Marcel Rodrigues and his wife Becky, I feel as though I have been a complete headwear philistine all my life. For a start, I never knew that cowboy hats were made of fur. If I had ever thought of the material at all, I would have guessed they were made of felted wool. But no. Beaver fur has always been the follicle of choice, apparently – prized for its waterproof qualities and its denseness. Beaver fur trade was a big deal between Europe and America as far back as the 17th century, especially when the European species was hunted to relative scarcity, and America became the main source of beaver fur and felt for hats.
But there is so much more to learn. Hat making is a skill that very few people know about. Marcel, for all his knowledge, has only been making hats for two years, but you would never guess it. It is as though he has been forming fedoras and panamas for his whole life. He and Becky tell their story while he starts to make a hat. Marcel takes a big, round-crowned, floppy-brimmed felt hat from a stack above the workbench and pushes it over a circular block of wood. “This is an open-crown block,” he explains as he beefily shoves the material down over the block. There is some serious effort going on, forcing the hat down until the brim eventually reaches the worktop. Becky, her hands resting underneath her pregnant belly (baby number three is due
Beaver belly fur is the best, according to Marcel Rodrigues, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the hat-making process. Its densely matted strands make excellent grade felt. Hat felt can be made from wool, of course, “but it smells like wet dog, and it’s rough, and the finished product is hard to shape.” And who knew there are lowergrade levels of hat-felt? Rabbit and mink were
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much. The couple wanted to settle down and have children, so Marcel got a job working in aviation near to Oxford (“I was leasing planes for a living”) while Becky carried on with her work as a housing planner. Two children later, Marcel had his epiphany moment, and literally went for it – hell for leather. He would come home from work, put the kids to bed and work in the conservatory, learning the crafts of the hatter. “In the winter it was so cold,” he says, as he peels the hot, damp hat off the block (it’s called a ‘hood’ at this stage – before it has been formed into its final iteration), “but in the summer it was a sweat box.” He committed all his free time to the new art, developing contacts and experience at Christy’s, a nearby hat factory, to get ideas and experience. Becky was roped in to help with stitching and details – both of them working late into the night under bright lights to hand-sew the ribbons and leather sweat bands.
any day), looks on: “I couldn’t believe it – a couple of years ago, Marcel came home from work one day, and said ‘I’m going to try and make a hat.’ I said ‘What? What is he talking about?’ And then he just started accumulating all this old equipment, some of it dating from the 1800s…” This is a multi-tasking experience. Marcel and Becky segue between telling their story and explaining the hat making process. The next step is pushing a tight cord over the crown of the hat and rolling it down to its base. It’s called a ‘blocking cord’ and is used to create a clean, sharp crease between hat and brim. Marcel is visibly straining with the effort, and sweat starts to bead on his forehead beneath his velvety black fedora. In spite of the heat he’s generating, he says he’s not just wearing the hat for effect. “I always work in hats. Since I worked on Savile Row, I never go anywhere without a hat.” In his early 20s, he worked for three years for avant-garde tailors Cad and the Dandy. One of the founders, ex-city boy James Sleater was a good friend, so when Marcel was given a chance to leave his job working in IT at HSBC, he seized the opportunity. The draw to work in that world wasn’t very surprising, he says: he grew up in Cape Town surrounded by “very stylish women” – his mum and sister were both into fashion, and his aunt was a buyer for high-end fashion brands.
The felt hat sits on a nearby bench to dry, and Marcel can relax for a moment. When he was finally prepared to start the business, Becky and Marcel took the decision to move to Cornwall – as a lifestyle choice as much as for financial reasons. They sold their Cotswolds home and bought a place near Wadebridge. Setting up in Hawksfield could not have suited their brand better. The collection of funky retail shops, high-end vintage motors, contemporary art gallery, a deli and café – not to mention numerous local businesses – are all about promoting a classy vision of Cornish entrepreneurship. And this is exactly what Marcel Rodrigues is all about. While their suppliers are in the US – and the majority of their clients are also US-based – Marcel and Becky want their brand to be associated with their new home.
The blocking cord has been pushed down to the base of the hat, and Marcel picks up a steam iron, jacks it up to high pressure and presses it firmly against the crown of the hat and down on the brim. Over the noise, Becky tells me that she and Marcel were living in Oxfordshire and, after three years, the commute to Savile Row was getting too
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edging, you name it, you can customise it). Some of the six machines used for the sewing jobs date back over 100 years; some of them are replicas. And Marcel has taught himself to master every stage of the hat making.
The hats are bespoke. It’s not just about getting the right size: for the fedoras alone, clients can choose from a range of 30 colours, different brim widths and different shaped crowns. Once the hat has dried, Marcel uses a ‘rounding jack’ – which has an adjustable width and a Stanley knife blade to cut the brim in a perfect, sharp-edged circle. He then takes it outside, wraps a bandanna around his face to prevent the tiny hairs getting in his sinuses, and rubs the whole hat with a sander. This is known as ‘pouncing’ – the end result is a velvety smooth finish to the hat. The shape of the crown is another whole process. The hat goes back on the block and gets heated up again, so that Marcel can hand-crease the top of the crown into a diamond, teardrop or a cross diamond shape. While mass-produced felt hats are uniformly shaped using a moulded block and heated press, a hand-creased hat has its own unique character. He then adds the lining (embroidered silk from Mexico), a leather sweat band (in the client’s chosen colourway) and decoration (vintage fabric ribbons, poker cards, rusty nails, distressed
The young couple are nothing if not aspirational. Becky is now in charge of marketing and “adding a bit of artistic flair”, and they are both looking at ways to grow their unique business. “Our clients are mostly more edgy. All of them have a love of fashion. We haven’t got that specific client, but they have one thing in common: they want something different. They want something to make them stand out.” Marcel Rodrigues hats cost anything from £280 to £1,200 – and they are proudly high-end in terms of the quality and durability of their products (the felt hats can last 50-60 years), but they are keen to make other elements of their brand accessible to all. Marcel has commissioned a friend who specialises in vintage tattoos to create designs for a line of t-shirts (British made, using sustainably
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Opening Times: Mon - Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm Showroom:Trevanson St, Wadebridge opposite Lidl’s Tel: 01208 368643 Flooring Outlet*: Unit 4, Dunveth Business Park next to Screwfix Tel: 01208 368121 (*Weds by appointment only)
A FEAST FOR YOUR EYES AND
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Unit 3 Trevanson Street Wadebridge PL27 7AW • 01208 812 333 • cornwallrugcompany.com
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We are the cornish experts
Britannia Lanes of Cornwall have a dedicated team to assist you in planning and moving your personal eďŹ€ects from one home to another. We have a wealth of experience.
Please donâ€™t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or by calling my team on 01872 560147. We are here to help. Video Surveys Available
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into surfing and spear fishing, when he’s not off riding on his vintage Kawasaki motorbike. Their son has just started at the local primary school and two-year-old daughter Beatrix pops into the studio with granny to say hi before heading off to the local nursery.
sourced materials); they are looking at doing leather-and-canvas tote bags, and have recently done a collaboration with an ultra cool men’s clothing store in Paris – making hats to complement their bespoke leather shoes. While their exclusive hand-made panama hats are sourced using top-notch Ecuadorian straw, they are also branching out into other types of straw hats.
This is certainly a family business with a twist – and, with its burgeoning high net worth and celebrity clientele, there’s no question that it’s a luxury brand to watch.
It’s amazing to think that they have any time to enjoy their ‘lifestyle choice’ of living in Cornwall, but apparently they do manage to get family days on the beach – Marcel is
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P RO P E RT Y
SCANDI-STYLE eco home
A stunning, Scandinavian styled eco home commanding unrivalled coast and countryside views.
ituated in its own peaceful and private setting north of the Helford river, Alta enjoys the most magniﬁcent southerly views, gazing out across unspoilt countryside, over Polwheveral Creek and towards the Lizard peninsula. The home has been built with the future in mind, sourcing water from its own borehole and beneﬁtting from an air-source heat exchanger, which powers underﬂoor heating on the ground and ﬁrst ﬂoor. It incorporates granite and cedar wood and combines thermal eﬃciency with Scandinavian styling, achieving what can only be described as a masterclass in architecture and design. With ﬁve bedrooms, including a deluxe master suite, a gorgeous guest suite and three generous further bedrooms, Alta sums up the Scandinavian term ‘Hygge’, setting the bar for sustainable and contemporary Cornish living.
ALTA Guide Price: £1.65M JONATHAN CUNLIFFE 01326 617447 ofﬁce@jonathancunliffe.co.uk
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P RO P E RT Y
HOME ON the harbour
This exceptional waterfront apartment with 180-degree harbour views is on the open market for the first time since its construction.
narguably one of Cornwall’s most impressive apartments, 2 Admiral’s Quay instils in visitors an inescapable sensation of awe. Indeed, to say this apartment has a ‘wow’ factor would be to grossly understate it. Multiple wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, for instance, take in the astounding views across Falmouth harbour. The three bedrooms are all of good sizes too, with the master and main guest bedroom each enjoying an en suite. The living space, which is visually divided by a back-to-back fireplace, comprises a main sitting area and a dining area, all of which soaks up those incredible harbour views. Located within easy reach of the bohemian bustle of Falmouth, with its independent High Street and abundance of superb restaurants and bars, as seaside homes go, 2 Admiral’s Quay sits within a class of its own.
2 ADMIRAL’S QUAY Guide Price: £1.195M ROHRS & ROWE 01872 306360 firstname.lastname@example.org
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P RO P E RT Y
IMPRESSIVE coastal estate
Perched atop the cliffs with a beautiful section of headland and coastline to explore.
tack Point House is located in one of the most scenic areas of Cornwall, with spectacular views over the crystal clear waters of Falmouth Bay to the Carrick Roads and the Roseland peninsula beyond. The property offers direct access to the water and South West Coast Path from the headland of Pennance Point, which forms part of the grounds. There is a sheltered Mediterranean influenced courtyard at the rear and to the south, youâ€™ll find a lovely wooded walkway with wild flowers, leading to private and gated access to the coastal path and cove below. The accommodation, which extends to over 3,300 square foot, is arranged over two floors, with a layout that ensures spectacular views are enjoyed from all of the principal rooms. The overall impact is one of coastal living at its very best.
STACK POINT HOUSE Guide price: ÂŁ2.5M SAVILLS CORNWALL 73 Lemon Street, Truro TR1 2PN 01872 243200 email@example.com
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COUNTRY HOUSE and grounds A magnificent Grade II listed home in beautiful grounds near the Helford river.
reviades Barton is a beautiful country house nestled amongst rolling countryside just north of the Helford river. As you walk through the iron entrance gate into the charming courtyard, Treviades’ unique appeal is immediately evident. Upon entering the house the period features and grand design will take your breath away. The living areas are impressively spacious and with six bedrooms, the home provides a brilliant opportunity for a large family or as a potential business investment. The gardens and grounds are south facing with a delightful cobbled terrace and an extensive lawn, from which you can enjoy glimpses of the river in the distance. Famously immortalised in Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, Frenchman’s Creek, it’s a peaceful and beautiful area that inspires creativity.
TREVIADES BARTON £1.45M ROHRS & ROWE 01872 306360 firstname.lastname@example.org
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P RO P E RT Y
A rare opportunity to invest in one of the most valuable and highly coveted roads in Cornwall.
riginally built in the 1920s, Penmorva commands an elevated position with outstanding views across the Helford river – views protected by a covenant dating back to 1924. Outside, the vista really comes into its own and as you walk across the slate terrace that runs the full width of the house, you can’t help but be mesmerised as you look across the gently sloping lawns, interspersed with island beds and stocked with an outstanding array of ornamental and ﬂowering plants. While it oﬀers a superb standard of living as it is, plans were granted in 2013 to demolish the existing house and in its place, erect a 7,500 square foot replacement. Although these plans have since lapsed, they are available through Cornwall Council, highlighting the sheer potential of the opportunity that Penmorva represents.
PENMORVA Guide Price: £2.5M JONATHAN CUNLIFFE 01326 617447 ofﬁce@jonathancunliffe.co.uk
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P RO P E RT Y
A show-stopping creekside residence on the banks of Port Navas.
nce a humble petrol garage, servicing local cars, boats and even naval vessels during the Second World War, The Garage has since been transformed into a modern residential masterpiece. Resting less than a stone’s throw from the north bank of Port Navas creek, it enjoys an exceptional ﬁnish throughout, with ample living space that includes ﬁve bedrooms in the main house (four of which are en suite), plus its own self-contained guest apartment on the ground ﬂoor. But its proximity to the water – mere yards – is what truly sets The Garage apart, representing a rare opportunity for a growing family hoping to capitalise on Cornwall’s ultimate waterside lifestyle.
THE GARAGE Guide Price: £2.75M JONATHAN CUNLIFFE 01326 617447 ofﬁce@jonathancunliffe.co.uk
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P RO P E RT Y
A stunning property positioned to enjoy breathtaking views over Falmouth harbour and beyond.
ailor’s Creek is a beautiful contemporary home situated in Trevissome, a quiet hamlet just outside Flushing. The location is second to none and simply driving towards the property creates an instant feeling of ease. Sailor’s Creek offers so much for so many, with beautiful gardens, woodland and even a paddock to enjoy. The water frontage also provides the opportunity for water-based activities such as sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Upon entering Sailor’s Creek, the hallway creates a great first impression, bathed in light from the atrium above and with fabulous views ahead. In fact there is an exceptional quality of light throughout the property and upstairs, the outlook is at its best with outstanding vistas up and down the river – views that this spectacular residence has been designed to capitalise on throughout.
SAILOR’S CREEK £1.65M ROHRS & ROWE 01872 306360 email@example.com
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P RO P E RT Y
IDYLLIC waterside setting
A striking Edwardian residence, blending contemporary and period features in a tranquil location.
urrounded by rich greenery and peaceful creek waters, Cartreff promotes an atmosphere of tranquil relaxation. Couple the elements of languid tranquillity with the stunning Edwardian villa itself and youâ€™re presented with an incredibly attractive property opportunity. Cartreff is positioned towards the end of a no-through road and enjoys a truly idyllic setting. A beautiful home throughout, it blends charming and original features with more than a splash of the contemporary, delivering a sense of spacious modern living that, nonetheless, remains faithful to the propertyâ€™s original period character. The interior has been structured so that the original Edwardian wing and the more modern wing combine effortlessly into one contemporary space. The large open-plan kitchen and dining room leads into the spacious family room, with its wood burner and bi-fold doors. These, in turn, open onto the front terrace, presenting the perfect opportunity for al fresco dining as you watch the creek waters lap gently against the shore. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and a master bedroom suite with a balcony that affords views of the creek, providing an impressive amount of space to utilise for friends and family.
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Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Mylor offers access to the extensive sailing waters of the Carrick Roads, and nearby Mylor Yacht Harbour provides some of the finest yachting and boating facilities in Cornwall – featuring marina berths, moorings, a chandlery, boat yard and two well-regarded restaurants within walking distance of Cartreff. A few miles to the south is the historic harbour town of Falmouth, home to an eclectic mix of galleries, coffee shops, artisan bakeries, bars and restaurants to explore, as well as the world’s third largest natural harbour. Cartreff presents the opportunity to indulge in utter peace and seclusion whilst still having easy access to the world-renowned sailing waters of Mylor and the vibrant town of Falmouth. The combination of rich foliage, tranquil waters and a beautiful dwelling nestled in a friendly and close knit community presents an irresistible opportunity: to submerge yourself in the exceptional beauty of Cornwall from an exceptionally beautiful location.
CARTREFF Guide Price: £1.3M SAVILLS CORNWALL 73 Lemon Street, Truro TR1 2PN 01872 243200 firstname.lastname@example.org
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P RO P E RT Y
Commanding an unrivalled position, this collection of stunning homes represents the very best in Cornish coastal living.
ue for completion late this year, this exciting collection of private residential homes boasts the hallmark of quality that’s synonymous with luxury Cornish developer, Legacy Properties. Situated on Pentire Headland, each property is designed to capitalise on the breathtaking coastal and countryside views. What’s more, Woodlands benefits from direct private access to the Gannel Estuary, lying within easy reach of the famed surf and culinary scene at Fistral beach. Comprising ten residences in total, this development sits at the very top of Cornwall’s luxury market, boasting an exquisite attention to detail throughout, from luxury bathrooms, to sumptuous en suite bedrooms, to gorgeous handmade kitchens. Finished in collaboration with Cornish design powerhouse, Iroka Interiors, these beautiful homes are built with the modern lifestyle in mind, surpassing the expectations of even the most discerning of buyers. WOODLANDS Last remaining home: £995,000 DAVID BALL LUXURY COLLECTION 01637 850850 email@example.com
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Transcending HISTORY WO R D S B Y F I O N A M CG OWA N
I C O N
A staggering feat of engineering and architecture creates a physical link between Cornish history and Arthurian legend.
Today, myth and reality play a big part in a visit to the rugged clifftop ruins. The great crag of a headland is connected to the mainland by a low isthmus. Centuries of erosion have caused the pathway to have dropped, meaning that, until this summer, the island ruins could be accessed only by a series of steep steps. English Heritage, custodian of the site, decided to re-integrate the two elements by building a footbridge to enable easier access to the island site.
The fantasy place of Arthur’s conception has taken on a life of its own, too – Richard, Earl of Cornwall built his own folly of a castle on the site in the 13th century, presumably partly because of its infamous connections to the great imaginary king. It is not just a place of mythology, though. Tintagel was once the seat of the kings of Dumnonia – one of the great strongholds of ancient Brittonic tribes, who regained power after Roman withdrawal in 410AD and ruled for several centuries until the region was eventually absorbed by England in Medieval times.
he legend of King Arthur is inextricably connected to Tintagel, whose clifftop ruins draw tourists year-round to the English Heritage site in north Cornwall. Tintagel was first mentioned as the place where Arthur was conceived in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12th century tale of a king who ruled the country with a heady mix of magical fantasy and military derring-do. Since that story, written around 1130, Arthurian legend has been expounded and revived countless times – becoming so much part of the English literary canon that you’d be forgiven for thinking that Arthur was a real person, albeit embellished with magical powers.
A B OV E Life-sized and bronze, inspired by Arthurian legend
I C O N
English Heritage went for the Ney/Matthews designs, and the two practices formed a team to tackle the challenges of the project. While the team was officially led by Laurent Ney, Matthieu is keen to emphasise that it was a democratic collaboration, with each team member adding their own views and technical expertise. “We joined both forces from the beginning. Laurent was originally a civil engineer and later on gained the title of ‘architect’. Myself, I am an engineer – I know how to compute a bridge; I understand the loads on a bridge; I know what elements constrain the dimension of the design of the bridge. William may have an intuition about the way it works and the flow of forces, but he’s an architect, so he’s concerned about landscape integration, architectural details and materials.” The constraints of the site were the first challenge. Since the beginning of human existence, we have been coming up with
Back in 2015, English Heritage held a competition to find the best bridge design for this plan. Of 137 entrants, English Heritage selected seven competitors to submit a formal proposal, and finally chose the designs of a collaborative team: Ney and Partners, a Belgian architecture and engineering company with a track record of building striking bridges around the world, and young British architect William Matthews. Matthews and Ney had worked together on plans for a bridge project in Italy earlier that year, says engineer Matthieu Mallié, and discovered that they had excellent synergy, so when William drew their attention to the Tintagel project, they jumped at the chance: “There is a strong sense for design in engineering in the UK, and we had never worked in the UK before,” explains Matthieu, “so when William contacted us about Tintagel, we saw that the location is beautiful and very interesting, so we decided to brainstorm with him to create a proposal.”
A B OV E Ruins date back as early as the fifth century AD
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Jim Holden Jim Holden Jim Holden
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different ways to span gaps: “Bridges are necessary for mankind,” Matthieu says emphatically, “to link people together. That’s a need. It’s not a pleasure…” The aesthetic challenges are one thing – building a 60m span that is sensitive to an unspoilt, craggy coastline, not to mention an important architectural site. But the technical and logistical challenges are another completely. Walking across the bridge today, very few visitors would pay too much attention to the fact that this is quite some feat of engineering. They wouldn’t consider how you transport the materials for this big steel structure, when there is no road access to the ends of the bridge. Perhaps you might imagine that giant scaffolding was built up from the valley floor, and the steel pieces were winched up and put into place. None of this was technically possible. There was no access by road to bring huge pieces of steel, the span is too high for scaffolding, the sea is too far
away to bring the steel by barge… At first, the engineers considered using big Super Puma helicopters – the sort that are used to build off-shore oil platforms – but there were too many variables: not least because the area is protected for fulmar breeding at certain times of the year, and the fact that you have to book the helicopters for very specific time slots. Miss your slot and you might have to wait six months for the next availability! It was William Matthews who came up with the idea of using a cable crane – a massive cable car that slides back and forth across the gap with building materials. They are most commonly used for building ski stations, but the system translated perfectly to the remote Cornish coastline. Admittedly, says Matthieu, it meant that the bridge had to be built in much smaller pieces than this sort of structure usually requires. And then there’s the actual physical build. While the bridge looks fine and delicate – almost filigree,
Unit 38 • Threemilestone Ind Est • Truro • Cornwall • UK • TR4 9LD T: 01872 240909 • F: 01872 240990 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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thanks to its criss-crossing slim trusses and slender curving banisters – it’s still 50 tonnes of steel, not to mention the weight of the slate decking. The non-engineers among us might wonder how you go about building a bridge of that weight in the first place. There are various ways you can do this, explains Matthieu, but he and his partners plumped for a cantilever build in the style of the iconic Forth Bridge in Scotland. It is built outwards from an anchor point in the cliff, and each section is essentially self-supporting. Imagine, if you will, a Lego bridge, with each piece sticking securely to the next. The cantilevers on each side of the span are built independently – each fourtonne piece of steel made entirely secure before the next piece is attached. Needless to say, the anchors in the cliff need to be incredibly strong, but the system is such that the bridge build could stop part-way through the process, and nothing would fall down. It is for this reason that the two sides of the bridge don’t actually need to meet in the middle. And in fact, they don’t. There’s a 4cm gap of pure air in the middle of Tintagel’s footbridge. It’s been designed to enable the bridge to expand in the heat, but the gap has deliberately been put right in the middle, in some ways to represent the journey between myth and reality, from the solidity of the mainland to the fantasy of the Arthurian legend on the headland. As Matthieu says: “We had the opportunity to transform a technical feature into a poetic feature.” There are many other interesting elements to this footbridge – not least the dedication to using sustainable materials. Ney and Partners makes every effort for their designs to have a minimal impact on the natural environment. Steel, though requiring high-energy production in the
first place, is a long lasting material, and is relatively light for its strength, meaning less material needs to be used, rather than, say concrete. The decking is made of thousands of vertical slithers of slate, stacked into steel trays. The upended slates form a very grippy surface, but more importantly, they are locally sourced. English Heritage opted to use slate from Delabole mine, just a few miles from Tintagel, rather than buying cheaper slate from India or China. “It was great to have a client who is as interested in the environmental concerns as we are,” says Matthieu. “The Delabole slate was more expensive, but in terms of durability, the environmental impact and the impact on the local economy, it was a great decision.” The bridge design itself was as minimal as possible, both in aesthetic and environmental impact. Matthieu explains that the shape of the bridge – with its arched top and counter curve in the base – creates a combination of traction and compression forces that enable a lighter, more minimal structure, considering the length of the span. The five rock anchors on each side are deeply bored into the ground and are completely invisible. Admittedly, the concrete that surrounds the rock anchors on the cliffs has quite some visual impact, but its scar-like effect will no doubt mellow with time. English Heritage has created this visitor attraction with the aim of drawing together the myths of the great fantasy king, Arthur and the genuine archaeological intrigue of a land of Cornish kings – all in one of the most magical settings in the country. The bridge that now spans the chasm between headland and mainland almost perfectly embodies that concept. english-heritage.org.uk
B I J O U X
passion for jewellery has been passed down through the generations at Hans D. Krieger. Eternally elegant and displaying a sublime level of craftsmanship, the brand and its beautiful collections are evidence of a multi-generational fascination with all-things precious. Pieces such as those in the Butterﬂy Collection awaken a desire to wear something special; to treasure them and pass them on for the next generation to enjoy.
Michael Spiers are the West Country’s premier diamond and gem stone experts, renowned for their own handcrafted collections (as seen on the right) as well as stocking the world’s most prestigious jewellery brands, including the beautiful pieces above from Hans D. Krieger.
1 . B U T T E R F L Y B R A C E L E T - £1,750 2 . B U T T E R F L Y N E C K A L C E - £4,500
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B I J O U X
5 . E M E R A L D & D I A M O N D R I N G - £6,250 6 . A RT D E C O RU B Y & D I A M O N D P E N D A N T - £4,750 7 . D I A M O N D G R A D U A T E D C O L L A R - £5,295 8 . S A P P H I R E & D I A M O N D C L U S T E R R I N G - £17,995 9 . Y E L L O W S A P P H I R E & D I A M O N D T R I P L E C L U S T E R R I N G - £6,250
Back from the WORDS BY F I O N A MCG OWA N
Young Adult author, Emily Barr, talks risk, reward and the state of the world.
e’re sitting, appropriately enough, drinking coffee in Waterstones in Truro. Emily Barr, one of Penguin’s top Young Adult (YA) authors, has had something of a renaissance since she first penned a complex thriller about a teenage girl with a brain disorder that affects her memory. The One Memory of Flora Banks was written on a wing and a prayer back in 2015, when Emily decided to go off-piste from both her regular style of writing and from her publisher, Headline. She took a gamble and it paid off – magnificently, as it happened. Having written 12 adult novels, by 2015 Emily was an established author in the genre of psychological dramas with a bit of romance thrown in. But when she was asked to write a sequel to her last novel – about a woman having an affair with a man she meets on the sleeper train, travelling from Penzance to London every week – Emily baulked. She wanted to write a story based in Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, with a young female protagonist from Penzance. Emily was so determined to follow
this storyline that she walked away from her publisher. As a single mother of three children, it was a huge risk, and she struggled: “It led to the most massive financial pressure – I was teaching creative writing courses and doing lots of other things to pay the bills.” Emily’s agent at Curtis Brown advised her to re-calibrate the novel as a YA story. “I was writing it and re-writing it and editing it and trying to get every word right for about a year,” Emily remembers. “My finances were completely falling apart. My credit cards were going up and up, and the zero percent deals were ending and it was just overwhelmingly terrifying, financially. I was completely shielding the children from it so they didn’t really realise, but we were absolutely teetering on the brink.” This crisis point must seem like ancient history to Emily today. Her agent started a bidding war between Harper Collins, Bloomsbury and Penguin and finally got a six-figure book deal with Penguin – selling into 15 languages pre-publication. Emily could not have been more relieved. Since that frenetic time, she has written three more YA novels, married
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her partner Craig Green, and the family has moved together into the heart of Truro. While her life has become infinitely more secure over the last five years, however, the wider environment is becoming more insecure. Emily is passionate about what is happening in the world around her, and although she loves to escape into her novels, the impact is still striking deep into her core. While she is not able to talk in any detail about her fourth YA novel, she can say that it relates to her response to the climate crisis facing us all: “I can definitely say that my next YA book is a sort of countdown to the apocalypse.” Emily began her career as a journalist for the Guardian, where she started off doing a work experience job, progressed to working as a columnist and ended up writing a fictional chick-lit style diary for the sports section. Looking back, she recognises: “I never followed up opportunities to get claimed as a
news journalist, and I was always wanting to write a novel.” In the spur of a moment, she suggested to the travel editor that she would go backpacking for a year and write a column while she was at it. The column was sponsored by a travel agent and her only commitment was to write a piece every two weeks. It was 1999, and long before the social media revolution, so Emily’s regular updates from her travels were relatively groundbreaking. She began to write a novel ‘on bits of paper’ and on her return exactly 12 months later, she had already found herself an agent: “It was a different era back then.” While she was away, she emailed an old Guardian colleague, and said: “Oh, you know your friend, the agent, can you give me his email address?” Emily knows that she was very lucky to have found an agent (she is still with Curtis Brown today) and to get an advance. “I got my first book deal having written six chapters and
A B OV E Emily Barr
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L I T E R A RY
a synopsis, which just wouldn’t happen any more,” she admits. “Publishers want the book to be finished before they commit to it now.” Her first novel, a suspense thriller called Backpack, came out in 2001, five years after Alex Garland’s The Beach became a bestseller and carved out a ‘backpacker thriller’ niche on the shelves of Waterstones et al. Emily’s writing career took off, and she went on to write 12 novels for Headline. On the side, she ran numerous writing workshops and for a time, joined forces with her partner Craig to run a creative writing school. Because of her background in journalism, she says, Emily prefers working to a deadline, offering dates to her publisher which sometimes create stress in her life… not least when planning to complete a novel by the last day of this summer holidays (she just got the manuscript sent in on 31st August). Then it’s a process of edits and rewrites, which again has to be done to a deadline. Emily and Craig are currently writing a children’s book together, and at the same time, she is writing an adult book – a dystopian sci-fi thriller. “In the current political situation,” she explains, “I find everything that I’m writing is turning really apocalyptic.” Emily’s YA novels explore the shifting identity from child to adult in the context of high drama and psychological tension. “You’re going from one state, of being looked after, to the other state of being responsible. Working out who you’re going to be when you become that adult. Shaking off the people looking after
you and taking more and more of your own way of dealing with the world.” Having teenage children herself has given her inspiration as she watches the “immense amount of unfurling” and brings back vivid memories of awkwardness as a teenager. Travel remains a central part of Emily’s novels: the last three have been set in Norway, Rio de Janeiro and India, adding a spicy backdrop to the teenage dramas. The most recent YA novel, The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods centres around a commune set up by idealistic backpackers in the 90s – the era when Emily herself was travelling the world. The commune has separated itself from the world for decades, but a crisis causes the community to become sick and one of the teenage daughters has to leave to get help. The coming-of-age experience is intensified as the protagonist has been so removed from the modern world: “It’s a kind of exaggerated story of finding who you are. And she has to deal with social media and she hasn’t even seen electricity before. It was really fun to write...” Emily herself seems to have been reaching a different coming of age. As a mother of teenage children, her talents as a writer seem to have developed a deeper purpose. “It’s impossible not to be affected by the world around us,” she says, with passion. “You can go to the demos or whatever, but all you can really do is use your voice. The state of our world today is the only thing I want to write about.” penguin.co.uk
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WORDS BY BETHANY ALLEN
As the seasons turn and a perceptible chill begins to creep into the air, we surreptitiously pull our jackets tighter and turn into the crisp air of autumn, ready to face another Cornish winter.
t’s the season for long walks along empty beaches, for discovering the divine sense of solitude amongst nature that Cornwall’s cliffs, coves and ocean landscape ignite, and for cosy evenings relaxing in front of the fire. Celtic & Co are experts at designing products that provide a cocoon of warmth to snuggle into over the colder months. With almost 30 years’ experience crafting sheepskin products, the company design and create enduring contemporary pieces using the finest natural fibres because they are renewable, sustainable and a pleasure to wear.
Originally branded as ‘UGG’, in 1997 Nick and Kath sold UK rights to the ‘UGG’ trademark, which funded the move to a larger workshop and warehouse space. They changed the name to Celtic Sheepskin Ltd at this time – then in 2013, the name was changed again to Celtic & Co as a way of retaining their distinctive heritage but also to reflect the wider product range.
Like most great adventures in life, the Celtic & Co story stemmed from spontaneity. In 1990 husband and wife Nick and Kath Whitworth saw an advert in a local paper offering a small boot making business for sale. They bought it with just seven pairs in stock, two sewing machines and a hydraulic press.
LEFT Gorgeous sheepskin designs
A B OV E Nick and Kath
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The style of boot that Nick and Kath initially chose to design was inspired by north Cornwall’s rugged landscape of steep cliffs and crashing surf, and it’s a landscape that still inspires the collections today. The idea was to design a supremely comfortable sheepskin boot to keep surfers’ toes warm in the depths of winter, and be machine washable to remove tidemarks. As she reminisces on the company’s humble beginnings, Kath smiles and says: “With determination to create a living in our home town of Newquay, we decided to try our hand at making footwear from British sheepskin, for the surfers the area so famously attracts. Renting a small building in the middle of Newquay and employing just one seamstress to start with, we produced sheepskin boots, known as the Original Celt Boot. The response was incredible and we couldn’t make enough of them! One day, a keen customer came in requesting a pair of slippers to be made for him, so we tried it. The customer was thrilled and this was the birth of our best-selling product of all time – the Bootee slipper, still made today.”
As I admire the various styles, the classic design stands out due to sheer comfort; the soft boot allows you to encase your toes in the warmth of sheepskin, with an inner lining that cradles your feet in a cosy embrace that’s as close as you can get to walking on clouds. The lightweight and durable design provides support with a dedication to comfort that stems from years of experience hand crafting these stunning designs, and the overall quality of the product is exceptional. Twenty nine years on, Celtic & Co is still handcrafting boots, slippers and flip flops the traditional way, but is also now renowned for a range of clothing and soft furnishings made from the finest natural fibres, with understated luxury being the hallmark of the brand. “We believe our customers buy into a brand, not just a product. They love the fact we are British, many of our customers from overseas have ties to our little island, and even have fond memories of holidays by the sea in Cornwall. Ethical sourcing and British manufacture is close to our hearts and, we believe, ensures the quality of our items.”
RIGHT Understated luxury at its finest
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In regards to the design process it’s clear that sustainability is a core aspect of the business. Nick elaborates: “The ethos of Celtic & Co from the beginning has been to sustainably manufacture and source suppliers. 75% of our suppliers are based in the UK and we make all our sheepskin boots and slippers in our factory in Newquay, so we really keep our garment miles to a minimum and our carbon footprint as small as possible. Additionally, because sheepskin is a by-product of the UK’s farming industry, we are utilising a resource that would otherwise be disposed of. If sheepskins aren’t used they need to be incinerated at very high temperatures. There are only around 10 of these incineration facilities in the UK meaning that even the process of transporting the skins generates a high carbon footprint and is a costly process for UK farmers. By purchasing the skins, we are helping local farmers make a profit from this otherwise wasted part of the animal.” All the components of sheepskin boots and slippers, apart from the soles, are consciously sourced from within Great Britain. The local sourcing ensures that the company builds strong relationships with its suppliers and knows that they are ethical. Celtic & Co also
only buy from farms that operate within the highest standards of animal welfare, and the company has worked with its suppliers for decades, forming relationships they can trust. It’s refreshing to see a company as successful as Celtic & Co be so committed to sustainability. The fashion industry is notorious for waste, with some of the most exclusive high fashion designers choosing to burn warehouses full of clothes instead of allowing them to flood the market, and a fast fashion culture that sees outfits worn for one evening and never again. Therefore, for Celtic & Co to avidly promote slow fashion and sustainability is a step forward in the right direction. Furthermore, as part of this commitment, the company provides a resole and repair service, allowing you to give your boots a new lease of life and encouraging consumers to repair, re-use and restore products rather than throwing them away.
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C O U T U R E
In 2018 Celtic & Co were given the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category – the highest official UK award for British businesses. “As a company this is the pinnacle of our achievements so far,” says Nick. “Being recognised within the UK for our contribution to the economy has given us more to aspire to as we continue to grow.” As well as growing the trade side of the business, Celtic & Co is also looking into creating an even better experience for international customers, allowing them to navigate the website in their own language. Production in the factory has increased to match the rising demand and the Celtic & Co team are in the midst of their biggest and most exciting autumn and winter collection to date, offering yet more styles to the ranges of outerwear, footwear and homeware.
It’s an exciting time for Celtic & Co and the company continues to go from strength to strength. Having developed from relatively humble beginnings, Nick, Kath and the team have an inspirational approach to fashion with an ethos that revolves around high quality products with sustainability at the core of everything that they do. Collectively, the company is making changes both within the business and throughout wider operations to promote a more sustainable fashion future. Kath elaborates: “Although our range, turnover, staff and premises have all grown over the last 29 years, the core values of the brand remain the same: to only ever use sustainable natural fibres, to always source suppliers as close to home as possible, and to create high-quality pieces that are designed to last.” celticandco.com
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of CHANGE WORDS BY F I O N A MCG OWA N
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D I A LO G U E
The dryrobe has received high praise since its launch, and has now become an essential piece of kit for any outdoor enthusiast.
rom Finisterre to Fat Face and from Salt Rock to Stussy, beachy clothing brands can be a golden pathway to success. While the world of outdoor wear has sometimes slithered into fast fashion, it is the functional, high end, more durable items that have always been a strong point for many top brands. Think Patagonia, with its recycling ethos and wetsuit-fixing offering, or Cornwall-based Finisterre, whose small, stylish range of outdoor clothing focuses on functionality first. An entrepreneur could do a lot worse than to step into the world of beach related products, particularly if they hail from the south west and have a yen for surfing. I met one such entrepreneur in his spacious oﬃces in Braunton, north Devon. Gideon Bright spent his formative years in Cornwall, left the county, immersed himself in a distinctly non-beachy career, and ended up in north Devon with a glimmer of an idea of how to make a beach-related product. Now, his idea has turned into a £3m-a-year outdoor clothing brand whose roots might be based in the sand and salt of the beach, but which now reaches almost every aspect of outdoor life, from camping to triathlons, from wild swimming to rock climbing. His business has collaborations with the likes of Red Bull, Go Pro, PADI and Tough Mudder. His brand is seen at some of
the world’s biggest endurance events and on the backs of Team GB athletes. And he’s still restless for expansion… Back in the 80s, Gideon had a special changing robe that was the envy of his mates. A crowd of young surfers, they were out in all conditions, bunging their boards and kit in a van and chasing the waves up and down the Cornish coast. After a surf session, Gideon would pull on a hooded, floor length, poncho-like gown – elasticated at the neck, towelling on the inside and waterproof tent material on the outside. Some 30 years later, in his cool open-plan mezzanine meeting room, Gideon takes a sip of coffee and glances at a screen whose rolling images show hooded figures on snowy beaches, leaning over camp fires and running on sunlit sands. He reminisces on his early days down in Cornwall, and his odd-looking robe. “You put it on, and it looked mental,” he says, “we’d go surfing and we’d share it to change under. We had that thing in the van for years and years…” His mum had made it for him one Christmas, he remembers. They were a resourceful family: “We lived on a small farm not far from Truro, and my parents made their own wetsuits. They used to buy neoprene and cut it out and glue it together. My first wetsuit was one of the ones that she built.”
LEFT Made for the outdoors
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D I A LO G U E
he started working in commercials and pop videos. Living in a garden flat in Maida Vale, he was working on set with the likes of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, Sting and Craig David. His job was not at the glamorous end of film-making, he emphasises – the focus being on the logistics and planning: “I’ve always been a list writer and organiser.” When he wasn’t working, of course, he was surfing – taking at least a couple of months off every winter to travel the world to feed his passion.
Gideon’s journey took him far away from those beginnings, and he would never have guessed that his mum’s home-made poncho would one day form the basis of his multi-million-pound business. Surfing was one of the deepest drivers throughout Gideon’s life. He lived to surf. As a young man, he learned to do graphic design (his dad’s trade before starting the farm), and had a vague idea of becoming a builder (having helped his dad on building projects). But it was when he was living at his aunt’s house in Carbis Bay in the early 90s that a surfing film jettisoned him into a ‘proper’ career. Blue Juice, starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Ewan McGregor, was filmed in west Cornwall. Like a lot of his friends, Gideon worked as an extra and hung around on the set. “I ended up helping the location manager,” he adds, “because I knew where a lot of things were...”
Eventually, working in a high-pressured job in London took its toll, and Gideon retreated to north Devon. He had bought a place to live with his girlfriend and baby in Croyde, commuting to London to work. The logistics of living away from home didn’t work, though – the relationship broke down and to his devastation, his ex moved to Australia with their daughter. Not long afterwards, Gideon met someone else. Determined to keep his focus firmly on his new wife and family, he returned to Croyde, left the film industry and re-acquainted himself with graphic design; learned to build websites, and developed his skills in online marketing.
From that small opportunity, Gideon built a career as a location manager in the film and TV industries, based in London. At first, his job was pretty low-key – “sorting out parking and police permissions and telling extras where to go,” but after progressing through jobs on various TV detective shows,
A B OV E Gideon Bright
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D I A LO G U E
By 2010, Gideon owned a few properties in the south west, and supplemented his income with design work. But the numbers weren’t adding up to have the lifestyle he yearned for… the ability to make enough money while still focusing on his children. One particular self improvement book had a major impact: The Four-Hour Work Week suggested that charging for your time is a poor way to be financially successful. After all, explains Gideon, there are only so many hours in the day that you can charge for. He set a challenge for himself and his wife, to each come up with an idea for a product: “We’ll bring those to the table next week and we’re going to make whatever it is that we come up with. I will build a website and build a logo
for it.” He didn’t immediately come up with the idea for the dryrobe – there were plenty of changing robes on the market by this time, and his mum’s waterproof hoody didn’t resurface in his mind. The first idea was a towel with Velcro that you could wrap around yourself to change underneath. But soon afterwards, in Australia, he saw his daughter struggling to change under what was known as a ‘swim parka’ – a long, narrow coat with fleece lining – and he was reminded of his mum’s epic poncho. Like all the best entrepreneurs, Gideon combines the elements of opportunism, determination and risk taking. Within months, he’d designed a changing robe (voluminous, covered in tough waterproofing; lined with thick fleece; wide, short arms and chunky zip), found suppliers of fabrics, built a website, designed the brand logo, and had got a local business to start knocking up the designs. He is also adaptive. The initial designs began to sell, but he was only making about a £5 markup on each robe. Raising his prices caused a bit of a furore in the surfing community, he says – he priced them at just shy of £100 – but they were still selling. It was a giant learning curve. At first, he was importing the fabrics, managing the manufacturing and bagging up the robes with the help of his kids in the garden shed. Within three years, he had an office and a small staff. He was going to trade shows and marketing the brand. The designs have had a few minor changes over the years: they now have pockets, and you can buy long-sleeved versions. There are different patterned fabrics and choices of colourways. The ethos behind the business, though, has never changed. “I’ve always been a ‘come on, let’s get out, let’s do something’ kind of dad. And the core of dryrobe is enabling everyone to get outside.”
A B OV E Standing up to the extreme
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D I A LO G U E
The priorities, though, are changing with the times: “I originally came at it from a purely product and marketing side,” admits Gideon. “But then you become aware of it and educate yourself about the impact of your product. So now, eco and environment is at the top of the agenda, whether it’s on the new product development front, on fabrics and sourcing, or it’s the supply chain, right through to the consumer using it.” dryrobes are built to last, Gideon points out, so they are not fast fashion. The focus today is on reducing the plastic packaging, and the current project is to source more sustainable fabrics. Last year, the company sold nearly 40,000 robes and has twelve full time and four part time staff based in its offices in Braunton. His face lights up when he talks about the future: “The business is a lot of fun. The whole thing just oozes opportunity for me
that I’m just desperate to access.” And, although there is a lot more at stake than in the garden shed days, he’s clearly not afraid of risk: “I just love pushing it out there and doing all the things we’re thinking about at the moment. It’s all internationalising. We’ve got a fantastic product that will work in so many different areas, in so many countries. And yet hardly anybody’s heard of it.” With all this productivity, I wonder if Gideon has got close to that four-hour work week – has he achieved the nirvana of work-life balance? “Getting the weighting right has got its challenges,” he says, “but I’m fortunate that I can still have the time with the children, because of the team I’ve got around me. My personal focus is still where it has always been: the kids and the family.” dryrobe.com
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WORDS BY BETHANY ALLEN
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C R E AT E
A breaking wave, an ocean landscape, a moment in time – frozen and immortalised with the fluid texture of oils, ready to be re-lived through the eyes of the viewer.
rtist Linda Matthews depicts the power of the ocean landscape in all its moods, capturing inspirational moments in time and preserving them forever. Originally based in Derbyshire where she taught art for 26 years, Linda responded to the call of the ocean and relocated to Cornwall and the home of her ancestors as soon as the opportunity presented itself. During our conversation Linda explains that her mother’s family was Cornish and that she can trace her family history in Cornwall back to the 16th century, to a certain Jenkyn Pellor in Breage, which somewhat clarifies her deep-rooted connection to the area. In response to this statement Linda smiles and says: “I’ve always been drawn to Cornwall, we used to visit for holidays with my grandparents and when it came to a time in my life when I needed to have a change, there was only one place I wanted to go: Cornwall – it’s in my blood.” Linda now lives in a traditional Cornish cottage on Cornwall’s south coast near Rinsey, just a mile down the road from where her ancestor Jenkyn lived. “I’ve returned to my roots, it’s a dream location for me and my studio – I can see the ocean from my house
and I’m just a short walk away from Rinsey Cove, where I often swim.” Through studying Linda’s artwork it’s clear to see that she is mesmerised by the ocean. In response to this observation Linda says: “I love watching the sea, watching the waves, being in the sea and painting the sea. I do paint other things but my heart lies with the ocean.” The ocean landscape is a part of Linda’s identity, she’s captivated by it, when she’s not in it she’s connecting with it through her paintings; revealing a life-long love affair with the sea that we can all relate to. The painting that continues to draw my eye as I survey her collection is ‘Storm Surge’. Its mood is dark and brooding, the sea is an impenetrable steely grey with clouds ascending from its surface like smoke from a fire. The overall effect, however, is of power. The painting depicts the atmosphere and strength of the ocean with shadowy greys, opaque blacks and harsh whites creating an overriding sense of metallic darkness. This feeling of imminent gloom is then cut through and juxtaposed by the reflection of light cast through the centre of the painting – illuminating the scene with an element of hope, and suggesting that the sun’s rays are
MAIN Linda Matthews
INSET Storm Surge
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tentatively pushing through the oppressive darkness of the clouds, thereby instilling a tangible sense of potential within the painting. The process behind a painting and how it’s formed can often be just as fascinating as the piece itself. “To create my paintings, I head to the coast and make sketches of the ocean – I will often do small paintings in situ and take photographs for reference. I then return to my studio at home and transfer concept into creation.” Linda’s material of choice is oils; the fluidity of oil paint lends itself perfectly to the depiction of water, allowing her to achieve the right depth and colour within her paintings. “I used to use mixed media and acrylics to create surface texture but now I use oils. Oils can be worked into a lot more, allowing me to create a sense of fluidity within my paintings.”
“Sitting above the cliffs at Botallack I was so inspired that I sat and painted until the painting was almost complete. This doesn’t happen often because of the size and nature of my paintings but with this piece it was the right subject at the right time and it simply fell into place. I became enthralled in the process of painting it there and then on top of the cliffs and continued to paint until it was finished.” Knowing the process behind this painting gives it even more depth and character. There’s a softness to Botallack that contrasts with the subject matter of jagged reefs and draws the observer in; the turquoise blue waters suggest that this was a bright day with clear blue skies and it’s therefore unsurprising that Linda remained here to capture the swirling movement of water against the rocks below. When musing on the exceptional circumstances in which Botallack was created, Linda explains: “I can become very involved in a painting and I want to keep working on it and working on it until it’s finished. Some people say ‘how long does it take you?’ and you cannot answer that as an artist because sometimes you can capture what you’re trying to achieve almost instantly,
One of the only exceptions to this process was her painting of the reef at Botallack, which stands out from the other paintings in Linda’s collection because of its viewpoint. Whereas most of Linda’s paintings look out to sea, Botallack is observed from above. The distorted viewpoint isn’t the only exception, as Botallack was also completed in situ, on the clifftop itself using heavy-duty paper.
TOP Summer Shore
A B OV E Storm Cloud over Mount’s Bay
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like Botallack, and sometimes you re-work it and re-work it several times before you’re happy with it. My head and my heart have got to know that it’s right – creativity doesn’t come from a set of rules, it’s got to come from instinct and inspiration.” The landscape and atmosphere of a place is integral to Linda’s artwork. “It means everything. I approach painting from something I’ve seen that has moved me, and to me, the most awe-inspiring aspect of life in Cornwall is its ocean landscape. Constantly altering weather patterns, dramatic skies and crashing waves are the source of my inspiration.” Linda’s relationship to the atmosphere of a place is evident throughout her collection and makes you perceive the moods of the ocean even more acutely once you have had the privilege of studying her work. There is also a hint of solitude that underlies Linda’s artwork, of immersing yourself in the elements and re-connecting with nature alone. “It’s an incredibly powerful experience to witness these things alone, to submerge yourself in the ocean’s captivating beauty and think of nothing but the rise and fall of the waves and the varying voices of the sea.”
Linda has had exhibitions at the Old Lifeboat House gallery in Porthleven for the last nine years, utilising a space that seamlessly complements the nature of her work. She has also sold paintings in Webbs Fine Art in Battersea and had exhibitions at the Poly in Falmouth, as well as the Salt House Gallery and the Crypt Gallery in St Ives. Her work is currently being displayed at two esteemed restaurants in Porthleven – Kota and Rick Stein – and she is taking part in Cornwall’s Open Studios again next year. Linda’s oil paintings allow you to be transported to the ocean, when you gaze at her paintings you can hear the waves crashing against the shore and feel the salt spray softly dampen your skin. Her artwork captures a moment in time in the space where the land meets the sea and allows us to connect with the ocean no matter how far from it we may be. This landscape is full of moments that will move you; the atmosphere, location and setting combine to create something truly spectacular and it is this that Linda represents through her work. For those of you who are captivated by the ocean’s moods, we hope you enjoy surveying this beautiful collection of seascape oil paintings just as much as we have. lindamatthewsart.com
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C O N C I E R G E
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WO R D S B Y M E RC E D E S S M I T H
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An appreciation of beauty, literature, joy and loss, give Suki Wapshott’s paintings a deeply poetic edge.
rtist Suki Wapshott lives in an ocean view house above the spectacular beach at Polzeath. As a painter of sensuous landscapes inspired by the beauty of Cornwall’s rugged north coast, she is highly regarded, and highly collected, by an army of devoted buyers who share her love of this unique coastal landscape. At her studio and gallery on Polzeath’s beachfront Parade, Suki paints each day in the languid company of her beloved deer hounds, Freddie and Daisy, and pours the passion and the poetry of her life until now onto canvas. So far it has been an extraordinary, sometimes bitterly painful life, as suggested in the following diary entry, written by Suki in 1997 when she was a newly enrolled mature student of English Literature at Oxford University. “Oxford today, to pick up some books and go to the Bodleian - and I will probably try and find a couple of things for Niki in TK Max on the way home. Now I have overcome my fear of the library system, and more importantly the librarians, I love both the Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian. I feel privileged to have access to these institutions and to work in quiet, reverential hush - not silence, just quiet scratching, pages turning, small sighs and the gentle tapping of laptop keyboards. From the top floor of the Bodleian you can look out over the rooftops, and in the evening light Oxford becomes even more magical.
The area that English students use in the Radcliffe Camera [...] has become a sanctuary of dim lights and personal space [for me]. Tomorrow, I am to take Niki for her first prison visit.” These private notes reveal the two things from which Suki draws meaning and motivation as an artist: her love of English literature, and the precious but all-too-short life of her daughter Niki. When Suki wrote this diary entry, Niki was 18 years old and in the grip of a drug addiction that took her life only two years later. The prison visit, to see Niki’s partner - who was himself a victim of drug addiction - is an example of the unfathomable split that occurred in Suki’s life at that time, between the happiness and stability of their home and Suki’s success in securing a place at Oxford, and her daughter’s irretrievable slide into an entirely different world. “My whole life, until I came to Cornwall, has been a dichotomy,” she tells me now. “It has been a life of contrasting situations, and being at Oxford was no different. Being there was new and exhilarating, but whilst I was studying in those ‘hallowed halls’ there was a sense of removal from the world, an unreality almost, which was brought sharply back to ‘terra firma’ by the challenges of being a parent at that time. I think those extremes have since emerged in the content and style of my work. Writing and painting about the more painful moments in my life have been cathartic and
T O P (left to right) Golden Days | Earth colours - Port Quin | Siennas and Ochres LEFT Suki with her hounds Daisy and Freddie
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A B OV E Storm Gatherer
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INSET Mother of Pearl
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have produced some vibrant and deeply personal paintings.” When Niki died, shortly after Suki’s graduation, she and her husband began searching for ways to move forward, and perhaps for a way back to the happy times they had shared before. “When Niki died my life changed irrevocably,” says Suki. “Some of my dearest memories of her are from holidays in Cornwall, and in addition my husband is a surfer and landscape photographer so the decision was made to sell our house and move to Polzeath. Now I spend my days listening to the cries of gulls, and the orchestra of the sea, and feeling the sand and rocks beneath my bare feet. So many times here, when I am alone, I hear the wonderful opening stanza to John Masefield’s poem ‘Sea Fever’: ‘I must go down to the seas again, the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking; And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking’. Those words speak to me of the Cornwall I know,” she adds, “and they speak to me very specifically of Polzeath.” In the language of someone well versed in poetic expression, Suki is speaking, of course, of the dazzling appreciation of beauty, and of our very existence, that sometimes follows the pain of profound loss. Her love of landscape, and of poetry in particular, have sustained her in every aspect of her life, and Masefield’s ‘wind’s song’ and ‘the grey dawn breaking’ are evident in many of her paintings.
“Literature has helped me evolve into the landscape painter I am,” Suki tells me. “Most importantly, my study of Medieval and Anglo-Saxon poetry at Oxford put into my imagination an explosion of colour and form which had not previously been there.” ‘Troilus and Cresyde’, she explains, was the first literary work which inspired an oil painting. “I was so struck by the solitariness of Creseyde at the beginning of Chaucer’s poem,” she says, “and a painting I titled Criseyde at the Temple came into my head in minutes. That painting sold right off the easel and that was the start of things. Since I graduated, it has become clear to me that not just poems, but the differing processes of poetry writing over the centuries have influenced the way I think about my art. Cornwall’s landscape, of course, inspires my painting, but poetic concepts such as ‘inscape’ and ‘instress’, which Gerard Manley Hopkins termed as ‘the unification of the characteristics of each thing or place’, have helped me to consider what I see in the world. It is the unification of light, colour, sound, movement, tide, wind, sunlight or rain upon the sea which I attempt to bring to the canvas. It is the soul of the thing - the sand between my toes and the salt on my tongue that I hope to convey through my work, not just the beauty of the scenery.” Being in the landscape, however, and carrying with her an internal library of her favourite poetry is a daily habit essential to her work on canvas. “In winter I spend my time walking the dogs on
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the beaches, and in summer I walk inland, listening to skylarks and watching kestrels and desperately trying to recall every line of Hopkins’ ‘The Windhover’. Walking with the dogs is my time to think about what I am making in the studio, and I take sights and sounds back with me in my head - the wind on the strand line, or light effects on water, a budding blackberry blossom, wild f lowers or pebbles on the beach. I am a great believer in daydreaming, in staring into the middle distance with no focus and letting my mind sift through things I might not notice initially. [Poet] John Keats talked of ‘negative capability’, where the mind is in a state of receptive passivity. It’s a process that intensifies the emotion of ‘place’, and the peace and beauty of
this ‘place’ is very much what my work is about.” Do painting and poetry, I ask her, inspire her in different ways, or does she see them as parallel and equally important inspirations in her life? “Poetry has always inspired me,” she says thoughtfully, “and the role painting has played in my life has been varied. It has been and still is therapeutic. The inf luence of my own emotions and life experience, and of poetic form are all subsumed into my landscapes, and art that sings to me - the art of Da Vinci and Durer, Caravagio, Rembrandt, Turner, Renoir, Braques and Picasso - are all essential to my creativity and inspire me to pursue excellence in my own work.” whitewatergallery.co.uk A B OV E Sage Grey
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TO RQU E
BRITISH The new Vantage: continuing the bloodline of Aston Martin’s most successful model of all time.
spectacular new Aston Martin demands a bold and distinctive design language. Pure, sculptural forms create an athletic, predatory stance, while the minimal front and rear overhangs, muscular flanks and broad haunches express the agility and dynamism inherent within this car. Powered by a four litre, twin-turbo V8 engine and sporting a bold new look, the new Vantage from Aston Martin continues the legacy of this prestigious British brand’s most successful model. It is a true sports car – the pure driving machine that enthusiasts have been waiting for. We won’t get bogged down in the details, but what we will say is that thanks to its aerodynamic performance, dynamic sports cockpit, high waist interior theme, lower driving position and undeniable presence on the road, the new Vantage is most definitely a driver’s car. Deploying impressive power and torque, and reaching speeds (on the track, of course) of up to 195mph, the Vantage embodies those three words that characterise the Aston Martin badge: power, beauty and soul. If you already own an Aston Martin, the Aston Martin Owners Club is the largest and only official worldwide club for everyone interested in the iconic marque.
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script WORDS BY C O L I N B R A D B U RY
How a Cornishman, born and bred, found himself writing some of the best-loved TV shows of the last 25 years.
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ou wouldn’t naturally associate the genteel surroundings of Falmouth with the dark deeds of Silent Witness. But from a desk in his house looking across the waters to Flushing, Cornish writer Graham Mitchell has created many of the scripts for one of BBC television’s most iconic crime dramas. As well as Silent Witness, which has become a national institution, he has also written dozens of episodes of other long-running drama series, from The Bill to Casualty and Holby City. He got his start in the entertainment business the old-fashioned way – through the theatre. Graham moved away from his Redruth home at 18, first to Bristol and then London, where he worked with the Interplay Theatre Company. “Theatre was a great training ground”, says Graham. “You did everything - performing, writing, directing.“ Gradually though the writing took over, and his first TV break came with a job as a storyliner, developing plots for an ITV daytime soap. Before long he was writing scripts himself, the beginning of a career that has lasted more than 20 years. His next step up came in 1995 as a scriptwriter for The Bill, which, as those of a certain age will recall, was set in the fictional Sun Hill police station in east London. Since each 60 minute episode was an original story there was a voracious appetite for fresh material, and the producers welcomed script pitches from new writers. Graham laughs: “It was madness really. 40-odd weeks of one hour shows every year - nobody would take that on now! There were up to 30 writers, with a core team of a dozen.” He would go on to write 26 episodes over an 11 year period for a show that became one of the UK’s longest running TV dramas. During that time he also wrote for a who’s
who of programmes, including Casualty, Holby City, Waterloo Road, Holby Blue and London’s Burning. Graham regards this as the golden age of TV soaps, providing an entry point into the industry for aspiring scriptwriters. “Soaps in those days weren’t seen as second class citizens in the way they are now. You could cut your teeth on them and move on to ‘bigger things’ if you wanted.” Graham’s break into the Silent Witness team came in 2014, since when he has written 10 two-hour episodes. If you’re one of the very few who hasn’t seen it, the show centres on a team of forensic pathologists and scientists in London, with two 60-minute episodes following each investigation. Now in its 23rd year, the series has become a national institution. For those of us content to flop onto the sofa in front of the TV without giving much thought to the process behind our favourite shows, Graham’s description of the writer’s role is an eye-opener. You might assume that once the script is handed over their work is done. In fact, Graham is involved throughout the six weeks it takes to film each episode. There are read-throughs involving the cast, particularly lead actor, Emilia Fox (Dr Nikki Alexander in the show), who is also a producer. Graham also sees the ‘rushes’ (the raw footage shot each day) and sometimes goes to London to watch filming. Mind you, directors aren’t always keen on having writers on set, in case actors consult them and come away with ideas on how to play a scene that contradict theirs! In a world of disposable television, Graham has an interesting perspective on why a 20-year-old show still gets six-to-seven million viewers for each live episode and another three million watching on iPlayer. Faced with endless box sets that demand a huge time
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commitment on the part of the viewer, Silent Witness is unusual in offering a complete story in two parts. That’s how TV used to be, and younger people are discovering the format in the same way that they appreciate listening to music on vinyl records. And at the end of the day, everyone still loves a good ‘whodunit’. When it comes to seeing the fruits of his labours on screen though, Graham never watches his episodes when they are broadcast live. “I can’t bear the thought of six million people sitting in front of their TVs,” he admits. But perhaps surprisingly in a world where social media can be a mixed blessing, he avidly monitors responses to the episodes on Twitter. “Watching the live Twitter feed is fascinating. You get reactions like you’d get from a theatre audience, and becoming part of people’s experience is joyful.” Before social media, newspaper reviews were the only feedback available to a writer, whereas now Graham can see how ordinary viewers are reacting to plot twists and turns in real time. “The puzzle aspect is the fun of writing shows like this. Trying to blindside the audience is entertaining.” He also enjoys the build-up to the show. “In the theatre you get the audience coming in and sense the anticipation. You miss that with TV, but with Silent Witness, people are on Twitter saying they can’t wait for 8 o’clock and that’s great to hear.” Of course, that only happens with shows that have achieved ‘event television’ status, but there’s little doubt that Silent Witness is in that elite club. Amidst his busy writing schedule, Graham has found time to work with the next generation of scriptwriters studying on the TV and Film course at Falmouth University. He’s been energised by the students’ enthusiasm and ambition, an antidote to the weariness and cynicism that can accompany solitary writing work, and happily admits “I probably get more
out of it than them!” He’d love some of the BBC’s commissioning editors to emerge from their offices, come down to Falmouth and sit in a room with the young people and experience the “rich and fresh ideas” bubbling away in their minds. Those students will eventually have to find their way in an industry that’s changing rapidly. Happily, Graham is excited about the way the business is going. For one thing, TV is no longer the poor relation to film, as evidenced by the stream of movie stars flocking to appear in big budget, small-screen productions. Both Sky and Channel 4 are investing significant sums in original productions, along with the likes of Dave and Gold who already have a ‘digital space’. And that’s before we get to Netflix, Amazon, Sony, Apple and even YouTube. On that basis, the demand for quality scripts won’t diminish anytime soon. But in this global business, you have to wonder whether being in Cornwall is a disadvantage for Graham. Since he returned home in 2001, has he felt out of the loop not being in London? While technology helps to bridge the gap, he agrees that it can be harder in some respects. TV is an industry that thrives on networking, and if you’re in London, “you can go to the parties and drop into the restaurants where people meet.” It’s not an insurmountable problem, though. His twice-monthly trips to London are carefully planned and his agent makes sure to get plenty of meetings in the diary when he’s in town. Speaking of Cornwall, Graham is keen to do more work related to his home county. He has no issues with Poldark or Doc Martin, the series that people elsewhere in the UK associate with Cornwall, but is often frustrated when he tries to do more ‘challenging work’ set here. “We still have the Poldark thing where the main characters speak in BBC English, so
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affairs of state are conducted by people who talk ‘properly’ rather than in a Cornish accent. Local characters have a bumbling naivety, they’re a bit Baldrick from Black Adder.” There’s also a suspicion that ‘up-country’ TV people are reluctant to have their image of Cornwall challenged. Graham has pitched The Catch, his drama based in the fishing town of Newlyn to the BBC, but they appear reluctant to take it on. It’s a contemporary take on smuggling, a common theme in historical Cornish fiction. The police are the modern day equivalent of the excise men, and this time it’s drugs that are being illegally imported. As Graham says: “That kind of criminality in Cornwall is very different to how it would be in Manchester or London. But I don’t want the characters to be yokel-locals.” However, he’s encouraged by the critical acclaim heaped on local filmmaker Mark Jenkin for his recent release, Bait. The movie, which tackles the thorny subject of the conflict between locals and incomers in a west Cornish town, was given a rapturous reception at the Berlin International Film Festival and has received a slew of five star reviews in the British press. “There’s a whole bunch of us down here trying to write stuff about Cornwall”, he says. “In a
way Mark has done it for all of us.” Graham is hopeful that the film’s success might ease the door open just a little for everyone else. Above all, he wants to use his work to explore the things that bring us together rather than divide us – something we are very much in need of in Britain at the moment. “I’m inspired by conversations I’ve had with people I seek out, whose lives are very different to mine but with whom I always find common ground. Most apparently fundamental differences aren’t really so.” Meanwhile, fans are eagerly awaiting his forthcoming Silent Witness episodes, titled ‘Deadhead’, to be broadcast next January. He lets me have a sneak peek at some pictures on his phone of what I will just call a large set piece shot involving wreckage. He recalls that while his description of the scene takes just a couple of lines of script, some poor member of the production team had the job of turning it into reality. No wonder many writers prefer to keep a low profile during filming. But for all his involvement with the occasionally glamorous world of television, Graham’s happiest now that he’s found his way home to where it all started. “When I left at the age of 18, I wanted to get away. I was trying to find my place in the world, only to realise that the place was Cornwall after all.”
A B OV E Scenes from Casualty and Silent Witness
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Blood WORDS BY F I O N A MCG OWA N
The voluntary, out-of-hours motorbike charity that is providing Cornwall with life-saving, medical deliveries.
ark Holroyd’s voice is cracking with emotion. He is remembering a time when he was doing a Blood Bikes fundraiser: “A woman came up to me and started crying. She turned to her boy, who was six or seven years old, and said, ‘These people are the reason you are alive. When I was having you in Treliske, there were some problems and I needed blood. They told me that the blood came from Bristol through a Blood Biker at two in the morning. And that’s what saved your life.’” Mark is one of 65 volunteers who work for Cornwall Blood Bikes, a charity dedicated to supporting the NHS and hospices across the county. If you drive anywhere in Cornwall – indeed anywhere in the country – you are likely to have spotted the high-vis liveried Blood Bikes at some point. They look almost identical to paramedic bikes, but with a few adaptations that enable the drivers to carry the blood, samples, medicines and even breast milk that need to be transported from hospital to hospital.
The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) umbrella organisation was founded in 2008, although its roots go back over half a century. In 1962, a husband-and-wife team set up the Emergency Volunteer Service in Surrey, and since then, many other independent voluntary groups have been set up as a rapid response courier service for the NHS. The regional groups are largely independent, but most operate under the umbrella of the NABB. Cornwall Blood Bikes was formed in 2011 with one hand-me-down motorbike from a Blood Bike group in Bristol, and in the last eight years has become a vital service for Treliske Hospital in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and the two Cornwall Hospice Care hospices in St Austell and Hayle. Few people who see the Blood Bikes are aware that they are a charity. Looking almost identical to paramedic bikes, you might assume that this is an NHS courier service. However, its role as an out-of-hours emergency service is 100% funded by donations and volunteers working away in the background. Vice chair and head of
INSET Fundraising events are key to this Cornish charity
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C H A R I T Y PR and Media for the charity, Jayne Penlerick, explains some of the machinations that keep the fleet of 12 motorbikes on the road from 5pm to 7am every night. “Whether it’s the fleet manager, organising for the bikes to get moved from place to place for the riders to pick up, or myself and my colleague Ian Butler setting up meetings to offer our service to hospitals and hospices; and then there’s the fundraisers, organising events, or the people sitting at home, taking calls and despatching the riders – not to mention the riders themselves… Each of the 65 volunteers dedicates so much time to Blood Bikes, and almost all of them fit it around full time jobs – there are very few retirees involved.” Blood Bikes works differently from the regular NHS courier service, says Jayne, because it is bespoke – each callout is a reaction to an emergency request. As a result, there is no typical shift for the volunteers. Just as in an A&E department, there may be a quiet period, followed by a flurry of urgent requests – “Suddenly, we’re carving a line up and down the A30”. A biker could be expected to rush pathology samples to a lab, or take a prescription and wait for medication from a pharmacy. They might have to bring breast milk from one hospital to a neonatal department elsewhere, take a vital delivery of stem cells, or deliver whole blood for someone requiring a transfusion. Even basic medical equipment is transported: “Anything that can fit on the back of a motorbike and the NHS needs it moved urgently, then we will move it.” Cornwall Blood Bikes is very much part of the community in this county. The fundraisers range from coffee mornings in west Cornwall hospitals and WI talks, to a Penzance woman raising £17,000 for the charity through dog shows. One of the biggest boosts came when Cornwall freemasonry donated a brand new bike and an extra £25,000 in 2017. As a result, Blood Bikes expanded its service, with Ian Butler and Jayne organising service level agreements first with Cornwall Hospice Care and last year, with West Cornwall Hospital. “They were using taxis for
their samples and urgent deliveries,” says Jayne. “Since we started providing a service for West Cornwall Hospital in January this year, we have saved them around £91,000, which is going directly back into the hospital’s patient care.” Once you know about blood bikes, you start to see them everywhere. And not just during the night. The hi-vis yellow liveried bikes are also on the road during the day – being taken from place to place for the next rider to start work in the evening, or moved around for servicing. The motto of the charity is ‘riding for life’ and the riders take their role as responsible road users very seriously. Although bikes (adapted paramedic vehicles) have blue lights, Cornwall Blood Bikes has opted not to use them. Each rider has to complete an advance motorcycle test – either a Police Class 1 licence or the civilian Institute of Advanced Motoring qualification. With these skills, explains Jayne, and the fact that they are on bikes, they are able to make good progress compared with a car. “We have to be the same as all the riders on the road. We cannot break the Road Traffic Act, we can’t break the speed limit.’” One of the aims of the organisation is to promote a good image of motorbike riders. Blood Bikers are the antithesis of the bad-boy image of aggressive, black-leather-clad motorbike riders. “People can have a stereotypical image of a bike,” says Jayne. “We want to take that image and blow it out of the water.” The abiding sense that you get from talking to Jayne and the volunteer riders is a passionate social conscience and a determination to offer their time and skills to something that can save lives: “Even when it’s chucking down with rain, 2 o’clock in the morning, you don’t get a complaint. They go above and beyond and I think that’s incredible.” Like so many other charities that operate alongside our state-funded emergency services – from the RNLI to Cornwall Air Ambulance, the tireless volunteers of Blood Bikes are heroes who need to be celebrated. cornwallbloodbikes.org
Turn the page to read a selection of volunteer profiles...
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C HA R I T Y
HEROES on the
Introducing some of the volunteer riders who keep the wheels of Cornwall Blood Bikes turning. M A R K H O L ROY D Time working with Blood Bikes: 6 years
Mark spent 24 years as a clearance diver with the Royal Navy, then another 13 years clearing landmines “and blowing stuff up” in Afghanistan, Libya, Peru and Laos. When he came home to St Agnes six years ago, retirement didn’t sit well with him. In his spare time, he goes cycling with his wife (they recently completed Land’s End to John O’ Groats in a speedy 9.5 days) and hangs out with his family. He runs a motorcycle tour company, taking clients to Norway, Bosnia, Croatia, Switzerland and Austria, to name a few. He drives articulated lorries for a bacon company, “because I like driving trucks. I must be the only vegetarian driving for Danepak.” And he has a YouTube channel for motorbike lovers. He worked as a fundraiser for Cornwall Blood Bikes for two and a half years – helping them to rise from the brink of closure to raising enough money to become a sustainable charity.
motorbikes, and I love riding them.
My mum was caught in a touch-and-go situation where there was a delay in getting her samples to hospital. Ultimately, it didn’t affect her, but I realised how important that service was. And my dad worked as an NHS courier for 20 years, so I suppose it’s come full circle.
After doing all the things I’ve done, all the places I’ve been, I think I may have a bit of a debt to repay to society. After spending 13 years clearing mines, I came home and still wanted to do more.
I honestly believe the NHS is an amazing thing and we shouldn’t be doing the job we’re doing. It should be part of the NHS. But if we didn’t do it, people would die.”
Why Blood Bikes: “I’ve always ridden
A B OV E Mark Holroyd
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C H A R I T Y
J AY N E N E W H I T E
Time working with Blood Bikes: 4 years
Time working with Blood Bikes: 2 years
Jaynene is a district nurse who has been riding motorbikes since she was a teenager. “It was cheap transport – I couldn’t afford a car, got a bike and have been the same ever since. I’ve got a car now, because I need it for work.” She’s lived in the West Country almost all of her adult life and now lives in east Cornwall. Jaynene ran a watch and clock repair shop in Dartington for a period of time before returning to nursing, and has spent many years growing her own food. She is currently the only female rider for Blood Bikes, and also does fundraising for them when she can. “I tend to just do the weekend shifts on the Blood Bikes, so it doesn’t interfere with my day job. When I retire, I’m going to put a lot more time into the Blood Bikes.”
Duncan joined the Army when he was 17 and after university became an officer in the Paras. On leaving, he returned to university and became a Geography teacher, and was Head of Lower School at St Ives Secondary School. He now runs a company that helps to support children – particularly those with Special Educational Needs – by offering outdoor education and adventure challenges along with their regular schooling. He and his wife, who is a nurse, live near Marazion in west Cornwall. “I make myself available for one or two sessions a week. Of all the Blood Bikers, I’m really low-down in terms of commitment, but I try to fit it in around my work. I don’t know how some people do it – there are some incredibly resilient people in the organisation.”
Why Blood Bikes: “I was looking for something I could do with the bike, because I ride miles and miles during my leisure time, I wanted to find something I could put a decent use to as well. I’m a strong supporter of the NHS, so anything I can do to help, I’m going to do it. And if it involves riding the bike as well – brilliant. I heard about Blood Bikes when I did my advanced training on the motorbike. My instructor was riding with Blood Bikes in Plymouth. At the time, I thought it was just a blood transfusion service. When I found out more about it, I realised it was something I really wanted to do.”
Why Blood Bikes: “I’ve been riding motorbikes since I was 16. It just seemed to be an appropriate way of combining my enjoyment of riding motorbikes with doing something that has got some very personal meaning to it all. My mother died, and within a period of weeks my brother was diagnosed with myelofibrosis (bone marrow cancer) and became totally dependent on blood transfusions. A highly venomous snake in Belize bit me when I was on exercise with the Paras. To stop me bleeding out, I was given blood transfusion after blood transfusion. As I’ve got older, I realised how close I was to pegging it. That’s why I do what I do.”
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C O M M E N T
Eventide B Y H A N N A H TA P P I N G
t has been a wonderful Cornish summer. Endless days of sunshine surrounded by clear blue waters. This year in particular, I have rekindled my affinity with the sea. Whether that be in it or on it, getting a dose of ‘vitamin-sea’ every day has been revitalising for both body and soul. It goes without saying that it is the sea, and the surrounding coast, that draws people to Cornwall, whether visiting or relocating. Cornwall boasts some of the best beaches in the UK, our fishing fleet land the freshest of catches that supply Cornwall’s growing number of awardwinning restaurants and our coastal properties attract buyers from far and wide.
However, there are some who are looking for a lifestyle that is slower in pace, quieter, a little more contemplative. And that is where the shoulder seasons in Cornwall shine. While some may think that spring and autumn days in Cornwall feel a little like the circus has left town, others relish the feeling of calm, the subtle change in light as the sun lowers in the sky and the slight chill in the evening air. Whilst you’re not guaranteed the heat of the summer, autumn days in Cornwall are some of my favourite. You still get to dine in the same restaurants, visit the same beaches, walk the same clifftops, only sometimes you have them all to yourself!
There is no doubt that Cornwall has become busier as a county over recent years. But that is no bad thing – the tourist industry is one of the main supporters of its economy. Visit Cornwall’s 2014 figures showed that a combination of staying and day visitors generated £2.6bn of business turnover, supporting 53,000 jobs. Their latest Visitor
Survey in 2016 also showed that on average 57% of those visiting chose to stay in small coastal towns and villages. The result of this has meant that Cornwall’s waterside hotspots have taken on something of a Mediterranean feel, and in the height of the season they are at once vibrant, buzzing and cosmopolitan.
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