Dogs and Beaches

Dogs and Beaches

News

“Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?”
—Jonathan Safran Foer.

Perhaps Mr Safran Foer came up with this little gem of a quote after he watched a dog on the beach… especially the first time back on the beach after the seasonal ban. Having lived with dogs in St Ives for most of my life it is truly one of the greatest things to watch, the first Sunday of October is filled with the sound of yelping dogs clawing at the carpark desperate to get back on the sand – although not all share the same desperation to get in the sea, I have yet to find a dog who didn’t love the beach.

As it becomes more common for people to take their four legged friend on holiday, more and more Cornish attractions are welcoming dogs through their turnstiles and providing canine hospitality which can sometimes rival our own! The most complete guide I have found to what and where in Cornwall is www.visitcornwall.com/dogslovecornwall it is a very thorough guide of things to do and places to go.

We have touched on which are the dog friendly beaches in and around St Ives, and at what time you can go, see our write up and guide here… The Dogs Beaches. But last time what we didn’t discuss was Seagulls.. Seagulls? Dogs? You don’t often see dogs and seagulls mentioned together, and there is the clue, you don’t often see them together full stop!

St Ives and Cornwall have both been in the media recently for the food snatching menace that our seagulls have become. The news doing their usual ill-educated, over dramatic job of offering useful tips on how to avoid being attacked, when really having a dog is one of the best deterrents you can have. Dogs seem to find unending joy chasing seagulls on a beach, something Seagulls get very board of, very quickly. Surprisingly intelligent, the seagulls know that when there is a dog around they are most definitely not welcome.

The only thing we do ask is that if you are going to bring your best friend on holiday you clean up after him, especially on the beach.

Another 5 Star Gold Award Year

Another 5 Star Gold Award Year

News

We’ve done it again. For the 7th year running we have managed to achieve the highest standard accolade from Quality in Tourism – 5 Stars and Gold Award.

All our properties have been awarded 5 Star Gold Awards for Quality and Service. Quality in Tourism is the UK’s only recognised regulatory body acting on behalf of VisitEngland –

“Acting as a reliable regulatory body for the accommodation and tourism industry, we recognise quality, differentiate levels of facilities and services and make potential guests aware of what they can expect before they make a booking.” – Quality in Tourism

The Quality in Tourism Awards are subject to some pretty stringent checks. Each property is visited and assessed in areas such as housekeeping, service and hospitality, bedrooms and bathrooms as well as facilities and level of service available from us the Management Company.

“We pride ourselves in our attention to detail and can do attitude which we feel helps to make every one of our guests stay with us at stivescarbisbay.co.uk, that little bit special..” – Doug, MD

Having started over 7 years ago with just one property in the St Ives Carbis Bay area, we have grown slowly and last year was a busy year for us as we managed to double our property portfolio and bring 4 properties to the market without affecting our standard of service. All our properties provide free wifi, off road private parking and are dog friendly so you can bring along the whole family, literally.

Of course we can’t take all the credit for our guests having such a great time, part of that is due to the amazing location we find ourselves in, the West Cornwall peninsular is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful regions of the UK and we are very lucky to be able to have these great beaches and vista’s just a stones throw away.

Poldark Shot on Location in Cornwall

This year we have an additional attractions following the success of the Poldark series, we can’t promise you will see Ross Poldark, topless and working in the fields but you will be able to see the famous locations and dramatic back drops in which the series is filmed. For location details you can try these websites and look at our map below.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Poldark
www.visitcornwall.com/Poldark
www.cornwalltoday.co.uk/Poldark

Poldark Filming locations in Cornwall

#holidayhashtag

#holidayhashtag

News Things to do

Hasthtags are – it’s in the name – tags, which you can attach to pictures, tweets, posts; pretty much anything you are going to put on the internet, which will allow search engines to group items. For instance if you were to type #st_ives into a search engine you would get lots of images and tweets about St Ives – and some about facial scrubs!

How is this relevant to you booking a holiday or just reading a blog, or just reading a blog while you should be booking a holiday? Social media is by no means a new way to communicate but it is now becoming the only way to communicate. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are currently leading the pack – and to give you some idea of the amount of this stuff that is generated – Twitter currently receives over 2000 tweets every second! Needless to say you need to tweet very loud to get heard over that lot.

St Ives Carbis Bay Holiday Instagram

So this is where your hashtags can come in very handy. If you want people to know what and see what you are up to on your holidays make up some unique hashtags and send them out to your friends. #kjsi2015 for instance – (Kelly + John St Ives 2015) – it would hopefully be unique enough so that when you or your friends search on Instagram for #kjsi2015 all your holiday pictures will come up simple… and the same for Twitter and the same for Facebook.

What about the “at?” I hear you ask? We are all getting a little older and keeping up with the kids is getting harder… so brace yourself for a little more useful learning. The “at” or should I say @ is a tag used by most of the social media platforms which enables you to tag a person. Preferably someone you know, but the beauty of the @ is that it is an informal tag and the person you have @’ed – tagged – will be informed that you have tagged them and be given a link to your tag! Simples.

So if for instance you are on holiday and take a picture of something you have found funny or want someone else to see, in the comment you post with your picture or in your Tweet you just put @theirname (no spaces commas or full stops) and that’s it!

As we finally manage to draw this little lesson to a close please use #stivescarbisbay when you are posting pictures of your holiday with us and @stivescarbisbay to give us a little shout out.

The Baker The Cornishman The Seagull and his Pasty

The Baker The Cornishman The Seagull and his Pasty

News

If there was ever a way of measuring a Cornishman’s Cornishness… it would definitely involve checking out the size of his pasty! As an Eskimo pride’s himself on his Igloo so a Cornishman does with his pasty, not that he could live in it… but he could definitely live on it.

The Cornish Pasty has it’s origins somewhere around the 13th century, with it becoming common place throughout Cornwall in the 17th and 18th Century. The cheap readily available key ingredients of onion, swede and potato proved ideal for poorer working families. Meat was added to the ingredients at a later date.

For those of us who have been lucky enough to grow up in Cornwall, pasties will always be associated with days out. They have to be one of the most practical and portable foods you can buy and a freshly cooked pasty will stay warm for hours.

This ability to offer a square meal in one easy package is reputedly one of the reasons behind the origins of the pasty. Back in the day Cornish miners would cook them (well his good woman would!) wrap them up and take them down the mine. They would hold the crust while eating their pasty, then throwing it away afterwards. Saving the need to wash their hands while down in the mine. I’ve not been in a mine but apparently sinks and wash rooms are pretty few and far between down there.

Push forward a few years and we find ourselves in somewhat of a pasty revolution. Pasty shops have sprung up all over the place. In 2011 the Cornish Pasty received Protected Geographical Indication or PGI for short. The EU have got involved and set out minimum ingredient levels which need to be followed before you can call your pasty a Cornish Pasty. And now you can get almost every flavour under the sun… even desert pasties!

The Seagull

 

However, buyer beware, there is a pasty thief on the rampage. He swoops down from the skies and will have your unprotected pasty away within seconds… yes, the Seagull. A ruthlessly efficient bird who has developed a real taste for pasties and the skill to pluck a half-eaten pasty out of your hands before you can say “look at that lovely view!”

The seagulls in St Ives have become such a hazard that the Local Council and BID projects are looking into ways of deterring them. Almost all seagull attacks on programs such as You’ve Been Framed, are invariably filmed in St Ives. Surprisingly though, a local study has shown that almost 80% of seagull attacks are initiated by just 1 bird. Once the food is on the floor it’s a free for all and every bird in the immediate area gets stuck in to the free meal.

There are a couple of easy ways to avoid becoming the subject of a seagull pasty snatch, eat in Fore Street, under an umbrella or just keep your eyes well peeled.

But who makes the best pasty? A question which has almost certainly been the root cause of many Cornish Family feuds. Not being one to shy away from controversy I think the best pasty in St Ives is from the St Ives Bakery on Fore Street. I have the flaky pastry, standard… the perfect size, good balance of meat to veg and just a touch peppery. Yum!

St Ives Bakery - best pasty in town

 

You of course don’t have to agree, you’d be wrong, but you are entitled to you opinion… there is also The Pasty world championships at the Eden Project on the 28th Feb… don’t expect to agree with the judge’s decision but at least you can try a few pasties and have a good day out…

How to make a Cornish Pasty

How to make a Cornish Pasty

News Things to do

Making a Cornish Pasty (well 4!)

Making a Cornish Pasty is something which you will need to practice – you can’t just throw one together and if you asked a true Cornishman he would say the first thing you need is a good woman – although that’s how every recipe starts when you get down west

I would also suggest looking on YouTube for crimping skills, it’s a dark art and one which can’t be explained with words. I’ve tried it several times and always up with a very higgledy piggledy crust, but then I’ve not tried it with a good woman so maybe next time?

Also, a word of warning – don’t crimp your pasty over the top – it is easier but shows and level of laziness more associated with them folk from over the boarder – I can’t mention any names and it would probably be unfair to point a finger but if they hadn’t been so lazy and walked a little further in the early days they would now be Cornish! I’m just saying…

Making the Pastry – Pasty pastry, for four eight-inch pasties.

  • 450g 1lb strong white flour
  • large pinch salt optional
  • 100g 4oz margarine
  • 110g 4oz lard
  • 175ml 1/3pt water

 

Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut off a quarter of the lard and rub into flour. Grate or slice the rest of the fats into the mixture and stir with a knife. Pour all the water in and stir until absorbed. Knead a little and leave at least 30 minutes in the fridge before using.

Pasty filling, quantity for 4 pasties.

200g Chopped onion and leek

300g cubed turnip(Swede)

400g beef skirt or chuck steak

600g roughly chopped potatoes

black pepper, salt (season to taste – don’t be scared!)

Making the pasties

Keep the sliced potatoes in a basin of cold water till needed. Trim and gristle off the meat and cut it (with some fat) into 6 mm (1/4 in) pieces and separate into 4 piles. Separate the vegs into 4 equal parts too.

Generously flour the board or area you are using. This allows the pastry to relax as you roll, especially if you flip the pastry up from the surface every now and then. Cut off a quarter of the prepared pastry. Roll it out, keeping the shape, into a circle 21-23 cm (8-9 in) across. The pastry should now be the right thickness. Place an upturned dinner plate over the pastry and trim round to get a nice round shape.

recipie_ing

 

Layer up the pasty contents starting with onions, leek and swede, then add all the meat, then layer the potato’s and finally the remainder of the veg. Season well between each layer but do not season the top layer – salt in contact with pastry can give it a bitter taste.

Dampen one side of the pastry with a little water. If you dampen the pastry all round or use too much water you will find the edges slide instead of sealing, so don’t slosh it on.

Fold the damp side of the pastry to the other and press firmly but gently together, so that you have a seam down across the pastry, or by the side, whichever you find easier. From the right side if you are right-handed (or the left if you are left-handed) fold over the corner and crimp by folding the pastry seam over and over to the end. Tuck in the end well to seal. Alternatively, if you find this difficult, just curl the edge like a wave.

Make a small slit in the top with a knife and patch any other breaks or holes with a little dampened rolled-out pastry.

Brush the pasties with milk or egg wash or even just water and place them on buttered paper or a greased and floured tray, leaving a good gap between them.

recipie_crimp

 

Bake in a hot oven 220C (425F, gas 7) for 20 to 30 minutes. Check the pasties. If brown, turn them down to 160C (325F, gas 3). Bake for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for another 15 minutes with the door shut.

Remove from the oven and with a slice lift the pasty onto a plate. Cut in half, allowing some of the steam to escape.

If you are eating them picnic style, place the pasties onto a cooling tray and wait 15 minutes before eating. If you want to eat them an hour or so later, or are taking them on a journey, wrap them straight from the oven in paper and then a clean cloth. Pasties keep extremely hot for a long time and if well wrapped a pasty made in St Ives would still be ‘eating hot’ when you reach Exeter Services.

 

This recipe is thanks to Anns Pasties (a very good pasty indeed) – www.annspasties.co.uk

Winning Cornwall

Winning Cornwall

News Places to go

Well Cornwall’s done it again and while it is no secret to those of us lucky enough to live here, Cornwall has again, been voted as the Best UK Holiday Destination in the British Travel Awards 2014 and that makes it 6 years on the trot!

Having won the award every year since 2009 Cornwall goes from strength to strength. Once again Cornwall shunned competition from the likes of Northumberland, the Lakes and our only neighbour, Devon to take the top spot as the visitor destination of choice.

“The love for Cornwall shows no sign of abating. As well as boasting a very loyal and passionate visitor base, Cornwall is well-known for turning first-time visitors into lifelong fans. Holding the title for six years is real cause for celebration for everyone involved in the industry, it represents value in our product and strength in the Cornwall brand,” enthuses Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, who was at the award ceremony in London (on 26 November) to collect the trophy on behalf of Cornwall.

The British Travel Awards is the largest such programme in the UK. Created to award the best companies and destinations in the UK Travel industry – with over 1 million votes cast by over 100,000 industry experts and the public. Cornwall managed to cement its number one position by winning several othercatogries too.

Eden Project - Winner of Best UK Leisure Attraction

The Eden Project triumphed by retaining its gold title in the Best UK Leisure Attraction category for the fourth year running and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall picked up silver for the Best UK Heritage Attraction for a second year. Bude added further to Cornwall’s success by taking bronze for Best UK Coastal Resort.

For more information on these awards, visit www.britishtravelawards.com.

I guess the only question that remains is; where do the Cornish go on holiday?

Season Sensation.

Season Sensation.

News Things to do Walks

Off Season Sensation.

If you ask anyone who lives in St Ives when is their favourite time of the year you will get 2 answers… one half will say Spring, the other half will say Autumn.

I guess an odd pair of answers considering that holiday season and weather wise the best time of year is July and August. It is, but the trouble with the summer season is, it’s the busiest time of the year and anyone who lives and works in town is head down and making hay while the sun shines.

It’s in the off season when us locals get to really appreciate the place we live in. Walking the dog on the beach; whenever we fancy. Letting the westerly storm blow you up Trencrom Hill before warming up beside the pub fire then heading out, without needing to book a table and choose from some of the finest restaurants in the South West.

Where is all this going? I hear you ask… well as a someone looking for a holiday, you can enjoy the quiet out of season, no traffic, strolls on the beach, lazy afternoons, Gin at 4 o clock, beard growing way of life for a fraction of what it would cost in the height of the season.

Everyone loves a bargain and one of the best bargains around is the not so elegantly named BOGOF, buy one get one free, I said, you buy one, you get one free!!! Whoop whoop, get the banners out Peter’s gone to Iceland! Or if he was really looking for a bargain he could shimmy on down and scoop up a whole month of winter self-catering for the price of one week in August!

I say, you get four winter weeks for the price of a summer one! Now that’s a sensation!

Need I say more?

St Ives Carbis Bay Sprin Time Pictures

St Ives Carbis Bay Autumn Pictures

Off Season Beach Safety

Off Season Beach Safety

News

The beach is the focus of any seaside holiday. It wasn’t that many years ago when unless we had an unseasonably warm September, you wouldn’t see a holiday maker on the beach from August bank holiday through to Whitsun week the following year.

The beach café, deck chair hire and lifeguards would all shut their doors before the end of September and holiday makers would retreat back north of the Tamar until the mercury started to rise again in spring.

St Ives Carbis Bay Beach Safety

 

These days however, we seem to be working to a different set of rules. As I write this it is just turning into November, the Lifeguards are still patrolling the beach – weekends only – the surf school is still giving lessons and the beach café is doing a fine line of winter warming soups. Either the weather is changing or holiday makers are being made of much sterner stuff.

This is great for local business and we all welcome the longer seasons, but when the Lifeguards finally put away their last flag and the beach becomes empty of anyone watching the holiday makers blissfully wading out to sea in their brand new 5mm winter suits, what happens then?

Well, if you are thinking of holidaying out of season and the beach is going to be part of your adventure please be careful. During the winter, the sea is a very different animal to the summer… winter swells are stronger and the freezing water is much harder to deal with.

St Ives Carbis Bay Beach Safety

 

I’m not going to be able to teach you much about Beach Safety in a short article like this but if you are going to venture into the sea, a couple of useful tips are:

  • If there are waves breaking stay well within your depth.
  • Stay where the waves are breaking, they are your ride back to the beach.
  • Don’t get cold. Wear a hat and limit your time in the sea to 30mins.
  • If there is no one else in the sea don’t go in.
  • If the sea looks dark and ominous it probably is, stay out.

The RNLI is a great source of information, RNLI Beach Safety

Please be safe on holiday, we want you to keep coming back and enjoying our beautiful beaches again and again.

St Ives Carbis Bay Beach Safety

The Festive Get Away

The Festive Get Away

News

It’s Christmas – well not quite, but the decorations are popping up in shops and we are almost down to only… a few shopping weekends left! This means one of 2 things, on the one hand, you’ve only got a few weekends left, so you need to get shopping now – or on the other hand, and I must confess I fall fearlessly into this camp, Christmas shouldn’t even be discussed until December 1st let alone start thinking about shopping!

However, where your Christmas holiday is concerned, get on it as soon as possible… In St Ives there is a couple times of the year when even I would suggest you book early. Christmas is most definitely one of those times, especially if you want to avoid the “we could be in St Ives” looks over Christmas dinner!

So if you’ve already booked your Christmas Holiday in St Ives let’s look at what you can expect… if you haven’t booked yet, book now and come back a finish…

This year Christmas day falls toward the end of the week, this takes the urgency out of it. The town fills up over the weekend before, giving the festive folks time to settle in for a lazy week of beach walks, long morning coffee’s, a little last minute shopping and evening meals by the twinkle of fairy lights.

Santa Arrives in St Ives on Lifeboat

There is a real yule tide air as Father Christmas carries out an early recce of the town arriving on the lifeboat. The Salvation Army Hall has Christmas Craft markets all week and all the shops kick off their seasonal sales early in an attempt to entice the holiday makers off the coastal paths and in to spend some money.

Children at a Christingle Service in St Ives

Children at a Christingle Service in St Ives

In complete contrast, New Year week tends to be a little more intense. It starts quieter after the buzz and excitement of Christmas. But as the day approaches, Charity shop shelves start emptying as everyone starts focusing on the costume. New Year’s Eve is an all-out no holds barred Fancy Dress street party, and it’s all about the costumes – locals have been known to spend all year sewing, collecting and creating the costume.

On the actual night, be prepared for a long one and if you live in the town don’t expect to sleep… If numbers are your thing, upwards of 100,000 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, clowns, Firemen, nurses and naughty fairies converge on the town waiting for the midnight firework show over the harbour. Entertainment is provided by the legendary Sloop Stage and in every bar there are live bands and DJ’s all turned up to 11 driving the crowd into a frenzy of colour and wigs!

Make no mistake; the revellers are on it for the night… it’s a blast!

New Years Eve Revelers in FOre Street St Ives