The St Ives Food and Drink Festival 2013

We are very excited at Porthminster Beach to be hosting this year’s St Ives Food and Drink Festival, taking place 18th and 19th May. Now in it’s fourth year, the festival is a fantastic celebration of St Ives’ unique location – a true mecca for local and seasonal food from both sea and land, as well as home to many passionate food personalities.

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During the weekend, visitors can meet chefs, producers, farmers, foragers, brewers and many more. The festival will be thoroughly interactive, going beyond the usual schedule of cooking demonstrations with mini cooking classes, encouraging young and old to get involved and get their hands dirty. The little ones can learn to make their own pasties, whilst grown-ups discover the rewards of foraging on the beach and coastal path with expert ecologist Caroline Davey of Fat Hen. Rory McPhee will show groups of enthusiasts how to collect seaweed and use it in their cooking, and there are even fishing trips planned from the beach, weather permitting.

In a marquee on the beach itself, you can taste the finest food and drink from St Ives and its surroundings.

“From wine, cider and beer producers, to chocolate and cheese makers, fruit and vegetable growers and meat, chutneys, curry and bread all produced in Cornwall, the food producers market at the St Ives Food and Drink festival is sure to delight the taste buds.”

As well as all this, Porthminster Beach Cafe will be running an Oyster and Champagne Bar during the festival, and there will be plenty of live music to encourage that festival atmosphere!

For more information, including travel and parking advice, visit www.stivesfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk and look out for our Exec Chef Michael Smith who is lined up for a cooking demo.

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The St Ives Food and Drink Festival is sponsored by Aspects Holidays and Tregenna Castle Hotel.

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Spring at Porthminster Gallery

If you’re planning a visit to us this Easter and have time to explore St Ives a little, you might like to take a look at one of our favourite galleries. Porthminster Gallery moved into new premises last year at Westcott’s Quay, which makes a fantastic after-lunch stroll from the Café. The gallery deals in modern and contemporary British art and has gained a strong reputation in recent years. Work shown includes paintings, sculpture, original prints and ceramics by highly-collected St Ives and invited UK artists.

Anne Davies, 'Lighthouse'

Anne Davies, ‘Lighthouse’

This Spring, Porthminster Gallery is showing ‘Process: making a mark’, a collection of new works which explores mark-making, layering, and additive and subtractive processes. Painters on show include Angela Charles, Tony Scrivener and Anne Davies, ceramics are by Elly Wall and Stephanie Pace, and sculptures by Margaret Lovell FRBS RWA and Peter Hayes.

We think Angela Charles’ work sounds particularly interesting, as her chosen location looks directly back at us here at the Beach Café.

“From the campervan pitch on the edge of the dunes at Gwithian, with magnificent views of St Ives and within walking distance of some of the most stunning Cornish coast, these works have evolved from pen sketches and written notes about the surrounding landscape, the light and the sea. These records act as a catalyst for my paintings which, rather than a direct response to a certain place, represent a memory of a location and the felt experience of being there. However, in some of the works I become so absorbed by the painting process that little is recognisable from the original sketch.

Working on spray-primed aluminium and wooden boards, which allow for every texture to be my own, I build up layers of sanded-down acrylic. The layers are often wiped away forcefully with cloths or my fists and pierced with marks made by coloured pencils or dentist tools. Through areas of calm and yet moments of frantic mark making, the resulting paintings reveal my sense of awe at Cornwall’s landscape.”

'View Back on the Coast Path' - Angela Charles

‘View Back on the Coast Path’ – Angela Charles

The exhibition runs from 22nd March – 11th May. For more information go to www.porthminstergallery.co.uk

A Wild Adventure

Well done to all those brave souls who took part in our first Forage & Feast Day on the 11th March. The weather was remarkably cold, but the baltic temperatures didn’t deter this gathering of intrepid wild food enthusiasts, who joined ecologist Caroline Davey of Fat Hen for several hours foraging along the coast path and on the beach itself, gathering wild leaves, seaweed and other edibles. The group then returned to the café for a much-needed, warming four course meal, prepared by Executive Chef Michael Smith using various foraged ingredients.

The aptly-named Navelwort....

The aptly-named Navelwort….

Journalist and blogger Ismay Atkins, who has written a review of the day on her blog Pasties and Cream, described the collaboration between Fat Hen and Porthminster Beach Café as “an inspired partnership”. Caroline is the ultimate approachable expert, on hand with “all manner of information on her wild food walks, delivered with wit, historical context and ecological authority, and a peppering of cooking tips” whilst Michael’s “creative, fresh, delicate food” brings out the most of these wild flavours. You can read the full article here.

Searching for seaweed....

Searching for seaweed….

One more Forage & Feast Day is planned this spring, on the 25th March, with only two places still available. There are two more dates in the diary for a similar autumn experience – click here to find out more.