Thursday is the best day of the week in St Ives. Not officially, but for yours truly. My day begins with an early morning swim followed by a Hatha yoga class. Later a saxophone lesson and a meet up with a fellow writer, ending with an early evening St Ives Concert Band rehearsal. With all this activity I need some nourishing ‘made with love’ Cornish food to keep me going. And there’s no better place to stop and shop and eat, than our community venture St Ives Farmer’s Market, every Thrsdays, 09.30-2.00 at The Guildhall, Street an Pol, St Ives, right in the town centre next door to the Visitor Information Centre. http://www.stivesfarmersmarket.co.uk/This is place to go if you want to meet and chat with the locals and eat the best that Cornwall has to offer.
It’s my idea of proper shopping. A place where you know the sellers by their first names, go to yoga with one, writers’ group with another……where the food is grown, cooked, served and packed (mainly in paper) with love and smiles. Where you can talk, coo over babies, listen to gentle, ‘oh, I would like to dance’, live music from paid buskers, enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake from the market cafe. Every week is a new treat. I can choose from a tantalising array of sushi, artisan bread and cheeses, freshly caught fish, home made homity pies and brioche, organic meat and veg, herbs, olives, honey, laid this morning eggs, all intermingled with jewellery and art and crafts that are inspired and not at all tacky. The prettiest flowers, the biggest smiles….and just yesterday, a surprise, fresh milk from the Trink Dairy, a family of St Ives farmers who genuinely care for their cows and their land. https://www.trinkdairy.co.uk/
Every week, my must have Thursday lunch from the market is a Ruby June curry, served with an indian flatbread. If I’ve got guests coming for the weekend, I’ll stock up on crab, veggie and meat samosas. But I have to be quick, because hungry holiday makers have the same bright idea. Ruby used to own a curry house in town, but stopped when her children were small so she could spend more time to them. But us locals are a persistent lot, and in response to their pleas for her to cook once again, Ruby June – the Indian Kitchen was born. Authentic Indian food ready to eat or take home and a range of fresh curry sauces to make your own Ruby June at home, all in less than 30 minutes.
Just look what happened, all in the space of one day. Even we locals don’t get to see this very often. Last time was apparently 40 years ago.
Snow in St Ives 1st March 2018
But St Ives people are a hardy bunch, coming out in all weathers to bring the town to life for visitors. Here’s Richard selling home grown Cornish flowers. Find him on a Friday and Saturday along the harbour front just by the infamous Sloop Pub http://www.sloop-inn.co.uk/ , hand over £2.00 and fill your heart and holiday cottage with a glorious heady fragrance and Springtime love that will easily last a week. Richard tells me “if it stays cold, and they say it might well do I’ll be able to carry on with the flowers until early May 2018. That’s a season of around 26 weeks because I started just before Christmas. Three years back I had my best season ever, 28 weeks. Shortest ever was 11. Could’ve gone on longer with the flowers but my body just gave up”
When he’s not picking and selling his flowers, Richard weaves lobster and crab pots from willow withies, a dying art thats 150 years old. But snow filling up the trenches where he planted his withies mean he’s only been able to make one pot so far in 2018. But he smiles and reassures me it will all get better soon and invites me along to the Royal Cornwall Show in June. http://www.royalcornwallshow.org/the-show/the-2018-show/
If you’re planning to come to Cornwall in June, The Royal Cornwall Show at Wadebridge, running from Thurs 7th – Sat 9th June makes a great day out for all the family. But if you just want to catch Richard at work, why not grab a pasty and a pint from the Sloop, or a chilled wine and a salad, and watch him weave a little St Ives magic.
Insider Tip. It’s not Richard’s, flowers or his pots that get the locals gossiping. But his adamant refusal, like the great Einstein, to wear any socks. Check out those feet below. We don’t tell him to get out there and pull his socks up, that’s for sure but Richard, we do salute you.