I am lucky enough to live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of Cornwall. This autumn I’m looking forward to getting out and about and visiting some of my favourite haunts, including the nearby village of Mousehole.
Tucked away on the periphery of Mounts Bay on Cornwall’s south coast, Mousehole is a tiny fishing village with more than its fair share of legends and folklore. The scene of Spanish raids and tragic lifeboat disasters, the village was reputedly once home to a very intrepid cat (you can read the story in ‘The Mousehole Cat’ by Antonia Barber), as well as the original ‘Star Gazey Pie’, the result of a heroic fishing trip which saved the village from starvation in the 16th Century. The picturesque harbour is illuminated every year by world-famous Christmas lights, creating a magical dreamland which delights visitors.
For me, Mousehole is a place where our relationship with our coastal surroundings is explored, not only through story-telling, but also through visual creativity; a place where inspiration awaits around every tight bend.
The moment you round the corner into the picturesque harbour is always enchanting. One of my favourite galleries can be found right here, overlooking the brightly coloured fishing boats. The Sandpiper is a treasure-trove of unusual jewellery, hand-painted furniture, colourful textiles, evocative paintings and bright glass art. Here you can unearth fascinating automata, tactile ceramics and all sorts of objects for the home, from tea cosies to candlesticks!
Seawitch Stores and The Tyler Gallery are also essential stops on any jaunt around the harbour. A browse through these small galleries will reveal work by Cornwall’s contemporary artists and makers, who interpret the history and the myths of the peninsula, as well as its light, colours and forms, in myriad ways.
The perfect spot to pause is The Rock Pool Café. Directly below the car park as you enter the village, this quirky Café is named after a bathing pool in the rocks below. It has a great view, serves all sorts of tasty homemade treats and has a wonderful selection of teapots. Finally, The Old Coastguard Hotel has a warm and welcoming bar, with lots of great artwork to look at as well as reading material. An ideal spot to lose yourself for a few hours with a glass of wine, or enjoy a restorative lunch before heading home.