Polgoon, Penlee and Penzance

One of the Cornish days was just spent around and about Penzance. With a day visit from Lynne (dovegreyreader) we all three enjoyed a lovely sunny visit to Penlee Gallery “The artistic heart of West Cornwall’s history”. There’s a nice cafe where we had lunch before wandering around the galleries.

Next up was a short taxi ride to Polgoon Vineyard just a couple of miles out of town. What a beautiful location! We learned about this venture set up in the early 2000s on a sunny slope looking out to sea and the microclimate which enables the owners to produce award-winning wines and ciders. The tour includes a walk through the vineyard to the grape vines (some nurtured outside and others in poly tunnels) and orchards. A description of the various traditional and modern processes (pressing and fermentation) involved and finally, a tasing of five different wines. I’d tasted the cider in Newquay where the waitress had recommended booking the vineyard tour.

Chandelier in the shop

Apple trees in blossom

We learn about growing grapes

What a view!

Penzance has three bookshops! All three are excellent and we visited them all. The Edge of the World is the main stockist of new books on the main drag – Market Jew Street; Barton Books on Causewayhead stocks art books (art in the broadest sense of the word) mostly new but a few secondhand and is a special delight; Newlyn Books in Captain Cutter’s House on our very own Chapel Street, just a stone’s throw from the Egyptian House, “offers an eclectic collection of excellent quality antiquarian and second hand books in its new premises in Penzance. A traditional second hand bookshop, where you are free to browse the selection of books with everything from art and design, books of Cornish interest and other travel titles to cookery, lifestyle and more. A wide range of fiction is also available.” In the antique mall opposite us I picked up a full set of the Famous British Authors cigarette cards for a bargain price! There was also a very decent selection of secondhand books which might be overlooked by browsers unaware of their existence on the first floor of the mall.

Disappointment in Search of Mary Queen of Scots

Since my school days I’ve been fascinated by Mary Queen of Scots and always hoped to visit Fotheringhay in search of her final days and place of execution. Staying near Peterborough in February gave me the opportunity I’d been hoping for. So, from wet and windy Little Gidding I headed north via windy narrow lanes to the long, but attractive, village of Fotheringhay just over the border in Northamptonshire.

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I Found The Poems In The Fields And Only Wrote Them Down : A Visit To John Clare’s Cottage

This week I’ve been staying at lovely Lynch Lodge in the sleepy village of Alwalton, right on the edge of the city of Peterborough.

Lynch Lodge was re-erected around 1807 as a rather grand entrance to the three mile long drive to Milton Park, which was then owned by the Fitzwilliam family. It had been moved from the Drydens’ house at Chesterton when their house was demolished. So, the taller part of the Lodge predates the rest of the building by some 200 years when it stood as a Jacobean porch further away. Families who inhabited the Lodge would have done so to primarily serve the owners of the estate by opening and closing the gates.”

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Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain : Ed Kluz at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a great place for a walk with added interest but today my focus was to get to see the Ed Kluz exhibition in the gallery and main building. It poured with rain all the way there from Leeds but upon arrival the sun came out and the day was dry. Nevertheless I didn’t stray far into the park on this occasion. I have two further visits planned in March and April.

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The Work of Elizabeth Friedlander at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft presents the story of outstanding artist, designer and typographer Elizabeth Friedlander. The work of Friedlander (1903-1984) is instantly recognisable as mid-20th century design at its best, but few will know the name behind the art. Best known for her Penguin book covers and Bauer Type Foundry typeface ‘Elizabeth’, the exhibition touches on her escape to London from 1930s Nazi Germany, friendship with her sponsor – poet and printer Francis Meynell – and her work with a wartime British black propaganda unit. The show includes rarely-seen works from the artist’s compelling career including type design, wood engravings, decorative book papers, maps and commercial work.

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Penguin Books at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

A few weeks ago I read an article in the latest Art Fund Quarterly magazine about the beautiful calligraphy and design work of Elizabeth Friedlander. As I read I realised that the venue for the exhibition of her work was The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft in East Sussex. I remembered that friend (and regular commenter here) Fran, had recommended me to stop at this museum on my journey to Laughton Place back in 2014. In the end the traffic hold-ups in London meant that time was pressing and I would have insufficient time to do a visit justice. Upon realising that Ditchling was not a million miles from Godalming, where I’m pug-sitting this week, I suggested meeting Fran there and seeing the exhibition in good company.

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