Walking back to our guests

Our cliff top Cornish wedding – part 2

OK so to carry on with the tale, I’m going to tell you about where we got married.

We wanted a wedding where we could get all our loved ones in one place, and spend as much time as we could all together. We looked at country house type venues, and barns with accommodation, but we were put off by the amount of hard work those weddings can be. So my mum somehow Derren Browned me into loving a particular hotel, with stunning views, Danish design (very important for us) and a cliff top location that even in a serious storm is both stunning and cosy at the same time.

Our venue

We chose, of course, the Polurrian Bay Hotel in Mullion. The food, the booze, the organisation (it seemed very laid back but they were working like machines to get everything flowing seamlessly) and the location were just the stuff of dreams. I’ve never had an idea in my head of my ‘dream wedding’ at all, but what that hotel gave me was better than anything I could have thought of. The team including Clare, Sarah and Johann and of course the chefs in the kitchen are all awesome and I know every single one of the guests loved every minute of their stay. We had the whole place to ourselves for the weekend, with almost everyone arriving on the Friday evening (boozy partying until 3am? Ooops) and staying to wave us off on Sunday lunchtime. We walked the coast path, and down to the cove to see the waves, and it was all just so relaxing and special and intimate… and while that is a lot to do with our friends and family – the hotel staff were brilliant too.

  • Winter wedding walk Cornwall Another quiet moment for our guest Birds eye view of the coast winter wedding cornwall Bride and Groom sneak off to walk the dog Cliff top Cornish wedding Cliff top wedding Cornwall sunset Clifftop wedding Cornwall winter wedding at sunset Dancing begins Dress detail Everyone loves a wedding ceilidh Good luck hug Hair getting done He puts a ring on it Holding hands during the ceremony Lacing the dress is a serious business Left holding the bouquet More and more paperwhite flowers My wedding flowers Nazan sees me for the first time Nosy bride spies  out the window Old friends Our dog at our wedding Paperwhites everywhere simple and elegant Paperwhites from the Scillies everywhere Pics at sunset Romance is catching at weddings Sunset view Polurrian Bay hotel wedding Swinging Ceilidh band The Tinners Table settings winter wedding cornwall Tears and love on our wedding day in Cornwall Terrace and amazing sunshine in November The ceremony room The last photo still dancing The view out of my window at the Polurrian Walking back to our guests Walking to marry my husband We got married We kissed for an indecent amount of time We went for a walk Wedding cake detail Wedding cake with anenomes and silver Wedding ceilidh in Cornwall The Tinners Wedding flowers holding hands Wheres our dinnerThe highlights for me were:
  • Trekking down a tiny cliff path for those cinematic shots of Alan’s and cutting my toe on a bramble, and having to wrap grass around my toe to keep blood off my dress…
  • Glasses of fizz on the terrace when the deed was done and the party begun
  • A delicious meal of crab and smoked salmon tian, followed by roast chicken with wild mushrooms, and then the epic cake…
  • Our Cornish band, the Tinners, who ceilidh us up a good ‘un. I didn’t expect so many people to dance…
  • My Dad’s face when I came down the stairs
  • That lovely hour or so of my Mum pinning flowers in my hair
  • Seeing my fiance at the end of the aisle waiting for me
  • My nieces singing for us, and playing the guitar and being generally awesome
  • My sister’s song for us which was very Danish and very much fun and beautifully written
  • The speeches, both the planned and the unplanned…

The only thing I might have changed is to perhaps go away not immediately after the wedding. We left the next day at noon, but it felt too soon, and I wonder if we had trapped everyone there we could have extended the party for a couple more days..?! But we did go and had many adventures around Cambodia and Vietnam. But that is a story for next time.

Nighty night.

PS. Our Reading: I can’t find the link any more! So here it is, reproduced for your reading pleasure. I didn’t write this and there are shorter versions all over the place, but this is the long one. It’s not really Apache but written by screenwriter Albert Maltz for the movie Broken Arrow in the 1940s apparently. It was read to us during the ceremony by my friend Emily who is frikken wonderful. Here is the reading, perfect for non-religious, atheist and humanist wedding ceremonies if you ask me.

An Apache Blessing

May the sun bring you new strength by day,

May the moon softly restore you by night,

May the rain wash away your fears,

And the breeze invigorate your being,

May you, all the days of your life together,

Walk gently through the world and know its beauty.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect,

and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness,

gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,

as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you,

not only the part which seems wrong.

In this way, you can ride out the storms,

when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives,

remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment,

the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes

responsibility for the quality of your life together,

it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be shelter for the other,

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other,

Now there is no more loneliness,

For each of you will be company for the other,

Now you are two persons,

But there is only one life before you.

Go to your dwelling,

Enter into the days of your life together

And may your days be good and long upon the earth

PPS. I realise I have said more about the peoples and things that made the wedding, rather than the feelings and the emotions of the day, but that is because that stuff is hard to write down. Maybe for another time. x

Our winter wedding in Cornwall

Our Cliff Top Winter Wedding in Cornwall

Well, well well. It’s been a while… how you doin’? I am just great, and a wife! It’s been a life changing few months and yet it all feels very normal and comforting to call ‘husband!’ and my beloved responds “WHAT????!!!!!  WHAT DO YOU WANT, WIFE?” and then we have a row about nothing and all is well. It’s not really like that I’m making it all up.  I might as well confess I’m reading Gone Girl at the moment and I’m half way through (read til 2am it was annoyingly intriguing) and I think this is affecting my storytelling of the wedding ding ding ding!

Our winter wedding in Cornwall

Why brides don’t cry on their wedding day

Anyway. I’m going to gush now. It was just the most perfect day, a perfect weekend and I was so happy the whole time I beamed and loved everyone and everything so so so much I was bursting. I felt so blissfully happy the whole thing went so smoothly, I didn’t notice anything that went wrong – even when I was informed of some teeny thing to do with the table plan I didn’t even understand the problem until last week. It was so great. I always cry and didn’t for so long that my husband asked me if I was dead inside.

Lacing the dress is a serious business

All the uncontrollable wedding variables went well

The most important things all were amazing: my husband turned up (win!), the weather was fully sunny and no wind = 14 degrees Celsius at the end of November (beers on the terrace in t-shirts weather) my dress felt amazing and my hair didn’t annoy me, the dog didn’t poo during the ceremony and no one died.

Nazan sees me for the first time

Oh my god, the cake, the perfect cake

The hotel staff were awesome, everything ran smoothly.. The cake arrived safely from London  and was a work of art and the most delicious cake ever tasted. It was made by my best girl Nazan who is a genius cake maker of wedding cakes and others too (all amazing) and if you’re well jel of the pictures then go over and talk to her at Daisy Cakes (tell her I said hi). I showed her the venue last April and she came up with the design as a surprise for me… silver leaf was the Cornish sea crashing on the cliffs, and the twining vine of ivy and beautiful anenomes was for me as they are my favourite flowers. She made two types of sponge – a dark chocolate ganache and a lemon one with lemon curd which were so delicious. It was a masterpiece. She is the talk of London town, and has tonnes of awards and so if you want her, don’t dally.

Amazing wedding cake by Daisy Cakes Greenwich

Enough about London – it was a Very Cornish Wedding

Everything else was Cornish. We had Alan Law, who’s so amazing at wedding photography, Al’s now teaching the rest of ’em how it’s done (in a very nice, charming way I’m sure with plenty of giggles). Voted among the top 30 wedding photographers in the world, Alan Law was the perfect choice because we just can’t get enough of the photos – we keep poring over them and they are just the BEST memory of the day I could have asked for. I chose him because I love his style, and when I browsed his gallery of 2013, the emotion he captured moved me to tears. So I also proclaim him a genius, just like Nazan. Are you sensing a theme here?!

Nosy bride spies out the window

I chose my dress well over a year before the wedding, at Amanda K in Truro. It was off the peg – the last one in the shop  (I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to wedding dresses, I got it for a BARGAIN but won’t say anymore or Amanda might tell me off). I went down the route of investigating the eBay made-in-Chinas but got it on good authority that the cheapie ones often don’t photograph well. I thought I’d better give myself every chance of a few nice photos so I shopped around for a long time until I found this dress which truly made me feel amazing. The top was a separate thing and together I think they were perfect for me. I do think my ass looked rather too bootylicious in the pics but I think Alan was using his Nicky Minaj lens at those times maybe..? Yes. *eats 14th gingernut, nodding sagely*.

He puts a ring on it

Wedding dress dilemmas and a skinny-trouser-addict groom

Anyway, the dress was so perfect it didn’t need altering (just shortening at the hem), which was handled expertly by the magical fingers of Maria the Seamstress of Ponsanooth. I took her the Peeb’s suit for altering – the trousers came unlined, tweed! Itchy or what?? So Maria shortened and tightened and lined his slim cut tweed suit trousers slightly skinnier – and then he asked her to go skinnier again – until he was happy. He does love skinny trousers maybe a little too much BUT he was actually right, and Maria and I should say sorry for mocking him – he looked 100% f-ing fantastic on the day in all his finery. Don’t you think?

Tears and love on our wedding day in Cornwall

I should talk about the rings but I did here so only need to add that I found mine online and it was difficult to find something that went with my 100 year old diamond engagement ring, but I totally copied my friend who had an off-centre, channel set sort of eternity ring and they looked amazing together. So that was that.

I realise I have gone on a bit long for one post now.. read the next installment to find out about the venue, the band, and anything else I think of between now and then.. And if you want to ask me anything, please do, I won’t mind, even if you think it’s a bit nosey, just ask me and I may just dish.

Melting Pot of surprising curry and other stuff

OK sorry, sorry, I have been completely caught up in wedding and honeymoon organising, passport photos for visas, hiring amp and speakers, getting a playlist, arguing over the table plan, being surprised by gorgeous, thoughtful presents and a load of other things. So my blog has been neglected but I am spurred to write about several things that are going on. Sorry for the thought-jumble.

Melting Pot cafe curry

Delicious curry at the Melting Pot, on Fridays in Redruth

Redruth’s secret treasure trove of weirdness cafe, the Melting Pot.

Last week was ridiculous at work. So, so hectic, all kinds of different stuff going on and all of it high-stress and long hours etc. My colleague’s birthday whizzed by uncelebrated so on Friday we piled in the car and headed over to the Melting Pot cafe in Redruth for lunch. Wow. What a surprise to find such an endearingly strange and wonderful cafe. Friday is curry day apparently, and for £6.50 we had bowls of delicious lamb mince curry, perfect basmati rice, a little naan, and the amazing dal to rival that of the Peppercorn Kitchen, Perranuthnoe. Totally fit and worth breaking the pre-wedding diet for.Melting Pot cafe interior

Wedding make up: “Sleek” contouring kit: Ordered and waiting for delivery.

I have a wide face. And a “five head”. And no cheekbones or chin to speak of. So I’ve been watching make up tutorials on YouTube and I’m ready to try my Sleek contouring kit, which I ordered for £10 (free delivery) on the weirdly named Beautifeye who I think sell those weird fashion contact lenses..?! Still, it’s in the post and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Hair on the wedding day – to do it myself or not?

I have really frizzy/curly hair and it’s really fine. It looks nice straight or smooth/bouncy blow dry but invariably goes as flat and limp as a bit of wet coriander a couple of minutes after the blow dry. I was resigned to doing it curly myself (bit of moisturising curl cream with a bit of hold in it, I tried Naz’s Sainsbury’s curly hair stuff on the London hen and my curls stayed as they should all day) but will it look ok in the pics, or will I look a frizzy mess? Rant time: Shame on Sainsbury’s by the way, wtf was that war advert about? Exchanging gifts then going back to slaughtering and gassing each other in the most violent and bloody conflict imaginable, for four years?! Oh but Happy Christmas anyway. No. No. NO. I thought ‘war profiteering’ was illegal? A “dangerous, disrespectful masterpiece” as the Guardian said. Another thing that made me Tweet some passive-aggressive fury this morning, the chef Tom Kerridge being sexist on his cookery program last night, and then going to Wimbledon dog track to cook burgers?! Obviously not a man afraid of ruffling feathers/offending animal welfare supporters or women. I tweeted him this article from the Guardian, suggesting he make a generous donation to the rehabilitation of racing greyhounds as he’s such a fan of this “sport”. Pffffffft. No reply yet!

How to display a table plan

There is a real danger when planning one’s wedding to lose one’s grip on reality (see my ranting above. Literally everything is making me either rant, cry, or write a detailed list). I realised this yesterday when I was about to buy a really naff, nasty picture frame to string the table plan across, for £20 plus delivery… I suddenly realised my Dad is a painter and I have about 40 of his paintings of Falmouth I could use instead!!!! So now I’ve just bought some mini pegs, Mum has some lovely ribbon, and I will use a tiny screw or nail on the back of the picture frame to create a table plan with a colourful, beautiful painting as the background. It will be great.

The rest of the weekend…

This weekend I had the best hair colour of my life at Toni + Guy in Truro. 3 colours, really fine highlights, whole head but not intensively underneath so it actually looks natural. Love it. We also drove up to Padstow for the morning, with my parents in law and my friend who was there to collect her tiny new kitten. She didn’t want to go alone for fear of dangerous Gumtree fraudsters and quite right too. Still,the kitten is a delight and has a wonderful new life ahead of her, the dear little thing. I can’t wait to introduce the Duck to Kitty and see if they can be friends.New kitten snoozing.

Next on my list: Honeymoon packing, order thank you cards, prepare the table plan, print the place names, organise disco dancing playlist, hair rehearsal and cook roast lamb on Sunday.

And finally… a windscreen hitchhiker who slowly revealed herself during our drive home late on Thursday.

Hitchhiking snail on the windscreen

Autumn leaves in Kimberly Park, Falmouth

Autumn reaches Kimberly Park, Falmouth

Very excited!!!

Terror at the London Bridge Experience

Food and Terror: My London Hen Experience (Survived)

Greenwich hen weekendI’ve just been up to London for my hen party. I flew up from Newquay (cheaper to fly than train) and got to London Victoria and had to buy hand sanitiser (no offense Londoners, but I hadn’t seen so many people in ages). So slow…….. it took me about 20 mins to get my ticket for the tube. I rode the DLR round to Greenwich which is always fun – but arrived in a fluster,which was eased by stuffing sushi into my face. It was so good, I was becalmed and realised I was back in London and  everything was ok. That’s how good Ajiichiban is. We ate salmon nigiri and sashimi, spicy tuna rolls, prawn tempura rolls and crispy duck rolls. We drank sparkling sake and Asahi beers. Then we ordered the whole lot again. It was frikken amazing.

So anyway, after a Fire Tree in the pub (lit rum being poured down stacked glasses and a rum bottle) and several pints we retired, full of excitement for the next day when I would get to see all my wonderful friends and go out to play in the big city.

Warp speed 9 in the Shard lift

We began with a West Cornwall Pasty sitting outside London Bridge station, followed by a trip up the Shard. We flew up to the 69th floor and drank champagne overlooking the city. It was amazing, it made the Eye look teeny tiny and I loved it. The sky was grey, the city was grey, and the sun was making stripes through the clouds. The poppies outside the Tower of London were so bright, I could have stayed up there for ages just looking. I couldn’t spot my beloved Hampstead Heath but I know it was out there somewhere.  We had to get on, so dropped down out of the sky and had a mini pep talk from the stern security man about marriage, life and health on the way out. He beamed at me and my ‘Bride to Be’ badge. It was a lovely start to the day.

Instagram views from the Shard

We’d had a call from my sister while we were Sharding, which was very distorted but sounded like she was surrounded by hooligans… turns out the pub we’d chosen to meet at had about 500 chanting football fans and scores of police outside. Standing just next to them was my bewildered looking sister… we rescued her, collected everyone else, and made our way to the London Bridge Experience. The London Bridge Experience is a historical journey through 2000 years of life in the area. This isn’t really true but I can’t really say too much without giving away the surprise of how terrifying the experience is. We were in there for about an hour or so, and my face hurt from laughing and being terrified the whole way round. I was so, so sweaty.

Terror at the London Bridge Experience

Onward to the Thames Clipper boat, which sailed us down to beautiful Greenwich. Some of the girls hadn’t sailed on the boat before – or been to Greenwich so it was really special.

Thames Clipper to Greenwich

My friend is an incredibly clever and talented cake maker (she is also making my wedding cake so details on that will follow later), and she’d sorted us out with some snacks and cups of tea, and then taught us how to decorate cupcakes!

Supar paste creatures

There were a few willies but very delicate ones which suited our very demure and ladylike celebrations.

Delicate decorations on Hen cupcakesThe entries to the cupcake competition

We ate the beautiful cake, drank prosecco and got ready for our amazingly delicious meal in the Crows’ Nest at the Cutty Sark pub. Walking along the river to the pub was gorgeous – I think it’s the bit that sticks in my mind the most, it was the calm in the eye of the storm… I was just so happy strolling along with my friends in the still London air.

I had a huge burger for dinner which was tasty but I wasn’t really concentrating on the food, I was too busy talking. Everyone else loved their food, and the house red wine was really good too.

We finished our night with drinks in the garden at the Pelton Arms, having just missed their live music. It was an awesome night, it was so great to see everyone and it was brilliant that my oldest boy-mate turned up to collect his good lady wife so I got to see him too.

The next day I was introduced to proper pie and mash for the very first time. Two home made pies with mince inside, with beautiful pastry, perfect smooth mashed potato and liquor, which is like parsley sauce: the perfect hangover cure. We went to Goddards which has been around since 1890, and had prices from then too (double pie, mash and liquor for about £4.50). The trick with pie and mash (I learned) is the seasoning – you’ve got to be generous with the salt, pepper and chilli vinegar to get the best out of it. I felt a million times better after my lunch.Pie and mash hangover cure

After a nap in the afternoon, I set out to west London to visit my godmother (she’s in her 80s, she may not have enjoyed the proper hen bit!) and we went to her local pub the Havelock Tavern for a lovely supper to round off my hen weekend: the most delicious, light kedgeree with a  soft boiled egg nestled on top, with a few small drips of sweet chilli sauce.

I had a lovely weekend. I was in love with London again. On my way back to Cornwall my wheelie bag got in someone’s way at the tube station, so I said ‘sorry’ and tried to smile at him. The man snapped “F*** OFF” at me. Ha. I was trying to!

When I came out of the plane door at Newquay I was slapped in the face by stinging sideways rain and I wanted to cry with happiness that I was home, and sadness that the weekend was over. The next time I’ll see everyone will be at the wedding in 5 weeks’ time. Better get my shit together, eh?

Hen Day in Falmouth

All about my Falmouth hen do

Beautiful, elegant Hen Do.

The Mothers’ Hen was such a good day… it was laid-back and totally unstressful. I had a bit of help from my friends – lovely Cava was brought along and we set off on the good ship Princessa from the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth at 2pm. For two hours we bobbed on the water, out of the harbour and along to the Helford river, with calm, sunny weather all the way. We drank the Cava and ate a box of excellent pasties I’d ordered from Pasty Presto. They were hot, juicy and delicious, with really good pastry that isn’t rock hard. The box kept them warm, and also came with really pretty paper bags to use as plates and plenty of napkins. Really good for a party – and a box of ten was £26.50 which was ok price-wise (they’re more than that usually).

When they say ‘full commentary’ on the boat, it’s just enough to be quite interesting and but not at all overwhelming. We were busy chatting but there were a few interesting things along the way that helped the conversation (most people were meeting for the first time).

When we got back, we walked over to Gylly beach for a coffee and the conversation became a bit more ‘henny’ with tales of strippers with tomato sauce flavoured crisps stuffed into their leather posing pouches. With our minds opened we strolled home from the beach (we were meant to go in the sea, but couldn’t be arsed).

Back at home we got changed ready for our much anticipated meal at the Wheelhouse. Without doubt, my favourite restaurant in Falmouth, I talk about the Wheelhouse all the time and I was so pleased they had space for 10 of us – particularly as most of the girls hadn’t been there before.  (I booked four months ago). As we got ready at home there was a flurry of activity – Mum seemed to be stressing about something and there was a lot of whispering. The front door opened and shut a few times and I was suspicious that they were getting some horrific stripper in.. luckily it was just them panicking: Mum had picked up a couple of plastic tiaras, some sashes etc, but she’d only got 9 things because the bride’s veil/L plates combo was just too hideous. So they’d somehow ended up with nothing for me – cue running over the road and sourcing a beauuuuuutiful flower crown from our neighbour just as the taxis arrived. So I ended up looking like a happy flower child, resplendent under my flowery halo. I was just gutted I had to give it back the next day!

My favourite restaurant: mussels at the Wheelhouse Falmouth
Down we went to the Wheelhouse. They do just seafood, two ways (garlic or garlic/chilli/ginger/lime/coconut type flavours). I’d pre-ordered to help out the kitchen (it’s a tiny place) and so copper pans of mussels, prawns, scallops and crab flowed out of the kitchen, along with baskets of the best skinny chips. I didn’t order salads because salads have no place among all that deliciousness. Wheelhouse Tina as always was brilliant with everyone – we had such a good time. We talked and laughed and ate for 3 hours. Their white wine (house) is just so crisp and delicious. The night ended with a beer at Beerwolf Books followed by a 30 minute sway/bop in Mangos before going home to stuff our faces with cupcakes and tea.

The funniest bit of the night was when my Mum’s very sensible friend Jan questioned me about the Peeb, in the style of a Mr and Mrs quiz. Mum and Jan had got the Peeb’s answers completely wrong and kept reading out the answers at the same time as the questions by mistake, which was hilarious. In the end I somehow won all the prizes, the best one was a concierge type bell that had “ring for sex” written on it. Not at all what I expected Auntie Jan to pull out of her bag.

It was a great day, and didn’t cost us a great deal… £13 each for the boat ride & pasty, plus £30 for dinner… and now I can’t wait for the London version next month! Woop woop.

And the next day, we got all the doggies and some of the boys together for a walk and a beer at Porthtowan.. here’s a pic of all the doggies together. How gorgeous.

After the hen we walked the dogs at Porthtowan

Hen Dogs

Have you got a hen story you’d like to share? What do you think about having a separate Mother Hens do?



Marazion dog birthday

About my new favourite pub in Marazion.

Duckie (the dog) was two on Tuesday, so we combined her birthday with a trip down to Newlyn to investigate a jeweller down there, who specialises in bashed, battered, sandblasted wibbly-edged wedding rings. Fiance is not a jewellery man, and for a while didn’t want to wear a wedding ring when we get married – but he’s since changed his mind. He’s a romantic and thinks it’s a nice symbol of togetherness… I agree and so we found this amazing jeweller. We got the ring size right, and ordered one then and there in his noisy workshop with Duckie stinking the place out (no one complained but I felt pretty bad for them).

To celebrate, we walked the Duck on the sand dune bit at the top of Marazion beach (no dogs allowed til October… makes me so angry but that rant is for another time). Then, we trundled along to the recently refurbished Godolphin Arms. We’d been before but this second time it actually inspired me to start this blog – it was so, so, so good. The food, the setting, the view, the sunset. It was awesome. They even brought the stinky mutt a bowl of water with ice cubes in it… and four dog biscuits on her own little saucer.

It was cold so we sat inside (forgot to bring coats, we’re not Cornish-weather-minded yet) but we could still see the stunning view through the enormous bi-fold doors onto the glass-rimmed deck. We ate the special roast loin of pork with garlic mash and red cabbage (£12) and had a very good glass of house red wine (don’t know how much) and it was amazing.  Definitely going to take visitors there next time they descend.

We need to pick up the wedding ring in 3 weeks when they’ve crafted it – perhaps we’ll combine that with another trip to the pub. The dog will be allowed to run and play on the empty beach then too. Yay.