St Ives is a town that encapsulates everything about art, seafaring, vintage and a more relaxed way of life, well that’s the impression it gives but maybe the reality of things in the year of 2015 are far from it.
There is a sense that St Ives is becoming more commercial, it’s more Spitalfields than Bohemian. Bars and restaurants have upped their game, shops are more diverse and certain seaside clothing brands have moved in, interiors shops sport an eclectic mix of vintage accessories for the home and galleries such as Millennium bring the West End, West.
We were fortunate enough to be given the keys to St Ives House, a boutiques holiday home situated within the iconic harbour. This residence tastefully refurbished by Juila Newnham houses art, ceramics, glass and sulpture by local artists, There are stunning works by Rich Nott who recently exhibited at Art 15 in London. In some respects St Ives House is a gallery with a bath and beds. You can’t but help fall in love with this boutique residence that has everything you need to make your stay in this Cornish seaside town even more memorable. The views from both the bathroom and bedrooms are stunning, a chill out room on the top floor has a well equipped bar, every digital and entertainment platform you may need for the little ones and a kitchen -diner with views across the bay.
The only drawback if there could be one is that it inspires the need to go and source some of the items and take a bit of St Ives House back to SW London. Being the second Tuesday of the month it was another sell out day at Sunbury Antiques Market held at Kempton. In someway I feel I’ve written this post before, however there was the need to go in search of porthole mirrors, vintage industrial lighting, picture frames and that very look you find in Shoreditch, even down to vintage enamelware, 50’s chairs and vintage fabric.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kempton is still one of the best, if not the best vintage and antique markets in Europe. It’s simply full of dealers from all regions of Europe offering an exclectic range of items. Having decided to go to look and not buy I still ended up buying a vintage round mirror, a gunpowder tin from India, two vintage fishing books and a fish door knocker. I did seen many items that had I had the money I would have purchased. There was a oil painting of a Bentley Blower, an ideal item to resell at the Goodwood Revival, vintage lamps, railway luggage racks, portholes, vintage chairs, glassware and all manner of collectables. There is something charming about vintage furniture and artifacts when mixed in a contemporary setting, much like what you will find at St Ives House.
Typical of a Tales adventure fishing was on the agenda as well as a lot of gin drinking, for we had attended a Wedding on the Friday of two dear friends. Unfortunately the fishing exploits resulted in a blank, not even the slightest take and on questioning the local fishermen they reported that it was dire out there, few mackerel and very, very few bass. For young Tales we will have to return in another 6-8 weeks if we are to catch anything.
I know we won’t get to stay at St Ives House again this year but I will try to find some of those vintage pieces and if possible acquire a work of Rich Nott which will be my little bit of St Ives in London.