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Big love, this February

In case you haven’t heard, it’s the season of love. In other words: Valentine’s Day is looming. I’ll admit that Mr and I have made scant effort beyond the first flush of early courtship to commemorate the date; however this year the enticing schedule of upcoming events may even inspire me to throw caution to the wind and acknowledge the holiday with get-out-there gusto.

Whether you wish to celebrate a little l’amour – or continue your love affair with Cornwall itself – there’s a brilliant bevy of things to see and do throughout the county as spring finally finds its way ever-closer to us here at the edge of the world.

I’ve handpicked some highlights that’ll suit all types of lovers, whether you’re in the early throes of dating, decades down the matrimonial line or simply want to take someone special to somewhere special this month (including yourself!)

For food lovers

With its bone fide foodie destination status, Cornwall boasts celebrity chef restaurants for fine dining decadence along with markets and shops spilling with fresh produce to help you whip up a kitchen storm. Here’s the lowdown on food world’s latest happenings:

Philleigh Way Cookery School is hosting a series of courses including Fish Cookery (7th February), Cornwall In a Day Cookery Course (11th February), Beginner Bread (25th February) and Simple Suppers (28th February), providing the perfect place for all abilities to expertly hone their culinary skills.

Tuck into a fabulous five-course dinner at Falmouth’s Merchants Manor (13th and 14th February), where a sparking wine reception will tune your tastebuds for some serious spoiling courtesy of the lip-smacking likes of hot smoked Cornish chicken, moorland beef Wellington and strawberry and honeycomb millefeuille with dark chocolate. Stay the night for bonus brownie points and a flavoursome full Cornish breakfast to boot!

Miss Peapod’s Kitchen Café in Penryn promises a super chilled evening for sweethearts. With food and film (14th February) on the agenda, devour some slow cooked saucy beef cheeks, sexy south Indian monkfish or red pepper polenta cakes with soft-boiled crispy love egg. The menu wording alone sets the mood.

The perfect preamble to St Piran’s Day, Eden Project is home to the World Pasty Championships (28th February), where entrants from around the globe will be vying for the podium during the Oggy Oscars Ceremony. Fisherman’s Friends and Cornish rappers Hedluv and Passman will provide the entertainment.


For art lovers 

Though Cornwall is a creative hub all-year round, the wave of forthcoming events are set to drag us out of winter with aplomb and awaken our imaginations from hibernation with an inspired array of arty interludes.

The Modern Lens at Tate St Ives (running until 10th May) presents the largest display of photographic works to have been exhibited at the iconic seaside gallery. Admire images from America, Europe and Japan spanning the 1920s to the 1960s in this captivating and innovative curation of influential works.

Meanwhile, the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is Celebrating the Sea (until 17th May) with the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ (RSMA) special Diploma Collection of fine marine art.


For activity lovers

You strange winter-loving folk can still hit the rink and relish the cold with a seasonal spot of ice-skating at Eden Project (until 22nd February).

Or for a more unconventional twist on action, check out the LDN Wrestling at Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion (17th February), or witness the ancient Cornish sport at St Ives Feast’s Hurling the Silver Ball (9th February).


For outdoor lovers

We rarely need an excuse to be a part of and behold the sublime beauty of our distinct sub-nation, but in case you need some ideas… 

Explore the gorgeous world-renowned gardens by donning your rubber soles for the Winter Welly Walk at Lost Gardens of Heligan (until 13th February). Once you’ve dirtied yourself in the stream and Tarzan-ed on the rope swing, toast your cockles with a mug of hot chocolate by the log burner in the Tearoom.

It’s Summer Somewhere Barbecue at The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay (27th February) will serve up a spectacular feast of jerk chicken with Jamaican hot sauce, Mexican corn, lentil Tabbouleh and beef redang with atmospheric sides of live acoustic music and beach bonfire.


For animal lovers

It’s pup season at Cornish Seal Sanctuary (until 28th February), which, in short, translates as “cutest thing ever”.


For theatre lovers

There’s a tally of theatrical antics gracing various stages, from dark and Gothic to award-winning dramas and up-beat romantic classics, including:

Dracula – by Rabbit Theatre, St Austell Arts Centre (20th February) / The Centre, Newlyn (21 February)

A Night of Dirty Dancing – at Regal Theatre, Redruth (19th February)

Dr Livingstone, I Presume – by Miracle Theatre Company – various locations and dates

The Woman In Black – at Hall For Cornwall (2-7th February)

After The Accident – various locations (6-28th February)

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Big love, this February

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