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I've always absolutely loved hosting little get-togethers and dinner parties for friends and family. I'm not quite sure exactly where my obsession for picnics and parties comes from, but I have a feeling it has something to do with my simultaneous love for a good laugh, a bunch of fairy lights and a hefty slab of cake...  

Anyway, last weekend a few old friends of mine came down to visit me here in Cornwall and, as it was a good excuse to get the board games and paper plates out, I just had to go that one step further and plan a little themed picnic for us to enjoy. 

So, with the help of a hoard of goodies from my fave online party supplies shop, prettylittlepartyshop.co.uk, I put together a cosy 'Under the Stars' styled picnic and of course I just have to show you a few snapshots from our night. 


My main plan for this picnic was to make it look and feel as cosy and 'thrown together' as possible. I don't know about you, but I love those spontaneous and relaxed get-togethers where everyone tries to scramble a 'party' together at the last minute. Those are always the best occasions, so that's the kind of atmosphere I was trying to recreate here. 



Food-wise, pasties were definitely the order of the day. I've yet to find a better picnic food to keep everyone happy!



It was also incredibly handy to have a stack of these kraft food boxes for transporting our food to and from the garden. If you read my post on last year's garden picnic, you'll know that we had a lot of food and it caused us a great deal of trouble getting it all down to the garden and clearing everything up afterwards!


So having these cute (but easily disposable!) East of India paper bags and twinkly kraft plates + napkins made the whole process so much easier. I can't recommend disposable party gear enough when it comes to occasions like this- the last thing you want to do as a hostess is spend a large chunk of time carting various platters of food around and then doing the subsequent washing up!


The decor wasn't all about practicality though- as soon as I saw these round white balloons with their ivy garlands and these huge navy balloons on Pretty Little Party Shop's site, I knew I had to get them! They are so so pretty in real life and, although they were quite a fiddle to inflate (shout out to my pal Jack who spent a good hour trying to get them to stay buoyant!) I think the overall effect is marvellous and the addition of a few balloons really set the scene.



Sticking with the starry theme, these Constellation notebooks by Nikki Strange on Etsy were a lovely little addition and made great party favours for my friends to take home!




We also had these insanely cute Meri Meri Shooting Star tattoos but never actually got round to trying them before it got dark. However, I do think those tiny gold stars would be so sweet as a little wrist or ankle tat!




As it got dark really quickly that evening, it was great to have a few candles dotted about. These little French dairy jars were the perfect size for holding a citronella tealight and I'm pretty sure they kept going all night!  



To finish the evening, we had to round things off with a scrummy chocolate cake. If you can make the cake-eating bit of a party any better, we found a few golden cake sparklers certainly added to the occasion! 

A quick recommendation for lighting these- grab a lighter or one of those food torches to get the sparklers going all at the same time. We found them a little bit difficult to light with matches alone!


And that's it! I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into our cosy evening under the stars. Let me know if you're planning on having a summer picnic soon, or if you've had one and you have any tips! I'd love to hear them in the comments below.

In the meantime,
All the love,

Siân x

A Cosy Evening Under the Stars

Sunday, 20 August 2017


I've always absolutely loved hosting little get-togethers and dinner parties for friends and family. I'm not quite sure exactly where my obsession for picnics and parties comes from, but I have a feeling it has something to do with my simultaneous love for a good laugh, a bunch of fairy lights and a hefty slab of cake...  

Anyway, last weekend a few old friends of mine came down to visit me here in Cornwall and, as it was a good excuse to get the board games and paper plates out, I just had to go that one step further and plan a little themed picnic for us to enjoy. 

So, with the help of a hoard of goodies from my fave online party supplies shop, prettylittlepartyshop.co.uk, I put together a cosy 'Under the Stars' styled picnic and of course I just have to show you a few snapshots from our night. 


My main plan for this picnic was to make it look and feel as cosy and 'thrown together' as possible. I don't know about you, but I love those spontaneous and relaxed get-togethers where everyone tries to scramble a 'party' together at the last minute. Those are always the best occasions, so that's the kind of atmosphere I was trying to recreate here. 



Food-wise, pasties were definitely the order of the day. I've yet to find a better picnic food to keep everyone happy!



It was also incredibly handy to have a stack of these kraft food boxes for transporting our food to and from the garden. If you read my post on last year's garden picnic, you'll know that we had a lot of food and it caused us a great deal of trouble getting it all down to the garden and clearing everything up afterwards!


So having these cute (but easily disposable!) East of India paper bags and twinkly kraft plates + napkins made the whole process so much easier. I can't recommend disposable party gear enough when it comes to occasions like this- the last thing you want to do as a hostess is spend a large chunk of time carting various platters of food around and then doing the subsequent washing up!


The decor wasn't all about practicality though- as soon as I saw these round white balloons with their ivy garlands and these huge navy balloons on Pretty Little Party Shop's site, I knew I had to get them! They are so so pretty in real life and, although they were quite a fiddle to inflate (shout out to my pal Jack who spent a good hour trying to get them to stay buoyant!) I think the overall effect is marvellous and the addition of a few balloons really set the scene.



Sticking with the starry theme, these Constellation notebooks by Nikki Strange on Etsy were a lovely little addition and made great party favours for my friends to take home!




We also had these insanely cute Meri Meri Shooting Star tattoos but never actually got round to trying them before it got dark. However, I do think those tiny gold stars would be so sweet as a little wrist or ankle tat!




As it got dark really quickly that evening, it was great to have a few candles dotted about. These little French dairy jars were the perfect size for holding a citronella tealight and I'm pretty sure they kept going all night!  



To finish the evening, we had to round things off with a scrummy chocolate cake. If you can make the cake-eating bit of a party any better, we found a few golden cake sparklers certainly added to the occasion! 

A quick recommendation for lighting these- grab a lighter or one of those food torches to get the sparklers going all at the same time. We found them a little bit difficult to light with matches alone!


And that's it! I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into our cosy evening under the stars. Let me know if you're planning on having a summer picnic soon, or if you've had one and you have any tips! I'd love to hear them in the comments below.

In the meantime,
All the love,

Siân x


If you follow me over on Instagram or on Facebook you'll know that, a few weeks ago, I spent a slow and sunny Sunday morning picking elderflower heads in the garden. And if you watched my video, you'll have seen that I almost certainly got a bit burnt out there in the intense June sunshine! But it was all so worth it when I brought my basket indoors- the aroma that those flowers gave off was just divine. 

Ever since we moved down to Cornwall, I've wanted to make use of the elderflower growing wild in our garden- I just never seemed to be able to catch it in time before it wilted! This year, however, I'm so glad I dedicated a hot and sunny day to picking and brewing it into a yummy cordial. 

And of course, I had to share the results of my mixology experiments with you...


If you come across some elderflower growing wild (or if you're as lucky as I am to have it growing in bunches in your back garden) and you'd like to whip it into a sweet and floral cordial, here's a makeshift recipe I bundled together with what we had in the kitchen:

*15 heads of elderflower
*500g caster sugar
*4 tablespoons runny honey
*1 apple, cut into wedges
*3 oranges, zested and cut into wedges

1. Wash the elderflower heads well, picking off any bugs!
2. Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Gently bring to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.
3. Grate in the zest of the oranges and add the elderflower upside down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.
4. Squeeze in the juice from the oranges and then add both the orange and apple wedges. Pop the pan lid on and allow to infuse for at least 24 hours.
5. When you're ready to strain your cordial, line a fine sieve with muslin or a good-quality tea towel and place over a big bowl. Carefully pour your cordial through the sieve and leave to rest for a few minutes. 
6. Pour the strained cordial into a sterilised bottle (or several jars) and drink with water, soda or gin!  


It really is so rewarding to sit in the garden, sipping away at a jar of cordial made from ingredients growing all around you!


Plus, the great thing about this cordial is that you can mix and match it with all kinds of ingredients- lemonade, thyme, edible flowers, gin, prosecco, apple juice... whatever you fancy!


Have you ever made your own cordial? This was my first time brewing one together with homegrown ingredients and I think I've developed a slight obsession! Next on my list will be a fruity blackberry number come August, when I know the country lanes around us will be dotted with big and juicy berry bushes!

If you have any foraging tips, be sure to share them in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x

Apple + Elderflower Cordial

Sunday, 30 July 2017


If you follow me over on Instagram or on Facebook you'll know that, a few weeks ago, I spent a slow and sunny Sunday morning picking elderflower heads in the garden. And if you watched my video, you'll have seen that I almost certainly got a bit burnt out there in the intense June sunshine! But it was all so worth it when I brought my basket indoors- the aroma that those flowers gave off was just divine. 

Ever since we moved down to Cornwall, I've wanted to make use of the elderflower growing wild in our garden- I just never seemed to be able to catch it in time before it wilted! This year, however, I'm so glad I dedicated a hot and sunny day to picking and brewing it into a yummy cordial. 

And of course, I had to share the results of my mixology experiments with you...


If you come across some elderflower growing wild (or if you're as lucky as I am to have it growing in bunches in your back garden) and you'd like to whip it into a sweet and floral cordial, here's a makeshift recipe I bundled together with what we had in the kitchen:

*15 heads of elderflower
*500g caster sugar
*4 tablespoons runny honey
*1 apple, cut into wedges
*3 oranges, zested and cut into wedges

1. Wash the elderflower heads well, picking off any bugs!
2. Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Gently bring to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.
3. Grate in the zest of the oranges and add the elderflower upside down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.
4. Squeeze in the juice from the oranges and then add both the orange and apple wedges. Pop the pan lid on and allow to infuse for at least 24 hours.
5. When you're ready to strain your cordial, line a fine sieve with muslin or a good-quality tea towel and place over a big bowl. Carefully pour your cordial through the sieve and leave to rest for a few minutes. 
6. Pour the strained cordial into a sterilised bottle (or several jars) and drink with water, soda or gin!  


It really is so rewarding to sit in the garden, sipping away at a jar of cordial made from ingredients growing all around you!


Plus, the great thing about this cordial is that you can mix and match it with all kinds of ingredients- lemonade, thyme, edible flowers, gin, prosecco, apple juice... whatever you fancy!


Have you ever made your own cordial? This was my first time brewing one together with homegrown ingredients and I think I've developed a slight obsession! Next on my list will be a fruity blackberry number come August, when I know the country lanes around us will be dotted with big and juicy berry bushes!

If you have any foraging tips, be sure to share them in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x


Did I ever tell you how much I blooming love living down here in Cornwall? There's something so special about being able to drive out to the coast on a whim and spend the day drinking in that salty sea air.



Nothing soothes the soul like the Cornish coast- fresh, wild and (occasionally) feisty, I've yet to find a place that makes me feel as content or at home than these rocky shorelines.

Perhaps it's the way the rolling, uninterrupted grasslands seem to slip over into the choppy waves below, or maybe it's the weighty and puffy skies, stretching out over distant towns as far as the eye can see- but something about the vastness of these coastal paths always makes me feel at peace. It's like it's just me and the landscape, and that's all that matters.


Bobble hat ASOS (similar) // Coat Lighthouse // Jumper ASOS // Boots Barbour


I think that's what living in the countryside has taught me... it's all about stepping back, breathing in that churning country air and finding contentment in the simplicity and regularity of nature.




Oh and, of course, there's no simpler pleasure than bringing along a four-legged pal for company. I don't know how or why but, even in her craziest of moments, this pup is such a source of joy and comfort to me. I'm always looking forward to where our next rosy-cheeked and muddy-pawed adventure will take us!




Old jeans, a big jumper, a bobble hat and a Spaniel- I reckon that's all I'll ever need!



I hope you've had a lovely weekend! What's the one thing that brings you comfort at the end of a particularly stressful day? (or week!) I'd love to know in the comments below.

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x

It's The Simple Things

Sunday, 16 July 2017


Did I ever tell you how much I blooming love living down here in Cornwall? There's something so special about being able to drive out to the coast on a whim and spend the day drinking in that salty sea air.



Nothing soothes the soul like the Cornish coast- fresh, wild and (occasionally) feisty, I've yet to find a place that makes me feel as content or at home than these rocky shorelines.

Perhaps it's the way the rolling, uninterrupted grasslands seem to slip over into the choppy waves below, or maybe it's the weighty and puffy skies, stretching out over distant towns as far as the eye can see- but something about the vastness of these coastal paths always makes me feel at peace. It's like it's just me and the landscape, and that's all that matters.


Bobble hat ASOS (similar) // Coat Lighthouse // Jumper ASOS // Boots Barbour


I think that's what living in the countryside has taught me... it's all about stepping back, breathing in that churning country air and finding contentment in the simplicity and regularity of nature.




Oh and, of course, there's no simpler pleasure than bringing along a four-legged pal for company. I don't know how or why but, even in her craziest of moments, this pup is such a source of joy and comfort to me. I'm always looking forward to where our next rosy-cheeked and muddy-pawed adventure will take us!




Old jeans, a big jumper, a bobble hat and a Spaniel- I reckon that's all I'll ever need!



I hope you've had a lovely weekend! What's the one thing that brings you comfort at the end of a particularly stressful day? (or week!) I'd love to know in the comments below.

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x


Is there anything better than ice cream on a sweltering hot summer's day? We've had a few of those recently down here in Cornwall and I've yet to find a better accompaniment to those sticky and humid days than a big bowl of ice cream!


Recently, I was incredibly lucky to receive a box filled with packets of crumbly fudge from the lovely Cornish confectioners, Copperpot Originals. As soon as this bumper box arrived, my Mum and I immediately tucked into a few squares of Copperpot's English Butter Fudge and I knew I had to whip up a recipe to make the most of what remained!

I chose a good old-fashioned, thick and buttery vanilla ice cream recipe to compliment the flavours in the fudge, and I think it did just the trick...        


So, to make this sweet and creamy concoction, you will need:

* a 397g tin of condensed milk
* 2 cups double cream
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* a pinch of salt
* some lovely, crumbly fudge!

1. Use a blender to whizz together all the ingredients (except the fudge) until it's as thick and frothy as a milkshake.
2. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin or a narrow dish and smooth out with a spatula. Dot and crumble some chunks of fudge over the top and then pop in the freezer for 6-7 hours until set.
3. Allow to melt just a tiny bit before scooping out and serving... with a few extra chunks of fudge for good measure!


When I say this is the scrummiest and naughtiest fudge you will ever eat, I am not kidding. I think I was lucky to make this ice cream and take photos of it when I did, as the remaining boxes we had didn't hang around for very long! It's absolutely melt-in-the-mouth type stuff, which makes it a perfect topping for some soft and buttery ice cream.


Here's to more sunshine-filled days!

Let me know if you decide to give this one a go one hot and squelchy day, I'd love to see your pictures on Twitter or Insta. I think next time we're going to try this with proper old-fashioned wafer cones, so I'll let you know how that goes- if the ice cream sticks around long enough to be scooped into cones that is!

In the meantime,
All my love,

Sian x

Sea Salt + Fudge Vanilla Ice Cream

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Is there anything better than ice cream on a sweltering hot summer's day? We've had a few of those recently down here in Cornwall and I've yet to find a better accompaniment to those sticky and humid days than a big bowl of ice cream!


Recently, I was incredibly lucky to receive a box filled with packets of crumbly fudge from the lovely Cornish confectioners, Copperpot Originals. As soon as this bumper box arrived, my Mum and I immediately tucked into a few squares of Copperpot's English Butter Fudge and I knew I had to whip up a recipe to make the most of what remained!

I chose a good old-fashioned, thick and buttery vanilla ice cream recipe to compliment the flavours in the fudge, and I think it did just the trick...        


So, to make this sweet and creamy concoction, you will need:

* a 397g tin of condensed milk
* 2 cups double cream
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* a pinch of salt
* some lovely, crumbly fudge!

1. Use a blender to whizz together all the ingredients (except the fudge) until it's as thick and frothy as a milkshake.
2. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin or a narrow dish and smooth out with a spatula. Dot and crumble some chunks of fudge over the top and then pop in the freezer for 6-7 hours until set.
3. Allow to melt just a tiny bit before scooping out and serving... with a few extra chunks of fudge for good measure!


When I say this is the scrummiest and naughtiest fudge you will ever eat, I am not kidding. I think I was lucky to make this ice cream and take photos of it when I did, as the remaining boxes we had didn't hang around for very long! It's absolutely melt-in-the-mouth type stuff, which makes it a perfect topping for some soft and buttery ice cream.


Here's to more sunshine-filled days!

Let me know if you decide to give this one a go one hot and squelchy day, I'd love to see your pictures on Twitter or Insta. I think next time we're going to try this with proper old-fashioned wafer cones, so I'll let you know how that goes- if the ice cream sticks around long enough to be scooped into cones that is!

In the meantime,
All my love,

Sian x


Lovingly created and maintained for the past forty years, Pinetum Gardens is a thirty acre estate situated just outside the centre of St Austell in Cornwall. Spread over a whopping ten individually themed garden spaces, the estate boasts one of the largest plant collections in the county- and yes, that includes the Eden Project!


I was lucky enough to be invited to review the gardens last weekend and, seeing as I'm still on a mission to keep exploring all the wonders the South West has to offer, I just had to say yes to this lovely opportunity.

So before I get into my trip, here's some basic information to start off with...  

Opening Times: The gardens are open every day, all year round from 10am until 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Signs around the site said that they were open every day until dusk which is a bit vague, so it might be worth checking on the day you visit if you think you'll want to stay a little later.  

Tickets: General admission is £10 for adults, £9 for seniors and £5 for young adults. Under 11's go free and anyone with RHS or National Trust Membership can claim 10% off their ticket price.



Dogs are more than welcome at Pinetum Gardens, as long as they stay on a lead around the site. We saw plenty of happy pooches taking a stroll (and a good sniff) around the flowerbeds so I would say, as long as your dog is well-behaved enough not to trample everything into oblivion, they'll have a lovely little potter about here.



Parking is free and in ample supply here. There's an overflow car park just in case things get a bit busy but, when we visited at least, the parking situation was fairly self-explanatory and we managed to hitch up with no trouble whatsoever. Another fab thing about these gardens is that walking the path through the site will wind you back round to the car park at the end, so no need to worry about the dreaded trek back to the car after your visit.


When you go to buy your tickets, you'll have to go past the café and into the little gift shop- so you'll be aware of the facilities from the get-go here! The café serves breakfast, morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas (which we were very lucky to be treated to, more on this later) and everything is very reasonably priced, so don't feel forced into bringing your own flask and homemade sandwiches if you don't want to.


In the courtyard, outside the shop and café. All that greenery!


It's really easy to find your way around the site. One thing in particular that we noted is that accessibility for disabled or elderly visitors is fab too; not only can you hire mobility scooters here but the most of the pathways and gardens seem to have been specifically designed for wheelchair users to pass through with ease. We saw multiple signs notifying visitors about whether the path ahead was easily accessible or not and there where lots of benches and seating areas dotted about the site, just in case you did need to take a break!


However, I did risk a slippy little path getting that shot on the right- the pond in the Japanese Garden was as clear as a mirror!


It was simply stunning to walk around. We were lucky enough to have the garden all to ourselves, so we made sure we had a proper nose around so we could take in all the varieties of flowers.



Coming out of the Japanese Garden, we found ourselves in the main parkland that links the site together. Walking through the wildflower-strewn parkland and down to the lake was a magical experience in itself! We saw plenty of spots that would be absolutely bloomin' perfect for a laidback picnic in the grass or a quick game of rounders with your mates...




*Bonus garden points- you're more than welcome to feed the ducks and geese at the lake here! 50p paper bags of bread can be bought from the garden shop- something that I wish we'd have done as this little duckling was quite disappointed to waddle away empty handed (or is it empty-beaked?)


Walking the path around the lake and up to the Winter Garden, you'll find a fleet of stunningly bright birch trees. The colour of these trunks all standing together really took me by surprise as I turned the corner!


I took a good whiff of the Elderflower to make sure it wasn't as good as ours!




After we'd walked the winding path round the Winter Garden, we crossed the parkland once more and entered the Arboretum. This area was in stark contrast to the creeping bushes and spooky tall trees to be found in the Winter Garden- it kind of reminded me of something out of Jane Austen and it felt a lot quieter than the rest of the gardens.


I'm no flower expert but I think these were enormous pink peonies- they smelt  d i v i n e  in any case!


I came across these monstrous plants as we wandered through our next stop, the Water Garden- how beautiful is that blend of green and white?


Standing under this giant, dinosaur-esque leaf was simultaneously the most peaceful and terrifying thing I have ever done in a garden...I was convinced something was going to drop down and crawl on my head!


After we'd had our fill of all the beautiful sights and sounds of the gardens, we stopped for a look around the plant shop. This little furball was basking in the warm sunshine by all the pots and plants and kept peering up at us as we perused what we were going to buy!


In the end, I picked up a little pot of a coastal perennial called Armeria Maritima. It's a little pink flower that usually grows on cliff edges by the sea and I just had to have it when I saw it because it instantly reminded me of all the sunny Cornish coastal walks I've been on since moving down here.


After we'd wandered our way around the entire estate and purchased a couple of plants to take away, we were kindly treated to a complimentary Cornish cream tea at the Garden Kitchen café.


I must say, this was one of the best cream teas I've ever had- and I've had a fair few! The tea was perfectly brewed and the clotted cream was delightfully decadent. It was the perfect way to round off our visit to the gardens and I for one certainly enjoyed having all the park's chickens and geese waddling round my feet as we tucked in!


All in all, I absolutely loved my trip to Pinetum Gardens and I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you ever get the chance to go! As you know, I love any trip to gardens or park land but this trip felt particularly special because we were allowed to walk around these gardens at our own pace and in relative peace and quiet.

If you've read my Fieldnotes on The Eden Project (which is just up the road from Pinetum) you'll know that, whilst I did enjoy elements of my visit there, I did get an overwhelming sense that we were being steered in a certain direction all the way around the site. Which I didn't like.

At Pinetum however, you are free to roam around for as long as you like within the opening hours, which means you can potter about amongst the flora and fauna in whichever direction and at whatever pace you desire. What's more, they actively encourage picnics and dog walks on site, meaning you could spend the entire day in the grounds here if you wanted.

If you are planning a visit to Cornwall soon and would love to see some spectacular garden scenery, perhaps take a rain check on The Eden Project and pop down the road to see it's neighbour, Pinetum Gardens, instead. I guarantee you won't regret putting aside such a busy and noisy tourist attraction for this calm and tranquil setting!

Have you ever been to Pinetum? I'd love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below, particularly if you've ever spent the entire day there!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Siân x

Fieldnotes: Pinetum Gardens

Sunday, 2 July 2017


Lovingly created and maintained for the past forty years, Pinetum Gardens is a thirty acre estate situated just outside the centre of St Austell in Cornwall. Spread over a whopping ten individually themed garden spaces, the estate boasts one of the largest plant collections in the county- and yes, that includes the Eden Project!


I was lucky enough to be invited to review the gardens last weekend and, seeing as I'm still on a mission to keep exploring all the wonders the South West has to offer, I just had to say yes to this lovely opportunity.

So before I get into my trip, here's some basic information to start off with...  

Opening Times: The gardens are open every day, all year round from 10am until 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Signs around the site said that they were open every day until dusk which is a bit vague, so it might be worth checking on the day you visit if you think you'll want to stay a little later.  

Tickets: General admission is £10 for adults, £9 for seniors and £5 for young adults. Under 11's go free and anyone with RHS or National Trust Membership can claim 10% off their ticket price.



Dogs are more than welcome at Pinetum Gardens, as long as they stay on a lead around the site. We saw plenty of happy pooches taking a stroll (and a good sniff) around the flowerbeds so I would say, as long as your dog is well-behaved enough not to trample everything into oblivion, they'll have a lovely little potter about here.



Parking is free and in ample supply here. There's an overflow car park just in case things get a bit busy but, when we visited at least, the parking situation was fairly self-explanatory and we managed to hitch up with no trouble whatsoever. Another fab thing about these gardens is that walking the path through the site will wind you back round to the car park at the end, so no need to worry about the dreaded trek back to the car after your visit.


When you go to buy your tickets, you'll have to go past the café and into the little gift shop- so you'll be aware of the facilities from the get-go here! The café serves breakfast, morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas (which we were very lucky to be treated to, more on this later) and everything is very reasonably priced, so don't feel forced into bringing your own flask and homemade sandwiches if you don't want to.


In the courtyard, outside the shop and café. All that greenery!


It's really easy to find your way around the site. One thing in particular that we noted is that accessibility for disabled or elderly visitors is fab too; not only can you hire mobility scooters here but the most of the pathways and gardens seem to have been specifically designed for wheelchair users to pass through with ease. We saw multiple signs notifying visitors about whether the path ahead was easily accessible or not and there where lots of benches and seating areas dotted about the site, just in case you did need to take a break!


However, I did risk a slippy little path getting that shot on the right- the pond in the Japanese Garden was as clear as a mirror!


It was simply stunning to walk around. We were lucky enough to have the garden all to ourselves, so we made sure we had a proper nose around so we could take in all the varieties of flowers.



Coming out of the Japanese Garden, we found ourselves in the main parkland that links the site together. Walking through the wildflower-strewn parkland and down to the lake was a magical experience in itself! We saw plenty of spots that would be absolutely bloomin' perfect for a laidback picnic in the grass or a quick game of rounders with your mates...




*Bonus garden points- you're more than welcome to feed the ducks and geese at the lake here! 50p paper bags of bread can be bought from the garden shop- something that I wish we'd have done as this little duckling was quite disappointed to waddle away empty handed (or is it empty-beaked?)


Walking the path around the lake and up to the Winter Garden, you'll find a fleet of stunningly bright birch trees. The colour of these trunks all standing together really took me by surprise as I turned the corner!


I took a good whiff of the Elderflower to make sure it wasn't as good as ours!




After we'd walked the winding path round the Winter Garden, we crossed the parkland once more and entered the Arboretum. This area was in stark contrast to the creeping bushes and spooky tall trees to be found in the Winter Garden- it kind of reminded me of something out of Jane Austen and it felt a lot quieter than the rest of the gardens.


I'm no flower expert but I think these were enormous pink peonies- they smelt  d i v i n e  in any case!


I came across these monstrous plants as we wandered through our next stop, the Water Garden- how beautiful is that blend of green and white?


Standing under this giant, dinosaur-esque leaf was simultaneously the most peaceful and terrifying thing I have ever done in a garden...I was convinced something was going to drop down and crawl on my head!


After we'd had our fill of all the beautiful sights and sounds of the gardens, we stopped for a look around the plant shop. This little furball was basking in the warm sunshine by all the pots and plants and kept peering up at us as we perused what we were going to buy!


In the end, I picked up a little pot of a coastal perennial called Armeria Maritima. It's a little pink flower that usually grows on cliff edges by the sea and I just had to have it when I saw it because it instantly reminded me of all the sunny Cornish coastal walks I've been on since moving down here.


After we'd wandered our way around the entire estate and purchased a couple of plants to take away, we were kindly treated to a complimentary Cornish cream tea at the Garden Kitchen café.


I must say, this was one of the best cream teas I've ever had- and I've had a fair few! The tea was perfectly brewed and the clotted cream was delightfully decadent. It was the perfect way to round off our visit to the gardens and I for one certainly enjoyed having all the park's chickens and geese waddling round my feet as we tucked in!


All in all, I absolutely loved my trip to Pinetum Gardens and I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you ever get the chance to go! As you know, I love any trip to gardens or park land but this trip felt particularly special because we were allowed to walk around these gardens at our own pace and in relative peace and quiet.

If you've read my Fieldnotes on The Eden Project (which is just up the road from Pinetum) you'll know that, whilst I did enjoy elements of my visit there, I did get an overwhelming sense that we were being steered in a certain direction all the way around the site. Which I didn't like.

At Pinetum however, you are free to roam around for as long as you like within the opening hours, which means you can potter about amongst the flora and fauna in whichever direction and at whatever pace you desire. What's more, they actively encourage picnics and dog walks on site, meaning you could spend the entire day in the grounds here if you wanted.

If you are planning a visit to Cornwall soon and would love to see some spectacular garden scenery, perhaps take a rain check on The Eden Project and pop down the road to see it's neighbour, Pinetum Gardens, instead. I guarantee you won't regret putting aside such a busy and noisy tourist attraction for this calm and tranquil setting!

Have you ever been to Pinetum? I'd love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below, particularly if you've ever spent the entire day there!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Siân x

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