Back in the autumn we attended the Handmade at Kew event at Kew Gardens with our friends at the Leach Pottery. To celebrate the event we ran a competition to win a 3 night stay in St Ives, the home of the Leach Pottery. We caught up with the lucky winner, Mandy Russell, just before she headed back home to Berkshire.

As well as three nights’ accommodation right on St Ives’ harbour front, Mandy’s prize consisted of a half day pottery course at the Leach Pottery, a £50 voucher to spend in their shop, and a £250 Seasalt voucher – all of which were put to good use.

We met Mandy at her holiday apartment, 2 Harbour House, and with a beaming smile she told us all about her holiday – she certainly packed a lot into her time in Cornwall! Prior to her stay in St Ives Mandy had spent a few days staying near Porthleven enjoying the South Coast.

With 2 Harbour House having two bedrooms which sleep up to four people, Mandy and her husband invited a friend along to stay too. St Ives was already one of their favourite holiday destinations, and as all three are extremely enthusiastic about the arts they spent their days indulging in the town’s cultural delights by visiting some of the many galleries and arts museums, before dining in St Ives’ top restaurants.

Naturally, a highlight of Mandy’s St Ives arts experience was her opportunity to have a go at throwing a pot under the tuition of Debbie at Leach Pottery. This was her first attempt at pot throwing and, whilst happy to admit that her future in pottery is doubtful, she said the experience has left her with “a renewed respect for the art”!

In between experiencing the cultural side of St Ives, Mandy said her most relaxing time was spent in the apartment itself. “It’s a very special place. I just loved sitting in the window seat, gazing across the harbour and watching the boats bobbling gently back and forth. It has an almost hypnotic effect – I could find myself there for hours.”

Mandy and the others looked remarkably relaxed leaving St Ives with a suitcase brimming with new Seasalt clothes and a charming little pot purchased from the Leach shop.

You could the next lucky winner of one our competitions.