I love everything about this town and I am lucky enough to call it my home, it’s an artist’s paradise and one of the few places in the UK where you can watch the sunrise and sunset from the same spot.
The Seasalt St Ives shop is situated right in the heart of it all, in Fore Street.
Paved with cobbles and only a stone’s throw away from the harbour, Fore Street is one of the busiest streets in the town and has everything from homemade fudge to handmade jewellery, there is a shop for everyone.
Working in the Seasalt shop we get to meet visitors every day and the vast majority of them are on holiday, they often ask us questions so they can get the best out of their visit: Who sells the best pasties? Where’s the best place to enjoy a Cornish cream tea? Who serves the best coffee? Are there any secret gems off the beaten track that only the locals know about?
All these questions have inspired me to write a secret guide to our beautiful town and introduce you to some of our favourite places.
Whether you’re an early riser or prefer to have a lie in, you can’t start your day without a proper Cornish breakfast. The Cornish Deli in St Ives is tucked away on Chapel Street and serves one of the best breakfasts in town. I’ve been going there for the last ten years.
It’s small and cosy with a friendly feel, and there are charming window seats to sit in and watch the world go by while enjoying a hearty breakfast.
They also do takeaway sandwiches and coffees, and can even prepare a picnic basket for you to take to the beach.
The Cornish Deli, 3 Chapel Street
A short walk away from The Cornish Deli is Trewyn Gardens, the Seasalt St Ives team use these gardens as a little retreat during their lunch break. Despite being right in the middle of the town centre, this garden is a little haven of tranquillity where you can relax on the bench with a newspaper. Eat your pasty away from the seagulls and enjoy a few minutes of peace away from the hustle and bustle of the town.
Take a walk through Trewyn Gardens and head downhill where you’ll find the stunning Barbara Hepworth museum on your left.
The Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture garden is preserved just as it was when the artist herself lived there. This unique and magical garden is definitely worth a visit. It’s open Monday to Sunday 10am – 5.20pm
Barbara Hepworth Museum, Barnoon Hill
One of the greatest things about St Ives is the beaches, and everyone has a favourite. Porthmeor, also known as the surfers’ beach, is overlooked by the Tate Gallery and is home to Porthmeor Beach Café which serves a delicious selection of tapas dishes and seafood dishes.
It’s the perfect spot for a light lunch or a romantic evening meal. You can sit inside or out and enjoy panoramic views across the bay.
Porthmeor Beach Café, Porthmeor Beach
One of my favourite things about living here is the collection of wonderful galleries and artists. There are friendly artist-owned galleries around every corner and a visit to at least one of these is a must. Many artists sell work from their studio and you can often catch them working on a masterpiece while you browse.
Before coming to Cornwall I had never had a cream tea, I was told on my first visit to St Ives that I had to put the jam on the scone first and then the cream or it wouldn’t be Cornish. I did, and it was delicious! For me the best cream tea in St Ives has to be The Searoom on the harbour front.
Sit back and enjoy the harbour views. If you’re lucky, there might be a table outside – be quick, they go quickly!
The Searoom, the Wharf, St Ives, Cornwall 01736 794325
When the evening draws in and it’s time to think about dinner, St Ives has a wide variety of places to choose from, but they can book up quickly so I’d recommend booking in early to guarantee a place.
If there’s one thing you have to eat when you’re beside the sea, it’s seafood. There are so many great places in St Ives, but if you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track then the Mermaid Seafood Restaurant is the place to go.
It has been in the same family for over 30 years and has a warm and inviting atmosphere. As well as fresh, locally caught seafood, the menu also includes locally farmed meat and poultry dishes as well as a vegetarian option. They also offer an early bird menu between 6 and 7pm which includes 3 courses for under £25.
The Mermaid Seafood Restaurant, Fish Street, St Ives 01736 796816
It’s also only 5 minutes away from the famous Sloop Pub on the harbour front, where you can enjoy live music and Cornish ales to finish your evening.
There is so much to see and do in St Ives, and you’ll need more than a day here if you want to fully embrace life by the sea. Spend your days watching the sunrise over the harbour, exploring beautiful cobbled streets, and experiencing some of the places that add to its charm. You’re sure to leave with a sense of fulfilment, and a longing to return to this little coastal town again and again.