Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

As I was going to St Ives

Not having visited St Ives for at least four years, I thought it was about time we renewed our acquaintance. It was my birthday and “I’ll do what I want to” – that was my line of reasoning and I did have the day off work booked anyway. I dragged CT along with me and we boarded the train westwards. Parking in St Ives is a bit of a nightmare and taking the train is the most sensible option on all counts – it’s a lovely ride.

In my naivety, I had assumed a midweek visit before the school holidays would be fairly quiet. How wrong I was, the place was heaving – note to self: remember this for next year. We tried to make the best of it and as is usual, in honey pots like this one, we managed to find a few tranquil spots.

As a local, it’s easy to forget how beautiful this county is, so making irregular pilgrimages to the more scenic spots is a good reminder. St Ives is a typical fishing village with narrow streets and small cottages perched on rocky slopes with the ocean an ever present force. On this particular day, thankfully, the weather was kind, so the sea was blue and the beaches looked particularly inviting.
Having disembarked at the station, we followed the throng through the maze of streets. Buskers, punters and shops provided us with entertainment. The real highlight for me, was, cue fanfare, a chocolate shop offering its own artisan chocolates – I Should Coco. As it was my birthday, I felt no compunction whatsoever in treating myself to some of the gorgeous looking creations within.
Gorge, I have to confess, is exactly what we did. Unfortunately, the pristine designs became rather smudged with cocoa powder from the chilli truffle which I could not resist, so the only picture I actually took was not a particularly pretty sight and hence, does not appear here. Luckily, the taste was not affected and they were truly excellent. I will, however, be reviewing some of these chocolates in a later post, so pictures will be available then.
Amazingly, we later came across another chocolate shop, Chocolat St Ives which included an interesting selection of baking bits and bobs. Sad, but true, we’d had enough of chocolate by this stage, so we looked but didn’t purchase.

St Ives is, of course, more famous for its artists than its chocolate. This time, we gave the Tate a miss, but spent some time at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden instead. This was her studio for the last 25 years of her life and her sculptures are displayed both inside and out. They are truly wonderful – they have such a tactile look about them, I just wanted to go and touch every single one.

After a brisk stroll along the sea-front and a paddle in the sea, our interest in chocolate had returned. Tea and brownies at the Digey Food Room satisfied this need. There was a wide range of Teapigs to choose from and the brownies were really good. This gave us the energy to puff up the hill to the station and on to the train home. A long, but satisfying day out.


  1. e

    15th July 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Happy Birthday to you! I thought of you earlier today as I was shating a brownie dessert after lunch. There is just something about chocolate—when one wants it, nothing else will do.

    Beautiful photos. I look forward to more.

  2. Kath

    15th July 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Happy Birthday to you, squashed tomatoes and stew – or chocolate. Sounds like a perfect day out to me. Loving those chocolate shops and looking forward to the review.

  3. mangocheeks

    15th July 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Belateed I am sure, but better late than never. Happy Birthday to you dear blogger friend.

  4. Janice

    15th July 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Oh fabulous memories flooding back for me. I was a summer student working in St Ives in the late 70s. There were no posh chocolate shops then just the fudge shop and the bakers with the saffron cakes. I still loved it though, beautiful place and I agree about the train, it is a breathtaking journey.

  5. Helen (Fuss Free Flavours)

    15th July 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Love St Ives. I think I went to I should Coco the year before last. Did you find the absurdly healthy sprout shop too?

  6. belleaukitchen

    15th July 2010 at 10:37 pm

    well happy birthday to you xxxx

  7. Chele

    16th July 2010 at 5:46 am

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a fantastic day ;0)

  8. Lucie

    16th July 2010 at 8:45 am

    Happy Belated Birthday to a kind blogging friend! It sounds like you had a lovely day – I have loved reading this post – St Ives sounds like my kind of place, I must visit next time I’m in Cornwall. Lucie x

  9. Choclette

    16th July 2010 at 5:06 pm

    E – Thank you, nice to hear from you again. Yes, I do agree, there is definitely something rather special about chocolate.

    Kath – Thanks for the well wishes – squashed chocolate doesn’t sound quite as good as tomatoes and stew. I have been sampling the chocolates today for said review – yum!

    MangoCheeks – Thank you so much, very kind.

    Janice – Wow, what a great place to spend the summer. What were you doing? Sounds like you have fond memories of the fudge and saffron cakes!

    Helen – Thank you. To my shame I was in search of indulgence that day – no sprouts for me.

    Dominic – Thank you

    Thanks Chele

    Lucie – Thank you, much appreciated. Yes, do go to St Ives next time your down – it is one of Cornwall’s gems.

  10. Liz

    16th July 2010 at 6:54 pm

    ah well..speaking as a Penzance girl.. actually I love St Ives, especially in winter and the train journey around Lelant and Carbis bay is one of the best

  11. joanna

    16th July 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Best wishes for your birthday from me too ! lovely St Ives, the sea is so blue there, even the seagulls stealing your icecream on the front can’t put you off such a gorgeous place 🙂

  12. somesaycocoa

    16th July 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Happy Birthday Choclette! I Should Cocoa looks beautiful. I wish I wish :-0

  13. cityhippyfarmgirl

    17th July 2010 at 7:33 am

    Happy Birthday Choclette- sounds you had a lovely time at St Ives. What a stunning little harbour it has.
    The first chocolate shop looks amazing!

  14. Choclette

    17th July 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Liz – we usually leave our jaunting around the county until autumn then winter and spring – I just sort of forgot. Does Penzance get really busy too?

    Joanna – thank you. Those seagulls are becoming ever more daring. A bit much nicking your ice-cream though.

    Gillian – you’ve made a jolly good start.

    Thanks CityHippy. Yes, St Ives is a truly stunning place and there aren’t many fishing villages that have a chocolate shop or two not to mention art galleries galore.

  15. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    17th July 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Choclette! I always love your travel posts – thank you! Look at all the people at the beach in the middle of the week! Chocolate shops looks grand…

  16. freerangegirl

    17th July 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Birthday wishes to you! I love Cornwall, your pics brought back great memories of past holidays. Love your site, My husband loves all thing chocolate so i will definitely be back for more!

  17. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    17th July 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Happy Birthday! And what lovely chocolate shops 😀 Everything looks just lovely!

  18. VegBoxBoy

    18th July 2010 at 7:55 am

    Sorry I’ve been so slow in wishing you a happy birthday (weird stuff at work; I can see blogs but not add comments). Hope you had a lovely day; certainly sounds like it. I like the sound of your day-trips, they sound very indulgent. Just right for a birthday or indeed any other day…


  19. The Caked Crusader

    19th July 2010 at 7:28 am

    Happy birthday – looks like it was a good one! Artisan chocolates? Yes please!!!

  20. Jacqueline

    19th July 2010 at 9:29 am

    Two chocolate shops in one place. Fab! That is definitely a place to visit and not just because it is a beautiful part of the country I haven’t been to.

    Happy Birthday my friend 🙂

  21. oxslip

    19th July 2010 at 7:03 pm

    The perfect place for a birthday treat, I love St Ives despite the tourist crush at times. I got a second-hand copy of The Borrowers Afloat there last spring from a charity sale table outside someone’s house. I found it very pleasing that they left their goods and moneypot out despite the volume of people passing through and all was well. Sounds like a lovely day, look forward to hearing the chocs reviewed

  22. Margaret

    19th July 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Happy Birthday. Sounds like a wonderful day.
    Have never been to St Ives but it does look picture perfect.

  23. Choclette

    20th July 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you Celia, it’s quite fun breaking up the chocolate recipes with something a bit different.

    FreeRangeGirl – thanks for visiting. You mean you don’t like chocolate?

    Thank you Lorraine

    VBB – Thank you for good wishes. Indulgence, pretty much all year round, seems to be my moto!

    Thank you CC – I was really pleased to find these very yummy chocolates.

    Thank you Jac – St Ives is not to be missed indeed if you ever are down in this part of the country.

    Oxslip – It is not uncommon for people to leave out moneypots in villages around here, but it was really good to hear you came across one in such a visitor hotspot. And a good book find too.

    Thank you Margaret. Perhaps a visit when you are next in Cornwall?


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