St. Piran’s Day celebrations in Truro

Living in these meager times cannot be easy, however an excellent excuse to enjoy ourselves has arisen with the St. Piran’s day celebrations in Truro – our great little city.  On Saturday the 5th of March there will be the St. Piran’s marquee, with items Made in Cornwall.

From 10am until 12noon, there will be a children’s workshop with Clare Summerson of ARTiCulate.  A morning of craft, to make a symbol to carry in the Grand Parade.  It is a free event, although you need to book via email  tic@truro.gov.uk or call The Tourist Information Office 01872 274555.

There will be Cornish performers in the marquee from 1-4pm and the line up looks exciting!

1 – 1.30pm – Kemysk (Cornish Dance Team)

1.30 – 2pm – Keur Heb Hanow (Cornish Language Choir)

2 – 2.30pm – The Stowes (Folk Band)

2.30 – 3pm – All Thraw’d Together (Male Voice Choir)

3 – 3.30pm –  Loic Rich

3.30 – 4pm – Bert Biscoe

Then at 6.30-8.30pm, there will be Dalla and Kernow King performing and the event costs £10, including a bowl of warming Cornish Chilli!  Booking with tic@truro.gov.uk and call 01872 274555 

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The highlight of the day is the parade at 1pm, from St George’s Road to High Cross – all are welcome to join or watch, with tartans and flags.  ‘Trelawny’ will be led by the City of Truro Male Voice Choir.  2012 Flags outside the cathedral (2)

We hope to fill Truro with a great atmosphere and community spirit, many of the pubs have Cornish bands or some live entertainment and of course, make sure you join in and sing at 9pm together in unison!

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Truro Map & Guide – Our Great Little City!

We now have a new map for Truro.  The Truro Guide (spring edition) provides the first outing for the newly produced map of the city centre, which replaces the much loved but outdated previous map.

It was commissioned by us, Totally Truro (The Truro Business Improvement District) and meticulously drawn by local designer Graeme Rust.  It is beautiful and took sometime, with incredible detail, including the opes and alley ways.

The second iteration of the map is also in circulation – an A3 two colour ‘tear-off’ version for use at hotel and visitor reception desks. The map will also be used in display boards across the city centre and as a fold-out version.

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We are thinking about having it printed for the public to use.  If you are keen to advertise to get the map out there.  Please email me sian.knights@totallytruro.co.uk

The Truro Guide is now out and is the brand new ‘Official guide to the city and rural district of Truro’. The guide is produced in collaboration between Truro City Council, Visit Truro Tourist Information and Totally Truro Business Improvement District and is designed and produced by Truro-based company, Wolf Rock Marketing. This is the first (twenty thousand were produced) of three editions that will be published each year to coincide with the seasons.  The summer and winter edition there will be fourty thousand copies produced) Copies of the guide can be picked up from Visit Truro Tourist Information on Boscawen Street or downloaded from www.enjoytruro.co.uk .

Front cover

We love the new design and hope that you find it a useful and attractive asset to promote both Truro and your business. The contents include a listing of all Truro’s food and drink businesses – if you would like any of your content or images changed for the summer edition please email sian.knights@totallytruro.co.uk

If you would like to advertise in the Truro guide then please contact: –
truroguide@wolfrockmarketing.co.uk or call 01872 262698

 

Cognac and Armagnac with Old Chapel Cellars

On Friday the 5th of February on a cold winter’s night I hastily rushed to Old Chapel Cellars in St. Clement Street, Truro for an evening of tasting Cognac and Armagnac. I was greeted by a warm welcome and a glass of champagne. Neil Monyard is one of the country’s leading experts when it comes to Cognac and Armagnac and a great raconteur! He has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for the drinks distinctive tastes and their history. Cognac Old Chapel Cellars Tastings (4)

Iain and Charlotte made us all feel most welcome and cooked a delicious rich stew. It was a relaxed evening on the prized Old Chapel Cellar couch and all six bottles were laid out ready, with glasses for us to begin our tasting. I am a novice when it comes to alcohol and I found the talk most interesting. I have always heard of cooking with Cognac or Armagnac in puddings, biscuits, stews and cocktails. I feel that I walked away with great knowledge about the drinks and that I had learned something that evening.

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First of all, Armagnac, this is a type of brandy produced in the Armagnac area of France. Anything outside of this region is known as a French grape brandy. Armagnac is distilled using column stills (large container that holds the liquid) and made from a variety of grapes, which is aged in oak barrels. Armagnac is made on a far smaller scale than Cognac, which is dominated by big name global brands. The area where the grapes are grown to produce Armagnac is split into three, Bas-Armagnac, Armagnac-Tenareze and Haut-Armagnac. (Armagnac is has two distillations, however only one movement through the still. ) Once distilled it is then aged in the oak barrels (which gives flavour) and impacts on the colour of the beverage – as does where the barrels are stored, with regards to temperature and climate.

The Cognac is produced around the town of Cognac, from where its name derives.  Cognac has to be made from certain grapes, such as Ugni blanc (known as a high yielding grape and not prone to rotting easily) and is grown in a chalky soil. It is distilled twice in copper pot stills and also aged in oak barrels.

Map Cognac

The difference in the taste of the two drinks is mainly down to their geographic areas in France, with their soils which defines Cognac (chalk) and Armagnac (clay, sand, closer to the ocean). We tasted the Cognac and Armagnac against each other. The alcohol in both is 40%. The grades on the bottles are the same for both Cognac and Armagnac. We tasted the (Prunier) Cognac, which has been the leader in the Chinese market for 30 years. Whilst we sampled the Armagnac (Domaine De Papolle).

The first sipping we tasted was the three star VS (very special), where it has been stored in a cask for a minimum of two years. I preferred the Cognac. The Cognac seemed to show a bit more development of the grape.

With the second pair of bottles, we tried the VSOP (very superior old pale), which means it has been stored for at least four years. I noticed the incredible honey brown colour. I preferred the Armagnac this time, which seemed to show more complexity and little less ‘polish’.

Then, finally onto the more expensive bottles, we compared the XO (extra old), which is stored for at least eight years. With the Cognac, we drank from the Cognac Prunier family. This time, I preferred the taste of the Chateau de Lacaze Bas Armagnac, which was smoother and noticeably different to the first bottles that we tasted.

Neil advised that if you do have to mix your drink, then only use Ginger Ale (and not American Dry)! Overall, Neil surmised that Cognac and Armagnac have their ups and downs in popularity in the global market and he believes it will become increasingly more popular, just as Gin, Vodka and Whisky. He made the evening, fun and lively with Charlotte and Iain hosting us with pleasure.

Old Chapel Cellars holds regular wine tastings, as well as the first Friday of the month, where a guest speaker comes in and they cover a certain geographic area of wine, food is included and this is a ticketed event.

The next event is based on Southern Italy, Scilly and the Sardinia area, which is an up and coming area in the wine world. This area that use to produce delectable wine for the locals, has now been ‘discovered’. It costs £15pp and starts at 6.30pm on Friday the 4th of March at Old Chapel Cellars. Email wine@oldchapelcellars.co.uk or call 01872 270 545 to book your place.

Late Night Shopping with the family in Truro!

Off we headed after school into Truro. I was aiming to be in the city for 4pm to take advantage of the car park fee of £1.50 in most of the car parks, however, I opted for the sheltered NCP and their large child friendly red parking bays.  This meant, we were able to assemble the push chair, change and have a quick drink and a snack.  I think I was more excited than the girls about late night shopping in Truro!  I couldn’t wait to show them the sparkly lights in Truro and how festive it feels.

First stop was the Truro library to change our library books and then onto High Cross.  The children raced to the ‘snow’ covered tree and we grabbed the opportunity for a photograph.

Then we went into the Cathedral and admired the nativity scene and incredible Christmas tree which had been adorned with a plethora of decorations.  We looked in the gift shop for an angel on top of our Christmas tree at home, however opted for a star. The girls were allowed to choose a decoration each. This was not as easy as I had imagined it to be.  My two year old wished to pick up all breakable objects and it was it challenging to stay focused, whilst my eldest one was just as curious!  Thankfully my toddler chose a safe pink sparkle bauble that was for sale under the table – perfect for her height and non breakable.  My eldest chose a large twinkly snow flake, which looks quite striking on  our Christmas tree.

We decided to go to ‘Sam’s in the City‘ in New Bridge Street for food and opted to sit down to eat, which meant my toddler could sit in a high chair.   (Its not so easy to eat street food with a toddler).  The children had fish and chips and small strawberry milkshakes….  Whilst I enjoyed a crisp white wine spritzer with calamari and chips.  The service was excellent, toilets immaculate and the staff friendly.  The children enjoyed colouring in their Sam’s in City pictures whilst waiting for supper to arrive.  My five year old did ask, ‘why is the mannequin wearing pants!’ (You know the one…..) I explained they were very short shorts!

We then headed off to see Father Christmas at Truro Library in his extraordinary grotto. The girls were extremely keen to see him and his elf helpers!  They were able to ‘write’ to him before going to see him and enjoyed the festive music and the present from his sack.

Walking to Boscawen Street, under the strings of stars in Cathedral Lane and beautifully lit trees at High Cross, with the hustle and bustle of the people in Truro – made it feel like a magical night.  On Boscawen Street , we admired the stalls and found the Raymonds swing chair carousal ride.  The girls adored this and wanted to go again, however bed time was beckoning. Finally we headed home after a special evening in ‘Our great little city’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Night Run in Truro

This year I decided to take part in the Cornwall Hospice Care, Santa Night Run in Truro during the first late night of shopping in Truro on the 25th of November – for fun!  Cornwall Hospice is a Cornish charity who offers hospice care to patients and their families.  These patients are very sick and often terminally ill.

The weather was perfect, no howling wind or lashing rain – only a moon and a few clouds.  I had only decided to sign up for the event the day before it started.  Registration was simple and easy and was open from 5.30pm in Boscawen Street, at the back of the Hall for Cornwall.  I received my Santa outfit, with rather large red trousers.  I arrived early and put my outfit on over my shorts.  Shorts seemed to make sense, as the website did indicate that the outfit did make you get very hot!  I decided to enjoy Truro and went to the Scentstore in Cathedral Lane to find a gift.  I kept on wondering, why people were looking at me and children pointing saying ‘There is Santa’. (I forgot I was wearing the Santa outfit!)

All one hundred and twenty of us started warming up outside the Market Inn Bar on Lemon Quay, next to the inflatable and extremely large Santa, as well as Ruan the Reindeer.

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By 8pm we were off at quite a speed and the crowds stepped back, as bells rung out through the streets of Truro.  It was not easy running with my handbag – note to self (must leave behind next time). A short one mile circuit round Green Street, Princes Street, Boscawen Street, St Nicholas Street, River Street, Little Castle Street, Kenwyn Street and passed the gentle grazing reindeer (Sponsored by Malletts Home Hardware) on Victoria Square before returning on Lower Lemon Street.

On approaching the finishing line, I tripped in my Santa trousers and had to think…… was that due to the mulled wine drunk before the event or my large trousers!

After the run Cornwall Hospice generously gave us a medal, banana, water and a mince pie!  The evening rose £2’700 for Cornwall Hospice.  It is a great family event and I witnessed several families all jogging together for an amazing organisation that cares.

Ramble in St Marys Street, Truro

Walking past the magnificent Truro Cathedral on St Marys Street, my eyes look towards the beautiful shoes in The Shoe Tree. Ladies winter boots and men’s fine tanned shoes are on display, with the delightful origami window.

I’m in search of Christmas gifts. The Clementine welcomes me with attractive lampshades, cozy slippers and some interesting wine glass jewellery that would be fun for a dinner evening and house full of guests. I am drawn to the eye-catching clutch bags and purses for an evening out, as well as their latest jewellery display neatly displayed in the boxes on their wall.

Truro Goldsmiths is set for Christmas, with their tree up and wreath on their stable door. Their shop window displays shinny jewellery pieces from brooches, bracelets and watches to spectacular diamond engagement rings. I notice their tiny silver Christmas charms and silver scallop necklaces. The snowflake star necklace is delicate and fine-looking – definitely a contender for a gift.

I think about a refreshing mocktail in Vertigo, as well as the passage way leading to the Office Night Club, and pass along and enter into The Old Grammar School – full of character and charm. (Both eateries are fun and established bars and restaurants in Truro.)  I enjoy The Old Grammar School’s open stable feel, with rustic décor with a hint of Christmas.  I notice ‘Squeeze Guts’ alley, which is a great little short cut across to Duke Street.

On my way out I pass through the scaffolding tunnel and enter into New Bridge Street with Ocean 21 on my left hand side, selling their charming Christmas and sea shell wreaths and Duke Street Deli bustling with its lunch time trade.

The entrance to St. Marys Mews is open and leads to Truro Wool, No. 3 Lash & Brow Bar, No3 Champagne & Nail Bar, Frazers Haircutters, Wise Employment Solutions, Fatboy Trims, Samsstyle and Thai & Eastern Takeaway.

The tree on the Duke Street Deli Island has been dressed in Christmas lights and I look forward to seeing the lights on when I come out for late night shopping and explore what New Bridge Street has to offer.

Spoil your Dad this year on Father’s Day 21st June

This week I cornered several people who work in Truro and asked what they are planning to give for Father’s Day.  The responses included beer (popular answer), a trendy shirt, music, or just a big fat hug!  Whatever the perfect present for your dad, Truro has an amazing selection of gifts for Father’s Day.

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The Red Elephant Beer Cellar has an incredible range of beers from the UK and around the world.  You are spoilt for choice when choosing Dad a brew.  Also, The Cornish Food Box, stocks a fine variety of specialist drinks ranging from cordials to gin – all produced locally.

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The Scentstore, in Cathedral Lane has a broad range of men’s aftershave and fragrances, from firm favourites to the latest smellys!   They also offer a free wrapping service to make your gift look extra special.

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When I was a little girl, I always liked the smell of my Dad’s face after he had had a shave. The Body Shop is a great place to buy traditional men’s shaving brushes and foam if you think that is what will make your dad feel special!

The soft leather wallets and briefcases in Cascade, Pydar Mews is a real indulgence and struck me as the perfect gift.  I also thought, perhaps music or a DVD from HMV or Music Nostalgia would also make a great present (as long as you knew what they wanted!).

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Inhabit sells mugs, where you can personalise your own Father’s Day mug.  Their display included, the all essential man tin, as well as slate clocks, tomato ketchup and maps, (where Dad can indicate where he has travelled) – all original gift ideas!

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You can’t go wrong with a book.  Waterstone’s and Bonthyon Book store offer a wonderful choice.  Waterstone’s is definitely a haven where Dad’s can hang out and the ladies go shopping.

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Whirlwind Sports offers plenty of Father’s Day’s gifts, ranging from fashionable shirts, trendy T-shirts to rugby jerseys.   Maybe Dad would like to come and choose his gift with you and get those fresh new running trainers.

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Finally, if you are looking for a tasty gifts, Halzephron can help you find a mouth watering chutney, fiery mustard or zingy marmalade.  Also, the Tourist Information Office has a great selection of little gifts.  Chocolate is a fantastic gift for Father’s Day – he might even share some with you!  There are many specialist chocolate brands to choose from.  Have a peak at the counter at Midtown Deli or Uneeka! Finally the most important thing to do on Father’s Day is to give Dad a hug and spend time together – maybe a meal out in Truro….

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