A brief visit to Kynance Cove, Cornwall

 

blue seas at kynance cove cornwall

In my honest opinion Kynance Cove is the most beautiful beach in Cornwall, if not in the whole of the UK. It is regularly voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and with its crystal blue seas and white sandy beaches, its easy to see why.

Kynance Cove is situated on the Lizard peninsula, just a few short miles from Lizard Point. We visited on a sunny day in August. We’d had a late start and by the time we reached the Cove it was already lunchtime so we only had a few hours til high tide at just gone 4pm.

kynance cove cornwall lizard

If you arrive later on in the afternoon, you’ll find that it’s not a beach in the traditional sense, but a cove full of stunning volcanic crags and rocky outcrops, surrounded by the most beautiful blue seas. Honestly, you’d have to pinch yourself to believe that you’re not in some tropical country.

When we arrived, stewards were holding back the traffic and turning cars away. Everyone had the same idea and had headed to the Cove and the car park was already full. We had the option of parking near the entrance to site, which the stewards said would be a half hour walk to the water. We opted to wait to see if some spaces would become free lower down. Our patience was rewarded when about 15 minutes later we we were allowed in to park.

Once we’d parked we headed down to the beach. I couldn’t not stop looking at the water, so many different shades of blue and green, just stunning set against a backdrop of dark coloured rock, and wild grass.

kynance cove cornwall high tide

Most of the best spots on the beach and cliffs further up were already taken, and it was quite busy. But we found a small space near the waters edge and set up. The kids put on their wetsuits and headed straight out.

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kynance cove cornwall rocky beach

The water was just so clear and inviting! I headed in, and I have to say, there was a real swirl and strong current, with the waves coming in and crashing against the rocks. As always, the water was cold to start with but within a few minutes it was lovely and warm.

beautiful sand at kynance cove cornwall

beach at kynance cove cornwall

A bit later on, as the tide started to come in, we headed up to the lovely Cafe which serves hot / cold food, ice cream and the best Cornish cream tea! It was a great spot from which to gaze out over the sea, and watch the tide coming in from a safe distance, as the beach slowly disappeared!

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beautiful kynance cove

All in all, everyone agreed that it was one of the best outings of our 10 day holiday. We had perfect weather, I just wish we’d had more time to spend there. But it’s definitely somewhere I’d like to return to, and this time I’d love to spend some time exploring the cliffs and headlands, so will definitely remember to pack some suitable footwear.

A few tips if you’re planning to visit:

Check tide times and head out early to get a parking space and a good spot at the beach. The National Trust website recommends that you plan to arrive no later than 11am if you’re visiting during the school holidays.

The beach almost completely disappears at high tide and you could get cut off from the main cliffs back up to the car park so keep an eye for the tide.

The pathway down to the beach is rocky and the beach pebbly so wear suitable footwear. I wore flip-flops which were not great.

kynance cove cornwall

 

Cornwall is a beautiful county with many places to visit. We’ve spent many Summer’s holidaying in Cornwall, and this Summer we spent 10 days camping in and around Land’s End. If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, you may also like:

A brief visit to St Michael’s Mount

A brief visit to Newlyn.

Nila x

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A brief visit to St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

st michael's mount marazion nila holden ltd

St Michael’s Mount is a beautiful old monastery that sits atop a looming mount in Mount’s Bay Cornwall. It mirrors Mont St Michel in Brittany, and has unenviable position right at the centre of the bay, clearly visible from all sides from Mousehole right round to Marazion.

st michael's mounts bay from st michaels mount nila holden ltd

We visited on a sunny day in August. At this time of the year, the Mount opens at 11am and we got there early about 10.30 thinking we’d get ahead of the crowds, but when we got there, the main 2 car parks were already full and so we parked in the overflow car park. Parking was well organised with stewards on hand to direct us.

Access to the Mount is via a causeway when the tide out, and in August, this was between 11am and 4pm roughly. At other times you can get a boat back and forth. We walked along the cobbled causeway and made our way to the Mount. It’s surprisingly large when you get there with a number of houses, alongside the estate offices, coffee shops and other facilities and of course the castle.

st michael's mount side view marazion nila holden ltd

Not surprisingly, with it being August, it was busy. We queued to get our entry tickets. If you’re a National Trust Member and you make yourself know to the staff, you can get passported through and not queue, but only if you have your membership card with you. The staff at the mount don’t have the facilities to check the NT database so you will need to have your NT membership card.

We then made our way up to the castle up past the Giant’s well, the Giants loveheart. There was storyteller entertaining younger children on the grassy area. We queued for about 20 mins up a long windy path to actually get access to the castle but it was well worth it. There are lookout points along the way, so you can stop for a few moments and gaze out across the expansive beautiful bay. The different colours in the sea are mesmerising. It is a bit of a climb up, at times rocky & uneven path.

looking back to marazion from st michaels mount nila holden ltd

Having been home to monks I expected the castle to have more of a monastic feel. but I was surprised to discover that it is actually a living house, home to the St Aubyn family who still live there on a day to day basis. It’s well decorated & beautifully preserved with lots of historic artefacts.

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It must be a truly magical place to live surrounded by heritage, stunning gardens & 360 degree views of the sea stretching right to the horizon. With many window seats from which to spot invaders, the odd armada, or to just sit and enjoy a book.

st michael's mount castle marazion nila holden ltd

 

 I was also surprised at the sheer height of the building, you don’t get a feel for just how high up the castle sits, when you drive past at a distance in the car. So probably not for feint hearted or for you if you suffer from vertigo.

st michael's mount gardens marazion nila holden ltd

st michael's mount sundial marazion nila holden ltd

st michael's mount castle top2 marazion nila holden ltd

st michael's mount castle top marazion nila holden ltd

The chapel is well worth a visit for the beautiful stained glass windows. Sunday services still take place in the Chapel every Sunday from late May to late September.

 

All these years we’ve been coming to Cornwall, we must have driven past like a million times. For me, St Michael’s Mount is also a bit of a beacon rising proudly up out into the bay, and the first thing you see when the train from Paddington finally pulls into Penzance station. I can’t believe we didn’t visit sooner, but so glad we finally did this year.

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walkin back to marazion from st michaels mount

The gardens weren’t open to the public on the day we visited which was a shame as from what we could see of them from the castle, they looked stunning. I’d like to come to back one day just to visit the gardens., and this time maybe take a boat over.

If you’re planning a visit, do check the St Michael’s Mount website for opening and tide times, events etc. As I mentioned, the path up to the castle can, in some places, be a bit steep, and cobbled so might not be suitable for visitors with mobility issues. Car parking for the day cost £5.00.

A brief visit to Newlyn, Cornwall

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The first time I visited Newlyn was back in 1999 when I spent a week in Cornwall visiting a close uni friend during the Solar Eclipse. I stayed at her home in Newlyn, a cute little fishing village just outside Penzance.

As with so many of my trips to Cornwall, the journey down from Bedfordshire involved horrendous weather & heavy traffic. I’d set out in my little Peugeout 106 one Friday night after work, the first time I’d driven to Cornwall and I was alone. It was wet, it was dark and in the days before Sat Nav, I got completely lost. I remember arriving in Newlyn in the early hours of Saturday morning, my friend was beside herself with worry.  It says something about how traumatic the journey was, as the memory has stayed with me all these years.

I spent the week travelling around the area in my little 106 visiting beaches, discovering hidden coves, the weather was gorgeous. And lo and behold, on the day of the eclipse, the skies were overcast and heavy with thick cloud cover. We couldn’t see a thing, all we could hear was the noisy blades from the helicopters rising high into the atmosphere desperately searching for sight of the eclipse.

When we holidayed in the area this year, I wanted to revisit Newlyn and was pleased to see that it was still a thriving village with lots of lovely shops, eateries and galleries and even a new picture house.

Here’s my round up of 5 reasons to visit Newlyn:

1.Pop to the harbour to marvel at the amazing array of fishing boats, commercial trawlers other  vessels. Don’t let it’s size fool you.  Newlyn is one the largest fishing ports in the UK.

 

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2. Try some of the best food & drink the area has to offer. Have a spot of lunch or tea & cake at Duke Street Cafe, indulge in the world’s best ice cream from Jelberts or taste the best freshly caught seafood at Mackerel Sky Sea Food Bar

 

 

 

 

3. Newlyn has a long association with fine artists and the village has a number of galleries. From jewellery & ceramics to glass you could easily lose a few hours (and a few ££) mooching around the many galleries in the village.

4. Catch a movie at the Newlyn Filmhouse, an absolute lifesaver when you’re camping and heavens open. The Filmhouse is a lovely little cinema with 2 screens and a ‘no rustling policy’ – for maximum enjoyment – food is not permitted in the screens. But there is a good food offer to enjoy outside screening halls, from hot drinks to snacks and more.

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5. Stock up on supplies. For your basics there is a Co-op just opposite the harbour area but if you’re after a few indulgent treats to break up the monotony of your campsite BBQ’s then visit the Little Greengrocery or Newlyn Cheese & Charcuterie or even a take away pizza from the Italian Kitchen

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greengrocers newlyn village cornwall

 

A beautiful stop off point between Penzance and Land’s End and great place to indulge in good food or stock up on supplies, do makes sure a visit to Newlyn is on your list if you’re visiting the area.

Some other places you might like to visit if you’re in the area:

A brief visit to Kynance Cove, Cornwall

A brief visit to St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Nila x

 

5 reasons to visit Dulwich Picture Gallery this Summer

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Dulwich Picture Gallery is situated in the heart of beautiful Dulwich Village in London. I’ve visited on a number of occasions, the first time to see the main gallery, the second time to see the brilliant Escher exhibition in late 2015 and more recently to see the John Singer Sargent Exhibition.

England’s first purpose-built public art gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery was founded by the terms of Sir Francis Bourgeois’s will upon his death in 1811. Named “One’s of Britain’s most beautiful galleries” by the Telegraph. It’s such a delightful gem of a gallery, just big enough to give you plenty to take in, but not so large as to be overwhelming.

It’s a great place to visit any time of the year, but particularly beautiful in the Summer when, in addition to beautiful art, you can make the most of the grounds, have a picnic or a little mooch around the village afterwards.

So here’s 5 reasons to visit Dulwich Picture Gallery this Summer:

1.John Singer Sargent Watercolour Exhibition

nila holden dulwich picture gallery

John Singer Sargent  is best known for his work as a portraitist, the best of his generation. But Sargent also spent a lot of time developing his watercolour skills and often took expeditions to Europe to paint. One remarkable aspect of Sargent’s watercolour paintings was his refusal to paint landscapes or city shapes in their entirety or scenery on the large scale preferring instead to capture ‘fragments’ and focusing in on detail. This curation of 80 paintings, some never seen before in the UK covers people, places and animals. The exhibition will run till 8th October 2017. Check the Dulwich Picture Gallery website for more info.

2. The Gallery
The main gallery houses over 600 paintings including Rembrandt, Rubins, Gainsborough & Canaletto.  Focusing on Age of Baroque art, Dulwich Picture Gallery also houses one of the finest collections of Old Masters in the world. It’s one of my favourite London galleries to visit, so atmospheric. You can even get married there!

dulwich picture gallery john singer sargent exhibition

dulwich picture gallery nila holden

 

3. The Pavilion
The Pavilion was opened this year to celebrate 200 years of the gallery opening to the public. It’s a truly beautiful temporary events space, the design a collaboration between the London Festival of Architecture and Almacantar. With large panels of glass that seem to float between heaven and earth, reflecting the skies above and surrounding landscape. The gallery will be hosting a number of events in the Pavilion, so be sure to check out the website for more info.

dulwich picture gallery pavilion

 

4. Visit to Dulwich Village
After your visit to the picture gallery, do make a short detour to visit the village which is steeped in history but also home to many independent shops, boutiques and restaurants. Romeo Jones is a good place to grab a coffee or stock up on picnic supplies.

 

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Also, do look out for wonderful Edward Alleyn statue at the College of God’s Gift.

dulwich village nila holden

 

5. #frontdoorgoals
I’ve never seen a beautiful door that I didn’t feel the urge to capture in photographic form. And Dulwich village is full of them. Houses with beautiful front gardens with stunning stained glass windows and doors. Talk about kerb appeal. I literally could have spent the best part of the afternoon wandering around the village snapping pics.  Here’s a few of may favourites.

 

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pretty houses dulwich village london

 

dulwich village walk nila holden

 

So all in all, a visit to Dulwich Picture Gallery and the surrounding area is a wonderful day out whether you go in Summer or any other time of year.

Nila x

5 fab ways to use cookies this wedding season

 

5 fab ways to use biscuits in your wedding by nila holden

So you’re getting married..! Congratulations. What an exciting time for you…!

You’ve probably been scouring pinterest for lots of swoon worthy wedding decor, finishing touches and ways to personalise your big day. After all, it should be a reflection of you and your other half-to-be, full of personality and all the things that are great about you as a couple.

Here at Nila Holden bakery we make beautiful iced biscuits for life’s special occasions and we’ve got lots of biscuits to add that special touch to your wedding day. We’ve pulled together a quick list below of ways that real life brides – some of our many happy customers have used biscuits in their wedding day.

They’re engaged…!

He asked and she said yes! You couldn’t be happier for them, they make such a lovely couple (and you secretly can’t believe he waited this long to pop the question). Lots of excitement all round for the pending nuptials.

You’d like to send a small gift along with a note to wish the newly engaged couple well and help to mark the occasion. This Bride & Groom gift set is lovely, you can add their monogram for that personal touch. Also perfect as a wedding gift for the couple that already has everything. Or for those occasions when you’re just too slow off the mark and all the good stuff from the gift list has already been taken.

Will you be my bridesmaid..?

Why not use biscuits to pop the big question? No, not THAT question! THAT question has already been asked hence why you’re on a knifes edge, frantically pulling together spreadsheets of expenses and a to do list as long as your arm and turning into a bridezilla. (Remember – breathe!)

Of course, I mean asking your bestie, BFF and best mates if they’ll be your bridesmaid. There are so many ways you can pop the big question. How about with these pretty biscuits – customised with a name for that extra special touch. How could any friend say no when asked in such a sweet way? Guaranteed to get your bridesmaids agreeing to wear those soft lilac empire line dress you’ve got eye on for them.

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One of our customers ordered our personalised unicorn biscuits to include in her bridesmaid treat boxes. Don’t they look amazing?

will you be my bridesmaid gift nila holden unicorn biscuits

 

Hen party gifts

So you’ve booked the weekend in Marbs and you’ve sworn off the carbs. You’re all dressing up before you hit the town. To say thank you to your best mates for joining you as you celebrate and being total good sports and wearing those hideous scratchy fancy dress outfits in 30° heat, why not get some lovely personalised biscuits? With a name or some other memorable words stamped. Maybe include them in some goodie bags? Here are some pics from the a recent customer. How much would I love to see the photos from this hen weekend!!???  *butler* *foam*

nila holden hen do biscuits

Wedding favours

One of the most popular ways to use biscuits in your wedding is have biscuit wedding favours. Iced biscuits are perfect as they can be customised to fit your theme. Different colours of icing or how about taking a design detail or accent from your wedding stationery for example and adding this to the design of your biscuits?

One of our most popular wedding favour biscuits are these personalised biscuits that double up as place cards and favours as each one is hand stamped with a guest’s name. How brilliant is that? No need to get separate place cards printed.

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These monogram wedding favours are our next bestseller. Adding a monogram detail to your wedding stationery or favours is such a lovely & classic way to add a personal touch to your wedding. There’s something so romantic about seeing your initials entwined and side by side.

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Treats for the little ones

I designed these love heart cookie pop favours for my own wedding a few years back. I was worried that the kiddies would chatter all the way through our wedding ceremony and racked my brains to find a way to keep them quiet – just for 25 mins or so, in a mess free-stress-free-way.

I thought that giving them something to eat might work well but wanted to avoid sticky fingers so came up with these love heart pops – each personalised with a name. They worked an absolute treat and have gone on to be a popular product too with brides.

nila holden bridesmaid cookie gift

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So there you have it 5 ways actual real life bride’s have used biscuits in their own wedding days (including yours truly!). I hope this blog post has given you some ideas and inspiration.

If you’re a bride in the planning stage and you’re looking for ideas then do check out our pinterest boards for more ideas.

If you’re at the ordering stage then pop over to our website for biscuit wedding gifts, prices etc.

Happy wedding planning!

Nila x

Top 5 Biscuit Gifts for Father’s Day

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This time next week it’ll be Father’s Day!  Eeek! Are you prepared? Do you have a special gift sorted for your lovely Dad? No? Well fear note, we have the perfect Father’s Day gift for you and there’s just enough time for you to order for the big day.

We’ve got a lovely range of biscuit gifts for your lovely Pops, delicious buttery iced shortbread, beautifully wrapped and delivered direct to you or your Dad.

 

For the first time Dad

happy 1st fathers day biscuits nila holden

For the first time Dad, the first Father’s Day is a truly special moment. After months of anticipation, pre natal appointments and scans, decorating the nursery and trying to settle on a name, your gorgeous bundle has finally arrived. And nothing could have prepared you for it. A good night’s sleep and any semblance of a normal life have gone out of the window. And you wouldn’t have it any other way. These biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to those late night feeds and a yummy sugary burst of energy just when you need it.

 

For the Boring Jumper Dad

 

nila holden fathers day jumper biscuits

For the Dad who loves his boring M&S jumpers how about these gorgeous jumper biscuits? Your Dad loves his comfy beige jumpers.  Over the years you’ve tried to get him to deviate from the plain jumper over shirt combo your Dad wears everywhere. But he always comes back to his much loved knitted numbers from his all time favourite department store. Because they always his size and he can rely on them.

 

For the Tea Lover Dad

 

dad biscuits for fathers day nila holden

Your Dad loves nothing more than a nice strong brew of the nation’s favourite drink and a nice biccie. He takes his tea strong, with a drop of milk. Always the hot water first, then the milk. And it has be in his favourite mug. Which, if truth be told, he doesn’t wash that often. Much to Mum’s irritation. She’s always sneaking into the dishwasher when Dad’s not looking. Well, how about these yummy iced biscuits – the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa. Your Dad will love them.

 

The Stepdad

 

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Well this is awkward. He’s not your real Dad, but you want to get your Stepdad a little gift to say thank you for being there for you and your Mum. You don’t want to go all schmatlzy and over the top (after all he’s got his own kids who’ll do that), but you need something to show how much you appreciate him, for taking such good care of your Mum. And for cooking a mean roast. These are the perfect biscuits.

 

For the self sacrificing Dad

 

nila holden love you dad mini biscuits

 

Your Dad loves his family more than anything in the world and would do just about anything for you, your Mum and your siblings. He does all the taxi runs, he gives up his weekends to mow your lawn, put up your flatpack furniture or check the oil in your car. When you’re running low on funds, he always has a spare £20 to give you. You say you’ll give it back when it have, but he never really expects you will. This box set of 12 mini beautiful biscuits are the perfect treat for the man who knows little about indulgence and everything about duty to his family.

How to order biscuits for Father’s Day:

To place your order, head over to our Father’s Day biscuits gifts, you’ll need to register with an email address to get more info and prices. Once you’ve registered, login and simply click on the gift you’d like to order and checkout. We’ll make the biscuits up and post them out you to or we can send them direct to your Dad.

Last date for orders for delivery in time for Father’s Day is Wednesday 14th June 2017 so head over to our website today to place your order.

Happy Father’s Day!

Nila x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time I made biscuits for a real life princess (and didn’t even know!).

princess mako of japan studies at university of edinburgh

Oh yes. I made biscuits for a real life princess – Princess Mako of Japan, and didn’t even know! If the name sounds familiar, it’ll be because Princess Mako of Japan has been in the headlines quite a bit lately. The Princess, grand daughter of Emperor Akihito and member of the Japanese royal household is engaged to be married to a commoner.

Japanese law states that if the princess choses to marry a commoner then she must leave the royal family behind and become a normal civilian. There is concern about the Japanese royal family’s bloodline as the Emperor has just 3 grandchildren, two of whom are princesses and will marry and leave the royal family – and just one grandson to continue the line.

Not many people know but Princess Mako spent time living in Scotland a few years back when she studied at the University of Edinburgh for a year. It was while she was studying there that we had the opportunity to make biscuits for her and her friends.

One of her friends was organising a leaving party for the Princess who was heading back to Japan after completing her studies. The friend contacted me and requested a custom order of our personalised floral biscuits.

nila holden vintage floral wedding cookies

These are probably the most detailed and complex biscuits I have in my personalised biscuits portfolio but if I do say so myself, they are pretty stunning and delicious tasting of course.

nila holden vintage floral biscuits for princess mako

Each biscuit has 3 separate layers of fondant icing – one layer of white fondant and the next layer a lovely pinky/peach colour fondant.

I then use a beautiful flower rubber stamp to decorate the fondant icing, which adds embossed detail. Rubber stamps are a great way to add detail fondant covered biscuits if, like me, you are not particularly good at free hand painting.

nila holden floral painted biscuits

Next, each flower is hand painted using edible paint or as in this design, edible dusts that I mix with a small amount of water to to get an edible paint.

painted cookies, edible paints, nila holden cookies

Lastly, each biscuit is personalised with a different name, again using rubber stamps, and then hand painted with a gold lustre dust. The finished effect is stunning – don’t you agree…?

nila holden biscuits for princess mako of japan

I originally designed the biscuits for my daughter’s birthday and the inspiration for the design was a beautiful vintage scarf that I found in a second hand shop in Whitstable. My daughter loved the scarf and so I used the pattern as the basis of the design for her cake and cookies that year.

I loved making the biscuits for Princess Mako’s party and working with all those beautiful and unusual Japanese names.

nila holden personalised biscuits

I’ve made these biscuits in lots of different colours for weddings & events over the years. Here they are in pastel green and purple.

Thankfully, I didn’t know that I was making biscuits for royalty when Princess Mako’s order was placed, otherwise I think I might have been a complete bag of nerves!

We’ve since gone on to make biscuits for the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and even our own Royalty the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, but this is still one of my favourite orders to date.

I wish Princess Mako all the very best and many happy, healthy days in her married life.

princess mako of japan nila holden biscuits

We have lots of decorative iced biscuits perfect for weddings, parties or birthdays. If you’re looking for an extra special finishing touch or a sweet treat to indulge your guests then biscuits are perfect! Visit the gift biscuit pages of our website for more info, prices and to place your order.

Nila x