Archive for Events – Page 2

Help for Heroes Bangers ‘n Mash Night at Polraen

We had a great night here at Polraen on Friday! A Sandplace community get together, harnessing the best of community spirit, generosity and kindness for which the Brits are  known. It was a simple affair – a Bangers ‘n Mash night in aid of the Help for Heroes charity. And we raised £443.16. A good time was had by all – a fun quiz, a well supported raffle and a few beers and wines shared in a warm and welcoming atmosphere and in the presence of good company. And for those who want to know where the sausages were from – Warren’s, the Butchers in Liskeard. Hard to beat! We buy all our meat there, great quality for our Sunday roasts!

Oddly enough, we have Network Rail to thank for our new community spirit! Had we not combined forces in the early spring to fight the erection of their telecommunications mast at Sandplace Station, we might never have got to meet our various neighbours, now friends, strung out along the length of the Looe Valley in the small communities of Trenant, Sandplace, Tregarland Bridge, Plashford and Causeland.  Perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining……  And the generosity is illustrated by those who were unable to come but still gave a donation or provided a raffle ticket prize. THANK YOU!

Falling on such an auspicious date as 11.11.11, I was reminded that Remembrance Weekend is about remembering the fallen. And indeed,  no community remains untouched by the impact of war – the name of Lance Corporal Paul Upton (died in Afghanistan in Feb 2009) is remembered through its inscription on the local memorial in Looe – the first name to be added since 1945. But whilst  remembering the dead, we must also look after the wounded.  So if you want to give a donation to Help for Heroes, it’s easy. Click here to simply donate!

And here’s to our next evening. A Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Affair with the odd musical instrument thrown in for good measure. Date to be advised………Watch this space!!

Looe Wedding Fayre at Polraen Country House Cornwall October 8th

Calling all brides and grooms planning a wedding in Cornwall – keep your diary free for Saturday October 8th to attend a wedding fayre at Polraen Country House, Looe in South East Cornwall.    We have been chosen by Kernow Wedding Belles as the venue for their first wedding fayre!  The burgeoning business is destined to change the face of the wedding preparation market so if you want your day to be special, personal, intimate or different,  you’ll want to attend this wedding fayre with a difference.

The aim of the family-friendly Looe company is to provide a platform for small, independent companies, so that they can showcase their services and wares at a series of intimate and exclusive wedding fayres across the region, housed in some of the most attractive venues imaginable.

The wedding fayre at Polraen Country House,  Sandplace,  near Looe, will take place 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday, October 8.  In a peaceful location in the beautiful Looe Valley, 2 miles north of the historic fishing port of Looe in South East Cornwall, our family run 18th century country house hotel is no stranger to weddings.  So it’s a wonderful endorsement and accolade that this local company, with expertise in the wedding business, has recognised  the unique combination of location and facilities, including the award winning garden, excellent food and service that we offer.  They describe our venue as  “both beautiful and elegant.  Reputedly built as a coaching inn around 1740, it remained part of the nearby Morval Estate until becoming the family home of Peter Bessell, Liberal MP for South East Cornwall in the 1960s.  It was later converted into a small hotel and has since undergone considerable refurbishment which complements its natural Cornish country house charm .”  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Kernow Wedding Belles plan “to stage a wedding fayre offering a wealth of taste and style, backed by the hospitality and business acumen gleaned from the proprietors’ combined years of employment experience.”  The Belles are the Looe-based mother and daughters team of Stephanie Hawkins, mum to Jodie and recently wed Carrie-Ann Richardson, and all of them have a successful background in the wedding industry. “Response to Looe Wedding Belles’ first fayre has been fantastic with at least five new businesses exhibiting to the market for the first time.”

Exhibitiors will include Cake Makers, Photographers, Jewellers, Car Hire, Bridal wear, Florists, a Travel Company & a whole host of professionals who will be demonstrating their particular expertise in the industry. Free entry & complimentary drink on arrival.

For further details, please contact Jodie on 01503 265448 or Carrie- Ann on 07875 266 220 or 07551 008 677 respectively.

Directions/How to find us

Looe Making Waves Music Festival and South East Cornwall Walking Festival

The South East Cornwall Walking Festival 17-25 September and Looe’s Making Waves Music Festival 23-25 September. What a great week to visit Looe! You’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with a great selection of guided walks covering the East and West Looe River Valleys, the Looe Valley in AutumnTamar, Bodmin Moor, and the South West Coast Path.

Then you can change from walking boots to dancing shoes to head down to any of the 3 sound stages over the weekend of 23, 24 and 25 September where the focus will be on different music styles in a fantastic music festival ‘Making Waves’ with headline acts including Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds and Roy Wood and his Rock n Roll Band. 

Making Waves Music Festival in Looe – the staged venues:

  • West Looe Quay marquee with a Cornish traditional feel
  • The Rose Garden Marquee, East Looe with an easy listening ambiance
  • The Beach and Seafront with an al fresco rock, pop, punk vibe.

Music will be concentrated during the day on the 3 soundstages then local pubs, restaurants and cafes will take over in the evening to maximise the benefits to the local economy.  Workshops, street entertainment and dance performances will add to the festival atmosphere.

And it’s very affordable!  A weekend ticket is £40 for all venues if your’e over 18, while 14-17 age group pay only £10 and accompanied under 14s go FREE.  Saturday only tickets are £25. The weekend kicks off on Friday with a ‘giant pasty’ procession from East Looe to West Looe where everyone is invited to ‘make some noise’ to welcome the pasty followed by a Noz Lowen on West Looe Quay from around 5pm (traditional Cornish dance). So if you haven’t got your tickets yet, click on the Making Waves Festival logo above and get online to book! After Wednesday, tickets will be sent via text to your phone. You can also get them from the Looe Tourist Information Centre (tel 01503 262072) or on the gate.

If you need accommodation, at Polraen, Check Availability for 2 and 3 night breaks until end September.

See you there!

Looe Lugger Regatta 2013

Once again Looe will be filled with classic fishing boats over the weekend of 14-16 June 2013.  Arriving in the days leading up to the event the luggers will race in Looe Bay, weather permitting, on Saturday only this year due to tides.  This wonderful event which takes place in Looe every two years, brings these traditional craft back to the Cornish fishing town of Looe in South East Cornwall  from far and wide, with regular attendance by boats from Brittany in France. Some of these boats are over 100 years old and provide a colourful spectacle, both out at sea and once tied up in the harbour, where a very pleasant evening can be spent strolling along the quay.

The lugger was the main fishing boat operating off the south Cornish coast up untill the 1960s. Originally sailing vessels, some were later installed with engines. Over this weekend the engines will once again be switched off as both boats from Looe and as far afield as Brittany turn back time.

Those wishing to watch the races will find great vantage points at Hannafore, West Looe or from the end of the Banjo Pier.  The highly popular event, organised by The Looe Lugger Association, is supported by local business and Town Organisations. It is very much a tradition – a Cornish tradition – but with huge appeal to visitors to the county as it offers such great photo opportunities and the atmosphere is really authentic.

Races will take place on the Saturday weather permitting. The Sailing Club in Looe and the Fish Market tend to be the centre of most social activity but if you stroll along the quayside, you may stumble across the occasional ‘boat party’ accompanied by the sounds of a French accordion played by our visiting friends from Brittany.

Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cornwall by Gill

Hot Air Balloon Cornwall

Finally, I did it! Flew over our beautiful county of Cornwall on the evening of Tuesday  24th May in a hot air balloon reaching three and a half thousand feet!  It was a birthday present from my husband Martin (big birthday 2 years ago – not telling!) but after about 6 or 7 attempted flights which were cancelled due to bad weather, the forecast was OK as long as the wind calmed down below 12 mph. It’s been a very windy May and nothing was necessarily guaranteed. And even at 7.45 pm, we were still studying the tree tops! Thankfully our Virgin Hot Air Balloon pilot Mandy was taking nothing for granted.

All 12 passengers + pilot and ground crew had met at 6pm outside the Butchers Arms pub at St Ive between Liskeard and Callington, near one of Virgin’s hot air balloon launch sites, but take off from that location in the prevailing wind conditions would have meant a short flight, most probably ending up wet in Plymouth Sound! So we drove with balloon and kit north across Bodmin Moor and took off from a farmer’s field at Lewannick, near Launceston. Spreading out and attaching the red ‘envelope’/balloon to the wicker basket  – we then helped inflate it – a noisy affair with two huge fans blowing cold air into the balloon (250k cubic feet I think) then noisy blasts of butane fuelled hot flames to lift the envelope. A quick practice on bracing yourself in the landing position – and thankfully no discussion at all about what to do if things go wrong!!

Hot Air Balloon take offAnd then take off!! An amazingly fast ascent and, (according to my video which you can see on Facebook)  I appear to find God, “Oh my God!” appearing to be the only words I could utter to describe both the serene experience, the breath taking excitement tinged with fear and the awe inspired by the overwhelming beauty of the countryside fanning out like a patchwork quilt below. Cornwall must be one of England’s most verdant counties.

I was alone, most passengers were with a partner, yet few words were said, especially at the start. The sense of the moment is so intoxicating. A feeling of vulnerability and the need to hold on to the internal ropes did not pass easily. But after 7 or 8 minutes into the flight, you acclimatise to the strange oddness of being above the world in a wicker basket, able to touch the air with nothing to separate you from the ground below. Its calm, serene, exhilarating. Other than the occasional roar of the butane flames to keep us up, the silence was permeated by the occasional barking of dogs and the bleating of sheep. Slightly alarmed horses fled across fields and children appeared in back gardens to wave. As we were swept eastwards, we could see Roadford Lake to our north, Plymouth to the south east and Colliford Lake or Siblyback behind us. We flew over Stoke Climsland and skimmed the treetops of the Tamar Valley as we made our descent after an hour’s flight, with the sun setting on the horizon.

Driving in hot pursuit, and seen by me on the chase, was my husband Martin and daughter Amelia, keeping up with the Virgin crew to meet us as we landed near the pretty village of Horsebridge with its 15th century bridge spanning the Tamar River. We had an OK ‘two -bump’ landing in a recently mown field, but not before the pilot decided to avert and jump the hedgerow to avoid a bull in full panic mode in the chosen field. I’m left wondering whether Virgin have ever given it a second thought that maybe RED was not the choice of corporate colour on certain occasions!!

The whole experience was completed with a glass of champagne and a certificate to prove it! So if you ever get the chance do it, it’s well worth it. Virgin are currently offering morning balloon flights in the South West from £89 or £109 for a Weekday Anytime flight.  You have to get up VERY early for a morning flight and given the number of times they get cancelled in Cornwall (slim peninsular, surrounded by sea!), it’s probably worth the extra £20 for the convenience of an evening flight. If you want to know more information or book, visit Virgin Hot Air Balloons.

Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line in September

Victorian Railway Fayre at Polraen in the Looe ValleySteam trains return to the Looe Valley Line on 19th and 26th September, commemorating 150 years of the Looe Branch Line and the 175th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway. We’re thrilled to have chance to see them passing Polraen Country House four times each Sunday. It will be the first time since 1961 that steam trains have travelled on the line between Liskeard and Looe .

The Looe Valley Explorer trains will feature steam locomotive GWR designed Hawksworth Pannier Tank No. 9466 hauling in one direction and a classic  1960’s English electric Type 3 (Class 37)  diesel in the other. The four departures on the two consecutive Sundays 19th and 26th September, will leave Liskeard at 10.50, 12.55, 14.55 and 17.10 stopping at Looe for approximately 10 minutes. Return tickets are £25 each with further details available from Vintage Trains including booking information. 

Victorian GirlsCelebrations to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Looe Valley Line will also be centred around the weekend of 11 and 12 September when a variety of events get underway with a Victorian fare, organized walks, a real ale trail and much, much more. It reminds me fondly of the time about 7 or 8 years ago when we held a Victorian Fayre in our garden to celebrate one of the railway centenary events.

If you are looking for accommodation, B&B rates at Polraen are from £82 per room per night.