I love this time of year. When you live in Cornwall, you just have to scratch the surface to find there are so many things to do – and in Looe, there are so many events and festivities in the build up to Christmas and the New Year.
New Year in Looe
Of course, New Year in Looe has become famous for its fancy dress and fireworks display so if you haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve and fancy a short break away, come and join us in Cornwall. We’ve got some late availability at Polraen Country House for 2 night minimum short break stays over the New Year in Looe from £90 per person.
December Munchtime Express
We had the pleasure of joining the Munchtime Express on the scenic Looe Valley Line on Tuesday with wonderful food free of charge courtesy of Nick Barclay at Blue Plate Downderry. Over a 5 week period Nov-Dec, 5 of our best local restaurants serve free samples on the train of their wonderful food. This annual event has become so popular you have to book in advance. It’s a lovely scenic return journey on the Looe Valley Line travelling from Looe to Liskeard and back (passing Polraen Country House at Sandplace en route). So you’ve missed it in 2013 but plan it for next year!
So what else in December before the New Year celebrations? Well here’s the latest list of events courtesy of the local Tourist Office. If you want to keep up with the latest information on New Year in Looe and what’s going on, we recommend you like the Love Looe Facebook page
LOOE & AREA DECEMBER 2013 EVENTS GUIDE DECEMBER
3rd Munchtime Express Looe Valley Line
4th Christmas Carols at Millpool Centre Pelynt Male Voice Choir
6th Santa Arrives Memorial Steps, East Looe 6.30pm
6th Santa’s Grotto & Festive Events West Looe Quayside Centre 5pm
7th Dickensian Day Rose Garden 10am – 4pm
7th Polperro Christmas Fayre & Carols with Keltique Big Green 2pm
7th Polperro Lights Switch on 6.30pm
8th Carols with Porthpyra Singers St Martin’s Church 7pm
8th Craft Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 11am-3pm
8th Wood Watch Walk Kilminorth Woods
14th Produce Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 10am-2pm
For the last two Sundays, 11th and 18th November, the Looe Valley has reverberated to the sound of steam hissing, engine pistons clacking and whistles blowing as a steam engine (Great Western Society’s 104-year-old Steam Railmotor 93) has plied the journey from Liskeard to Looe and back. Walking our dog May, up past Sandplace Station, Tregarland Bridge and Plashford on Sunday morning before the rush of Sunday lunch at Polraen, the smell of sulphur from the burning coal filled my nostrils as the steam hovered above the track as the little engine disappeared down the single track toward Looe leaving a plume of white as its signature.
Fortunately, both Sundays were blessed with lovely sunny weather. The Looe Valley was a picture, dressed in its autumn glory with its tree lined banks saluting the passing of the little train . This little video captures a day in the life of the little train from all angles and from most stations along the route. Enjoy….
Once again, our Sandplace community here in the Looe Valley in Cornwall felt it was time to foster some local community spirit. So we’re throwing the doors open at Polraen Country House on Friday December 7th for a Looe Valley community fundraising night in aid of Help for Heroes. Having raised over £440 for the Help for Heroes charity last year at a similar event, this year we fancied some live entertainment so we’ll be ‘Crooning for Christmas’ with all proceeds from the evening going to ‘Help for Heroes’once again.
Why Crooning for Christmas? Well on a recent visit down to Truro for the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival, I discovered a very talented guy called Andy Marshall singing some Frank Sinatra favourites and it occurred to me that he was just the ticket for an event at Polraen Country House. Talking of tickets, at just £12 per head, the night includes a Gourmet Bangers ‘n Mash meal, with live entertainment from 1940’s Crooner Andy Marshall and a prize draw for Sunday Lunch for 2 at Polraen. Raffle tickets will also be available on the night. Tickets must be purchased in advance from Polraen (first come first served with only 40 available so please book soonest on 01503 263956).
And now to give credit where credit is due. The effort involved in organising this has been shared among a few Looe Valley residents including this brilliant poster by Adam Grundy. We don’t necessarily want it to be a ‘one off’, so along with Derek, Terry and Caroline, we’ve agreed that if it’s well supported by friends and neighbours, Martin and I are quite happy for our facilities at Polraen to be available for other such good community based causes. Sometimes just for fun and to socialise, perhaps on other occasions to discuss topics that affect our community and the Looe Valley.
We’re open to ideas. Oh and if you can’t come, please donate a raffle prize from the larder or wine rack or donate via our Help for Heroes Charity page. Hope to see you.
One month earlier in 2013 taking place:- 1st and 2nd June – A fantastic weekend to visit Looe if you’re planning a last minute weekend break.
Expect to be entertained at Looe’s annual homage to its maritime heritage and Cornish roots, with just about everything to do with the sea on the agenda including the funniest silliest wackiest Raft Race ever. Taking place on Sunday afternoon, and guaranteed to make you laugh, come rain or shine, you’ll see rafts made out of empty bottles, barrels – anything, including the kitchen sink. Many taking to the waters of the Looe River on their home made vessels will be bombarded with water bombs and abandon ship or possibly sink before the half way mark. All proceeds from the race go to the RNLI.
Grazing on the Quay
Enjoy all manner of food from the sea – another great feature of the weekend, both Sat and Sun, is the daily tasting from 11 am each day, with the ever popular ‘grazing on the quay’ providing succulent taster dishes from some of Looe’s finest restaurants and food suppliers including crab from Nippers Shellfish and paella from Simply Fish. Sample the best of local food and drink in stalls set up along the harbour side of the historic fishing port of Looe.
As you stroll along the quay with the aroma of a fish bbq courtesy of Pengelly’s wafting on the breeze, music by local groups and artists will lift your spirits, even if the rain tries to dampen them. If you enjoy music, check out the Looe Music Festival in September.
Looe Marine Conservation Group
We’ll be there with a show and tell stall to introduce you to a few creatures from the rocky sea shore around Looe – crabs, limpets, starfish, anemones. Crabbing from the Looe quayside is always fun with the kids and there’s a neat little leaflet about crabbing in Looe which you can get free of charge from the Looe Tourist Office and from retail shops in Looe which sell the crabbing kits.
Life Boat Station
Take a tour around the lifeboat station, experience their simulator and talk to the crews. The raft race prize giving and closing ceremony is 5pm at the lifeboat station on Sunday.
For further information on the Raft Race in Looe: contact: 07747488488 Email: email@example.com OR Dave Peat 07747488488
A great weekend for foodies to take a shortbreak in Looe and we have two rooms available at Polraen Country House at short notice!
This year sees the very first Looe Festival of Food and Drink open it’s gastronomic doors to Looe and South East Cornwall. Whether it rains or shines, you’ll be able to sample delicious Cornish food and drink, talk to local food producers and learn how to cook something new and delicious with cooking demonstrations from top chefs from our best restaurants. Everything will be under cover in a custom designed marquee on the Millpool car park beside the Looe River. The festival is free to enter and there’ll be plenty of tasters.
At Polraen Country House, we have a double and a king available over this weekend (£87 – £96 per night with extra nights available). So you can enjoy our quiet location with free parking and free WiFi at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley, waking up to our full range of breakfast choices using local produce relaxing in the conservatory overlooking our award winning garden. Then you can head into town to literally ‘graze’ on tempting tasters from land and sea in the marquee tents at the Festival throughout the day (Sat & Sun). We’re just 5 minutes from Looe and the sea with convenient bus and train links on the Looe Valley line so if you fancy sampling some of the local beer and cider, you don’t need to worry about taking the car. You can add extra nights for a longer break with optional evening dinner Mon-Fri.
So don’t wait, don’t hesitate, don’t bother to look up the weather forecast, just BOOK NOW now before it’s gone
The Daphne du Maurier Festival in Fowey begins on Thursday 13th May and runs until Sat 22nd May. For me, it heralds the start of our amazing season of festivals in South East Cornwall.
Accommodation in Fowey can frequently get booked up well in advance so if you are still looking for a room, consider us at Polraen Country House (more details below) but back to the festival. … a celebration of Art and Literature now in its 10th year, the Dumaurier Festival is a most entertaining and eclectic programme of music, comedy, art, drama, recitals, sculpture, etc etc, both free and by ticket. A myriad of events are held in festival marquees, village halls, libraries and colleges in and around Fowey and the festival manages to combine local traditions and communities alongside the famous names. This year’s line up includes names as diverse as Pam Ayres, Julian Lloyd Webber and The Stranglers! Tickets are now available through an online box office.
If you’re having any difficulty finding accommodaton in Fowey, it’s easy driving distance (about 20-25 minutes) to the festival from our location at Sandplace in the Looe Valley. From Looe, you can drive to the village of Polruan on the east side of the Fowey River, park up and catch the passenger ferry across. If you prefer to take the car across the river and park in Fowey, you can use the Bodinnick Car Ferry. Either way, you’ll more than halve the round trip journey compared to going on the A38. Check availability to see what rooms we have left during the DuMaurier Festival.
Looe is once again the venue for the National Powerboat Racing Championships this coming weekend May 8 and 9. An amazing array of classes compete in Looe Bay just off the harbour mouth. There’s great viewing from either East Looe Beach or better still, from West Looe around at Hannafore.
At Polraen Country House, we can offer guests free parking for a boat and trailer (please advise when booking your room).We are boat owners ourselves and find it a very easy 5 minute drive from the hotel at Sandplace along the Looe Valley into town to launch from the public slipway in the Millpool Car Park in West Looe. Very few hotels or bed and breakfast places can offer accommodation with onsite parking for a boat in Looe. So if you’re still looking for a place to stay, we have just one double ensuite room left this weekend – if you want to book it and bring your boat so you can watch the powerboat racing from the water, you can have off road parking in a quiet location for free enjoying – ‘a Grand Prix like atmosphere at a fraction of the cost’.