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My West Country: Jess Golding

My West Country: Jess Golding

Meet wonderful, glass half full Jess Golding (centre) who lives in Newlyn and promotes business and tourism in Penzance via the  Penzance Business Improvement District  and www.lovepenzance.co.uk

Can you tell us a bit about where you live in Cornwall and how long you have lived there?

My home and heart live in Newlyn. I moved there when I was 18. Newlyn is a working port (currently featuring on the Channel 4 programme The Catch and the fishermen are just as wild as they seem!) you never feel alone, as there is a constant whir of noise from the ice machine and fishing boats are always chugging up and down. 

The website Love Penzance highlights all kinds of interesting, offbeat and artistic businesses. Why do you think the area attracts such a rich mix of artists, entrepreneurs and free spirits?

Penzance always says hello, it feels like the last place that has soul left. It's not covered in funky coloured bunting and twee seaside colours, she is a big town with an even bigger heart. The residents embrace everyone who comes and will always help you if you fall down.  Some of our freer spirits would tell you it's because of the energy lines that run through it, others would tell you it's the killer views and some might say it's the enormous sense of community you get from this town. I just think it stole my heart from a very young age and to think of leaving the town, even talkng about it, makes me well up!

Would you please share a couple of local gems with us?
There are loads and I am sure I will get into trouble with some for sharing but St Loy is to die for. This wondrous place is so hidden that only the locals and a few knowledgeable visitors know about it. A 20 minute walk through the woods down to the ocean, where the view opens out to the mammoth boulders and blue, blue sea (amazing for diving and swimming). The other is Trevaylor Woods just behind the village of Gulval. These woods hold dear memories for me, they remind me of my children in water logged wellies and our dogs covered in mud. We used to spend hours playing hide and seek in those woods with a flask of tea and a packet of Custard Creams. Shame my children have now grown up!

How would you spend a perfect West Country weekend?
Fortunately for me I have no need to rush out of the city for my perfect getaway. I open my blinds, gauge the colour of the sky, then decide, is it welly boots and a scarf, or flip flops and a sarong (the sarong always goes around my shoulders, I've never mastered the art of keeping it on properly). My dogs normally meet me with huge excitement and bounding energy, nothing can be done before we've had a walk in the fields in Trevardoe (with views looking down on Mount's Bay and Penzance you could feel like a giant but alas I am only 5 foot 3. After that it's into Penzance to grab the few bits I need to restock the cupboards and lunch at one of the fantastic delis or cafes in town. My children are now bigger than me which means they can look after themselves so if the mood takes, there's no better way of celebrating the fact i'm not stuck in front of my lap top than having a very good glass of wine somewhere with my husband and friends!

To be honest I just enjoy being at home. I feel so blessed with the area where I live that I don't feel any need to rush around, I'm perfectly content with all places within reach. Great places to eat, great walks, live music, wonderful galleries and all within 5 minutes of the sea. I am one of the lucky ones.

Where in Cornwall would you go for your last meal?

This is one of those questions which makes me frightened to choose as there are so many great places...how can I pick one?? If it's a pasty then it has to be Philips pasties in Hayle. For a wonderful and healthy lunch Archie Browns on Bread Street in Penzance is a must. I am a huge Thai food fan, the Suko Thai in Queen Street is so wonderful that I have now eaten every single thing on the menu. And, of course, The Meadery. If it was a last meal with my kids we would go there! It's not a la carte, you eat with your fingers, the kids have always loved it.

Do you have a favourite Cornish building?

When I was small I grew up on a smallholding and spent hours pretending that the old cob stable was my house. Some of my favourite buildings are the unusual ones where someone has seen the potential. There is a converted coach house tucked away amongst other wonderful buildings in a little pedestrian lane and ever since I moved here I wanted to see what was behind that door. Well, finally I met the person who owned it and it was just as wonderful as I imagined - flooded with light and character with etched windows and engraved words of love. I fell in love with the idea of unveliing the secret behind the door. 

Where is your favourite view?

The view from my home! Every morning it delights me with a sunrise over the Lizard peninsula with a silhouetted St Michael's Mount then as the morning creeps over the headland the fishing boats and villages burst into oranges and blues...I am truly blessed and completley humbled by the wonderful part of the world I live in.

Best place for a campfire beach party?

It is family tradition for a bech fire to be held at Sennen Cove or just a quick hop to Gwenver. We have spent so many summer evenings with a BBQ lit and the children surfing, returning to the glowing embers of a fire and a hot jacket potato smothered in what we called Cowboy Beans (just baked beans heated in a pan, mothers will go to all kinds of lengths to get their kids to eat!)

What does living in Cornwall mean for you?

I have to say I love Cornwall, but Penzance and Penwith have my passion, my heart and my soul. I cannot see my roots settled anywhere else. The views are always changing (the weather makes sure of that), the sunshine gently relaxes you, there is nothing mundane about Cornwall, Penwith or Penzance. This is my home!

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