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Art News & Views

Phyllis Oberman

 By Phyllis Oberman, Art Aficionado

A Revelation

2017 marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution and this is celebrated by a landmark exhibition at The Royal Academy in London of Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 2017 running from 11th February to 17th April, 2017.

Boris Mikailovich Kustodiev, 'Bolshevik'

        Boris Mikailovich Kustodiev,
          'Bolshevik', 1920,  picture
State Tretyakov Gallery

The period covered by this exhibition is very significant because it covered the time when artists had the freedom to apply their Avant-Garde skills to the political objectives of the revolution using diverse, liberated forms of art from posters, photography, stage and textile design through to fine art.

It was in 1932 that Stalin's programme of repression and suppression hit the art community as hard as all other sectors of Russian society.

Marc Chagall, 'Promenade'

Marc Chagall, 'Promenade', 1917-18
© State Russian
           Museum, St. Petersburg

This exhibition of more than 200 works includes loans from State museums and galleries in St Petersburg and Moscow plus substantial loans from private collections many of which have never been shown in Britain before.

Divided into seven broad themes, this comprehensive show also has special room set aside for the paintings and architecture designs by Malevich while another room is devoted to the painter Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 'Fantasy'

    Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 'Fantasy'
      1925,  picture
© State Russian
           Museum, St. Petersburg

Providing additional insights throughout the exhibition are films, photographs and rare previously-unseen documents.

Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932 opens on 11th February and continues until 17th April, 2017. Concessionary tickets are available.

For further information visit the website at

Mystery Mexican Wall Pictures Preserved

It was not until she was 50 years old that Adela Breton (1849-1923), British archeological artist and traveller made her first trip to Mexico to explore the art of the ancient Mayans. Thanks to her studious work during 13 subsequent arduous trips a vision of how the wall paintings looked in 1900's are with us today.

Adela Breton in Mexico

           Adela Breton in Mexico

Well worth a visit is the exhibition Adela Breton: Ancient Mexico in Colour at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery until 14th May, 2017. Breton was born in London, lived in Bath and travelled the world. She died in Barbados.

She left a total of 1,500 items collected under extremely difficult conditions to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Her watercolours, including one nearly nine metres (26 feet) long, are being digitised and conserved at the Museum. This extraordinary collection also includes sketchbooks, notebooks, diaries and photo albums. The watercolours include works showing ancient temples and buildings in Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan and Acanceh.

An Ancient Mayan wall painting copied around 1900 by Adela Breton

             An Ancient Mayan wall
      painting copied around 1900
                  by Adela Breton

Entrance to the exhibition is free and further information can be found on the website at

Art and Craft from The Days of the Raj

The name Kipling is very familiar to Britons via The Jungle Book, Kim and many other interpretations of Rudyard Kipling's books adapted for the cinema and the stage.

Much of his inspiration came from India where he was born and spent large periods of his life.

Lockwood Kipling with his son, Rudyard

           Lockwood Kipling with
                 his son, Rudyard

Less is generally known about his father, Lockwood Kipling (1837 - 1911), an artist and prominent figure in the Arts & Crafts movement and a stalwart of the British colonial system. One of Lockwood's key interests was nurturing Indian craftsmanship. Among his many roles was collecting items for display at the then South Kensington Museum (later re-named The Victoria & Albert Museum).

The V&A is now paying tribute to him with an exhibition, Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London. Many of the items on show include sculpture, furniture and paintings he made of monuments and mosques, sent back to the UK for the V & A and there are also his own drawings of Indian craftsmen at work.

Wood Carver, N W Provinces, British India by Lockwood Kipling

       Wood Carver, N W Provinces,
British India by Lockwood Kipling

He taught at several Indian art colleges and was curator of the museum adjoining The Mayo School of Art (now Pakistan's National College of Arts). With one of his former students, Bhai Ram Singh, Lockwood was commissioned to design the Durbar Hall at Osborne, Queen Victoria's summer home.

When Lockwood retired in 1893 and returned to England, he collaborated with son Rudyard providing illustrations for his books and poems.

This exhibition is free and continues until 2nd April, 2017.

For further information visit the website at

Realism to Abstraction

Victor Pasmore: Towards A New Reality is the title of an exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery at Nottingham Lakeside Arts closing on 19th February, 2017 but well worth a visit.

The Quiet River by Victor Pasmore

 The Quiet River by Victor Pasmore
Lamplight by Victor Pasmore

       Lamplight by Victor Pasmore

Pasmore's work changed style several times during the period the exhibition covers (1930 - 1967) starting with atmospheric still lives, landscapes and portraits and ending with fully abstract pictures, sculptural forms and constructions as well as architectural commissions.

This is especially interesting as he had only brief part-time art training, but early on his work caught the eye of Sir Kenneth Clark, then Director of The National Gallery, who helped him financially so he could concentrate on his art full-time.

Triangular Motif

                   Triangular Motif

Later in his career Pasmore (1908 - 1998) taught at several important art colleges and told his students to look at the work of the great artist Turner, who was one of his inspirations. In the 1940's and 50's he was considered one of Britain's leading modern artists. In 1966 he bought a house and studio in Malta where he lived until his death.

Entrance to this exhibition is free. Full details about the show and talks and events can be seen at

Victorian Artists in the Spotlight

Classical Victorian painters and Pre-Raphaelite artists mingle at a new exhibition, Victorian Treasures, at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool until 7th May, 2017. More than 60 works from the collections of National Museums Liverpool in oils and watercolour trace the development of 19th Century Romantic art.

Confidences, 1869, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

    Confidences, 1869, by Lawrence
          Alma-Tadema © National
               Museums Liverpool

The growth of industrialisation in Liverpool from the 18th Century onwards in merchant trade, ship-building and the maritime industry created a wealthy middle class who bought or built large houses for themselves and filled them with art and furniture. These artworks formed the basis of Liverpool's outstanding collection of Victorian art.

 Echo and Narcissus, 1903 by John William Waterhouse

 Echo and Narcissus, 1903 by John
      William Waterhouse, © National
               Museums Liverpool

This is another show offering free entry. For further details please visit the website at

Hockney at 80

A major retrospective exhibition of the work of the much-loved David Hockney is announced by Tate Britain in London. From 9th February until 29th May, 2017 David Hockney will be the world's most extensive retrospective exhibition including Hockney's painting, drawing, prints , photography and video.

Model with Unfinished Self Portrait, 1977, David Hockney

 Model with Unfinished Self Portrait
              1977, David Hockney

Ever adventurous, changing styles and adopting new technologies, Hockney's exceptional career continues to innovate.

The Grand Canyon, 1998, David Hockney

         The Grand Canyon, 1998
                   David Hockney

The Tate Britain show has been arranged, thankfully, in chronological order covering his student works from 1961 up to the present day, taking in his time spent in Hollywood, Los Angeles, The Grand Canyon, his British home and recent wonderful Yorkshire landscapes.

Going Up Garrowby Hill, 1998, David Hockney

     Going Up Garrowby Hill, 1998
                    David Hockney

Red Pots in the Garden, 2000, David Hockney

      Red Pots in the Garden, 2000
                     David Hockney

The Tate Britain website has a very short video of David Hockney talking about his work and showing images of the artist and his creations over the past 60 years.

For details click on

Concessionary tickets are available and Art Fund members enter for half-price.

Japanese Landscapes in Exeter

Woodblock prints made by one of Japan's most famous artists are on show at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery until 16th April, 2017.

These beautiful landscapes by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 – 1858) show the views seen along Japan's main highway between the cities of Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto.

Yui, 1855, Utagawa Hiroshige, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

      Yui, 1855, Utagawa Hiroshige
               Ashmolean Museum
               University of Oxford

Examples of Hiroshige's woodblock prints and works of other Japanese artists made their way to Europe and are known to have had considerable influence on the art of Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne and Whistler. At Monet's house, now a museum, at Giverny, France, prints like these are still displayed where Monet placed them.

This exhibition, Hiroshige's Japan: Stations of the Tokaido Road is organised in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. During the show there are talks and workshops on associated themes.

Concessionary tickets are available and full details can be obtained from the website at 

French Modernism Explained

At The Ashmolean in Oxford, opening on 10th February, 2017, an exhibition traces the development of the art form Modernism from the French Revolution to the Second World War. Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France draws on a private collection of mainly works on paper of Ursula and R Stanley Johnson who began collecting in the 1950's and 1960's.

Edgar Degas, Self Portrait in a Top Hat, 1865, Charcoal

      Edgar Degas, Self Portrait in a
           Top Hat, 1865, Charcoal

A succession of 'isms' trace the path artists followed in France from Romanticism through Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism to Modernism and abstraction. These artistic styles grew out of previous ways of working influenced by major events in France and the wider world that included revolutions and two world wars and the wider use of techniques such as lithography and the introduction of gouache as an alternative to oil or watercolour.

Pablo Picasso Harlequin with Mask, Ink and coloured chalks on paper

Pablo Picasso Harlequin with Mask
 Ink and coloured chalks on paper

Fernand Leger, Mother and Child, 1949, Gouache

  Fernand Leger, Mother and Child
                   1949, Gouache

Most of the works are being exhibited for the first time in this major show which continues until 7th May, 2017.

Concessionary tickets are available and full information can be seen on the website at

Art in Brief

Compton Verney in Warwickshire has an exhibition of historic portrait miniatures not previously seen in public. This form of portrait flourished for around 300 years up until its decline in the 1850's as photography became popular.

For more information about the exhibition click on

Miniatures on display at Compton Verney

            Miniatures on display at
                 Compton Verney

Local authorities in the UK are being accused of “selling off the family silver” as cut-backs nationwide threaten budgets to maintain museums and galleries, works of art and buildings. Sales of artworks and property are releasing funds to pay for local public services and it is clear that museums and galleries are suffering.

Councils have had their main grants from central government cut by 40% since 2010. Whilst they are still in public hands local arts and wider cultural facilities should be valued and visited.

Favourite Gallery or Museum

If you have a favourite local art gallery or museum that you would like to share with Sixtyplusurfers readers, please send the details to Phyllis Oberman care of Sixtyplusurfers to:

Please mark your email favourite art gallery and museum for Phyllis Oberman's column.

Crafts & Hobbies

New Chewton Glen Cookery School


Chewton Glen Cookery School

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen, a new purpose-built cookery school and dining complex, will open on 1st March, 2017

Working in association with celebrity chef and Chewton Glen alumnus James Martin, the cookery school will be headed-up by Chef Tutor, Rob Cottam.

Rob Cottam

James and Rob have formulated a rolling roster of bespoke and stimulating courses and demonstrations that will inspire, inform, educate and most importantly provide a culinary experience that is packed full of fun and enjoyment.

Classes will be hosted by Rob and visiting guest and celebrity chefs, including Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar, Richard Corrigan, Dan Doherty, and, of course, James Martin himself.

James Martin

A highly experienced, passionate cookery teacher and demonstrator, Rob will teach cookery classes that are suitable for all skills and ability levels - whether for those just starting out on their adventures in the kitchen, or confident home cooks looking to improve their skills.

Rob is classically trained and has travelled throughout the world gaining wide-ranging knowledge of cooking ingredients and techniques. This, coupled with an extensive understanding of contemporary food trends, will ensure that his engaging teaching style will be tremendously popular at The Kitchen.

Chewton Glen has a dedicated kitchen garden

The purpose-built space will set the stage for enjoying and learning about food and cooking. The design is open-plan; bi-folding doors and glass panelling will flood the cookery school and casual restaurant with light. Each of the 12 professionally equipped cooking stations will have views over the dedicated kitchen garden, which has been established by Chewton Glen's Estate Manager, Darren Venables. Its raised beds and greenhouse will provide year-round supplies of herbs and vegetables.

The cookery school will offer a relaxed and convivial learning environment, where guests will experience expert tuition on a cosmopolitan range of food and wine courses in small classes, all in the spectacular surroundings of Chewton Glen. Course days will start with coffee and home-baked pastries and a sneak peek at what's growing in the garden. Each student will have their own spacious and well-equipped work station.

Classes will run Tuesday to Sunday from 09.30 until 16.00, with prices starting from £185, including refreshments, lunch, all equipment and ingredients. Class themes will include: Found and Foraged; Morocco to the Middle East; Baking Greats; Nutritious and Delicious; Food for the Family; and a Junior Chef programme.

Chewton Glen has a Junior Chef programme

In addition to the cookery school, The Kitchen will also feature a 40-seater informal restaurant, with an open-plan kitchen with a pizza oven, chef's table for private dining and celebrations, an informal lounge, an outside seating area, and private parking.

 It will be open daily for lunch and dinner, and will also be home to the Chewton Glen bakery that will produce a range of artisan breads and pastries for hotel guests and visitors to The Kitchen. Typical dishes in the restaurant will include wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers, superfood salads, and lobster and chips.

Details of how to book The Kitchen, including the preliminary schedule of courses, and information on gift vouchers, can be found on the website at

Or by ringing 01425 275 341.

About Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen is a five-red star privately-owned luxury country house hotel, located on the edge of the ancient New Forest National Park in Hampshire, and just a few minutes' walk from sea.

Featuring an award-winning restaurant (The Dining Room), world-class spa and leisure activities, luxurious accommodation and modern meeting facilities, the hotel has 70 individually designed bedrooms and suites, including the 12 tree-house suites, a nine-hole par three golf course, croquet lawn, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a spa which has been voted the best in Europe.

A very special place, Chewton Glen is a proud member of Relais & Chateaux and is one of the finest luxury hotels in the UK. It has also been voted 'Best UK Holiday Hotel 2016', and listed as one of the 'World's Best Hotels' by Condé Nast Traveller readers

For more information visit the website at


Creative Sewing Weekend in Sussex

Creative Sewing Weekend at Dunford House, Midhurst, West Sussex


   Thursday 23rd and 24th – 26th March

If you love sewing and craft activities then treat yourself to the Creative Sewing Weekend at Dunford House, Midhurst, West Sussex, a delightful 18th century house, set in 60 acres of beautiful woodland.

All rooms are en-suite and the package, which costs £490 includes full-board plus evening entertainment and workshops on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Day rates are available for those not wishing to stay in the House and partner rates for those who wish to bring a partner).

The weekend starts at 9am Friday and finishes at 4pm Sunday. The event is hosted by leading sewing and quilting experts Wendy Gardiner and Jennie Rayment, who are on hand throughout the weekend to ensure you have a relaxing, trouble-free weekend.

Choose from one of the three classes below

3D and Hexagonal Happenings with Jennie Rayment
From triangles, diamonds and hexagons create a multitude of 3D and diametrically different designs - play with the pieces. Conquer those tricky Y seams or cheat at construction - it’s Jennie’s magical methods with material.

Sensational Stitching and Textural Decoration with Wendy Gardiner

Picture by Carol Ann Waugh

Have fun with stitch, feet, cords, tucks, trims and more to create stunning sensational fabric pieces that can then be turned into cushions, wall hangings, stools or even clothes. You will really get to grips with your machine, manipulating stitch and having fun with feet! (Picture above by Carol Ann Waugh).

Love it, Copy It, Make It with Claire Tyler

Do you have a favourite garment that you would love to recreate? Something that is worn out and no longer available in the shops? On this two day workshop you will learn how to make a pattern from your garment without taking it apart and make up a toile to test the pattern and for fitting.

It's best to bring along a fairly simple garment in a woven fabric to learn the techniques. If the garment you are copying is fairly simple you may have time to make a start on your finished one so bring along fabric in case.

For further details contact Wendy
Telephone: 023 92 261338

Telephone: 01243 374860


     British Spirit of
  Adventure Doesn't
     Always Extend
          to Eating

Le Boat conducted a study into the eating habits of holidaying Europeans

A study conducted by Le Boat into the eating habits of holidaying Europeans has revealed that British travellers lag behind their French and German counterparts when it comes to experimenting with foreign cuisine.

The survey of 1,000 adults from each of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) found less than half of UK travellers (47%) cited food and drink as very being a very important element of their trip compared to nearly two-thirds (62%) of Germans and half of French (50%)

When it comes to the first dish of the day, it seems half of Brits prefer to stick to a savoury start to the day while the French have the sweetest tooth of all at the breakfast table. Nearly four-fifths (79%) of French travellers ensure their morning meal includes some sweet elements, such as pastries, yoghurt or fruit, whereas only two thirds of Germans (64%) and 50% of Britons would do the same.

According to the poll, the British tendency to grab and go at work may be a hard habit to break on holiday. When asked how long they would be likely to spend enjoying lunch, those from the UK are three times as likely to spend less than 15 minutes having lunch while away and four times as likely not to eat anything at all compared to their French and German peers.

However, the role food plays in British holiday planning could be starting to change, with one in 10 Brits (11%) spending at least an hour over lunch compared to 10% French and just 5% of German responders.

One in 10 Brits spend at least an hour over lunch

Yet, when it comes to dining out, British travellers prefer to play safe and plan ahead. Whilst 56% of French and 49% of German holidaymakers describe themselves as very spontaneous when it comes to deciding where to eat, only 21% of Brits would agree. In fact, those from the UK are four times more likely (13%) than their continental counterparts to admit they're not at all likely to act on impulse when choosing a restaurant on holiday.

The French also top the poll when it comes to adventurous eating. 75% say they'd be very likely to try local delicacies while away compared to 67% Germans and just 41% of British travellers. Indicating that travelling TV celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein still have a way to go in influencing dining habits, 9% of Brits describe themselves as unlikely to give foreign food a go, compared to 2% Germans and just 1% of French people.

According to the Le Boat survey, the aperitif remains a largely French phenomenon, with 89% seeking one out wherever possible on holiday compared to 63% of those from Germany and just over half of UK holidaymakers (53%).

And, though 17% of Germans don't really understand the point of pre-dinner rounds, saying it doesn't take a drink to get them ready to eat while enjoying sunnier climes, 11% of Brits prefer to enjoy their choice of tipple with a meal. Londoners (21%), meanwhile, are nearly twice as likely than the national average (12%) to think aperitifs are simply a good excuse to drink more.

Finally, when it comes to deciding what beverage would best accompany their meal, locally-made topped the menu choice across the board, with 38% of French holidaymakers polled selecting this. And whilst Germans may have a reputation for being beer aficionados, it seems Brits are hot on their heels with 26% of each nationality opting for a brew with their meal and 19% of Brits, versus 20% of Germans, keeping it local.

Holidays are a great chance for people to indulge their greatest passions, from sampling the local gastronomic highlights to exploring an area's more traditional cultural delights

Gracie Davies, spokesperson for Le Boat, Europe's largest self-drive boating company says, “Holidays are a great chance for people to indulge their greatest passions, from sampling the local gastronomic highlights to exploring an area's more traditional cultural delights.

“Whilst our boating itineraries are designed to give holidaymakers a true flavour of Europe, this survey shows that the most important ingredient of all is the freedom for people to drink and dine however they choose. After all, it is their holiday.”

Le Boat has recently added a new UK gastronomic-themed itinerary to its self-drive boating holidays offerings. The easy-paced Foodie Cruise takes in the best dining experiences along the River Thames from Benson, at the foothills of the Chilterns, to Chertsey in Surrey. The itinerary recommends acclaimed restaurants along the way, from Sindhu, whose patron Atul Kochhar was the first chef to win a Michelin-star for Indian cuisine, to Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred pub, The Hinds Head. A seven-night trip on a luxury Horizon cruiser sleeping up to 4 starts from £1138.

To find out more or to read the full report visit

For more information about Le Boat click on

    Luxury Hotel with
   Garden Sculptures

See the magical sculptures at Talland Bay Hotel in South East Cornwall

A privately-owned Cornish coastal retreat tucked away in a tranquil corner of South East Cornwall, the Talland Bay Hotel, is set to steal the limelight in 2017 having scooped a bumper bundle of awards.

Recent accolades include taking Silver in the 'Small Hotel of the Year' category at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2016/17 and Gold in the Taste of the West Awards. This is in addition to being awarded four Stars and two Rosettes from The AA, with head chef Nick Hawke having his sights firmly set on achieving a third.

Boasting a captivating cliff-top setting at Porthallow between Looe and Polperro, the luxury hotel is just yards from the South West Coast Path and Talland Bay beach - a smugglers cove in years gone by. The house dates back to the 16th century and was owned by the Trelawney family – of Bishop Trelawney fame – until 1919.

A hotel since the late 1940s and acquired by Dr and Mrs O'Sullivan in 2015, the 20-room boutique property offers a range of sea view suites, classic rooms, garden rooms and cottages, with pine-fringed lawns stretching down towards the ocean. Each bedroom and reception room is individually and sumptuously styled, with an eclectic mix of furnishings and art. All bedrooms offer flatscreen TVs, crisp bed linen and White Company toiletries.

The superbly stocked bar offers a wide choice of drinks including thirst-quenching Cornish craft beers, a wicked range of gins and sublime selection of cocktails. Perfect for supping at sunset on the terrace, or in front of the fire, before retreating to the restaurant to enjoy the award-winning fare. The fresh, inventive menus are testament to the skill and imagination of head chef, Nick Hawke; having learned his trade under a Michelin starred chef, he leads a kitchen team dedicated to raising the culinary bar whilst showcasing the finest foodie fodder from the most talented regional producers.

There is an air of magic in the cornucopia of sculptures decorating the grounds, combined with secret footpaths, sunny terraces, exquisite foliage and pretty walled gardens. Arguably what sets this Cornish sanctuary apart however is the outstanding levels of hospitality and customer service that complement the amazing location.

Talland Bay Hotel in South East Cornwall

The Talland Bay Hotel is also one of the most dog-friendly properties in Cornwall, if not the UK, offering an exceptional welcome to man's best friend and dedicated 'Wallace & Gromit' breaks. Guests can even choose to dine with their canine companions in the conservatory brasserie. Bed and board for pets is £12.50 per night and includes a cosy blanket, feeding mat and bowl, plus complimentary doggie treat.

Rooms cost from £160 per night on a bed and breakfast basis.

For more information about Talland Bay Hotel visit

 International Launch
 for Cornwall's World 
      Choral Festival

World Choral Festival in Cornwall

As choirs from across the globe plan their descent on Cornwall for its 2017 International Male Choral Festival, the Hall for Cornwall has announced the ticket launch for what is now the largest event of its kind in the World.

Sixty choirs of all ages and nationalities will be converging on Cornwall – with more than 50 concerts and celebrations in 40 venues across the county running from April 27th – May 1st 2017. This year's Festival will also see the largest Choir Competition in the biennial event's fourteen year history.

Cornwall will be centre stage when 2000 singers of all ages and nationalities converge to entertain an estimated 45,000 people in theatres, churches, tourist attractions and castles

Cornwall will be centre stage when 2000 singers of all ages and nationalities converge to entertain an estimated 45,000 people in theatres, churches, tourist attractions and castles from Bude to Land's End and Porthleven to Saltash.

Singers, their entourages and countless visitors will be heading this way from Australia and America, Russia and across Europe, Wales, Scotland, England and, of course, Cornwall itself for this year's extraordinary Festival.

Cornwall will be centre stage when 2000 singers of all ages and nationalities converge to entertain an estimated 45,000 people in theatres, churches, tourist attractions and castles

“It's going to be a wonderful long-weekend of choirs singing for pleasure as well as taking part in keen competition,” says Festival Director Rob Elliott.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors and singers alike to this beautiful part of the world. The sound the choirs make is always stirring and uplifting and I cannot wait to hear them brought together for this world-great event.

“Our Eighth Festival is attracting more interest than ever from people wanting to join the celebrations and with ever more foreign and larger choirs it is all very exciting.”

Cornwall will be centre stage when 2000 singers of all ages and nationalities converge to entertain an estimated 45,000 people in theatres, churches, tourist attractions and castles

Full details of the 2017 Cornwall International Male Choral Festival can be found on the Festival website -

Tickets for all concerts can be purchased directly from the Hall for Cornwall box office

For more information on the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival please see 

    A Cool and Cosy
      Way to Explore
   Cornwall & Devon

Explore Cornwall and Devon in a Minidub

The UK’s best-loved UK short breaks specialist Great Little Breaks  introduces a novel VW campervan-inspired vehicle – the ‘Minidub’ – to cruise the country lanes and spectacular coastlines of Cornwall and Devon by day, and which converts into a comfortable bedroom by night.

George II in blue, Jethro in green and Denzil in orange (see photos above) are three individual, custom-built Minidubs imported from Japan.

An ingenious drop-down system provides a cosy double sleeping base for two (with airbed), and inflatable awnings and two camp beds can be added (extra £25) if you’re travelling with children or friends.

Explore Cornwall and Devon in a Minidub

Included in the hire is a camp-style stove and kitchen, basic cooking and dining equipment, and camping chairs. Bring your own bedding, or simply hire it (£20 per set) if you’d rather.

Due to the unique nature of the Minidub, under-25s can be insured – an option which isn’t usually available with full-sized vans.‎

Hire of a Minidub for two nights, with early pick-up at 12 noon, costs from a very modest £95 pp (two sharing). A full tank of fuel is provided and must be replaced upon return of the vehicle.

Dogs are welcome at an additional cost of £20 per pet. Freedom to roam where your heart leads you - no charge!‎

For further information about the Minidub visit 

Or call 01905 899 524.

    Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win a CHOC Chick
       Starter Kit

Win a CHOC Chick Starter Kit

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with CHOC Chick to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a CHOC Chick Starter Kit. This award winning kit gives you an introduction to raw chocolate making and has enough ingredients to make around 30-40 raw chocolates (using the mini cases included) or 3 chocolate bars (using simple plastic containers) and over 30 truffles.

The kit includes:

· CHOC Chick Recipe Booklet
· Organic Raw Cacao Butter 100g
· Organic Raw Cacao Powder 100g
· Sweet Freedom 100ml
· 50 mini baking cases

CHOC Chick is the brand behind unique raw chocolate making kits and organic raw cacao ingredients.

CHOC Chick’s Organic Raw Cacao Powder was a winner in the Women’s Health 50 Best Food Awards 2016. And its Blissful Blends Heart-Warming Cinnamon and Cacao blend was nominated for the Best Free-From Product Award in the Healthy Living Awards 2016.

With its products now available in 400 Holland & Barret stores across the UK, CHOC Chick has expanded into the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Netherlands, the CHOC Chick Starter Kit for Christmas and the CHOC Chick Heart Warming Cinnamon Blissful Blend are proving especially popular.

CHOC Chick supports independent chocolatiers and companies who work with cocoa farmers by encouraging consumers to pay a fairer price for their chocolate.

A firm supporter of these aims, founder, Galia Orme, has met the farmers and has just returned from visiting the plantations in Ecuador, where her cacao is sourced. She was struck by the outstanding hygiene at the plantations and production site, which is FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification) accredited and particularly by the transparency and complete traceability from plantation to delivery to the UK of the single origin Nacional Arriba bean that CHOC Chick import.

Galia also visited areas affected by the April 2016 earthquake and has campaigned to encourage more people to support this region by buying more Ecuadorian products.

CHOC Chick was the first raw chocolate company in the UK to import directly from Ecuador.

The CHOC Chick range includes the CHOC Chick Starter Kit, RRP £12.99 - with everything needed to make raw chocolates, truffles and cocktails (CHOCtails) and the CHOC Chicos Kit, dairy free chocolate making for children. Also available is the new Blissful Blends range of blended organic raw cacao powder with cinnamon or mandarin, RRP £7.99 for 250g, as well as their popular award winning organic raw cacao powder, RRP £3.99 for 100g and £6.99 for 250g and organic raw cacao butter, RRP £4.99 for 100g and £8.99 for 250g.

CHOC Chick products are stocked in over 600 stores across the UK, US and Europe. These include Holland & Barrett UK, De-Tuinen (Benelux region), Whole Foods Market UK, Whole Foods Market USA (North Atlantic region), John Lewis, OCADO, Waitrose Online, Harvey Nichols, Infinity Foods and Magasin Du Nord in Copenhagen.

To learn more about CHOC Chick, visit, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

   For Your Chance to Win

Tell us where is the raw cacao sourced for CHOC Chick products?

      a) Brazil
      b) Mexico
      c) Ecuador
      d) Australia

  To Enter the Competition

Tell us where is the raw cacao sourced for CHOC Chick products? Then send in your answer together with your full name, postal address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address
as shown below:

* Please label your entry
CHOC Chick Competition

* This competition is open to our
UK readers only

 Valentine's Craft Project

   Sweetheart Jars

Make Sweetheart Jars for Valentine's Day

Decorate your Valentine’s table with these easy makes using PlastiKote spray paints.
This pretty Pearl Effect Vase is perfect for displaying fresh or artificial flowers. It can also be used as a candle holder or as a stylish decorative ornament.

They’d be a pretty addition to a wedding table too!
This easy to make craft project has been created by PlastiKote.

You will need

You will need clean glass jars

· Glass jars
· Sticky label or similar
· Pencil
· Scissors
· PlastiKote Glass Frosting
· PlastiKote Metallic spray paint in Silver
· Dust sheets/newspaper

How to make your Sweetheart Jars

1. Cut out a heart shape from a sticky label.

2. Stick the heart shape onto the jar.

Stick the heart shape onto the jar

3. Spread newspaper/dust sheets out in a well-ventilated working area or preferably outside.

4. Apply a couple of light coats of PlastiKote Glass Frosting.

Apply a couple of light coats of PlastiKote Glass Frosting

5. It will be touch dry in 30-50 minutes and thoroughly dry in 2-3 hours.

6. Once dry, peel the heart sticker off the jar.

7. Fill with water and your favourite flowers to make a gorgeous vase!

Follow the same steps with PlastiKote Metallic and make a lovely tea light holder.

8. Follow the same steps with PlastiKote Metallic and make a lovely tea light holder.

NB -  Always follow instructions on the can.

Stockist Information

PlastiKote Glass Frosting

PlastiKote Glass Frosting - £8.99 for 400ml can

PlastiKote Metallic Spray Paint - £7.49 for 400ml can

PlastiKote Metallic Spray Paint

PlastiKote is available from Hobbycraft, Wickes, The Range and good independent DIY stores.

For more information visit the website at


Luxury Pottery
Holidays in the Wilds
of West Cornwall

Luxury Pottery Holidays in Cornwall

If you were inspired by last year's Great Pottery Throw Down or just want to learn a new craft, Cornish Pottery Holidays have new 2017 dates for their luxury residential pottery holidays at the beautiful and secluded Primrose Cottage on the rugged Penwith peninsula in the far west of Cornwall.

Courses run for 5 full days and 6 nights and are designed for all levels of ability, from the experienced potter to the complete beginner. Sessions are for a maximum of 6 people and are taught by experienced ceramicist Caroline Winn, who used to work at the Tate and has run pottery courses for the National Trust, schools and galleries.

Pottery classes are for all levels of ability

Meals are freshly prepared and use the best ingredients from local suppliers, including the famous fish market in nearby Newlyn and the traditional butcher in Penzance.

Primrose Cottage is a 200-year-old traditional Cornish house with all home comforts, set in a secluded 3-acre garden and lying in a moorland valley within walking distance of the famous cliffs and coves of the Penwith Peninsula. Trips to St Ives, Zennor and other local attractions are part of the package.

Primrose Cottage

As well as creative inspiration, the Cornish Pottery Holidays offer peace and relaxation in exceptional surroundings.

For more information visit the website at

For enquiries contact:

Caroline Winn 07887 645760

Or email:

 Knit away your Blues
    to Help Unwanted
     Cats and Kittens

Knit away your blues to help unwanted cats and kittens

Knitters are being asked to help unwanted cats and kittens in 2017 by making cosy blankets and fun mouse toys for the UK’s largest cat charity.

Cats Protection will be launching its 2017 knitting bee challenge at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at London’s Olympia from March 2nd - 5th.

Creative cat lovers can follow a suggested pattern or come up with their own designs to create blankets and toys which will make life a little more comfortable for cats in the charity’s care this year.

Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne says the knitting bee is a great way to use up scraps of wool and while away the long, dark winter evenings before Spring.

She explains, “Once again, we’ll be attending all four Knitting & Stitching shows this year to promote our appeal. It’s always wonderful when show visitors bring along the blankets and mice they have made so we can thank them in person. But you don’t need to attend the show to take part – anyone who loves knitting can join in.

“We meet so many cat lovers who want to do their bit to help unwanted cats and kittens, and the knitting bee is a great way to get involved by doing something you love.

“Many of the cats in our care come to us with nothing, and many strays have never known the comfort of a permanent home. So to see them snuggling up with a warm and cosy blanket which has been lovingly made for them is truly heart-warming.”

Donations of knitted blankets or mice can be brought along to the charity’s stand at the event, or dropped into any of its branches, shops or adoption centres across the UK.

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 500 cats a day – or 200,000 a year – through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.

Knitters can come up with their own designs or follow a pattern for the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse - originally designed by Lauren O'Farrell ( – which will be available to pick up at the show. Show visitors can also pick up patterns for other craft projects to make fun games and activities for their own cats.

As well as details of the knitting bee, Cats Protection’s stand will be a hive of activity for cat lovers, with cat care guides and a range of cat-related merchandise for sale.

Visitors will be able to use touch screen facilities to take a look at the charity’s online Find-a-Cat search tool to see cats and kittens available for homing in their area.

Cats Protection advises that when knitting a toy or blanket, it’s best to avoid the use of stretchy yarns or small plastic items – such as those that can be used for mouse eyes – to reduce the risk of injury to cats and kittens. Loose weave blanket patterns involving the use of large needles are best avoided too. The charity also suggests that cat owners regularly inspect cat toys for signs of wear or damage, not to leave cats unattended with knitted toys, and not to use knitted toys or blankets with cats that have wool-chewing habits.

Other Knitting & Stitching Shows that Cats Protection will be attending will be at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh from 27th - 30th April; the Alexandra Palace, London, from 11th - 15th October and Harrogate International Centre from 23rd - 26th November.

More information about Cats Protection can be found at 

Find out about the Knitting & Stitching Show at

    Valentine's Day Recipe

   Valentine's Day
       Jam Tarts

Valentines' Day Jam Tarts

These delightful heart jam tarts are the perfect treat for Valentine's Day and are so easy to make.

This delicious recipe has been created by Waitrose.


· ½ block of 500g Jus-Roll shortcrust pastry block
· ½ x 454g jar Essential Waitrose strawberry jam
· Flour for dusting


Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour and place the pastry in the centre. Take a lightly floured rolling pin and roll out the pastry, give it a quarter turn and roll it again. Continue in this way until the pastry is about 3mm thick.

2. Cut out 12 large pastry discs using a 9cm fluted cutter then using a small heart cutter, cut out 12 hearts.

3. Line a muffin tin with the discs. Prick each base with a fork and line with a small square of greaseproof paper. Add a few baking beans, then blind bake for 5-8 minutes until just cooked. Remove the baking beans and paper, press the pastry down in the centre if necessary and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes.

4. Put a heaped teaspoon of jam into the centre of each tart being careful not to overfill and top with one of the hearts you cut out earlier. Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes. Transfer onto a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly – they’re best served just warm.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes 30 minutes

Makes: 12

For more information and other delicious recipes click on

Learning to Cook Can
     Make You Happy

Learning to cook can make you happy

According to the NHS, there are five steps we can all take that can improve our mental wellbeing: connecting with others, getting active, learning new skills, giving to others and taking notice of the world around us. Learning to cook can actively help you to pursue happiness in many of these areas.

When you go on a cookery course, it ticks the happiness boxes in more ways than say a scuba diving course because it not only teaches a new skill but it is sociable at the time. Tasting delicious food works on the reward centres of the brain so we get instant gratification too- a feel-good hit. Any cookery school worth their salt, will teach you about provenance and sustainability - or where your food comes from, so you engage in a more holistic way with food. A cookery course also teaches you skills, which is a confidence boost.

The University of Berkeley, California when looking at ways in which people use money to make them happy, discovered that people very quickly get used to object or things, so buying 'stuff' does not necessarily bring us lasting happiness. However looking back on 'experiences' we have spent money on does. So rather than buy a box of chocolates for someone, buy them a cookery course learning how to make chocolate to maximise on the happiness boosting brownie points!

But the key aspect in the happiness- enhancing qualities of cookery courses is we can also take the skills we learn to cook for friends and family, increasing our connectedness which is one of the most important markers for long-term happiness. These are skills which stay with you and can be built on, not just a flash in the pan like a one-off paragliding lesson for example.

Engaging in 'pro-social' behaviour such as giving to others or being in the service of others is another happiness-boosting activity, which gets met when you cook for people, you sit and share a meal and the appreciative 'Mmmmm' wafts around the table.

Leading happiness expert and Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Barbara Fredrickson argues that connecting with others in a positive way has such a beneficial effect on our cardio vascular system and reduces inflammation that actively seeking out opportunities to connect with others should be one of our five a day. In a cookery course you can learn how to cook healthy delicious food and also the mere act of doing this with others is giving your system a work out!

Boost your happiness and book on a cookery course today with an ICSA accredited school.

To see ICSA accredited members please visit  

      Pancake Day Recipe

 Pancakes in Tangy
     Lemon Butter

Pancakes in Tangy Lemon Butter

Celebrate Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 28th with these delicious crêpes, cooked in a tangy lemon butter. They can be made ahead and warmed through later.

This delicious recipe has been created by Waitrose.

Ingredients for the Pancakes

· 100g plain flour
·  2 medium eggs
·  300ml milk
· 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter, plus a little extra for frying

Ingredients for the Lemon Butter

·  100g softened unsalted butter
·  125g icing sugar
·  Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon


Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and whisk the mixture together. Gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter. Cover and set aside.

2. To make the lemon butter, beat the softened butter, icing sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.

3. Stir the melted butter into the pancake batter. Heat a small knob of butter in a 20cm crêpe or non-stick frying pan. Add a small ladleful of batter and swirl around to coat the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until the pancake is lightly golden underneath, then flip over and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes.

4. To serve, melt a small amount of the lemon butter in the pan with a little of the lemon juice and toss a pancake in the foaming butter. Fold in half and then in half again. Repeat until all the pancakes, butter and lemon juice have been used. Serve 2 pancakes per person on warmed plates.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes 40 minutes

Makes: 8 pancakes Serves: 4

For more information and other delicious recipes click on