Friday, November 30, 2012

A visit to Cornwall

While I've been to England many times, my trips have generally centered around the London area. I'm hoping to one day have the time and resources to explore the rest of the country.  In the meantime, I'm always thrilled to be able to learn more about England.  The new DVD Cornwall with Caroline Quentin will certainly give you travel fever to explore that beautiful and unique part of the country.

Cornwall is located in the extreme south-west corner of the country. Here is a visual representation, courtesy of Wikipedia, that shows what part of the island we're talking about:


In this series, the talented actress Caroline Quentin visits Cornwall and takes in its breathtaking beauty as she gets to know some of the locals.  The program consists of 8 episodes on 2 discs, as well as a small companion booklet Viewer's Guide.


Because Cornwall is mostly surrounded by the sea, many of the people who are featured work or are in some way connected to the ocean.  We get to go along on a fishing boat, visit a restaurant and beach-side food stand which specialize in seafood, see rowing competitions and experience Pirate Day celebrations.


In each activity, the lovely scenery is always a beautiful backdrop to the story.  The dramatic coastal landscapes and gorgeous blue water help to show what a magnificent part of the country this is.


Some of the people Caroline meets include a family who are, against all expectations, running the successful Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall; a fisher-woman who also runs a teashop; and a man who gets to dress up in pirate gear to participate in the annual Pirate Day on  the island of St. Michael's Mount.  There is a joyful spirit and happy enthusiasm that shines through from the people of Cornwall.  Of course, having a camera turned on you would probably make most people perk up, but you get the feeling that the people who live in this part of the world are genuinely content with their lives.


There are also plenty of humorous moments, such as the regatta run by oddly costumed characters in questionable boats who "haven't a hope" of winning.  Everyone seems to be having a great time with the thrill of the race.

We also get a bit of history thrown in, such as the fact that over half of the world's tin used to be mined in Cornwall.  Along the coast, engine houses sprout up and give testament to the former industry that employed so many people in this area.


The mines also gave rise to that great Cornish delicacy, the pasty, which was an efficient way for miners to eat their dinner without having to take too much time over cleaning up (the crimped pastry around the edge could be held by grubby fingers and tossed away after the filling had been consumed).  Also saved on the washing up!

The series was made even more delightful by the cheerful enthusiasm of the presenter, Caroline Quentin.  She is full of excitement and wonder as she greets each new person and experience.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she bought one of the Unique Homes featured in this series!

All in all, this was a wonderful introduction to Cornwall and its people.  I am now itching to put Cornwall on the itinerary for my next trip to the UK!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Cornwall with Caroline Quentin from Acorn Media in exchange for this review.

Final Verdict for Cornwall with Caroline Quentin Four Gherkins, for being a delightful visit to a charming part of the world

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