Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature is celebrating its 21st anniversary from the 6-13 May with a huge range of events that are guaranteed to suit all tastes. The timetable is brimming with activities this year, including a brand new secret garden trail. Not forgetting the author that famously lived in Fowey and the surrounding area, there are plenty of Daphne du Maurier based talks and conversations too.
We’ve rounded up our highlights of the week, so read on to find out what mustn’t be missed…
The Art Trail
Local artists are flinging open their studio and gallery doors to welcome the public in. A wide range of work will be on show for visitors to see, with an insight into the techniques and methods of the various artists residing around Fowey. Art on show will include a diverse range of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, pottery, 3D sculptures and embroidery, each drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape and coastline.
Eighteen artists are participating this year, and a detailed map shows where each venue is located. Download the map for free here: http://www.foweyfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FAT-leaflet-2017-for-web.pdf
Boddinnick Byways – a guided walk
On Sunday 7 May, local resident Helen will be leading a guided walk around Boddinnick, former home of the du Maurier family and where Daphne began her writing career. The walk begins at 10.30am, meeting at the Old Ferry Inn where Helen will give walkers a brief background of the area and tell some local tales. The group will then embark on a short walk, which will come to an end at 12.30pm. The guided walk costs £8 per person, and includes a hot drink at the Old Ferry Inn. Booking is required, so go to www.foweyfestival.com or call 01726 879 500 to reserve your place.
Gardener’s Question Time
An expert panel from the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery will be providing answers to those burning (gardening) questions, whether you need advice on trees, shrubs, houseplants, pests or diseases. The panel includes Becky Martin, a former Yellow Book gardener and herbaceous plants expert; Alasdair Moore, Horticultural Manager of the Abbey Gardens on Tresco on the Isles of Scilly; and Ann Wendik-Byfield, who specialises in shrubs, fruit and vegetables. The question-answer session will be held in The Fowey Town Hall from 2pm until 3pm and entry costs £8.00 per person.
Wind in the Willows river cruise
On Monday 8 May, visitors can experience a river cruise in true Wind in the Willows style. The boat will travel up the Fowey River, during which guests can keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife and hear about the life of Kenneth Grahame, author of the infamous novel. A short stop at river-side town of Lerryn will also allow guests to wander around the village and perhaps enjoy an ice cream. The trip costs £15.75 per person and will set off from the town quay at 3.45pm, returning at 6.15pm. Book your place on the boat via the following link: http://www.crbo.co.uk/eventDetail.php?evGrp=185&evId=14306.
Edible seaweed foraging
On Tuesday 9 May, guests can discover which seaweeds are not only safe to eat but also delicious, with local expert and award-winning author Rachel Lambert. Guests are asked to meet at The Fowey Hotel at 11am, from where they will walk down to Readymoney Beach to search for seaweed. The foray costs £15 per person and guests will go away with a new knowledge of the amazing qualities of seaweeds and how to incorporate them into their cooking.
Daphne du Maurier film premiere
On Friday 12 May, the festival is hosting the first English screening of the new documentary Daphne du Maurier: In the Footsteps of Rebecca. The film, directed by Elisabeth Aubert Schlumberger and produced by Patricia Houtart, features interviews with Du Maurier’s daughter Tessa Montgomery and author of Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier, Tatiana de Rosnay. The documentary also includes rare archive material, scenes filmed on location in Fowey, and interviews. The screening will take place from 4pm to 6pm in The Fowey Town Hall, priced at £12 per person. A bar and refreshments will be available.
Secret Garden Trail
On Friday 12 and Saturday 13 May, guests are invited to explore the usually secret gardens of Fowey with a self-guided tour, discovering some hidden gems that would be otherwise unknown to visitors. The ten gardens available to see include a Mediterranean-style arrangement, a Japanese-inspired garden, and some with fabulous views over the estuary. No booking is necessary for the Garden Trail, but donations are welcome. Access may be difficult for some people due to the steep nature of Fowey, so be sure to check access before you go. Download a free map of the garden trail here: http://www.foweyfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Secret-Gardens-2017.pdf