Falmouth: Appearances can be deceptive

It's fair to say I was in a mild panic when Tim and I arrived in Falmouth last Friday for his brother's wedding - and it wasn't just the prospect of how many nosy and smug marrieds (thank you Bridget Jones) would ask if "wedding bells would soon be ringing" for us. No, it was my lack of fascinator. I hate fascinators, especially those within my budget to be found on the high street: I think they make most women look like they have got into a fight with a tropical plant or had an unfortunate encounter with an incontinent seagull. So I hadn't bought one - my dress didn't lend itself to the addition of a frothy mess anyway, I told myself. Until on Friday morning Tim helpfully informed me that fascinators/ hats were obligatory according to the invitation!

By this point we were cruising along the road into Cornwall, each mile taking us further away from civilisation; destination: Falmouth. I have never been to the area and didn't know what to expect. First thoughts: absolutely stunning - in one direction, an expanse of rolling countryside stretching as far as the eye can see, and in the other, the sea. Second thoughts: how on earth am I going to get my hands on a fascinator?

Tim and I walked into Falmouth, which proved to be very pretty with lots of nice little boutiques. My favourite was The Natural Store, a health food shop selling all kinds of organic treats, ingredients, teas etc. There were also handmade jewellery boutiques, a fudge shop, and lots of little cafes. We passed one 'fashion accessories' shop that I immediately turned my nose up at. It looked too tacky for my tastes. But Tim persuaded me to try it - and appearances can be deceptive. Don't judge a book by its cover, I told myself, as upstairs we found a room full to the brim with fascinators - handmade fascinators.

The owner approached me and asked if I needed help. Clad in an ill-fitting T-shirt and jeans, he didn't look like the type to hand out fashion advice. But he swiftly began to ask questions about my outfit, imparting key tips for success with wedding ensembles. And ultimately I found a lovely fascinator, one that happily suited my dress quite well. (N.B. I'm still not a fascinator convert - bloody tortuous to wear!).

The wedding celebration was lovely, kicking off with a big family meal at a pub on Friday evening and continuing Saturday morning at the pretty church in Constantine: gorgeous location overlooking lush green countryside and bluebell woods. Hugh, Tim's brother, and his beautiful bride Bex, looked stunning, and the service was magical. Cakes homemade by family and friends were served after the service to keep guests entertained while the bridal party had wedding photos, and the rain stayed away. The reception was at The Princess Pavilion in Falmouth - a charming venue nestled in Victorian gardens with sea views.

Tim, in his role as best man, gave an eye-wateringly hilarious speech, and the evening concluded with live music, dancing and cornish pasties and cake. After the bride and groom made their escape, Tim's parents had planned a lovely Sunday for those of us remaining. We met at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth to see a very special exhibit: a tiny boat in which Tim's father spent over a month adrift in the Pacific with the Robertson family, after their yacht was sunk by killer whales. It is such a chilling tale of survival, and certainly makes me feel we ought to be more grateful for how easy our day-to-day lives are.

Considering Tim's father and the family had to drink turtle blood to survive, I feel quite spoilt at turning my nose up at pasta these days. After our visit to the museum, we drove to Malpas and The Heron Inn for a huge plate of fish and chips, before driving back to gloriously sunny Bristol - and a night in our favourite B&B in the city, Number Thirty Eight. A lovely coastal wedding and a wonderful weekend, fascinator notwithstanding. P.S. Apologies for no photos of the bride and groom - we hardly used our camera!
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