Cornwall Design Fair continues to grow since it was first conceived back in 2006. This well-established showcase of modern design is complemented by its location in the historic Trereife House estate, just outside Penzance on the A30 to Land's End. The event now attracts over 4,000 visitors to the three-day event over the third weekend in August.

Furniture, fashion and more at the Cornwall Design Fair

The splendid location and attention of the national media attract over 80 artisans and exhibitors to show off their amazing creations at this superb Design Fair. It covers contemporary design in all its forms including furniture, fashion, art, jewellery, ceramics, sculptures, stained glass, textiles including silkscreen printing, lighting and fashion accessories.

The Cornwall Design Fair is organised in association with Hidden Art. Originally it took place at Godolphin House in Helston but successfully transitioned to Trereife. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the quality and diversity of creative talents found throughout Cornwall. Part of the event is the Curated Design which showcases the work of seven designers and artists within the elegant rooms within Trereife House.

Although most of the designs are contemporary, many of the ideas have been inspired by history so it is very fitting that new and old combine in this historic location. Designers taking part in the Curated Exhibition are challenged to explore the house and mix some of the traditional classic style with more modern ideas in their contemporary design work.

In previous years I have enjoyed an exhibition by local artists in the Main Gallery and a beautiful display of photography above the Stableyard Café. Most of the exhibitors display their works in marquees around the grounds of Trereife.

Cornwall Design Fair is a family event

As well as showcasing and selling some incredible original design pieces, from floral art to furniture, the Design Fair has design-themed entertainment for children, and incidentally children under 16 get free admission. There is live music and workshop demonstrations for those interested in seeing how some of the amazing crafts are created.

Specialist food outlets are also part of the event and provide high quality snacks and sandwiches to complement the tasty menu of goods served in the new Stableyard Café.

Trereife House and Gardens

Beautiful Trereife House, pronounced “Treave”, is a centuries-old family manor house built in stately Queen Anne style in the 17th century. It has been the home of the Le Grice family for seven generations.

The estate is open for visitors throughout the summer and offers guided tours of the home and gardens. Parts of the house dates back to Elizabethan times. Highlights include the superb plasterwork on the ceilings done by Italian craftsmen who brought their skills to Cornwall in the early 1700s.

The grounds are equally lovely to explore with parterre gardens laid out in geometric beds edged with low clipped hedges between neat gravel paths. Although these beds may look like they are as old as the house itself, they were actually designed by the owner, Lyn Le Grice, and laid out in 1999.

There is a long wisteria which is an idyllic picture in late spring and is thought to be at least 150 years old. A change of levels with the Ha-Ha divides the gardens from the parkland beyond. Several varieties of medlars are planted along the top of the bank and complement the established magnolias, rhododendrons and fruit trees.

Trereife House frequently hosts special events including country fairs, concerts and events. We'll keep you posted of events through our updated articles.

If you have attended an event at Trereife, we'd love you to add your thoughts or additional comments to our article in the comments below.