Tanya Gold Tanya Gold

Magic at St Michael’s Mount

At the Sail Loft, the National Trust for once behave as gentlemen

The Sail Loft is under a castle on a mountain on an island in the sea; for that, I could forgive it anything. It is on St Michael’s Mount in Marazion near Penzance, an island so charming and devoid of internet connection it almost strips me of words. If I lived here I would not write again; I would not need to. I would be happy, and who judges fish when they are happy and finds it not enough?

It is accessible along a granite causeway for four hours each day — then the path goes back to the sea and one must take a boat; it is more ruthless than magic. I wish I lived here, and could drown my neighbours, who are customers at the betting shop in Camden. We do flood them, but only with the shower, and grouting does not have the malevolent possibilities of the Celtic Sea.

I sit on the black rock in the bay eating Cornish pasties — a cushion of meat — and watch the tide flow in and out. It wets the tourists on the causeway; Harry Lime’s dots, but with swamped buggies. As if they cannot believe the sea would interfere with their leisure plans. (The primary cause of drowning in England is apparently the desire to retrieve inflatables. Some people will swim to the Isles of Scilly to rescue a plastic dolphin. If you know that the isles have twice killed 1,500 sailors in one night, this is admirable.) Watching the dots get wet is, by some margin, my favourite sport.

There is a restaurant called the Godolphin Arms opposite the castle.

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