Frankie Thomas is a freelance interior and food photographer based in central Cornwall. When she’s not snapping photos of the county’s hottest venues, you’ll find her updating her popular Cornish lifestyle blog: ‘Meet Me by the Sea’. We caught up with Frankie to find out her favourite things about life in Kernow…
How long have you lived in Cornwall?
I was born and grew up in Cornwall, however after completing my degree at Falmouth University, I decided to pack my bags and head to London for work. It only took a few years before I ached to be by the sea again. I adore the city, and part of me will always feel like London’s home, but there’s nothing quite like the Cornish lifestyle.
What makes Cornwall a great place to be based?
The Cornish lifestyle is extremely laid-back, which I’ve discovered is hard to find elsewhere. I put a lot of time and effort into my career, but I find that it’s easier to differentiate work and play here in Cornwall, plus, there’s nothing like a couple of hours at the beach to break up the working day!
Are there any downsides to living in such a remote place?
Like with everything there is a downside. Sometimes during the winter when the weather gets bad, it can feel quiet and hard to meet new people. I’ve also learnt that life in Cornwall is what you make of it and there are plenty of events, meet-ups and busy locations even during the quieter months – the hard bit is just finding them in the first place, but Instagram is definitely a saviour in that respect.
Where – in your opinion – is the most photogenic place to capture?
West Penwith (Lands End Peninsula) is by far my favourite part of Cornwall to photograph. The beaches from Zennor to Sennen and then around to Porthcurno are just magical. I genuinely believe that this area of coastline is home to some of the best beaches in the world. There are several secret beaches but they’re best left to discover yourself. I also really love the National Trust spots in Cornwall – Trelissick is my favourite by far!
How do you relax during downtime?
I spend a lot of time looking after my wellbeing – being self-employed can be tough! Fortunately, we are blessed with miles of coastline and countryside to explore which instantly makes me feel better. I adore yoga and any activity that takes over the mind – that’s probably why I always have a camera in my hand.
What do you do for fun?
I sell Cornish Prints via my Etsy shop (MeetMeByTheSeaStore) so I spend a lot of time running around Cornwall snapping away, creating prints. Other than that, I absolutely love my music so I’m always on the lookout for the next festival or Cornish gig. We are very lucky that our music culture is forever growing, especially post Covid. New events and festivals are popping up all the time – a few favourites include The Masked Ball, The Great Estate, Tunes in the Dunes and of course, Boardmasters.
Best beaches for exploring in Cornwall?
Gwithian will always feel like home. My sister and I spent most of our childhood splashing around in the rockpools and bashing each other in the face with bodyboards in the waves. It really is a magical beach and I’m sure everyone that has visited will agree.
Favourite place for drinks with friends?
Summer House in Perranporth is great for cocktails and the view across the beach is a real winner. As typical as it sounds, I also love going into Newquay for drinks – Cove24, Lewinnick Lodge and the Living Space at Watergate Bay Hotel are firm favourites.
Best coffee shop in Cornwall?
I love The Pantry at New Yard for coffee and light bites. You’ll find it between the cobbled walls of the courtyard, a place where beauty lies in every direction, and wood fired pizza tastes like heaven.
Favourite Cornish restaurant?
The Longstore, Lemon Street is easily my favourite restaurant. The Longstore offers the finest steaks and seafood, locally sourced from the land and sea (you must try their Tomahawk Steaks). Expect a combination of city dining with a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. They’re also a photography client of mine, so I’m very lucky to be able to try some food on the job. I also recently visited Ugly Butterfly in Carbis Bay which was incredible.
Frankie’s favourite Cornish Brands
@thecovebathing – Cornish bath products.
@createdbyniki – Sea glass necklaces.
@santo_candle – Poured candles.
@no.1cubs – Clothing and coffee.