This is another venue that sounds like it might be more about pantomime than quality grown-up distraction – the very word ‘pavilion’ has an old-fashioned ring to it. Pick carefully though, and you can find some real gems at this venue, from television-famous comedians (Marcus Brigstocke is on the programme this year) to catch-them-while-you-can musicians on the brink of world domination like Gabrielle Aplin.
Princess Pavilion is a cosy space; you’re never far from the stage so it feels nicely intimate – perfect for the folk music that has become a staple on the calendar here. Don’t panic, it’s not all heavily-bearded chaps of indeterminate age – you’ll often find sleek and chic contemporary folk bands with much more glamorous appeal. King Charles, the poster boy for the young and beautiful of folk, will be playing songs from his top 40 album LoveBlood here in 2013.
Having been perhaps at the margins of popular culture in previous years, suddenly Princess Pavilion and places like it have something to offer mainstream, fashion-conscious crowds. Who would have thought that a sprung dance floor would have any modern relevance as a selling point – until Strictly Come Dancing whipped us all into a frenzy of excitement over traditional dance. The Pavilion has a weekly tea dance with an emphasis on modern ballroom and Latin dancing. No longer just for pensioners, this is your big chance to show just how much you’ve learned from Len Goodman…
If you’d rather try your hand (or feet) at something even more energetic, there are regular Salsa classes plus a Salsa party evening (which also includes a dance lesson to get you started) with a live band. It’s brilliantly informal and fun – and nobody will be judging your efforts!
Princess Pavilion is just up the road from the Gylly Beach Café, a local institution serving seafood and tapas-style munchies – you might also be lucky enough to catch some live music here. Elsewhere, try a cocktail at The Shed near the marina, or get your fingers deliciously greasy with fish and chips from Rick Stein’s place on Discovery Quay – all essential fuel before a twirl on the dance floor.
41 Melvill Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4AR, Tel. 01326 211222
Gylly Beach Café
Cliff Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4PA, Tel. 01326 312884
6-7 Tidemill House, Discovery Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3XP, Tel. 01326 318502
Rick Stein’s Fish
Discovery Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3XA