Day Out

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It's quite difficult for me to imagine an ideal day out, because veering between workaholism and complete collapse, I tend towards 120mph bursts of energy, or snail-like activity. However, my ideal day out would probably start in Cornwall, where we live when our two boys are on half or full-term holidays. An early walk down to Lansallos cove, the nearest beach to our house between Fowey and Polperro, would gently point out to me that life doesn't just have to consist of blowing down brass tubes and would fill me with wild thoughts of early Cornish settlers, standing stones and smugglers.

Lunch would be ideal at the restaurant (0208 74331) in Lanhydrock House (0208 73320) just north of Lostwithiel. A trip round the original kitchens of the house is a journey to the lost world of truly English food, and the grounds are worth visiting on their own. After lunch a visit to the excellent Screech Owl Sanctuary (Sweets House 0208 873624), no more than half a mile from Lanhydrock, is great for everyone.

After this I know that my wife would dearly love to go back to Lanhydrock for a Cornish cream tea, but it's my day out so we go to see the Hurlers - four intertwining stone circles with an eerie atmosphere evoking a world of ceremony that I find constantly inspiring as the source of musical material. On returning home, if I wasn't working, I'd love to cook something 'gamy' for us such as pheasant, or eat at the nearby Carneggan House (0726 870327), where guests enjoy locally produced food.

John Harle is soloist with the London Sinfonietta for 'Hot' a work for jazz band and saxophone by Franco Donatoni, 7.30pm, Sun 22 May at the Barbican, Silk St, London EC2 (071-638 8891). He has recently completed scores for 'Family', Sundays BBC1, to 29 May and 'Baby It's You', Channel 4 starting Wed 25 May 8.30pm

(Photograph omitted)