A classic view of St Ives. Photo Christine Richards.
TIMES are unquestionably hard and almost every day, the financial markets bring us further gloomy news.
So it's good to hear that our transatlantic cousins rate the far west of Cornwall and St Ives in particular as the 'UK's last great bargain'.
Writing in the New York Post, Alex Robertson Textor says American visitors to London 'have collected many a horror story'.
"It is perversely therapeutic to catalogue the outrageous prices for things: $50 for breakfast, $250 for a grubby shoebox of a hotel room and $8 for a single ride on the Tube," he writes.
But Cornwall is a 'must-visit' which remains relatively affordable for Americans and St Ives is in 'the first tier of beautiful Cornish seaside towns, an art colony turned beach town whose narrow streets throng with tourists'.
Mr Textor believes the town 'features everything you might want in a British summer seaside idyll – proximity to an undeveloped coastline, stylish boutique hotels, outstanding restaurants, broad beaches, good surfing, galleries and museums'.
And he has praise for its range of well-designed guesthouses with good value rates where the Pebble Hotel, Atlantic View Guesthouse and Copper Beech B&B merit special mentions.
For foodies, the Porthminster Cafe and Cornish Deli are singled out while for exercise, a hike along the coastal path to Zennor is recommended.
A rare critical note comes at the end of the article where the writer disparages the town's 'very quaint atmosphere, which can feel a bit precious'. But even then, he allows: "With the mist and the fresh air, surfers wandering down to the beach, and bakeries selling Cornish pasties and saffron cakes, St Ives' cuteness is inarguably distinctive."
St Ives mayor, Colin Sanger, welcomed the comments: "I think the article was both positive and realistic and I hope that many of the daily papers 700,000 readers who will visit the UK will come to the far west of Cornwall.
"With our second summer of poor weather the uncertainty in the housing market and the cost of fuel etc, St Ives will have to strive like never before to lure new visitors and it is vital we continue to offer value for money as a holiday destination."