Cornwall LivingAutumn 2019
Cure for the cold
With a wealth of luxury stays throughout the county, Cornwall has to be up there as one of the UK’s best winter staycation destinations.
Despite the consistent lengthening of Cornwall’s shoulder seasons, it’s still surprising how few people see it as a winter destination. For the life of me, I can’t understand why! Earth shattering storms make for an awe-inspiring sight on the coast, and the menus of Cornwall’s restaurants reflect the delicious produce that thrives at this time of year.
Keen to hear why Managing Director of Forever Cornwall (forevercornwall.co.uk), Phil Gendall, loves Cornwall in the winter. “Winter in Cornwall is about embracing the elements and tuning into the landscape,” he explains. The skeletal trees whistling in the wind, the rain-soaked dunes leading down to the beach, the rugged cliffs, carved out by aeons of storms and savage winds – there’s so much to take in. “As they say,” he continues, “there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes!”
Among a wealth of other superb dog friendly homes, he shows us Roselyn at Lerryn. “When the nights get longer and temperatures drop, it’s time for Hygge – Cornwall style!” A stunning stay sleeping six and surrounded by beautiful walks, this property is just a stone’s throw from the local pub. Being dog friendly, it’s perfect for wearing out your canine companion before returning to curl up in front of the log burner. The icing on the cake, however, has got to be the wood-fired Finnish hot tub!
Further along the north coast, we catch up with the John Bray Cornish Holidays team (johnbraycornishholidays.co.uk). Specialising in Rock, Port Isaac, Polzeath and Daymer Bay, John Bray is renowned for its large portfolio of superb self-catering stays. Speaking with Debbie from the Lettings Team, we ask what she recommends to anybody travelling with their pooch. “My favourite walk with my dog is from Rock to Daymer Bay, or maybe to Polzeath and beyond. The beach is a huge stretch of sand, especially at low tide. Flanked by sand dunes, it’s dog friendly all year round.”
John Bray has a wealth of properties in the area, including Farlands in Daymer Bay. Sleeping up to 12 and with a large playroom for the kids, Farlands is perfect for large group getaways and family get-togethers. Expect warm coastal interiors, sumptuous bedrooms and ample outside space for when the sun’s shining. Oh, and it’s dog friendly too!
All of this sounds lovely, but for some, nothing quite compares to the deluxe convenience of a hotel stay. If this sounds like you, Polurrian on the Lizard (polurrianhotel.com) may just be perfect. Dog friendly and located right on the South West Coast Path, with endless miles of walks in either direction, as a guest, you also have access to the beach below – superb for inquisitive canines – as well as to the Health Club, where you can indulge in a soothing treatment before taking a dip in the indoor pool. Accommodation ranges from boutique hotel suites to the hotel’s holiday villas. Sleeping six across three bedrooms, the villas each feature a master suite, two further bedrooms, and everything you could need to make the most of a Cornish self-catering break. The best part is that villa guests still have access to all of the hotel’s facilities, including the health club, restaurant and bar, where the team have built a reputation for championing the best local and seasonal produce.
Speaking of food…
Cornwall has no doubt become one of the foodie capitals of the UK, so if you have no other reason to visit the Duchy, the food alone should be enough!
At Merchants Manor in Falmouth (merchantsmanor.com), couples can ease into an adults-only escape and enjoy a proper bit of respite and Cornish hospitality. Owners Nick and Sioned have worked tirelessly to present guests with a heady mix of crackling log fires, boozy hot chocolates, great company and fine food, all complemented by an award winning spa. As Nick puts it, “Falmouth and Merchants Manor are the perfect winter companions,” and with the town’s bohemian mix of independent shops, bars and eateries, we couldn’t agree more.
Headed up by Chef Patron, Hylton Espey, Merchants Manor’s Rastella restaurant boasts three AA rosettes, and Hylton’s motto that “what grows together goes together” has really helped cement the hotel’s position near, if not at, the top of the local foodie scene.
Next we move to Porthleven, which has in recent years risen to the top of the table as one of Cornwall’s top foodie destinations. Here, Cornish Horizons (cornishhorizons.co.uk) have a superb portfolio of self-catering stays to offer, although we can’t imagine you’ll spend much time cooking for yourself! From Mott House and Ocean Blue, which both sleep six, to Pooh Corner (sleeping seven) and Song of the Sea (sleeping eight), there are plenty of options when it comes to maximising your Porthleven break.
Moving south to north, our next stop is at the Padstow Harbour Hotel (harbourhotels.co.uk/padstow). Commanding a superb position overlooking Padstow’s harbour, we could delve into the details of the hotel’s brand-new look, its sumptuous rooms and knowledgeable team who are always on hand to help you make the most of your Padstow break. We could wax lyrical about the celebrity owned restaurants and independent eateries that have made Padstow the foodie capital of Cornwall. Instead, we’ll let Matthew Roach from the Harbour Hotels group sum it up: “Ridiculously cosy rooms, spectacular sea views, signature seafood, and a warm winter welcome. All just steps away from Padstow harbour.” What else do you need to know?
When we think ‘winter break in Cornwall’, our minds conjure up scenes of crackling log fires, steaming saunas and chilly evenings spent soaking in a hot tub as we gaze up at the stars, a flute of bubbles (and the bottle, of course) to hand.
If this sounds like ‘a bit of you’, why not head to Newquay and discover Sands Resort Hotel (sandsresort.co.uk), offering spa breaks with a distinct Moroccan twist. The perfect place for a cosy winter break, you can make yourself at home in the spacious rooms, swim a few laps in the warm pool or relax in the onsite spa, before tucking into a mouth-watering dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. A top tip from the team is to try out the unique 90-minute Moroccan Spa Experience and watch the sun set, wrapped up in a blanket from the hotel’s Atlantic Terrace. Sounds blissful!
Travelling up the north coast further still, we make our way to sister hotels, Bedruthan Hotel & Spa (bedruthan.com) and The Scarlet Hotel (scarlethotel.com). Catching up with the team, we learn that, for the first time, you can experience both of these fabulous escapes as part of one magical package. The first is ‘The Wanderlust Escape’, starting at just £465 for two. The break includes a stay at Bedruthan enjoying both the indoor and outdoor spa experience and a three-course dinner in The Herring restaurant, before soaking at the Scarlet with a clifftop hot tub with fizz, another candlelit dinner and time in the Scarlet Spa.
Then there’s the ‘Taste of Scarlet’, which starts at just £265 for two. The break incorporates a delicious three-course dinner at the Scarlet, overlooking Mawgan Porth beach, before retiring to your sea view room at Bedruthan – the perfect one night escape.
If you weren’t before, we hope you’ve been inspired over the last few pages to pencil a Cornish break into your winter itinerary. While there’s most certainly a chill in the air, with Cornwall’s rich offering of accommodation, there’s really no reason not to enjoy the Duchy at this most magical time of year.
If you are planning a winter break, we simply don’t have the pages to cover all of Cornwall’s exemplary hotels and self-catering stays, so be sure to check out more of our Cornish favourites below:
Cornwall Hotel, Spa and Estate – thecornwall.com
The Oceanic Suite Hotel – oceanichotelfalmouth.co.uk
Karma St Martin’s – karmagroup.com
Tregenna Castle – tregenna-castle.co.uk
Harbour Hotels – harbourhotels.co.uk
The Falmouth Hotel – falmouthhotel.co.uk
The Greenbank Hotel – greenbank-hotel.co.uk
The Alverton – thealverton.co.uk
Fowey Hall Hotel – foweyhallhotel.co.uk
Sands Resort – sandsresort.co.uk
Budock Vean – budockvean.co.uk
Headland Hotel – headlandhotel.co.uk
Fowey Valley Hotel – bestwestern.co.uk
Hotel Penzance – hotelpenzance.com
Portscatho Holidays – portscathoholidays.co.uk
Cornwall Hideaways – cornwallhideaways.co.uk
Cornish Gems – cornishgems.com
Latitude50 – latitude50.co.uk
Escape to St Ives – escapetostives.co.uk
Aspects – aspects-holidays.co.uk
Cornish Cottage Holidays – cornishcottageholidays.co.uk
Creekside Cottages – creeksidecottages.co.uk
Carbis Bay Holidays – carbisbayholidays.co.uk
Falmouth Holiday Homes – falmouthholidayhomes.co.uk
Toad Hall Cottages – toadhallcottages.co.uk
Boconnoc House & Estate – boconnoc.com