It seemed a good idea at the time, see a bit of Cornwall, explore this lovely Isle, check up on some luxury property for Lussorian`s readers… yet as we drove down from London on a dismal rainy day running on the last of our `happy batteries` (it`s been a long winter) we were wondered -had we made the right decision?
What are we doing?` my partner muttered behind his driving wheel, `is this a smart move, going to the edge of England after a hard week at work? It`s going to be freezing in Cornwall, plus we`re out of season- what if there`s nothing to do?`
`Who cares?!` was my first thought upon entering Moonrakers,`I don`t want to do anything, this place is GREAT!`. Like children on Christmas morning we inhaled the size of the house and raced upstairs to unwrap our temporary home. Greedily we explored each of the five (five!) bedrooms complete with underfloor heated ensuite, each containing enormous walk in showers (you know the types – giant chrome things that pummel you with delicious Swedish massagey rain) and bathtubs deep enough to warrant a lifeguard (all Villeroy& Boch thank you very much). Our master bedroom possessed a stand alone porcelain number that looked out towards the estuary and beyond, in fact there seemed also to be spectacular, breath taking sea views at every turn. And then there were the beds, oh the beds… vast, white pillowy things created to swallow guests whole and release them 8 hours later, rested, glowing, shiny and new (I swear if a pea had lain hidden under those Moonraker mattresses not even Kate Middleton her princessy self would have clocked it.).
Certainly this was no chocolate box seaside villa, owner Amanda Selby`s interior sang of the ocean, of the land itself, it was modern, light and airy, decorated in sea blues and driftwood white, bleached shells hung from the walls and reams of brightly coloured Designer`s Guild fabric carried Eden into every room with rosy pinks, daffodil yellows and lush English garden green. It felt as though we were staying in the Selby families holiday home, this was luxury at it`s warmest and most friendly.
What do to next… that bath was calling to me – but then so was my stomach which inevitably wins most arguments so instead we made the long laborious journey downstairs into our fully kitted open plan kitchen, there lay a plate of freshly baked scones crying out for some Rodda`s clotted cream and dollops of strawberry jam, `ah Cornwall, how do I love thee, let me count the ways – starting with a legitimate excuse to scoff bread and cream at midday`. Lunch, smunch, the scones tasted far more wholesome than a prÇ¶¦t sandwich, especially washed down with a glass of chilled champagne `on the house` (we found a bottle lurking in our giant fridge right next to the less exciting looking milk).
Next thing either of us knew we`d adopted the role of Couch Potato, taking up residence on two long comfy sofas. After six hours in the car I `vanted to be alone` and designated an impressive looking wide screen TV, leather sofa and DVD collection to his lordship so I could sprawl out on a plush, cream number and admire the magnificent garden through wall to wall French windows. Amanda`s perfectly manicured lawn wrapped itself around a rotunda of early spring shrubbery then eventually dropped down to reveal the ocean, big and blue and beautiful, stretching out to the horizon and peaceful save for the odd fishing boat or local ferry. We slept for an hour or so – dreams came sweetly and easily.
Like most exhausted travellers neither of us could then face the thought of cooking on our first night so we read through Moonrakers little welcome pack and decided upon The Watch House, a first rate local restaurant within walking distance offering locally sourced food at very reasonable prices. Both of us were immediately impressed, we discovered that far from serving simple pub grub it dished up contemporary, first rate cuisine- and plenty of it. Dipping rustic bread into a steaming bowl of mussels with cider I could feel London drop from my shoulders as easily as my rain coat earlier and vowed to summon up enough energy to go exploring the next day.
There`s plenty do in St Mawes and if you need help drumming up ideas Amanda will supply you with notes in advance which include her personal favourites, we started with Henry VIII`s castle fortress just five minutes away and then wandered down into the harbour. Lunch was a hot pasty from a shack on the dock perfect for keeping us warm as we ambled along the village`s empty beach (save for a couple of dog walkers and one plucky windsurfer). An hour or so of rock pooling then it was on to the ferry to rummage around Falmouth for day, pick up supplies, head back to the `mansion` and make use of our palatial kitchen (you can of course use the concierge service, Amanda will arrange for your Internet shopping to be delivered in advance, ideal for a lazy weekend). After a swim in the bath tub (having left the hard work to himself), I was forced to sing for my supper through a game of pool. Just off the main living area a `kids den` is kitted out, perfect for keeping children occupied while the adults unwind – in reality I imagine most `grown-ups` dominate the gaming room while their kids slump in front of DVDs! I certainly embraced my inner teenager (complete with tantrum upon losing) and continued in the morning with a round on the garden`s king size trampoline. Bounce high enough on this number and you`ll experience St Paul`s cathedral views of the coast and hillside around. It`s joyous.
A word of advice – if you`re able to stay a few more days at the house you might want to book in an art lesson or at home beauty treatment, even arrange for a babysitter – all these services are on tap and ready to go, you need only ask.
Our last evening was a more sombre one, having settled in so beautifully parting was such sweet sorrow. There was a farewell drink on the master bedrooms balcony where we were gifted with a glorious sunset, it seemed to promise a safe journey and ask for a return visit, we raised our glasses and toasted it`s request. Be rude not to.
* Moonrakers in one of four luxury self catering holiday houses, situated in the picturesque village and tranquil harbour of St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula. Each self catering property, shares two unique characteristics: new, luxurious, unique contemporary interiors and stunning sea views.
Call on 0845 319 0412
4 Bolton Avenue
Berkshire, UK SL4 3JB
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