Those of you who have read this blog for a while will know that we love a good staycation and don’t often go to run of the mill places while holidaying in the UK. 2010 was the fabulous Woodland Tipi & Yurts in Hereford, 2011 the quirky Dapper Camping Club in Brecon and this year was the turn of Little White Alice in Cornwall between Falmouth & Redruth. I like to think my geography is quite good, but until we booked this holiday I didn’t appreciate how far Cornwall is from Derby, I thought it was just past Bristol. Oh no, Bristol is only half way.
When we booked Little White Alice the cottages had been open less than a year, but had already won awards for their accommodation. It was perfectly placed for us to discover the best Cornwall had to offer and at night, peaceful with little light pollution. Perfect for star-gazing. We were also sold by the naturally filtered swimming pool and wood fired hot tub. When we arrived we were greeted by Marley the dog along with Bonnie & Clyde the cats who sometimes joined us in the cottage. On one of the nights we gathered around the fire pit with other guests to tuck in to some delicious paella. It was great to get away from various stress and strains but still being able to catch up with the Olympics, often a glass of wine in our hands.
The first thing that struck me about Cornwall was the abundance of flowers. Hedgerows seemed to be painted with flashes of orange and purple and of course the vibrant azure sky. We had a big tick list of things we wanted to do and places we wanted to go and only made a tiny dent in the list. We will have to return to Cornwall again.
Day1 – Knighthayes Court As we have National Trust membership we have a trick of using their various places as service stations. You can usually guarantee a great place to stretch your legs, decent facilities and most importantly good cake. Knighthayes Court was one of these stops. It had a wonderful walled kitchen garden and this was where we finally realised that one of the lenses we own is a macro lens, cue lots of macro pictures of flowers. Seriously, it’s taken us 5 years to realise that this particular lens had macro setting.
Day 2 – Lizard Point First Cornish destination – Lizard Point. We parked in the village centre and walked the mile or so to the point. I liked the bleakness of Lizard and seeing the waves crash on the rocks. Just before the rain we managed to grab a delicious pasty from Ann’s Pasties. Essential Cornish fayre.
Day 3 – Trerice & The Golden Lion After wasting 10min at a decidingly dodgy, naff cider farm near Newquay (seriously don’t waste a penny there) we went to Trerice then called at The Golden Lion for a hearty Sunday lunch. That evening we decided to go swimming and light the wood-fired hot tub. The swimming pool at Little White Alice isn’t heated, so was a tad bit bracing, but it made the hot tub even better. We spent a good time in there watching the swallows dive around the pool
Day 4 – Trevaskis Farm & St Ives One of my favourite days in Cornwall. We had been recommended Trevaskis Farm and I’m so glad we went. From the acres of crops you could pick yourself to the wonderful we came away with a large punnet of raspberries and there was a reasonably priced farm shop. Here we managed to stock up on food for the rest of our stay. We then went on to beautiful St Ives. I could quite happily live there or at least come back on holiday. Lunch was on the terrace at Porthmeor Beach Cafe. I highly recommend the pork neck slider. On the way home we made a fleeting visit to St Michael’s Mount and managed to get back to mainland just before the tide came in.
Day 5 – Eden Project We decided to go to Eden Project on the same day as what seemed to be the rest of Cornwall. I can honestly say that I was disappointed, and that’s partly due to the price. Even though we prepaid tickets, so got a discount, and I have an interest in Biology/biodiversity I didn’t think it was worth the entrance price. This is maybe because of the rainy weather everyone was in the biomes and you got pushed around by the masses with no time to stop. I’ve tried to think of it that we’ve donated to an educational charity and not paid for an expensive day out. The redeeming feature of the day was that we met up with some family there and that the Eden Bakery was good, catered for different tastes and sensibly priced.
Day 6 – Lanhydrock & Camel Valley I suppose one of the best ways to describe Lanhydrock is magnificent. The kitchens below stairs are huge and included room after room of antique kichenalia. Geeky heaven for me. The way the rooms were set out was as if you had just walked in mid-service circa 1881. From the wobbling jellies chilling on the marble slab in the dairy to the (fake) mouse in trap on the main kitchen floor that made me jump. After lunch at the cafe there we went on to Camel Valley Vineyard. I’ve drunk some of their sparkling wine before and really like it. We missed out on doing a tour of the vineyards, but stocked up in the shop on some of their finest including a sparkling red wine which went perfectly with the BBQ we had later that evening.
Day 7 – Falmouth & Glendurgan The final day was possibly the hottest. When we arrived at Pendennis Castle there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As I looked over the bay to St Mawes I had a fleeting (I stress fleeting) wish I could be joining all the boats sailing in the bay. For lunch it was fish & chips at Rick Stein’s in Falmouth then on to what ended up being one of the holiday highlights. We were not intending on going to Glendurgan but with time to spare and the sun still shining we drove down all the small country roads to get to it. Well it was worth it. The walk through the garden to Durgan Beach was perfect with ice cream in hand (Roskilly After Eight flavour with a flake, naturally) to escape the blazing heat of the sun. As we got to the small shingle beach it was enveloped in a thin layer of sea mist which made it even more mystical. It was as if we had gone back in time. The sea was crystal clear and I only wish I had remembered my bikini because I would have gone for a dip.
While sitting in traffic on the M5 on our way back home we realised that one of the things we’d missed on our trip to Cornwall was a cream tea. Shocking. However, I think all of the other fabulous food we ate certainly made up for it. Cornwall is such a wonderful part of the UK and I’m glad we went, I can also highly recommend Little White Alice as a base. I’m sure we’ll be back again very soon. Now, where shall we go next year?