It’s been a long day. I whirled around the West End this morning, fitting in appointments (it’s press day season for AW12) and making a slight detour via the Jaeger sample sale (oops), before finishing packing all our stuff and hopping in a black cab to Paddington to catch the 1406 to Newquay.
I write this from my bed at The Scarlet, the wonderful hotel perched on a cliff above the bay at Mawgan Porth in Cornwall. We first stayed here in the summer of 2010, and are thrilled to be back again for night one of this year’s Cornish adventure. This time it’s not just my sister and me. We have P Bad in tow. Our other accommodation on this trip is dog friendly, and The Scarlet has recently started allowing dogs, so we thought we’d bring Madam along too.
When I got to Paddington, Lil’sis & P Bad were waiting in the First Class lounge on platform one, eyeing up the free sandwiches. I soon put a stop to that, as I was toting a giant cool bag (thank you Gu Puds) on one shoulder, containing the train picnic I had lovingly cooked and put together this morning. (A box each containing Puy lentil salad with Maille wholegrain mustard & feta, houmus, cherry tomatoes, peeled cucumber, falafel & Jamon de Serrano; fruit salad, yummy Yeo valley yogurts and Hot Cross Buns.)
The train journey itself takes about 5.5 hours in all, with a change an hour from Newquay onto a tiny local train. It’s well worth keeping an eye open once you hit Devon: at one point the train runs next to the shore and spume from the waves hits the concrete rail siding.
It can be a bit tricky travelling with lil’sis and the hound, as neither can carry anything. That leaves me as sherpa-in-chief, and rather reliant on the kindness of strangers when changing trains and climbing station bridges. Today we had the most amazing help from several kind passengers, and I’d like to say an extra special thank you to the First Great Western cheery guards and stewards on the 1406, and also to lovely Tammy, the guard on the 1829 from Par to Newquay who was so kind and helpful; a wonderful warm welcome to the South West.
(When lil’sis fell over at Bristol Station and bashed her face in, in 2010, all the First Great Western staff couldn’t have been more helpful and thoughtful, so I wasn’t surprised today at how thoughtful everyone was. Thanks guys.)