After our first night in Cornwall, which we spent re-visiting The Scarlet, lil’sis, P Bad & I moved south – well, a couple of miles down the road – to Watergate Bay to take up residence for Friday & Saturday night in Issey, a semi-detached house in a new, purpose-built self-catering complex. (Above left. ) Watergate is well known for three things in particular: its stretch of golden sands, its surfing and Jamie Oliver-founded restaurant & chef-apprenticery Fifteen Cornwall.
If the words ‘English self-catering holiday’ strike fear into your heart, with memories of damp sheets & lumpy mattresses, mismatched crockery, dog eared paperbacks, trickling showers and draughty rooms, then The Village is the perfect antidote. For the houses here are privately owned, and then handed back to Beach Retreats to rent out. They are shiny and new, (opened by the Countess of Wessex in 2011), have been touched by the hands of an interior decorator, and have every modern convenience, from powerful rain shower heads & underfloor heating to perfectly sprung mattresses and crisp linen.
This was my bedroom, the king-size master room, with a roll top bath & rain shower en suite, plenty of power points, lots of lamps, a flat screen telly on the wall opposite the bed, and a bright pink Roberts radio on the dressing table.
This was the view from my bed:
The rest of the house was equally great. Because the house is built on a slope, the living area and balcony are on the first floor to make the most of the view over Watergate Bay (although the front door is at the back of the house on the slope so opens straight into the living room), and the bedrooms are underneath, on what would be the ground floor from the front, but the basement from the back, reached by an internal staircase (under which lurks a washing machine & dryer).
The living area is open plan, with a great wall of sliding glass doors overlooking Watergate Bay. Downstairs, accessed from the garden, is a store room for surfboards and a shower to get rid of sand from the beach.
It’s dog friendly too, although they must be kept upstairs in the living area, and P Bad was very happy here. As were we. The huge deck has a rattan sofa and loungers and, blessed with extraordinary temperatures for March, we were able to sit outside to watch the sunsets, before coming indoors to read and play Scrabble. The kitchen is fully stocked with pans & crockery, and I spent a wonderful evening on the Saturday cooking up my spoils from the Fifteen Cornwall Spring Farmers Market.
My tips for staying here are to definitely hire a car if you come by train, and to organise a delivery of groceries to be waiting for you on arrival, as there are no shops in Watergate Bay and absolutely no supplies in the house apart from salt & pepper. If you are a keen cook, I’d bring your knives, as the only self-catering cliche Issey lived up to were the blunt knives in the knife block.
LLG, her sister and the rat were guests of Beach Retreats