When you get a call from a travel PR friend saying that she’s just met someone with a last minute cancellation in their four bedroom, newly renovated, looks-like-an-interiors-mag property with incredible sea views in Cornwall, and would you be interested in checking it out rather than it just standing empty, what would you say?
Yup, that’s exactly what I said.
Because I was booked to go to France a week ago on Monday to stay with M to prepare for her father’s memorial service, I only had three days free, but, as I said before, I thought sod it, booked myself in on the sleeper on Thursday night, and headed off to three fabulous days in St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. (That’s the joy of the sleeper — It meant that I had three full days there, with no hideous five hour car journey on tiny roads from London.) My friends Hannah & Mark came overnight on Friday to join me and I picked them up from Truro first thing on Saturday morning in my little rental car.
And this is the view that greeted me as I sprinted through the house on arrival and flung open the terrace doors. I LONG to throw a dinner party on that upper terrace.
The house couldn’t be more spectacularly situated, in the centre of St Mawes, a short walk from all the important places: the harbour, fish and chip shop, the Hotel Tresanton for ice cream, St Mawes Castle, the pub…and a short ferry ride from the beautiful St Anthony’s Headland opposite.
But it took quite an effort to leave because this is truly a wonderful house for just lolling, eating, chatting, writing, thinking and just being.
The house is built on the slope down to the harbour, with the living area and balcony on the first floor to make the most of the view over the sea. The front door is at the back of the house on the first floor so opens straight into the open plan living area, which comprises the sitting area, dining table and kitchen. There’s also a second sitting room, with a giant TV, multi-media centre and a Wii, along with a wetroom cloakroom and a playroom/study. It’s the perfect house for eight people, because there is so much space, both indoor and outdoor.
The. oh the absolute JOY of the kitchen
It’s as well stocked as any private kitchen, with absolutely everything a cook could possibly need, plus everything for entertaining from Champagne flutes to a host of serving dishes. There’s an integrated espresso machine, two huge fridges & freezers, two ovens, a dishwasher…AND sharp knives, which is a miracle for a self-catering property.
I took this photo of the living room part of the open plan floor from the wrong angle. Trust me: it feels much bigger than this. (Those sofas are illegally comfortable. It was quite an effort to leave the Olympics on the telly for our supper at Hotel Tresanton on the Saturday night. Thank goodness for 930pm reservations.)
But it’s the views that really sell this house. All the rooms which face the sea have fold back windows, including the bedrooms so you can have complete access to all that light and air.
All the side windows have been specially angled to make sure there is a sea view from where ever you sit. This is the view from the second sitting room.
This was my bedroom, the second master room, with more of those wonderful fold back doors. Being able to see the sea from bed is a luxury I’d like more of.
Both master bedrooms, of course, have their own roll top baths.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, I flung open my bedroom windows so I could breathe in the sea air:
This is the first master bedroom, which I selflessly gave to Hannah & Mark.
The second terrace — yes there are two, runs the length of the house giving three of the four bedrooms access straight to the garden.
Next time I am taking a petanque set. That lawn is perfect for games.
And on my last evening, there was a rainbow over St Mawes. Really, could it have been any better?
I had to be extracted from the house by force on Sunday night. Never had a train journey been less appealing. Still, I made it on time, got back home in London by midnight, unpacked, stuck a load on, re-packed, and was on a train to Poitiers via Paris by 7am the next morning.