Above: The Jubilee saltwater pool on the Promenade in St Ives, Cornwall
There was a point about some five years ago where readers used to joke that the site should be called LibertyCornwallGirl because I spent so much time in the South West of England. And although I was there frequently, I was astonished when I worked out that I haven’t actually been back since the summer of 2016, and I did feel that it was long overdue
I had planned to completely swerve London Fashion Week this season by heading down to Cornwall for at least a week. Then I was optioned for a job so put my plans on ice. Of course, as is so often the way, the job was confirmed for a completely different date, and I found myself with a clear five days and a disinclination to spend those days mooching about in London.
Above: Carbis Bay Hotel Beach Lodge, outside St Ives
Throwing myself on the mercy of a PR friend who is an expert on all things Kernow, I found myself with a last minute itinerary, which would take me to St Ives, Penzance, and then to Salcombe in Devon. I was first to visit the Carbis Bay Hotel, just outside beautiful St Ives, to check out their new super luxe beachside lodges.
Above: Carbis Bay Beach, early on Sunday morning with Lettice
Then the Chapel House boutique hotel in Penzance just down the road from St Ives, which has been on my wish list for a long time, and the Jubilee (open air, seawater) Pool also in Penzance, and then do a little hiking along the Coastal Path in Devon whilst staying at the extraordinarily dog-friendly Soar Mill Cove Hotel.
Above: Admiring the Patrick Herons at Tate St. Ives on a Sunday morning.
I got up very early on a Saturday, packing my little two seater roadster with everything that I could possibly need, from hiking boots to swimsuits, Barbour to sundresses, into the car in a game of packing Jenga, whilst still managing to find space for Lettice to sit on her dog bed on the passenger seat.
Above: Chapel House Penzance.
I was expecting the journey to take 6-7 hours but, blessed with completely empty roads in London, thanks to our early start, it actually took us about five hours to get down to almost the tip of the South West of our island, which is almost a record. It is ridiculous really how far we are all willing to travel when in Foreign, yet find ourselves so reluctant to travel in the UK. When I lived in America, I thought nothing of a five hour car journey – funny how we compress our expectations when back home. (Although the lack of wide open roads, and the cost of petrol here no doubt contributes.)
Above: Barbara Hepworth Studio, St Ives
I had a perfect four days exploring, from a morning of art in St Ives, taking in Tate St Ives and the wonderful Patrick Heron exhibition, and Barbara Hepworth’s studio, which has been preserved just as she left it, to delicious meals at The Cornish Barn in Penzance, and The Porthmeor Beach Cafe in St Ives. We finished up with a splendidly bracing walk along the Coastal Path outside Salcombe whilst staying at Soar Mill Cove which is set in the middle of the wildest and wonderful walking landscape.
Then it was a four and a half hour drive back to London. Reviews of each hotel are to follow but, please, do feel free to email or comment if you have any questions in the interim.
Above: Soar Mill Cove, nestled into the hills outside Salcombe
Below: the Devon Coastal Path at Soar Mill Cove
Sasha and Lettice were both guests of the following properties in Cornwall and in Devon. She was also hosted at The Cornish Barn in Penzance.
Carbis Bay Hotel
Carbis Bay, Saint Ives TR26 2NP
Porthmeor Beach Cafe, on the beach underneath Tate St Ives.
No reservations for for breakfast or lunch. Reservations are taken for dinner only.
Please check their website for summer & winter opening hours