Staycations – brilliant or boring? I was undecided until I went to Cornwall for a few days this summer. There were two things that swayed my decision by the end of the holiday. One – the weather and two – the brand new St. Ives B&B - Trevose Harbour House.
Angela & Olivier Noverraz opened Trevose in March 2013 and when I asked how business had been going so far, Angela informed me that they were fully booked until September. Clearly, I wasn't the only one who was up for a staycation this year.
So - why so popular? As soon as I walked in, it occurred to me that this isn't any ordinary B&B. There are six bedrooms are split over an immaculate three-floor townhouse. It's located in one of the best spots in St.Ives (overlooking the harbour) and in case you ever forget where you are, the decor is a true reflection of the area. It's arty but chic, clean and crisp (blue and white dominate the colour scheme) and has a subtle, Forties-inspired feel.
I stayed in room four, the Harbour View Petite Superior, and although it started pouring with rain the moment I arrived, it didn't really matter. This is the kind of room you could just sit in for hours without feeling obliged to go anywhere.
Guests can enjoy the sea view (amazingly, the water is almost turquoise on this part of the Cornish coast) from the king sized bed and the brilliantly central location means the hustle and bustle of this seaside town can be felt from the bedroom window. This room also had one of the best bathrooms I've ever come across in a B&B - probably because it packed with full-size Neal's Yard toiletries.
In fact, it was the attention to detail that you find in a small B&B that can make it a much more welcoming experience than a big hotel. Angela greeted me with homemade lemonade, there were newspapers, magazines and books to pick up each day and although it hadn't opened yet, the B&B is soon to be opening its honesty bar and a tea shop for the summer.
Then there was the not-so-small matter of breakfast. Having stayed in a brilliant family run B&B in St Mawes before arriving at Trevose, the breakfast had a lot to live up to. I wasn't disappointed. Olivier cooked up everything from omelettes to a full English every morning, then there were the pastries, the homemade museli and fresh fruit to pick at too. Again, the effort that goes into the breakfast makes it a far more pleasurable than eating in a soulless hotel. Especially as I got to enjoy mine on the terrace, with the morning sun and sea-air around me.
So – staycations, what's the verdict? With beautiful beaches only a car or train journey away and no airport hassle, it's hard not to love the ease of a UK road trip. The only downside? Nothing will ever change the ever unpredictable British weather. And the plus? There are some brilliant B&B's popping up all over the UK - this is one of them.
Find out more about rooms and rates at Trevose Harbour House.