In September, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Cornwall, which is one of my favourite places for a holiday. Usually my place of choice is Padstow but on this occasion, I visited to the small coastal village of St Mawes.
My sister is pregnant with her second child and we decided it would be nice to have a sisterly break before baby number 2 comes along. So after heading up to Manchester to meet my sister, we caught a flight to Newquay and picked up a car for the weekend from Newquay airport (a little yellow Fiat which I loved). After a spot of lunch at Fifteen in Watergate Bay (look out for the review coming soon) we set off on the hour long journey to St Mawes.
I had heard a lot of good things about St Mawes Retreats and I couldn't wait to arrive at our holiday house 'Stargazers' for the weekend. Situated overlooking the harbour and the beautiful Cornish sea, Stargazers is perched on a hill with the front completely glass-fronted so as to have the best view possible from the lounge, master bedroom and kitchen.
We were greeted by housekeeper Ingrid on arrival, who was friendly and helpful and gave us a tour of the property which, sleeping 12 people, was huge. Based all on one level, except for a loft style kids rooms on the second floor, the property felt wonderfully spacious and while there were only the two of us on this trip, with 12 people there I still think it would have been more than big enough.
The house was spotlessly clean and everything was neat and tidy and looked new, yet cosy rather than uncomfortable. Owner Amanda, who I had spoken to on the phone prior to our arrival and couldn't have been more helpful, clearly has a thing for making places homely (and a love of cushions!) and we felt settled in straight away. Decor-wise, Stargazers wasn't my personal cup of tea but it didn't matter as everything just felt personal and comfortable.
After standing outside to admire the view, we made ourselves comfortable on the large corner sofa and had a cream tea using the homemade scones, jam and clotted cream that were left for us as a welcome treat. I thought that was a nice addition and it would have been nice to perhaps try some more of the local produce with a little local hamper or something and we weren't sure if this might be provided for guests staying longer than a couple of nights.
We decided to take a drive into St Mawes for a little explore on our first evening. Even though it was close enough to walk - just down a steep hill near the house - with my sister pregnant with her cute bump, we decided it may be easier to drive.
Lit up with fairy lights all around the harbour, St Mawes was just as beautiful at night as in the daylight. You could hear the gentle sloshing of the sea, breathe in the sea air and take in the view in the slight darkness. We had a little wander around looking at the cute houses and stopped for a cup of tea at the Idle Rocks Hotel before heading back to Stargazers to settle in for the evening.
I woke the next day, after a wonderful nights sleep that was literally like sleeping on a cloud on the most comfortable mattress and pillows ever, opening the curtains of the master bedroom to lovely sunshine across the sea. It was one of the most perfect views to wake up to and it was like heaven sitting in bed with a cup of tea looking out, letting the world pass by.
I didn't really want to leave my bed but there was a huge kitchen to make use of and as a foodie, I noticed there was every kitchen gadget you could possibly want in there. We made bacon sandwiches and after nice long baths (the bath in the master bedroom was so deep I could have stayed in there for quite some time!) drove down to St Mawes to catch the ferry across to Falmouth.
Getting the ferry was a lovely thing to do as you could sit outside and breath in the sea air while taking in the view. On the way back we were lucky enough to see two dolphins jumping in the sea and later that night during dinner at Hotel Tresanton (see review coming soon) we were told it was very rare to ever see dolphins in St Mawes. We felt very lucky to have seen them!
Before dinner that evening we had chance to sit on the double love seat lounger on the terrace over the see and enjoy a glass of champagne, which was kindly left for us by . Sadly I had a chest infection (and my sister was of course pregnant) so we only had the one but I could have been anywhere in the world at that moment it was so blissful snuggled under a blanket looking out that picturesque view watching the sun go down.
The next day we were heading to St Ives for the night and we were genuinely sad to leave Stargazers. I don't think I'd felt that relaxed for quite some time and everything about St Mawes Retreats is done to make you feel at home and to have the holiday of your dreams.
So Amanda, when can I come back please?!
Dotty Dishes was a guest of St Mawes Retreats.