Cornwall in summertime
It was so good I did it twice but this time in the summer (see winter review below) with family and friends.
Using the outside converted barn Hev's Hideaway sleeps six and so six went on holiday.
And this time I got my enthusiast husband Rob got to write a review and this is what he said:
"Just back from a wonderful week in Cornwall.
We stayed in a delightful cottage called Hev’s Hideaway in the village of St Breward on Bodmin Moor.
St Breward is a lovely unspoilt village with a friendly local shop stocking a large range of produce at reasonable prices including homemade Cornish pasties which are delivered daily.
The cottage is opposite The Old Inn where you are guaranteed a warm welcome by the landlord and his staff.
The pub sells an excellent range of local real ales and there is an extensive mouth-watering food menu of fish, seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes catering for all tastes.
The cottage has been tastefully renovated by its new owner who has added her unique personal touch to each room providing a warm, clean and cosy feel to your stay.
Located in the centre of the county, the cottage provides an excellent base for exploring the attractions of Cornwall.
Padstow on the north coast with its vibrant shops and harbour and Rick Stein eateries and lobster hatchery is only a short drive away.
Tintagel with its castle and its souvenir shops is also easily accessible.
Further along the coast is Polzeath beach providing a large expanse of clean sand and water, big enough to cater for families with children and providing enticing breakers for those wishing to surf the waves.
The nearest beach to the cottage is Trebarwith Strand, a delightful cove with a welcoming cafe.
For those interested in ecology the Eden Project is a 45-minute drive away with its rainforest and Mediterranean biomes housing thousands of vibrant colourful plants and trees and an outside botanical garden with many wildlife plants native to Cornwall.
Another nearby attraction which was the highlight of our stay was the Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell.
The gardens were formed more than 100 years ago, neglected and then lovingly restored approximately 30 years ago.
There is an amazing array of colourful plants and flowers set in 200 acres of countryside. You can admire the colossal rhododendron and camillas and a lovely wild area filled with subtropical trees called The Valley.
You can also view Europe’s only remaining pineapple pit and enjoy lunch in the spacious, friendly well designed cafe.
The south coast of Cornwall is equally accessible from the cottage and the charming and picturesque ports of Fowey, Looe, Mevagissy and Polperro are all worth a visit.
It you want a nice relaxing holiday away from the stress of everyday life then Hev’s hideaway is the place for you."
Will just add a couple of tips.
Before venturing to the beach check tide times to ensure it is safe to swim.
The Rick Stein's cafe is best booked beforehand and serves lobster and chips at £30 among other good food.
The chippy is nearer the beach and Mr Stein owns other businesses in Padstow.
Follow the suggested walking route at The Lost Gardens of Heligan as we went the wrong way round and therefore couldn't access the one-way rope bridge.
We voted this our best day out and the cafe is great.
Order a copy of Gardeners' World magazine online and you can get a 2-4-1 deal for entry to the Eden Project and hundreds of other gardens saving pounds.
Click HERE for more details.
And sadly singer Will Young put his beautiful Poldark house at St Breward on the market in June as he doesn't have time to visit often enough.
The grade II listed 400-year-old former farmhouse is for sale for £615,000 after Young spent £70,000 renovating it.
But other locals are very friendly and a tour of nearby stables to say hello to the horses was welcome.
We also found a great cafe serving traditional cream teas (in Cornwall its jam first and in Devon cream) with farm shop at Trevathan which has a large playground for the children with go-carts.
To book the cottage click HERE.
Rob and Carol Deacon
Will Young lives nearby and Poldark was filmed in the pub across the road – yes, we are in God’s own country and staying at Hev’s Hideway in Cornwall.
My Cornish born husband Rob calls it God’s own country (well he would, wouldn’t he) and this is a sentiment he repeats often especially on rare visits when we pass a property flying the nationalist black and white Saint Piran's Flag.
His family hail from Pensilva (mother’s family) and the market town of Liskeard (father’s family) in the east of the county.
Rob maintains his forebearers were the ancient Phoenicians from the Eastern Mediterranean and it was these invaders who mixed with the indigenous Celtic race who produced the black haired and blue-eyed peoples of south west England and Ireland.
Luckily the modern natives are very friendly despite its bloodline now including New Age and home counties hippies plus an invasion of holiday home inhabitants.
The less than two hour drive down the M5 and A30 from Nailsea played out like a scene from Withnail And I minus the Class A drugs and melded with an Enid Blyton-style spoof Four Go On Holiday.
The weather was the horrid and the freezing rain and biting wind turned the adventure into a black comedy thanks to the female humour of my three accompanying journo friends.
The consensus was we don’t get out enough…
Our destination is Hev’s two up and two down semi-detached stone cottage - bijou but beautifully put together - in the village of St Breward, on the edge of Bodmin Moor.
Dating back to the 11th century the settlement boasts the highest church in Cornwall at 700ft above sea level.
Opposite the cottage and back from the road is the 200-year-old The Old Inn and adjoining shop.
The award-winning pub restaurant is big with an extensive locally-produced menu and appears to be open 24/7!
Hosts Darren and Dale tell us the area is famous for its granite and china clay quarries and that Poldark filmed a scene in front of the fireplace in the pub but that pop singer Will Young has yet to pop in for a pint.
The surrounding countryside is stunning but bleak in mid-winter when the mist rolls in your mind thinks of Cathy wandering the moors in Wuthering Heights.
The wood-burning stove heats the downstairs of the cottage but I would advise anyone visiting in the depths of a cold spell to don thermal underwear.
My sparkly silver flip flops were not suitable for the flagstone floors although it is cosy wall-to-wall carpet upstairs.
Advice here is to swap your Jimmy Chu high heels for fur-lined wellington boots and bring a big woolly blanket to act as a pashmina although there is underfloor heating in the bath/shower room.
To be honest I didn’t wash until day three I was so cold as the temperature outside was cruel.
Most of our happy away days were fueled with copious amounts of chocolate and alcohol but I declined the medicinal Jaager Bombs to wash down my Prosecco as I don’t like to mix my drinks unless totally rat-arsed.
Note to self: no need to pack a crate of wine as local shops/garage sell alcohol at Bristol prices.
On the doorstep it is dog walking and horse riding territory while along the coast is the seascape of the body-boarders and surfers – not always the eye-candy you imagine.
Much travelled Midlands couple Peter and Barbara Smith retired to St Breward four years ago.
They love the village and have joined several of the 18 societies mentioned in the joke-filled parish magazine.
Peter, a retired football coach, spends most of his time on building restoration while Barbara a former NHS medical secretary embraces country life by keeping two horses and bell ringing at the church.
We meet them in the pub along with several other locals although we so wanted to meet the plasterers, plumbers and electricians who helped Heather update her cottage but they were nowhere to be seen.
We believe they had warning of our imminent arrival and decided the Ab Fab crew known for uncensored raucous behavior were better given a wide berth!
Mud splattered Chelsea tractors give way to farm tractors on the narrow roads and although Padstow is minutes away as the crow flies the road route is longer as it goes around the Camel Estuary.
It was here we sampled the off-season sales and replenished our boot wardrobe with half-price boutique bargains and dined in style at Rick Stein’s chippie.
Stein’s serve battered oysters, halloumi burgers, freekeh salad as well as its staple cod ‘n’ chips served in cardboard containers at £10.95 a portion.
Noted barriers outside to control the queues so beware of going high season unless you are prepared to wait.
There are a few things I already knew about Cornwall – that the term of endearment is ‘dah’ and not duck or dear and south of Bristol brass bands are referred to as silver bands.
However, what I didn’t know was how much fun a girls-only break can be if you have somewhere comfortable to stay and take your BFF crowd.
Advance notice to trades people: we are back in June for second helpings of Hev’s Hideway and all its nearby delights.
To read more about Hev’s Hideway which sleeps six in three double bedrooms including a self-contained barn conversion in the garden and has everything you need from cafetiere to corkscrew click HERE.
Ps: No-one told us it was Dry January and Heather and I have faces as soft as babies bums after a trip to St Kitts Herbery to buy skin care products.