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Nadelik Lowen – A Cornish Christmas

December 11, 2017 No Comments

Between us, the team at Cornish Holiday Cottages have celebrated over 100 Cornish Christmases so we thought we’d share some of our best tips of what makes this time of year so special in the county. We’ve got some ideas for guests staying with us leading up to and over the festive period and some suggestions to welcome some Cornish flavour into your home even if you can’t stay with us this year.

Mingo at Christmas

What to eat and drink?

It’s not all pasties and cream teas (but, let’s face it, you can’t beat a good steak pasty after a coastal walk) Cornwall has a huge selection of top quality, local produce with tasty ingredients to make your Christmas the best ever!

Cornish Food Boxes have a simple aim to make it easy to for everyone to buy Cornish food and drink. Take a look at their website where they have a selection of delicious goodies available for your Christmas treats including Cornish turkeys, Baker Tom’s Christmas pudding and Berryman’s panettone. We were lucky enough to have a taster of Berryman’s panettone, mince pies and gingerbread in the office this earlier this week and we can confirm they are delicious.

If you fancy pushing the boat out with your festive tipple you can’t go wrong with Camel Valley, Cornwall’s biggest vineyard. We love their Pinot Noir Brut. It’s the perfect treat for this special occasion and you’ll be in good company, it was served at the Queens State banquet in July in honour of the King and Queen of Spain.

Cornish Orchards have a tantalizing selection of cider and apple juices. Their Wassail Cider is a delicious alternative to mulled wine. Serve it warm and enjoy the aromatic brew of cider and apple juice, infused with spices cosied up in front of the fire.

Bailey’s Country store in Penryn stock both Camel Valley and Cornish Orchards as well as products from over 60 local artisan produce.

Where to go?

Nothing says Christmas more than the warm glow of Christmas lights. Of course, Mousehole Christmas lights are probably the most famous and draw thousands of spectators every year. But the whole of the county seems to come alight at this time of year and all the towns and villages go all out.

The little village of Mawnan Smith near the Helford River, the home of our office, is looking really pretty this year and well worth an evening stroll if you are staying in the area.

Angarrack, near Hayle, is another small village with a big display. The whole community joins in to create an amazing display including seven swans a swimming on the river and a partridge in a pear tree.

The city of Truro also host a spectacular display. Make sure you visit the cathedral to see the shimmering tree outside. There are carol concerts planned at the cathedral throughout December – full details can be found on their what’s on page.

If you are in Cornwall next weekend, Saturday 16th – Sunday 17th December, then a trip to Pendennis Castle is a must. Fireside tales, music and dancing plus find your perfect present from the range of craft and gift stalls.

What to give?

Need to buy some last-minute gifts? Cream Cornwall have a fabulous shop in Falmouth. They specialise in luxury homewares inspired by the beauty of Cornwall. Cream Cornwall conjures up images of windswept moors and maritime, cliffs and coastline, cottages and clotted cream. They have stocking fillers and perfect presents under £20, as well as some very special gifts if you fancy a splurge.

Poppy Treffry products are all handmade in Cornwall offering something unique and beautifully made. We love the Christmas seagull dingly, dangly decoration.

Made for Life by Spiezia Organics produce organic skincare that nourishes your body both inside and out. They offer skincare for men, women and baby.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, we wish you a very Happy Christmas from us all at Cornish Holiday Cottages.

Where to find a good coffee

November 25, 2017 No Comments

Have you heard the news? Three coffee’s a day are good for your health, that’s happy news for an office of coffee drinkers.

Here are a few of our favourite places for coffee near us:



Taking coffee loving to another level, choose from different beans and get a yummy cake to match.


Sit by the log burner in the greenhouse and sip on your delicious coffee. The perfect place to read the paper or catch up with friends.


Delicious coffee in a lovely cosy café, try their latte bowl.

Wild Vibes

Based on the edge of Argal Reservoir, great coffee and views go hand in hand. This is also a great spot for a dog walk.

Cornish Maid

For a hearty Cornish welcome visit Sarah at the maid. Locally made cakes and coffee made with love.

And if you want to make some good coffee at home, why not buy some locally roasted Yallah coffee beans from just down the road.

Bonfire Night

November 1, 2017 No Comments


Bonfire night, dragging us away from the warmth of our homes and out into the starry night.

There is always such a lovely atmosphere no matter where you are. In Falmouth there is a large bonfire with fire works at the Cricket Club, organised by the Falmouth Fire Fighters. For a smaller affair The Ferry Boat Inn have their fireworks on the beach, this year they promise sweet treats including toffee apples – yum.


Returning home to a delicious meal always helps after all that fun, and there are lots of interesting meal ideas for bonfire night. Jamie Oliver’s smokey baked beans are sure to warm the cockles, and don’t forget the marshmallows for the fire, why not try making you own this year with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe.



Family half term fun come rain or shine!

October 19, 2017 No Comments


The October half term holiday will soon be upon us and the children are desperate for a break from school.  We’re big fans on getting outside and love rounding the children up and taking them on an adventure in the fresh air.

We know there’s no guarantee with the weather but don’t let the rain spoil your plans. A rainy day doesn’t have to mean sitting inside trying to wrestle screens from the families’ hands.

A bracing rainy coastal walk can be an exhilarating experience but may not appeal to young children or teens. So, here is our guide to Family Rainy Days Out. You’ll find inspiration for local attractions to visit and cheaper/free suggestions too.

Many museums are undercover and free to enter. Museums can provide memorable, immersive learning experiences and these days, many of them have interactive exhibits and hands-on play activities so children can take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore at their own curiosities.

Have you taken the children out on rainy days? Let us know your favourite rainy days out in a comment below!

Raze The Roof– Fantastic indoor soft play area in Penryn. http://razetheroof.co.uk/

Granite Planet – Climbing centre http://www.gpclimbing.com

Eden Project – provides many undercover places to enjoy. Roald Dahl’s Halloweden is a must visit this half-term  http://www.edenproject.com/

National Maritime Museum – Lots of summer activities & performances at the fascinating and inspiring maritime museum https://nmmc.co.uk/

Mounthawk Skatepark– Indoor skateboarding, scooting and BMX playground. https://www.mounthawkeskatepark.com/

Tate St Ives – Visit the iconic Tate St Ives gallery situated overlooking the Atlantic ocean. http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives

One to Eleven -This is a great indoor play area for one to eleven-year olds which is open 360 days of the year. http://www.one2eleven.co.uk/

Crabbing Spots– Ferry Boat Inn Pontoon, Mylor Harbour, Port Navas Quay, The Pandora Inn.



Kitchens where meals and memories are made

October 3, 2017 No Comments

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and we couldn’t agree more.

It’s always exciting to experience local restaurants on holiday and Cornwall has its fair share of the best, from country pubs with roaring fires, fine dining and stunning beach front cafes.

Yet, there is still something very special about the whole family preparing, cooking and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal together and it seems so much more fun to cook on holiday.

If you’re planning a large group-getaway or a romantic couples retreat, here’s a selection of our holiday homes with kitchens that make cooking a special occasion.

When you’ve found your perfect holiday home we recommend talking to The Cornish Food Box Company. They have hundreds of Cornish products including fruit and veg, fish, meat and dairy which they will pack and deliver direct to your door.

Eat. Drink. Enjoy!

Perfect for large groups:

Calamansac East Wing


East Wing sleeps up to 11 people and the glorious open plan kitchen with granite worktops, two electric cookers and hobs plus two dishwashers is the perfect room for entertaining. After a delicious home cooked meal head into the playroom for fun and games, including two RS Barcelona Ping-Pong tables, piano, library, games, indoor swing and comfortable seating area.

Nancenoy Farmhouse


New to our portfolio in 2017, Nancenoy Farmhouse is a beautiful country cottage full of charm and character which extends to the kitchen. Sleeping 7 people it has a traditional Aga and log burner for the winter months along with big comfy sofas and a Nespresso coffee machine… bliss.

The Coach House


Originally build in 1904 as a coach house and stables, The Coach House is now a stunning, contemporary home in an idyllic position within The Trerose Estate. Perfect for up to 8 people the kitchen is a vast room with solid wood cupboards, two under counter fridges and two ovens, the perfect place to feed a crowd.

Grown-up Getaways:

Kerensa an Mor

karensa an mor. Falmouth. holiday -140

Another new property to the portfolio in 2017. The no expense spared interior of Kerensa an Mor exudes a feel of calmness and quality. The spacious kitchen with AGA and separate cooker and hob will appeal to keen cooks while everyone will enjoy dining on the sunny terrace.

Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven. Falmouth. Holiday-0335

With open vaulted ceilings and quirky interior the state of the art kitchen has breath-taking sea views of Falmouth Harbour. The kitchen is high-tech with black gloss units and wonderfully capacious drawers. Perfect for two couples.

Pumpkin Cottage

pumpkin cottage. selfcatering. mawnan (51 of 86)

Picturesque charm with a modern powder blue electric AGA in a large open plan kitchen/dining room, just perfect for a family get together. Pumpkin Cottage offers everything you need from your holiday home.


sunrise. falmouth. gylly beach -71

Don’t be fooled by the elegant outer façade of this Edwardian period property. The interior is surprisingly contemporary, spacious with underfloor heating throughout. The quality of the fixtures and fittings are second to none.


Universally Accessible:

Calamansac Sail Loft


Guest comfort is paramount at The Sail Loft. If you have a mobility impairment this is the house for you. Equally if you are completely able bodied and looking for a five star retreat close to the sailing waters of the Helford River, two private beaches and fifty acres of meadow garden and woodland then this is also the place for you.

The kitchen is fully accessible, u-shaped with Corian work tops and a NEFF ‘slip and slide’ fan oven. The worktop and sink are capable of being lowered and raised to suit the user’s preference.

The Sail Loft really does cater for your every need.


View all our cottages

Fish ‘n Chips in Falmouth

September 22, 2017 No Comments

Whilst the precise origins of the humble British fish & chips might be shrouded in mystery, it’s safe to say that the simple combination of battered fish and fried chips have become one of the country’s best-loved dishes, evoking memories amongst many of childhood family holidays by the sea.

Here in the Westcountry; home of cider, pasties, farmers and some of the best stereotypes around. We do things differently down here, and much like everything else, even our fish and chips are different from ale batter to pollock instead of cod; from bog-standard to posh nosh, you’ll see a great variety of chippies in Cornwall.

But whilst no one doubts the popularity of the dish, with more than 10,000 chippies selling a staggering 382 million portions of fish & chips in the UK each year alone, the best chippie invokes some hearty debate amongst the Cornish.

So, if you want to sample some true Westcountry-style fish and chips, (here at the CHC office, we’re not brave enough to pick a side), here’s our completely non-biased take on the local fish & chip shops around, here in Falmouth.


Harbour Lights – Arwenack Street, Falmouth, TR11 3LH T: 01326 316934


It would be rude not to note that the Harbour Lights were crowned ‘Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year 2017’ at this year’s National Fish and Chip Awards in London.

Harbour Lights use fish from fully sustainable sources and they are currently the only MSC certified restaurant in Cornwall!



Rick Stein’s Fish– Discovery Quay, Falmouth, TR112XA


Rick Stein’s Fish on Discovery Quay is a foodie’s favourite and a highlight of a visit to the town.

Steins Fish and chips


Gylly Beach Café– Cliff Road, Falmouth, TR11 4PA


Open throughout the year the Gylly cafe is the ideal place to enjoy everything from a relaxing coffee to tasty locally caught fish and chips.


Penmere Fish & Chips– 2 Penmere Hill, Falmouth, TR11 2RD


Traditional values from a family run business since 1980.


Gem Fish Bar– 6 Quarry Hill, Falmouth, TR11 2BP


Outstanding food quality and very friendly service.


Perham’s Fish & Chips– 103 Boslowick Road, Falmouth, TR11 4QD


There can’t be many people who don’t have their own views of precisely what constitutes the ideal fish & chips, and where to find them. What’s yours?

Haddock, Cod, Skate or Pollock, what’s your poison?

A room with a view

September 15, 2017 No Comments

On a sunny September day is there anywhere nicer than being next to the river? We thought it was the perfect opportunity for a photoshoot at The Upper Deck in Port Navas and wanted to share a selection with you.

Sitting right on the quayside, on the edge of Port Navas creek of the Helford river, the views most definitely have the wow factor. Upper Deck is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of ‘normal life’ whilst relaxing and watching activity on the water.

Renovated in Spring 2017, the Upper Deck features a cosy multi-aspect sitting room, plus open plan modern fitted kitchen and dining area

Imagine your first cup of tea of the day with that same stunning view from your sumptuous king-sized bed.  Bring those unread novels and take time to really relax.

There are a further two bedrooms, one double and one bunk room.

French doors open from the indoor living space onto the balcony that runs the full width of this stunning, five star apartment. This really is dreamy accommodation we know you will want to return to year after year.

Upper Deck welcomes a well-behaved dog and there are some delightful walks nearby including many dog-friendly beaches and coves.

Read more and plan your stay at the Upper Deck.

Can You Have An All Cornish Beach BBQ?

September 12, 2017 No Comments


Sumptuous burgers, sizzling sausages, freshly caught mackerel combined with homemade salads and sandy feet make for the perfect Cornish BBQ. Is it possible to have a delicious al fresco meal with family and friends that’s completely Cornish? Let’s just say, we were very keen to find out…..all in the name of research of course!

Cooking outdoors is a practice truly suited to Cornwall and it feels like the most natural thing in the world to be whipping up even the most basic of offerings in this environment. Surrounded by the freshest seafood, crops and livestock, Cornish residents and visitors have the best of all three at their fingertips. We’ve taken some time to find the best local suppliers to ensure a truly Cornish experience, one you can enjoy with loved ones and friends. Let’s face it, life doesn’t get much better than cooking to the sound of the waves rolling in, the spellbinding sight of a golden, fiery sun setting and the smoky smell of a crackling fire.

With supermarkets stocked with German beef burgers and sausages from Northumberland, where do you start if you want to experience true Cornish cuisine?  Here’s our helpful guide to dazzle your taste buds and expand your mind of what Cornwall has to offer.

For your meat, Falmouth butchers Myatts can satisfy all of your BBQ requirements, or Baileys Country Store stock an impressive selection of local free-range meats. The Cornish Food Box Company is known as the ‘Cornish’ supermarket, they work with more than 150 local farmers and producers so you can be guaranteed your food has truly been raised or grown locally and is of the highest quality. Their convenient BBQ Boxes (which can be delivered to your door if required) make outdoor dining easy and hassle free and are filled with the best of Cornish meat, salads and sauces. Now, where are those matches…

When in Cornwall, it would be a crime to not consider fish or seafood as part of your outdoor feast!  Fish and smoke go together fantastically well and smoking your own fish is not as complicated as you might think. Procure a whole trout or side of salmon and some oak chips and cook like the caveman you always knew you were. If you’re feeling fancy, slice a whole fish open and stuff with lemon, dill and pepper.


If you want tasty, seasonal fish during the summer months, mackerel is abundant around the Falmouth coastline, sometimes literally jumping out of the water! This is one of the best and most popular Cornish seafood choices – sustainable, delicious, easy to cook and very good for you. Stocks are healthy and well monitored and catching mackerel is unbelievably easy. Children will enjoy hauling them from the sea with hand lines.We recommend Falmouth Fishing Trips from Custom House Quay for all the family or hire a Kayak from Falmouth Surf School on Maenporth beach for a more solitary experience. For other varieties of fish, check out our local friends Seaborne Fish., they have a shop in Penryn or will happily deliver to you. Their range of locally caught seafood is awesome – from seabass to scallops, you’ll find something just right to sizzle on the barbie.

It is common knowledge that barbecues are great for meat eaters, but charcoal or fire does wondrous things to vegetables too, if you get the technique right. What you want is that lovely charring along the bars – it looks amazing, and tastes even better. This summer we’ve discovered the joys of large flat mushrooms with a dash of balsamic and charred sweet long red peppers amazing. All your Cornish vegetables for salads and dips can be sourced from The Natural Store, Falmouth, who deliver too. Or it’s quite likely to see local growers selling their produce outside their houses within the village of Mawnan Smith, you can’t get more local than that!

Hot sauce goes well with meats and salads so take a look at Volcano sauces who sell their incredibly zingy homemade sauces from Avenue road. If you’re not keen on spicy food Halzephron Herb Farm chutneys and pickles are superb and made on a weekly basis so they’ll change depending on what’s in season.

Many people enjoy a cold lager with a barbie. Popping open a frosty can to go with your grilled goods seems like a no-brainer, but which beer or cider to choose? Healeys Cyder Farm is Cornwall’s longest standing cider producer. Their famous Rattler is available in pubs and restaurants throughout the country, and has recently expanded nationally in the supermarkets.  Award-winning Skinners Brewery is hands down the best producer of bottled beer in Cornwall. With their quirky names such as ‘Penny Come Quick’, ‘Cornish Knocker’ and Cornish folklore star ‘Betty Stoggs’ you’ll find a mouth-watering ale to complement your food.

When pairing wine with barbeques, you can’t really go wrong with a crisp, crowd-pleasing Sauvignon, or for some fizz, a sparkling Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut or a non-alcoholic Cornish Elderflower presse by Polgoon will always rise to the occasion.

Of course this will all need to be accompanied by some fresh sourdough bread from the award winning Stones Bakery on the High Street which has taken a prominent place in Falmouth’s foodie revolution. Lightly toast it on your BBQ, a little bit more effort, but well worth it!

grebe 5

So with the food and drink sorted, if you are unsure of how to conduct the perfect Cornish BBQ and in need of some guidance, here are our top tips:

-Find the perfect beach BBQ destination. We highly recommend Grebe, Durgan or Maenporth beach for the best possible chance of extending the sunshine for as long as possible. These beaches will provide a backdrop and silhouette to absorb and reminisce over for years to come.

-Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure you check the forecast a couple of days ahead so you can plan where you go, what to take and what time to get the coals going. Remember that Cornwall can have four seasons in one day and even 4 seasons on three coasts!

-Prepare your ingredients and gear in advance. Think the meal through from start to finish and you will begin to think of things to pack that you may have forgotten in a rush. Think sauces, salads, buns and utensils.

-Set your BBQ up in an area with some shelter from the wind. The local beaches we have recommended above, have the most wonderful (and practical) stones and pebbles to prop up your barbie and provide some shelter.

-At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs….let the coals turn grey with no flames before cooking. Trying to cook with a flame is a sure route to burnt outsides and raw insides. Better known as salmonella poisoning.

-Keep one eye on the skies…. Seagulls pose the ultimate threat to your chipolatas and have developed quite daring dive-bombing techniques to snaffle your snags !

-Other essentials would include: bin liners, paper towels, cool bag with ice packs and tin foil.

-Lastly, leave the beach as if you were never there. It’s so important that we stress this. There’s nothing worse than seeing litter in the beautiful Cornish coves and it can have a real detrimental effect on the wildlife and people’s enjoyment of these places. Did you know that sand absorbs heat so much so that if you cheekily buried your hot coals in the sand – in a few hours people would seriously burn their feet walking over the top?


Get fired up, it’s grilling time! So here you have it, a guide to the perfect Cornish Beach BBQ. Let us know how you got on and send us your snaps. Have you got any local suppliers to add or perhaps a recipe you think make a barbeque extra special?




Exploring the Helford on foot

August 25, 2017 No Comments

Grebe beach - helford river - august 2016

Come rain or shine the Helford amplifies all the brilliance of a perfect Cornish walk.

This is the county’s coastal scenic splendour at its best. All routes are well-signed and lead to picture-perfect locations, whether woodland or by the water.

Tiny hamlets, time almost at a standstill, pebbly beaches and sandy shoreline, plus rockpools and rocky outcrops to explore. Shells and all manner of splendid distractions, it’s a feast for the eyes, picturesque and easy on the foot.

Take your time, stop, look and listen. You’ll see, hear and feel the natural beauty, the sweeping curves, the treeline edges of the Helford River and the glistening seascape. Calm or storm, there’s nothing to compare with a walk by the sea.

Fascinating houses in picturesque, ‘chocolate box’ villages like Durgan and wildlife in abundance. Tiny tracks and trails giving hints of the plentiful nocturnal activity.


Sweeping to the shoreline, natural garden mixed with planted perfection of Trebah and Glendurgan.

And always a buzz, put-put of tiny boat engines, yachts and boats at anchor dotted about. In the creeks at higher tide all’s awash with hustle and bustle. Fish jumping, boats bobbing and waves lapping. Low tide brings its wealth of wonder too. Perfect for ‘Swallows and Amazons’ playtime as children skim stones and small dogs pant as barbecues sizzle at the waterside.

Mostly sheltered from the ravages of wind and tide, it’s an excellent place and space for on and off the water. There’s nothing like walking round then taking a boat trip to see the ‘other side’.

This is postcard-perfect Cornwall, where holiday memories are made. This makes all the things we have do to get here… worthwhile.

Here’s one of our favourite Helford River walks:

Mawnan Church to the Ferry Boat Inn, Helford Passage

Park at the pretty church at the end of Church Lane just outside the village of Mawnan Smith. From here walk through the kissing gate and into the sweeping field down towards the Helford River onto Parson’s Beach. A gentle stroll for about an hour along the coast path pass Porth Saxon, Grebe Rock and on to the tiny fishing village of Durgan, like stepping back in time. Carry on along the coastpath past Trebah Gardens and onto the Helford Passage.

Here, you can reward yourself at the family run Ferry Boat Inn. Take a seat in the pub’s outside terrace and enjoy homemade pub classics, whilst drinking in the view, ready for your return journey back.

View Helford River Cottages.




Afternoon Tea in Cornwall

August 18, 2017 No Comments

Afternoon tea is all the rage these days, birthdays, hen do’s or just your average Friday. There is nothing like a relaxing afternoon tea followed by a dip in an outdoor hot tub with a view…

We’re celebrating Afternoon Tea Week by researching the best options around.

Here are a few Cornish afternoon teas we think you should know about:


The Scarlet – Adults only

A romantic hotel built into the hillside on the north coast of Cornwall. Why not stay for a massage or a dip in their outdoor hot tub on the cliffs?

greenbank hotel

The Greenbank

Sit back and enjoy the view. Watch the bobbing boats and the ferries going to and fro up the river. What a variety to choose from, there is certainly something for everyone, here are their current options:

Greenbank Afternoon Tea, Children’s Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea, Chocoholics’ Afternoon Tea, Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

dollys tearoom

Dollys Tearoom

Located on Falmouth High Street, Dolly’s is well known for their selection of over 200 gins! Not only do they do a delicious afternoon tea, you can choose between tea or gin in your teapot.



A little bit of luxury, pop on the St Mawes Ferry and arrive in style to one of the most exclusive hotels in Cornwall. The Tresanton has breath taking views and its own beach. Perhaps the best part is the outdoor terrace with stunning views, baked in sunshine it’s the perfect place for afternoon tea.

Budock Vean

Budock Vean

Our lovely neighbours at the Budock Vean offer a lovely spread. Take a stroll through the gardens down to the Helford River, or why not take your swim stuff and have a dip in their pool/outdoor hot tub?






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