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Romance

Daphne Du Maurier’s Cornwall

August 25, 2020 No Comments
Du Maurier and family at Menabilly (Getty Images)

Much like visitors coming to Cornwall on holiday, Daphne Du Maurier retreated from London society to the landscape of Cornwall. It’s here that she would spend time with simpler pursuits, writing, fishing and sailing – free of the pressures and expectations that came from her life in the city.

Honeymooning in a cottage on the Helford River at Frenchman’s Creek (the setting that would later inspire the novel of the same name) Du Maurier’s love of Cornwall was all-encompassing. The Helford River is the perfect place to be immersed in the countryside that so inspired her writing.

You can tread the steps Du Maurier once paced easily from your holiday cottage, taking the ferry from Helford Passage over to Helford Village, following the coast path up Frenchman’s Creek to the cottage where she stayed. Here it’s easy to understand the magic and intrigue that this place once held and still continues to hold within the imagination. Frenchman’s Creek remains one of the quietest parts of Cornwall, with the tide lapping against the dense woodland that lines the creek you’d be forgiven for thinking that Du Maurier herself might just wander around the corner.

Frenchman’s Creek

Another place nearby, and one of many great Cornish houses that can lay claim to having some part to play in the inspiration for ‘Manderley’ in Du Maurier’s novel ‘Rebecca’ is Trelowarren. Rumour has it that after a muddy walk through the woods and fields alongside the Helford River, Du Maurier and her party were refused entry by staff who mistook them for travelling vagabonds. Du Maurier would later describe Trelowarren and it’s long sweeping drive amongst oak trees as ‘the most beautiful place imaginable’ in a letter, so it’s safe to assume that she must have returned later on in a slightly more presentable state and had a look around…

‘Rebecca’ is likely to be Du Maurier’s most memorable work, having never gone out of print since it was first published back in 1938 and selling over 2.8 million copies between then and 1965- a number likely to have quadrupled in the years since. Soon to be on the small screen is a Netflix adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s iconic ‘Rebecca’ starring Hollywood A-Listers Lily James and Armie Hammer.

Menabilly, the Country House that Du Maurier restored from a dilapidated state in Fowey and lived in is another fine house likely to have influenced the ‘Manderley’ of her imagination. Ivy covered and only visible from the water, with an ‘eerie and most ghostlike atmosphere’, Du Maurier would trespass here and pace the empty hallways and rooms for years before finally taking on the lease. Her relationship to Fowey is intimate and easily understood when you pause for a moment at it’s romantic and picturesque harbour.

A pensive Daphne Du Maurier

Familiar to all of our guests must be the iconic Jamaica Inn, which can be seen towering over the moorland on the journey down along the A30. The scene for the novel of the same name, the inn still operates as a pub, and recently harboured stranded drivers during a snowstorm. Jamaica Inn is a dark tale that references the smuggling past of Cornwall, now known for beaches rather than pirates. Nevertheless, Jamaica Inn is an important work which uses the setting of rugged moorland to great effect. Jamaica Inn was recently adapted into a 3-part series by the BBC starring Jessica Brown-Findlay, so readers and non-readers alike can absorb themselves into this story.

Visit Cornwall from the comfort of your sofa (or chaise…) by ordering a book set in Cornwall from The Falmouth Bookseller.

Romantic places to stay in Cornwall

February 10, 2020 No Comments

Cornwall is no stranger to love. From the many books written by the likes of Rosamunde Pilcher and Daphne Du Maurier to the movies and TV shows like Poldark- where the Cornish landscape that rises and falls from the ocean like a heartbeat is a character of its own. Artists like Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson have also favoured the romance of a life lived away from the hustle and bustle, where the light reflected from the sea seems to make everything (and everyone…) just that little bit more beautiful.

Love runs deep through Cornwall’s folk legends too. The tale of the Mermaid of Zennor sees a beautiful mermaid living in a cove beneath the windswept cliffs and moors of the North Cornwall coast. She falls in love with a local man who dives into the ocean to live with her happily ever after. Some say that those with sharp hearing can still hear them singing their song at sunset from the cliffs that overlook the water…

Romance blossoms within the famous Cornish gardens, and the first day of Spring is heralded by The Great Gardens of Cornwall – but only when each of their champion Magnolia Campbelli trees have 50 blooms each. Spring usually arrives in Cornwall much earlier than the rest of the UK due to the milder climate. Trebah Gardens in Mawnan Smith, Tregothnan, Trewidden, Trewithen, Caerhays Castle Gardens and The Lost Gardens of Heligan each have one of these Magnolia trees. The first day of Spring has rather romantically fallen upon St Valentine’s Day for a few years now.

For a romantic night out in Cornwall the food and drink scene here is ideal. Head along to Indidog in Falmouth for a harbour view, or settle down at Hooked on The Rocks overlooking Swanpool Beach for seafood. If you are lucky enough to secure tickets to a feast night at The Hidden Hut or Nancarrow Farm you’re sure to make memories that last forever.

Poets, philosophers and playwrights have argued about love for as long as can be, yet the only thing they seem to decide upon is that when time, place and that most special person collide it can feel like magic. In honor of St Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a list of five of our most romantic properties that are perfect for retreating to with the person that you love.

The Giggle

The Giggle One Bedroom Dog Friendly Apartment in Falmouth

Nestled in the heart of Falmouth, The Giggle is a romantic one-bedroom dog-friendly apartment with nods to nautical elements running through it’s beautiful interior. Snug and cosy, the harbour and restaurants of Falmouth lie right on the doorstep.

The Boat House

The Boat House Port Navas Modern One Bedroom Studio Cottage on the Creekside.

A contemporary retreat set into the creekside in Port Navas, away from the hustle and bustle. The Boat house was previously an inspiring artists studio and provides a blissful escape for couples who want a Cornish holiday cottage with a twist.

Chy an Dour

Chy an Dour romantic cottage in Durgan on the Helford River

Being just a few steps away from the beach at Durgan makes Chy an Dour a perfect holiday home for a romantic break in Cornwall. Sit beside the water in the evening wrapped cosy in a blanket and share a bottle of your favourite wine at sundown…

Fisher’s Hut

Fishers Hut Cornwall Glamping

Our first foray into the world of wild glamping, Fisher’s Hut offers guests a way to escape into the Cornish wilderness. Sit beside the firepit under a blanket of stars and fall in love with one another all over again.

Shearwater

Shearwater romantic holiday home right on the quayside in port navas overlooking the Helford River

What could be more soothing than the water lapping against the quay as you cosy up beside the wood burner in this picture perfect cottage in Port Navas? There’s even a mooring in the event that you want to take a romantic boat trip out to Frenchman’s Creek.

Take a look at our collection of romantic cottages, and have a very happy Valentines Day.

Visit the real Poldark country

June 6, 2018 No Comments

The popular BBC1 show, Poldark, returns to our screens this Sunday, 10th June at 9pm.  The series showcases some of Cornwall’s most spectacular rugged landscapes, stunning beaches and historic buildings.

If it’s just too tempting and you feel the yearn to follow in Ross and Demelza’s footsteps, firstly call our friendly team to help you find the perfect base for your break, then read on for our handy list of beautiful filming locations and must-see attractions to visit during your holiday.

 

Botallack Mine – Wheal Owles, on the Tin Coast, near St Just

The abandoned buildings, owned by the National Trust, were the perfect location for the Poldark family mines. The ruined engines houses, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site, are set on the side on the cliff with breath-taking views.

Read more at the National Trust website/Botallack.

 

Charlestown Harbour, St Austell

Built in 1792 by Charles Rashleigh, Charlestown is still a working harbour for china clay exports. Now privately owned the port has been used in well over one hundred shows and films. It’s just like stepping back in time as you walk along the flagstones and explore the 1939 Tall Ship “Kajsamaoor”.

Read more at Charlestown Port

 

 

Wheal Coates, St Agnes Head

Wheal Coates Engine House is perched on the side of the cliff at St Agnes over looking Chapel Porth. This is Poldark country at its best with purple heather, yellow gorse and miles of ocean.

Visit Wheal Coates’ National Trust website

 

Bodmin Moor

A great place to stop on your way to Falmouth. Used as the location for Ross Poldark’s cottage, Nampara, and the dramatic horseback scenes.

Read all the Poldark filming locations at the BBC website.

 

 

 

Poldark Tin Mine, Wendron, Helston

Although the Poldark Mine has not featured in the current series it was seen by millions all over the world when it featured in in the original BBC drama in 1970s. The only complete tin mine open for underground guided tours for a real atmosphere of times gone by.

Opening times and prices are available on the Poldark Mine website.

 

Grown-up getaways for Valentine’s

February 2, 2018 No Comments

With our busy lives is there a more romantic gift than taking time out with a break away? With its secluded creeks, sandy beaches and mild climate, Cornwall is the ideal choice for a Valentine’s getaway.

From traditional Cornish cottages, spacious townhouses and contemporary coastal apartments, Cornish Holiday Cottages have the perfect match for you and your other half. Imagine surprising your Valentine with an impromptu weekend away, a bottle of chilled wine, chocolates and some alone time.

Wood burners and roaring fires add to the romantic atmosphere and make everything even more cosy away from the February weather outside. Just right for a snuggle on the sofa with a good book or an old black and white movie on the tv.

Location is an important decision to make too. We have cottages tucked deep in the Cornish countryside on the banks of pretty creeks with rural pubs serving hearty grub. There are also sea view holiday homes in the heart of Falmouth with its selection of award-winning independent restaurants right on your doorstep.

 

Let us help you find your perfect romantic getaway. Here’s a list to inspire you:

The Boat House

The Brig

Gwel-an-Heylyn

The Little Garage

Fisher’s Hut

The Old School Room

Rose Cottage 3

The Well House

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:

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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.

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Tresanton

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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Falmouth’s Romantic Hot Spots

January 26, 2017 No Comments

Greenbank

Looking forward to Valentines Day we decided to put together our favourite places for a candle-lit meal for two in Falmouth. We are quite lucky as there are some wonderful choices!

Provedore

Located on a residential Falmouth street, Provedore is like being in a small spanish tapas bar. Cosy and candle-lit by night, sharing food is the perfect way to get to know somebody better.

The Greenbank Hotel

The restaurant at the Greenbank overlooks the harbour and with the twinkling lights on the boats it makes for a very romantic setting. This year they are offering a special Valentines menu both on the 14th and the Saturday before. (photo above)

Oliver’s

If you can get a table, Oliver’s is possibly the best food in town (always either first or second on Trip Advisor). Just good seasonal produce cooked with care, the husband and wife team will ensure you have a meal to remember.

The Cove

Just a short drive towards Mawnan Smith at Maenporth Beach sits The Cove with stunning sea views; a wonderful location for a romantic walk followed by some great food.

Gylly Beach Cafe

Ignoring the many awards under its belt, this cafe/restaurant is right on the beach, what could be a more romantic setting? Coupled with the delicious food you are on to a winner. (Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – even better!)

Helford River Wildwatch: June

May 27, 2016 No Comments

Helford River Wildwatch: June with Hetty Wildblood,

Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises (business supporters of Cornwall Wildlife Trust)

 

At long last summer really feels like it is on its way. The trees are in full bloom bright green ancient brightening up the banks of the Helford River and creeks. The wildlife is blooming too here’s what to look out for on the Helford River and Creeks in June:

Heron, Polwheveral Creek - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Herons:

The heron colony on Polwheveral Creek. Herons sit up in the tree tops of Merthwn Woods, just before Polpenwith Creek, scrawking at eachother as they fly between the branches. They can also been seen on the ancient oak tree lined banks of Frenchman’s Creek made infamous by Daphne du Marier’s novel of the same name.

Little Egret on the banks of Frenchman's Creek - Koru Kayaking

Egrets:

Little egrets, their bright white feathers so clean despite living on the creeks which become mud flats at low tide have been quite scarce earlier in the year, but with the wamer weather more can be sighted on the banks and in the trees along Port Navas and Frenchman’s Creek.

Cuttlefish and Mussels on the banks of the Helford River - Koru Kayaking

Cuttlefish:

A growing number of cuttlefish, glamped to the mylor slate that form the banks of the Helford River are proving very popular with the Herring Gulls.

 

Mussels:

As the tide ebbs the exposed mylor slate shows the hundreds of fat mussels that line the banks of the Helford River. Completely natural, they grow lovely blue / black clumps, safe for another year as old folklore states that can only be picked on Good Friday!

 

Duckings:

Always lovely sight to see the mallards followed by a long line of their little ducklings a regular sight in June on Frenchman’s Creek

Cormorant on buoy, Helford River - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Cormorants:

Their jet black oily wings can be seen stretching their wings and drying them out on the buoys in the river before they drive down again to catch if. Fun to watch these amaing birds who can swim to depths of () and for distances of upto (). A fun sight to see them dive under and watch where they pop up on a Helford River Cruise or Frenchman’s Creek Koru Kayak Adventure.

Kestrel, Helford River & Creeks - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Kestrals:

An all year round treat, but they can bee see gracefully gliding over the Helford River and creeks. It is amazing watching nature in action from the water as Kestrals dive down attacking crow’s nests and the crows gather round this majestic bird to protect their young – a real David Attenborough moment!

Dolphin fins, Helford River, Helford River Cruises taken by our customer Peter Skeggs

Dolphins:

Speaking of David Attenborough moments we had a real treat at the end of April when our Helford River Cruise was joined by a pod of frolicking Risso Dolpins in the Helford River just in the bay between Helford and Trebah Gardens.

Happy Wildlife watching in June!

You can follow our wildlife sightings on our social media: facebook, twitter and Instagram

www.helfordrivercruises.co.uk – 1 ½ hour cruises along the Helford River and Creeks – bring your cameras and binoculars! From Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG

www.korukayaking.co.uk – 2 hour Guided Kayak Adventures – Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures from the Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG. North Coast Kayak Adventures from Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes are also available.

Nay’s Yoga: Yoga and Catering In Your Holiday Cottage

May 3, 2016 No Comments

It’s been a long time since my head’s been this close to my toes. It feels good that they are getting reacquainted. There are many things that I’m doing today that I haven’t done for a long time: standing on one leg with the other stretched out behind me and my arms pushed out in front is one. I’m supposed to be as straight as a ruler, but I feel as wonky and wobbly as a meter long marshmallow. And bizarrely…it’s great.

 

We would like to introduce to you the services of Naomi, of Nay’s Yoga. In short, Naomi is a friendly Cornish yoga instructor. Having trained in Patnem, India, Nay has been busy creating a range of different yoga experiences: some are more traditional yoga classes, others offer something more in tune with Cornwall, such as SUP yoga – yoga on a stand-up paddle board, or beach yoga! But most excitingly, Nay offers personalised in-house yoga experiences.

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Imagine starting the day with a rejuvenating and energising session of Vinyasa Flow within the comfort of your holiday cottage, before jumping into a productive day of sightseeing, beaching or exploring. Then, upon your return imagine having your own personal chef preparing a three course meal of high quality produce, sourced locally by someone in the know (and with connections to the Cornish fish industry).

 

You see, not only is she a yoga instructor, but a chef as well. She’ll prepare a menu to compliment your yoga sessions and your holiday. Apparently her cakes are ‘epic’ and judging from her instagram page, she can whip up a delicious and healthy brunch.

 

Nay learned to cook aboard super yachts in the Caribbean. ‘I enjoy cooking social meals with lots of dishes: informal, family style meals,’ she says. ‘Meals are important for chatting to each other: food reflects the culture you’re in.’

 

Every part of the in-house sessions are tailor made. ‘Sessions are based on ability. They can be as slow paced as you’d like,’ says Nay. ‘There’s lots of communication. We can work towards whatever your family wants to achieve. If you’ve got a particular goal in mind that’s great, and you can get the whole family involved or it can be just the mums.’

 

If you’ve not been to a yoga session before, Cornish Holiday Cottages can highly recommend it. My session with Naomi, which starts with gentle breathing exercises and a series of moves called a Sun Salutation, quickly becomes quite a workout for my un-supple limbs. There are forward folds and times when our legs were tumbling behind our ears. I even keel over a couple of times. I’ve joined a class that had been running for over a year though. A personalised session, this is not.

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I ask about paddle boarding sessions. Having spent half our session on dry land rocking as if I was at sea, I can’t imagine being able to do that on a paddle board, actually at sea: ‘You can’t take it too seriously. Even die hard yogis find it hard on a surface that moves. But it’s great being away from the coast. It’s peaceful, tranquil.’

 

When I meet Naomi before our yoga session it quickly becomes clear why she loves her in-house work. She’s easy going and we quickly slip into conversation about yoga, Cornwall, India and our love of food among other things. As a first timer, she put me completely at ease.

 

‘Yoga is all about calmness and focus. If you can achieve a healthy balance of exercise and eating well whilst on holiday, you’ll be more likely to continue that holiday feel when returning home,’ Naomi says. And it gets me thinking: isn’t that the aim of going on holiday, to feel calm and relaxed?

Contact

 

Upside Down Living

March 24, 2016 No Comments

Why is it that, when the best views are often to be had from the upstairs windows, we continue to have our main living spaces downstairs?

Our bedrooms get all the luck, but then we just go and shut the curtains and close our eyes for eight hours. That’s why some of our Cornish holiday homes have flipped convention upside-down.

Inverted living has lots of benefits and people from Bude to Land’s End have started building houses with all the living space upstairs, giving them an unbridled views. Kitchens and living rooms prosper from the sun, daylight warmth and of course, views that look onto open blue sea, shale beaches and stunning estuaries. While downstairs rooms are cool and secluded by shade. By spending our days upstairs we begin to capitalise on a different perspective of our homes. We maximise our use of the parts of our holiday cottages that we actually paid to use.

Also, shoes, wellies and the debris from days out at the beach stop cluttering up our living space.

We have three holiday properties that make use of this unique way of living.

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The first is Headlands, a three bedroom house with a panoramic view over Falmouth Bay. It’s perfectly situated. Just two minutes walk from the sea front in one direction and a short stroll towards the quaint pubs and restaurants of Falmouth in the other.

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Down in the tiny hamlet of Durgan, there’s Rose Cottage 1. Upstairs there’s a beautifully furnished open plan living space with a giant stone hearth taking centre stage below the cottages beamed ceilings. Beyond that the mouth of the Helford river flows elegantly. Each morning you can gaze out at the beach, 50ft from your front door and ponder what you’re going to do with the day.

Calamansac Sail Loft - Port Navas - Helford River - Cornwall - car park entrance

Finally we have the Sail Loft at Calamansac. You enter over a wooden bridge into the wide open upstairs space. Surrounded by woodland and an abundance of light, the best view peers down a tree lined path  towards Polwheveral and  across the river to the famous Frenchman’s Creek. It’s an unparalleled scene.

So whether it’s to savour splendid sea or woodland,  upside-down living can turn your holiday thinking on its head.

Posted in: Falmouth, Romance

Cottages with an Aga

March 16, 2016 No Comments

They’re not really about cooking, are they? They’re about lifestyle – welly clad youngsters drying socks on the handles, dog baskets nestled against their edges and as a grandiose conversation piece at the centre of the kitchen. There’s nothing like the charm of an Aga.

Cornish Holiday Cottages knows that it’s great to have a new gadget to play with on holiday and for families that seem to spend their time congregating in the kitchen, rather than the lounge there’s no better gadget than an Aga. But the first time I lived in a house with an Aga I was so scared of its hulking iron that for weeks we lived off microwave meals. They’re actually easier to use as a conventional oven, all the knobs have gone for a start. Not only that but everything that came out of it was utterly delectable. The deep, thick walls of the double ovens produced an incredibly unctuous pork shoulder and the spongiest of cakes.

Like any converts, we were evangelical and bored our friends rigid with tales of roast chickens, the fluffiest of jacket potatoes and trancendent toast.
It is the most straightforward, responsive, forgiving cooker you will ever use. Just think of the Aga as a normal cooker, with two hot plates and four ovens, which just happen to be on constantly, with the ovens set at constant temperatures suitable for all types of cooking.

If you enjoy slow-cooked food, just leave your favourite dish in the appropriate oven, head off for a long coastal walk, visit a country garden, an atmospheric ruin or a bustling market town and when you return…perfection. And the kitchen will have a cosiness that no electric fan oven or gas burner can even hold a candle to.

 

primrose cottage.mawnan smith (83 of 140)

Primrose Cottage
Primrose really puts the cottage into Cornish Holiday Cottages. There are so many features that set this old cottage apart it’s hard to know where to start. Positioned at the end of a lane you’ll not be interrupted in your peaceful idyll. An outside shower takes the fuss out of dog washing and wetsuit rinsing, whilst the low beamed ceilings and vintage furnishings create a provincial cosiness inside. The kitchen is full of vibrant colours, one wall dominated by a large granite hearth, and built into the hearth is its Aga.

 

Ridifarne.Helford River.Cornwall (2 of 10)

Ridifarne
Inhabiting one of the best spots on the Helford river, Ridifarne has the country kitchen. From the farmhouse dining table and rustic fittings to the Aga itself (which is infact a new electric Aga) it has an informal feel at odds with the spectacular gardens and estuary vista. A cottage perfect for a large family holiday.

 

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Trolver
At the end of Tolver’s kitchen perches a high shelf laden with pots and pans dangling from hooks. Along with the shining black Electric Everhot they create an image straight out of Country Living. With views onto Restronguet Creek, the village of Feock within walking distance and Falmouth and Truro both within 15 minutes drive, Trolver is well situated for exploring Cornwall.

selangor. holiday. helford (159 of 165)

Selangor

Nestled in the kitchen the Aga really is the heart of the home here at Selangor. The open plan kitchen/dining means cooking your meals here can be quite sociable. On the Helford River it’s just a 5 minute stroll down to Helford Passage beach.

Posted in: Falmouth, Romance
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