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Hot Chocolate Spots in Cornwall

February 17, 2016 No Comments

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It’s hot chocolate season. It’s a thing. Admittedly one we’ve probably just made up, but it’s a thing none the less. Actually, it’s far more likely that we’ve just read it somewhere, while thinking about (I wouldn’t call reading about hot chocolate research) what to put in this post.

Cornish Holiday Cottages believe that hot chocolate season perfectly defines those wintery days out with the dog, children or significant other (yes, in that order of preference) and that lust for warmth that is finally sated only by wrapping your fingers around a mug of hot, brown liquid. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hot chocolate. One of the establishments on the list specialises in coffee. And we mean specialises.

Either way, we love spending time on the coastal paths at this time of year, listening to the waves tear at the coast below and watching the dogs chasing each other up and down the beach. We’re even a little bit fond of the tip of your nose getting a cold and the mist formed by our breathing.

We’ll hold our hands up now: this list is in no way definitive. We would love to be able to devote our life to creating a success criteria and travelling round the county sampling hot chocolates. But alas… So here we have just a few of our favourite spots to enjoy a hot chocolate with lashes of cream and marshmallows. In some cases, they even go that extra mile and add some special extras. So picture yourself all rosey cheeked from a brisk Cornish day out, a steaming white mug in your hand, bringing the feeling back into your chilly fingers.

Poldhu Beach Cafe
I grew up exploring the Lizard coastline and my memories of Poldhu Beach Cafe were of a tiny shack selling chips in trays, Cornettos and distinctly average hot drinks. I don’t know when, but sometime between then and now, it has transformed into a fantastic beach-side establishment. Their hot chocolates come served with a generous helping of cream and crunchy, chocolatey bits. There are loads of different topping variations to choose from. (that’s them in the picture)

Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe
With its glass framed terrace, Gylly Beach Cafe is a great place to wrap up warm and people watch from. Not only is the hot chocolate amazing, but they have a plethora of teas and cakes too. Hot chocolate season is the best time to visit too, because it gets extremely busy in the summer months and you can be waiting for ages for your drinks.

Godrevy Beach Cafe
Over on the north coast, this wooden lodge sits in a National Trust car park. Godrevy and Gwithian Beach stretch for miles into the distance and it’s great for dune walking and rock pooling. The cafe has a good line in creamy, hot drinks and a raised balcony allowing you to peer over the dunes and onto the beach. The cafe is as green as they come too. All waste is recycled, including their biodegradable take away packaging.

The Blue Bar, Porthtowan
This is the ultimate surfer hangout. The coastal path above the cafe is also one of the best places to see the sun set. It’s the picturesque north coast at its best. One word of warning though – Porthtowan sand gets everywhere.

The Wateringhole, Perranporth
I think I’m right in saying The Wateringhole is the only Cornish bar that’s built right on the beach. And what a beach: it’s wide and expansive with giant islands of rock perched on the shore line, surrounded by water at high tide. The hot chocolates themselves come served in tall mugs with a mountain of cream, marshmallows and a biscuit straw so you can slurp down your tasty beverage without disturbing its peaks.

Swanpool Beach Cafe
I wasn’t going to mention Swanpool Beach Cafe, but I’ve just been reminded of the perfect reason to add it to the list. They’re luxury hot chocolates come with what I can only describe as a chocolate lollipop. Either that or a swizzle stick. For that extra chocolate hit dip it in, let it melt and… you get the idea.

Espressini
Now, were cheating here. Espressini isn’t on the beach. It’s on a hill in Falmouth. But it deserves to be on any list of hot beverages for their passion and dedication to coffee. Espressini founder Rupert and his staff can wax lyrical about different coffee blends for hours. It’s beautiful. On wet weather days when your looking for something to do, soaking up the atmosphere in Espressini is a fantastic option.

11 reasons to visit the beach in winter

February 11, 2016 1 Comment

Maenporth beach Falmouth-1

In winter the beach becomes a completely different environment. It becomes a great empty playground for those who enjoy cool winds and long walks. You may not be up for a swim but many of the joys of the coast are even better over the winter months, due to the lack of crowds. There are loads of reasons the winter beach is the best beach: these are just the first ones that came to mind here at Cornish Holiday Cottages..

1. The heavy winter surf
There’s nothing like the fearsome roll of the waves in the winter months. The giant swells of Porthleven during stormy weather are one of nature’s greatest spectacles, safe from a vantage point high up on the beach you can see the waves crashing over the pier and sea wall.. It’s a simply stunning experience.

2. The beach is deserted
The beach in winter means no fighting for a good spot on the sand, no sunglasses, no sunburn…it’s a completely different experience. And the best part? More often than not you have a whole stretch of beach to yourselves, so your children can run wild and you can see where they are from any vantage point.

3. Go shell collecting.
When the beach is deserted of people and the waves have been pulling up shells from the the depths of the shoreline, there’s a huge variety of new shells and sea debris to discover. Children will come back with vast swathes of potential artefacts for beachy art projects.

4. The perfect photo opportunity
You can take some amazing photos of the family. It will be less crowded and easier to take some really nice landscape shots. Kids and dogs have space to be themselves and the fact that you are one of the few people on the beach will mean that your photos are not full of sunbathers turning lobster red.

5. Drink a hot chocolate
Sitting outside a beach cafe, your hands curled around the warmth of a cream topped hot chocolate is one of the simple pleasures in life. After a windswept coastal walk.

6. Enjoy the view, eating fish and chips
Just like the warming sensation of a hot chocolate, steaming hot fish and chips are best enjoyed perched on the sand dunes, accompanied by the roar of the ocean. If it’s too cold, they’re just as great munched down inside the car, still watching the beach.

7. Beachcombing
Everything natural on the beach tells a story – so this is a great way to entertain children on a winter weekend, helping them to uncover the secrets of these botanical playgrounds, and understand more about our island’s marine heritage.

8. Getting windswept
The wind is perfect for blowing the cobwebs away after a luxurious lunch. But it’s also great for kite flying. Inevitably though, someone is bound to get wet if they get too near the surf, so bring a spare pair of clothes.

8. Birdwatching
The lack of humans also attracts types of wildlife that rarely risk the crowded beaches of summer. So maybe bring the binoculars.

10. A winter picnic
Wrap up warm, bring a flask of hot chocolate and maybe a portable BBQ to have an unseasonable hot dog. Remember to pack a blanket with a waterproof backing though.

11. Let the dog run free
A lot of beaches don’t allow dogs on them during the summer months, so winter is their time to roam free. Your dog will love running up and down the vast expanses of sand, darting in and out of the surf. It’s play time.

Truro City of Lights 2014

October 17, 2014 No Comments

Truro City of Lights 2013-7

We’re not far now from this year’s City of Lights festival in Truro, where has time gone!

The wonderful hand made lanterns are paraded through the town, made by local schools, groups and businesses. It also marks the turning on of the city’s Christmas lights. There will be a market and lots of delicious street food to try!

This years theme is ‘Heroes’ so we’re all very excited to see what is produced. Highlights from last year must be T-Rex and the ballerina. The parade takes place on the 19th of November and starts at the earlier time of 6.30pm for 2014.

For more information visit their website.

March at Trebah Gardens

April 10, 2014 No Comments

Winter is not often a season associated with flowers, however late winter is one of our favourites here in Cornwall. Magnolia, Rhododendron and Camellias all flourish, the gardens are coming back to life and carpets of daffodils starting to appear everywhere.

Trebah is wonderful at all time of year with a large children’s play area and lots of interesting areas for exploring, the garden is built in a valley leading down to its very own beach on the Helford River. Even in March people are sitting enjoying the sunshine and eating ice-creams from the Boathouse Café, while dogs play in the water. Trebah is also home to the joint tallest Magonlia in the UK, an incredible sight which flowers in March.

There is a stream running down the middle of the valley leading into a beautiful pond, complete with a bridge and this year they have been building an outdoor amphitheatre.

Trebah also has a great restaurant and shop selling lots of local produce, these are free to visit without paying entry to the gardens.