Over the Easter Holidays we decided to forego an 11 hour flight to the West Coast and to visit a more nearby coast instead. We’ve never rented a house before in the UK and after a lot of research, I found River House on the website, Unique Home Stays. Last year, I stayed with a friend in a gorgeous home in the Cotswolds who rented the property through the company and knew that it had a great reputation for home rentals.
After scrolling through the dozens of properties in the area we settled on River House. It was the perfect size for our family of four, plus a nanny, and a dear friend and her one year old daughter. To be honest with you, instead of choosing the house based on area I chose it based on the house itself, and it just so happens that it happened to be in the adorable coastal town of St. Mawes, close to amazing restaurants, secluded beaches, and gorgeous gardens.
Getting There: A fun fact about me. I HATE road trips, so when I heard that the drive to St Mawes was around 5 hours I almost cancelled the trip all together. Then I found out that I could fly there in just 40 minutes and to me it was a no-brainer. So I flew with the kids (Gatwick has a Flybe flight directly to Newquay which is 45 minutes away from St Mawes) and my Husband drove the car down, stocked with all of our luggage, a lot of wine, and the kid’s favorite toys.
River House: The House was absolute perfection. Every room in the house has the most incredible views overlooking the beautiful sea and rolling country hills covered in sheep. Mini-AB had a blast counting all of the sailboats, and we spent every morning and afternoon in the massive garden. Unique Home Stays made sure that there was a cot and a highchair for the baby, and the owner of the home checked in with us regularly to make sure that everything was ok.
When I read the guest book with notes from past people who had rented the house almost everyone said the home was so perfect that they didn’t even need to leave it during their vacation. This was perfect because my Husband loves to cook! We ended up making dinner reservations two nights in a row and canceling them because we didn’t want to leave the deck!
One day at a local farm shop I found a flyer for a chef named Hayden, he came with his wife and made an amazing dinner for us one evening using the best local produce, meat and fish. If you’re in the area, I would definitely book him! (The Chef on the Roseland)
St Mawes: We ended up having incredible weather over the week and I even had to go buy a sundress and hat in the town it was so warm. Our favorite beach was Porthcurnick which was small enough to keep an eye on the kids and had an adorable little cafe at the top called The Hidden Hut which was perfect for light lunch, tea, and treats. (The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach, Portscatho, Truro, Cornwall TR2 5EW)
If you end up going to St Mawes there are two places I recommend for lunch. First is the Tresanton Hotel, which has the most incredible views overlooking the sea. (Tresanton Hotel, St. Mawes, TR2 5DR, 01326 270 055) I took a peek around the hotel and it looks like it would be the perfect place to stay for a weekend- probably more as a couple than with kids. Our favorite spot to take the kids was The Idle Rocks, which also has a great terrace with views, but in addition has a fantastic kids menu and a play room upstairs. It pretty much ended up being our go-to spot for the kid’s dinner and cocktail hour for us adults. Again, this would be a great place to stay as well, the hotel is really sweet. (The Idle Rocks, 01326 270270, Harbourside, St Mawes, Tr2 5AN).
For the perfect pub dinner, visit The Kings Arms which is one of the cutest country pubs I have ever come across. The staff were so welcoming, and the food was really lovely. (The Kings Head Pub, Ruan Lanihorne Truro TR2 5NX, 01872 501264)
Sights that you should see while in the area are the St Mawes Castle (its more of a fort, but kids will love it) and the St Just in Roseland Church which is right on the water and is stunning. Another great thing to see and good for kids is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which has lagoons, rope bridges, farm animals, and also a a little cafe where you can have lunch. It is about a 45 minute drive away from St Mawes. (Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 6EN, 01726 845100)
It was literally the most restful week and the perfect first trip to Cornwall. I will definitely be visiting again, and am already considering renting another house through Unique Home Stays for later in the year!