AD- note this post contains some gifts/reviews/press trips
I’ve had a couple of requests for recommendations so I thought a little round-up of nice things to do in North Cornwall wouldn’t go amiss – these would all be nice for Valentine’s Day, but equally nice whenever. Hope you enjoy! All of these things are experiences I’ve enjoyed and would go back to again. Some I paid my own money for, others were press trips or gifted experiences, but I’ve only included things which I would happily pay for again. I’ve done a couple of posts previously about personalised gifts, so I thought for balance, some experiences would be nice too.
Things to enjoy together, without kids
The Scarlet is an adults only hotel (see my next suggestion if you have kids) so if you are either free to do as you please, or you can find an external babysitter and can get away for a day or overnight, I thought The Scarlet was wonderful. Pricey, but a lovely treat. Super relaxing. We spent the day there – I went with my sister in law, paid for by our husbands – and plan to take Martin back, as it was so lovely. One of the nicest things was that everything timing wise is taken care of. Time in the outdoor hot tub is allocated, so you are escorted there at your appointed time, brought drinks, and at the end, welcomed out with a warm towel (well, we were when we went last Feb, perhaps they don’t in the summer) and you don’t have to worry about anything. The massage was excellent, and the pods you snooze in afterwards were awesome. I think I could have stayed there for weeks! (We paid for this ourselves)
Dinners out North Cornwall – last minute bookings
It’s no good expecting to get a last minute table at Rick Steins, or Paul Ainsworths or Nathan Outlaw (I’d always ring up just in case but I definitely wouldn’t bank on a table at short notice) but there are lots of other really nice food options which if you can be flexible with timings or days of the week, are worth a try. (These are all favourites, where we pay for our own food & wine)
Rojano’s – Padstow (Paul Ainsworth’s Mediterranean bistro, not as fancy as No 6)
Coombeshead – Lewannick (farm, guesthouse, restaurant and bakery created by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield – a firm favourite, creators of the best sourdough in the world, seasonal set menu)
St Tudy Inn – St Tudy (Restaurant that happens to be in a pub, rather than a gastropub – they were awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2017 and 2018 – also with rooms)
St Kew Inn – St Kew (Traditional Cornish village pub with good food, much better than usual pub fare)
Appleton’s at Trevibban Mill – Near Padstow (Does an amazing brunch, view over the vineyard is lovely)
My favourite is a drink on the beach watching the sunset, not so easy in February! Our wine business, Buchanan Wines Cornwall, sells wine by the bottle or case, so you can order something to be delivered to your holiday rental or hotel room. Go for a nice walk, then curl up afterwards.
The best true beach bars are still closed for winter, so a hotel bar is probably your best bet: The Scarlet, Bedruthan and the Watergate Bay Hotel all serve cocktails and you can look out over the sea/beach (when it is not dark, obviously).
I will do another post later in the year because there are some lovely little pop up vans which sell excellent coffee, but all of the below are nice to pop in to, or get a takeaway and go on a bracing walk if you time it right between rain showers!
St Kew Farm Shop (A39 between Wadebridge and Camelford)
Box and Barber (Newquay)
Things to enjoy together, whilst the kids are looked after
Spend some time together whilst the kids are being looked after in the kids club in the Sensory Spa Garden at Bedruthan. Available to day guests, locals and hotel residents alike, you can read my full review here but in essence, this is “a thermal adventure, going from hot to cold and back again to stimulate your senses… embrace the great outdoors and rain or shine we’ll take you through the garden and leave you feeling relaxed and cleansed”. Book the kids club and enjoy your half day in the spa knowing that you can relax and the kids will be well looked after (also worth noting that the spa is adults only aside from short family sessions, so no need to worry about other people’s children disturbing you). (Our Sensory Spa Garden visit was a review, we are often paying guests).
Things to treat someone to – whilst you look after the kids
More than just a massage, this seaweed infused treatment includes a mud wrap, a seaweed salt scrub followed by a seaweed oil infused massage. Cornish sea salt and seaweed is known for its mineral and skin enhancing properties, so this is not just relaxing but leaves your skin looking properly refreshed. You can team this with a trip to the other spa and swimming facilities, or lunch, or drinks in the lovely cocktail bar. As Bedruthan is very family friendly this one is perfect teamed with a visit with the rest of the family, spend some time together before and after and take it in turns to sneak away. We love Bedruthan and the kids’ soft play / the outdoor play boats are a perfect compromise so that everyone feels rested. (My treatment was a review)
The St Moritz is a hotel between Polzeath and Rock with the only Cowshed Spa outside of Soho House owned properties. Cowshed, a “unique rustic-luxe” spa has long been a favourite place for beauty treatments and way before we moved here I would get manicures, pedicures and waxes at the St Moritz whilst on holiday nearby. The hotel bar/restaurant is surprisingly child friendly and I often take the kids in for their bar menu – you could treat someone to a luxury pedicure or massage whilst playing in the games room and having high tea upstairs with the kids, or, in nicer weather, playing outside or even down on the beach. Slightly more affordable and shorter in time than a half day in the spa.
These reviews a selection of personal choices from things that I love to do and places that I have been gifted or asked on press trips. I was not paid for this post, and have only included things which I would pay for with my own money again.