How lucky were we?! We managed to rebook a cottage via our long-term agency of choice, Raintree Holidays, who are specialists in self-catering accommodation for the very beautiful top three bays area of the Seven Bays region of Cornwall, which stretches from Padstow down to Newquay.
We have visited this part of Cornwall every year since the boys were born and over the years, we’ve truly experienced every kind of extreme weather and managed to enjoy the stunning sea and skylines it offers.
We’ve now managed two holidays in Cornwall since the first lockdown and both have been a real tonic and refreshed the soul in ways that no other part of the UK can do. The combination of incredible coastal scenery, rolling, lush inland pastures, a phenomenal array of local eating and drinking establishments and a great smattering of activities for all ages. What’s not to love?!
This year, due to impact of COVID and Brexit on staffing, our usual eating out treats weren’t possible. Everywhere was booked up, not open or operating limited opening hours and so we decided not to stress and instead enjoy being truly self-catering and enjoying buying from our favourite local stores. So rather than stress about not getting into anywhere, we simply removed this piece of the holiday from the equation and instead enjoyed the joy of shopping local and eating simply, with the seasons and from natures breadbasket.
Our visit this year came in early June, by accident and not design. We managed to find one week available in a cottage right on Treyarnon Bay which became our home away from home for the week. It was a really easy walk to the TreyBay YHA Youth hostel which offers decent food, an open-air bar, and occasional music perfect for Cornish sundowners.
We ventured slightly further to the Golfclub Trevosehead which is very relaxed and friendly and offers great and good value bar food and more stunning, sheltered views. And for local provisions, we loved supporting Gary and Wendy, who have run the local campsite shop for over 15 years. There is absolutely nothing you cannot find in their converted shipping container and their friendly service and welcome would challenge Fortnum and Mason’s. This pair work so hard, year-round, and always remain positive, no matter what’s been thrown at them.
Our house turned out to the THE perfect location for our alfresco BBQs, picnic lunches and breakfast butties with a views. We treated ourselves with supplies from a mix of Tesco (for value staples) and then the incredible Padstow Farm Shop at Trethillick Farm.
We first visited the Farm Shop way back in 2005 and today, its unrecognisable. To see how this wonderful business has carefully developed over the last 15 years from the tiny fledgling farm shop we first visited to the multi-faceted destination is now, it is really a joy.
The Padstow porkers, their beef and marinaded lamb remain amongst the most delicious we’ve ever had. The farm shop has cleverly extended to offer a first class deli and café called the Roundhouse Deli – which gives you even more reasons to visit and whilst its often full of well-heeled South West Londoners, the authenticity of the service, pride in their produce and the open friendly welcomes and advice experienced - even in these jittery Covid times - remains unstoppable.
If ever there was a Food Tourism Destination, then certainly the Padstow environs would be amongst the Gold Medal Winners, with Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, Jamie Oliver, and the many other brilliant chefs who passionately promote the very best of Cornish produce.
Over the years this relatively simple destination has become more trendy and sought after. House prices have soared and wealth has moved in pushing back the local community – just like so many other towns – into smaller towns and villages located more inland. The Pig at Harlyn being the most recent arrival. This too adds a touch of class and choice to the existing experiences.
So, away from food tourism – what about more regular activities? This part of Cornwall offers it all. We’ve experienced the lot as our two now teenage boys have grown and become more active and adventurous each year. The one constant has remained surfing and body boarding which supplements every day we are there – delivering happy wholesome and energetic fun and a real sense of contentment along with the physical exhaustion that being battered by the sea only can bring.
We’ve learned from the best on a local level Constantines Bay Surf School, Constantine Surf Stores and Windy-Waves. We have go-karted, mountain biked, coasteered and fished. All wonderful experiences and enjoyable for the right age, mood and weather.
This year the boys graduated to golf Trevose Head which added yet another easy activity to relax and enjoy. But, of course, nothing will ever beat the calm and peacefulness gained from evenings staring across Treyarnon Bay watching the sunset or gathering storm. It’s a week of living with the elements and it really does refresh the soul.
At Siren, we’re passionate about supporting local businesses in any way we can. Supporting them by being loyal customers and visitors, but also with a range of flexible short-term PR solutions available. If that sounds like something you might need, take a look at the options and get in touch.