Our first family holiday was always going to be interesting.
A 5 hour car journey to the deepest depths of the Cornish coast was always going to have its challenges. Somewhat unsurprisingly for us, the first meltdown was not from the youngest in tow. Given the amount we needed to pack, we hired a 4x4 (only the swankiest, of course - boys’ toys and all…). The only problem was, this car had a few gadgets that *we were unaware of. And so it begins… No more than 0.2 miles from our house, the car “breaks down”. At 8am, we spend 30 minutes at a standstill just by Highbury & Islington tube station - only to find the car was in Park mode. The restraint not to laugh was significant and noted. Ribbing will happen all in good time…
When we booked in January this year, we thought we were being relatively original in picking Cornwall for a staycation, although it seems as though most people we know have travelled down to this little haven this year - how very 2018 of us. Anyway, just a stone’s throw from St Austell Bay is the Porthpean House estate - known to many as the house in Richard Curtis’ About Time. We were in the dreamy little lodge on the estate, equally as warm and welcoming, only much more suited to a little family of three. We were nested pretty quickly (I do pride myself on being able to nest almost anywhere - the trick? Throw things all over the place and pop the kettle on - done.) and our dreamy little escape to the coast had begun.
I probably should leave the highlight of the week to last for momentum’s sake, but The Lost Gardens of Heligan really does deserve all the attention. It was our first trip and it surpassed all expectations. The magic of the eccentric charm practically oozed from the ground. The care taken in the grounds, the character of each area, every bit felt completely deliberate and incredibly authentic. The little lady was mesmerised, as were we - every turn evoked a new burst of delight - and the cafe did not disappoint in anyway.
We celebrated a bit of a milestone for us - our third wedding anniversary. We have been pretty terrible at doing non-Delilah focused activities in the last nine months, so we were keen to make sure we didn’t let this pass us by. A trip to Padstow was in order, to have the most divine moules marinière at Rick Stein’s Cafe (no children under 5 in the restaurant - but the bucket-sized glasses of wine made up for that). It was a lovely day, a wonderful little trip and the most divine lunch spot.
The last time I visited Cornwall was when Austin Powers was on at the cinema, so I was braced to feel as outdated as the toothy womaniser himself. The Tate at St. Ives, was I’m afraid, the moment where I felt a little lost. The architecture was phenomenal, the lighting sublime, but I’m afraid there was such a limited amount on display (half was dominated by a school trip, so that may have been where we missed a trick) that I left feeling slightly ignorant of the talent on the walls, not really appreciating the quality vs quantity approach to the curation. We did, however, find the most delicious lunch at Porthmeor Beach Cafe that was incredibly child-friendly across the road.
I have been looking forward to visiting the Eden Project since works began on creating it in the 90s, so I really had hyped it up. Being there, it was the vista and the scale of the project itself that blew my mind. For me, the biomes were slightly anti-climatic in comparison. The little lady managed to sleep through the entire thing, which actually meant we had a few hours of just walking around as a couple with our sustainability hats on. Slightly nerdy at times, but brilliant.
The Hidden Hut was one on both of our ‘must'-see’ lists. We were told to expect queues of people from lunchtime onwards, so we set off for morning coffees and were delighted to find barely a whisper of a crowd there for the morning tide. It was absolute bliss. The brioche bread cake may be the greatest cake I have ever had - bar my Mum’s undoubtably legendary carrot cake. But it was absolutely divine. Delilah would probably agree. The mister would definitely agree - he bought another slice for the journey.
All in all, it was a charmingly uneventful week, but full of lovely little moments together. But a week away from the hustle, bustle and often expectations of city life - it was a breath of fresh air like no other. As a relatively new family unit, we struggle to stop and smell the roses a lot of the time, so it has been so precious to have created little pockets of heavenliness together, memories that will be cherished indefinitely.