Ollie and I have been meaning to get away to Cornwall for ages so we thought that our two-year anniversary in February seemed like the perfect time to go. I love visiting different parts of the coast during the winter, I find it so cosy and I really enjoy the peace and quiet. Beaches in the summer are just too packed for my liking! I’d never been to St Ives but heard great things about it. After finding a cottage on AirBnb, we were off!
We began our journey on a Friday afternoon and decided to stop off at the famous Jamaica Inn on the way for a bite to eat. Does anyone remember that BBC drama centred around Jamaica Inn where you couldn’t understand a word of what the actors were saying?! Well ever since then, I’ve always been interested in visiting as it looked so unique and historic. Located on Bodmin Moor and made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, Jamaica Inn is now nearly 300 years old. It’s an Inn that’s rich with history and ghost stories and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with it. I loved how they’ve kept the interior quite old and unique, it truly does feel like a smugglers hideaway. The food was delicious too. We went for ham and cheese Panini’s with amazing chips – a little on the pricey side but I guess you’re paying for the location as well. They also have a farm shop, museum and gift shop so if you’re every passing, it’s well worth a visit!
Arriving in St Ives, the first thing we saw was the coastline and it was honestly beautiful. The sea in Cornwall seems to be a different colour to the rest of England – a brilliant blue. We arrived late afternoon so it was the perfect time to catch the glistening sea as the sun was setting. Our cottage, Figgy Cottage, was super cute. I’ve always wanted to stay in a cosy cottage in the winter by the sea so this was a bit of a dream come true for me and it was so special to be staying there with Ollie. If any of you are looking to holiday in St Ives, I would definitely recommend checking this cottage out. It’s great value for money with a comfy bed, powerful shower and even fairy lights in the living room! Click here to take a look.
We walked into St Ives, exploring and discovering where we wanted to go over the next couple of days. There are so many unique and independent shops in St Ives so I made a mental note to put back an afternoon to browse all of them! For the best view of the town, particularly as the sun’s setting, walk right round the harbour to the end and you can get the most perfect picture of the beautiful town with all the buildings huddled around the coastline.
The next day we set off for The Cornish Seal Sanctuary. If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely adore animals so I was definitely keen to go and see the work that these guys do. The sanctuary is only a 40-minute drive away from St Ives so I’d definitely recommend putting a morning aside to go and visit it. The team at the sanctuary rescue seals and seal pups that are in trouble off the coast of Cornwall. From October to March it’s pup season and a lot of them need rescuing for various reasons. The team at the sanctuary rescue them and bring them to the sanctuary where they go to the seal hospital for medical care. Once they are healthy enough, they start the rehabilitation process. They go into the outdoor pools where they learn to socialise with the other seals. When they weigh enough, they get released back into the wild. The sanctuary also has penguins and otters so there is so much to see and do! I recommend viewing all the animals at their feeding times as this is when they are most active! I’d definitely recommend going to visit this place if you are in the area. It’s so lovely to watch the seals knowing that they will eventually get released back into the wild!
Returning to St Ives, we had another wonder around the town and came across Porthminster Kitchen, a stylish restaurant with a great terrace that looked out onto the sea. I’d recommend taking advantage of their happy hour! We enjoyed some delicious cocktails that were only £5 each!
After spending a couple of hours warming up in Figgy Cottage, we headed out for a bite to eat. We decided to splash out a little and eat at Pedn Olva Hotel as it was a two-minute walk away from the cottage and the menu looked too good to resist. Inside, the restaurant was so cosy with a roaring fire crackling away. We were sat at a great table right by the window that looked out onto the sea – not that we could see anything as it was pitch black! However, we were treated to an amazing firework display whilst we waited for our dinner due to the Chinese New Year! To start, I had stuffed mushrooms that were topped with brie, a toasted crumb crust, baby leaf spinach and red onion marmalade. It was delicious. The mushrooms were stuffed to the brim and the melted brie gave a nice warmth to the dish. For main, I had the most exquisite pasta dish I have ever tasted – Crab Mac and Cheese. Made with Cornish white crab meat and Davidstow Cheddar, it was really rich and creamy and the crab meat was full of flavour. After all this food, I was convinced that I wasn’t going to have pudding but when the pudding menu came out, I couldn’t resist! I went for the Raspberry Pavlova which was really nice and refreshing after quite a heavy meal. Even though the food was lovely here, the service was really disappointing. We had about three different waiters and were ignored towards the end of the evening. Not once did anyone come to see if our food was ok. Don’t let this put you off as the food is truly worth it but just beware that you might not get first-class service!
Part Two will be coming tomorrow – favourite stores, the TATE and coastal walking in the typical British weather!