Dream Destination: Easter getaways

When I came back from holiday a week ago I descended into the worst post-holiday blues I have ever exerienced, for no particular reason. Thankfully the prospect of another holiday isn’t too far away and I’m keeping busy planning our trip to South Africa, but if we hadn’t been, I’d have been snatching the 4 day weekend over Easter and making a break for the seaside.

I thought it would be fun to round up some of the most amazing stays I’ve spotted around the UK that still have availability for Easter in case any of you were planning a break and looking for inspiration. All have been chosen for their spectacular settings and stylish interiors. If not… when it comes to bank holidays, there’s always May!

1. Merlin Farm Eco Cottages, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall – iescape.com
Sleeping 2-4, these cottages look stylish and are situated on my favourite beach in Cornwall, Mawgan Porth (where The Scarlet is.) I think this would be perfect for friends – at £200pn you could splash out on dinner in any of the nearby fabulous restaurants in Padstow or at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, just down the road.

2. Kaywana Hall B&B, nr Dartmouth, Devon – iescape.com
If you love modern architecture this B&B bucks the trend for chintzy B&B’s in Devon. Based on the original building by renowned 1960’s architect Mervyn Seal, it’s a blast of fresh design amongst estuary air and modern style, only a 10 minute walk into Dartmouth. (£150pn)

3. Coillaibus, Islay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland – iescape.com
These new build eco cottages in the wilds of Scotland look ridiculously inviting amongst some of the most inspiring coastal scenery in the UK. With stylish interiors of Ercol furniture and specially commissioned tweeds, you’ll almost be tempted not to try the hot tub. The isolation looks so inviting. £220pn, the cottages sleep 2-4 in 2 doubles or a double and a twin room.

4. Llety Bodfor Hotel, Cardigan Bay, Wales. MrandMrsSmith.co.uk
During trips to The Drawing Room, Pete and I have really fallen in love with Wales. Pembrokeshire is high up on my list of places to visit on our own fair shores, but Cardigan Bay is a little closer for us and still looks very beautiful with the village of Portmerion nearby and all the outdoor activities that Snowdonia has to offer is the Coast becomes a little too bracing and blustery. £375 for 3 nights 29th to 31st March.

Are you tempted readers? Are you going away this Easter break?


Recommended: The Llawnroc, Cornwall

I love Cornwall. I’m not one of those people who has spent a lifetime exploring it – it’s Pete, my husband who has. His Mum is from Penzance and with teacher parents, he spent the whole of the summer holidays down there every year on the beaches. For me, it has been a slow indoctrination by him and being dragged down there. I had seen the pictures, don’t get me wrong – the turquoise clear waters, white sand beaches and crashing waves reminiscent of the Caribbean, I just didn’t really believe that that Cornwall existed for people like me who always bring bad weather on a UK holiday and prefer a nice clean pool over sand. Cornwall has however leached into my mind and now I frequently find myself uttering those well spoken words…  when the sun is shining, there really is no better place to holiday. So when I was invited to experience The Llawnroc, I relished the opportunity to share a new place to take a UK holiday in Cornwall.

Before going, I didn’t really know what to expect. I flicked through the website, saw it was close to the beach (very close, perfect!) had sea views and a lovely restaurant. I was sold. After a long drive down on what Pete calls ‘real Cornish roads’ we arrived at a very modern and smart looking small hotel and stepped into a foyer that wouldn’t be out of place in a city centre – all metallic glamour and chic touches.

The theme continued in our room as we were shown up to a beautiful suite with stunning decor and view that just out competed it – straight down a winding road lined with whitewashed houses to the sparkling sea.

Pete had asked me what I wanted to do whilst we were away and my answer was a very considered ‘nothing.’ After my recent workload I wanted to lie on the beach, soak up some sun, catch up on magazines and read a book – the holy grail of nothing-ness to me. So we headed straight out, down to the beach and sprawled on the sand, admiring the cloudless sky. The afternoon was punctuated with paddling, shell collecting and a wander across to the tiny harbour front to buy cornish ice cream.

When we returned to The Llawnroc we settled ourselves in the smart sofas outside and enjoyed a sundowner as the light started to fade from the terrace.  I loved that the outside area was huge – easily enough space for residents to eat and slouch whilst taking in the views and not feel in the least bit crowded – there are only 18 rooms.

We indulged ourselves by getting ready slowly then headed down to dinner to explore the restaurant and lounge areas. There were 2 restaurants – The Bistro for more relaxed dining and Gwinneas for fine dining. Mid-week and out of season we ate off the Gwinneas menu but in the Bistro restaurant area – a room surrounded by large floor to ceiling windows that would have been beautiful in the daytime making the most of the views and thrown open to the sea breeze. The food was excellent with a great selection of fish as you would expect on the coast and much of it from Megvagissey, the tiny harbour just along the coast. We fell into bed that night stuffed and happy, looking forward to another beach day.

We couldn’t have gotten luckier with the weather if we tried. The next day dawned with clear skies and still air, warm already at breakfast time. We took breakfast (the smoked salmon on english muffins with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce was so good I ate it two days on the trot) in Gwinneas, a much cosier but still glamorous setting that looked out onto the terrace, then rushed off to the beach again.

After a full days sunning ourselves, we headed into Mevagissey for fish and chips and took them to the harbour wall where we sat and looked out over the boats as the sun set. Compared to Gorran Haven? where The Llawnroc is, Mevagissy felt like a bustling metropolis, although it’s actually still a tiny coastal cornish fishing village. There were enough cute boutiques and cafes to entertain you for a rainy afternoon if the worst happened… but then again, does it ever rain in Cornwall? It was hard to imagine during the clear skies, still winds and balmy temperatures we enjoyed.

So would I go back? It seemed to me that The Llawnroc struck a perfect balance between luxurious retreat in a perfect location for a beach break if the weather and with the addition of PS3’s in the rooms and a DVD library, had enough touches that meant if the weather failed us, you probably wouldn’t even notice…


Disclaimer: Rebecca stayed for two nights as a guest of The Llawnroc, but if she wouldn’t recommend it to a friend, you wouldn’t be hearing about it here.

The Three Choirs Vineyard

I’ve been on a bit of a research mission recently to find somewhere to stay this week on route to a wedding I’m going to at the weekend. We have taken Friday off to travel down as the wedding is in Cornwall and on the way we’re going to be stopping off at Baileys Home and Garden. (I can only just about contain my excitement when writing that sentence. Full report to come.)

As a result we were looking for a B&B or restaurant with rooms to stay at and break up the journey and I was intrigued by a couple of the places I’m sharing with you today. First up, The Three Choirs Vineyard, billed as ‘a slice of Napa’ in Gloucestershire. I knew there were vineyards in the U but thought they were all on the South Coast but apparently Three Choirs has won awards for it’s single estate wines produced from it’s 75 acres of vineyards.

You can do a wine tasting and tour by just turning up at 11am or 3pm Monday through to Saturday and there’s also a cookery school for those who are of a culinary inclination.

The 11 rooms all look out onto the vineyards and look a million miles away from the English countryside – having been to the Napa valley, I crave a view like that and the associated good wine and good food so it all looked very appealing with a roll top bath to sink into at the end of the day!

Delicious no? You’d just have to cross your fingers for weather reminiscent of Napa too! 😉


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