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.