From the moment we crunched onto the gravel drive (down a wild flower lined lane) and wandering into the cool, homely hallway of The Rosevine, I knew it was hotel love.
Past the jumble of buckets and spades by the door for guests to use (the Cornish equivalent to Hunter wellies) the layout was, principally, that of a large Georgian house. Albeit one with an owner of immaculate taste. A formal drawing room lay to the right, with the boutique hotel standard overstuffed sofas to sink into, roaring woodburner come autumn and a stack of glossies to while away a lazy afternoon with. Linked discreetly with the under 16s equivalent, equipped with TV, DVDS, games console and toy chest. The other side of the central hallway housed the informal reception desk, bar and restaurant. The vibe was New England, chic neutrals and laid back elegance. Rather than cliched seaside stripes, bunting and driftwood. An example of modern seaside living at its best.
Our room lay out the back on the ground floor, through a warren of corridors, beautifully decorated with vintage Cornwall posters and iconic restaurant menus, all on a backdrop of faded neutrals, a la Farrow & Ball.
I took a few shots from our family apartment to show you:
Huge French doors led directly out to the gardens, via our own private terrace and eating area, with views out over Gerrans Bay.
The double-height room was open plan and deliciously cool, even when outside was hovering around the 30 degree mark. The room was cleverly divided between our main sleeping area (with French antiques and Egyptian cotton linens) and the added bonus of a generous living, dining space…
…Complete with kitchenette. This was the deal-clincher for us. Having all the basics: fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle, dishwasher, sink – meant that we could be as self-sufficient as we wanted. Knocking up Country Bebe’s breakfast when he woke up, then lazily calling on the fantastic full-restaurant menu room service for ours (namely the full Cornish breakfast) later on. It meant we could drop in at local farm shops and bakeries on our travels and then knock up an easy lunch or impromptu snack, rather than relying on being slaves to a hotel kitchen’s opening times. Genius.
Another HUGE plus, which made the holiday for us, was having a separate twin room for Country Bebe to bunk down in. Not only did it mean that we could loll about on the terrace and enjoy a leisurely lunch while he napped during the day, but there was none of that creeping through an unfamiliar hotel room at night, stubbing your toe and then lying in deathly silence so as not to wake the baby sleeping at the foot of the bed. We sat on the terrace, chatted, nursed some whiskeys… you know, all the stuff you did before babies came along. The stuff that makes a holiday.
The Rosevine really gets kids. Our room came equipped with highchair, travel cot, baby monitor, bottle steriliser, nightlight, changing mat… all the things that make travelling with babies such a chore. It was brilliant. They’d even left Country Bebe a box of toys, which went down VERY well.
The vast hallway also made a great race track for expending some energy:
The only room I failed to get a shot of was the bathroom. Equally generous in size, the only downside was the rather ‘Georgian’ plumbing, with lots of gurgling, bangs and shuddering pipework. Although oodles of hot water and clean as a whistle, so no complaints really.
The brilliance of The Rosevine is that they leave the level of service you required entirely up to you. You could function almost self-sufficiently within the facilities in each room, or go 50:50 and get something from the ‘deli’ menu delivered to your room to reheat that evening (think family sized fish or cottage pie) to suit you. Or, make the most of their brilliant restaurant offering, which is what we did each night.
After the bedtime routine was done, and Country Bebe was safely off dreaming of sandcastles, we flicked on the monitor and sat drinking Dark & Stormys as the sun went down on the terrace. Basking in the early evening glow, and each others suntans.
The restaurant offers a very reasonable 2-course for £23 set menu, all carefully and locally sourced (they’d be mad not to in this neck of the woods) and we didn’t come across a duff dish in the two evenings we dined there. The duck burger was a particular hit, as was the fantastic home cured salmon and selection of local cheeses.
However, the culinary highlight came via room service: A Cornish afternoon tea:
God it was good… so good it deserves a close-up…
All in all, we loved it – can you tell?! If you want to go away for a holiday that *does* cater effortlessly for little ones, but is not a slave to them and allows for a proper grown-up holiday too, The Rosevine hits the nail on the head. We won’t holiday anywhere else in the UK as a family, again.
Up tomorrow: St. Mawes and the various beaches we combed… but that’s another post.
Details: We were fully paid up guest at The Rosevine, our apartment costs £310 a night, room only in September but there are MANY offers to take advantage of here. Or email them with your dates and see what they can do, which is what we did (email@example.com).