This weekend just gone, I like many, made the most of the holidays that are available to us by booking a weekend at one of Britain’s best staycation locations; Cornwall. With Rhys’ (my partner) 30th falling on the same weekend, as well as a wedding on the Friday it was an opportunity to make it something special, even if there were no passports involved. I haven’t actually spent a lot of time in Cornwall, so when it came to making plans it was a lot of google and visiting wheresmollie.com but I’m pleased to say I was proud with the outcome so I thought I’d share what we got up to.
Rhys was already down in Cornwall for the wedding, so after a sleepover with Renee McGregor at halfway (Bath) I finished the drive down Saturday morning with the first stop being our bed for the two nights, The Bodmin Jail Hotel. Rhys and I are both BIG prison documentary watchers, both admittedly enjoy binge watching these regularly, especially when lockdown allowed us to do very little else. I discovered this hotel whilst googling ‘best hotels in Cornwall’ (we’ve all been there), but with prices quite steep and availability low I struggled to commit to the cause. Thankfully, luck was on my side when my good friend and great physio Aiden revealed a family member had helped build the masterpiece, and so a good deal was won and the two nights were booked. Success! (I should note here, on reflection I would have definitely paid full price – the whole stay was totally unforgettable, but more on this later!)
I arrived about midday and was greeted by the most friendly and welcoming hotel receptionists who helped me carry all my stuff to the room, and gave me a short tour of the space that once occupied over 200 prisoners. Within moments, I had forgotten the long drive and was fully immersed in the incredible experience that comes with staying somewhere that holds so much history… and it didn’t stop there. The room was immaculate, designed with both class and style, respectful of the era it had lived through but by no means cliche. Each room makes up 3 cells, offering a bedroom setup and a bathroom one could only dream of. Safe to say I was looking forward to spending some more time here, but for now it was a quick change and a balloon scattering ready for Rhys’ arrival before dashing off to meet him on Constantine Bay.
This is one of the closest beaches to the Bodmin hotel, just a short 35 minute drive door to beach but oh boy is it worth it. We actually didn’t visit the white sands until Sunday so I’ll touch more on this soon. After a few drinks at the wedding venue and some leftover cheese, crackers and cakes we headed to the main event, dinner at Rick Steins, Padstow. This was a birthday treat from big Clive, my dad for Rhys and oh my what a treat it was. We were treated like royalty from start to finish, from cocktail tasting to a lift home from the restaurant themselves since there were no taxis! Whilst this is no ‘cheap feat’, it’s well worth it should you have a special occasion or simply fancy a delicious dinner out to celebrate being able to!
Following this, we headed back to Rhys’ pals to watch the footie before residing back to our beautiful Bodmin Jail hotel room with a large glass of Rose. Oh, to be on holiday.
P.s Worth noting, there were zero taxis available due to everyone heading to Cornwall but after endless ringing around I managed to book with NI cabs and our driver was a total delight. He even gave us a wee tour on the way home!
Sunday was the day I had been looking forward to. Why? Because I had planned a 12 mile run along the Camel Trail that conveniently ran from our hotel, to where we had left our car in Padstow the day before. The camel trail is pretty much all off road minus a few crossings and flat as they come. It’s perfect for walkers, cyclists or you guessed it runners taking you past gorgeous tearooms, and finishing with the most beautiful sea view for about the last 5 miles. It’s signposted pretty much all the way, so even for me it would have been difficult to get lost.
Lucky for us, the predicted rain only hung around for the first mile or two and soon it was actually, dare I say it sunny! Just over an hour and a half after leaving our hotel, we landed ourselves in Padstow to pick up a coffee and a pastry at Rick Stein’s coffee shop. We then had a quick wander around Padstow picking up some local rum, matching Crew jumpers (ish) and some delicious Cornish fudge before heading to Trevose Golf Club for lunch. Whilst reluctant at first, as I tend to shy away from all things golf it turns out this sporting/snacking stop has the best view in town, looking out over Booby Bay and Constantine Bay. After scoffing down a sandwich we couldn’t resist a short walk to soak up the slowly settling sunshine and allow Rhys to tell me many a tale of when he’d visited these exact paths. I have to say, by the end even I was considering a few holes for good luck. You can also stay at the Golf Club should you wish! Towards the end of our walk, we planned a stop at Enid’s ice cream shop, a little mobile setup a short walk from where the wedding had been. Sadly due to the rain, Enid had packed up for the day but we hear they are a popular choice.
Finally caving to the fact we both desperately needed a shower, we headed back to our hotel to shower and suit up for dinner. I had originally booked Flory but due to our extended wander, I had to cancel as their last sitting was 3.30pm. As such, we ended up at the Westbury Hotel, and dining in their restaurant Hội-An which came highly recommended from our taxi driver. Less Sunday Roast, more Thai deliciousness but safe to say it was enjoyed allround and not quite the bill that came paired with Rick Steins. It may not have the looks, but the menu is a must try! It’s also worth noting, whilst the hotel is a must visit, Bodmin is a little lacking in attractions or exciting must do’s. I hope, with the arrival of the hotel more businesses pop up and the place is given the love it desires! After dinner, we headed to the hotel bar, otherwise known as The Chapel for a Tarquins Gin (our new favourite) and an hour of putting the world to rights in the peaceful setting before once again, heading to bed early to watch a film and enjoy being away from the madness. Over and out!
Up and at em, after a great night’s sleep we headed to enjoy the exquisite hotel breakfast put on by the Bodmin jail and their lovely team of staff. Eggs Benedict for Rhys, and Florentine for me had us ready for a tour of the prison attraction, situated moments from our hotel room. This absolutely blew us away, with incredible visual effects and an experience that allowed you insight to every aspect of the prison. It’s a must do if you visit, AND it only came in at £15pp which I can assure you is an absolute steal. I won’t tell you too much, as you must do it yourself but what I will say is allow an hour and a half and grab a coffee from The Jolly Tavern on your way out.
Following this we packed up the car, and headed home full of great food, memories and more rose than we care to admit!