At the end of the year I was invited to experience a weekend of ‘Vintage Pleasures’ at the Bedruthan steps hotel in Cornwall.
Myself and Olivia ‘My New Favourite Thing’ took our seats in the first class carriage and settled in for the four hour journey ahead of us. We were travelling first class courtesy of First Great Western and enjoyed complimentary refreshments and comfy leather seats.
The hotel is located on the cliff top of a picturesque bay called Mawgan Porth, just outside Newquay. You may remember that I reviewed Bedruthan’s sister hotel ‘The Scarlett’ last year (which is still my favourite UK stay), and so I jumped at the chance to go back.
On arrival at the hotel, it was clear that it was going to be a very different kind of break, compared to my experience at the Scarlett, with the hotel having a seventies Butlins exterior in contrast to the ultra-modern, eco chic of the Scarlett.
Although the interior of the communal spaces, matches the seventies exterior with its wooden panelling, the seaside themed touches such as the port hole style windows and the use of ‘beachy’ colours lighten up the hallways.
Having found our way down to reception to check in, we were directed to our room on the second floor overlooking the bay.
Our room was fairly spacious and contained four single beds organised in a way that meant that 2 of the beds could be sectioned off by blinds; making it a great option for families with children.
Floor to ceiling sliding windows at the head of the room, open fully to reveal a stunning view of the beach below and some much needed breeze.
The bathroom, whilst quite large and clean was outdated in design and could do with some modernising.
After setting down our luggage, we decided to go and explore the hotel further before settling down in one of the canopied wicker beds with pots of tea on the ‘adults only’ terrace; bliss after the long journey.
On offer as part of the vintage itinerary was kite flying, cake decorating, dance lessons and hula hooping amongst other activities.
We headed down the coastal path to the beach, where the Original Surfboard Company were ready to teach us how to surf with the old fashioned wooden surfboards. Not feeling brave enough to participate, we left it to a group of keen local ladies who donned vintage outfits and showed us how it was done. Impressed by their agility and gallant frivolity in the October sea, we cautiously waded out to take some photos of the action and were surprised how warm it was.
The beach was now bustling with activity as we paddled back to shore and decided what to participate in next. Unfortunately as it was such a gorgeous day, there was not enough wind for the kite flying, but the hula hooping was great fun. The hotel’s head chef was also down on the beach demonstrating how to make Szechuan squid on a camp stove, which signalled it was lunchtime.
We couldn’t have trekked back up the coastal path quickly enough, with the promise of a lunch of local produce.
Fish and Chips Bedruthan style was a trio of various lightly battered fish on a bed of mushy peas, served with hand cut chips and fresh tartare sauce and a fabulous sea view (and a dessert place to die for!)
Our creativity was also tested with the vintage itinerary, with a room full of activities laid on including, cupcake decorating, sewing and retro hair and make-up styling.
Having visited the area before, we decided to make a visit to Watergate Bay (one of my favourite places on the coast), as I had been told about a farmer’s market taking place near Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Olivia was on a quest for the perfect Cornish cream tea.
We were not disappointed with our giant homemade scones and jam, which we enjoyed on the balcony of the Watergate Bay Hotel watching the surfers take advantage of the last daylight waves.
Feeling revived by the sea air and copious quantities of Cornish food consumed, we got changed and made our way to the hotel’s ballroom for the final element of our weekend; a dance lesson. Not being the most coordinated, I left much of the lesson to the professionals and chose to spectate.
Soon enough it was time for more food and we were shown to our table for dinner.
Meals are served in the main dining room overlooking the bay with a menu of seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
I opted for the French onion soup with a deliciously rich cheese topped crouton, one of my favourite dishes Coq au Vin and chocolate cake; all of which I would definitely make a return visit for and set me up for one of the best night’s sleep I had had for a while.
Breakfast was a more relaxed affair with a buffet style offering of everything from cereal and pastries, to a full English.
Sadly after a breakfast of pancakes and coffee the weekend of vintage pleasures in Cornwall was over and we took our seats on the train back to London.
As a child-less guest, it was not instantly obvious how well catered for families are at Bedruthan, however on exploration of the hotel, it was clear what makes this so appealing to parents and their children.
A children’s tea room served an early dinner for the little ones, a babysitting service was also laid on and a note in the room invited parents with crying babies to the ballroom to enjoy a hot drink and settle their baby without worry of disturbing other guests.
If I had children or wanted to participate in a themed break, I would more than certainly return to the Bedruthan Steps Hotel as the location is beautiful, the food was fantastic and everything a family on holiday could wish for has been accommodated. As an adult searching for a weekend of ‘R&R’ I would choose the Scarlett, for its peaceful escapism and luxurious touches.
The Bedruthan Steps Hotel run a number of themed breaks throughout the year including Bread Making, Cath Kidston Crafts, Bee Keeping & Yoga. For more details on these breaks take a look at Bedruthan’s website.