Family Fun and Gin in Cornwall

October 05, 2023 4 min read

Family Fun and Gin in Cornwall

Holidaying in Cornwall

Well as far as family holidays go, this year was up there with the very best. Cornwall you have stolen our hearts!

The love affair with Cornwall started as we drove down the A30 in the warm August sunshine. The excitement was building as the phone reception was dwindling. The moment we saw the view from our caravan decking, we knew it was going to be a cracking week.

It’s always a risk to put a family of four in a car for six and a half hours, so the moment of relief when you realise that all the ‘are we nearly there yet’s' and games of eye spy have 100 percent been worth it, was joyful. I don’t mind admitting that I took myself off for a little weep of happiness on arrival.

I do like to be beside the seaside

Hayle was a great location for an active family. We were just a sand dune slide down to Hayle beach, which on the first few days was abundant with sun and the sea like a mill pond. Calm seas were not what our body boarding daughter had in mind, but it was perfect for a slightly harassed Mummy on her paddle board. Never have I been more ready for a bit of escapism. That paddle board is like a drop of Nirvana to my over active, constantly occupied brain.

Inevitably in British Summer Time the weather changed mid week to torrential rain, but we planned ahead and took the opportunity to explore a bit more of our corner of Cornwall. We were even more excited to catch the coastal train from St. Erth to St. Ives that we’d enjoyed watching across the bay every lunchtime. The kids thought the train looked like a caterpillar moving across a juicy leaf.

Exploring St. Ives

So having disembarked the caterpillar onto St. Ives platform, the heavens had well and truly opened. Quick flip flop shuffle over to a nearby kiosk to buy umbrellas and then a further pitstop in town to buy kids raincoats. For someone born and bred in North West England, you wouldn’t imagine I’d be so optimistic with my packing, but raincoats had been left off my very long list whilst loading the car.

The narrow and sinewy roads through the town of St. Ives were a treat in themselves. Full of holiday makers making the best of a rainy day. Lots of half dressed people in Dry Robes heading back to their accommodation having enjoyed a morning’s surf.

We had wisely made a reservation from a clued-up friend’s recommendation. Porthmeor Beach Café did not disappoint (well done Sabine!). If you haven't been; go. If you have been, go again! A wonderfully warm welcome from the staff and some of the best table service we’ve experienced as a family anywhere. The food was interesting, surprising and really tasty. Who knew watermelon, aubergine and halloumi could be such a great combo? To wash it down, we drank a Cornish wine. I was a little concerned by the thought of English wine, didn’t seem natural, but I was happy to be proved wrong. A bottle of Knightor – Carpe diem disappeared all too quickly and a lasting regret is that I didn’t buy an extra bottle to bring home. I have considered tracking it down and buying a case for my husband’s birthday. However, would it taste the same in the North West countryside? Perhaps it’s best served with Cornish sand in your toes and Celtic sea salt in the air.

Gin & Rum in St. Ives

Meandering happily back to the station, we took the opportunity to take a look inside a few of the interesting shops on the way. Tarquin’s Gin Shop caught my eye with it’s copper equipment displayed in the window. After much talk of pirates all week with the kids, it was also understandable that I was drawn to the TwinFins rum shop. So with my husband’s back pack full of beautifully colourful spirit bottles and four takeaway loaded scones, we made our way home past Cardis Bay and back to our cozy caravan in Hayle.

The beaches

The beaches on St. Ives bay are such a treat. The tide providing natural water parks. Smaller rock pools full of wildlife to net. Also large warm pools perfect for practicing surfing/wake boarding whilst being towed by Daddy.

We were lucky to have a hidden gem called the Cove Café on our doorstep which served perfection in stone baked pizzas and cold rose blush wine. Scoffing well earned pizza and wine calories whilst overlooking Hayle beach and the stunning Hayle estuary.

Cornish Ice cream

Now, let’s discuss ice cream. I’m sure its much talked about, but as it was our Cornwall debut, there has to be a mention of this Cornish delicacy. I mean – wow! From the unlikeliest of spots – an icecream van called Mr. Berties, parked in a Haven holiday park we enjoyed the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Just wow! Ridiculous! After the sheer delectability of this ice cream, Mr. Bertie was a legend of the Smith holiday. Imagine my son’s surprise when Mr. Bertie himself also served us fish and chips at the on site chippy. Talented chap 😊

Well done Cornwall you are amazing and on behalf of the Smith family, thank you for all the fun.

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