The weekend before Christmas we travelled southwards to St Ives, Cornwall… for some fresh air and enjoy St Ives in winter. I personally prefer Cornwall in winter, the beaches are empty, windswept and wild. Walks across the headland followed by good food in a local pub by the fire, makes Cornwall the best place to escape the mayhem of the Christmas season.
We were kindly invited by Beachspoke properties to stay in their Coxswains cottage, just a stones throw from the main beaches, shopping and the Tate art gallery. Centrally located in the ‘downalong‘ – the narrow cobbled lanes once occupied by artisans and fishermen at the turn of the last century.
From the outside, Coxswains, looked like any other St Ives terraced house. A simple stone two up two down, but as soon as we stepped inside the door, we knew we were staying in no ordinary holiday cottage.
Like all of Beachspoke properties, Coxswains is a boutique style cottage, with all the charms of a Cornish cottage but with added sophistication. There are three generous bedrooms, two of which have an en suite shower room. Each bed has crisp white sheets, and grey cushions and throw, with white fluffy towels for your stay.
The layout is as follows: through the front door into the corridor and bedroom 1 is to your right, with a super king bed which can be unzipped to form single beds. Following along the corridor past the stairs to upstairs, into the lounge.
The lounge is small, but has all that you need. A large corner sofa, with masses of cosy cushions. A smart TV which is connected to Netflix and normal channels. A large coffee table to sit around, and in the corner a chest is full of board games.
In the corner of the lounge there is a set of stairs to the downstairs where you will find a large kitchen dining area. Fully equipped with stove and oven, a large fridge freezer and alexa for all your needs.
Off the kitchen is a further bathroom which converts into a steam room, complete with sparkling night sky lighting. Dan and the boys spent a good few hours in the steam room, whilst I did some work using the super fast Wifi.
Outside, there is a small courtyard, which leads to a secret tunnel that opens right onto the sand on Porthmeor Beach, utter magical!
Our first evening, we arrived after dark and decided to make life easy for us by eating out. The kids were starving so instead of trying to locate somewhere good to eat we plumped for an old favourite – Pizza Express on the harbour. With views of the Christmas lights and bobbing boats it was so pretty.
That evening we walked the 3 minutes walk back to the cottage and settled down to board games.
The next morning we walked around the corner to the Tate St Ives. Breakfast was calling, so we made a beeline to the cafe with it’s glorious view over St Ives. Once fully caffeinated, we wound our back down through the galleries view the modern art exhibitions from local and visiting artists.
Outside, we walked to the Island headland for a long walk around the beaches.
Windswept and damp, the weather was not kind for our walk, we quickly headed to Fore Street to buy some local bread and food from the deli. Returning to the cottage for an afternoon of food, lounging and movies.
That evening, we ate out once more, trying the Portminster Kitchen. Located over looking the harbour, up a set of ‘secret’ stairs to a beautifully decorated restaurant. A roaring fire and delicious food, my fish pie was the best I have ever eaten – fact!
St Ives is really spoilt for good shops and restaurants, all with in a few minutes walk from the cottage. Our stay at Coxswain was short, but so so memorable. We long to return in the summer to make full use of that secret door to the beach. I can really see the boys running in and out of the cottage, grabbing their body boards or warming up in the steam room after spending too long in the sea.
Thank you to Beachspoke for sending us to Coxswain cottage, it was a wonderful experience, and a lovely thing to do just before Christmas.
You can book your stay for 2018 below:
Back Road West in Downalong
Bookings: Beachspoke/Coxswains Cottage
Collaboration Note: Thank you to Beachspoke for our two night stay in St Ives. All words, thoughts and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the posts that make this blog possible.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.