The Idle Rocks, St Mawes

I’ve been aware of The Idle Rocks hotel for a while, a luxurious 18-bedroom hotel on the water’s edge in St. Mawes, but haven’t previously had the opportunity to stay at this much-loved property. The chic, nautical accommodation is busy year-round, but winter is a quieter, calmer time to visit, which we enjoyed, especially with two young kids.

St. Mawes is a small fishing village found at the end of the Roseland peninsula, and is the home to a few lovely hotels, including The Idle Rocks and its sister hotel St. Mawes Hotel. We were lucky to experience both of these hotels during our stay.

St. Mawes Hotel is just a few minutes walk from The Idle Rocks and is a great place to visit with kids. We had a casual, but tasty, meal here one evening before a viewing at their boutique ‘Hidden Cinema’. The cinema has regular showings and we were lucky to catch Moana, perfect for all four of us! The deluxe reclining seats and freshly made popcorn made the whole experience really special.

At The Idle Rocks, the 18 bedrooms are all unique in decor and style, crisp whites are combined with accents of colour and joyful patterns. The staff were very kind to give us two adjacent rooms to help remedy the effects of two sleep-stealing children! Both rooms had very comfortable Hypnos beds, feather duvets and plenty of plump pillows.

The bathrooms are stocked with complimentary Aromatherapy Associates bath and body products, and particularly fluffy towels and robes.

The living areas in the rooms were designed to encourage relaxation, and we loved sitting with a cup of tea and watching the rowing boats go by on the water outside. We also really enjoyed the bottle of sparkling Knightor wine, made from the vineyards above the shores of St Austell Bay on the south coast of Cornwall.

The ground floor of the hotel has expansive views of the water, various dining areas offer guests options for breakfast, dinner and relaxing with refreshments throughout the day. I loved the more eclectic style of this area, with quirky colourful artwork and bold bright fabrics.

We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room each morning, an appetising spread of continental treats and a menu of indulgent hot dishes. The Eggs Benedict was cooked to perfection and I loved the Potato Rosti with Spicy Beans.

On the final night, we headed downstairs for drinks and dinner in the celebrated Idle Rocks restaurant. Cocktails are superior at The Idle Rocks; opt for a signature serve or ask the experienced bar team for your favourite tipple… we loved the negroni made with Falmouth Loveday gin.

Chef Dorian Janmaat excels in the kitchen, presenting guests with a 7-course tasting menu or an appealing a la carte menu. This talented young chef previously worked at Le Manoir and it’s easy to see the influence of French cooking in his dishes with exemplary sauces and perfect meat and fish cookery. The menus showcase Cornwall’s local seafood and produce – we absolutely loved the Monkfish with hen of the woods, rainbow chard and black garlic ketchup, and my Pork Tenderloin with winter vegetable ragout was the ideal fine dining comfort food on a cold winter’s evening.

We noticed lots of couples relishing the chance for a little January getaway at The Idle Rocks, but it is also a great place to bring the whole family. My older son adored the Kids Room, which is kitted out with all  kinds of toys, dressing up outfits and a chalk board for drawing.

The Idle Rocks (and it’s surrounding area) is a wonderful place to spend time but if you fancy a day trip, I can highly recommend the ferry from St. Mawes to Falmouth. It takes just 15 minutes and you may even spot dolphins on route (we were lucky to see them on both journeys).

More information and book a stay at The Idle Rocks here.

I was a guest of The Idle Rocks Hotel.

Atlanta Trevone Bay, luxury accommodation in North Cornwall

Cornwall has become one of the most popular UK destinations in the holiday season, but in January this beautiful part of the country is extra special, quiet and calm. After a stressful, Covid-filled Christmas, a long weekend away was just what I needed to reset and recharge… and Atlanta Trevone Bay provided the perfect home-away-from-home to do this.

Atlanta Trevone Bay

There are five properties in the Atlanta Trevone Bay collection, each recently decorated in a stylish, luxurious way that takes family needs very much into consideration. For larger groups, the Atlanta House and The Penthouse both sleep 8 guests. We were staying at the pristine Atlanta View (the smallest of the properties) which comfortably hosts 5 and a toddler. Our apartment was full of character and charm, decorated with details that emphasise the Victorian features of the building. The three bedrooms had sumptuous mattresses that made bedtime a real treat, sinking into the cosy beds while the winter winds purred and the waves crashed outside.

Atlanta Trevone Bay

The large windows offer impressive views of Trevone Head and the Lifeboat Station and we loved wandering down to the quiet beach each morning to explore and collect shells.

Atlanta Trevone BayAtlanta Trevone Bay

Eating out is expensive with a family so it was great to be able to cook in the well-appointed kitchen in our accommodation. With a high-tech oven, handy boiling water tap and every kitchen appliance you could need, cooking here was an enjoyable experience. We visited nearby St. Kews Farm shop for local produce and also enjoyed the hamper of treats from boutique Cornish company Lola’s.

Atlanta Trevone Bay

I am usually a keen adventurer, wanting to check out every new cafe and shop in town, but the cosy, calm comfort of Atlanta Trevone encouraged me to slow down and enjoy a few quieter days, which I now know I really needed. Whatever the season, this collection of properties is a lovely place to settle for a memorable Cornish holiday.

More information and book a stay here.

I was a guest of Atlanta Trevone Bay.

1898 The Post, Ghent

For our first trip abroad as a family of four I wanted something charming but accessible… 1898 The Post is a boutique hotel that has been on my radar for a while, a beautiful 38 room accommodation located in the centre of Ghent in Belgium. Just a few hours away from London (via Eurostar and a local train connection) this destination is perfect for a short 2-3 day trip and is small enough to explore entirely by foot.

1898 The Post

We arrived late morning on a Thursday and though the entrance was a little tricky to navigate, once inside the staff were swift with our check-in and took us immediately to our room, despite us being several hours earlier than planned.

1898 The Post inhabits a small part of an impressive neo-Gothic building which was once Ghent’s head post office. The exterior has fairytale turrets and a decorative facade, while the interiors is blessed with tall windows and historic details. The hotel emphasises the charm further with its postal themed rooms and furnishings.

1898 The Post

Choose from various room types – the smallest is ‘A Stamp’ the largest 8 rooms are each uniquely arranged suites. We were very comfortable in a split level ‘Letter’ room with magnificent tall windows and a very high ceiling. The room is dark in decor which gives the perfect cosy feel in winter, and we were very grateful to have this warm hideaway when the weather turned torrential outside!

1898 The Post

The King size bed was blissfully comfortable, and other facilities included an antique writing desk, marble-clad bathroom with walk in shower upstairs and a small toilet. Free WiFi, flatscreen TV, stocked minibar, free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine and Guerlain toiletries ensured all our needs were met.

1898 The Post1898 The Post

Though the common spaces are small at 1898 they are certainly well looked after and well loved (both with staying guests and visitors). A small honesty bar area is ideal for a quiet evening nightcap with a book… Or you can head to the main bar area which becomes The Cobbler at night. This cocktail bar is known to be one of the best in the city, with a succinct but award-winning menu. We had a lovely evening here listening to vintage jazz and sipping on strong, tasty drinks.

1898 The Post

Breakfast is also served in this room, which overlooks the city square. A high quality buffet offers fruit, pastries, meats and cheese, yoghurt and cereal and much more. On our second morning we ordered omelettes from the hot kitchen, they were absolutely delicious and set us up for a day of exploring in the cold winter weather! There was also plenty to feed our 2 year old son, who delighted in the mini cereal boxes and fresh orange juice.

Just a few train journey from London I found Ghent to be the perfect weekend destination. And if you do decide to visit Belgium for a longer trip, Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges are all under an hour by train from Ghent, so you can devise a full Belgian itinerary!

More information and book a room at 1898 The Post here.

I was a guest of the hotel.