Friday, June 2, 2017

Where To Stay in St Ives: Trevose Harbour House

We arrived in St. Ives on a slow crawler of a local train from St. Erth - a pretty, 15-minute ride taking us along the southwest coast of Cornwall, a sea of blue shimmering below. At Trevose Harbour House, we were greeted warmly by Jess, and I marvelled at how naturally bronzed one could be in May in England - and vowed to get that Cornwall glow myself, even if aided by St Tropez Gradual Tan.

After sipping tumblers of ice cold water infused with strawberries (greatly appreciated after a long and sweaty train ride down from London, during part of which we stood), we eagerly headed up to our room, the Harbour View Petite Superior, Room 4.

With beautiful, sweeping views of the rooftops and St Ives harbour beyond, the room was small but perfectly formed. I fell in love with every little detail: the ceramic patterned kettle; the single yellow tulip in a bud vase; the mid-century modern dresser re-envisioned as a bathroom vanity unit; the homemade ginger cookies that were refreshed every evening.

The next morning, we met the owners, Angela and Olivier, at breakfast. Friendly and charming, they flitted between tables enquiring about guests' plans for the day, offering to help with walking routes and restaurant reservations.

And although breakfast is the only meal served at Trevose Harbour House (besides a champagne afternoon tea hamper that can be prepared on request for nibbling on the beach), it's serious stuff: the milk comes from local Trewithen Farm (although Lactofree and soy were also available), the granola (John's favorite!) is homemade, and the cooked breakfasts range from a choice of hot 'croque croissant' (St Endellion Brie, tomato and dry cured bacon) to avocado toast with fresh leaves, coriander, asparagus, poached egg and tomato salsa (it's divine).

One morning during our stay, we took advantage of the briefly good weather (the afternoon saw torrential downpours that sent everyone running for cover under shop awnings) and enjoyed our breakfast (with the newspaper, nonetheless) al fresco.

I couldn't resist trying the English breakfast with poached eggs, potato rosti, sausage, dry cured bacon, beans, and the most delicious, flavourful mix of mushrooms I'd ever had in a cooked breakfast. I mentioned this to Olivier, who explained that the traditional use of closed-cup mushrooms in English breakfasts seemed "boring", so he threw in other varieties, like shitake.

And although I had toast with delicious marmalade and jam to enjoy in front of me, I couldn't resist helping myself to a generous dollop of fresh yoghurt topped with Olivier's addictive granola and fresh berries.

After a tough hike along the South West Coastal Path, we returned to Trevose Harbour House with stones in our shoes and a serious craving for a cup of tea. Relieved of the prickly objects and with a cup of English breakfast in hand, I sunned myself on the sun-trap roof terrace, while John went shopping for a wetsuit to go swimming in the sea. On our bed was a personal invitation to an exhibition launch at a local art gallery that evening - so lovely! Unfortunately for us, the walk had rendered us sleepy and useless, so we skipped the launch in favor of taking a long nap before dinner time (though we managed to fit in a quick round of frisbee at Porthminster beach as well).

Trevose Harbour House was a lovely base for us to explore St. Ives from. Its proximity to the centre of town, as well as the train station and Porthminster beach (all within a 5 minute walk or less), meant that we never rushed - instead, adopting a leisurely, slow pace befitting of people who were, you know, on vacation.

And of course, the beautiful blue and white interior decor made every aspect of our stay Instagram-worthy:

It was magical to climb into bed with the windows open (which was necessary as our room was unusually hot and would become stuffy throughout the day, though a fan solved this), watching the sun set late into the evening and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves.

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