Last year with Rufus being only six months old we decided to do a few mini breaks away to test the waters with taking a little one away. This year I was determined that we would try and get at least a week away and hopefully find somewhere with some sunshine and a beach. My husband isn’t overly keen taking the little one overseas so we opted for beautiful Cornwall.
Hoping we would have a summer like last year we booked for the end of June at Watergate Bay, a hotel on the north coast of Cornwall. I had seen this insta friendly hotel a few times and thought it looked perfect for our trip away.
A call to the hotel and our room was booked, a deluxe family room I couldn’t wait. We decided to break up the journey by staying at The Pig Hotel in Combe for a couple of days beforehand (which was lovely and I’ll write about that too as I was so impressed with it). Thankfully we did this as Friday traffic was horrendous and it took hours to get there that Friday evening, hours later than planned so who knows how long it would have taken to get to Watergate Bay!
So on Sunday we packed up from The Pig and headed to Watergate Bay but stopping off at Rock to go to The Mariner’s for Fathers Day lunch. Recently been taken over by Paul and Emma Ainsworth, this was a wonderful pit stop. A relaxing venue full of locals and holiday goers with friends and dogs.
We dined upstairs and overlooked the boats unfortunately it wasn’t the best day as it rained so the view wasn’t at its best but I can imagine a fabulous vista with a glass of rose on the balcony. Both Alex and Isobelle had the beef Sunday lunch which was a hit, apparently it rivalled Alex’s own efforts (and he is the master of a good roast dinner). I on the other hand went for fish, it had to be done I’m at the seaside so a beautifully prepared piece of Thornback Ray skate with a lemon buttery dressing and green beans was just divine. Not the easiest thing to eat whilst feeding little Ru but I managed it, where there’s a will there’s a way as they say!
A great restaurant to take children, very family friendly with high chair ready and waiting and a small persons cutlery. Staff were attentive and friendly and made us feel very welcome. All these things that are important when looking for good quality food restaurants. Nothing worse than going to a stuffy restaurant with a toddler, worrying what’s going to happen!
The only downside is that it doesn’t have parking, so we parked a few roads down and walked up.
So 21 miles later we found ourselves driving down a winding road down to Watergate Bay. A great level of excitement as we could slowly see the stunning golden sands and shimmering sea waters in the afternoon sunlight.
We parked at the hotel and Alex went to check in, unfortunately they couldn’t find the booking so that didn’t start off too well and we couldn’t check in for a while so we popped to The Living Space for a drink and whatever frustrations we had were slightly diminished by the fabulous views, indeed a treat for the eyes.
The views are just beautiful and the calm, a chilled laid back vibe in the hotel makes you at ease at once. The hotel was a mixed crowd of people from couples, twenty somethings with friends there to surf, retired couples, young families and then whole families from Grandparents to babies, the hotel caters for all.
After a nice chilled rose wine we checked into our room. We were staying in a deluxe family suite. this comprised of a bedroom/living room area, bathroom and bedroom with bunk beds and a cot. The rooms were in another part of the hotel called the Coach House which allowed dogs. The hotel is dog friendly and a lot of people had their faithful friends with them, Watergate Bay beach is a a big hit for dog walkers. We stayed in room 65 and opposite our room was a kitchen for guests, perfect for us to warm up bottles in the microwave for Rufus in the morning’s and evening’s and to sterilise (yes I know… I’m still sterilising them and he is 18 months!)
So after we unpacked and freshened up we headed to the beach that was a five minute walk from our room. The weather wasn’t great but we had to have a stroll before dinner to take in the view and stunning surroundings – even with the grey clouds and drizzle.
After a nice lazy breakfast in the restaurant where Rufus made himself known to all the waiters, waitresses and guests (he likes to say hello or generally say something to that effect in his own sweet way) we went for a post breakfast walk. The sky was desperate to show us a hint of blue and Cornwall at its best, dog walkers were out in force and the tide was low so we could walk along the two miles of golden sand.
The beach is a European Designated beach and has achieved the highest standard for UK bathing water. Also known as surfers and water sports paradise for some with its open bay and how it frequently picks up swell from the Atlantic. Also good to know for those with children, that there are RNLI lifeguards patrolling the beach from mid May to the end of September, keeping us all safe.
Rufus had a good run around and fell over countless times on the beach and got soaked so we decided to pop into the surf shop on the beach and grab him a wet suit. Now he could fall over as many times as he liked! He absolutely loved playing on the beach and seeing all the different dogs and was in his element all morning. After a much needed nap we headed for a late lunch.
Sitting outside on the balcony with a nice chilled wine, listening to some ambient beats and the view I was in my element. The menu was a mix of healthy, Asian, British inspired foods with something to please everyone.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing and taking in the view. My step daughter Issy went to the gym and then headed for a swim to check out the facilities.
We decided to eat in Zacry’s early that evening and we had the most splendid meal. Some beautiful dishes that you could see being made in the kitchens as they were in full view to us. I opted for a fish dish (of course) and then had the most stunning chocolate and salted caramel dessert. However, for me it was an early night and getting the little one to bed unfortunately he was teething so he was a little unsettled at night. But my husband and Issy stayed and watched the stunning sunset across the bay.
A bit grey was our start to the day so we left Rufus with his daddy and Issy and I headed to the gym and to have some relaxation time. This was much needed as I hadn’t had the best night with Ru so an hour in the gym to work off that dessert and then a swim looking out to the beach was what this mama needed!
The hotel has a small gym, sauna, hot tub and 25m infinity pool looking out to the beach which is stunning and the spa whereby you can have an assortment of relaxing treatments. Each day the hotel have a board that says what is on for the day at Swim Club so you can use the spa facilities, take part in early morning yoga or a more energetic spinning class. Not to forget, you can of course head to Extreme Academy and get surfing!
After a wonderfully relaxing couple of hours taking time out for myself and spending some quality time with Issy we decided to spend the afternoon at Padstow. A short drive to Rick Stein land we headed down those infamous narrow Cornish lanes and half an hour later we were there. Although it was a tad grey and drizzly it didn’t take anything away from its Cornish charm.
For those that aren’t familiar with Padstow it’s a charming town and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall. The town is an eclectic mix of fisherman’s cottages and merchant’s houses, although the fishing and port has declined over the centuries it has been turned into one of Britain’s holiday destinations. With the help of a certain celebrity chef Rick Stein he has firmly helped put this town back on the map.
So it was only right that we would pop to Rick Stein’s for fish & chips and luckily for us we got in! Apparently its normal for a wait of an hour or longer when in the busy summer month’s. I was determined to do a few Cornish treats on this holiday so we popped to Roly’s Fudge Pantry as recommended by my good friend Becky, indulged in ice cream and then headed for a pint on the harbour! A good day was had by all as they say.
This was a good morning, a sky of blue awaited us and a day on the beach. As the weather was so much better we thought we would just hang out at the hotel all day. Rufus and I headed up the coastal path after breakfast to take in the view. We met a lovely couple who were staying at the hotel and had a little chat with them, then stopped by the cafe bar where the surfers hang out.
Rufus donned his wetsuit and we hit the beach. So sweet to see Rufus playing in the water and collecting shells, unfortunately he didn’t quite understand that sand wasn’t for eating. I did have quite a few moments this holiday just watching him playing, smiling and chuckling away, thinking how grateful I am to finally have this little boy.
When I had tired him out I hit the gym and had a lovely couple of hours to myself. I popped down to the sauna which overlooks the beach and just took in the view and enjoying have some me time. I don’t get very much me time so I take it whilst I can!
Our last night at the hotel we decided to eat close to the beach at The Beach Hut and just sit and watch the world go by. At this time you had a lot of people who had finished work and had come to just relax, dog walk or surf. I had a lovely meal again so I would really rate the food at this hotel. There are five restaurants to eat and drink at including Zacry’s, The Beach Hut, The Living Space, Watchful Mary and Fifteen Cornwall. The only place I didn’t eat at was Fifteen as I wanted to eat early evening with Rufus and get him to bed as he was so exhausted each night. In retrospect my husband and I should have gone when I’d put Rufus to bed and got Issy or a baby sitter from the hotel, but most days I was quite tired too. Sometimes I think this is one of the mistakes you make as a new mummy, not giving yourselves enough adult time!
So with Issy and the hub off to watch the sunset at the Watchful Mary, Ru and I headed off to our room so we could do bath and bed and I could pack up. Another beautiful sunset on another beautiful day at Watergate Bay.
The food and drinks at the hotel were just perfect for me and for the family.
The staff were nice and pleasant but quite laid back but perhaps thats the all round vibe of the hotel.
The spa facilities especially the view from the infinity pool, sauna and hot tub, just stunning.
The Kids Zone & XA Club, a great place for the little ones and the older ones too. Childcare is available if required for parents and supervised sessions, family entertainment and surf lessons galore daily.
Teething problems at checking in were a tad frustrating but were sorted out.
No parking bay or concierge and our room was uphill in the Coach House so that was difficult taking all our bags with a little one.
Family deluxe room – clean and modern but not as big as we expected I have stayed at much nicer hotels with better bigger family rooms, eg, The Pig at Coombe.
If you are staying at the hotel and not venturing out to other towns to eat take note that the menu’s don’t change that regularly. To be honest not a problem for me but my husband was rather limited with his choices.
Yes! This is a fabulous hotel for all in a beautiful spot in the world. The only thing I would suggest to you is to check the rooms when booking. There wasn’t much availability when I booked so I was glad to get a room however I did think I would get a room with a view and we got a room overlooking the driveway – not what you want when there is that beach vista to look at!
If you go or have been I would love to hear from you, just write in the comments below. Any suggestions for Cornwall would be greatly appreciated as I’d like to book another trip for the family.