So there I was, trying to rally the time and effort to put together a website to share my favourite places and family adventures, when the magicians at Cool Places came up with a UK-wide guide to places to eat, drink, sleep, go and shop, all put together by regional experts on the ground. Lucky for me, I’m that expert on the ground in Cornwall, so I now have a ready-made platform to tell you all about the watering holes, secret coves, cycle trails, adrenalin activities and local hidey-holes I stumble across on my travels around the county. Even luckier for me, www.coolplaces.co.uk comes with sleek design, web wizardry, marketing skills and years of guidebook know-how already in place. So all I have to do is keep my section updated with the coolest, quirkiest, most original and adventurous things to see and do on my home patch.
So far the site is focussed on six of Cornwall’s hotspots: the arty hub of St Ives, maritime Falmouth, surfy Newquay, the archipelago of the Scillies, yachtie and literary Fowey, and the gastronomer’s seaside favourite – Padstow. During the last decade I’ve clocked up sailing passages, coastal rambles, literary trails, bike rides and countless beach days, with the sole ambition of enjoying and exploring this beautiful corner of the country. Once it was just with a camera and surfboard in tow that I set about my mission, now two toddlers and a dog are dragged from beach to moor in my wake.
Being an outdoorsy girl and beer fan, I’ve spent a lot of time researching drinking holes by the sea, and although Perranporth’s Watering Hole comes up trumps for being uber-cool and bang on the beach, my all out favourite is still Porthtowan’s Blue Bar, with its line-up of music and comedy, classic burgers and nachos, trendy décor, sea-view booths and surfside terrace.
For places to stay there is no such long-standing winner. Where once the likes of Olga Polizzi’s Hotel Tresanton beamed its chic luxury a cut above the rest, now chintzy B&Bs have been replaced by eco hotels, stylish guesthouses, glampsites and cool surf lodges. Bedruthan Steps and Sands Resort both (deservingly) came up trumps in the top 25 family hotels in the UK on Tripadvisor, but another contender has to be the Polurrian Bay Hotel, perched cliff-side on the Lizard above an idyllic sandy cove. Even with two toddlers, a dog and a half-enthused boyfriend in tow here you will be made to feel thoroughly pampered, with gourmet food, free childcare and the stress pummelled from your shoulders in the hotel spa.
While I’ll endeavour to keep adding my Cornish gems to the bloggins (after all, I wouldn’t want to bore you with them all at once, and there are many more to find), in the meantime checkout www.coolplaces.co.uk to find my cool picks across the county. You can review them, rate them and add your own – and do let me know if there are any others you’d like me to check out and include.