Cornwall

Bringing a Boutique Retreat to life

Set high on the hills, overlooking the south Cornish coast with incredible views over the sea towards St Michael’s Mount, Fingers Point is a stunning retreat for two which I was lucky enough to stay in recently. Like many of our retreats, Fingers Point has a great story behind it, so when I met owners Karen and Mike, I asked them about how this gorgeous home stay came to life.

Both born and bred in the far west of Cornwall (Mike is from Penzance and Karen from Nelwyn), they moved back west in 2010 after living in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire for 20 years. They bought their home, which also included a derelict barn, after falling in love with the incredible views and the peaceful location.

The barn, originally part of Lower Trenowin Farm, had originally been a cow shed then used by a local building company as a work shop. Karen and Mike thought long and hard about what to do with it, before deciding to turn it into a luxurious retreat. ‘Our goal was to create somewhere we’d want to arrive to after a long drive,’ Mike tells me, smiling. ‘Somewhere that was really welcoming - a home-from-home with all those little luxuries we’d look for, whilst also being true and in keeping with the area.’ 

There’s no doubt they’ve achieved this.

The conversion was a true labour of love, taking 18 months to magically transform a dilapidated barn into a truly luxurious home stay. Forming an upside down ‘L’ shape, the living, dining and kitchen area is located in the original barn, whilst the bathroom and bedroom was added on during the build. Mike was keen to use locally-sourced materials where possible; the sturdy oak beams come from nearby Lelant, the granite stone used in the walls was hunted down through local suppliers and most of the furniture was hand-made by cabinet-maker Ben Williams in Hayle.

Many of the unique features have their own stories; the huge lintel that bridges the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area was reclaimed from a manor house in nearby Constantine. The gorgeous, rounded stone column in the bathroom, a lucky find by Mike, became the focal point around which the whole bathroom was designed.

I asked Mike and Karen what the most difficult aspects of the conversion had been – they laughed and both agreed that it was sourcing good-quality granite (for the walls) and sorting the lighting so it can be dimmed. The lighting is incredible; beautiful industrial lights in the living/kitchen area, a pretty clutch of lights over the bed and super-cool feature lighting such as small lights embedded in the floor to help you see at night without waking up your bedfellow.  Other little niggles included waiting six months for a rug to arrive, the bespoke toilet door and a splash back that had to be replaced three times due to breakage – but all worth it in the grander scheme of things.

The fabulous interiors – 151 shades of grey – are highlighted with hot pinks and a gorgeous light green. The bed head, chair, footstool and cushions are covered in a lovely Liberty print which Karen found and loved. Weirdly, she later found out that the print was based on a photograph taken of a field of flowers in nearby Godolphin gardens – another lovely link to the area, albeit unintentional!

Outside, the small-but-perfectly formed garden was created with a little help from a Chelsea Flower Show gold winner, who designed the space to make the most of the lovely view. The gorgeous hot tub, raised high so you can watch St Michael’s Mount in the distance, is perfect for two whilst the succulent and grass-filled beds are flanked by old sleepers and pebbles, adding a subtle coastal touch.

During the 18-month project, our Property Manager visited Mike and Karen regularly to help with any queries they might have - ‘It was very reassuring – just to know that we were on the right track’ – and finally Fingers Point joined our portfolio in June, where it’s proven to be extremely popular with couples looking for a romantic coastal getaway.

And the name, Fingers Point? Like many things, it all started with a conversation in a pub! Chatting to a local (who happened to be the brother of the Cornish comedian Jethro) about where they lived, he said, ‘Oh you live up the top near Fingers Point’. Named Fingers Point because this is what people do when they come to the top of the hill by their house, it’s certainly apt!

Want to stay in this gorgeous retreat for two? Take a look here for more information.

Karen and Mike, the lovely owners of Fingers Point.

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