Stories of the Sea

Families and fun time at Fentonluna, Padstow

In desperate need of an escape, Louise (a working mum) and her family (husband Matt, children Lowen 14, Honey 12, Sid 5, plus sister Emma, Mum Kath and Donnie the dog) visit gorgeous Fentonluna in Padstow for a weekend getaway.

Like any working Mum, Friday night sees me finishing work and picking up the kids from school, but tonight I’m also running around the house packing everything in sight.

I load everything in the car; pack the kids in the car, pack husband in the car, pack dog in the car, run back in the house four times for forgotten teddies, toothbrushes etc. Family life is generally crazy, but thankfully this weekend we’re escaping to spend time together and I’m so excited to be heading to Padstow, staying at Fentonluna and focusing solely on relaxing.

 The moment we arrive in Padstow, wind our way down the tiny road, drive the car into the garage and bundle the family into the stunning Georgian house, I immediately feel the busy week dissolve away.

 Walking through the door, the house is beautifully warm and lit; there’s a fresh Cornish cream tea laid out in greeting for us in what can only be described as my dream kitchen. I love the full height ceilings, open kitchen, the grand family dining space with feature lighting over the table and kitchen island. I’ve walked into one of my many Pinterest board fantasies. This is going to be an awesome weekend.

No sooner have I started drooling over the colossal kitchen dining room, do I get a tug on my sleeve from our 12-year-old saying ‘Soooo, where’s the cinema room then?’ Oh yes, how could I forget (seeing as it’s been mentioned approximately 8,000 times on the car journey alone). We climb the wooden stair case and discover a small wooden door at the back of the huge landing on the first floor. Tentatively we open the door to discover a further staircase. We creep up led (dragged) by three children and the weekend is complete for them.

This is an attic that makes all other attics pack their bags and go home, feeling a bit awkward – it’s incredible. Lined with brightly coloured Iroka sofas and giant beanbags, the eaves of the room focus towards the end and with the flip of a remote switch, a cinema screen descends for ultimate film viewing. A PS4 and full range of games and DVDs sit nonchalantly nearby, ready to get this weekend started.

That’s the kids occupied for a while then. In the meantime, we adults hot foot it down to inspect the rest of this magical house. Stunning wooden floorboards lead us from room to room. Cox and Cox throws, Loaf sofas, Soak and Sleep mattresses, a roll top bath, a walk-in shower. Heaven appears to be in Padstow.

Our relaxation begins with a log fire and glass of wine, my Mum and sister are nominated to retrieve Padstow’s finest fish and Chips - Rick Steins, obviously. And we gather together in triumph, first at the gigantic dining room table and then retreating to the deliciously comfortable sitting room (at home we call it a lounge but that really wouldn’t befit this room). We melt into sofas, laugh, chat and watch a little TV, relaxation part one, complete.

Saturday: I wake up feeling mildly confused about this sensation of calm. The bed I’m in is divine, I look out of my window and see the Padstow estuary, and even when my 5-year-old son wanders into the room at 6.45am to ask whether his own feet were comfier than shoes, I feel serene and excited to enjoy the day in Padstow with my family.

 After breakfast and a shower in a bathroom that has Downton Abbey-like qualities (if they had added a walk-in drench shower), we all take a little stroll, two minutes up the road to see the deer at Prideaux Place, built in 1592 and the main house to the estate we are staying in. Legend has it that the deer are the decedents of the original herd which date back to medieval times, and if the herd dies out, the Prideaux family do too.

Children and adults suitably rapt in festive joy, we then turn down the hill and take a stroll into Padstow town (just two minutes from the house). We stroll around the harbour, the bay and the shops (the dog prefers the bay and I preferred the gorgeous boutique shops).  It’s lunchtime now and we have no other choice but to partake of a Cornish Pasty. Chough’s Bakery was our preference but there are many different types to try – there are lots of great eateries in Padstow.

Fulfilled with fresh air and a general air of wholesomeness, we head back to Fentonluna to relax and enjoy a Saturday evening in total comfort. Yet again the fire is lit and I take the rare opportunity, whilst the kids are ensconced watching a Christmas film, to use the roll top bath. This bath has soft mood lighting behind it – it’s the rock star of baths, filled with bubbles and I instantly relax. I found myself, once again, realising how important it is to get away and enjoy a weekend by the coast every now and then.

We finished the weekend with a banquet of Moroccan lamb (cooked by my talented husband) but not for the lack of eating-out choices. Padstow’s home to incredible restaurants and talented chefs such as Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth, the list goes on – and their restaurants are on your doorstep at Fentonluna which is a massive plus.

So, it’s Sunday, we wake up, excited to be here but sad that it’s our last day. Another walk, another use of the delicious bath but now it’s time to head home. I think sanctity is important and quite frankly Fentonluna hit every single button. We felt snuggled up as a family, had space to enjoy privacy and the beauty of Padstow and its stunning coastline to roam.

So I pack the car, pack the family and head home but this busy mum is feeling very chilled out. 

Want to stay at Fentonluna yourself? Take a look here for more information.


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