Sunshine and sea breezes at Crabbers…

Sunshine and sea breezes at Crabbers…

Driving along the sea front at Penzance, late Friday afternoon, I was super-excited to be staying at Crabbers in Mousehole for the week. With the windows down, the sky a clear baby blue and the sea frothy and turquoise, it was an unseasonably warm start to my May getaway. Sat next to me was my Mum, down from Wales for the week. This break was just the opportunity we needed to spend lots of time together – a rare thing these days – and a chance for her, Cornish born and bred – to reconnect with the motherland.

Once we’d made it through the winding Mousehole roads to the car park, we easily found Crabbers, a pretty stone cottage close to the water with a fabulous sea terrace. Opening the door, we found it warm and cosy, with the underfloor heating warming our feet and all the lights on in welcome. In the kitchen we found the most incredible welcome hamper filled with goodies such as champagne, bread, jam, eggs, local cheese, olives, chocolate, butter, cheesy biscuits and local shortbread – just the perfect welcome.

Popping our bags down, we explored the cottage. Downstairs, there’s the kitchen to the left and the sitting room to the right, each with their own woodburning stove. We love the luxurious yet laid back feel, and the gorgeous original features such as the huge fireplace in the kitchen and the wooden partitions between the rooms. Up the wooden stairs, there are two spacious bedrooms, each with sea views, and a gorgeous bathroom. Mum bags the room with the wider sea view, whilst I get the bigger bed – a fair compromise!

That evening, we whip up a quick supper and sit watching the twilight descend through the kitchen window overlooking the harbour and sea. As we watch fishing boats bob out to sea, lights twinkling, we have some classical music playing on the DAB radio – a perfect arrival to Crabbers.

The next morning, we wake up fully refreshed after a blissful nights’ sleep. My bed is just amazing – a super king bed and super comfy too, and Mum loves the wrought-iron king sized bed next door. After a shower each in the Moroccan-plastered bathroom, we take our breakfast outside on to the lovely sea terrace. The sky is bright blue, the calm sea sparkling – a perfect morning. We don’t rush, taking our time and watching the world go by.

We decide to walk to Penzance for lunch, so we head off, joining the coastal path that runs through Newlyn, the iconic, busy fishing village. It’s a great walk to do, and certainly a different view of Cornwall with the working harbour. Once in Penzance, we head to Mermaid Alley, a wonderful eaterie tucked away off the main street. Serving healthy, local produce, we thoroughly enjoy our meal and a wander before catching the handy shuttle bus back to Mousehole.

It’s still deliciously warm, so whilst Mum has an afternoon nap, I have a stroll around the harbour and grab a few bits for supper from the Hole Food Deli before settling in on the sea terrace at Crabbers with a good book. That evening, after dinner, we light the lovely wood burner in the sitting room and settle down with a film on Netflix – perfect!

Next morning, we spend the day exploring Mousehole. An ancient fishing village filled with picturesque cottages, narrow winding roads, interesting galleries, shops and places to eat, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Being still quite early in the season, it’s not too busy so we easily grab a seat at Rock Pool Café, a wonderfully hidden-away spot that could easily be missed – just head for the bottom of the main car park. Overlooking St Clement’s Isle, a rocky reef close to shore, we have a cheeky coffee and cake whilst soaking up the sunshine and gazing out to sea.

That evening, we head to The Old Coastguard for dinner. A family and dog-friendly restaurant (they ask if you want a ‘dog’ table on booking!), this is a lovely spot with excellent food – the fish dishes here are amazing. When booking your table, request a sea view table – you won’t be disappointed. Full to the brim after oysters, hake and a delicious dessert, we roll down the hill back to Crabbers.

The next day, after a slow start, I whisk Mum off on a magical mystery tour of the far west of Cornwall. Mousehole is a great base from which to explore, so we take in Porthcurno beach, Lamorna Cove, Sennen and the wonderful drive along to St Ives. This part of the coastline is so wonderfully unspoilt, and the views are spectacular. We stop in Sennen for a stroll along the beach and find a cute café for afternoon tea – perfect!

That evening, we head to 2 Fore Street in Mousehole for dinner. Small and intimate, booking is a must. It has lovely harbour views and the seafood menu is just delicious – a real treat. The chilli, samphire and garlic king prawns I have are amazing, whilst my Mum loves the seafood curry.

The next day we head to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount. The tide is in, so we catch one of the small boats that ferry visitors to and from the island. The tide has only just turned, and we watch as some foolhardy walkers’ stride across the causeway as quickly as possible, many wading through water that reaches their knees. Always check the tide times on your visit! Once on the island, we climb up the cobbled path through the garden to the castle. A must-see, this castle has transitioned from friary, fort and castle to finally becoming a family home. Each room is home to fascinating artefacts, stained glass windows and magnificent sea views. The church, dating back to the 12th century, is particularly beautiful.

Afterwards, we stroll through the impressive, stunning sub-tropical gardens which cling and climb the rocks and survive the gales and salty winds because of the Gulf Stream which passes the island. We look at the shops and exhibitions, stopping for tea and cake, before heading back to Marazion on the ferry.

We spend the rest of the day at Crabbers, enjoying the sea terrace and the cottage. The weather is turning slightly chillier, so we light both wood burners, making it super-cosy for a blissfully relaxed evening.

The next day we’re super-excited to be heading to the Minack Theatre to see The Fisherman’s Friends in concert. My Mum is a massive fan, as am I, so that evening we packed a picnic and wrapped up warm and drove to the theatre. One of the most impressive outdoor theatres in the UK, the Minack is perched high above Porthcurno beach and has incredible sea views. Luckily the evening was clear and bright (events only ever get cancelled if the weather is extremely bad), and we settled into our excellent seats along with the excited audience. With the sea as a backdrop and the shanty singers in full flow, we couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful, Cornish experience. Watching the sun set and listening to the funny, often poignant, songs is something I won’t forget for a long time.

Next morning we’re up and about and head to Trengwainton Garden, close to Penzance. A gorgeously sheltered garden housing award-winning magnolias and rhododendrons, you’ll also find woodland to explore and a kitchen garden built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark! It’s also home to a wonderful tearoom and a delightful second-hand book shop.

Afterwards, we head to Trevaskis Farm near Hayle. Known for being an excellent pick-your-own fruit farm, it also has animals, a wonderful restaurant and a fabulous farm shop. We treat ourselves to a tasty lunch (portions are huge – bring an appetite with you!), have a wander around the farm and buy some goodies from the shop before heading back to Crabbers for our last night.  

After packing and supper, we head out for an evening stroll around Mousehole, taking in the twinkling lights of the cottages as night draws in and watching the fishing boats sail out to sea one last time.

Sitting with a glass of wine by the fire, we reflect on our stay. Crabbers is such a perfect home for your holiday, perfect for couples or smaller families. It’s also dog-friendly too, and with a blanket, bowl and treats left for your four-legged friend, they’ll get just as warm a welcome as you will. The kitchen is perfectly equipped with everything you’ll need – my Mum, a retired chef, was suitably impressed, whilst the dining table and huge wood burner makes this an ideal spot for meals.

The sitting room is just lovely – simple yet luxurious, it’s well-equipped with a Smart TV, DVD player, games and books. The modern wood-burner here is super-efficient and logs aren’t a problem, with plenty left for you during your stay. Upstairs, the bedrooms are super-comfy with plenty of space for storage, whilst the bathroom – with huge bath and walk-in shower – is truly sumptuous.

Location-wise, you’re central and within an easy walk of everything in Mousehole however being on the far side of the harbour means it’s just that bit quieter, making the sea terrace the perfect spot for relaxing with a good book or just gazing out to sea.

Crabbers is an amazing seaside cottage, perfect for those seeking an authentic Cornish home stay with all the luxurious touches you would expect from a Boutique Retreat. It’s also perfectly located to explore the wild beauty of the far west of Cornwall. Truly a holiday to remember.

Like to find out more about Crabbers? Take a look here for more information.

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