Cornwall

Relaxing at Rocksalt for our pre-Christmas getaway

Late Friday afternoon saw us heading west along the coast towards Mousehole. Early December, it was, as the song says, beginning to look a lot like Christmas with glimpses of the occasional twinkling light and bedecked trees in windows as we passed through villages and along the coast to our weekend getaway.

Luckily for us, and extremely rare for Mousehole, Rocksalt comes with its own car park space just a minutes’ walk away from the property. We easily found it, parked up and walked to our home, tucked away down a private pathway right on the waterfront.

It was dark when we arrived, but the housekeeper had thoughtfully left all the lights on so it was easy for us to get in, where we found the heating on and gentle music playing through the Sonos in the background – plus a table full of goodies for us to devour! Lucky, lucky us.

We popped our bags down and eagerly explored the house. The open-plan downstairs is super cute and cosy, with seating and a wood burner to the front and the kitchen and dining table to the back. There’s also a handy loo at the very back too.

We took the original, quirky wooden stairs to the first floor where there’s a fabulous bedroom with sea views (boasting a huge bed), a toasty warm shower room and a cute snug with TV. Up a second set of stairs and we found the master bedroom with the most beautiful slipper bath, perfectly positioned to gaze out of the window out to sea. There’s also a handy fridge and Nespresso coffee machine, so you don’t have to go far for a cocktail in the evening or your morning coffee!

We headed back downstairs to settle in and cooked up an easy supper before heading out for a walk around the harbour. Famed for its Christmas lights, Mousehole was all set for the switch on happening the following weekend. It was nice to see it all set up – the calm before the storm! Back at Rocksalt we lit the fire and read, before heading to bed and a blissful nights’ sleep.

The next morning, we woke eagerly to gaze outside, seeing for the first time the incredible views across the harbour, out to Mount’s Bay and St Michael’s Mount beyond.

 We sat with out cups of tea, watching fishing boats sail out to sea for a day’s work, before enjoying a leisurely breakfast downstairs.

After a wake-me-up shower, we head out, pausing in the little sea terrace garden to gaze out over the water. It’s incredibly peaceful, and the little table and chairs left thoughtfully for guests will be ideal in the summer for breakfasts and sundowners.

We decide to head to the north coast and St Ives – just an easy 20-minute drive from Mousehole. We park up and stroll into the pretty seaside town, where things are bustling with shoppers and visitors. We potter about the shops looking for last-minute presents, take a stroll along the harbour and sit by the beach for a while, before having some lunch.

After a final wander, we head home and hunker down at Rocksalt for a rest before heading out for dinner at the amazing 2 Fore Street, just a short stroll away. Seated in a cosy corner, we both opt for the tiger prawns with lemon, chili, samphire and aioli for starters – utterly delicious. Next, I have an unctuous beef stew – perfect for a winter’s night - whilst the other half tucks into sea bass with greens and rosemary potatoes.

 

Stuffed to the gills, we take a turn around the harbour where things are increasingly blustery – the scudding clouds hurry over the full moon, and the waves look fitful and boisterous beyond the harbour walls.

We go back and relax for the rest of the evening, listening to the increasing wind – so atmospheric – before heading to bed.

After a long lie in, we decide to ditch the car and walk to Newlyn and on to Penzance along the sea front. Part of the South West Coast Path, you’re more likely to conjure up cliff top walks and beaches, but this fascinating walk is great, and ideal if you’re of limited mobility as it’s all pathways and relatively flat.

It’s still stormy out and we battle through the occasional shower, but it’s a refreshing walk and just what we need after our big meal last night. We stop for a quick drink at the Tolcarne Inn, a cosy pub in Newlyn, before heading on into Penzance. The weather begins to look decidedly iffy, so we take advantage of the excellent bus service between Penzance and Mousehole (they run every half hour), and head back.

We stop off at The Hole Food Deli for a quick coffee before heading back to Rocksalt. I stoke up the fire, get out my book and relax downstairs for a while – it’s so rare to have a moment of silence in such busy times, it’s just perfect and exactly what I need. Later, I rustle up dinner in the fabulous kitchen – incredibly bijoux, it’s an amazing use of space and boasts everything you need, all neatly and cleverly tucked away.

Afterwards, we head to the snug and watch a film, then I decide to end the evening with a soak in the incredible slipper bath – made memorable by watching the lights of the boats through the window and out to sea.

Next morning, it’s sadly time to leave Rocksalt, but keen to make the most of our long weekend we jump in the car and head west to Sennen Cove, one of my favourite spots.

 

We park up and take to the South West Coast Path, heading towards Land’s End.

This is a gorgeous stretch of coastline, with dramatic cliffs, swirling seas and lots of wildlife – we saw a pair of choughs, Cornwall’s national bird. It’s a fabulous walk, blustery and fresh, and just what we need before heading home.

Rocksalt is a stunning property for four, but perfect for couples too. It has its own car park space, which is a rarity in Mousehole and incredibly handy. The close proximity to the sea makes this retreat just perfect and being a short walk from excellent places to eat and the beach, means you don’t need to get in a car if you don’t want to. A truly exceptional coastal getaway!

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