I remember the first time I ever booked a hotel that billed itself as “luxury” and “boutique”. I was in my early 20s and thought, for £200 a night (we only went for the one night), we were going to be getting some serious quality for our money. But we arrived to a disappointing room – a dead plant festering in the corner, cobwebs above the bed and curtains falling off the rail. That was the first time I realised that spending more doesn’t always equal a top class experience.
Well, not so with Bosinver Farm Cottages, who describe themselves as “Luxury Self Catered Accommodation.”
I had read excellent reviews about Bosinver (near St Austell, Cornwall) and been keen to visit for a couple of years. The opportunity presented itself when we were invited to a Cornish wedding at the beginning of October. We convinced my
babysitters parents to come along and promptly booked the cottage “Higher Hill” for a week. As I’d read nothing negative about Bosinver, I was worried. Would we come away from yet another holiday feeling short changed? Happily, Bosinver delivered everything and more.
Our cottage was utterly spotless and beautifully presented, and the terrace looked out over ponies grazing in the field. We felt secluded but also close enough to the action and “The Action” is part of what makes Bosinver so special. There’s daily animal feeding with Farmer Dave, a soft play/toy barn, heated swimming pool, games room, Gruffalo trail and two outdoor play areas.
The animal feeding was an absolute highlight, even the adults were grinning ear to ear and holding out their hands for more food from Farmer Dave! Our little boy was unsure at first but, by the end, was happily feeding all the animals and choosing his very own fresh egg for us to take home.
We were so lucky with the weather and spent mornings on site and afternoons on the beach. Porthluney and Pendower are definitely worth a visit for rockpooling, and The Island at St Ives was virtually empty and offered the most exquisite views (something Cornwall does pretty well). We even saw a seal bobbing around close to the shore – cue little excitement from the kids but much squealing from…well, me.
We also paid a visit to the Watergate Bay Hotel for lunch one day, which was fantastic and very chic. The creche staff kindly let us use their facilities (under our own supervision) whilst waiting for food, and very impressive it was too – loads of fun and engaging activities were laid out and there was a brilliant selection of toys available for every age. It all comes at a price, of course – prices range from £160 to £705 per night – but it’s gone on our list of “places to save up for…one day”.
Back at Bosinver, I loved that there was enough to do on site to easily entertain children for the whole day if you wanted to. If we got home an hour or two before dinner, instead of wondering what to do we had so much choice for a quick fun activity.
One of the loveliest little touches is the Gruffalo Trail, set in the woods near our cottage. We borrowed the book from reception and set off to find all the characters. It was just about the right length for small legs and The Toddler was so excited to find the Gruffalo himself (although this was mainly because I said he could have his Pom Bears when we reached the end. *Sigh*)
Bosinver has nailed all the little details that make a holiday with children that much easier. You can borrow highchairs, stairgates, windbreakers, wetsuits, buckets & spades, DVDs, board games – the list goes on and on.
We were Googling availability for next year before we’d even left – the true sign of an amazing holiday.
Thank you Bosinver, see you next year x
More information can be found at www.bosinver.co.uk
***PS*** In the spirit of the blog, which is very much “nothing is ever 100% rosy when kids are in tow” – I feel duty bound to mention the following:
- It took us TWELVE HOURS door to door. We could have flown to LA or Hong Kong in that time. I don’t know how it took that long. It should have been 5 hours.
- The Toddler threw my iPhone into the pool. That was an unhappy afternoon for all. Incredibly, the phone is still working despite initially only being able to operate with Siri – the most useless function ever invented.
- It was still hard. Of course it was – we have a three year old and one year old. The word “relaxing” no longer crops up in the description of a holiday.