CORNWALL | BEACHSPOKE
Pretty regularly, especially when the sun is beating down and all we want to do is escape the dusty, smoggy city, Olly has to listen to me discuss my dream bolthole. This is a UK-specific bolthole; the Provence château and vineyard still feature in the five-year plan since living the highlife there on our honeymoon, filling up the overseas bolthole slot without competition (note to self, must sort passport for Luna and learn French). The UK bolthole has moved all around the country from being perched on the edge of the Norfolk marshes to being set amidst a honey-coloured stone village in the Cotswolds; every time we fall in love with a place we pick up brochures from estate agents and imagine what life would be like there.
And while the location of the dream bolthole is still a little fuzzy, I now know exactly what the inside looks like thanks to a weekend at Cornish cottage Blue Moon. Part of the Beachspoke portfolio – a handpicked selection of seaside properties founded by the same team behind the Pelegoni Club – this small-but-perfectly-formed hideaway fuses contemporary design with beachside homeliness. Blue Moon is simultaneously high-end and relaxed with countless photogenic nooks and oodles of inspiration – a blown up Terry O'Neill print of Brigitte Bardot, lilac-painted ceilings, succulents dotted around, driftwood mirror frames and sheepskin rugs. Everything satisfyingly fits to the nearest millimetre which adds to its genius (open the dishwasher door and there's about an inch spare to the opposing wall). There's a vast back-moulding bed with high thread-count sheets, a pebbledash bathroom with Bamford minis (geranium, black pepper and lavender scented if you're wondering), a dressing room (life-changing – this would double up as my office in the imaginary bolthole), and an open-plan ground floor with a well-kitted out kitchen and turquoise and blue snug area. This is a haven for mini-mooners or a couple (with or without a dog) looking for a cosy getaway.
Blue Moon is set on the edge of buzzy St Ives, which is known for its wonderful galleries and shops and soaked up by families, couples, surfers and locals. Like all true Brits we tried to push through an unfortunate bout of seaside drizzle (which leaves you surprisingly sodden) but in the end bad weather stopped play for most of our time there, resigning us to a fate devouring Cornish pasties with Brigitte in front of the French Open and taking siesta duties seriously beneath the lilac ceilings. But you'd be hard pushed to find a better place to hunker up for the day. The morning we left was dry so we headed to Moomaid (as recommended by one of my lovely followers) for ice cream beneath laughing seagulls – apparently massive ice cream predators, be warned! But we were mostly excited to explore our own back garden, Porthmeor beach: an actual white-sand-turquoise-sea set-up that seemed to maintain its glow even beneath grey skies. Annoyingly the beaches are dog-free zones but winding footpaths around the adjacent grassy headland were ideal for Luna to let off steam.
Luna still found some sand to play in at the entrance to Porthmeor Beach
We ate out both nights, firstly at The Loft – which we were delighted to discover on Google Maps was 240ft from our front door – where we tucked into crab cocktails and sea-fresh muscles. The following night we drove across the moors to Penzance to the Artist Residence (about 25 minutes) where we delved into vast plates of garlic and lemon prawns, Middle Eastern spiced scallops, beer-can chicken (which spends two hours in their smokery) and roasted sea bass beneath chicken wire lampshades and festoon lighting. Both well worth a visit if you're in the area, and dog-friendly to boot.
We stayed at Blue Moon in St Ives, Cornwall with Beachspoke.