Having grown up at the Danish west coast, I often miss the smell, the beauty, the wind in my hair, sandy toes and a sun kissed nose… In other words everything connected to the sea. When you live in London with a little one, I find it important to sometimes go with my family to places, where we can be together in more peaceful surroundings and being “just the three of us”
I have always heard many great things about Cornwall, so I was super excited, when we were invited to stay at the award-winning Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives. Carbis Bay Hotel is a luxurious spa hotel with beach lodges situated above golden sands in a beautiful bay, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind!
It takes about 7 hours to drive by car to Cornwall from where we live in London, so we decided to fly from Heathrow Airport to Newquay. After a bit of airport shopping it was time to leave…
Ready for take-off! We flew with Flybe. The airplane was quite small, but the trip went well and Clara was having lots of fun on board, so before we knew it, we had arrived in Newquay
Tip: If you fly to Cornwall, you should definitely rent a car to get around. This is by far the easiest way in an area, that can be quite remote. We had rented a Volvo, which was ready upon arrival. As you can see, this mummy was very much in need of a break from the busy life in London… No wonder, they didn’t answer my call!
It was as beautiful, as I had hoped for at Carbis Bay Hotel… From the parking lot you get the stunning view of the railway bridge
Bonus-info: You can take the train from Carbis Bay and be in St Ives in less than 5 minutes. (Take the path down the beach and across in front of the Carbis Bay Hotel, join the path up to the railway bridge)
Welcome to Carbis Bay Hotel
Central to everything is the main house, a white-walled landmark designed by the celebrated Cornish architect, Silvanus Trevail and erected in 1894
This is the ultimate beachside living featuring spacious ocean-inspired interiors, the latest technology, roof gardens, beach gardens and alfresco private hot tubs. I can’t wait to take you on the grand tour beginning now!
The beach lodges are very private, which means, that you need a key to access the area, where they are situated! This is the view from the entrance in our beach lodge
The entrance is flanked by a private landscaped roof garden with a hot tub overlooking the golden sands of Carbis Bay. Already here I fell completely in love with the place! (Frenchie looks quite pleased too)
I think, I am going to write a novel called “A lodge with a view”. I mean… Why not? This place has already been featured by famous author Rosamunde Pilcher in her novels “The Shell Seekers”(1988) and “Winter Solstice”(2000)
This is the first floor, where all the stunning bedrooms are situated
We had 3 spacious bedrooms in our beach lodge! 2 of them with full sea view!
Each of the bedrooms has a private bathroom
We chose this bedroom, as it had the biggest bathroom, sea-view and a perfect sleeping cot for Clara
As mentioned earlier, we had brought our Happy Sammies for Clara and American Tourister for me! I love Samsonite! Ever since I can remember, Samsonite suitcases were my family’s favourites when travelling abroad. So when I saw the adorable Rabbit Rosie, there was no doubt in my… This one had Clara’s name on it! It is so cute, perfect to bring for 2-3 days and even better – cabin sized! The American Tourister Soundbox Spinner is also a new suitcase, which I feel in love with, the moment I laid eyes on it! First of all the playful circular design is so cool! (No wonder it is a reddot award winner!) Second, it is super-light and weighs only around 4 kilo! Last, but not least… Who can resist the hot pink colour? Not me!
Yup, this will do!
Well, Hello there! Welcome to my humble home!
I think I will have my tea on the private beach, please! (Someone certainly felt like the Queen of the day!)
These two had already made themselves comfortable…
– in front of the fireplace!
The kitchen is equipped with a microwave, fridge, instant hot water and filtered cold water, (and a Nespresso coffee machine, which made Frenchie very happy)
Now that’s what I call a welcoming present! Laurent Perrier and homemade lemon cake! What’s not to love?
It was time for Clara’s dinner! Carbis Bay Hotel had already made sure, that there was a high-chair for my little one, so feeding time went easy (Mummy had already made herself comfortable in sweat-pants. If you are not allowed to relax here, then where else?)
After a few hours of cosy times in the beach lodge, we decided to go out for dinner. The hotel looked stunning
The first evening, we dined at Carbis Bay Beach Club and Spa
The menu card offers Mediterranean-style delights such as hand-picked Cornish crab, fresh fish caught locally from St Ives day boats, steaks and homemade wood-fired pizzas
Being in St. Ives, we obviously had to taste some of the lovely seafood: King prawns and Crispy fried baby squid. Juicy, crunchy and delicious!
Quality time with my family! (We brought a tablet for Clara! It is brilliant, when mummy and daddy want to enjoy a meal without too much fussing around)
I was in the mood for a pizza – and this one was a winner
Frenchie had the loveliest Taglietelle with hand-picked local crab, cream and chives
The morning after we woke up to beautiful sunshine! It was windy, as Storm Hannah was all over the UK that weekend, but it wasn’t raining – and that was the most important, as we were going on a little trip to St Ives
Just like everything else at this wonderful place, breakfast was a lovely experience
You can choose to dine at the hotel, but we wanted to try the “Breakfast basket”. So we ordered it the evening before, and at 9am the doorbell rang, and this was standing outside our door!
Freshly made juice, different kinds of fruits, ham, salmon, cheese, bread, pastries and Cornish granola! I was happy! (Bonus-info: You will find tea, coffee, milk, butter, biscuits, snacks, chocolate and other things in the kitchen upon arrival)
It certainly wasn’t a problem for these two waking up to a table like this and a panoramic view to the big blue! This was indeed a morning to remember
This little one had fun with her mummy in the bathtub…
– and this one spend half an hour all to herself, while daddy was playing with the little one. Heaven is a place on earth!
We drove by car to St Ives. It didn’t take long before we were at the jewel in the crown of Cornwall
If there is one thing, I would have done differently on this trip, it would have been staying a bit longer. (We had brought our Silver Cross Coast pram with us from London! A strongly built pram that is capable of dealing with a bit of “roughness”)
We didn’t get to see that much as the weather was getting unstable, but here are the wonderful impressions that we got from a few hours in St. Ives
One thing, you should certainly do, when you are here is wander through the maze of narrow cobbled streets with independent shops and fisherman’s cottages
Cornish clotted cream is a big thing around here. I had never heard of clotted cream, before moving to London, but oh… how I love it
Bonus-info: Cornish clotted cream is a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms “clots” or “clouts”. Its origin is uncertain, but the cream’s production is commonly associated with dairy farms in southwest England – particularily the counties of Cornwall and Devon. What I have learned: You should not serve cream tea without clotted cream! It is probably one of the most essential parts of the experience – and it would considered blasfemic not to include it
Cornish Pasty is another highly popular thing to eat around here. I can not count how many Cornish pasty shops, we saw in the streets of St Ives. Obviously we had to taste one. It was very rich, but delicious!
Bonus-info: The traditional Cornish pasty is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (also known as yellow turnip or rutabaga – referred to in Cornwall as turnip) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and is baked. Today, the pasty is the food most associated with Cornwall. It is regarded as the national dish and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. You can get pasties with many different fillings in St Ives and some shops specialise in selling all sorts of pasties.
St Ives is well-known for its surf beaches and you will find many surf-shops around here…
As we are not really into surfing, we decided to visit the most adorable childrens clothing store instead
I could have bought everything in here for Clara! The clothing is very good quality and the designs adorable
The view from here was also quite spectacular. We ended buying a bathing suit and a summer hat for Clara! We are SO ready for summer!
St Ives is still very much a working port and from the beach you can watch local fishermen landing their daily catches of fresh seafood like mackerel and bass and the town’s Lifeboat Station, situated on the harbour for over 100 years, is open to the visitors during the summer season
If you are afraid of seagulls, this is not the place to go. Everywhere we went, there were seagulls – and as you can see, they are very friendly (and curious). We thought they were hilarious
Unfortunately the wind became very strong in the afternoon, and there was no way, we could go any further with Clara...
– but if we could, we would definitely have visited Tate St. Ives (Photo by Tate St. Ives)
Back home at Carbis Bay Hotel, it was time for dinner
As there was a wedding going on that evening at Sands Restaurant, we were to eat in the smaller room next to it…
– which I personally found much more romantic anyway!
Clara and mummy all dressed up and ready to eat
As you can see, choosing food from the menu card is a serious matter
My Roulade of Crab with courgette and apple, bitter apple purée and crab custard was utterly divine
– and Frenchie’s King Scallops with Cornish cauliflower trio, coral and snow was a pure masterpiece
My main was the Chef’s Steak Choice – and this evening, it was a lovely piece of tender rump steak. Being a carnivore, this was just down my alley!
Frenchie had the Day Boat Fillet of Brill. Smoked haddock, saffron parmentier potato and pea chowder, pastis and lemon purée. He enjoyed every bite of this beautiful dish
Watching the sun go down in settings like this, was an experience, I would love to have again
As Clara was getting really tired, we asked, if we could have our dessert served in the beach lodge! That was no problem at all. A Ferris Wheel of Fun to Share: Favourite bits from the fun fair! I loved the concept…
– but even better than that, I loved lying here and taking it all in! This is the ultimate luxury, if you ask me!
The day of departure. Clara and I had little wonder around at the hotel before breakfast… This is the cosy terrace in front of the conservatory
The conservatory is open all day and the place to have your morning coffee, to take a light lunch, to indulge in afternoon tea or to graze over evening tapas. This is where the parquet floors and heirloom photos of Carbis Bay give way to a white, glass-roofed room whose windows and terrace face the sea. So beautiful, don’t you think? (Photo by Carbis Bay Hotel)
Our little tour de Carbis Bay Hotel took us to the famous spa area
Carbis Bay Hotel has won Gold in the Spa & Wellbeing Experience category at the most recent Cornwall Tourism Awards following a lot of other prestigious awards, you can read about here
Relax after your treatment in a cosy relaxation lounge overlooking the bay
The sauna pod reminded me so much of my home country
We loved the heated outdoor swimming pool with panoramic views of the bay
All this exploring had made us hungry and it was time for breakfast before leaving St Ives and go back to London
We dined at Sands Restaurant, where there was a big breakfast buffet waiting for us…
On top of the breakfast buffet, you can also order several hot meals, like a gorgeous omelet…
– or the full English breakfast
It was a lot of food – and we really enjoyed it! (Breakfast is my favourite meal)
As Clara had already finished her breakfast, her daddy thought it was a great idea to borrow her bib to avoid any mess on his shirt… Clara wasn’t really sure, what to think about that!
Photos say more than a thousand words, so I am sure, that you already know, that we had such an amazing time at Carbis Bay Hotel
The beach lodges were out of this world beautiful – and we went back to London fully rested! I will for sure return to Cornwall and Carbis Bay Hotel again – and next time to explore more of this stunning part of the UK
We were invited as guests at Carbis Bay Hotel. All opinions are as always my own