New Year, New Travel Escape To One Of Cornwall’s Best Boutique Retreats
I can’t get enough of Lower Barns. I’ve stayed five, maybe six, times and I can safely say there isn’t a corner of Cornwall where I feel more relaxed, content and truly spoilt.
The sense of peace always sets in as soon as we start weaving our path along the leafy lanes on the approach: tranquil, timeless and so wonderfully away from it all. The brilliant charm of this chic sanctuary is immediately apparent as soon as soon as you receive a wonderfully warm welcome from owners Janie and Mike, who make you feel immediately at home.
Lower Barns comprises a cluster of snug, romantic and brilliantly styled retreats set amidst this lush, secluded corner of Cornwall. On previous visits, my husband and I have stayed in the romantic setting of The Hideaway; this gorgeous wooden retreat is styled with vibrant stripes, colourful keepsakes and a sink-into-me bathtub. Now bordered by a fence for privacy, there’s a brilliant new addition in the form of a gypsy caravan. Lovingly restored by Janie and Mike, this vibrant caravan is a coolly cosy place to unwind with a cuppa, or kick back with some bubbly for a spot of stargazing.
Then there’s the Garden Suite. Flooded with light and splashes of hot pinks, bright blues and greens, this room is a gorgeous, comfy spot to enjoy some precious downtime – and, conveniently, it’s just a stone’s throw from the hot tub – the perfect spot for more stargazing.
We’ve also stayed in Cranny, one of the fabulous new Hiding Places, which offer the utmost in privacy, comfort and unforgettable style. Set in their own courtyards, Nook and Cranny are a riot of colour, quirky character and brilliantly designed interiors. We whiled away the most wonderful couple of days in Cranny to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was incredibly relaxing, cosying up before the log burner, sinking into the glamorous bathtub and working our way through the bubbly we stored in the molten orange Smeg fridge (just one of the features I wanted to take home).
I sank into an even deeper level of relaxation thanks to a massage from highly regarded physiotherapist John Kelly, who was formerly the sports masseur for Arsenal Football Club. I felt light-as-air when I emerged from the candlelit therapy room. A range of other treatments is available from Janie; you can choose from the divine likes of a La Stone Facial, a Pampered Hands session or an Indian Head Massage.
To round off the indulgence nicely, Janie serves mouth-watering feasts in the Shack, an enchanting little building set in the wildflower garden. Amidst the glow of candlelight, the crackle of the log fire and all the characterful details that embodies the sparkle of this memorable place, we tucked into two courses of deliciousness washed down with wine.
On the subject of food, Janie’s legendary breakfasts cannot go without mention; chock with local produce – think Mr Kittow’s farm sausages and local free range eggs – as well as the likes of fresh fruit compote and warm muffins, it’s a delicious way to kick off a day of exploring the local area. The picturesque seaside towns of Charlestown and Mevagissey, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a dreamy choice of coastal walks and beautiful array of beaches are on the doorstep.
Beyond the creative and characterful design, the delicious food and top-notch treatments, Lower Barns offers one more, very important, feature: a great night’s sleep. There’s something about the deeply comfortable beds, the plush cushions, the snug bedding – and the tranquil, wonderful atmosphere of this special place – that makes you feel wholly at peace.
I can’t wait until my next visit. Check out www.lowerbarns.co.uk or if you’re Eloping to Cornwall for 2016 you won’t find a better Boutique Wedding Venue to say “I do” than this place.