Review: Holidaying In One Of Cornwall’s Finest Boutique B&B


From time to time, we like to treat anyone we work with to a luxury stay at Lower Barns, particularly in the low season. We have had the opportunity to work with several local writers, including reviewer Laura Barnes from Falmouth. This blog post is, in her own words, what her experience of staying at Lower Barns was like.

Arriving in rain, the drive down to Lower Barns was akin to a log flume, which created a resonating impression that we were not in Kansas anymore. Although we kind of are! It is always fascinating to me the vast differences between different locations in Cornwall, and Falmouth being on the estuary presents a different backdrop than that around the Mevagissey and Pentewan area.

We were greeted by Mike, Janie’s husband, who does all of the building of the new rooms, sheds and various outhouses that make up the fascinating eclectic landscape of Lower Barns. Advising us to drive down to the next car park, Mike walks across the wildflower field to meet us from the car. Armed with a torch, he has come prepared to help us settle into our home for the night.

We stayed in Nook, which is one of the honeymoon suites, and it is sort of reminiscent of a luxury version of some of the shacks both myself, and Janie and Mike in their younger, pre-Lower Barns days, encountered when travelling through Mexico. With a bright mural, lots of Latin American inspired furnishings and a tropical plant selection, the gorgeous chalet feels cosy, quirky and romantic.

Opening the door to Nook, the immediate feeling is comfort. The sofa has plump fluffy cushions on it and the kitchen is bright and well stocked. Further inspection shows that the shelves are upcycled scaffolding planks, a shelf is made from a repurposed seat of a chair: everything in Lower Barns has a story behind it, and the discovery begins as soon as you arrive.

The bed is gigantic – with sumptuous duvets, huge marshmallow like pillows and a hand woven blanket, scattered about it. It is inviting and cosy looking, and perfectly romantic for a couple – be it their wedding or just a relaxing break.

The walls boast a selection of hats, which reflect the eclectic style of decorating and also provided a fun game of Stars in their Eyes, using the saloon doors to the bathroom to burst through dramatically.

Janie has prepared an evening picnic for us, of cheese and bread, as well as some fruits, cake and a box of chocolates. We could not have felt more welcome, and yet the weather had decided against us using the hot tub tonight, so we decided to pop down into Mevagissey for some local ales.

A bleak Monday night in mid-January, it turns out, is not the ideal time to be visiting this old Cornish village, which you’d think I might remember having lived there 12 years ago. Wanting to sup some local ales, we wanted to leave the car behind and taxis are as rare as hen’s teeth as the one taxi firm was fully booked all evening. Mike, the legend that he is, offered to drive us down there, saying that we’d have to be responsible for getting back later. There is something really charming about wandering its cobbled streets at night, though without seeing a soul.

We had dinner in the fantastic Sharksfin, which offers freshly landed fish and local meat cooked big and bold in a Southern American kind of way.

Much merriment ensued at The Fountain, one of about five pubs in Mevagissey, since it happened to be the night the Mevagissey Male Voice Choir were practising. The taxi back eventually had to be called upon from St. Austell, and with a little bit of drunken haggling, we paid £15 to take us back to Bosue. Nook is equipped with DVDs and a player, so chilling out once we were back was taken care of.

After one of the most comfortable night’s sleep I have ever had, I awoke in the morning excited by breakfast. Janie had stocked the huge Smeg fridge with yoghurt, fruit, orange juice and milk, so we could help ourselves to the standard breakfast.

At 9 Mike arrived with our pre-booked breakfast, which he set down in the kitchen. I enjoyed poached St. Ewe eggs and smoked salmon on a local rye bread, which had been given the special Lower Barns treatment by adding capers & thyme on the side: to make it that bit more special. The eggs were perfectly cooked and orangey in the middle; just how I like them.

Nursing a slight hangover, we opted to make the most of the hot tub in the morning, since the winter sun had come out to play. With a range of different jets, there were two positions that comfortably allowed us to massage away the stresses and strains of the walking the day before.

Nook comes with its own sauna, so following a lovely hour long soak in the hot tub, we opted for sweating the remaining booze out in up to 60˚ heat. Following this with a long and luxurious shower, using all of the lovely salt scrub, and Neal’s Yard products, we felt pampered and warm as we got ready to leave.

The bathroom was well stocked with big, fluffy towels, so we didn’t need to remember anything and we enjoyed relaxing in the matching fluffy bunny dressing gowns.

We arrived at Lower Barns post work stressed and in just one night there, experienced it’s relaxing and restorative effects.

in Need of some you time