Cosy up in Cornwall at Boscundle Manor
by Gemma Dunn
Nestled between the villages of Charlestown and Fowey, and just two miles east of charming market town, St Austell, Boscundle Manor is the ideal base from which to enjoy Cornwall. Boasting luxury accommodation, award-winning fine dining and extensive facilities, this idyllic country house and day spa is indeed one of the county’s best-kept secrets. Until now, that is.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Cornwall. From its unrivalled 300-mile coastline to spectacular beaches, fishing harbours, picturesque towns, landscapes, and vibrant art and foodie scene, it is both diverse and forthcoming in its offering.
If you have been, you will understand the enchantment. A hot spot for discerning holidaymakers, mini-breakers, ramblers and surfers alike, there is something for anyone and everyone.
So here I am – a seasoned mini-breaker with a penchant for the West Country. But for me, Cornwall is much more than a staycation; it is a place that triggers nostalgic childhood memories of family fun, seaside stays, rock pool finds, ice creams, the list goes on. A love affair that will last a lifetime, it is my special place.
In my eyes, if it is worth talking about, it is worth visiting. So visit I do. And having pledged to make a new memory each time, on this occasion I was set to discover a beautiful boutique-style country house hotel by the name of Boscundle Manor. Located on the outskirts of St Austell, and just one mile from the stunning South Cornwall Coast, this idyllic find ticks all the boxes.
Since taking the reins over 12 years ago, husband-and-wife team, David and Sharon Parker, have realised their primary vision of hosting a small wedding venue – and then some. Today, Boscundle Manor exists as a reputed luxurious hotel, restaurant, wedding venue and day spa.
Flanked by pretty sloping gardens and ancient woodland, this secluded 18th-century manor house and its five-acre estate is striking from the off. While lilac blossom cascades across the frontage, well-kept lawns and perfectly appointed flowerbeds make for a picture-perfect backdrop.
Inside, the story reads the same. From the cosy lounge with its elegant furnishings and open fireplace to the opulent dining room, contemporary bar, Mediterranean-esque conservatory, and tranquil spa, every room at Boscundle boasts an interior that affords a wide clientele, without losing sight of the building’s authenticity.
In addition to its public areas, the hotel offers 14 guest rooms, each individual in design and purpose. Able to cater for all bookable parties including families, couples, lone and business travellers, guests can choose from suites and rooms in the manor house or a secluded stay in The Cottage, an entirely separate building located at the top of Boscundle’s grounds, with three double or twin en-suite bedrooms, as well as a kitchen/lounge.
My guest and I were lucky enough to be staying in The Charlotte Garden Suite, a showstopper of a room, which also acts as the hotel’s principle bridal suite. Located approximately 30 metres from the house, this chalet-build is entirely self-contained and comes complete with a private patio and panoramic views of the terraced gardens, croquet lawn and outdoor pool.
Dramatically decorated in black, white and hot pink, the suite blends contemporary prints with modern furnishings. While the main room plays host to a sumptuous super king bed, designated sofa area with a large flat screen TV, and a mini utility with tea and coffee making facilities; the en-suite features a large double-ended whirlpool spa bath, matching glass vessel sinks, an overhead rain shower and unique wooden decking.
However, while spectacular, it is the thoughtful extras such as lavish Molton Brown toiletries, bathrobes, a fresh fruit plate, flip-flops, and a welcome note – complete with Sharon’s ‘list of things to do’ in the local area – that make all the difference.
That same evening we had a dinner reservation at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, an intimate setting that offers a carnival of fresh flowers, beautiful glassware and grand high-backed chairs.
Met by a stunning selection of canapés in the bar, my guest and I were left to peruse the table d’hôte menu over a drink or two, before being shown to our candlelit table.
Perfectly seared pan-fried scallops were my starter of choice, topped off with crispy Parma ham, pea and mint purée, and a wonderfully piquant salsa verde. Meanwhile, my guest’s seafood cocktail did exactly what it said on the tin and provided an elegant medley of crayfish tails, prawns and smoked salmon, matched with pineapple, baby gem salad and a classic marie rose sauce. Perfect.
In the way of mains, I enjoyed chicken, basil, sun blushed tomatoes and mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and paired with sauté potatoes and a divine pesto drizzle, while my guest opted for pork tenderloin, served with sauté potatoes, wilted spinach and a creamy calvados sauce. Both dishes were seamlessly prepared and exquisite in flavour and execution.
Now on to dessert, and I had come up with a new theory: if they say it takes an average of 20 minutes for your brain to realise that you’re full, why stop eating before the time is up? So, with five whole minutes to spare, I ordered. Failing this, perhaps I can roll across the garden and into my room.
The ideal finale, my homemade crème brûlée did not disappoint, complimented by a sweet red berry compote and buttery shortbread.
Three courses down and it’s certainly not hard to see why Boscundle’s culinary team is deserved of its two AA rosettes. With head chef, Adam Gerrish, at the helm, the restaurant focuses on serving up exquisite dishes that employ only the finest locally produced and seasonal ingredients. A dining experience to remember, it’s elements such as these that takes the hotel from ordinary to extraordinary.
After an undisturbed night’s sleep, breakfast the next morning was enjoyed in the airy climes of the conservatory. A buffet of fresh pastries, fruits, yoghurts, cereals and juices awaits guests; while a wide range of hot, cooked options are available to order via the breakfast menu.
Next up on my mini-breaker agenda was a trip to the hotel’s Zento Spa for a pre-booked Swedish massage with spa manager, Vicky Dyer. A haven of wellbeing, the in-house spa offers a plethora of relaxing and invigorating treatments for the body and mind including Spiezia signature treatments, massages, body wraps, facials and more. In the way of beauty, luxury manicures through to lash and brow treatments are also available.
Just what the doctor ordered, my massage was outstanding, and by far the most beneficial and enjoyable treatment I have ever experienced. Relieving tension and stress – particularly from the neck and shoulders, as requested – Vicky tailored the hour to my needs and ensured I left feeling relaxed and recharged. In addition, the spa facilities at Boscundle include a bubbling hot tub and indoor heated pool.
So, whether you’re looking for a weeklong break, a relaxing weekend away or alike, Boscundle Manor is the ideal spot to cosy up in Cornwall this autumn. From roaring open fireplaces to fabulous hearty dishes, the team is intent on achieving ultimate guest comfort when it comes to the colder seasons.
Alternatively, if you want to wrap up and head out, you will find the world-famous Eden Project just one mile away, plus a whole host of towns and villages, attractions, gardens and beaches within an hour’s reach. What’s more, the team at Boscundle will be more than happy to help you plan your trip.
An enchanting find, Boscundle Manor wears its heart on its sleeve, and is therefore one of those magical places that upon visiting, you immediately pledge your future return.
This is not solely a product of the befitting interiors, exceptional dining and leisure facilities, but more so a reflection of the professional and attentive team, who while in their care, cannot do enough for you. Treating their clientele as houseguests, the experience David and Sharon have created at Boscundle is a personal one, and that in itself speaks volumes.
The perfect kind of love affair, I think I may have found my favourite Cornish hideaway. I was never good at keeping secrets anyway…
Weddings at Boscundle Manor
Voted the most romantic hotel in the region on TripAdvisor, it is little wonder that weddings are such a big business at Boscundle Manor. As well as a dreamy sense of romance, a wedding here offers exclusivity, flexibility and a beautifully personal event.
Whether you have a small party of up to 50 guests or a larger party of 100, expert event planner and owner, Sharon, will go above and beyond to ensure Boscundle meets and exceeds all of your expectations. This includes recommendations of trusted florists, photographers, and more, to ease the organisation process and create your perfect big day.
There is also accommodation for up to 30 guests, and the full wedding party is entitled to full exclusivity of the hotel, with private access to all of the facilities throughout the event.
To find out more, download Boscundle Manor’s wedding brochure at www.boscundlemanor.co.uk/get-married-at-boscundle-manor.
insideKENT reader offer
David and Sharon Parker would like to offer a complimentary room upgrade worth £20 per night, 25% off all spa treatments and a stay for a third consecutive night for free to insideKENT readers (excludes Fridays, Saturdays, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s). Just mention our publication when making your booking. Offer expires 31st March 2015.Boscundle Manor St Austell
PL25 3RL 01726 813557 www.boscundlemanor.co.uk