Every Easter our little family makes the journey down to St Ives for a week. Although we’ve only done it for three years it has already become a tradition, a pilgrimage of sorts, that we all love. Luckily for me I have a super organised bezzie mate C who plans everything, researches the houses, books them, does an online Tesco shop to be delivered the evening we arrive. I just have to transfer the money to her and check the shopping list and make sure my rabble get there in one piece.
In previous years we’ve stayed in a house just five minutes walk away from the main beaches and shops, but up a very steep hill. This year C outdid herself and found us a traditional old cottage in the heart of St Ives in Downalong (the house with the blue windows pictured below). The current owners had bought it in a sorry state and managed to bring it back to life having lovingly refurbished it. They named it The Wreck and although this name may speak of its past, it certainly wasn’t the case now. The updates were sympathetic but contemporary and there was plenty of space for our happy rabble of four adults and four kids.
It was certainly a plus point to have a coffee shop/deli a few steps away. And the delectable St Ives Bakery, where the brownies and rocky road are huge and mouth-watering, was just around the corner.
On our first day we just had to visit our favourite eatery, Hub. Located right on the harbour their burgers and pulled pork are succulent and their skin-on fries are delicious. The kids get a fab lolly for pudding as part of the kids’ meal so everyone’s happy. That particular morning we were lucky enough to see the RNLI washing one of their boats right outside the window while we were eating. The little jumps of excitement and thrilled squeals from the mini people were just lovely.
We were so very lucky with the weather. It felt a tad colder than last year but we were treated to blue skies and perfect white clouds on pretty much every day we were there. As soon as we got to the beach the wetsuits were on and the kids were frolicking in the surf, and it was pretty hard trying to convince them to come out. Even though their hands and feet were freezing they would have stayed in the water all day if they could have. But common sense prevailed so after we dried them off and changed their clothes they were happy to explore the rockpools and waterfall on Porthmeor Beach.
We always try to make sure that us adults get to have a date night each. with one couple staying in to babysit while the other goes out for a nice meal. This year we decided to try the Rum & Crab Shack and it did not disappoint – delicious food and rum cocktails in a welcoming restaurant overlooking the sea. Just perfect.
One evening, when the roads were quiet, Husb and I managed to walk the cobbled streets, exploring all the little lanes and nooks and crannies. We found sweet little fisherman’s cottages, cosy restaurants, indie shops with homewares, gifts and art, reams of bunting and beautiful doors aplenty.
On one of the days having discovered that the weather forecast was not great we decided to get on the train for a change. For only a few pounds each we had a train ride with the most spectacular views of St Ives, Carbis Bay and Lelant Saltings. It was a short but sweet ride.
We then all bundled into our cars and headed to Newquay where we had a great time at the Blue Reef Aquarium. It was quite small but it kept us all entertained for the afternoon, the highlight being the tunnel where you could see the sealife swimming around and above you. Oh and how could we forget the superstar of the Aquarium, Omiros the rescued Loggerhead turtle?
For the rest of the week we were blessed with more of those dreamy blue skies and fluffy white clouds. We spent as much time as we could at the beach, making sure we visited Porthminster, the Harbour and Porthgwidden. As well as another visit to the kids’ favourite, Porthmeor.
There is something about St Ives that I just can’t put my finger on. It could be that ethereal light that artists often seek out, a light that I’ve not seen anywhere else. It could be the beaches or the bluest skies. Whatever it is, I feel so happy there. And so does our whole gang. Some people ask us why we don’t visit other places but when all eight of us are happy to be somewhere, why change?