WHY CORNWALL MAKES FOR THE PERFECT WINTER WELLBEING GETAWAY
The Cornish Riviera is much more than a summer retreat. Recuperate from the stresses of the festive season with a winter wellness break at The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate
Since the pound has sunk to historic lows against the Euro, swapping the Côte d’Azur for the Cornish Riviera makes sense – so long as the weather holds out. But come the winter, there’s no need to worry about that – you know you’re in for the big chill.
Check into The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate in Treggorick, St Austell, on the south coast, where you’ll receive a warm reception. I stayed in a Luxury category room, where brightly coloured wallpaper featuring a tropical bird print (below) provides a sunny outlook, paired with splashes of colour in the soft furnishings and contemporary art. There’s also an invitingly roomy bath tub and a balcony with a view.
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Set in 43 acres of parkland, what was once an old English manor house now offers 65 hotel rooms – 9 in the original manor house, and 56 in a sensitively added modern extension – as well as 21 Scandi-style self-catering Woodland Homes. Wherever you stay, you can hunker down and relax.
Head to The Clearing Spa to unknot those muscles with a Lava Shell Full Body Massage. This signature treatment uses hot marine-polished sea shells to work Aromatherapy Associates oils over the whole body, soothing tense spots, restoring energy flow and leaving you feeling wonderful.
Unknot those muscles with a Lava Shell Full Body Massage
Make time for a swim, steam and sauna before your treatment. The infinity pool opens up to a secret garden, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling bi-folding doors. In the winter they stay firmly shut, but the view is still there for the taking. If you’re particularly concerned about all those festive treats you’ve snaffled, you might wish to visit the state-of-the-art fitness suite and juice bar, too.
The Cornwall Estate was family owned and occupied from 1819 until 2002, opening as hotel in 2010 following a project to restore, protect and enhance the parkland, woodland and formal gardens back to their former glory. So do wrap up, step out and take a ‘stank’ – Cornish for brisk walk – across the grounds, taking in the views across the valley.
There’s a lovely ‘longcut’ to the spa, up through the woodlands at the back of the hotel, where you might come across various twiggy installations crafted by the hands of younger guests.
Take a ‘stank’ – Cornish for brisk walk – across the grounds, taking in the views across the valley
The Eden Project, one of Cornwall’s most famous attractions, is a mere 15-minute drive away, so if you have kids in tow, do spend a day there inside the famous biomes – the somewhat familiar Mediterranean Biome and the exotic, humid Rainforest Biome complete with rainforest canopy walkway.
Eden is also home to England’s longest, fastest zip wire, where you’ll reach speeds of 60mph over a distance of 660 metres, and come the summer, it’s time for Eden Sessions, a summer music festival that was last year headlined by the one and only Sir Tom Jones (who also stayed at The Cornwall, FYI) and Lionel Richie, and has also seen names like Elton John, Paloma Faith and Primal Scream grace the stage.
There are also some lovely beaches too. To really blow the cobwebs off, head for Pentewan Beach (pictured top), which is about a 35-minute drive south-west of the hotel. It’s a large sandy beach on the South West Coast Pat that’s excellent for swimming (it’s a Cornish tradition to swim in the sea on Boxing Day!) and dogs are permitted in the winter. There’s also a Pentewan Leisure Trail to follow.
Back at the hotel, retreat to the warmth of The Elephant Bar & Brasserie, which serves up the very finest fresh Cornish produce inspired by the local natural larder of land and sea, alongside some superb wines and award-winning local cask ale, Tribute.
And you can’t leave without partaking in the timeless English tradition of afternoon tea freshly baked, warm scones begging to be smothered in Cornish clotted cream and jam (order of application at your discretion). Add a glass of champagne, kick back, and let all your worries drift away along the breezy Cornish Riviera…
Luxury Rooms at The Cornwall Hotel, Spa & Estate start from £99 per night; Superior Rooms start from £119. Breakfast is £15pp. Tickets to the Eden Project are £25 for adults, £14 for kids aged 5-16 and free for ages 4 and under (family tickets £69).
Christmas lunch: Join Santa and The Cornwall for a traditional Santa Sunday Lunch on Sunday 18 December 2016. The event officially runs from 12noon-2pm, but why not arrive early and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine by the fire. Enjoy a three-course Cornish festive Sunday lunch and finish the afternoon with some mince pies and a hot drink as the children head to Santa’s Grotto. Adults £25, kids £16. Find the full menu here.
Christmas weekend getaway: Enjoy a traditional Cornish afternoon tea on Christmas Eve, followed by an evening reception of canapes and festive song with The Champagne Cornwall Ladies Chorus. Start Christmas Day with a hearty Cornish breakfast and glass of Bucks Fizz. Visit Father Christmas in his grotto before you sit down to a traditional Christmas banquet followed by an afternoon snoozing in your luxury room. In the evening, enjoy traditional pub food and parlour games with the whole family. On Boxing Day, indulge in a luxury 25-minute spa treatment at The Clearing Spa, pool, sauna and steam room. If you’re feeling active, try a spot of laser clay shooting, or take part in the Cornish tradition of a Boxing Day swim in the sea! For the little ones there’s popcorn and a Christmas movie. In the evening, dress to impress for the Casino Royale themed night and Shaken Not Stirred drinks reception, complete with casino tables. From £705 based on two people sharing a Luxury Room for two nights. Full details here.