“A beautiful 2-3 bedroom holiday house on an ancient quayside, perfect for friends or families (sleeps 4-6, or up to 10 with garden rooms)”
The 2 double bedrooms are light and spacious, with sea-facing windows and a fresh, all-white decor. You get super-kingsize beds (no twins), top-quality White Company bed linen and towels, plus hypo-allergenic pillows and duvets on request. Expect antique chests of drawers, beautiful paintings of the sea, artfully placed sea urchin shells. Both ensuite bathrooms feature a roll top bath with shower (either overhead or separate), organic soaps (not shampoos, though) and a hairdryer.
Attached to one bedroom is a small study / kids' room which can be set up with one or two tiny beds for children up to 5 ft (1.5m), or one bed plus one cot. We came with parents-in-law and our young son, and the set-up was perfect.
Downstairs there's a bright sitting room with 2 sofas, a lovely hearth for winter fires, a digi TV-DVD (plus a second in the dining room) along with a great range of DVDs, from Planet Earth to Coen Brothers.
If you need more space, book the adjoining Studio, which has a double bed, shower room and its own entrance from the back garden (plus a connecting door). It's the most stylish little granny flat imaginable! And there are further options, including the Cabin tucked away in gardens to the rear (and described separately here).
The kitchen is quite small but fantastically kitted out, with a brushed steel gas range, Bosch microwave, Dualit toaster, Magimix kettle, small fridge/freezer, Smeg dishwasher and a washer/dryer. Cornish crockery sits in the cupboard along with Joseph Joseph chopping boards, AGA pans, casserole dishes, mixing bowls, a whisk, grater... even a steriliser and handheld blender for those with little ones.
Organic tea, coffee, sugar and organic full fat milk are provided, as are eco cleaning products and dishwasher tablets, but you’ll need to bring the rest. There are several supermarkets within a short drive (Sainsbury's and Tesco can deliver, too), and the cheerful Orange Farm stall opens on the quayside on weekends, selling excellent local cheeses, fish, veg and meat.
For a delicious, no-effort-required dinner without leaving the house, ask for Antonia's Great Grub menus - prepared meals like homemade fish pie that just need popping in the oven - ideal for your arrival night (book ahead). Otherwise, in Charlestown, Charlie’s comes recommended for its chunky doorstep sandwiches, mouthwatering cakes and scones. The pub on the quay (The Pier House) offers decent crab sandwiches and unbeatable sea views from its terrace; and there are Thai, Chinese and curry takeaways too.
Further afield, Cornwall boasts some top chefs, including Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth in Padstow, Jamie Oliver's Fifteen near Watergate, or Nathan Outlaw at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock (all about 30km, advance booking required).
Children are warmly welcome at Marine Villa, and there is a superb array of equipment, especially for pre-schoolers.
There's plenty to do with kids in Cornwall, even if it's raining, and it's a fantastic place to visit time and again. Among the things we love about the place is rock pooling at Charlestown, crabbing off the harbour wall while eating ice creams and kayaking at Lostwithiel.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Neither of the double bedrooms can be set up with twin beds, but the add-on kids room can be set up with 2 tiny single beds (or 1 single + 1 cot)
Babysitting by qualified CRB-checked teaching assistants (who are also mums) can be arranged
A baby monitor is available (a Tomy Walkabout Digital) that works everywhere in the property
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Baby-friendly meal facilities include a food processor, microwave and baby crockery and cutlery. Mum-friendly arrangements include the option of a visiting chef, great grub can be delivered, and child-friendly cafés and restaurants are close by too
Do take care of the furnishings and knick-knacks - a lot of care has been put into this place's decor. Note that Charlestown is a real Georgian harbour so there are unprotected drops. There's a mobile signal everywhere and the closest nappy stop is 2 minutes away