“Exquisite cottage & house rentals in a seaside Cornish village, ideal for a family or a romantic break (each sleeps 2-6)”
MARINE VILLA (sleeps 4-6) has 2 light and spacious double bedrooms, with sea-facing windows and a fresh, all-white decor. You get super-kingsize beds (no twins), antique chests and - as in all houses - top-quality White Company linens, with hypo-allergenic bedding on request. Both ensuite bathrooms feature a roll top bath with shower - either overhead or separate. 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, art-filled sitting room with 2 sofas, a lovely hearth for winter fires and a digi TV-DVD (plus a second in the dining room). Opposite are the kitchen and dining room.
THE STUDIO (sleeps 2) is available as an add-on if you need more space. Reached via either a connecting door or its own entrance, it's a lovely, airy, open-plan suite with a kingsize bed, shower, kitchenette and sofa; the most stylish little granny flat imaginable!
THE COTTAGE (sleeps 2-3 + baby) is 5 mins' walk from the harbour. You enter through the kitchen to reach a snug, oak-floored sitting room with a tiny sofa, TV, retro shop signs and a wood-burning stove. Stairs lead up to a peaceful master bedroom at the front, with an oak-framed king, and a tiny kids' bedroom at the rear, whose raised cabin-style bed is in honesty too small for a couple, but would suit an older child perfectly. The spoiling bathroom has a cast-iron tub with overhead shower. Again, there's lots of lovely detail - hand carved lamps, fresh flowers, seagrass flooring - and a peaceful calm through which we slept deeply.
OLIVIA'S COTTAGE (sleeps 4) is slightly more spacious and perhaps a tad lower in spec, but otherwise bears all of Antonia's hallmarks: clean fresh design, funky vintage finds, and extremely intelligent use of space. Downstairs is a compact kitchen, an L-shaped bathroom with tub and shower, and a good-sized sitting room. Upstairs you get 2 double bedrooms, one with a harbour-facing window and kingsize bed, the other a small double. Outside is a small suntrap garden, which somehow manages to harvest the Cornish sun but not its wind.
BLOSSOM COTTAGE (sleeps 4-5), next to Olivia’s, shares a similar layout, with the addition of a single bedroom suitable for a child.
THE CABIN (sleeps 2) is ideal for couples wanting a snuggly hideaway. Tucked in leafy gardens behind Marine Villa, it's actually 2 converted grad-II listed outhouses - one glass-fronted living area with L-shaped sofas, bar-style seating and a diminutive kitchen, and one sleeping cabin with a cosy, yacht-like double berth and a slate-floored wetroom - linked via a sail-canopied patio for al fresco dining. This, and the very private lawned gardens, make it a gorgeous summer option, though we last visited in winter and loved the cosiness of the woodburner, radiator and goosedown duvets.
All the cottages have fantastically equipped kitchens, some quite compact, but with all the goodies you could expect; and a suitably sized dining area. Expect top brand appliances - Bosch or Smeg cooker, microwave, fridge/freezer and dishwasher, Dualit toaster, Magimix kettle, Joseph Joseph chopping boards, AGA pans and Cornish crockery. There are mixing bowls, a whisk, grater, plus a steriliser and handheld blender for those with little ones. All houses have a washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board, either in a small laundry room or in an outbuilding.
Organic tea, coffee, sugar and 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). Or seek out some of Cornwall's many artisan food producers, from simple farm shops to extraordinary cheesemakers, fish straight from the boats and heavenly charcuterie.
In terms of dining spaces, MARINE VILLA has a lovely dining room with ample space for 6+, and sheltered al fresco dining space outside too. The COTTAGE has a narrow table for 4 in the sitting room, warmed by a wood burner in winter, plus a small garden for summer meals or a Pimms as the sun goes down. The CABIN's diminutive dining area is open-plan with the kitchen, but you do get a sail-covered patio for outdoor dining in the warmer months. The STUDIO has galley kitchen and a table for 2.
If you're feeling lazy, Antonia can deliver her own 'great grub' fresh from her kitchen, much of it organic. In summer, try local lobster in garlic butter; in winter, she makes a rich, slow-cooked beef stew with mashed potato and leeks. Round it off with gooey chocolate tart or homemade lemon ice cream, all washed down with carefully selected wines which are left for you on an honesty basis. You can pre-order a 'brilliant breakfast box' for your first morning, too. We ordered this on a cold January morning and it was totally worth it. Antonia’s homemade granola with organic yoghurt, jam and honey was the perfect starter before our local Atlantic salmon with eggs.
If you'd prefer to eat out, there are a couple of places in Charlestown for crab sandwiches, ales and sea views. In the evening, we tried out The Longstore on Antonia’s recommendation. It has a trendy hipster vibe with filament lightbulbs and rustic tables. We had a tasty Portobello mushroom burger with a fried macaroni cheese fritter and truffle and Dijon aioli - delicious and reasonably priced.
Antonia provides a useful selection of her top recommendations in the area, but to give you a few ideas...
There's plenty to do with kids in Cornwall, even if it's raining, and Antonia's larger cottages and house make superb family bases, with lots of baby- and toddler equipment, plus family-friendly bed set-ups. In Charlestown our kids loved rock pooling, crabbing off the harbour wall, eating superb ice creams and walking just round the coast to sandy Duporth beach. Further afield, the options are endless...
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Children are warmly welcomed at Marine Villa, The Cottage, Olivia's and Blossom, kids under 5 are also welcome at The Cabin. See Rooms for bed arrangements.
Babysitting by qualified CRB-checked teaching assistants (who are also mums) can be arranged
Baby monitors can be supplied
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, takeaways nearby and cafés and restaurants that are child-friendly close by.
Do take care of the furnishings and knick-knacks - a lot of care has been put into the decor. Charlestown is a real Georgian harbour so there are some unprotected drops. There's a mobile signal everywhere. The Cottage's raised cabin-style bed won't suit toddlers, while Olivia's set-up means children may have to share a double bed