One of the things I constantly get asked about my frequent trips to St Ives is – is the travel worth it?
Well on my latest short break this was well and truly put to the test when I set off with two friends for a three night stay at the fabulous 16 St Nicholas Court care of Cherished Cottages.
Rather than a road trip – we flew from Manchester and spent an hour browsing the airport shop, enjoying an early lunch and then hitting the skies to Newquay for our 10.45 flight – a bargain at around £80 for the return flight each (book early for best prices).
With just hand luggage for our three-night break we were quickly out of the airport and picked up a hire car for the final leg of our trip. At £75 for three days it was good value although you can book a taxi through Ace taxis in St Ives.
Our next stop was St Ives and time for a quick wander before heading to our apartment. No matter how many times I arrive in St Ives, the stunning view from the Malakoff as I arrive – the turquoise sea contrasting against the pale sand, white cottages, stone harbour wall and bright blue skies and orange roofs – it always takes my breath away.
16 St Nicholas Court
By early afternoon we had arrived at our fabulous accommodation. 16 St Nicholas Court is brand new to the Cherished portfolio this year and features three fabulous double bedrooms – one with ensuite – an amazing open plan lounge and kitchen diner, and a spectacular sun-drenched terrace for your day in the sun.
The spectacular apartment features top quality furnishings and appliances for a very special stay. Floor to ceiling French doors in both the master bedroom and lounge open straight onto the terrace. There is also secure underground parking for one car.
With our bags half unpacked it was straight down to the beach for an afternoon of sea, sand and sun. Picnic blankets down it was also time for an afternoon beverage while we took in the beauty of our surroundings feeling ourselves relax into the sand.
Back at the fabulous St Nicholas apartment we enjoyed an aperitif on the fabulous terrace before heading out for dinner.
We had a reservation already for Porthmeor Beach Café and even managed to have our table upgraded to a booth from which to enjoy dinner and watch the spectacular sunset.
The food and service at Porthmeor is fabulous and my friends and I all opted for choices from tapas menu which is served between 12 and 9pm. Porthmeor beach café gets very busy and it is always advisable to book ahead, although you can sometimes get an outside table as a walk-in.
After cocktails, it was time to head to our holiday home and a lovely stroll back along the beach with the sand between our toes to St Nicholas Court and the sumptuous beds.
In the morning, we put the gorgeous terrace to good use once again, enjoying coffee in the morning sun. This was a weekend of relaxation so there was no cooking, but had we decided to use the fabulous facilities in St Nicholas we would not have been disappointed.
Fabulous cookware, halogen hob and a top of the range oven and grill and toaster were all at our disposal to prepare a terrace breakfast. (Did I mention there is a dishwasher too!)
We opted instead to head to the Balcony Bar for a fab Cornish breakfast served with a harbour view. Managing to get a window seat, we idly enjoyed our bacon and eggs with fabulous coffee while watching the world go by.
With time to browse in the local shops and a few new summer purchases, we then made our way to the beach. This break was all about relaxation with friends, but we could have taken in the galleries and the recently re-opened Tate with their fab new exhibitions.
We stopped off at Roly’s fudge shop on Fore Street to watch Marco expertly preparing seasalt and chocolate fudge for sale. The smell was amazing and a real treat for the senses.
In Fore Street we enjoyed traditional entertainment from Celtic buskers and of course the stone man who happily posed for us and was keeping the crowds entertained in return for loose change.
St Ives once again was alive with the sounds of children playing, visitors enjoying pasties and ice creams or even a drink of traditional ale or cider outside the Sloop.
We chose a quiet relaxing afternoon at Porthgwidden beach where the waves were gently lapping the coast and framing our beautiful view, while the sun shone down on us again.
The aquamarine sea held our gaze as we hired deck chairs from the beach shop and sat soaking up the sun while enjoying a glass of prosecco from the hatch at the beach café. We enjoyed a lazy afternoon watching the world go by, families playing, friends chatting and enjoying games.
Sammy the seal paid us a visit and we saw a playful pod of dolphins way out in the bay jumping in and out of the water.
Then it was once again time for a quick change and dinner. We had booked a treat at the West Beach café (Porthmeor), where on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout summer a special woodfired barbecue is being held on the upper level – pre-booking is advised, and tickets are available on Eventbrite but you can chance it and walk in.
We were on the second sitting at 8pm and were treated to a veritable feast of delights all lovingly prepared by chef Ben Quinn from Woodfired Canteen in St Agnes.
Definitely worth a visit not just for the food, but for the amazing location and sunset backdrop overlooking the rocks at the West side of Porthmeor. Again back along the beach, a quick stop for a nightcap at Porthmeor Beach Café’s cocktail bar and we were in repeat mode.
Friday was more of the same for us although we took advantage of a slight break in the fabulous June weather for a little bit of shopping and present buying before once again returning to relax at the beach when the sun once again made another appearance.
Friday night we made for the harbour front and decided to check out the Rum and Crab Shack. The restaurant did away with reservations last year and now takes walk-ins only. We were lucky enough to grab the last available table and enjoyed a dinner of crab balls and Jambalaya enjoyed with stunning views across the harbour. A fab night with a great atmosphere and service and then it was on to the Hub for drinks before a final night cap at the Sloop and home.
Saturday was our final day and after quickly packing our luggage into the car, we hit the Searooms on the harbour front for a fab breakfast with gorgeous views of Smeaton’s Pier and the little boats sitting in the sand waiting to be caught by the tide.
Breakfast and coffee were a lovely end to our stay before heading off to the airport for our flight home.
We arrived home refreshed and tanned from our three-night break and would heartily recommend it. If you don’t want to fly you can always check out the trains to Penzance and the local branch line to St Ives. Alternatively plan your car journey well, try to avoid setting off in peak times and always allow time for breaks.
Five-star short breaks at Cherished Cottages start from around £500 mark in early summer. For more details or to discuss your requirements see the Cherished Cottages website,
For a wider variety of short breaks see the late deals and offers page of lovingstives.co.uk
You can fly to Newquay from most major airports in the UK. Our flight was with Flybe.