Cornwall is one of the top UK destinations for food lovers. It’s also becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination, as more and more people decide to stay in the UK for their holidays. It is wild and invigorating and the winter, and stunningly beautiful in the summer.
We spent a week recently in Cornwall to explore the county in more depth, and to check out one of the top Cornish foodie holiday desitinations: Trelowarren.
Trelowarren, is an historic 1000 acre estate, situated on The Lizard peninsula, the most southerly tip of England, just a few miles south of Helston in Cornwall. The estate has been owned by the Vyvyan family for over 600 years. The Grade I listed main house is lived in by the Vyvyans to this day, and several properties on the estate have been converted into luxury environmentally friendly holiday cottages which are let all year round alongside several new-build eco-cottages, making Trelowarren a holiday destination with something for everyone – even Kylie Minogue visited recently.
We stayed in the Downas cottage which sleeps four people and in fact is the smallest cottage available to rent on the Estate. Downas was converted in 2002 from the former Estate office. The cottage throughout was of an excellent standard and immaculately clean. The décor at Trelowarren is very simple, but tasteful and of good quality, with some lovely pieces of art in every room.
Trelowarren is a brilliant place to discover and enjoy Cornish food. The wonderful thing is that the Estate has an excellent restaurant, New Yard, which is situated at the heart of the Estate.
In the summer, the Vyvyans run a pizza pop up using their newly installed wood-fired oven, and also bake bread and a small number of other goodies for you to purchase and enjoy at your cottage.
Therefore, if you want to get away and eat out, you can, but with the same level of comfort of a very good hotel, but with more privacy than a hotel as you have your own space. But if you want to cook at home, you can and what’s more, it’s incredibly easy to get your hands on some brilliant local produce.
The holiday cottages on the Trelowarren estate are mostly set around the restaurant building, and there is a craft centre and nursery adjacent, too. There is a large reception building which leads out to the swimming pool (outdoor, and heated to 28°C, even in the winter), and a well-equipped gym and the Spa. I was fortunate enough to fit in a treatment at the Trelowarren Spa during our stay. It was wonderful. The Spa is an extremely peaceful place to unwind, without the hustle and bustle of many salons, and Kim, my therapist was absolutely lovely – I could have chatted to her all day long.
The New Yard Restaurant at Trelowarren has been voted one of the top three restaurants in Cornwall by the Good Food Guide 2013. It opens for lunch and dinner in the week, longer at weekends, serving modern British food, sourcing all ingredients very locally. Olly Jackson, Head Chef at New Yard sources all meat, fish and cheese very locally. Other ingredients, such as game, eggs and herbs come from the estate, as do some vegetables and fruit, working with the Head Gardener at Trelowarren. The menu changes regularly, working with the best of local and seasonal produce. It is also exceptionally good value for the quality of cooking and so worth a stop if you are in the area, as it is open to non-residents every day, too. The pizzas at the pizza pop up are very good, too. Thin, crispy, interesting toppings and good value – a must if you are staying.
We discovered some great local food producers and shops on the Lizard which were well worth a visit for stocking up on goodies if self-catering, or to take home for presents.
Cornwall is easily accessibly by rail, air and road. If you haven’t ventured down to the Lizard before, a trip is highly recommended.
With thanks to Sir Ferrers and Lady Victoria Vyvyan for having us to stay and looking after us so well.