Firstly and most importantly a very Happy New Year to all from The Meadows Team.
Time always seems to fly by when we are open, but it is also flying by just as fast for our “down time”.
Luckily we were full steam ahead when we first closed our gates, and took full advantage of the dry, sunny weather and got ahead of the game. The grass has been growing even in December.
This time of year, we are a little at the mercy of the weather as to what jobs we can do. This means it has been the ideal time to holiday, explore the County and try out many of the fantastic eating places Cornwall has to offer.
For our main holiday this year we thought we would try something new, and so booked a cruise. John was the organiser, and gave us absolutely no time to think about it, as research and booking took all of 5 minutes, after a night out at The Polgooth!! With no flying involved it did seem a good idea at the time. It was a cruise mainly around the Canaries, but also stopping at Lisbon and Madeira. It was different, in a very good way and it was certainly a hassle free holiday. The only things we really had to think about was planning what to do when off the ship as arranged excursions are not really our thing. We found the Canaries extremely well set up for walkers, with some great walks, and indeed we shall definitely return to La Palma another winter which was by far our favourite Island. We ate lunch in some lovely places and feasted on tapas, and enjoyed sitting outside in November, and we met some lovely people and had lots of laughs.
Whilst having to dress up on the ship was good fun, being a country girl, I was pleased to be reunited with my jeans and wellies!!
Back in Cornwall, we have done a great deal of exploring (the walking and eating kind), and we continue to be surprised.
Walking (our favourite pass time)
With having lots of woods on our doorstep, and the Luxlyan Valley close by, we have only just discovered Cardinham Woods (Bodmin way). These really are super woods for both walking, and cycling, with one in particular very hairy cycle ride that nobody would ever get me to do! There is a fabulous cafe Woods Cafe which is known in particular for it’s scrummy carrot cake.
We have also been out walking on the Clay Trails again great for cycling and walking, and with some fantastic views. You can pop in to Eden, or Wheal Martyn for coffee, or lunch, or even better literally just off the trail is the Knightor Winery doing tours, tasting and often coffee and lunch.
This year we had a quiet Cornish Christmas. On Christmas Eve we were blessed with a day of sunshine and walked to Mevagissey on the Pentewan Valley Trail for lunch at the Sharksfin, of beef tacos which were excellent. When we lived in Norfolk we always used to have mussels and chips for supper on Christmas Eve. When we saw mussels at Meva’s fish stall, we could not resist and so supper was sorted, and our return walk was on the coast path A great day, all round.
Walking, beach style
I like a beach where you can get a good stride out and Pentewan Sands and Par are good for this, although for doggies Pentewan is only good for the winter months.
Another great beach, with a nice drive out to it is Pendower on the edge of the Roseland. There is a NT car park right on the beach and some very good rock pools. We headed out here on Boxing Day and then returned via The Roseland Inn at Philleigh. This is a lovely pub and that day the fire was roaring and we had lovely prawn sandwiches and chips before heading home.
In 40 minutes, we can be over on the North Coast, and so based on which side has the better weather, we have been heading up north walking some days. Our favourite beaches are Watergate Bay, Perranporth (2 miles long at low tide), Hayle and Crantock. All of these are fairly close together and so it is possible to do a day of beach hopping with plenty of places for refuelling.
Eating (our second favourite pass time )
For one reason and another, until December, we had just not gotten around to trying The Hub Box on Pentewan Sands – big mistake!! We ventured out here for our Christmas Party and joined forces with Kernow Forno who were hub box regulars. If you like really, really good burgers then this place is a must visit, but go when you are hungry. The sides are all home made and the coleslaw and burnt end beans were fab, and the burgers delicious and award winning! Unfortunately it is not dog friendly in the summer months – boo hoo, and for us it is now closed until March. However, we shall fit in another visit before we open and as it is right on the beach we hope by then be able to sit outside.
As a result of Storm Frank, we had a daytime without power. We saw this as an opportunity to have brunch out and went off to Griggs Farm Shop. The shop itself is great for outdoor gear, work gear, eggs and pickled onions, but the cafe is just a real treat. I had a half Cornish and John a full Cornish breakfast and it was very, very tasty indeed and kept us going until power was restored. There was even enough for a doggie back for Harvey who had waited patiently in the landy.
On our trips out exploring, and with the guidance of Alistair Sawday’s website, and of course trip advisor we have tried new places. We like cosy pubs, good food, and a friendly welcome so not much to ask! We got all of these at both The Halestown Inn, Halestown (near St Ives), and The Ship Inn at Wadebridge. We always like to have a memory bank of dead certs, plus a few on our list still to try, and a few very special favourites.
Work on site
Our Cornish hedge is slowly but surely coming along. The first part is complete, save for the hedge itself to be planted in the top. The next section is well underway, but the weather has been making it tricky for hedger Tom.
Wood – our regulars will know that fire pits are a big thing here at The Meadows, and indeed many have commented on our wood towers. We have a very good back up wood source, however, we would like eventually to keep up with supply and demand from our own towers. After hearing such good reports from farmer Bowler about his log splitter run off an old Renault tractor, we have bought our own splitter to be delivered today. The old Fordson Dexter had been feeling redundant since we bought our new tractor, and so is pleased to have been chosen to run the splitter. We have made our very own mini production line, so trunk to stack should be a fairly slick operation, or that is the idea any way.
For everything else left to do, we are poised now waiting on the first signs of Spring. However, wood will keep us busy until then, and will also keep us fit.
News from Camp Dog Harvey
Happy new year, and happy walkies to all my four legged friends out there. It is nice enjoying my large garden once again, and getting out and about on some epic beaches. Whilst my owners were away cruising I spent two weeks “up country” with the farming side of the family. I was very happy as in reality I just went from one sofa and log burner to another!
I enjoyed a Christmas time feast of cockerel (lots of), roast ham joint, short rib of beef, and all the trimmings each time, except I don’t do peas! There has been lots of walks on the beach, 3 a day on some days and lots of dog friendly pubs with log fires, and hot chips under the table. Life for me is pretty good, and so on that basis I have signed a new contract for next season as Camp Dog.
We are well in to taking bookings now, and indeed some summer weeks, we are already getting fairly limited on hook ups. The system is the same as before, keeping it fairly simple, just how we like things. We continue to add information to our FAQs and keep the information on the website up to date, useful and interesting! To book you can contact us here, or if you would like to speak to us please call 01726 844383. Our gorgeous caravans Lottie and Mabel are also available to rent again this year for a special stay. For newbies The Meadows is an adult only campsite, dog friendly and quirky, on the South Cornwall Coast, and great for walking cycling and campfires.
Here’s to a great 2016 with lots of sunshine and fun along the way.