The Rosevine welcomes us with a delightful spring sunshine. Although It goes way back as a hotel, it has once been a family home and that shows: lots of families return here year after year. It sure is the perfect destination for a family holiday: small and thus very personal, stylish yet without having to be afraid that you look out of place with your somewhat boisterous children. The moment we arrive, our daughters run onto the vast lawn stretching out in front of the building. All sorts of toys in a couple of baskets keep them entertained.
The hotel is located on The Roseland Peninsula, a beautiful area in the county of Cornwall in the South-west of England and lovingly called ‘the big house by the sea’ by the locals. The Rosevine is the sort of place where you want to hang out on a lounge sofa with a glass of bubbly in your hand while the children are frolicking on the lawn with balls and tennis rackets – and that’s precisely what we are doing. By the time we have our second glass, the children have discovered the small playground and start playing all over again, so we have all the time to look out over the almost Mediterranean garden with actual palm trees. Yes indeed, palm trees in England. That may sound odd, but it’s true. With temperatures over the 10 degrees Celsius for more than 7 months of the year, Cornwall can be classified as having a subtropical climate. Of course, it’s best to take this with a pinch of salt. Still, the weather is absolutely fine here most of the time.
The moment we feel it’s time for some action, it takes us no more than 10 minutes to get to the beach below. With our feet in the sand, we bask in the spring sun while the kids play with their trousers rolled up in the rock pools left behind by the sea. Porthcurnick beach looks very picturesque and is perfect for young children thanks to the waves which vary from small to none.
If you get hungry from all that idling about, go to The Hidden Hut high up on the cliffs above the beach. This small café can only be reached by foot and serves the most delicious pies, modest lunch dishes, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Nearly everything is freshly prepared and the view of the sea and the fields is superb. Once a week during the high season, they organise an ‘open-air feast night’. This feast is a ‘bring your own plate’ event where one dish is served to be savoured on long picnic benches. Hurry though, as these nights tend to be sold out within minutes.
Both the Hidden Hut and The Rosevine are along one of the famous coastal walking trails of The National Trust. We take the children for a walk along this route through sloping fields that abruptly make way for steep cliffs – so be careful with the little ones among us. It is a short walk to the authentic fishing village of Portscatho where the boats are moored in the harbour and many fisherman’s cottages have been turned into art studios and galleries.
After having returned to The Rosevine from our brisk walk, we go to our room. Or, should I say apartment. They all come with a kitchenette with a microwave, kettle, toaster and fridge. There is enough gear to prepare yourself a snack. It has, however, not sufficient equipment to cook a complete meal. Yet, with the hotel’s quality restaurant, there is not a single need to do so and there are also plenty of good restaurants nearby. The Michelin-starred Driftwood, for example, is just around the corner. A well-functioning baby monitor should even be able to cover the distance and otherwise the hotel can arrange a babysitter.
If you prefer a self-catering accommodation, the hotel has a four-bedroom house. All of the accommodations are light and airy. Ours has a separate bedroom for the children with a bunk to sleep in, a great shower in the bathroom and a nice balcony with once more a sea view. Other apartments come out onto a terrace and have direct access to the tropical garden. We feel at home from the moment we’ve arrived and the apartment’s interior even enhances this feeling. Not ostentatiously luxurious, but the nicest materials and calming colours perfectly match the atmosphere of the house and its surroundings.
The hotel’s direct surroundings offer loads to do for active families. Hop on a ferry for a short boat trip to the beautiful village of Falmouth with its variety of fun, small shops. Another boat, the King Harry Ferry, takes you to the National Trust-owned Trelissick Gardens, a tranquil varied garden in fabulous position, with a superb collection of tender and exotic plants.
Or visit Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle – both located near The Rosevine. Favourable currents and the seldom ceasing wind make the waters around The Rosevine very suitable for sailors. The capital Truro has a magnificent cathedral and the Royal Cornwall Museum organises special exhibitions for children. The thing to do on a rainy day, because – subtropical or not – it is still England.
And even in bad weather, it is great to stay at The Rosevine. Younger children can find their way in the dedicated playing room or think about places to photograph Rosie the rabbit. There’s an indoor swimming pool that could use a renovation. Nevertheless older children can splash around while parents relax with a good book in front of a crackling open fire in the adult-only library. Just like home.
# The setting above Porthcurnick beach is magnificent. Nature lovers and hikers can indulge in their passion around here.
# In the large, enclosed garden children can be left to their own devices while parents relax and enjoy a good read in the garden or on their private terrace or balcony.
# Cornwall is a beautiful county where it is still relatively quiet – especially during the off-season. Rent a car or bikes to visit the great variety of attractions in the area or take a stroll along one of the many great walking trails.
This property can be booked through www.i-escape.com/the-rosevine