Olivia's is an exquisite retreat for frazzled parents with tots in tow. A true ‘bolthole’, this small but perfectly formed 2-bedroom, Grade II listed cottage is set at the end of a Georgian terrace, on the top deck overlooking the harbour in the historic Georgian port of Charlestown, which was recently granted World Heritage status. Step out of the elegant interior and the beaches either side of the quay are almost right on the doorstep, whilst the village's fine selection of cafes, shops and pubs are just as close and perfect for a nipping out for a lazy brunch or a warm drink after exploring the beach.
As we've come to expect from designers Antonia and David, who also own the popular Marine Villa and the Cottage properties, Olivia's has been lovingly restored with a keen eye for design and sustainability. A study in understated, family-friendly, elegance, sophisticated Farrow and Ball shades wash the walls, White Company linens dress the beds and a wealth of expertly picked antique and hand crafted pieces play up to its character and style, creating maritime bliss for a family of four.
Olivia's has two bedrooms, a king and a tiny double, both dressed with super soft White Company, Egyptian cotton percale bedding and towels. It sleeps maximum of 2 adults and 2 children including infants (The price is based on 2 adults + 1 child throughout the year with exception of July and August weeks when 2 adults + 2 children are included in the price. Outside of July and August an additional child can be added for £15 per night). The double has lovely garden views whilst the king size, romantic antique bed looks out to Sea. Each bedroom has a hair dryer, clock, blanket and sewing kit.
The stylish, slate floored kitchen is well equipped with ceramic hob, electric oven, fridge, microwave, dishwasher and hopefully everything else required to whip up a family feast. The cottage's washing machine, tumble dryer, iron and ironing board are in the laundry cupboard which is located in the extension. There is a dining table in the sitting room which is perfect for romantic evenings in and charming log burner, though during the summer months guests may prefer to dine outside, taking in the views from the front lawn. The cosy, oak floored sitting room has a pair of tiny sofas nestled beside the log burner perfect for snuggling up with a hot coco after a busy day exploring finished with a TV (in built DVD) and digital radio/CD player.
The family bathroom is located in modern extensive and is kitted out appropriately with a bath, shower and a bundle of soft towels perfect to wrap up in after a good long soak.
An exceptional list of baby and toddler gear is provided (see Fast Facts for breakdown) making Olivia's with its pretty garden and fabulously scenic, convenient location, a haven of both style and child-friendly appeal.
Please note: Short breaks are available in low season and in April and September by request.
The picturesque harbour village of Charlestown has retained a great deal of its Georgian beauty, so much so that it is often used as a film set. Although it is small, it boasts a couple of good pubs, a bistro, a good new restaurant and a funky coffee shop, all of which welcome little ones. Surprisingly, the village also boasts a great salon for indulgent treatments, perhaps by bartering with an afternoon of golf a the nearby course?
A major benefit of being almost harbour-side is the access to delicious freshly caught fish. The fisherman generally stops by the cottage to collect orders, and comes highly recommended. A little further afield but well worth the trip to Truro is the aptly named ‘Cheese Shop’ - heaven for cheese fans! The two beaches within easy and stroller-friendly walk of the cottage are ideal for introducing toddlers to the delights of rockpooling and net fishing, whilst the Eden Project is practically on the doorstep and, if using the land train (tractor pulled train through the attractions), also very toddler friendly.
The village shop sells a great spotting book to keep kids interested and the café does decent nibbles. For an 'Enchanted Forest' experience, head to Cardinham Woods and stumble upon the wonderful tea shop set in a centuries old woodsman's cottage, with a handy children's play area outside and useful baby-changing room. But, with the tall 'pirate ships' and rockpooling adventures on the doorstep, many don't make it too far from the cottage.
Top tips for eating out include: Jamie Oliver's 'Fifteen' in Watergate Bay for its family-friendly lunches, the St Kew Inn for excellent garden and gastro pub fayre, Nathan Outlaw at the St Endoc hotel for an indulgent night without little ones, and Austells is handy for an excellent meal. Charlie's cafe or terrace at the Pier House hotel in Charlestown make a great lunchtime sandwich and coffee stops. Antonia is full of advice for othe brilliant places including some stylish, scenic and nipper-friendly locations in nearby coastal towns/villages.