This stunning boutique barn conversion (sleeps 9+cots) was completed by award-winning architects, Feildon Fowles in October 2012 and is already earning high praise amongst its early visitors. BFB expected no less since its owners, the very lovely Allen family, also own the Red Barn and have consistently earned high rankings in our guest ratings surveys over the past few years with more "outstanding" comments than we can shake a stick at!
Like its neighbouring little sister, The Cob is a study in funky contemporary design with a family-friendly edge. Picture-perfect both inside and out, not only could its interiors easily grace any of the upmarket glossies, but its exterior setting is idyllic too, being nestled between two nature reserves with abundant wildlife yet just a few miles from the coast at Bude and less than an hour from the Exeter turn off of the M5.
Owners Conrad and Karen Allen, live just across the courtyard, although not overlooking, so they and their two young sons are always on hand for tips and advice, or as playmates for younger guests. Their experience with their own brood has encouraged them to equip the barn with families in mind and it boasts a useful list of baby gear and toys (see grey box left). Best of all, they keep a large organic vegetable garden and chickens, and often invite guests to help themselves to fresh produce and eggs to get the most from this country idyll, complete with private woodland.
The Cob's clever architecture incorporates two private terraces and its own a large grassy garden, perfect for football, al fresco breakfasts (from the estate's own free range hens of course!) or evening sundowners. Plus, the fabulous bi-fold doors between the open-plan living area and the eastern terrace bring the outside in, and mean kids can roam freely while in safe sight of parents.
Inside, the design combines charming, rustic features such as the tongue and groove ceilings and romantic log burner, with colourful accent walls and funky printed wallpapers to create an inspiring environment in which to relax as a family. The slick design features include tonnes of concealed storage so there's plenty space to keep all the family's kit safely stowed away, as well as offering lots of brilliant hiding places for impromptu games of hide and seek!
Although flooded with light, with outstanding view from both upstairs and downstairs, bed-room black out blinds, underfloor heating, the aforementioned log burner, cosy sofas, huge beds and luxury bed linens make it as cosy at night as it is light and bright by day, helped a long by the kind of contemporary luxuries guests can expect from a highly rated BFB property such as REN toiletries, flat screen TVs and Bose sound systems.
The Cob sleeps 8-9+cots in 4-bedrooms, comprising a ground floor double with king-sized bed and ensuite shower room and, upstairs, another double with king-sized bed, a twin bedroom with two singles that can be zipped and linked into a king-size bed, and a fun bunk room with additional truckle bed for a 3rd child. The upstairs also houses a large family bathroom.
Back downstairs, theres a very large open plan lounge, kitchen diner equipped with a roomy dining table to comfortably sit 10 and all mod cons including dishwasher, microwave,
Just a short drive away is Bude- a reasonably quaint Cornish seaside town with a few half decent restaurants, some good local produce suppliers (inc organic) and three well stocked major supermarkets. The ‘Life’s a Beach’ Café bar overlooking Summerleaze beach in Bude comes highly recommended for its beach-side location, stunning views and rare combination of good food, a drinks licence and a kids menu – even if it is fish fingers and chips etc.! The lido beneath it is ideal for safe splashing around and is patrolled by life guards in the main season.
If less than perfect weather forces you indoors, the nearby Trethorne leisure park, Milky Way and Big Sheep are good distractions. Each of them has special zones for babies and toddlers with ball pools, soft play and ride on tractors