A vintage weekend by the Great British seaside? I was always going to be all over that. Last Friday, with a too-large suitcase and Lucy Luxe Life in tow, I jumped aboard a First Great Western (first class, darling – is there any other way to travel?), and zoomed down to the Cornish coast to partake in the retro stylings of The Bedruthan Steps Hotel. A weekend of hoola hooping, jive moves and fish ‘n’ chips awaited…
The vibe was wholesome but luxurious – the kind of place you’d take your kids to learn about the simple joys of sandcastle building, but still be able to indulge in a champagne bellini and a seaweed wrap if the mood took you.
Our room looked over the breathtaking scene of Mawgan Porth Beach; a quaint, golden cove peppered with whitewashed cottages. It served as a stunning reminder of how beautiful pockets of England can be – always worth remembering when I’m yearning for somewhere more exotic than Platform 13 at Clapham Junction!
The Vintage Pleasures weekend, an initiative set up by the sisters who own the hotel, tied in beautifully with the retro feel of the property itself. The family wanted to create an event which would involve the whole community – an ethos which really came across as we were strolling along the beach. Packed with locals and holidaymakers alike, everyone was getting stuck in – from the old ladies who put the young ‘uns to shame on their wooden belly boards, to the whole families who turned up to play volleyball and skittles. You couldn’t escape the strong sense of community spirit – add that to the impossibly glorious weather and I could’ve sat on the rocks soaking up the atmosphere for hours! However, a slap-up fish ‘n’ chip lunch and cupcake decorating called, so we tore ourselves away from the fantastic cookery demo on the beach and walked back up to the main hotel.
I was really impressed that my lunch consisted of 3 different types of fish, as well as proper hand-cut chips and the requisite mushy peas/ tartare sauce. The serving staff couldn’t have been sweeter and didn’t even judge us when we mentioned that after our strawberry and meringue dessert that we’d be moving straight on to cupcake decorating.
An adorable vintage pop-up shop selling homeware as well as clothing was overflowing with retro goodies, while The Vintage Cream, a Cornish company that organises vintage styling among other things, had set up a dream-like tea party at the next stall.
Make do and mend was a prominent theme with the philosophy of the hotel being sustainable and ethical, as well as a workshop teaching you how to sew accessories from scraps of pretty vintage fabric. Who needs to buy a new iPhone case when you can make one instead?
Retro hair and make-up makeovers finished the activities in the hotel so Lucy and I decided to chill out with a cup of tea in one of the cocoon beds on the terrace that overlooked the beach. Before we knew it, it was dinner time and we had the pleasure of another 3 course meal before the live band and jiving lessons in the ballroom. The hotel focuses on organic, locally sourced produce that’s in season and – aside from a mean fish ‘n’ chips – serves dishes like smoked mackerel paté with tarragon, horseradish and wholemeal toast, and pan-fried duck breast with braised cabbage, pancetta, baked apples and cranberry jus. In a word; yum.
Being the princesses we are, Lucy and I decided hot chocolate in bed would be the perfect nightcap. Even though it wasn’t on the room service menu, the lovely girl who took my order said she “was sure they could track some down somewhere”. Lo and behold, they did – complete with mini marshmallows sprinkled on the top. We sipped them in bed wrapped in fluffy Cadbury-purple robes (how apt). The perfect end to a perfect weekend!
Book here for future themed weekends including Cath Kidston (29th-31st Jan & 9th-11th Mar), Alice In Wonderland (25th-27th May & 12th-14th Oct) and Yoga & Pilates (16th-18th Mar, 6th-8th July & 9th-11th Nov). Full list here.
With thanks to the lovely folk at Bedruthan Steps.