Welcome to Miami, Cornwall-style. Out of the picture windows, white horses wash against Praa Sands and the azure seas stretch all the way to Brittany. Wearing spa-robe white, Little Cottage is beach-house beautiful and anything but little. Step into a world of sleek, modernist beauty sleeping 11 plus dog, with a beach for a garden.
Once, a derelict property (a little cottage, strangely) stood here. Then, London’s most lauded architect, Alex Michaelis, stepped in and dropped a little slice of Florida beach living onto the coast near Helston. Warm your toes on the underfloor heating. Fire up the woodburner. Get deliciously lazy on the giant beanbag.
Inside, all is pure white and sheer entertainment. Kick back in the sofa-rich TV room with X-Box and DVD player. Break out the art materials, get competitive over the table footie, or head down to the beach with the boogie boards. At night, deep sleep comes quickly to the soundtrack of crashing surf and soaring seabirds.
There’s loads of lawn for cucumber sandwiches, cocktails and cartwheels. And there’s plenty more to do out here. Hang around in the hammock awhile. Play a little table tennis or burn some energy on the trampoline. Take the boogie boards down the cliff path to the beach. Frolic away.
Fire up the barbie on the generous terrace with fuel from the farm shop. Tuck in to steak and sausages in the salty sea air. The outside space here is ginormous, but the real garden’s down on the beach: long, wide, sandy, south-facing and lapped by large waves. De-sand yourself in the hot outdoor shower.
When darkness descends and the clear night sky fills with the speckled light of a gazillion stars, immerse yourself in the hot tub, clink your glasses and watch the diving meteors put on nature’s own pyrotechnic display.
Enter a world of inspiring, uplifting spaces. Clean whites and creams overlaid with the song of the Sonos sound system create a sensory pleasuredome. These convivial spaces designed by Alex Michaelis, London’s foremost architect, sit high over the South Cornwall coast.
In the evenings, you might need only one channel: the licking flames of the woodburner. Team with happy chatter, cosy underfloor heating and giant beanbag for evenings that will live long in the memory. In the games room, the entertainment continues, with family films on the flatscreen TV, X-Box gaming and table football.
Plug into the wifi for digital fun, or stay strictly analogue with art materials from the kitchen drawer. It’s impossible not to relax here, with light flooding the rooms from the giant windows, doors flung open to the salty air and the call of the gulls, and the chatty conviviality of the open-plan living.
Little Cottage brings everyone together in a big way. It all starts in the open-plan kitchen, with you firmly in control of the Miele electric oven and the induction hob that works by touch. Chop, stir, slice and dice your way to a fabulous feast, then enjoy dinner for a dozen around the giant dining table or out on the terrace.
You’ll be aided and abetted by modern conveniences – a microwave, dishwasher, tap delivering both still and sparkling, and a quorker, providing instant boiling water for those post-beach hot chocolates. Prefer to laze around on the beanbag? Give our chefs a call. Their knives are sharp and their whites are whiter than white.
For that authentic beachy experience, try the Beachcomber Café on Praa Sands for light bites and piping-hot pots of tea as you watch the waves lap the beach. In Porthleven, the Seadrift Café is your best bet for steak, brunch, cake or fish, while the Twisted Currant takes top billing for light lunches and cream teas.
The Ship Inn at Mawgan is your first port of call for Falmouth Bay crab, pheasant breast, slow-cooked brisket beef or chargrilled rump steak, while The Square at Porthleven is great for a chilled lunch, lively dinner or just coffee and cake. Or maybe just opt for fish and chips to go as you watch the smacks chug home their catch.
The bedrooms at Little Cottage are as calm and zen-like as the rest of the house. Use all the dorm beds and you’ll get a whole football team in here (although Little Cottage is more suited to friends and families).
That dorm room is downstairs. There’s bunk with a kingsize bed below and a single up-top, and another bunk with two singles. Bringing five kids? The dorm room is a riot for torchlight reading and midnight snacks. There’s an en-suite shower room for scrubbing up and a further guest toilet downstairs.
Upstairs, you’ll find three superking-sized bedrooms, each sleeping two. Bedrooms one and two come with en-suite bath and shower, while bedroom three has an en-suite shower.
All bedrooms are cool and calm in white and light pastels. Rolltop baths come freestanding. Views of the gardens and the ocean are plentiful. Sleep long, dream deep and take a lie-in. You deserve it.
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