The SeaHoss – A Living Ship’s Log

As the sun creeps slowly into view over Mevagissey Habour in Cornwall bringing with it the promise of another splendidly sunny day, I stand, leaning on the ancient harbour wall opposite the front door of The SeaHoss, just as its occupants must have done for the last 300 years, with mug of tea in one hand and feeling I have the whole world in the palm of the other.

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The SeaHoss in the 1800’s with locals admiring the view from the harbour wall

Turning away from the extraordinary view of the golden, sunlit fishing boats, I lean on the lichen covered stone wall with my back to the sea and take in the remarkable facade of the old house. As I run my hand over the sea-gnarled ancient wood I still, even after a couple of years, can find a new date or working boat carved deep into the timber which reminds me that of all of the work we have done to this iconic house over the last 24 months, this incredible facade was the most challenging, the most revealing and the most satisfying of all.

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Sunrise over the harbour taken from The SeaHoss

Who would have guessed that the secrets of the working boats leaving the harbour since the 1700’s were diligently recorded here, hidden beneath years of modern paint finishes and carved deeply into the timbers, recording dates, beautiful etchings and initials of the fisherman. As I stand here now, I run my hand over a tall mast, a bowsprit and an inscription dated 1872 and wonder about the lives of the people who had carved this and supposed that, like me, they would have stood back to admire their work, maybe with a mug of tea in hand and then would have most probably have turned to lean on the wall, resting their hot mug of tea precociously on an uneven piece of jagged stone to watch the world go by.

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The SeaHoss with the lower timber frontage – before it was painted.

Of course, some of the timber was too rotten to keep, years of being smothered in thick paint, trapping the moisture and not being able to breathe had taken its toll. It was replaced with rare, reclaimed 8 inch wide larch from a 300 year old farm house in the Lake District. This allowed us to replace the rotten wood and also to replace some of the rotten and damaged floor boards in the house also. The “new” reclaimed timbers are obvious, but we quite like it that way, it is a record of the changes in the ‘Hoss’s history.

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Scraping off the modern paint to reveal a small carving

Now, beautifully preserved with several coats of special UVA protection eco friendly oil, the timber frontage is an open history book, there, like a museum, for every passer by to see, for the local fishermen, who’s families have lived in the village for generations to search while they lean on the harbour wall to talk about their day.

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Another date with initials

Restoring the timber frontage of the property was only a small part of the massive rescue operation involved in saving this gorgeous old house but it the one we are most proud of. It was extremely hard work,  it may have been the building firm who stripped off the years of paint finishes with their specialist equipment, but it was myself and my partner who painstakingly removed the remaining paint and the filler from the etchings, piece by piece, initial by initial, boat by boat and oiled the entire frontage. It is something the whole village and visitors can now enjoy – true, it looks a little shabby, but it’s genuine and quite the “in” thing at the moment apparently, one passer by even asked me how I had achieved the look as he wanted to copy it on the front of his cottage!

The SeaHoss, a 300 year old Grade 2 listed cottage, known locally as The ‘Hoss, built from the timbers of an ancient shipwreck as a pilchard cellar in the 1700s has taken over the last two years of my life. Renovations of this cottage, purchased in 2014 in a dire state of repair, nearly broke me, both financially and emotionally, but here I am, two years on and having just completed our first year of successful trading as a Cornish holiday cottage. The wonderful reviews and comments this old lady has received have made it all worth while. One guest has even penned a remarkable poem in honour of her.

Leaning on the ancient stone wall with the splendid views over the harbour and the lighthouse towards the far reaches of the ocean, I somehow still constantly find myself with my back to the water, admiring the old, shabby timbers of The SeaHoss instead. She is truly beautiful and I am so proud to be her guardian.

Hoss front timbers now
The genuine shabby chic exterior of The SeaHoss today.

The SeaHoss is available for short breaks and holidays.     www.theseahoss.com

Mevagissey showing the SeaHoss on the left1
Before the renovation, pink paint and all.

 

 

Autumn Cornish Escapes

cornishescapesblog

So, the golden glow of Autumn slowly descends on our rugged and picturesque peninsular, the beaches are a little quieter and the evenings, although chillier, are just a little more starlit and magical. At Cornish Escapes we have some fabulous deals on short breaks this Autumn and have included these and some ideas for some unusual places to visit this October below.

Personally, Autumn has always been my favourite season in Cornwall. The colours are enchanting & the beaches serene. The crunch of twigs and fallen leaves beneath our feet and the delicious melange of fruit hanging in the hedgerow, just there for the picking on woodland walks, are a real blessing. There can be few places in world as dramatically beautiful and accessible as Cornwall in the Autumn, with glorious sunsets and wonderfully diverse places to stay. All accommodation and events below are available to book through Cornish Escapes

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Cornish Escapes in Autumn

So, the golden glow of Autumn slowly descends on our rugged and picturesque peninsular, the beaches are a little quieter and the evenings, although chillier, are just a little more starlit and magical. At Cornish Escapes we have some fabulous deals on short breaks this Autumn and have included these and some ideas for some unusual places to visit this October below.

Personally, Autumn has always been my favourite season in Cornwall. The colours are enchanting & the beaches serene. The crunch of twigs and fallen leaves beneath our feet and the delicious melange of fruit hanging in the hedgerow, just there for the picking on woodland walks, are a real blessing. There can be few places in world as dramatically beautiful and accessible as Cornwall in the Autumn, with glorious sunsets and wonderfully diverse places to stay. All accommodation and events below are available to book through Cornish Escapes. Please email or call Carrie for the best prices and deals.

My idea for a perfect Autumn day in Cornwall would begin with an early morning stroll down to Readymoney beach near my home in Fowey, maybe noticing a touch of frost glistening on the spider’s webs in the trees, down to the cove to collect driftwood and pebbles for my cottage, followed by a delicious organic breakfast of local produce in the LifeBouy cafe in Fowey and a late morning latte overlooking the activies of the watercraft on Fowey harbour .A trip this weekend to the Falmouth Oyester festival for to sample the seafood bar and local wines followed by a long brisk walk at Watergate Bay, finishing with a steaming mug of Extereme hot chocolate at The Beach Hut. A thrilling way to spend a spooky evening in the heart of Tehidy Woods would be with the Rogue Theatre’s Dance of The Dead open air production ( details below). Finally at the end of the day, returning hand in hand with my partner to our accommodation for the night, an evening snuggled by the campfire, wrapped in a soft cashmere blanket with my partner and sharing a bottle of mulled Fowey Valley Vintage cider, toasting marshmallows and discussing our day. Finally, falling asleep under the stars in a comfortable bed in a traditional shepherds hut with breakfast delivered in a wheelbarrow! The perfect Autumn Cornish Escape.

“Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns”

George Elliot

Autumn hedgerow

Firstly the Falmouth Oyster FestivalOctober 8th – 11th. One of Cornwall’s best loved food festivals celebrates the beginning of the oyster dredging season in Cornwall. Over the 4 days there will be live music and Cornish craft stalls. The event celebrates the Fal Oyster and Cornish seafood and visitors will be encouraged to sample unusual seafood combinations at the seafood bars and to try local produce including wines and Cornish ales. Falmouth itself is worth visiting for the old town, the beaches and, of course, the National maritime Museum.

For a link to the Falmouth Oyster festival website please click here.

The Rogue Theatre Halloween Masked Ball

What a wonderfully wicked and slightly scary way to spend Halloween! The Dead of Night Dance is suitable for brave adventurers and spirits of all ages and a great excuse to snuggle up to your partner on a romantic short break. The wonderful Rogue Theatre Company promises thrills,scares and spooky moments with the Snake Haired Woman, Cursed Egyptian Mummies and Lost Souls set deep down in the heart of the woods. The adventure leads through a winding path into the woods and the land of the dead to a canvas tent and you will experience magic, live music, dance, macabre humour & some storytelling and just a little bit of circus. Please dress for the weather! This wonderful company produces deeply engaging experiences in atmospheric locations and is a perfect evening’s entertainment. This Halloween production is set in Tehidy Woods at North Cliffs. There are 3 performances a day at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm. Tickets are £7.50 per person and are available by visiting the Rogue Theatre website by clicking here.

October is a perfect time for putting on your walking boots and experiencing the Cornish wildlife and scenery. It is the month when most grey seals give birth to their pups. The breeding sites are located mostly along the North Coast in sea-caves and small cliff backed remote beaches around the coastline, especially those that are inaccessible to humans. There are, however, a few sites around the South coast around the Fal Estuary and The Lizard. The colony of grey seals in Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly represent the largest and most southerly breeding colony of the world population. The best way to see them is to visit a coastal reserve such as the one on Looe Island nature Reserve :www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/looeisland

Cornwall Seal

The beautiful beaches of Cornwall are much quieter in Autumn and the colours of the sea ever-changing and dramatic. There are some spectacular beaches close to all of our cottages. Isolde Cottage in Pentewan is a boutique Cornish Cottage and available to book with us for short breaks and holidays. The village of Pentewan is a picturesque coastal villages straight out of a picture book, with a pretty pub and a village store and Isolde Cottage itself does not disappoint. The beach is just a 3 minute walk from the cottage and permits dogs in the Autumn. Isolde Cottage will accept dogs by arrangement. We can suggest some breathtaking coastal and clifftop walks in the area and also arrange membership at a local spa for some relaxing therapy if required to ease the aching joints. Isolde Cottage is available to book by clicking here

Why not book a weekend away in a luxury waterfront apartment in the ancient port of Fowey, an idyllic and picturesque yachting haven with up market waterfront bars and bistros and a fine selection of independent craft shops, art galleries, antique shops and eateries. We have a lovely 2 bedroom apartment with complimentary parking available for short breaks throughout the Autumn. Hop onto the Fowey to Bodinnick ferry just a 2 minute walk away  and enjoy the famous Hall walk, a meal with a view at The Old Ferry Inn or a glance at Daphne du Maurier’s once home “Ferryside” in Bodinnick. Click Here

The wonderful ancient port of Fowey
The wonderful ancient port of Fowey

For lunch, indulge in Fowey River Mussels and Vintage Cider from Fowey Valley, truly delicious. We thoroughly recommend The Ship Inn for friendly service and excellent food. We provide a complimentary bottle of cider in our Mevagissey Cottage, The SeaHoss, but can order a bottle for your arrival at any of our cottages. Take a stroll up to St Catherine’s Castle and admire the fabulous views over the harbour, crab off the quay or skim stones on Readymoney beach. A wonderful way to spend an Autumn break. To book The Shipwreck Cottage on the harbour please click here

We are all so busy with our lives, constantly checking our emails and phones, it’s very easy to lose touch with what is really matters. What about a romantic Autumn Cornish Escape for a few days under the stars reconnecting with a loved one? Imagine arriving to your accommodation to a campfire a ready alight and a glass of wine. Imagine chatting late into the night, snuggled together in a soft blanket next to a log burner on your terrace,then to snuggling down into crisp linen in a comfortable bed with underfloor heating and double glazing to keep the Autumn chill away. We have something very special on offer with a traditional shepherd’s hut with a unique contemporary twist close to the quintessentially Cornish town of St Ives, with its fabulous beaches, art galleries and waterside eateries. To book the cosy shepherd’s hut please click here

edyn camp fire Edyn under the stars

Take a look at our website www.cornishescapes for details of short break in all of the accommodation mentioned, including special offers and late deals and our guide for Autumn in Cornwall.

A long walk on the beach at Watergate Bay followed by an Extreme Hot Chocolate at The Beach Hut
A long walk on the beach at Watergate Bay followed by an Extreme Hot Chocolate at The Beach Hut

January in Fowey

January…. cold, biting winds, snow and ice? Not in the Cornish town of fabulous Fowey. This morning I took a walk along the coast path to St Catherine’s Castle, yes, it was a little bracing, but bright and crisp and…sunny! Such a spectacular location and the views are just breathtaking. The castle is one of a pair of artillary forts built by Henry V111 in the 1530’s to defend the harbour at Fowey and is now an English heritage property. There is a car park near the wonderful beach at Readymoney Cove and then it’s just a short walk along the cliff of the South West Coast path, taking in the spectacular views over Fowey harbour along the way. Above Readymoney is Point Neptune, the former home of Daphne du Maurier for a short time during the second Word War.

We have lived in Fowey for over 20 years and never cease to admire it’s beauty. Apart from a couple of weeks in January, where local businesses recharge their batteries or take the opportunity to refurbish, the town is bustling and vibrant with a fabulous selection of independent shops, eateries, vintage shops and art galleries, there is also a superb butcher and deli, artisan bakery and fishmonger.

Fowey really is a wonderful place to enjoy a holiday or short break out of season and at Cornish Escapes we have a selection of cottages and waterside apartments, some dog friendly available nightly or for short breaks.

The wonderful ancient port of Fowey
The wonderful ancient port of Fowey