When we envisage Cornwall, the majority of us collectively think of seaside sounds, paddle boats and the nostalgic smell of vinegar-soaked fish and chips. For me, growing up with beach visits to St.Ives meant that my knowledge of alternative inland destinations ran relatively short – shocking considering my Devonshire upbringing. The truth is unless explored, we forget that this English county boasts some pretty idyllic agricultural settings as well. Luckily with the help of lust-worthy travel features and social media posts, we’re able to add more of these “hidden” retreats onto our radars – leading me onto my latest STRIPD discovery.
About a twenty minute drive from the coastline of St Mawes, set in the tranquil Roseland peninsula, you’ll find Hay Barton – a three-bedroom luxury B&B run by Jill and Blair Jobson. Oozing with Cornish character and charm, this British farmhouse exudes everything you’d expect from a traditional building of its time. With grey-stone exteriors, original windows, cobbled pathways and potted botanicals - this is a beautifully authentic setting with no major attempts of modern alteration.
Still a working farm to date, you’re greeted by an expansive landscape of green fields along with the muted echo of Blair’s South Devon cows and hens– proving that these rural qualities are what make this B&B a truly genuine ‘escape’ from the distractions of modern, urban living. After making your way through the front door you’ll be welcomed into the grand Hay Barton flagstone dining room, equipped with a bath stone fireplace - perfect for cosying up to on frosty winter mornings. On the table you’ll find a tray of tea and coffee along with a homemade “bake of the week” (dependent on what Jill’s baking skills have called for) ready and waiting for consummation.
As you’d expect from such excellent first impressions – the three rooms at Hay Barton offer the same transcending finesse - elegantly decorated, comfortable and incredibly spacious. Giant windows allow for views across acres of open countryside, as well as providing an opening for sunlight to pour through. The beds are super King-size and dressed with sumptuously-soft linen from The White Company, an extremely inviting main feature for all suspecting guests. For a real “pinch me” moment, clamber in before bedtime with one of the supplied magazines whilst taking advantage of the peaceful surroundings.
Each room comes with local spring water, tea and coffee making facilities and a Kilner jar of Jill’s homemade buttery shortbread – blissful after a long journey. If you’re fortunate enough to have booked a room with one of their St James roll-top baths, you can indulge mid-afternoon with the bubble-bath and toiletries provided. Tune into the Roberts radio, and relax whilst gazing out onto the unspoilt land ahead – this is where I can vouch a glass of fizz is very much enjoyed.
Whatever activity you decide on first, Jill & Blair have made certain you’re equipped with everything you need for an incredibly restorative stay.
If you’ve taken a look at Hay Barton’s website, you’ll probably have already spied pictures of Jill and Blair’s impressive breakfast spread. Claiming the award of ‘Breakfast like no other’ in 2016 from known cereal makers, Dorset Cereals – you know you’re in safe hands. Everything served is sourced as locally as possible – enabling the couple to really boast their onsite offerings as well as nearby foodie suppliers. With a “help yourself” approach, you’ll be spoilt for choice – a jar of Nigella’s nutty granola, Jill’s own preserves and marmalades and Werrington set honey from Blair’s cousin’s beehives are just a few of the delicious treats to sample before the cooked breakfast arrives . Jill even goes to the trouble of making her own organic yoghurt straight from her kitchen AGA – a compliment to the seasonal fruit and Dorset Cereal range provided.
Once you’ve whet (or drenched) your appetite with something sweet, the feasting continues. Blair attentively collects bespoke “egg” orders whilst Jill proudly displays the prized Maran yolkies for guests to see before consumption. After some anecdotal insights into the food’s origin, visitors are left to chat amongst themselves – surrounded by the comforting smell of traditional full English breakfast goods. When dishes arrive, they consist of sausages and bacon from the Kernow Sausage Company, rich baked beans (courtesy of Leon), button mushrooms and char grilled tomatoes. Rightly so, baskets of local artisan bread from Da Bara bakery and Rodda's butter are placed nearby– ready for lapping up any leftovers.
Albeit a familiar breakfast concept, Jill and Blair adapt this in a truly decadent manner – celebrating the wealth of excellent produce available within close proximity.
So whilst I’ll admit that modern amenities are a 21st century necessity, sometimes it’s good to recoil from the grasps of our Monday – Friday routines to experience a slower-pace of life. Fortunately you can take part in as much or as little as you fancy at Hay Barton - Cornish gems such as The Watch House, The Idle Rocks and Tatams offer nearby excuses to venture outside the comforts of the B&B (not to mention the abundance of walking trails) if you're looking to make the most of your trip.
If you’re due some self-indulgence (aren't we all from time to time?) – Hay Barton will truly spoil you in every sense, with Jill and Blair going above and beyond to make sure all your needs are met.
If you’re interested in booking a room at Hay Barton, please be sure to visit their website
Prices of doubles rooms start at £90 from April 2017.