You know when you go on holiday and you have such a great time that they practically have to peel your fingertips off the door frame to get you to leave? Well, I wasn’t quite that bad when we left COOMBE MILL a few weeks ago, but almost.
This was the first New Year in yonks that my friend Kate and I weren’t either pregnant or breastfeeding, so we knew we wanted to do something spesh. So we hired the most amazing stone cottage for the eight of us (four little kids, and four big kids).
We arrived at the uber-family friendly farm just a few days before my 39th birthday. Last year was insanely crazy for us, juggling work, a half-finished house, a baby and a pre-schooler. So we weren’t just looking forward to kicking back for a few days, we NEEDED this break!
From the moment we arrived I felt the stress start to ebb away. Coombe Mill is nestled at the bottom of a river valley, near Bodmin, in Cornwall. Once a 16th century water mill, it’s now a cluster of beautifully restored stone cottages, cute cabins, and modern Scandanavian-style log houses.
We stayed in the spacious but homely Mill House, with its gorgeous stone slab floors, open fire, and big family kitchen. We were really impressed with how child-friendly it was – the stairs had gates top and bottom, Fiona had travel cots and highchairs at the ready, and there was even a big basket of toys for the kids to rummage through.
Some places claim to family friendly, then turn their noses up when you dare to turn up with little ones, but here children feel genuinely welcome. And with six (SIX!) children of her own, Fiona and Nick know exactly what you need to make your break as stress free as possible. There was a kids’ playground, and even an indoor soft play area for when the weather refused to cooperate.
They have wireless wifi, so you can keep up with your news if you feel the need. BUT – and this was the best part – they don’t get a mobile phone reception. Which felt weird at first, being a total iPhone junky, but turned out to be a Godsend. It forced us to really relax, and forget about the outside world (there’s a phone box if you have an urgent call to make).
And we had the BEST time. We went for walks, and gossiped, and ate big home-cooked meals around the table, and drank Baileys by the open fire. And we might have had a glass or champers or two, just to see in the New Year, of course…
The kids had an absolute blast, exploring all the nooks and crannies of the house, going for walks in their muddy gumboots, stomping in puddles, and catching the tractor with Farmer Nick to feed the animals. It was so lovely to see them running around in the fresh air, and getting absolutely filthy!
We were really sad to leave – so much so, we’ve booked to go back. I’m already counting the days…