If I had to choose a word to sit alongside family it wouldn’t be luxury. Chaotic, perhaps. Unrelaxing, erm yes. But luxurious, definitely not.
But apparently the two can coexist. And on a mini-break no less. Who knew? Yes, we have found a place where the two words sit quite harmoniously together. How have I only discovered it with Beaver already four years old? Foolishly, we’ve been missing a trick.
The Polurrian Bay Hotel is part of the the Luxury Family Hotels group, a concept that promises to welcome families in particularly lovely surroundings. The Polurrian is a six hour drive from London but well worth it, sitting remotely on a clifftop near Mullion Cove. It’s the farthest south you can go without actually leaving the UK.
We had been in the hotel less than five minutes before Beaver and Godivy discovered The Den. Aka free creche for four hours a day under the supervision of marvellous Lisa, Donna, Wendy and the team. I had my suspicions then that this was going to turn out to be the best holiday yet. And eight hours of childcare later during which Beaver and Godivy made ceramic Halloween pumpkins, stone hedgehogs and chocolate chip muffins, I was not eating my words.
I was sitting in The Vista lounge overlooking the foamy sea eating cake. With a book after a nap. And Daddy Pig was drinking Tribute ale.
On the morning of day two, Beaver was asking me when she could go to The Den, so naturally we obliged. Well, it would have been unfair not to. It was their holiday too. So I booked some reflexology. All for the good of the kids, you understand. I’m selfless like that.
Add to this kids’ high tea (with cutlery, even baby beakers provided), kids’ cinema and baby listening (so you can actually enjoy the amazing three course dinner each evening), you can understand my excitement. They even have nappy bins in the room. Not that we could work it. But that was our incompetence, not theirs.
Yet this isn’t only a place for getting away from your kids. It’s also one for sharing with them. The many lounge areas have ottomans and chests full of toys just waiting to be discovered. Kids can be kids. Parents can be parents. No pretence or whispering or gritted teeth needed. Because most of the other guests are parents too and you’re all in the same boat (drinking at 5.00 PM). You feel like you’re at home in a big extended family, with very nice people offering you food and drink.
We almost didn’t leave the hotel except for a walk to Polurrian Beach and a trip to The Seal Sanctuary. But we couldn’t wait to get back ‘home’ to put our feet up. The weather was suitably dramatic and stormy enough to warrant it.
The shock of leaving is the only downside I can find. Because the problem with feeling so at home is suddenly remembering that this isn’t actually your home. A busier life awaits you. Your real life. The one you left temporarily that somehow you’ve managed to forget altogether.
No, Polurrian Bay has done nothing to cure me of my desire to frolick in the hills. It’s just made me realise that I’d also like a country house to sit on top of it. With a sea view. Yes, definitely a sea view.
Oh and a Den. Whilst we’re at it.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you?
Failing that, I guess we’ll just have to return.
If we really have to.
Footnote: We stayed in interconnecting rooms for 3 nights dinner, bed and breakfast for a crazily reasonable £349. As I press ‘publish’ Beaver and Godivy are in The Den. Again. And Daddy Pig and I are sitting in The Vista after a bracing walk on the howling, windy cliffs. Crazy behaviour for someone who just last Sunday was panicking about St Jude. This is how liberated I have become.