Most years, we leave the Cornish holiday park where we meet up with an ever-larger group of friends (ever-larger because there seems to be a new baby every year, although surely this will start tapering off soon) with a car rammed with soggy towels, sandy wetsuits, damp duvets and piles and piles of laundry. Consequently we also leave with a disgruntled face – mine – and the prospect of hours of unpacking, laundering and sorting.
My genius husband knows that the past few weeks have been slightly less than fun-filled for me. It’s been unseasonably cold and he’s been away working in sunnier climes. There’ve been poorly children and end-of-term ennui to grapple with.
So yes, we packed up the car yesterday, crammed it with all the aforementioned things, and hit the road. And drove, not 6 arduous hours back to London, but a mere 50 minutes up the coast to Bedruthan Steps
We were last here 4 years ago, when I was pregnant with our youngest, and it’s down in my memory as one of our best breaks ever. Totally family friendly and chilled out, we had fun with our children and time alone. There was a kids’ club, which left us free to swim, spa, read and relax. There was the option to eat with the children, or to feed them earlier and, later on, when they were asleep, exhausted from the raucous post-meal entertainment and sea air, change for dinner and feast on delicious, largely locally sourced meals with stunning views over the bay and a baby listening monitor placed strategically next to our bottle of wine.
And here we are again, my enormous bump now a strapping 3-year-old running around and insisting that he, like his siblings, remembers this place. I’ve just had a breakfast of mushrooms and tomatoes that I didn’t have to cook, and coffee, real coffee, from an Orla Kiely mug. Our bed is large and luxurious, the shower warm and the bath deep. The sky is vast and the beach wide, the view of it unblocked by, in the words of my second-born, ‘hairy’ dunes.
The mouldering pile of laundry will still be there for me to tackle when we get back next week, but my recharged batteries will be ready to deal with it.