So I knew when I started planning my 40th celebrations that I wanted to go big…I mean BIG! As someone who doesn’t get out all that often, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get this taped. This meant trying to come up with something that encompassed all of my favourite things and all of my favourite people. I started trawling the internet for inspiration as some kind of house party sounded like a good idea. This meant that everybody could enjoy themselves without having the worry of having to drive home and that hopefully we could weave some more activities (and Prosecco) into the weekend.
As someone who loves to plan, everything from holidays through to back to school stationery, I started in all of my favourite online haunts and once again my fingers tapped me back to Bosinver. This is one of those places that I’d always looked at and drooled over but for whatever reason had never got around to booking. Covering thirty acres just outside of St. Austell, the site is a paradise for families, with cottages sleeping from 4 up to 12. Having perused every lovely cottage on their website, I decided to book The Farmhouse. Holiday smugness rapidly set in.
Fast forward 6 months; it’s some ungodly hour (it wouldn’t be a holiday to Cornwall without an early start) and all three children are safely strapped into the car (one…two…three…yes all there). We’re off. Within ten minutes of leaving home, the little one has already asked if we’re in Cornwall yet (it’s tradition) and the husband has started his first packet of Polos. We hit the M1 and it’s foggy, onto the A42, then M42 and it’s still bloody foggy. At this point, I’m feeling pretty bloody miserable, until I remember a tale that one of my workmates had told me about possibly the best service station in the country. I consult my trusty phone and direct husband right there.
Between junctions 11a and 12 of the M5 lies a little pocket of civilisation and sophistication in the form of Gloucester Services. Undoubtedly one of the nicest service stations I have ever happened upon. The children were positively uplifted when we walked into the place. Under their little mounds, these services are things of great beauty, like hobbit holes with square windows on a slightly larger scale. Seizing my chance for at least three minutes’ alone time, I head off to the loos, while the husband leads the crocodile to the gents. Even the ladies brings me great joy with full length doors (tick), signs of regular cleaning (tick) and sinks where you don’t have to touch anything (tick – yassss). I return to the fam feeling refreshed to find husband with the biggest Cheshire cat grin staring lovingly at a pile of massive almond croissants (his kryptonite). The children are taking in the vision that is a wide selection of traybakes…everybody happy. We return to the car, paper bags full of bakery items rustling in anticipation.
A couple of hours, a NOW 98 and 1.6 packets of Polos later, we arrive somewhere in Devon. Our fellow holidaymakers check in to advise that they are now in Taunton, catching us up. Now it’s not only foggy but also raining cats and dogs. We hit the A30 and the rain just keeps on coming. Well, in March, we were never going to be guaranteed the weather. As we finally arrive at lovely Bosinver, I’m hoping for something to shift the grey clouds hanging over us. As we approach St. Austell, the fog has pretty much closed in on us – not to worry, we are nearly there! The trusty satnav tells us we are pretty much on top of the place…excitement levels reach fever pitch, kids start unpacking rucksacks and stop bickering and we trundle on down the ever narrowing farm track…it’s not quite like the pictures but hey ho.
Lost and found
Hmmm…a case of the wrong farm. Future Bosinver visitors, know that even your satellite navigation does not want you to uncover this little treasure. A quick phone call reassures us that many visitors have been thwarted in this way and we finally find the entrance, realising that we’ve driven past it about five times but were too busy listening intently to the ScatNav to notice.
Check in is quick and straightforward and the Farmhouse does not disappoint. There is literally so much loveliness that we can’t take it all in. All three kids scatter in an attempt to bagsy the best bedrooms. #1 son quickly snaffles a double with ample sockets for his gadgets; the middle one is elated to find the only single bedroom in the place and promptly installs himself and Frank the dinosaur. Husband and I enter into negotiations with the 10 year old and manage to convince him that him and Mr Cuddles really don’t need a double with an ensuite and point him and our niece in the direction of the multi-bedded triple bedroom.
We’re in. My big sis and I promptly take photos of everything before the kids get to it and settle down to enjoy one of the two fresh cream sponges that the lovely Bosinver folks have left for us. Meanwhile the menfolk set about making fire. In no time at all, the woodburners been lit and we’re toasty warm. We have arrived.
If you’ve enjoyed the journey so far, check out my Instagram for more shameless pudding pics and gratuitous animal feeding photos. What’s your favourite UK holiday spot and how do you survive the journey?