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Having been invited to a friend’s wedding in Cornwall, we searched high and low for somewhere we and our two daughters, aged 2 and six months old, could spend a week leading up to the big event.
After comparing what seemed like a hundred hotels, B&Bs and self-catering cottages, we stumbled across the Retallack Resort & Spa. And what a good find it was.
Located half-way between Newquay and Padstow, and with views over the rolling Cornish countryside, the Resort made holidaying with two little ones an absolute breeze.
We spent six nights in a two bedroomed ‘Rock’ lodge which, while one of the smallest at the resort, was ample for the four of us. It came fully equipped with everything a young family would need, from sterilisers to stair gates, to high chairs and cots.
A small pond beyond our garden fence meant that our nearest neighbours were a family of ducks, who would pop by daily in a quest for bread, much to the delight of the girls.
Recently undergone some refurbishment, the resort includes a revamped coffee bar and lounge, which had toys and books aplenty for little ones and cosy dens complete with games consoles for older children. It also had a brand new soft play area, which was perfect for our two year old to let off some steam while our six month old napped.
An outside play area was also well equipped – although the equipment itself was more aimed at children over five years old.
The Swimming pool and Retreat spa were fantastic. Visiting in term-time meant that the pool was often quiet, allowing our eldest to take full advantage of the floats and swim toys provided. And I even managed to escape to the spa for an hour, having a blissful pedicure to get my toes in tip top shape for the forthcoming wedding.
Eating at the resort’s Green Room restaurant, whose head chef James Nathan was the 2008 winner of Masterchef, was a definite highlight. With evening service starting at 5pm to cater for children’s mealtimes, the food was simply excellent.
The kids menu offered mainstays such as fish goujons or sausage and chips – but just done better. Certainly my eldest’s Spaghetti Bolognese knocked any other kid’s meal I’ve ever seen out of the park, while my passion fruit tart easily ranks in my top three puddings of all time. High praise, indeed.
We saw the best – and worst – of the British summer during our stay. On the days when the heavens opened, we made the most of Retallack’s swimming pool and took a trip to see the sharks and giant octopus at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.
And on the days with blazing sunshine, we built sandcastles on beautiful Harlyn Beach and cycled (or in my case, strolled with the pram) along the Camel Trail at Wadebridge.
So would we go back? Definitely.
Not only because I desperately want to try out their Flowrider surf machine (what could possibly go wrong?), but also because the beautiful location and fantastic facilities on offer means that it has everything we could want from a holiday on home soil.
It’s also worth noting that although we simply booked accommodation, Retallack offers ‘Baby friendly’ and ‘Toddler Friendly’ packages, which include sessions at their Jellytots crèche, Ducklings swim classes and Twinkle Tots music and movement groups for the little ones, and treatments at the spa for the grown-ups.
Something for next time, maybe.
A guest blog from the lovely Katy Diggle who travelled to Cornwall with her husband and two daughters (then 2 years old and 6 months old) in 2013.
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