– simply carrying a wooden body board out to the waves at Mawgan Porth on the last gloriously sunny weekend of the year attracted a multitude of admiring glances, not to mention the fact that, once in the water, belly boarding was the most fun EVER. This fab retro gear came courtesy of the Original Surfboard Company which was partaking in a ‘Vintage Fun’ day organised by the jolly super Bedruthan Steps Hotel.
Also at the day – held in aid of Bedruthan’s Community Fund, which supports local environmental and social projects – were My Vintage Affair, aka the lovely Jo, who travels the world to hand-pick an selection of gorgeous vintage outfits; Two Little Birds vintage boutique from Falmouth, with gifts, homeware and vintage pieces, as well as tutorials in vintage hair and make up; and a make do and mend sewing workshop run by Tinker Tailor, down all the way from Edinburgh. With the hotel bedecked in bunting and staff dressed in retro outfits, it was all sheer, turn-the-clock-back vintage heaven.
The Bedruthan is renowned for being family friendly, and from the moment my three little darlings set foot inside it was apparent that they were going to have a whale of a time. While I surfed, stitched and shopped till I dropped they mucked around on the beach, swam in the hotel’s pool and played in the jungle gym and at the pirate ship and adventure playgrounds. In fact they were so busy having fun that they missed the cupcake decorating workshop and the retro beach games – but never mind, because they were ravenous, and deliriously happy to tuck into the children’s tea, followed not long after by family dinner. For them, tasty pasta, fish and chicken; for us, a superlative three-course meal in which retro dishes were recreated à la 21st century: pork rillettes, coq au vin and black forest gateau have never, I repeat never, tasted so good. Afterwards the kids covered their faces while I joined the rock ‘n’ roll dance lesson (‘Oh mum, you’re sooooo embarrassing’) before tapping my two left feet along to the easy listening sounds of live group The Randy Swindlers.
We’re all hoping it won’t be long before we go back to the Bedruthan, and I, for one, have my eye on several of its extremely tempting special breaks in 2012. Here’s a list for your delight and delectation:
Cast Away: knitting and crochet with renowned designer Erika Knight
Cobble Together: make your own pair of shoes or sandals from scratch
Silver Linings: create beautiful jewellery in silver clay
Patch Yourself Up: stitch a Cath Kidston patchwork cushion and tote bag
Heart Felt: make a felted bag, picture and scarf
Find Your Thread: machine embroidered art with superstitcher Lou Gardiner
Seams Like a Good Idea: freehand embroidery with Poppy Treffry
Curiouser and Curiouser: a Mad Hatter’s tea party of craft and cookery
Willow Works: the pleasure of weaving your own willow basket
Get Fired Up: learn how to build a fully functioning bread oven from cob.
Stretch Yourself: yoga and pilates, plus light and healthy Cornish food
Indulge Yourself: rest, relax and recharge with indulgent spa treatments
Get Hooked: a sea fishing experience led by expert angler Spencer Harris
Feel the Buzz: get closer to nature with a beginners’ beekeeping course
Free Wheeling: explore the Cornish coast on two biking adventures
Loafing Around: the art of bread making with Baker Tom
Sugar and Spice: make the most of seasonal produce by creating delicious preserves
Weave Together: spend family time together learning the age-old skill of willow weaving
Get Cooking: kneed dough like a pro on a family baking day
Family Values: a helping hand with parenting, from newborns to pre-school children