Cornish Retreat in St Austell
The sunshine peeking through the clouds as we entered Cornwall couldn’t have been more welcoming, after a long journey driving through the elements. We reached St Austell around 11.30am and shortly after we pulled into the driveway of The Cornwall. Eyeing a white building in the distance, we found the car park and gathered our things from the boot.
Pink foxgloves and
We ventured further to observe giant green leafs framing the white hotel building ahead. Following the path around to a sunny patio terrace area, I continued to observe the roses, foxgloves and wild flowers, a pretty outlook from the terrace.
Tucked around the side of the white building is the entrance to The Cornwall, framed by a line of perfectly planted trees and white delicate flowers.
We had arrived a little early after starting our Cornwall road trip before 5 am from Milton Keynes and it came as no surprise to us that we were too early to check-in. This gave us ample opportunity to explore the 43 acres of natural parkland surrounding the hotel, something I was quite keen to explore in more detail.
We followed a different path of shingle, which led us to The Clearing Spa and took some steps down to a pergola covered with pink roses. A garden adorned with roses could not be more quintessentially British and I followed the ring of roses around the building as eager as a child.
I stopped as I realised I could be seen in my moment of curiosity, as I turned and peered through the glass I saw people looking back at me from the concertina windows of the spa pool, overlooking the garden area. It was too late to turn back now, I had already been seen.
I ushered Adam to follow me as we made our way to the outside summer sun loungers, tucked away in their own corner of the garden.
Some buzzing bees flew past, happily floating from an assortment of different coloured flowers and bushes I couldn’t name.
In the corner of my eye, I saw something dart past and spotted a rabbit eating grass in a secluded area of the garden. As I stopped in my tracks, so did the rabbit, the grass still hanging from its chops. We both stopped for a few moments, eyeing each other with wonder. When Adam called from the sun lounger area, the rabbit darted around a corner. I left Adam to it and continued to slowly pursue the rabbit around the bend.
I found myself in a walled secluded area of the garden, it reminded me of a Victorian garden, a place of fairytales. The rabbit saw me again and dashed into a bush where I could see it observing me.
Observing me studiously, If I’d still been a child myself, I may have been curious enough to follow the rabbit into the bushes. Though, I wasn’t a child and it was time for tea.
Laura Ashley Afternoon Tea at The Cornwall
From a quintessentially British country garden to the great British staple of afternoon tea, Laura Ashley no less. It wasn’t my first time dining in a Laura Ashley establishment (you can read about my lunch at The Laura Ashley Manor Hotel here) and it certainly won’t be my last.
As soon as we walked through the doorway of Laura Ashley The Tea Room, I was pleased that I’d got changed from my loungy travelling clothes into a skirt. The Cornwall Hotel
I admired the classic Laura Ashley styling of blue and white leaf wallpaper, bright orange cushions, complimented by an assortment of similar style royal blue cushions and chairs. I took in the finer details of the gold mirrors, orb lights and shell lamps that give a seaside twist to the decor.
We were approached at the plinth and escorted to a table in the main dining area. From our table we had a good view of the window and terrace, as seen in the below picture.
Just the thought of having afternoon tea brings a smile to my face, it’s such a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
We ordered The Cornwall Afternoon Tea, which is served with a variety of classic finger sandwiches, scones and an assortment of cakes. Ours came with the following:
- Quiche Cornish yarg
- Smoked salmon Blini
- Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
- Roast Beef and horseradish sandwiches
- Egg sandwiches with a thin layer of mayonnaise
- Duo of Buttermilk cream scones (plain and golden raisin)
- Carrot cake
- Triple Chocolate brownie
- Pistachio cake with layers of raspberry cream
- Raspberry macaroon
- Lemon posset
What Adam and I didn’t realise is that we would both be presented with a 3-tier tower each! We couldn’t quite believe our eyes, but hungry after our Cornwall road trip, we certainly weren’t going to say no!
The tea is sourced locally from the UK’s first and only tea plantation Tregothnan, located in Truro. Our waitress, Lee recommended the Red Berry Tea, infused with raspberries, blackberries and apple to compliment the cakes. We shared the Red Berry (which tasted very nice, thanks Lee) and English breakfast tea to accompany our afternoon tea dishes.
When it comes to afternoon tea, it isn’t just how you pronounce scones, whether you spread the cream or jam first is crucial!
The Cornish method is to split the scone in half and spread the jam first, then the cream. In Devon, the cream is always spread first, then the jam. It’s something they are very passionate about in these areas and a waiter jokingly gave me the eye when I proceeded to break my scone in half!
I asked my Instagram followers if they spread the jam or cream first. Spoiler – if you’re Cornish, you may want to look away now…
As I carefully spread my jam first, I was in Cornwall after all, I looked over at Adam who had both halves clasped together in what I can only describe as a burger-style concoction! For argument sake, it was Adam’s first ever afternoon tea, but still, any sense of etiquette was well and truly out the window!
Nothing quite beats enjoying warm scones with a nice cup of tea, a pleasure enjoyed by the many groups of ladies at the hotel who were combining a Laura Ashley Afternoon Tea and Clearing Spa Day. The perfect Cornwall girls weekend getaway, if you ask me!
We both surprised ourselves just how filling afternoon tea actually is and, for this reason we both couldn’t manage the cake tier. Though, not being able to manage the cakes was a blessing in disguise as we were presented with these beautiful Laura Ashley boxes to take our cakes away.
A truly incredible experience, The Cornwall Hotel Afternoon Tea at The Laura Ashley Tea Room is the perfect way to begin a weekend in Cornwall. Not only that, Lee really is a credit to The Cornwall, with outstanding customer service and a smile that radiates the entire tea room.
Whiling away the hours enjoying afternoon tea, we left the table with rosy cheeks from the tea and our bellies filled. We couldn’t quite believe how quickly the time had flown by.
Checking-in at The Cornwall
The check-in process was quick and easy, despite the receptionists dealing with some technical issues caused by a storm the previous evening. It appeared we had arrived just at the right time, missing the downpours and lightning strikes from the night before. Hurrah!
We still enjoyed a dip in the pool, making use of the steam room and dry sauna.
Our Cornwall Lodging Room at The Cornwall
A tropical vibe awaited us as we used the key card and saw our room for the first time. The rooms are huge and Adam and I just looked at each other, awestruck by the size!
The rooms really are a luxury retreat, with an eco-lodge feel and overlook the grounds of The Cornwall. The patio balcony and view was without a doubt my favourite part of our room. I relive the excitement of seeing the view every time I watch my Facebook video of me opening the sliding patio door…
It was so breathtaking, we decided not to go out for dinner, but instead ordered room service and ate on the balcony, listening to bird song, whilst watching the sunset.
It was very romantic and made such a lovely change as at home we normally have TV dinners, which on reflection does not give us the quality time we need.
A very chilled evening indeed, we drifted into a relaxing slumber, excited to see what the rest of the weekend would bring.
Breakfast at The Cornwall
If I wasn’t already relaxed from spending time in nature, enjoying a British Afternoon Tea and a chilled night in, I was also booked in for a facial. But first, a breakfast of pancakes with berries and, of course, Cornish clotted cream had to be devoured!
Adam had a farmhouse English breakfast and had the luxury of packing our cases. Meanwhile, I headed for a…
Caudalie Spa Treatment at The Clearing Spa
The plants had been watered with overnight rain, but I didn’t need to worry about the weather as I was off for a little bit of tlc at The Clearing Spa.
The spa is situated in a pretty stone courtyard, complete with a gym, garden infinity pool, jacuzzi and steam rooms. The beauty treatment rooms are located upstairs. Caudalie beauty treatments are all natural, derived from grape seed and, after perusing the products, I noticed they are also very affordable!
Masseuse Sadie made note of my skin type and took me through to the treatment room to begin my vinotherapy facial.
I lay still under the towels with the soft lull of music in the background, watching shadows swirling as Sadie used her fingertips to move around my face in a circling motion. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness the shadows began to dim as I drifted into a state of relaxation.
Prior to the facial, I had already felt relaxed, though, as Sadie began circling my temple and eyebrow area I could feel the tension from a headache I never realised I had.
My face and décolletage were softly cleansed, toned, exfoliated and moisturised using a variety of Caudalie products and massaging techniques. A facial is so therapeutic and I particularly liked the hot and cold stone treatment.
The facial at The Clearing Spa left my skin plump, hydrated and super soft. I only wished we were staying for longer to enable me to also book in for a back massage.
Refreshed, rejuvenated and positively relaxed, not only describe how I felt after the vinotherapy facial, it perfectly describes how Adam and I both felt after our stay at The Cornwall.
It’s as if we tripped down a rabbit hole, straight into a Cornish wonderland. Whether you are looking for Cornwall breaks for couples, a girls weekend in Cornwall with a spa day and afternoon tea, or family lodge holidays in Cornwall, look no further for places to stay in Cornwall than The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate in St Austell.
The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate
I hope this post has helped you choose where to stay in Cornwall and I hope you enjoyed reading my review of The Cornwall Hotel. In addition to the above, The Cornwall is also conveniently located nearby Cornwall’s main tourist attractions. I can’t wait to share all the details in my upcoming Cornwall travel blog posts. Subscribe to The Life of a Social Butterfly to never miss a post!