My Cornwall featuring Burncoose House
Falmouth has to be my all time favourite place in Cornwall; to me it represents that fusion of classic Cornish harbour town with the exotic trading connections of times gone by. Falmouth is the third largest natural harbour in the world and huge international ships still berth there and in the Carrick Roads.
The best way to arrive in Falmouth in my opinion is by boat. Take the iconic King Harry chain ferry from Feock – not necessary of course because you can drive round but who cares, just savour the fabulous views of the Fal as you go across. When you arrive at Philleigh on the other side, take the old concrete road to Tolverne and enjoy a cream tea at the Smugglers Cottage.
As well as being the most idyllic location on the waterside, this pretty thatched cottage has a significant history particularly during the second world war when hundreds of vessels massed there awaiting their instructions to cross to France for the Normandy landings. And then a boat can take you into Falmouth, a run of about 20 minutes, from the hidden creeks and glorious mansions with their exotic gardens stretching down to the water, across a stretch of open sea before you arrive at one of the many piers in the town.
I am thrilled to find Burncoose House located only twenty minutes from Falmouth, buried in beautiful countryside yet offering close access to this my favourite port of call. I have planned a week in mid May with selected family and friends, some of whom are going to drop in, others of whom are going to stay. Burncoose is just ideal for a private family function. The house is big enough to accommodate fourteen people and with almost every bedroom en suite, there is no compromise on comfort and convenience.
It is the picture of the classic, symmetrical Cornish granite manor house set in grounds of nearly forty acres so it is very secluded and totally private. In May, the driveway will be lined with beautiful, colourful rhododendron; you can just imagine the carriages sweeping up there in times gone by. The plan is to have a relaxed open house for the week and then on the last day, I have organised a formal, celebratory meal for the entire group which will be catered for by a local company who will come in and cook everything from scratch.
The kitchen is particularly well equipped for this as it has a large store room next to it with plenty of freezer space and room for the caterers. I have been really impressed with their service and attention to detail; they will source local produce for us, all fresh, delicious and beautifully presented, an absolute taste of the best Cornwall has to offer. Who could want for more, sipping champagne and looking out across the lawns towards the bluebell woods.