Set within the winding back lanes of Mevagissey and just a stone’s throw from Cornwall’s Heligan Gardens, Lower Barns is a boutique retreat with retro chic and an eclectic style. Arriving down log-flume like back lanes on a wet January night made stepping into a truly unique home-from-home all the more welcoming.
In a word
Quirky. (But honestly, though)
Arriving into the evening, hosts Janie and her husband Mike had prepared an evening picnic for us, which contained a variety of cheese, breads, fruit, sweets and chocolate, as well as some delicious, light homemade sponge. Deciding to head into Mevagissey for the evening, we didn’t try the menu, but the sample menu speaks of locally sourced food, showcasing Cornwall’s finest in simple and delicious ways.
When it came to breakfast, Janie and Mike had already provided us with bread and cereals, fruit juice, pastries and fruit with yoghurt, and the advantage of staying in ‘Nook’ – one of the honeymoon suites is that you get breakfast brought over in the morning. The breakfast menu is extensive and high end.
Entirely overused as it is, the sheer eclectic idiosyncratic quirkiness of Lower Barns is what defines it as such a special, boutique retreat. Thus its appeal is to those who seek upcycled beauty, eccentricity and the very stuff dreams are made of. Nook and Cranny should appeal to those considering an elopement weddings, as Lower Barns has its very own Wed Shed for weddings for 2 to 20 people.
Set within the quiet countryside of Bosue, just a few miles outside of Mevagissey, Lower Barns is surrounded by lush meadows and wonderful walks. With some of the most beautiful secluded beaches in Cornwall in the locale, this is a fantastic place to snuggle up or explore. A wildflower meadow sits centrally between the main house, which houses some of the B&B rooms, and the extensive outbuildings, such as Nook, Cranny, The Wed Shed and the brand new lounge area for couples or whole parties to hang out of an evening.
Lower Barns has its very own owl – Woody Wood who watches over guests and the grounds around. Nestled next to an old gypsy caravan and right by the Wed Shed, Woody became as much a part of our stay as the hot tub! From the moss-covered bench outside, to the reclaimed chair shelf in Nook, everything tells a story and makes up the magic of Lower Barns. Did I mention there’s an actual hot tub?
Exclusive and boutique, there are only 6 main rooms, which means the place will not feel overcrowded and there will be plenty of spaces to hide when you’re at Lower Barns. Decorated to represent the many places Janie and Mike have encountered on their world travels, and with a distinct Mexican style theme, each room has its own charm. Ours, Nook, had several dressing up style hats on the wall, which led to much merriment, as we burst through the saloon doors a la Stars in Their Eyes.
Bold, eye catching and with a focus on upcycling, the rooms are also sumptuous, comfortable and well equipped with everything you could need. Our living room even had a brolly we could borrow when we braved rainy January.
With an enormous, shareable bath, the products provided are Neal’s Yard and of that ilk, leaving you feeling really pampered and looked after. With huge towels for the tub, hot tub and a fluffy bunny gown for two, you need bring nothing but walking boots and outdoor clothes, as Janie and Mike have prepared everything.
Everything is homemade, including the cakes, although Janie uses local suppliers for breads. In fact, many of the ingredients used at Lower Barns are sourced as locally as ‘just down the road’. St. Ewe Eggs, for example are practically neighbours, and the breakfast menu makes good use of their golden hues.
Arriving into the evening and deciding to check out the Mevagissey Male Voice choir, we decided to eat at the harbourside, although we are tempted to go back and check out the evening menu some time! Even the picnic that Janie had laid out for our arrival was delicious and well presented, with a selection of cheese, fruit, bread and chutneys, as well as chocolates and sweets.
Brimming with fine cuisine as Mevagissey is, we returned to the legendary Sharksfin with its Southern American and Cajun influence, and got some delicious crab mac ‘n’ cheese from their winter menu.
Breakfast was a triumph, and an indicator of the quality of the rest of the food on offer at Lower Barns. From local bakers, butchers and even fishermen from the harbour, Lower Barns tells its food stories and takes each one seriously. Dinner can be taken in The Shack; becoming a communal affair, and Janie uses seasonal ingredients to create inspirationally Cornish foods, well revered by Olive magazine and guests who have had the chance to eat them.
The sauna and hot tub
Both Nook and Cranny come with their own saunas, which allow for loved up couples to crank up the heat and sweat out the bubbly! Near The Shack is a powerful hot tub, which really worked through the knots in my back and even massaged tired legs after lots of walking. Perfect for nights under the stars or a refreshing evening soak after a day of exploring the coastline, this hot tub helped soothe and soak the day away.
After a stressful day at work, getting to the haven of Lower Barns was the perfect tonic. With their ethos centring around the need to spend time with loved ones, Lower Barns provides just the right setting to cosy up and stay in, or get out and about around the St. Austell Bay area. With The Eden Project and the The Lost Gardens of Heligan close by, as well as the working fishing village of Mevagissey, you will not be short of something to do. Having arrived at Lower Barns, late cold, wet and tired, we left refreshed invigorated and pampered.
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