Delphin | A Scandi style Cornish beach house
"I'm sure it's along here somewhere," I reassured Mr P as we retraced our route back down the tiny Cornish lane we'd just driven along, having ignored the directions helpfully provided for us and instead decided to rely on google maps. Because the first thing that strikes you about Delphin, apart from its fabulous location - just outside the charming harbour town of Porthleven between Marazion and the Lizard Peninsula - and the amazing clifftop views, is how incredibly private it is. Tucked away at the end of a quiet road and with a private terrace and balcony facing directly out to sea, it is almost completely hidden from view.
The gleaming white Scandi-inspired beach house is one of the latest properties to be added to the portfolio of luxury homes available to rent through Unique Home Stays and last weekend we were invited to be among the first guests to stay there. Originally built in the 1950s the property has been both thoughtfully redesigned and lovingly furnished by the current owners. Spacious and luxurious, but designed to sleep just two (plus the whippet in our case as Delphin is dog friendly), it's the perfect bolthole for a romantic escape.
We arrived to a welcome hamper and a fridge stocked full of everything we could possibly need for breakfast the next morning - eggs, milk, bread, butter and jam. This was so appreciated after our long drive as it meant that we could immediately relax and unwind without having to worry about heading out for supplies.
The interiors at Delphin are light, white and open plan with pale floors, fur rugs, copper lighting and furniture sourced from stores including Skandium, Skagerak and Hem. Every last detail has been carefully considered. There are luxurious linens and throws, White Company scented candles and home fragrance, and lovely Cologne and Cotton bathrobes. I have these at home, and with their slim, elegant cut they are the most comfortable and flattering robes I've ever come across.
Basically Delphin offers all the comforts of a well-appointed home, combined with the luxury you'd expect of an upscale hotel. There are a few little unexpected extras too. There's a Dualit coffee machine with an assortment of artisan coffees, a record player and a selection of vinyl, and a lomo instant camera complete with a supply of film. I'd forgotten just how much fun it can be waiting for your photos to develop!
Outside there are sun loungers, a table and chairs for sunny breakfasts on the terrace and a firepit for chillier evenings, as well as a comfortable sofa from which to sit and enjoy the uninterrupted views out to sea. We were also excited to find a pair of binoculars hanging on a peg next to the door. Seals and dolphins occasionally visit the area in the summer months, and although we weren't lucky enough to spot any ourselves we noted a sighting by the previous guests in the visitor book.
Thankfully we didn't need to use the double sided wood burner - it was the middle of July after all - but with all those lovely throws and fur rugs, a generous supply of logs and the incredible misty sea views I can't imagine a more perfect place to snuggle up during the colder months, which lets face it can be at least half the year here in the UK!
Out and About
On our first evening we bagged ourselves a window seat at the Harbour Inn in Porthleven and ate fish and chips while tapping our feet to The Floral Dance as the local brass band played outside. After all the political upheaval and uncertainty of the past few weeks there was something incredibly comforting and reassuring about these very familiar (and very British) tastes and sounds. It was the perfect way to spend a summer evening in Cornwall.
In true British fashion the weather was very changeable. We experienced everything from near perfect blue skies and sunshine to thick Cornish mizzle, and back again. The following morning we woke up to find that the horizon had disappeared under a blanket of mist, but rather than dampening our spirits this provided a magical opportunity to venture out and capture some moody sea shots. With our cameras in hand, we set off to explore the coastal path and marvel at the wild, atmospheric beauty of this stunning part of Cornwall.
Porthleven has a number of good foodie hangouts. Amelie's and Kota were both recommended to us and Rick Stein also has a restaurant on the harbout front, but we passed up the opportunity to try these and instead headed back to Delphin to enjoy the views, and open the bottle of champagne we'd left chilling in the fridge.
Some of us were more tired than others...
Waking up to bright sunny skies on our final morning we enjoyed breakfast on the terrace before bundling our belongings into the back of the car and finally managing to wrench ourselves away from this idyllic hideaway.
We left with wind tanned cheeks, natural sea salt waves in our hair (maybe I should just ditch my GHD wave wand and move to Cornwall?) and the sound of the Atlantic waves crashing into those Cornish granite cliffs still playing in our heads long after we arrived home.