Words and photographs by Viki Wilson
Tucked away on the Rame Peninsula is a beautiful boutique B&B brimming with beautiful craftwork, exquisite cuisine, rustic charm and an inescapable sense of serenity.
We arrived at Freathy Farmhouse late, a little tired and having been very lost. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t use a sat nav. I prefer common sense and maps, but sadly, these are of little use in the windy narrow lanes of the Rame peninsula. Thankfully Jeremy Weeks, who runs Freathy Farmhouse with his wife Sarah was on the end of the phone to guide us in, and we arrived at the pretty 18th century farmhouse just as the sun was golden and slanting through the trees.
If, like me, you have never ventured to the Rame Peninsula before, you may have often heard people tell you it is well worth a visit. Many visitors and locals alike speed past this tiny southern peninsula unless they happen to be heading for the Torpoint Ferry. And yet with the long golden sweep of Freathy beach lining the west facing cost, and gentle undulating hills sloping down to the southern coast where you find the really charming villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, it combines all the charm and soft beauty of Cornwall’s south coast, with the drama and exhilaration of the north coast.
We enjoyed beautiful views of that huge ocean horizon as we wound our way to the farmhouse. As we arrived, Sarah was waiting in the yard for us. As she led us through the kitchen, a wonderful hub complete with an AGA, huge wooden table and assorted candles and flowers, she told us not to worry about getting lost, as many people who followed their sat navs ended up in a neighbouring field.
Adam and I had arrived with rather tired grumpy children, who had been ferried along the two hour drive from the Lizard straight from school. But within moments of arriving at Freathy, you cannot help but breathe in an irresistible sense of calm. Sarah and Jeremy are hugely creative and their talents and attention to detail combine to tremendous effect as soon as you walk through the doors. There are beautiful aromas from oil burners which gently drift through each room. Sarah fills the house with flowers – at this time of year the soft greens, cream and lavender of hydrangeas filled the house. And there is craftwork: paintings, handmade cards, soaps and books and framed writings by the family and local artists, placed all through the house.
The bedrooms are equally captivating. Jeremy is skilled at upcycling and there are some really beautiful pieces of furniture in the rooms. In our room, for example there was a wonderful table made from a triangular frame which doubled as a place to hang things. Sarah and Jeremy had also laid out some really wonderful treats: wine, Cornish Orchards apple juice, Simply Cornish shortbread and Chocolarder chocolate.
Sarah and Jeremy intuitively find the balance of offering guests high class accommodation – thick clouds of towels, rustic yet contemporary style and comfort – feather topped mattresses and woollen throws, while at the same time making you feel welcome in their home. This really is the X factor that every hotel and guesthouse around the world struggle to achieve, making a guest feel pampered and yet at home at the same time. They achieve this perfectly.
Over the next few days, we wandered around their beautiful gardens, made friends with their menagerie of pets, including Jeremy’s huskies and Sarah’s dogs and the cats. Sarah also revealed her incredible talents in the kitchen.
The breakfast table at Freathy is a truly a wonderful sight to behold. Museli, compotes, yoghurts, and berries jostle on the table in pretty jars and ceramics which Sarah made herself. Sarah made wonderful breakfasts, from the traditional full English for Jem and Adam, using local produce, to pancakes for Carys, to my own delicious scrambled eggs with leeks, which I would put in my all- time top breakfasts. Sarah also made us probably the best picnic hamper I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering when we headed out on a day out at nearby Mount Edgcumbe. It was filled with a range of sandwiches: cheese, crab and ham, in thick slices of bread; fruit, home-made cupcakes with raspberries and cream, apple juice and so much more, all carefully packed into a huge wicker hamper with china plates and real cutlery. We unpacked this on a warm afternoon on the lawn at Mount Edgcumbe – perfect.
Local eateries offer a wonderful range of food. On our first night we ate at the Halfway House in the pretty harbour village of Kingsand and the food and the atmosphere were really wonderful. Sarah Weeks however, also offers a three course meal at a wonderfully reasonable price at Freathy. In fact her menus – inspired by the style and ethos of Kinsfolk-style recipes and hosting are so popular that she has been holding feast nights recently.
For smaller events she even caters for weddings held in the Cow Shed at Freathy Farmhouse. The Cow Shed can now be hired out for really beautiful rustic style weddings, with the added bonus that the bridal party can stay in the boutique rooms at the B&B.
For our final evening meal I enjoyed really tender, succulent poached salmon in a white wine sauce, buttered carrots and crunchy broccoli followed by chocolate hazelnut cheesecake with raspberry coulis. Adam had steak, the children fish and chips – all hand-cooked by Sarah and laid out on a table filled with flowers, candles and pretty pots in the beautiful farmhouse kitchen.
All of this, and it is just a very short stroll from Freathy beach, truly one of the greatest undiscovered beaches in the whole of Cornwall, stretching from the drama of Polhawn Fort in the south all the way up this stretch of the coast.
At the time of my visit, Freathy Farmhouse was only really starting up, and bookings were coming in thick and fast. My advice to anyone, whether they live in Cornwall or beyond is that a stay here at any time of year is an experience well worth enjoying – but book soon. I have a feeling this is one place which is going to be in very hot demand.
Freathy Farmhouse, Millbrook, Cornwall PL10 1JL Tel: 01752 823167