Travels With My Family: Peony Lim’s Cornish Getaway
Peony Lim was first spotted by photographers during London Fashion Week in 2009, making her way to a university lecture. Her effortless take on style set her apart in the heady heyday of the fashion blogger and she quickly established herself as a tastemaker via her eponymous blog. Now, over twelve years on, Peony runs her content creation business peonylim.com from her home in London, where she lives with her husband, Matthew, and their two young daughters.
While she has no plans to leave the British capital at present, she likes to spend as much time as possible returning to the place she calls home. ‘I have lived in Cornwall on and off my whole life. With one foot in the south west of England, I have traversed the globe – first with my multicultural family [Peony is of Chinese and English heritage] and then for work – but there is something about Cornwall that always calls me back.’
'Now as a mother of two, more than ever the magic of Cornwall has come alive to me once more'
Steeped in history and boasting miles of unspoilt shoreline and postcard-worthy coastal villages, Cornwall has always been England’s most popular county for holiday makers. We asked Peony to take us through her favourite spots to visit with her daughters when back on home soil.
‘For me Cornwall is a magical place filled with ancient history and hidden coves. The more of it you explore on foot, the more you will fall in love with the mystery, mist and ever-changing weather.’
There are so many things to explore in Cornwall, from St Michael’s Mount to the Eden Project, but these are my top five places to visit when I am in the county.
Pack Buckets And Spades For Polkerris
"Forget about tablets and tech, they will come home with sandy feet and happy tired faces after a day on the beach with only a ball and bucket ..."
It’s a little hamlet that wraps a beach. There are only three things on the beach: a little shop (for booking water sports and buying buckets), a pub and a really good pizza restaurant called Sams on the Beach (samscornwall.co.uk). I love this spot – it's small enough to keep an eye on children all day but also set up at the restaurant to eat and drink well. Pack a beach hat and towel, and enjoy.
Eat Traditional Pasties In Lostwithiel
"Cornwall is particularly great for families because everywhere welcomes them so openly ..."
This unassuming little town of antique shops and local gems also boasts what I consider to be the best pasty [a local baked pastry] in Cornwall. Liddicoat the Butchers (liddicoatbutchers.co.uk) makes them fresh every morning to its own secret recipe. Book yours by phone if you don't want to be disappointed. Everyone I take here is always upset with me because they become completely addicted and nothing else will quite match these local delicacies. Drop in on the way to the beach to pick up lunch and barbecue meat (locally sourced) and enjoy a wander around the shops. Alice in Scandiland (aliceinscandiland.com) will be a sure-fire hit for presents for any host you're staying with. We are always in swimsuits with towel onesies for this stop.
Spot Sailors In Fowey Harbour
"Everywhere is so child friendly and the abundance of beaches and rock pools are
every kid's dream ..."
This deep harbour town is a mecca to sailors and their families. Filled with chic little shops and a tiny winding centre, it's truly beautiful. I love to pop in for an ice cream on the harbour and watch the boats go by. We take our boat in sometimes, too, and jump off to grab fish and chips for beach/boat picnic lunches. Dress the kids in little cotton matching sets with flower-power sunglasses for this fun seaside spot.
This beautiful harbour town is filled with lovely eateries and shops. I like to bring friends here to take mackerel-fishing boat trips out into St Austell Bay. One year we saw dolphins, caught more mackerel than we could keep and an octopus all on the same trip. A light waterproof jacket is always a good idea for a boat trip like this (whatever the weather).
You can take the train to St Ives and it will take you on a beautiful coastal trip – for any children who love trains, this is ideal. It drops you off just above the Porthminster Cafe (porthminstercafe.co.uk), where you will eat the most delicious seasonal food (they grow a lot of the herbs in their own garden above the restaurant). Then walk to the dunes of Carbis Bay and lose yourself in the colours. The light of this bay makes you realise why artists come to Cornwall. It glows. There is also the Tate St Ives and Hepworth Sculpture Garden (tate.org.uk) for culture vultures. Always bring a change of clothes for the kids, so they can really enjoy the beach and town without being wet.
Where to stay
The Cornwall (thecornwall.com) is a great hotel for children, with a playground and pool – it's also an easy distance to The Eden Project, Mevagissey and The Lost Gardens of Heligan (heligan.com).
Peony Lim’s Must-Pack List:
- Bucket and spade
- Beach towel or mat
- Sun hats (I love them to match their outfits - Mitty James does great combinations)
- A waterproof light jacket
- Birkenstocks (for me and the children)
- Towelling poncho or onesies for them to jump into on the beach (Mitty James does super-cute ones)
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