travel

Chic Beside The Seaside (Part 1)

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Wondering where to holiday at home this summer? Head to the south- west, says Emily Mathieson, and rent one of these 10 houses for a classic British beach break in style.

Marver House, Mawgan Porth

Description: Marver House luxury 6 bedroom holiday house in Cornwall

 Marver House luxury 6 bedroom holiday house in Cornwall

Two years ago, Marver House was in a dilapidated state. Half a million punds later, it has reopened as what must be one of the best beach house in Cornwall. Originally built in 1930, it sits directly above Mawgan Porth beach, a wide, sandy stretch popular with surfers. The splendid views are shared with The Scarlet hotel next door, which you can nip up to for spa treatments or drinks in the bar.

It is hard to imagine a property better equipped for its location than Marver. A shed filled with wetsuits and surfing gear and an outdoor shower in a hut that looks like a gypsy caravan ensure the house doesn’t get messed up with beach detritus. The lawned garden has an eight- person Jacuzzi and a sing-along inducing fire pit, both with panoramic beach views, and the owners are considering adding a glass- sided swimming pool.

Description: Marver House in Mawgan Porth

Marver House in Mawgan Porth

Indoors, wooden shutters, sahbby- chic four- posters and Art Deco items acknowledge the building’s heritage, though you are never far from a TV- and the discovery of 3D specs for the giant screen in the living room elicited whoops of excitements from the big kids I visited with. For a treat, you can book a chef to whip up a meal while you lounge by the fire on huge, furry beanbags. A full concierge service is in the process  of being set up; for now, services come courtesy of the Park, an up marker holiday park just off the beach, with smart eco- houses and a cute ‘yurt village’. Guests can use its pool, restaurant and other facilities, though it is likely you will want to hole up in cheerful oblivion to the rest of the world.

Sleeps 12 in six bedrooms (14 if you use the sofa- bed in the study)

Price from $4,571 a week

Contact 01637 860322; www. Marverhouse.co.uk

Estuary House, Padstow

The farm track that leads to Estuary House is an unlikely introduction to this stylishly minimalist retreat- a crisp cube with a wood- and- glass box on top, in the beautifully stark surroundings of a former quarry. The house was built by artist Emma Cooper- Key on the site of a beloved by fire. She had no intentions of recreating what stood there before, although the old slate was incorporated into the new building. The simple white walls and concrete floors have a soothing feel; the place is unadorned, says Cooper- Key, so as not to detract from the amazing viws of the Camel Estuary.

Description: Marver House in Mawgan Porth

Bed room

Outside, there are landscaped gardens (with a hot tub) from which a path leads to the Camel Trail. This 18- mile route, great for walks and bike rides, meanders along a disused railway line between Bodmin and the coast. The beach in front of the house is  shingly and a bit muddy, which makes for excellent low- tide shrimping; for a proper sandy beach, it’s a 10- minute cycle up the trail to Padstow, where Rick Stein’s empire of fish restaurants is as big a draw as the lovely Hawker’s Cove on the far side of town.

Sleeps 16 in six bedrooms ( the ground- floor sleep three and five)

Price from $4,571 a week

Contact 020 7401 1086; www.cvtravel.co.uk

Treverra Farm Cottage, Rock

Description: Treverra Farm Cottage

Treverra Farm Cottage

Treverra Farm Cottage is a beautifully restored, 18th- century farmhouse in 14 acres just outside Rock, the destination of choice for young royals and Sloaney teenagers on a British seaside break. Owner Liz Berman, who alongside her husband Charlie honed her hospitality skills running six gorgeous chalets in Verbier, has a keen eye for interior design. Swedish antiques and vintage furnishings give the house its charm (the networked Crestron music system, TVs, Sky boxes, Wii console and iPod docks are unobtrusively located). The sisal rugs, striped curtains and antique toys would look perfectly at home in a glossy interiors magazine, but that is not to say there are any airs and graces.

Description: The beach at Porthirrly Cove

The beach at Porthirrly Cove

Chef Laura Pope will rustle up dishes to leave in the fridge for your arrival, discuss menus for a more formal dinner party. She invites guests to wander round the vegetable patch, and you will see her around as you lounge by the circular indignity pool or work off lunch on the tennis court. The Bermans have a house next door, so it is not unusual to see their children or guests around the place, adding to the atmosphere of friendly inclusiveness. The beach at Porthirrly Cove is a 10- minute walk away. Also close by is the two- Michelin- starred Nathan Outlaw restaurant and the less formal Sharp’s brewery. Its excellent beers have been given the seal of approval by Jamie Oliver, who has also been a guest at Treverra Farm Cottage.

Sleeps eight in three bedrooms and a children’s room

Price from $2743 a week

Contact 07769 691700; www.ckrock.com

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