25 March 2017

Staying at the Old Vicarage, a luxury guesthouse in Cornwall

When an intriguing proposition to review the Old Vicarage near Truro landed in my email inbox, I knew that it was all the excuse I needed to book in a long weekend and breathe in the fresh air of Cornwall, somewhere I've been meaning to explore forever.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were excited guests of Jon and Marilyn at the Old Vicarage and eviivo
but all of our enthusiasms are very much our own...

From London we plotted a 4-day weekend beginning with two nights at the Old Vicarage, around 2 miles from the Cathedral City of Truro in the small but lovely hamlet of St Clements. The six bedroom luxury guesthouse dates back to the 1500s and is a literal stone’s throw from the banks of the beautiful Tresillian River.

We boarded our train from London straight from the office on a Friday evening, and simply slipped into our beautifully appointed home from home.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

The Old Vicarage is run by husband and wife team Marilyn and Jonathan, who were simply gorgeous. From welcoming us off the late train, to making sure our breakfast coffee cups were never empty - not to mention pointing out the fascinating bird life in their garden - we enjoyed every moment.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi
Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi


Unfortunately we settled in so quickly once we hopped off the train from London, that I never managed to tidy up enough to take more than one photo that didn't involve an exploded suitcase (is it just me that discovers within 30 seconds of unzipping a case, that the contents can be found in every single corner of the room?)

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Sam and I shared connected family rooms - I managed to bags the superbly comfortable master bed (a zip and link bed which can be split to two singles) in a furious game of eeny meeny miney mo, and she enjoyed the privacy of a single room and the mahogany sleigh bed - sharing the beautifully appointed bathroom complete with delicious power shower, Italian tiling, underfloor heating and White Company toiletries.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi


And the windowseat views weren't so bad either.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

St Clements is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty - many of the upper rooms have riverside views that entranced us. The hamlet is so quiet and restful after the chaos of London life - at one point of our stay we simply stood and admired the blanket of stars.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Many guests simply walk the beautiful, meandering woodland paths of the local area, coming home in the evenings to unwind and relax (unlike the two silly tourists who decided on a quick riverside walk in the dark, guided only by our mobile phone lights - but the boats in the lapping river current were simply too irresistible.)

We nipped up for a nosey in a couple of the other (un-clothes strewn) 'Superior Rooms', and discovered that each room had an individual character curated by a local interior designer, full of every ecologically minded convenience you could ever need. This is my kind of accommodation - special and boutique.
 Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi
Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

One of the rooms features a Rococo style cane bed and French style armoire making it perfect for a romantic Cornish break, not to mention the hip bath with river views and a shower with a rather brilliant secret - but you'll have to visit in order to discover it in person.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

But the one that stole my heart was decorated in French grey and gold accented with bold raspberry shades. A brass bed and stylish furniture gives the room a contemporary and glamorous feel, and another gorgeous bay window overlooks the blossoming garden and riverbank.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

You can see why we didn't want to leave.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Breakfast was a dream, well worth a visit alone.


Served in the glass fronted conservatory overlooking their gorgeous gardens, we could bird spot Gold Finches (and often Kingfishers) with the comfort of coffee in our hands. In summer the doors are flung open and a blissful summer breeze drifts over the tables.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Each of our made to order breakfasts were delicious - we helped ourselves from a fresh cereal and fruit buffet, ordering a cheeky delectable eggs benedict on our first morning, but on our second morning we were tempted by the scrumptious Cornish breakfast and croissants stuffed with mushrooms and Gruyere.

As a bonus, in order to support the local economy and minimise the distance the food has travelled the Old Vicarage meat, vegetables and eggs are locally sourced, usually within a 15-mile radius.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Marylin and Jon were a delight in themselves - both welcoming and armed with hilarious banter that had us giggling over breakfast. Full of local area advice and a gastronomic penchant for delicious experiments, they even kindly dropped us up to the local train station to pick up our car for the weekend - an utter essential.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Before we left for pastures more southern - the guesthouse is brilliantly situated for both exploring the Eden Project or wandering through the gorgeous Lost Gardens of Heligan, before jetting off for Cornish pastures more coastal - we explored the river and lank banks as far as our unsuitable shoes could take us, and popped into the Church where the local congregation kindly offed us a cup of tea.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi
Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi


I already want to revisit and breakfast at the Old Vicarage. If only Cornwall was closer...

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi

Have you been to Cornwall? It seems like most of London decamps there in the summertime...

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