Bounded by steep cliffs and accessed only by hairpin roads akin to mountain passes of the Dolomiti variety, Porthtowan sits as an island; a community unto its own on Cornwall’s north coast. One not ruled by the footsteps of visitors, but of barefooted surfers and salt-tangled hair. Here, life is ruled by the sun and sea, each season’s view commanded by clouds rushing rain on the horizon and hazy afternoons thick with heat.

And so, grazing the dunes on the western side of the beach, lies a new wave of coastal living. A home that says adieu to seaside schlock and beckons laidback, organic mode by the spade-and-bucketful. An understated dwelling for this oft-missed cove, the flake to it’s local, Moomaid ice cream. Here we welcome you to Monterey and speak with the Mills family on why they love this most-coveted location.

An image of a clad house set behind a sand dune. There is a grassy cliff behind the house and the sea in the distance

“We were searching for a seafront property in Cornwall for several years before we came across Monterey,” says Mrs Mills. “We saw many amazing houses, but they were all on cliff tops, but while the views were beautiful we wanted to be as close to the beach as possible so that there were no barriers to feeling part of it. Monterey certainly delivers on this; it is perched on a sand dune right on the beach so we can walk out of the door with a morning cup of coffee, walk five steps and sit right on top of the dune while our children run around on the shore playing with the family dog. It’s a perfect observation point, and we don’t even need to put our shoes on!”

“One of the most cherished corners of the house is the living room,” she says. “A large window offers an unobstructed view of the beach, allowing natural light to flood the space throughout the day. It's a spot where one can curl up with a book or a glass of wine and watch the waves rolling onto the shore.  When the weather is beautiful you see swimmers, surfers and beach goers.  When there is a storm it’s magnificent, like standing on the prow of a ship at sea.”

An image of an open-plan living and dining room overlooking the beach and sea. The room is filled with neutral colours and it is sunny outside.

Inspired by California shores, Monterey’s interiors mimic sun-bleached driftwood and summer clouds, creating the perfect canvas for reflecting Cornwall’s many weathers, “As the sun descends towards the horizon it paints the sky, and our sitting room, in pink and gold.”

"We have four children of different ages, from early school years to teenagers, who regularly bring their friends over so during the day the house is rarely still or quiet. We often invite other family members to join us, and the house becomes a hub for both activity and relaxation, where we all come together to unwind and enjoy each other's company."

A sea-front home created with life's greatest joys in mind, Monterey is freedom and peace in homestay form.

An image of a wood-clad house on the edge of Porthtowan Beach. There are sand dunes, grassy cliffs and people enjoying the beach and sea.

an image of a neutral bathroom, with white bath and coast-inspired art on the wall

An image of a neutral bedroom with large bed, desk, bedside tables and mirror

An image of a living space with lit woodburner, sofa, wood store and shelves filled with coastal trinkets

An image of a kitchen worktop with mushrooms and herbs. IN the background is a dining table and chairs, and sofa. The large windows look out across the beach and sea

An image from a bed looking out across the beach and sea. The windows are large and the colour scheme in the room is neutral. There is a desk with chair and mirror.