An Ode to The British Countryside
It has been a few weeks now since Britain voted to leave the EU and while the turmoil, doubt and sense of unknown is still lingering, for me there is no better time than now, to celebrate being British. I believe, a very prominent component of being British is to have an affinity for the countryside; the natural mix of the farmed and the wild, the pretty pastoral scenes and the charming wildlife that resides within it. With this at the forefront of my mind, it was to my utmost pleasure to accept an invitation to stay in a Cornish stone barn, aptly named Somerby.
We packed lightly - bikes, surfboards, belly boards, four bottles of wine, two bags of clothes for all weathers, flippers, and wetsuits. Throwing in one (very cute) Cockerpoo puppy and the two of us, so to describe the car as a squish would have been an understatement! Nevertheless, we managed to get the doors closed and off we trundled. The closer we got to our weekend retreat, the narrower the roads became, as we delved through the country lanes with the light twinkling through the leaves, a sense of calm filled the air and with that, the weekend had arrived!
Upon entering Somerby, the converted open plan barn was the perfect setting for my back-to-British objective. The pops of colour and pattern sprung out, tingling my senses, whilst the wood cladded shelving, polished bronzed lighting and stacked stone fireplace complemented the natural views that framed each window. With such excitement to explore the barn, we raced Mollie, our sassy six-month old Cockerpoo, as she beat us round every corner.
The bicycle-themed bedroom is an ode to the Pendleton Somerby hybrid and begs your inner child to fling on the bed with careless immaturity. The bold decision to celebrate the nearby National Cycle Route 32 through a British telephone box red palette and seriously cool patterned feature wall (which reminded me just how wonderful wallpaper is) added flair and modern style.
Inspired by our room’s commitment to the pedals, we donned our Lycra and helmets, pumped the tires and joined Route 32 which runs straight past Somerby. Signed from Bodmin to Truro via Padstow and Newquay, nothing could beat the feeling of exploring the surrounding towns and beaches from the saddle of my trusty (and rather rusty) bicycle.
The Cornish Countryside was such a delight this time of year, the cycle route was challenging and I’d say not for the faint-hearted but I’d urge any guest to have a go. Nothing could have cleared my mind and invigorated me more; I relished the challenge of the uphill climbs, changing to the lowest gear possible, heat-steamed sunglasses and white knuckles gripping the handle bars. The reward of reaching the brow, that pivoting sensation before gravity pulls and you speed downhill, the fresh air rushing past, was cooling and invigorating – just wonderful.
Once we made it “home” we found a convenient shed to store the bikes safely overnight and headed inside. After a refreshing waterfall shower, we watched the clouds move from grey, to pink from our loungers on the secluded outdoor decking with only the horses and fields in our view. As the sun set and the temperature began to drop, we nestled inside. Mollie had her own dog bed which created a novel burst of excitement until the long day took its toll and she curled into a fluffy ball. Soon after, we did the same.
When the weekend was over, I bid a fond farewell to Somerby, waving my imaginary flag as an advocate for the brilliant British staycation as we travelled home. It’s weekends like this that remind me we do have rather a lot to celebrate right on our doorstep.
Properties featured in this article: Somerby