An Autumn Day Trip From Fieldhead – The Eden Project

During Autumn, gardens in Cornwall undergo a transformation – with luscious greenery turning to golden yellows and oranges.

However, there is one garden in Cornwall which is subject to very different cycles and that is the glorious Eden Project – just 40 minutes from our Looe hotel.

The Eden Project is often considered as one of the wonders of the modern world. Once a disused clay quarry, the site is now home to two ‘biomes’ – dome shaped greenhouses, which house over 2 million plants and 5,000 varieties of plant species – creating the largest rainforest in captivity.

The Eden Project began as an idea from Lost Gardens of Heligan founder, Tim Smit. He wanted to create a visitor attraction in Cornwall, which would also connect us with the living world, creating education and innovation for the future. The attraction is also a charity, and works closely with schools and groups across the county for educational purposes.

The larger or the two biomes, the Rainforest Biome, gives visitors a chance to experience a tropical climate with its range of exotic plants and warm temperature. This biome also features a rainforest canopy walkway, so visitors can observe the rainforest from above – if they can handle the heights!

The Mediterranean Biome has a calm and relaxing atmosphere, featuring a range of plant species which create genuine Mediterranean sights, sounds and smells. The Med Terrace Restaurant is located right inside the biome, offering a range of food and drink to enjoy amongst the plant life.

This time of year, plants to particularly look out for include ‘Bromeliad’ in the Rainforest Biome – located right in the canopy. The leaves of the Bromeliad can be spotted through their bright reds and greens. In the Mediterranean Biome, look out for Grapevines – now starting to turn a golden orange colour.

Eden is not only for plant enthusiasts however, and has plenty on offer for families of all ages. For thrill seekers, try ‘The Drop’ – a free fall three-storey drop on to a giant airbag followed by a 20-metre drop over the edge of a cliff on a free-fall simulator. There is also the Skywire, England’s longest zip-wire, enabling visitors to soar above Eden at up to 60mph, and the Gravity Giant swing, swinging over a 65ft cliff edge.

Plus, Autumn sees the return of their ice rink – a great wintery family activity where visitors can skate amongst the biomes in style.

Whether you’re a budding horticulturalist, or looking for an attraction that will mean a full day of family friendly activities to enjoy, Eden is the perfect day trip during your stay at the Fieldhead Hotel.

Fowey Riverside Treasures

Image Credit: Barnacle and Bird Photography via Visit Cornwall

As a peninsula, Cornwall is bursting with beautiful harbour towns to explore – just follow the coast and you will discover a variety of picturesque beaches, villages and communities. A short 20 minute drive from Looe and the Fieldhead Hotel is one such spot. Polruan is located on the banks of the River Fowey, opposite the town of the same name, and between them they have much to offer the visitor.

Polruan is an unspoilt fishing village, which is home to an active boat yard, where building and repairs still take place. Its winding streets trail past quaint cottages and shops, while from the top of the village walkers can access the South West Coast Path – making for a great day trip away from the hustle and bustle of many more well-known Cornish hotspots.

To enjoy the best of both worlds, continue your journey across the river to Fowey. The town located across the water to Polruan on the opposite bank is famous for its sailing, galleries, shops and restaurants. A regular car ferry runs every 15 minutes every day of the year, transporting you across the short stretch of water.

A literary haven, Fowey provided inspiration for writers such as Daphne DuMaurier and Kenneth Grahame. The area features in DuMaurier’s classic ‘The House on the Strand’ which the town celebrates each year through the ‘Fowey Festival of Words and Music’. Additionally, Kenneth Grahame’s family holidays to Fowey are said to have inspired settings such as ‘Toad Hall’ in ‘The Wind in the Willows’.

Fowey is also host to a range of quirky independent shops and restaurants including ‘Sam’s‘. Located inside a twelfth century merchants’ house, this chic bistro serves a range of bespoke burgers and locally caught fish dishes, alongside a selection of stylish cocktails.

Alternatively, the Fowey Picnic Boat offers private picnic cruises along the River Fowey. Enjoy locally sourced food while relaxing amongst the sights and sounds of the river.

For art enthusiasts, there is a fantastic choice of galleries to explore. The Fowey River Gallery has a varied exhibition calendar which covers impressionistic styles of sea and landscapes to fun, playful pieces – each celebrating Cornwall.

The gallery is housed in a Georgian building, and includes a shop selling bags, scarves, jewellery, gifts and greetings cards.

The Toe in the Water gallery also features arts and crafts inspired by the sea and coastline, with original art to view and purchase, alongside glass, pottery, ceramics, jewellery, cards and crafts.

Why not explore Polruan and Fowey from your base at the Fieldhead Hotel and uncover these two treasures on opposite sides of the riverbank.

 

Fieldhead Hotel’s Busiest Season Yet After The Hotel Inspector Visits!

We are pleased to announce that The Fieldhead Hotel in Looe has experienced its busiest summer season to date, after an appearance earlier this year on Channel 5’s ‘The Hotel Inspector’.

We can now safely say that we have succeeded in revamping our 15-bedroom hotel, which enjoys stunning views across Looe Bay, while sticking to our ‘traditional’ ethos and very high service standards.

The combined approach has resulted in an extremely busy period between May and September, with our loyal regulars joined by a wave of new guests keen to experience The Fieldhead Hotel at its best.

Occupancy rates are up 35% on the same period last year, indicating a dramatic upsurge in business which looks set to continue.

Beyond the summer rush, bookings have been coming in thick and fast for the rest of the year, obliging us to implement a Privileged Booking Scheme for long-standing regulars. This is because we want to thank our guests who come back year after year, and who stuck with us during the quieter times. We can’t let those guests loose out now that we are so busy!

The scheme allows regulars to book their favourite rooms and dates years in advance, without the need for a deposit until nearer the time.

The influx in bookings came after hotel guru Alex Polizzi visited for the popular Channel 5 show, revealing that the hotel had all the makings of a great destination.

Although Alex and Julian had some rocky moments, since filming we have taken on board the majority of The Hotel Inspector’s suggestions, redecorating bedrooms and communal areas, simplifying the booking system and updating the website.

The revamp includes five Superior Rooms with private balconies, king-size beds, modern décor and comfy robes and slippers.

We have always known that our guests appreciate the attention to detail and personal service they enjoy here at The Fieldhead Hotel. Now that we have modernised other aspects of our offering, more and more people are trying us out and rebooking, so we must be on the right track!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Visit Cornwall and Looe Tourism Information Centre for their support and encouragement.

Visiting Plymouth

Background

The Fieldhead Hotel is just a 40 minute drive from Britain’s Ocean City, and many of our guests plan a day exploring the city during their break here on the Cornish coast. Plymouth has made a name for itself over the last few years as an up and coming destination for foodies, culture consumers and nature lovers, with a wide variety of attractions and activities on offer.

Food Highlights

Plymouth has some real culinary treats – from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes. Food lovers should make a bee-line for Royal William Yard – a rejuvenated waterfront location with a wide selection of eateries to choose from. Highlights include Plymouth’s River Cottage Canteen, which serves locally sourced food and also has a deli, and Le Bistrot Pierre for authentic French cuisine.

For those looking to sample the region’s incredible seafood, Rockfish is located right on the water (at the National Marine Aquarium – see below) next to the fish market, making it the ideal spot to tuck into fresh fish and shellfish. Other restaurants to try in the city include The Samphire Bush – which specialises in locally sourced oysters, mussels, lobsters and fish – and The Barbican Kitchen, which is located in the world-famous Plymouth Gin Distillery (more on this also below). For first-class fine dining, try Rhodes at The Dome on Plymouth Hoe, which has great views of the Devon and Cornwall coastline.

Historic Centre

Plymouth has several museums which provide a fascinating insight into the history of this maritime city. The Mayflower Museum on The Barbican tells the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, who set sail for the New World from Plymouth in 1620. Moving forward through history roughly 150 years, Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working distillery in England; you can take a guided tour as well as enjoy a sample or two…

A visit to Plymouth wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Smeaton’s Tower – the city’s most iconic landmark. The lighthouse was originally built on the Eddystone Reef (visible from The Fieldhead Hotel) in 1759 but was dismantled in the early 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock it was standing on. The upper section of the structure was moved stone by stone to Plymouth, where it became an emblem of the city. The lighthouse offers unrivalled views of Plymouth Sound and the city from its lantern room which, along with the rest of the building, has been painstakingly restored to its original glory.

Nature And Environment

An unmissable treat for any visitor is a trip to the National Marine Aquarium which is located right in the heart of the waterfront district. The UK’s largest aquarium is home to a vast array of native marine life as well as sharks, jellyfish, tropical fish and turtles from all over the world.

If you’d like to get a little closer to marine life, take one of Plymouth Boat Trip’s tours. You join a one hour sightseeing cruise, passing Plymouth Hoe and Drake’s Island before heading for the River Tamar – where the mighty warships and nuclear submarines await!

Alternatively you can leave the busy city behind and experience the stunning scenery of the Tamar Valley on a half-day cruise, up the River Tamar to the picturesque Cornish Villages of Calstock and Morwellham. Fishing trips are also available.

Visiting Vineyards in Cornwall

Knightor’s vineyards at Seaton, Cornwall, June 2015.

As British wine continues its upward trajectory – winning medals and appearing on wine lists in top restaurants at home and abroad, opportunities to visit vineyards and taste British wines are being snapped up by those in the know. Cornwall, with its mild climate and long summers, is particularly well placed to produce good still and sparkling wines and as a result there are several successful vineyards to visit within an easy drive of The Fieldhead Hotel.

Camel Valley

Camel Valley is Cornwall’s most established vineyard. Bob and Annie Lindo have been making wine on the banks of the River Camel for over two decades, winning multiple medals with the help of their son – winemaker Sam Lindo. Winemaking in a peripheral location (where it is difficult to ripen healthy grapes) is difficult, but the Lindo’s have risen to the challenge and now make four sparkling wines, three still whites and a rosé.

Camel Valley has a beautiful ‘cellar door’ where visitors can taste the wines and talk to the winemaking team. You can buy a glass of your favourite and sip away on the terrace, enjoying the view of the valley. Alternatively visitors can book a tour and discover exactly what goes into every glass of Camel Valley – click here to find out more.

The drive from Looe to Camel Valley takes just over 40 minutes.

Knightor

Knightor Winery was officially launched in 2012. The growing collection of still and sparkling whites and rosés have quickly become popular thanks to their refreshing flavours and dry finish.

Set in pretty countryside near St Austell, the renovated farm buildings at Knightor house a modern winery, equipped with stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. The fruit itself is primarily sourced from the two vineyards owned by Knightor, at Seaton in South East Cornwall and Portscatho on the Roseland peninsular.

Wine tastings and tours can be booked, and Knightor is also available for weddings and events. The journey from The Fieldhead Hotel takes roughly 40 minutes. Click here to visit the Knightor website.

Bosue Vineyard

Also located near St Austell, Bosue Vineyard is a family enterprise which makes the most of south-facing slopes to grow several varieties, including Rondo, Regent, Solaris, Phoenix and Orion Grapes.

These varieties are used in English wine production because they are suited to a cooler climate and are also disease resistant. Wines from Bosue are light, aromatic and refreshing – they are particularly good wine matches for Cornish seafood.

Bosue Vineyard also hosts tastings and tours, and is within a 40 minute drive of The Fieldhead Hotel. Click here to find out more.

Further Afield

Penzance also has its own flourishing vineyards and orchards. Polgoon makes still and sparkling wine as well as ciders and juices. As well as tours and tastings, visitors to the vineyard shop can also stock up on other local produce, including preserves, chocolates and local crafts.

Enjoy your vineyard visits!