We stayed in The Driftwood Spars from 30 June to 4 July, having travelled from Dublin via Bristol by car. It was the longest stay during our trip to Britain and by far the most beautiful part of the country we saw.
Firstly, the location is idyllic. St. Agnes is quite off the beaten track itself, but Trevaunance Cove is a distance from there. We never walked in to St. Agnes but if we had, we'd have chosen the Quay Rd rather than the quite-insane Rocky Lane route (a 20% gradient that will barbeque your clutch if you're not careful). But the point is we never felt the need to over 4 days because The Driftwood Spars had it all.
We were told where our room was but given its location, it was tricky to reach with all our suitcases. But when we got there, we weren't disappointed. We had number 6, which many on Trip Advisor had recommended. It had an amazing sea view straight ahead, a view to the left of the surrounding hills and was both roomy and comfortable. We would have appreciated some kind of blackout curtains/blinds as we were visiting at a time when the sun was out at 5am and sleep was a little restless in such a bright room.
Nevertheless, the positives began to outweigh the negatives. Initially it was a little unnerving to see dogs in the pub, where food was being served. But they were usually brought by those visiting for a pint or two, so we were never really bothered by them. Coming from a country where an animal in a dining room would be a cause for alarm, I'm not sure I could live with this but it was a novelty. And the food made it all worthwhile – as did the drink, eventually.....
The first evening, we decided to pop down to the pub and have a few quiet pints and a bite to eat. I ordered two pints (Abbot Ale and Touchwood Cider), brought them to our table, sat on the couch next to the table and scooched over, at which point my knee hit a protruding joint in the table which shook it to such an extent that I knocked both pints over my wife. Utterly mortified (we had literally just walked in), I attempted to tidy up and asked for two new pints. Joe the barman, to his eternal credit, took it all in his stride, helped clean up and gave us two new pints free of charge, which I thought was incredibly-decent of him.
It was at this point that my fears (from reviews here) of ditzy, “too cool for school” bar staff completely disippated. We ordered our food (my wife asked for fish and chips, I went for a burger and chips) and it arrived quite promptly. My wife adored her dish and mine was so good I ordered it again two evenings later. A burger made of marinated mince that was heavenly to taste, not too filling and accompanied by fresh toppings and great chips to boot. The beer was also fantastic; I was like a kid in a candy shop with what was on offer, many of which was made on-site at the Driftwood's own brewery. I particularly enjoyed the Bluehills session ale, which was quite unusual and all-too-drinkable!
We took a walk on the South West Coastal Path on 1 July, a glorious day as it turned out. The path crossed past The Driftwood Spars on its way to Perranporth, so we ascended it on a muggy morning and took in the gorgeous views of Trevaunance Cove. The weather cleared up as we continued our trek, down into and up from other coves along with coast, with nothing between us and the sea but a sheer drop. It took us 2½ hours to walk to Perranporth, which was 4 miles away along the path but took twice as long because of the hilly, rocky and precarious nature of the walk. It was still a great experience and we even walked back the same way, thanks to some blister plasters from Boots in Perranporth!
We spent many hours in or around the Driftwood itself because we felt this was where our holiday was. We drove to Land's End one rainy day, took a walk on the beach in Trevaunance Cove and had a cream tea in the Village Hall in St. Agnes but other than that, the Driftwood Spars was our holiday. We ate and drank in the pub, watched Morris dancers who turned up on the Monday evening and danced on the road until the sun went down (something that we heard was not only a rare occurence but actually a once-this-summer occurence, since the dancers went to a different Cornish pub every Monday night over the summer) , watched Andy Murray defeat Fernando Verdasco and savoured things like their amazing Eton Mess and truly delicious fish and chips from Ollie across the road in Lewsey Lou's, also owned by the landlady of the Driftwood, Louise Treseder (who we met a few times and always had a smile and chat with customers and guests). The Driftwood has two beer gardens, one of which we used for our Lewsey Lou's fish and chips, washed down with some quality ales from their fridge.
The one piece of cuisine we had from the Driftwood Spars every day was the cooked breakfast, which was not only extremely tasty but also sold to me the idea of fried bread, which I usually shun. And the only other thing I need from accomodation, free wifi, was also simple and reliable. Mobile coverage is pretty awful in Trevaunance Cover (on 3 anyway) but it was plentiful on the cliffs if you need to make or receive calls. I didn't and wifi meant you never felt completely out of touch. Just enough out of touch for a holiday!
I'm actually making myself lonesome for the place now, so I'll wind things up by saying if you want nothing but peace, quiet (no live music while we were there anyway!), scenery, good food, good drink and a friendly Cornish welcome, this is your place. And I think it'll be our place again soon.
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- Also Known As:
- The Driftwood Spars Hotel St Agnes
- The Driftwood Spars B & B St Agnes, Cornwall