Today I’m sharing another find from Cornwall: super-romantic self-catering hideaway Fallen Angel. This sleek rubber-clad house is set in one of my favourite villages, Mousehole, and I first spied it perched on the hillside above the harbour when Chris and I spent our minimoon there in May. I couldn’t resist Googling it to find it what it was, and I loved the look of it so much that I included it in a round-up of top tips for western Cornwall. You can imagine my excitement when owners Mark and Jane then got in touch to ask if we’d like to stay for a weekend and try it out in person.
So, late one Friday afternoon in early September, we jumped in the car and headed back down the M5 for ‘Mousehole Minimoon #2’. Having spent the first one in a cramped rental with a leaking bathroom and noisy construction work taking place next door, we were both looking forward to a second attempt at post-wedding relaxation – and what a treat we had in store.
Designed by Studio West Architects with couples squarely in mind, Fallen Angel is unlike anything else in a village of quaint stone cottages and Victorian villas. Mark and Jane commissioned the build after swapping hectic London lives for the slower pace of Cornwall in 2015, and spent the next year battling with a steep plot, budget overspends and access issues. The project was a real labour of love, but the results are stunning.
The house is built on the site of two former buildings, whose footprints now form separate floors. The upper level is a vast open-plan living space, with an egg-shaped woodburner, a sink-into comfy sofa covered in pale-pink linen, and sandblasted-oak kitchen units hand-built by local designer Ben Williams. A TV snug is tucked away to one side, and a stair tunnel leads down to the level below, where a kingsize bed, a freestanding steel tub and a walk-in shower gaze out over Mounts Bay. Floors throughout are covered in ghost-pattern tiles imported from Spain, and dotted here and there are filigree lanterns, hammered silver vases and intricate wood carvings collected on travels around North Africa and Asia.
We arrived just as the sun was setting, flooding the space with soft light. We were instantly struck by just how peaceful and secluded the house feels: the harbour and its restaurants are only a couple of minutes’ walk down the hill, but you’d never know it.
I headed straight for the tub, making the most of the scented candle and bottle of sparkling wine kindly provided by Mark and Jane, while Chris occupied himself playing around with the house’s snazzy technology (Sonos sound system, iPad, electric blinds). We then cooked up a feast in the kitchen, which is stocked with pretty much every type of pot and pan conceivable, as well as a few locally sourced goodies such as fresh bread, Cornish butter and milk. After our meal, we wrapped up in blankets and sat on the balcony as a giant harvest moon rose over the harbour, painting the sea below with a wide streak of gold.
We couldn’t resist sleeping with the blinds open to make the most of the sweeping views, and we awoke the next day to find the early-morning sun casting a magical rose-pink tinge over the bay. Warm and comfy, we lingered in bed with a cafetière of coffee, toast and a stack of magazines, watching fishing boats and the Scilly Islands ferry chugging out to sea.
After breakfast, we ventured outside to explore the beautiful gardens. Hidden behind a gnarled old door which once stood at the entrance to a Moroccan village, they’re planted with lavender, sub-tropical palms, succulents, and feathery grasses which sway gently in the coastal breeze. Much of the rubble from the former buildings has been recycled to make dry-stone walls, and one of the terraces has a firepit surrounded by built-in seating. It was a little too chilly to use it during our visit, but it would be ideal on balmy summer evenings.
The weather started to deteriorate in the afternoon, but we didn’t mind. It gave us the excuse we needed to light the woodburner, hunker down with a game of Scrabble and watch the clouds roll in from the comfort of the sofa. Cornwall may be packed with beautiful beaches and craggy coves, but on this visit we were both craving the opportunity to slow down, sprawl out and enjoy doing very little at all.
Dragging ourselves away from our luxurious little eyrie the next morning was a wrench, and I’ve been singing the praises of Fallen Angel to anyone who’ll listen ever since. Private, peaceful and pampering, it was the perfect spot for our second minimoon. If only we’d known about it the first time around…
All photography by Abi Dare
Mark and Jane kindly provided a free stay at Fallen Angel, but all words and opinions are my own.