Apologies for the radio silence over the last week – I’ve been on holiday in Puglia and, although I had planned to write a couple of blog posts while I was away, exploring soon took over! I’ll have more about my time in Italy further down the line, but first I want to share a recent discovery from a little closer to home.
As you might have seen on Instagram, Chris and I have spent a lot of time in Cornwall this summer, and on one of our visits we booked a night at The Sandy Duck, a brand-new B&B with a Scandinavian twist, set in the buzzing town of Falmouth.
It’s run by Freyja Ducker, who spent years sailing the world as a stewardess on luxury yachts, before returning to the UK to be nearer her family. She quickly realised that a desk job wasn’t for her and scoured the country for the perfect B&B, eventually stumbling across this faded Edwardian guesthouse perched high above Falmouth Bay.
It took a year of love and hard work to drag the building into the 21st century, but the results are stunning. Behind the smart grey façade and hot-pink front door, Freyja has created a beautiful mix of clean-lined Nordic minimalism and English eccentricity. Walls are painted in soothing shades of dove grey, blush pink and petrol blue, and dotted here and there are snuggly sheepskins and woolly throws. Much of the furniture and accessories are by Danish brand House Doctor, but they’re paired with carefully chosen vintage pieces such as 1930s wardrobes and gnarled milking stools. There are also striking brass lamps, geometric-print cushions and bespoke artworks by Freyja’s mother and sister, including an eye-catching piece created from the roof’s old joists.
Each of the seven rooms is different, and I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside all of them. One has a pair of bamboo easy chairs perfectly positioned by the window; another a collection of straw hats which Freyja inherited from her grandmother. All have super-comfy Hypnos mattresses, Egyptian cotton linens and sleek white-tiled bathrooms with toiletries by Meraki, as well as little treats such as fluffy robes, vases of fresh flowers and trays of home-baked cakes.
We stayed in Room 8, a vast space under the eaves that’s decorated in crisp white and grey. In one corner is a cushioned window seat where I loved curling up to watch ships heading out to sea; in another, a long sofa that’s perfect for sprawling out with a book. Best of all is the bathroom, whose freestanding tub gazes out across the bay.
The B&B’s calming, gently quirky décor is matched by the relaxed atmosphere, and we felt at home from the moment we arrived to be greeted by happy tail-wagging from resident dog Rhubarb. The feel is much more home than hotel, and we were soon kicking back in the cosy indigo-blue lounge with steaming coffee and a stack of magazines. An honesty bar is also in the planning, and there’s the promise of a crackling fire in the winter months.
As for Falmouth itself, it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of days. It’s brimming with cafes and galleries, and there are four beaches to choose from; it’s also a great option for a car-free break, as it’s easily accessible by train and served by little ferries which pootle up and down the coast. We spent a happy afternoon browsing the boutiques in the town centre (my favourite was houseplant shop Toro, where I stocked up on lots of greenery to take home), before heading to beachside restaurant Hooked on the Rocks for a sunset seafood feast.
After a long soak in the tub and an excellent night’s sleep, we were in for one final treat before the journey home: a delicious breakfast spread, served up on wooden tables hewn from fallen elm trees. Everything is cooked by Freyja and her team using as much local produce as possible, and we tucked into sourdough toast from The Bakery on the Beach, honey from a Falmouth beekeeper and sausages from a nearby farm, before lingering over pastries and Cornish cheeses from the buffet. It was the perfect end to an all-too-brief stay, and I don’t think it will be long before we head back to The Sandy Duck for a return visit.
Book a stay at The Sandy Duck via i-escape. Rooms start at £90 per night.
All photography by Abi Dare