ANDY COOPER heads to Cornwall for a mini staycation in two different locations – St Ives and The Lizard.

There is a quote, appropriately enough, in E.M. Forster’s seminal novel A Room With a View, which states “There is only one perfect view — the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it.” I am inclined to agree: if I am not craning my neck skywards on my travels – even if it is to indulge in a typical bout of British weather bemoaning – then something is going horribly wrong

So everything was perfect on my recent mini break to Cornwall – big skies followed us everywhere and, what’s more, the ability to marvel at them didn’t stop when we moved inside.

That much became apparent when we arrived at our first stop: the utterly charming Balcony Studio in St Ives ( This amazing conversion of an historic waterfront cottage at the heart of the town puts the views at the forefront of its thinking. The bedroom is the living, beating heart of the place, with an amazing picture window across the width of the room offering the most fantastic perspective on St Ives harbour and the beach.

We could have sat in the armchairs in the window watching the world go by for the entire two days we spent there. As the world comes and goes, and the tide ebbs and flows against the harbour wall immediately below the balcony, it is like having one’s own widescreen TV view of the world.

The interior design touches and thoughtful interior design wonderfully complement the surroundings and if you are planning to leave ‘that’ view then descending into the basement spa bathroom doesn’t disappoint. It’s not often a bathroom takes the breath away, but the magnificent William Holland Alvius Spa bathtub – large enough for four and made from tin to reflect Cornwall’s rich heritage – does just that. It’s a very special place to relax as the spa jets do their magic, and you look up through the ceiling glass panels into the bedroom above.

St Ives is a special place anyway, but a stay at the Balcony Studio elevates it to another level – close enough to all that the town has to offer (check out Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum) and yet still a secluded and stunning spot in which to kick back and relax.

Next stop on our mini tour was to head south – about as south as one can go in Cornwall, in fact – to the Housel Bay Hotel (, a glorious historic house perched on top of the cliffs over possibly the most dramatic beach and bay in the Duchy.

Once again, big windows and the hotel’s elevated position meant those views of the skyline were everywhere – certainly, our large and comfortable bedroom afforded us the most spectacular skyscape to enjoy. There we were again, sitting and watching the world go by as that ever-changing view came and went with the flow of the tide.

Just sitting there sky-watching would just not do though, especially when immediately downstairs Fallowfields restaurant awaited us.

And wow, what a place to dine in. The eponymous Joseph Fallowfield has created in this small corner of Cornwall a tasting menu of such delicacy and dexterity that it deserves all the plaudits I can muster…and then some.

Dishes such as monkfish carpaccio jostle with gouda tortellini or raw honey tart for complements as one course after another sets your tastebuds racing and your adjective generator exploding. This is a truly wonderful culinary experience in an amazing setting. Even if you’re not planning a stay at the Housel Bay (and why wouldn’t you?) make it your business to book in there for dinner at Fallowfields.

The sadness of departure morning was soon upon us but not before a fabulous breakfast served in the hotel’s bright and airy Terrace restaurant by the lovely staff as we took in the last opportunity to gaze upon the seas crashing onto the rocks below.

After a bracing walk to the nearby Lizard Lighthouse to work off some of the calories incurred during a wonderfully relaxing trip, we were heading home with lots of marvellous memories of our short Kernow caper.