Friday, 15 March 2019

Best Little Cafe Stops in Cornwall

I really don't want to shout too loud about these little gems as I might not be able to get in next time if too many people find out! They are all run by hard working individuals who serve the most amazing homemade food. There are lots more amazing places to eat in the area which you'll find on our website, but these are the more little independent 'cakey tea' stops (those who've watched the Poldark parody on youtube will know the phrase!) that we've tried, tested and LOVE, but Shhhh don't tell anyone else! 

Off the Path Coffee Company
Just a short stroll from Merlin Farm, through woodland and across a little river and you will come to this lovely little outdoor venue overlooking the tranquil and lush Valley of Lanherne. Perfect as a breakfast/lunch/cake stop if you are walking to St Mawgan Village, you can order your fresh fish and seafood here too!

THE best cream tea in Cornwall - we think so anyway. About 40 minutes walk from Merlin Farm (that's me marching on focused on my cream tea, allow longer for stopping and taking in the breathtaking views along the way). Just before you reach Bedruthan Steps Beach you will see Carnewas Tea Rooms.

Fern Pit
A terraced tea garden perched above the Gannel Estuary in Newquay with direct access via a little ferry to Crantock Beach. You can also buy Crab and lobster caught locally on their own fishing boat.

Snails Pace Café
A charming little eco-friendly café at Wenford Bridge. We usually bike ride from the Camel Trail at Bodmin, stop and have lunch here then ride back again. They hire bikes here too so you can start off here and enjoy 18 miles of glorious cycling on almost traffic free trails for riders all the way to Padstow and the North Cornish Coast.

Woods Café
 A charming cottage in the heart of Cardinham Woods, Woods Café near Bodmin never disappoints. A great food stop after a long walk or bike ride in the woods.

Rock Pool Cafe
A bit further afield down on the Southern Tip of Cornwall is this gorgeous little lookout over Mounts Bay, stumbled upon by chance on a lovely walk from Penzance to Mousehole one day. It's a good hour's drive (in low season) from Merlin Farm but worth the journey, and do walk to it from Penzance if you can.

If your café isn't on here it's probably because we haven't found it yet - give us a shout!

By Lucy @ Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages

Thursday, 19 April 2018

My Personal Sanctuary [Spa Experience] at Merlin Farm

It couldn't have been more perfect for a pampering afternoon at Merlin Farm. We thought we'd treat ourselves to a visit from My Personal Sanctuary, sumptuous spa treatments without leaving the comfort of your surroundings. The weather was gorgeous so we fully opened the bi-fold doors on the Eco Cottage and immersed ourselves in nature with the tweeting of the birds adding to the tranquillity.

Lindsay our friendly Spa Therapist arrived half an hour prior to our treatment time to set up, which included a heated treatment bed, aromatherapy diffuser and some relaxing background music.  She discussed our chosen treatments and we got to select our own blend of aromatherapy massage oils.

Darrel enjoyed a whole body massage with grapefruit and jasmine aromatherapy oils and I chose reflexology, back, neck & shoulder massage with lemon, geranium & lavender oils. Lindsay checks beforehand how much pressure you would like applied to your massage.
Our massages were wonderful and I'm pretty sure I nodded off briefly more than once!
We both agreed that we found the experience more enjoyable and relaxed than visiting a day spa. The afternoon was all about us and it didn't feel rushed. We could hang around in our robes afterwards and it was nice not to have to go anywhere and stay in the 'zone'.

All products used were Neal's Yard, divine smelling and made using the maximum organic, natural and wild ingredients.

*UPDATE* My Personal Sanctuary has now been taken over by GloPamper. To book a Spa Experience visit where you can tailor your own package.  

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Eco Friendly Portable Barbecues

Eco Friendly Portable Barbecues

Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages offer luxury and Eco Friendly accommodation a short walk from Mawgan Porth Beach on the stunning North Cornwall Coast. The perfect base to spend your Holiday in Cornwall; Enjoy picturesque coastal & countryside walks, cycle trails along estuaries and through historic mining landscapes. Taste organic Cornish wine at a nearby Vineyard, sample freshly caught fish at a local restaurant and enjoy picnics & barbeques on the beach. We have been searching the internet to find 'eco' barbecues, here is what we have found...

EcoQue Grill
This amazingly portable grill features the reflective pyromid design that focuses heat efficiently. EcoQue Grills consume up to 75% less fuel than similar sized grills by reflecting more heat up toward the cooking surface for optimal performance. You can cook a meal for four with as few as nine briquettes, or cook with twigs, wood chunks, and other found fuel.
By changing the orientation, height and amount of fuel, you can fine-tune the heat for anything from a fast grill for steaks to a more gentle roast for veggies and fish. In fact with an EcoQue you can BBQ, bake, fry, roast, boil and even smoke your foods!
Made of durable stainless steel, with a cooking surface is 1300cm sq.  It folds into a carry bag (made from recycled materials) just over 4cm thick and fits in picnic baskets.
Optional foil liners are available to enhance performance and make clean-up faster. £109.99 for a 12" and £129.99 for a 15" Barbeque inc. delivery.

The German LotusGrill is considered more eco-friendly than other charcoal grills, because you use very little charcoal. Thanks to the fan assisted charcoal burning it comes up to temperature quickly and allows you to start cooking your mouthwatering food in under 5 minutes. One fill of the charcoal basket gives you about 45-50 mins of cooking time and the great thing is that the parts of a LotusGrill BBQ that get dirty are made from stainless steel and can all be washed in the dishwasher. A 32cm diameter grill costs £144 inc delivery or £189 for a 40.5 cm diameter

EcoGrill is the Eco cool way to BBQ. 100% environmentally friendly, easy to light and fun to use. Due to its design it maximises the use of the charcoals within it and prolongs burning time giving over 2.5 hours grilling while the heat remains even, and up to 5 hours as a heat source.Perfect for toasting marshmallows after dinner and keeping warm whilst waiting to watch the sunset. When it's finished all that remains are ashes and memories. The Eco Grill is light and compact (20-25cm diameter) and is easily lit with its own natural and odour free resin wick which quickly lights the coals (no need for lighter fluid) and is ready to use within 20 minutes of lighting. An EcoGrill costs £10, although if you buy in bulk (5+) cost £8 each. Optional extra's: reusable grill stand £5 & cooking pan £10

Do you know of any other 'Eco Friendly Barbecues' or are you a manufacturer of one?
If so, please get in touch to let us know

Eco Friendly Picnicware

No Barbecue is complete without funky picnic plates and these are no exception! Made from sustainable bamboo fibre these plates are Bio degradable, Non-toxic, BPA free and Dishwasher safe. Currently in the sale at £3.85 from Natural Collection.
Co-ordinating bowls, cups and bags also available:

Sunday, 8 January 2017

February Half Term 2017 Cornwall

Cornwall is a great place to spend a family holiday and here are just some ideas of what to do this February Half Term...

Page still under construction, bear with us whilst we find more things for you to do this February Half Term.....

To book a stay at Merlin Farm visit
Arrive Friday 10th or Saturday 11th for 7 nights
10 nts for the price of 8 arriving Friday 10th 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Husqvarna Automower Challenge Day 1 - Installation

We were delighted to have been one of hundred participants selected to test the new Husqvarna Automower in our garden in return for feedback and video reviews via social media.

A garden survey was undertaken by Grahams Garden Machinery, who will also be installing the Automower. Our garden, which includes gentle slopes, a huge ornamental rock and an orchard will apparently be no match for the Husqvarna 430X, so let's see......

We have kept the lawn cut short in preparation for the Automower's arrival and have had an electrical supply fitted to a central location within the garden. Upon installation the friendly chaps from Grahams Garden Machinery connect the Automower docking station and cut a groove (using a nifty machine) around the perimeter of the garden to sink a guide wire. A wire is also fitted centrally guiding the Automower back to the docking station.

A quick set up chat, a pin code is required to access the control system, which is all pretty straight forward. Options include setting time parameters, cutting heights, which days you would like the mower in action and number of times per week, etc. We have set the mower to work during daylight hours as we generate electricity onsite via 216 solar PV panels, so it makes sense to make use of the solar generation. 

And we're away.....the Automower springs into action, gliding across the lawn quite happily (and so quiet!) although it doesn't have much grass to cut for the moment. It rather feels like we have another pet, so we have named him Malcolm the mower. The dog and pet donkey aren't sure what to make of him! 

Thanks to Huqvarna for giving us this opportunity, so far we are delighted with the Automower. It will be saving Darrel so much time, whole sunny days can be lost mowing this monster of a lawn! We'll be updating everyone with our video reviews on our YouTube channel, also look out for posts on our Facebook and Twitter. Don't forget to check out the Husqvarna Automower website too. Please also feel free to share this information with anyone you feel would be interested in this product.
Thanks also to Grahams Garden Machinery for a smooth and friendly installation.
Brighton Cross, Truro TR2 4HD. Tel 01726 884001
*Trade in any petrol, battery or electric walk-behind lawnmowers, sit-on or robotic mower that are in working condition and save 10% when purchasing a Husqvarna 420/430X/450X at your local participating Husqvarna dealer

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

April Giveaway - organic apron set from Ochre & Ocre

Merlin Farm loves the beautiful range of organic textiles for the home from Cottage in the Hills, home of Ochre & Ocre. You can be in with a chance of winning the new 'Roost' apron, tea towel and oven glove set by visiting simply like & share the post and answer a simple question. Competition ends 30th April 2016 and the winner will be announced soon after. Good luck! Make sure you check out Cottage in the Hill's website too

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Suggestions for a Windy Wet Easter Saturday in Mawgan Porth

Guests arriving yesterday were teased by beautiful sunshine, although bittersweet after experiencing heavy traffic on their journey down to Cornwall. So you can see how lovely it can be, but what to do when the weather turns and it's wet and windy? Don't be down hearted there are still lots of lovely things to do. Here are a few suggestions....
(I have compiled this for our guests staying at Merlin Farm in Mawgan Porth so have tried to suggest places as nearby as possible)

The Merrymoor Inn overlooking Mawgan Porth Beach
The Beach Hut overlooking Watergate Bay

The Eden Project, St Austell. The biomes offer great shelter, we often go on wet days and wander round the tropical rainforest biome. Great food, fun and educational for children
Lobster Hatchery, Padstow. Quite small so won't take long to get around.
Pirate Quest, Newquay.
Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay.

Oasis, Hendra, Newquay

What's on? Batman v Superman, Kung Fu Panda...
Nearest Cinemas at Newquay and Wadebridge, for more details visit:

Kernow Chocolate Factory, St Eval
Disco Beads, Mawgan Porth. Make your own jewellery