Lucid Stead by Phillip K Smith III, Joshua Tree, California
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside
We may have had to erect a permanent 'watch this space' sign where the great British summer is concerned, but the next time the sun is out, it's the perfect time to stuff the airmiles and consider a trip to Cornwall, which arguably has some of the country's most beautiful beaches. In particular, I wanted to visit St Ives, which was voted Britain's best beach resort last year by Tripadvisor.
So what better place for a bit or RnR and the boyfriend in tow? With a five-hour car trip ahead of us we stocked up on snacks and energy drinks and headed off.
Room with a view
Arriving in St Ives it's no surprise that it's been voted as one of Britain's most beautiful places. Even with a cloud-covered sky the views of the bay are beautiful. We were staying at a penthouse apartment at Hawke's Point overlooking Carbis Bay.
The self-catering accommodation had stunning views and the large light and bright rooms were crammed with top-end designer gear including a Bose CD player, Wii Sports, Villeroy & Boch crockery and cutlery and John Lewis cookwear, so there's plenty to keep you busy if you want to simply enjoying staying in.
Our penthouse apartment was huge and had some lovely little features like a brass captain's telescope to take in the surroundings as well as two bathrooms stocked with Ren products and white fluffy dressing gowns.
The living room at the Penthouse
On arrival you will find a chilled bottle of Cornish Camel Valley sparkling wine and a yummy cream tea to get your trip off to the perfect start. We made the most of a break in the clouds to enjoy some bubbles and the gorgeous views on the apartment's balcony which has views of Carbis Bay right around to St Ives in the distance.
The next day we thought we'd take a trip to St Ives which is a short train ride or 40-minute walk if you fancy taking a scenic stroll, you can head into the beachside town to have a wander around the shops. With a mix of clothes shops, cafes, and bakeries where you can buy a pasty or four there's plenty to keep you occupied for a few hours.
As the sun had decided to be kind to us and make an appearance for our weekend we took advantage of Hawkes Point concierge service and booked an impromptu surf lesson at the St Ives Surf School at Porthmeor beach.
Wet suits on and boards in hand we met our instructor Jackson who took us through the basics of beach safety, paddling techniques, how to catch waves and finally how stand up on the board. As total beginners the idea of even trying to balance on a surf board seemed unlikely but by the end of our two-hour lesson we were soon giving the local surfers a run for their money. Well, apart from the young man who rode a wave while doing a handstand! With single lessons from £30 per person it's a great (and reasonably priced) way to spend an afternoon.
Before visiting St Ives we'd had a look around the web to see where would be nice to have an anniversary meal and the Porthminster Café soon caught our attention. When the concierge at Hawke's Point also gave it a thumbs up, we decided it was a must-visit.
The award-winning seafood restaurant is nestled beneath the steep slopes of Porthminster Point, right smack on the beach. It's very unassuming from the outside but once you take your seat on its terrace you are spoilt with stunning views across St Ives Bay to the Godrevy Lighthouse.
The menu offers up a lovely selection of Mediterranean and Asian-inspired seafood. We tried the fresh oysters for starters and the monkfish curry was stunning for a main course. But the highlight of the evening has to be the surprise proposal my boyfriend had arranged. Yes that's right; in the middle of a busy restaurant my other half got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
With the sun setting over the beach and a round of applause from the other patrons how could a girl turn that down? Of course the answer was yes. Without the proposal, the trip to St Ives would have been an experience that would've stayed with me for some time, but with the proposal and an epic view that looked like paradise on Earth rather than drizzling England, it was unforgettable.
The details: Zoe stayed at Hawke's Point in St Ives. For more information, visit the website or call 01726 884 072. Until the end of August, seven nights in a sea garden apartment (sleeping four) starts from £1350. Seven nights in a penthouse apartment (sleeping four) starts from £1900. From September, the penthouse costs £995 for seven nights and £600 for three nights. A one-bed Starboard apartment starts from £360 for three nights.
Grub: Hawke's Point works with Food4myholiday, a local company who supply fresh Cornish produce. Visit the website or call 01503 240 992 for more details.
Surf: Zoe tried surfing with St Ives Surfing School. Visit the website or call 01736 793 938 for more details.