One need never fear bad dreams sleeping under a dreamcatcher, or so the Native Americans believed. And you know, I think they’re on to something.
I spent a long weekend slumbering under the watchful eye of Dreamcatcher Cottage in Cornwall, and not a bad thought, word or deed slipped into my nights. My days were equally as blessed.
Could it be because Dreamcatcher used to be a Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School? Its purity and peace somehow imprinted into the air and the very fibre of the building? Perhaps.
All I do know is that this special place, with cotton-white walls, stained-glass sunshine, and Wesleyan-thick floors, is more than just a ‘dreamcatcher’.
It is the dream itself.
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The cottage: Dreamcatcher Cottage, Sancreed, Cornwall
Sleeps: 8 (we stayed as a party of 3)
The cost: £1,215 for a long weekend in winter
To book: Boutique Retreats
The short and sweet:
What once was a Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School, is today a 4-bedroom boutique retreat deep within the Cornish countryside, near Sennen Cove. Its owners, Jane and Mark, spared no part of their heart in transforming Dreamcatcher from historic building into the ultimate divinely-inspired space. The building’s original ecclesiastical charms are everywhere – arched doors and doorways, coloured windows, Latin-etched flagstone floors – all sensitively and lovingly integrated with the cottage’s new contemporary look.
Alongside them, are modern touches that show just how commercially switched-on Dreamcatcher’s owners are: super-fast Wi-Fi, a Sonos sound system, and an iPad for guests. As well as handsome good looks, Dreamcatcher is attractive in location, too. Step outside into the large, lush garden and West Cornwall knowingly winks back with heavenly views across farmland all the way to St. Michael’s Mount.
Who’s it tasty for?
Dreamcatcher could easily house a large family or group of 8, yet still echo throughout; chapel isn’t synonymous with small in Dreamcatcher’s case. The generously-portioned living and bedrooms, evenly spread upstairs and downstairs, mean even a wedding party would be happy here. And, in fact, many are: Dreamcatcher hosts intimate weddings for up to 20 guests.
Of course, this kind of weekend luxury comes at a price – Dreamcatcher will suit the budget of certain families better than others. Share the cost between friends, however, and the dream is eminently affordable.
THE VIDEO PROOF
As befits its contemplative roots, Dreamcatcher nestles in the quiet inland parish of Sancreed in Penwith on the West Cornwall peninsular. Set neatly back behind ancient stonewalls, just off the village’s B-road, the cottage is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.
The area is peaceful and Dreamcatcher is pleasantly remote, without feeling cut-off. 15 mins’ drive to the coast brings the delights of Mousehole, Porthcurno, Sennen Cove, Portheras Cove, Marazion and Porthchapel, whilst 3 miles downhill is the phosphorous fizz and pop of Penzance. Not that you’d know it.
The only sounds you’ll hear are the quickening beats of your heart as you go about choosing your room.
If ever there was a kitchen confident of its own magnetism, this is it. Long gone is the Sunday School that occupied this part of the building, along with any trace of piousness.
In its place is a room with serious sex appeal: thick wooded beams strut the mile-high ceilings. A centuries-old flagstone floor lies ripped, like a stone sixpack. Light floods in from vaulted windows kissing surfaces orange and red.
It’ll send you weak at the knees in an instant, believe me.
Handsome in size and self-assured in decoration, nothing is incongruously placed in this kitchen: the ash-grey cabinets and smooth wooden work surfaces perfectly complement the reclaimed wooden shelving and industrial chic dining table and chairs.
Warmth comes in the form of a log-burner, stocked with logs, matches and kindling. Whilst softness is added back into the mix thanks to two chill-out chairs – ideal for flinging your legs over and chilling come Sunday morning.
The black American-style 50s’ fridge (which the owners kindly stocked with fresh locally-supplied bacon, eggs, sausages) is a cool, naughty addition.
A reminder that chilled fun is a primary rule for this part of the house.
Practically, the kitchen didn’t leave anything out. There were enough glasses, plates, pans, cutlery and equipment to host the new Great British Bake Off – along with recipe books if you’re not Mary Berry. Fortunately, my clever friend is and made us brownies on our first morning at Dreamcatcher. Sing hosanna.
Most thoughtful of all, was the welcome basket of local goodies left for our delectation; Jane and Mark are clearly big champions of Cornish suppliers. The only thing missed – Irish mammies look away now – were teabags. Everything else was on point.
If the kitchen doesn’t seduce you, the lounge will. Dove-white banisters and walls lead you up to the heavens of the first-floor mezzanine, where the lounge awaits.
Under foot, as you tread the stairs expectantly, there’s carpet like chocolate-flecked cappuccino and, halfway up on the landing, an achingly beautiful original stained-glass window, the words: ‘Blessed is the memory of the just’ sealed forever in the soft glass.
In design terms, it’s all beautifully balanced. And the aesthetic punches keep on coming as you enter the lounge itself.
Think fur throws and beanbags, marshmallow-soft charcoal sofas, bespoke up-cycled tables and cabinets, quirky industrial-chic lamps and lights, plus vintage curios carefully placed for maximum allure. It’s all set against white walls and an exposed wood floor, now glossed the shade of heaven itself.
Colour pops into the room thanks to the lipstick-red in the arched windows, breaking the white for just a second – a flash of hellfire, almost, in an otherwise saintly space.
Like the kitchen, Dreamcatcher’s lounge is spacious and very well appointment. The room’s dominated by the log burner and large TV – giving you a range of options for a wet and windy stay: Sky HD, Sky Movies, Netflix and Blu-ray player.
In short, it’s extremely cosy despite how large in size it is, which I guess is down to the low ceiling. And we spent most of our weekend in the lounge, eating crossed-legged from the coffee table, next to the log burner, before dancing our butts off to the music channel and Sonos.
Well, God is a DJ.
The Bedrooms and Bathrooms
As you might expect, each of the 4 bedrooms have been given the same luxury treatment as the rest of Dreamcatcher.
Cable-knit throws, full-fat scatter cushions, sink-deep duvets dressed in blissfully-fragrant linen covers and, in 3 out of the 4 rooms, an industrial colour palette of muted greys and browns lend an elegant utilitarian feel.
I particularly liked the his-and-her robes, as fresh as Cornish clouds, left for guests to use – adding a welcoming touch of ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ to the whole experience.
In Bedroom 2, my friend had the benefit of a stylish en-suite shower room, whilst in Bedroom 1 my second pal had the benefit of Sky TV and a Blueray DVD player.
I, on the other hand, landed the master bedroom (Bedroom 3) – the celestial showstopper. Garbed in the same pure white as the lounge (for it too sits on the first floor ‘heaven’ level), its architectural centre-piece is the stunning open galley, bejewelled on either side with colourful glass panels.
The galley looks out over the cottage’s stunning library room and as I stood there, against the balustrade, I distinctly felt the presence of Dreamcatcher’s Wesleyan past.
I became congregation-like for a few seconds, reverent of the many Sunday hours the Sancreed community would’ve spent under the same roof.
Bedroom 3 also features a small arched alcove, which we later discovered, led up to the twin-bedded attic room with an incredible Velux view over the neighbouring countryside. A perfect den for children, yes, although the loft-style stairs up to Bedroom 4 were pant-wettingly steep – so it only suits those aged 6 plus or adults without stilettos or vertigo.
Safe to say, the gin kept us grounded.
The family bathroom on the ground floor was another plus point. Again, it oozed quality with the same raw, functional, antiquated interior style that characterised 3 of bedrooms. The reclaimed cast iron bath is a nice touch, along with the rainforest shower, and Cornish handwash, soap and hand lotion.
The only minus was not having a bathroom of my own to compliment the perfection of the main bedroom. But those are minor points and I AM an only child.
Would I stay again?
In a heartbeat. It is virtually impossible to find fault with Dreamcatcher – it is the dream retreat. Indeed, Jane and Mark have created their Cornish paradise so efficiently, so precisely, so impeccably that I cannot believe they don’t live there all the time.
If it was mine, I’d never want to leave; in fact, I didn’t want to leave. I guess when you’ve stayed in heaven, you’re reluctant to come back down to earth. Unfortunately, owning my very own Dreamcatcher will always remain dismally out of reach; unless, that is, I marry a millionaire.
Hey, a girl’s gotta dream, right?
Disclosure: I enjoyed a complimentary 3-night stay at Dreamcatcher Cottage, courtesy of Boutique Retreats, in order to produce this review. This review is a bonafide reflection of my weekend at the cottage and my opinion of it – I wouldn’t let anything duplicitous sneak onto my blog!
Does Dreamcatcher Cottage in Cornwall look like your kind of coastal retreat? Then add it to the top of your weekend break list now!