Making Memories
by Claire Corbett inOwner's TalesProperties

Owner’s Tales: Lorelei

The tale of Lorelei
Life holds a different pace on the Helford River at Lorelei, something that owner Harry Bott knows all too well. Where the ancient trees bend and dip their spring-tide-level branches into the waters and the twisting side-creeks hold a remoteness that bears the imprint of its pirate past. For those who seek to follow in the footsteps of Daphne Du Maurier and love the story of Frenchman’s Creek, a stay at this magical Helford property will make any heart sing. We spoke to owner Harry to ask him about his own tale of Lorelei and to hear a little about his thoughts on Cornwall and the local area...

Hello Harry, thank you for taking the time to tell us more about lovely Lorelei. We’d love to hear about your thoughts on what makes Lorelei the perfect getaway?

The house is very comfortable, extremely tranquil but within easy reach of good food and drink shops! People who know the Helford usually stay in Port Navas, or Helford Passage / Village so have views of other houses. Here you are at the end of a mile long private drive and the only house you can see is in the distance across the river

What was your inspiration behind the interiors?

Lorelei was designed by Stephen Tyrell, and the building around the ethos of a previous house that my parents bought. This included keeping much of the furniture and paintings from the original house and having the bedrooms on the ground floor below the main room. We have tried to keep the property as a unique holiday home celebrating its history and setting and avoided making it an anodyne place to stay. 

What is your favourite way to spend time at Lorelei?

Walking along the beach below the house – as there are only about 10 houses on our part of the Helford even in the height of summer it will be quiet. Also, time spent reading books especially about local history which we collect and keep in the bookcase. As Lorelei overlooks Frenchman’s Creek, this is always a firm favourite story to read!

What was the one thing that really made you fall in love with the property?

The view and private nature of the site despite it being very close to all the amenities. 

How would you best describe Helford River and Falmouth to someone who’s yet to visit?

Even when busy, Helford feels like a very special place that makes you want to return. The views, nature and colours are wonderful. This is all enhanced by having access to boats and canoes which means you can get to places that are not accessible by land.

Falmouth high street in comparison has great shopping, eating and a laid back feel – an example of what a decent high street ought to be. This is all enhanced by the beautiful beaches and wonderful views. 

What are your favourite places to visit in the local area that should not be missed by guests?

The gardens at Glendurgan, Trebah and Penjerrick – built by three Fox brothers and all wonderful in their own different ways. 

Falmouth as mentioned, is a fantastic place to visit for its independent shops, unique eateries and memorable views and local beaches. 

A visit to Penzance promises great restaurants, the Penlee Gallery and the Lido make for a fun day out. Make sure you take in Tremenhere Sculpture Gardens as part of the day trip. 

I also would recommend exploring Lankidden Cove – a mini Kynance Cove on the Lizard – you may need to Google its location as it’s difficult to find. You also must be quite active to go there but the sands and caves are worth the effort. Make sure you are there on a low tide!

What are your favourite places to eat in the local area?

Within walking distance of Lorelei I would highly recommend The Trengilly Wartha Pub, The Potager and Port Navas Yacht Club 

On the Helford I have always enjoyed the Ferry Boat Inn and The Shipwrights Arms 

And for days when a takeaway is preferred, woodfired pizzas cooked in the Slice Pizza Cornwall van are delicious and visit Constantine on a Saturday night.

Falmouth of course has lots of great restaurants so you can take your pick – but in season make sure you book. 

Who are some of your favourite Cornish artists/ makers?

Powder Thurburn. The fish over the lintel in the hall was his weathervane. Powder lived in the cottage at the head of Frenchman’s Creek (see map), which is now a National Trust rental property. He was a gentleman artist who rarely sold his paintings instead giving them away or bartering them to local friends. My grandmother was a friend of Powder and “acquired” a painting by making him a set of sails for a model boat he owned. Further information on Powder can be found in the book called “The Artist Who Loved Boats” 

Lincoln Kirby Bell, originally from Australia, is a ceramicist who works in Newlyn. His distinctive pots / bowls are all over Lorelei. Every holiday we invariably go and visit him and buy more of his work. 

What are your favourite Cornish brands?

Gear Farm Pasties who make organic pasties and were recently voted the best in Cornwall. If collecting, it makes for a great walk from Tremaine Quay, but they are well worth the drive to go and pick up as well

Kernow Sushimi – We have been buying our fish from the Bean family for years – they supply most of the famous fish restaurants in London and you cannot get bigger crabs when they are available!

Cornish Sea Salt – who needs Malden salt when we can have our own from the lizard? – based out of Constantine General stores, one of the largest off licenses in the UK. It is like walking into a Tardis for Alcohol and will always impress any guests when staying – 200 different gins anyone? 

And finally, how would you sum up a stay at Lorelei in three words?

What a view!