Last weekend, we headed out of London for a little birthday adventure… staying in a treehouse in Cornwall. A round, wooden, Ewok-style tree pod in fact, located in a forest clearing. It’s one of the craziest, cutest and coolest treehouses I have ever seen, and is certainly going to be one of the most memorable places I’ve ever stayed in.
By the time we arrived (thanks London for having crazy standstill traffic) it was dusk and the way to the treehouse could only be seen with a torch. I had that weird mixture of being thrilled and slightly terrified as we walked through the forest to where our weekend home was.
It was so quiet. Like proper quiet. You could hear the nearby stream and that was it. Both of our phones had died on the long drive which made it feel otherworldly somehow. We lit a camp fire, cooked some veggie sausages, and told some ghost stories until the darkness got the better of us!
Inside the treehouse, it’s like a wooden tent with a fireplace, a sink, seating that folds down to make the beds and a little shelf to put things on. It’s compact but cosy… and when we lay down we could look up through the see-through panels to the night sky above.
On waking up (well, if you don’t count being woken up by an owl in the middle of the night), the first thing I wanted to do was actually look at the tree pod as I felt like I hadn’t seen it properly… and then set up some birthday-ness in the forest. Turns out it’s hard lighting a birthday candle with matches that have sat outside all night!
We hadn’t brought coffee – and since my other half essentially runs on coffee – we went off in search of some. We drove to Charlestown (where we spotted Neptune) and had some caffeine, followed by fish and chips.
Then we had a little stroll around the harbour, watching the kids leaping into the water and pondering what it must be like to grow up such a water baby. And of course, the other half had to do a jump… always a sign that he’s had enough coffee!
From there, we were within quick driving distance of the Eden Project… so we headed there for the rest of the day, along with as it turns out a stadium’s worth of Motörhead fans. Yes, the ecological park and home to world’s largest indoor rainforest was also the stage for Motörhead that night. Which meant as we walked around, we heard occasional guitar solos and warm-ups as we wandered. Pretty cool even if neither of us could name a Motörhead tune.
With this odd mix, I’d rather fallen in love with the Eden Project – which reminded me of Jurassic World without the dinosaurs – and that was before we’d even explored the indoor rainforest.
Unsurprisingly, it’s hot inside… like in a rainforest hot. But it’s also pretty cool. Everywhere you turn there’s something to learn, something to look at, something to be a little bit awestruck by. Did you know that ferns are one of the first ever plants? Essentially, they’re dino plants. (I have a newfound respect for them now.)
Every corner had another surprise… I was rather taken with these Studio Ghibli style carvings.
But the biggest surprise was this plant… The titan arum (aka corpse flower) is a spectacular AND stinky flower that only opens for about 48 hours. It attracts pollinating insects by basically smelling like a dead thing! It hadn’t flowered when we were there (maybe not a bad thing) but had grown massively overnight. All I could think of was the plant in Little Shop of Horrors!
And of course no trip is complete without posing with a giant tyre… there’s also a giant spade for those of you who prefer spades!
As if the giant tyre wasn’t American enough, we discovered Mimi’s vintage diner on the drive back to our treehouse. It’s a real 1950s American diner which was shipped from New Jersey to the UK… from the tunes to the food and even the dresses the waitresses wear, it felt wonderfully authentic. Which added to the ‘where are we again?’ feeling.
Inside, all the little details are so much fun… especially this collection of novelty phones. I was smitten with the French fry phone in particular. I don’t have a home phone but I now want one so I can get one of these.
And anywhere that serves a root beer float in a watermelon glass is always going to get my vote. The food was delicious too – hot dogs, chilli corn and milkshakes – all freshly made. A good pit stop before heading home to light another fire, barbecue more food, and watch bats flit about as the light faded.
And then all too soon, it was our last morning at our treehouse… which meant we had to get every possible photo of it we could. Of course.
Just as we were leaving, we spotted some Highland cows just sitting at the side of the road. I was so surprised that I made us stop the car. Who knew Cornwall had Heeland Coos?!
On the drive home, we knew we were going to pass Stonehenge… so rather than stop at a service station to break up the drive, we went here. Possibly the most scenic coffee stop I have ever had. And so much more fun than a Little Chef!
As we were leaving, we passed around 30 people dressed as druids, with drums and a Lord of the Rings style horn, off to celebrate/worship the summer solstice. It was somehow a fitting ending to a weird and wonderful weekend.
It was such a short weekend (with so much driving) and I couldn’t help but wish we’d had another day or two… but then, as we drove back into London, the skies turned pink and purple as if saying welcome back. This city knows how to keep a girl’s heart…