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Review of Little White Alice, Cornwall

Posted by at 02:13 on Friday 24 June 2011

>> For contact details and to check availability, see our full listing of: Little White Alice.

Little White Alice is a newly built complex of six luxury self catering holiday cottages in Cornwall with a natural swimming pool in 25 acres of land...

The centrepiece natural swimming pool. Photo: Tom WattsThe centrepiece natural swimming pool. Photo: Tom WattsThe accommodation
In the short period of time that Little White Alice has been open, owners Rosie and Simon have done much to create a small slice of heaven high up in the Cornish countryside. The minute you arrive you'll be struck by how removed you feel from civilisation, overlooking green fields on all directions with not a single car in earshot. There are five (soon to be six) houses in total, all centred around a natural swimming pool and lowered fire pit. On one side are the Ash, Birch and Willow houses. These sleep between 2 and 4 people and are all modern yet cosy, and it seems everywhere you look you'll find a window that overlooks an ocean of green. Each cottage has its own personality, particularly Birch House, with the spiral staircase that leads up to the main sitting area showcasing an altogether innovative use of space. Also, the sleeping loft and private garden of Willow House make for a truly romantic hideaway for couples.

Willow House's cosy sleeping loft. photo: Tom WattsWillow House's cosy sleeping loft. photo: Tom WattsOn the opposite side of the natural pool, Oak and Hazel houses are decidedly larger and more luxurious. Oak House boastsan in-wall double sided wood burning stove and massive conservatory windows that look out over the private garden, while Hazel House has wide French doors that open out onto private decking. Both kitchens have been beautifully designed, using oak and cedar wood to full effect. Climbing the oak and glass staircases will lead you to modern bedrooms with impossibly cavernous ceilings, huge beds and luxurious ensuite bathrooms.
The activities
The outdoor natural swimming pool looks so good I regret not having packed my swimming trunks for my visit. Surrounded on all sides by gorgeous countryside, it is truly an idyllic spot for a relaxing swim and is soon to be joined by a wood burner hot tub. What's more, this is a licensed wedding venue and Rosie and Simon themselves recently wed under the green oak arbour next to the pool and are in the process of cultivating a nature reserve which you'll be able to walk around and, eventually, through. They've also just built a little wildlife pond where kids can hunt for frogs and other creepy crawlies, plus they work in partnership with Rachel Lambert, who offers a selection of wild foraging walks where you'll learn all about the edible and medicinal plants that grow in the local area.
Little White Alice are also extremely lucky to have Stithians Lake just a short walk away. Offering everything from sailing and windsurfing to kayaking, it's also going to become a bike hire centre in the near future. Before that happens, you can hire bikes from Porthleven cycle hire and they'll deliver them directly to Little White Alice. Many walking and cycling paths converge nearby, making it a great place for hiking and biking, plus it takes very little time to reach many of Cornwall's beautiful beaches - head south if you want to try your hand at sailing, or north if you'd like to surf.
The food
Rosie and Simon provide a welcome hamper that varies depending on when you arrive but it can include beer, local bread, local milk and butter or even Cornish Bee Farm honey sourced from bees living only one mile away that you just might spot flying over Little White Alice's land. You can also get fresh, organic produce delivered from the Cornish Food Market. Soon enough, you'll even be able to pick fruit and veg from the veg garden in return for a small donation. Only a short walk from Little White Alice you'll find the award-winning Golden Lion pub, which boasts log fires, gardens overlooking Stithians Lake, and some fantastic local dishes.
Little White Alice's beautiful stone cottages. Photo: Tom WattsLittle White Alice's beautiful stone cottages. Photo: Tom WattsWhat makes Little White Alice green
Little White Alice's green credentials are just as impressive as the beautiful rural setting. As well as recycling, there are composting bins under every sink and larger bins next to the vegetable garden. Impressively, all of their water is sourced from their own borehole and a reed bed sewage system channels excess water down into Stithians Lake. The solar panels dotted around go some way towards providing the cottages with hot water and there are wood burners throughout. The combination of ground source heating and efficient insulation in the Oak and Hazel houses mean they stay toasty warm despite their size, even in winter and you'll no doubt notice the wind turbine towering just beyond the houses.

All of the soaps and toiletries are handmade and locally sourced and the artworks and furnishings that give each house so much character are created by local artists and craftsmen. Local wildlife is encouraged - the roof of Ash House is home to a purpose built Barn Owl House and there's also a bat loft. The vegetable and herb gardens, which are currently under construction, will soon supply guests with food and there are also plans of bringing in chickens and pigs in the near future. Impressively, Rosie and Simon plant a tree for every visitor to offset their journey - these correspond to whichever house you stay in and are planted in a nearby 2-acre woodland area. 
How to get there
Take the train from London to Redruth (just past St Austell), which should take around 4 and a half hours. Little White Alice is around 5 miles, a short taxi ride, away.
Top tip
Wake up early and take a relaxing dip in the natural swimming pool, particularly impressive if it's a clear morning and you can look out over the rolling fields. Next, wander down to Stithians Lake and try your hand at one of the many water sports on offer. Depending on how late it is, sample some award-winning food at the Golden Lion before heading back and relaxing with the family in front of an open fire in the lowered fire pit. 
Verdict 
Spend a few days here and you'll find it hard to come back to civilisation. Having only been open for business for a few months, Rosie and Simon may still be in the process of planting and building but there's already so many reasons to visit. With Stithians Lake and so many great opportunities for walking and cycling nearby you could easily fill your days with adventure, although, with that natural pool and those views, I wouldn't blame you for doing absolutely nothing.
An ocean of green. photo: Tom WattsAn ocean of green. photo: Tom Watts >> For contact details and to check availability, see our full listing of: Little White Alice

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Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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