Posted by: marymarthatours | April 15, 2013

The Meudon Hotel, Mawnan Smith, Cornwall


When Martha and I sit down to plan each of our tours, one of our first tasks is to decide where we will stay for the two, three, or four nights we like to spend in each location.  Securing hotel space for 20 to 30 people has to be done well in advance, usually more than a year before our projected tour dates.

Thank goodness, our tour organizer, Jeff Hoag of Journeys with Jeff in Rochester, MN, takes care of getting price quotes and booking the space.  Martha and I get Jeff started by giving him a list of the two or three hotels in each location that we think would be most appropriate for our group.  In most cases, these hotel suggestions are located in the center of the town, close to interesting sights, shopping, dining, and transportation.

For our 2014 Spring Gardens of Cornwall & Devon Tour, however, we made a significant change in this pattern when we put the Meudon Hotel in Mawnan Smith as our priority choice for our stay in Cornwall.  As I mentioned in the previous blog, my husband and I stayed at the Meudon Hotel many years ago and loved it.  It was our home for the leisurely week that we spent exploring the area of Cornwall known as The Lizard.  Comfortable accommodations, great food, a wonderful staff, and THE GARDEN.


The hotel began life as a Victorian mansion incorporating two 300 year old coastguard cottages.  Since 1966, the 8.5 acre property has been owned, developed, and managed by the Pilgrim family with an number of generations now actively involved in the running of the hotel.  In addition to restoring the old house, the Pilgrims have added a new wing to bring the number of guest rooms to 29.  That newer wing overlooks the upper terraces of the garden, an area that ties the old and new buildings together.  Even if all you do is sit in one of the garden seats on the upper terrace, you will find yourself surrounded by beauty.


But my guess is that you will want to see this garden fully and that means a walk down the wooded valley all the way to the private beach on Bream Cove.  Originally created in 1815 by Robert Were Fox, the sub-tropical garden includes rare plants, shrubs, and trees “using specimens from the earliest RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) expeditions up the Yangtze and the Himalayas”.  Many of the giant Australian tree ferns came from Australia as ballast.  As the Meudon literature say, “They were planted in our valley while we were still sending prisoners over there”.  Now fully restored, the woodland garden will be a treat to explore and enjoy.

2050_1231Garden0034   IMG_6798

Last fall, the hotel planted hundreds of spring bulbs outside the restaurant windows.  They should be blooming for our visit to the Meudon in late April of 2014.  We’d love to have you join us to experience one of Cornwall’s loveliest hotels.  Contact us if you would like to be on the mailing list for the tour brochure, due out in mid-June 2013.

(by Mary)

Photo credits:  All photos from the Meudon Hotel, and used by permission.




  1. this looks wonderful! Jeri

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