Perhaps you’ll agree the idea of spending a night in a prison cell might not necessarily sound like a good one? So, when Andrew Mogford suggested we do just that, little did we know quite what an experience those of us brave enough to sign up for our ‘Cornish Jail Break’ were in for.
Our overnight stay in Cornwall commenced at The Dutchy of Cornwall Nursery, where Joe Sharples kindly arranged exclusive use of their delightful tepee for a hearty brunch; quite delicious and all locally sourced.
Next, a drive to the picturesque village of Charlestown known for its 18th Century Georgian harbour, a UNESCO world heritage site. Entering Charlestown, we were transported back in time, our Astons causing quite a stir as we were given the honour of being permitted to park together down by the harbour walls. A brisk walk back up the hill to the church, we met Lyndon a fourth generation local, for a humorous, and very informative guided history tour, following which it was time to head off to Bodmin Jail where our cells for the night awaited!
At this point perhaps, we should explain that Bodmin Jail has recently undergone restoration into a unique luxury hotel where Manager, Philip Warden and his staff were waiting to make us feel welcome. Philip, (whose appropriate name wasn’t lost on us) has fond memories of his own family connection to Aston Martin, which he kindly regaled during a champagne and canape reception before we dined in their flagship restaurant; fine dining served in the uniquely refurbished chapel under a dramatic light show of The Sistine Chapel.
Like most old prisons the jail has a dark history, situated on the edge of the moor there are stories to tell and history to reflect on so the following morning, after a comfortable night, we visited the adjacent ‘Jail Experience Attraction’ before being released for good behaviour!
Some headed homeward, however six cars chose to follow a costal route to Rick Stein’s ‘Cornish Arms’ for lunch. Thanks to Richard Pinkett who kindly planned the route albeit Deborah took a bit of a detour – she’s blaming Satnavs!!! All in all, the trip was a resounding success, a pleasure also to be joined by Barry and Mandy from Area 22 and to have had the opportunity to spend time together.