We spent yesterday travelling down to Cornwall, to see St. Michael’s Mount, an island off the coast near Penzance.  The castle on the island has been the home of the St. Aubyn family since the 17th century.  The family donated the property to the National Trust in 1954.

The island is accessible by causeway at low tide, and boat at other times.

After traversing the short distance by boat, and before attempting the climb up the hillside, we fortified ourselves with a lovely lunch at The Sail Loft, the restaurant at the base of the hill.  Our experience with restaurants operated by the National Trust lead us to anticipate delicious food, freshly prepared with local ingredients, and we were not disappointed.

The piping hot crab bisque was made with a tomato base and was crammed with crab.  The imaginative lamb tagine was a hearty portion made with chickpeas and served over couscous.  We decided to forgo having one of the sumptuous home-made cakes in favour of a cream tea later in the day.

The dairy sits at the bottom of the climb up the mountain.  Recently refurbished, it has leaded glass windows and a tile roof.

We  then set off up the footpath along beautiful gardens on every side, coming at last to the entrance of the castle.

We had a wonderful day exploring the island. The views from the terraces are breathtaking. Both the house and church have many examples of beautiful stained glass windows.

Unusually, we were permitted to take pictures inside, and discovered a surprisingly comfortable looking family home. The sitting room is very cosy, and the more recently added blue drawing room is light and elegant.

We completed our tour of the castle, and reluctantly made our way back down the hill. Finding the causeway still somewhat under water, we refreshed ourselves with scones, jam, rich Cornwall cream and a cup of tea at the cafe before setting off for the walk back. Altogether a wonderful day.