"Cornwall has long been a special place for our family and, in many ways, is at its best in winter," he says. "Head there with the summer crowds and you’ll feel disappointed if you don’t get endless sunshine. But visit in winter, and you go prepared for moody skies and craggy, windswept beaches. And, if Cornwall surprises you with brilliant blue skies and crisp, sparkling sunshine, it feels like the most wonderful bonus."
John’s favourite place to stay is the Tresanton Hotel, which exudes quiet, considered luxury.
It’s owned by Olga Polizzi who, as the daughter of the late Lord Forte, has impeccable hotelier credentials. Her innate sense of hospitality and style shine through in rooms that deftly mix Cornish style with a more sophisticated, Mediterranean mood. Tongue and groove walls, nautical stripes and cosy firesides dovetail with the flash of azure mosaics and mid-century design shapes.
"There’s nothing ostentatious about Tresanton Hotel," adds John. "But you feel immediately at home – and totally relaxed. It's a true treat."
Alternatively, scout around for a traditional Cornish holiday cottage. Try Unique Home Stays or Cornish Gems for starters. Then prepare to be charmed by all that’s wonderful about the coastline in its full blustery, uncrowded winter glory.
And for food...
Emma shared with us their absolute favourite – the restaurant at The St Mawes Hotel with plump sofas, a warming woodburner and fantastic views. "A cream tea by the fireside, or an early supper followed by a film at their 'secret' cinema are our winter-time treats," she says.