Nemo brings luxe, bespoke travel itineraries to 2021 summer getaway seekers
Experience the ultimate British staycation with the bespoke travel agency
We have been told in no uncertain terms that summer 2021 is the summer of ‘the great British staycation’, and I was lucky enough to test drive a boutique travel concierge agency that are leading the pack when it comes to bespoke travel - be it to distant shores, or venturing no further than our own.
Nemo provides tailor-made itineraries that are guided by the client’s specific tastes, interests and wishes: currently all done manually by their small and passionate travel-savvy team, but with a plan in place to gradually supplement their expertise with cutting-edge AI technology.
After a short phone call with Nemo’s friendly CEO, Tom, in which I described my ideal staycation (sea, bikes, great food), the team came back with a complete itinerary for a four-night trip kicking off in Bude, at a seaside hotel perched on the Cornish coast, and moving onto Dartmoor, where an exceptionally chic family-run guest house awaited us.
With Nemo having made all our arrangements, from securing our hotel and restaurant bookings to creating tailor-made cycle itineraries (complete with pub stops along the way), there was nothing left for us to do than pack our cycling shorts and swimsuits, for good measure. Our seaside arrival at The Beach At Bude was met with a wicker hamper filled with edible goodies, including delectable local cheeses and chutneys, all to be washed down with a crisp bottle of bubbly that hit just the spot after an afternoon of travelling.
Well-rested and eager to hit the road on our bikes, the next morning we followed the route planned especially for us: the perfect combination of challenging climbs and euphoric down-hills, rugged cliff tops and speedy flat roads, with panoramic ocean views to boot. Feeling rather smug after our 20km jaunt, we happily settled in for the evening at Temple.
Starting with a bottle of organic rosé on their rooftop where we basked in the evening light and soaked in the majestic, uninterrupted ocean views, we eventually moved downstairs to the elegantly designed restaurant which serves a daily-changing, two-course set menu starring locally-caught fish and seasonal produce.
The following day we were woken early by pale blue skies and blazing sunshine, so we headed straight for the next stop on our itinerary: Daymer Bay - a stunning beach, regularly voted among the most beautiful on the continent, that at low tide forms long stretches of golden sand backed by dunes from Daymer Bay to Rock.
A day of pure bliss followed: setting up our blankets and parasols in the sand, cracking open some cool drinks, and soaking up the sun for hours on end, interspersed by refreshing sea dips. As late afternoon approached, we headed for a sublime late lunch at Paul Ainsworth’s renowned Cornish outpost, The Mariners, where we tucked into delicious, fresh-off-the-boat fish and Aperol spritzes, all before hitting the road towards Dartmoor for the second part of our getaway.
From the sunny beaches of Cornwall we headed towards the luscious green hills of Dartmoor, where mythical serpentine roads led us to Weeke Barton: a Grade 2 Listed house, made of stone and cob, with elevated, stylish interiors (think muted tones with occasional bursts of colour, exposed beams, and granite fireplaces).
Nestled in the Teign Valley with its rolling hills, woodland and pastures, and run by a dynamite husband-wife duo who seem to befriend every guest who comes through their doors, generously offering local tips over breakfast as we tucked into home-made granola, this spot was truly a hidden oasis. The following two days here left us under no illusions that the Nemo team had once again struck gold and ticked all our boxes: excellent cycling, wild swimming, and locally sourced feasts to tuck into at the end of long, active days.
So, as we eagerly await the moment of jetting off to lands afar once again, this getaway reminded me of how glorious our very own British isles are, and with the help of luxury concierge travel agencies like Nemo crafting bespoke itineraries to surprise and delight at every turn, now is surely the moment to check out the trend.