Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Rock Show; the Cottages Come with State-of-the-Art Infinity Pools, the Local Vineyard Makes World-Class Fizz and the Sloanes Look So Lovely in Their Bikinis - It's No Wonder That the Princes Just Love to Party in Rock, Says Gavanndra Hodge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Rock Show; the Cottages Come with State-of-the-Art Infinity Pools, the Local Vineyard Makes World-Class Fizz and the Sloanes Look So Lovely in Their Bikinis - It's No Wonder That the Princes Just Love to Party in Rock, Says Gavanndra Hodge

Article excerpt

Byline: Gavanndra Hodge

The Rock show The cottages come with state-of-the-art infinity pools, the local vineyard makes world-class fizz and the Sloanes look so lovely in their bikinis - it's no wonder that the Princes just love to party in Rock, says Gavanndra Hodge The north Cornish coast has always attracted our more extrovert Royals. According to legend it was here, at Tintagel, that King Arthur made merry with his minstrels and damsels. And just half an hour's drive away is Rock, where the future king, William, has been known to let his hair down at beach barbecues with his Old Etonian pals.

The area's appeal is easy to fathom, with its wide white-gold strands, energetic North Atlantic surf and dramatic golf courses. For the modern Royal, there is the added bonus of anonymity, for Rock is not your average seaside resort. There are just two main streets: Rock Road, with a Spar and the popular deli Di's Dairy and Pantry; and the traffic-clogged seafront, with a couple of shops selling beach gear and the Mariners pub, where Prince Harry has been known to press his face against the glass to amuse the blondes parading in their bikinis.

The real action takes place behind the walls of the wildly expensive real estate - some of the costliest in the world. When the Princes visited they stayed in a private house owned by the parents of school friends, but I bet that their accommodation wasn't half as swish as the cottage where my husband and I were holed up. We were staying at CK Rock, an old farmhouse just renovated by British banker Charlie Berman, co-founder of the brokerage firm Amias Berman & Co. Everything has been done to the very highest spec, from the fully integrated sound system, piping music into every room, to the beautiful slate floor. Adjacent to the cottage is Berman's own newly built holiday pile, and shared between the two properties is an oval infinity pool overlooking the Camel Estuary, with an articulated cover that emerges from the bottom of the pool at the push of a button, and a Jacuzzi sending up plumes of steam. There is also a marble-clad shower block (no sandy feet in the house, please) and a man cave where Berman keeps his fleet of shiny vehicles. If Batman built a holiday house in Cornwall, this would be it.

Prince William, with his love of fast motorbikes, would feel right at home, as would Kate, busy heating up ready-made pizzas in the new state-of-the-art Rayburn. In fact, as I was nosing through a cupboard containing every board game imaginable and a cache of sunhats, I came upon a well-loved cap with the insignia WILLS. For a moment I thought I might be holding the royal headgear. But further inspection revealed this to be a clever branding exercise by the surfing Sloane's fashion label of choice - Jack Wills.

We visited in June, just prior to the end of the school term, so there weren't many Sloanes surfing, and, apparently, the days of braying packs of drunken publicschool children cavorting in the dunes, Skins-style, are long gone, dispersed by a combination of local outcry and police clampdown. …

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