The Wind Down With Freyja Ducker
Aside from the incredible sea views, beautifully painted sitting room complete with cosy fire and a sofa that pulls you in and begs you to nap, what The Sandy Duck B&B in Falmouth really offers is a sense of home.
Step into any one of the impeccably designed eight bedrooms and you’ll find yourself diving into the bed, making a cup of tea, gazing out of the window or if you’re lucky, running a luxurious bath.
We spoke to owner Freyja Ducker about her own home comforts, wind down routine and how she created such a haven out of The Sandy Duck.
The Sandy Duck has 8 rooms and definitely has that cosy, homely vibe. How important was it for you to make it feel like a home, rather than a hotel?
I knew I wanted to create a place that made people feel comfy and relaxed, but also cared for in an unobtrusive way. I believe the people who come to stay with us want to have an experience where they’re staying somewhere that is more special than their home but don’t want to be hovered over.
I wanted to offer 5* service within a place people could feel relaxed enough to walk around in their slippers if they wanted to. Especially now, it’s really important for people to feel like they’ve a real break even if just for one night. Down time is so hard to come by but it’s so important for our mental health.
Freyja sleeps in Classic Cotton in Rose
You live in an apartment at the bottom of your B&B – how do you separate work life and home life when it’s in the same space?
It’s difficult! Sometimes you have to be in both places. I’m so lucky to genuinely love what I do, but it’s an ongoing learning curve for me. I think any business owner goes through the same process where you have to put your faith in your business and your staff to allow you to have a break from it.
It can be easy to burn out and also to not be able to see the wood for the trees when you’re so involved and then you are no use to yourself or your business. It’s a balance that I’m sure many are trying to find in their life.
There’s an element of faith involved but also picking your team well. I’m lucky that I have an incredible team who not only make my business life easier but who I value as friends too.
Freyja with Rhubarb the Border Terrier
What are some of the coolest or strangest things you’ve experienced running a B&B?
Definitely the people: wonderful people, interesting people and definitely some strange ones too. You witness people in quite a relaxed state with all their little quirks. I love it when you notice someone who seems very serious and grown up bring their teddy bears with them.
We once had a writer stay with us for a while – he was finishing his autobiography and had had the most incredibly interesting life working in medicine and fronting an initiative to promote vaccinations in a developing country.
It’s really nice to share in people’s experiences and get to know them. The people are who make each day a little adventure and I am thankful for that, we would be nothing without them (even the difficult ones).
A special guest at The Sandy Duck in Falmouth
What are some of your favourite other B&B’s in the UK?
So many! And so many i would love to visit but need to find the time (the curse of the hotelier). I try to find places who have a similar outlook on hospitality to me, nothing overbearing or fancy but beautiful and relaxed. You can always tell even from the first page of a website which places have a heart beating behind them.
- Dun Aluinn, Aberfeldy, Scotland
- Coed Mawr Hall, North Wales
- Ballintaggart, Grandtully, Scotland
- Chapel House, Penzance, Cornwall
- Kilmartin Castle, Kilmartin Glen, Scotland
- The Rectory, Wiltshire
- The Gallivant, Rye, East Sussex
- The Wild Rabbit, Kingham
Freyja Ducker - owner of The Sandy Duck in Falmouth
Do you have a favourite corner of the B&B that you like to cosy up in when guests aren’t around?
Definitely the window seats in Bedrooms 7 & 8 – every time I go into those rooms the views still make me sigh with happiness.
When we were closed during the first lockdown I spent some good time up there. It’s especially great on a windy rainy day as you feel like you’re in an insulated pod of warmth and cosiness, looking out to the wild landscape and iron grey sea.
We’ve recently gutted bedroom 7 to be reopened in early 2021. But the thing I’m most excited about is the copper bath we have going in.
What’s one thing that always makes you feel at home?
My dog Rhubarb, she’s the best!
What do you have on your bedside table?
Whatever book I am reading and water – you can never drink too much water!
One of the light and spacious rooms at Freyja's B&B
Do you have a ritual that helps you wind down?
A long hot shower always calms me. After a long day it just gives you time to relax and unwind. It’s also impossible to bring any technology with you which in this day and age is a blessing. I love getting into clean sheets and one must be clean to make the most of this!
If you could choose one person to help you drift off to sleep, who would it be?
If David Attenborough could read me a bedtime story I reckon that would be pretty good!
What does a weekend of relaxing look like for you?
When I get them I love exploring Cornwall with my family. I’m so lucky to live in such an incredible part of Cornwall and all my family have moved here too. There’s always more to explore. If we can sneak a wonderful lunch in that then I am in heaven.
Freyja's Lie-In List
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Papillon by Henri Charrière
Audible! I love Audio books currently totally addicted to Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry!
Charlotte Day Wilson
Unabomber - Manhunt
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