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"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough for me."

C.S. Lewis

The Reading Party

Do you dream of getting away from it all and just curling up somewhere quiet with a good book? The Reading Party may be just what you're looking for. 

Read With No Distractions

The Reading Party is an opportunity for you to relax and read away from the pressures of everyday life. Our cottages occupy a quiet rural location where the only significant noise comes from the dawn chorus. You don't even have to think about cooking. All of your meals will be provided, along with snacks and copious quantities of tea and coffee to fuel your reading.

Explore the Area

Middle Colenso Farm is located in the far west of Cornwall just a couple of miles from beautiful Prussia Cove and the South West Coast Path. Marazion, Penzance, St Ives and the Land's End Peninsula are all within easy striking distance by car. 

Meet Fellow Bookworms

There's no pressure to mix or take part in activities but The Reading Party is an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow booklovers.  

Enjoy the surroundings

The three cottages are decorated in a modern-rustic style and filled with mid-century and Scandinavian design. They are nestled in sub-tropical gardens where there are plenty of quiet reading spots as well as a pétanque court and Pilates studio if you're feeling more energetic. Guests will also have access to the barn, a convivial communal space with a large library and open fire.  



I'm Christen, avid reader, former bookseller, collector of vintage Penguin books and owner of Middle Colenso Farm. 

Like C.S. Lewis, I love nothing more than sitting down for a few hours with a big cup of tea, a good book and no distractions but it's rare that I manage it. There's always something to do - an email to answer, a job to finish or a meal to cook. That's why I created The Reading Party. It's an opportunity to read away from the demands of home and work. 


The idea goes back almost 30 years to when I was at university. It was a tradition for the history students at my college to attend a reading party in the Easter vacation before their final exams. We stayed in a beautiful old house in north Cornwall, attended seminars in the morning and evening and spent the rest of the day exploring the surrounding area. It's lodged in my memory, partly because it was my first proper introduction to Cornwall but also because it was such terrific fun. 

This Reading Party will be a far more relaxed affair. We will come together at meal times and there will be opportunities for group discussion but the rest of the time you'll be free to read, explore or just relax in your surroundings. Each of the cottages has its own selection of books and you'll also have access to the barn, once a semi-derelict outbuilding but now my own little library, complete with open fire and comfortable seating. 


I will be present thoughout the retreat to make sure you have everything you need and facilitate any book chats. Nothing will be compulsory but I will provide you with a reading list featuring some of my favourite books set in Cornwall. Feel free to bring any books you'd like to read or share with the rest of the group.

The Details

The Reading Party includes four night's accommodation in one of our three holiday cottages at Middle Colenso Farm. You can find out more about each of them here.


My friend Helen, who is a wonderful cook, will be in charge of the kitchen, rustling up delicious home-cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners made from fresh, local ingredients. There will be a Cornish cream tea waiting for you in your cottage when you arrive. Snacks and hot and cold drinks will also be provided. Alcohol is BYO.​ Please note that we will be eating together in the dining room of The Old Granary.

I am a fully-qualified Pilates teacher and will be offering classes for those of you who are interested. 

There is plenty of parking on site but Middle Colenso Farm is six miles from Penzance if you prefer to arrive by train. We can collect you from the station by pre-arrangement.

Dates & Prices

Arrival time is from 3pm on Thursday and check out is before 10am on Monday but it may be possible to extend your stay depending on other bookings in the cottages. Ask me about availability and pricing if you're interested. 

All rooms are single occupancy although some bathrooms are shared. Please let me know your preference and I will try my best to accommodate you.

Autumn Reading Party October 3rd to 7th 2024

This is now fully booked. Please contact me if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

Spring Reading Party March 6th to 9th 2025

Smugglers Lane

One-bedroom cottage with ensuite bathroom £1,250 - RESERVED

Carter’s Croft

Two-bedroom cottage

Double room, shared bathroom £925 - RESERVED

Twin room, shared bathroom £850 - RESERVED


The Old Granary

Three-bedroom cottage

One room with double bed and ensuite shower room bathroom £975 - RESERVED

Twin room, shared bathroom £850 

Bunk room, shared bathroom £825 - RESERVED 

Autumn Reading Party October 2nd to 6th 2025

Smugglers Lane

One-bedroom cottage with ensuite bathroom £1,250 

Carter’s Croft

Two-bedroom cottage

Double room, shared bathroom £925 

Twin room, shared bathroom £850 


The Old Granary

Three-bedroom cottage

One room with double bed and ensuite shower room bathroom £975 

Twin room, shared bathroom £850 

Bunk room, shared bathroom £825 

How to book

We require a 20% deposit to reserve your place and our usual booking terms and conditions apply. You can find out more here. ​

To book your place or for more information email or call Christen on 07932 625144.

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