Cornish Hotel in St Mawes
Sometimes city life engenders a desire to flee from city life, and sometimes you can never get quite far enough away from it. Luckily, the outermost extremities of Britain offer some bucolic retreats to salve away any urban irritations. In Cornwall, you encounter the beautiful: stunning seashores, enchanting gardens, hidden chapels, bustling working waterfronts, aesthetically-minded inhabitants, art galleries and the freshest seafood. It‘s easy to see why painters and poets have flocked down the peninsula for centuries in search of quietude and inspiration. Hotel Tresanton, perched in the idyllic seaside town of St Mawes, encapsulates these qualities, and offers tranquillity to its guests with an ineffably stylish hand.
Opened by famed hotelier Olga Polizzi, daughter to Lord Forte and sister to Sir Rocco Forte, Tresanton was originally a yachting club in the 1940s and has now grown to incorporate many of the surrounding buildings. Almost each of its 30 rooms boasts views of the English Channel, and all have been executed in unquestionably good taste. Valuing the chicness of vintage design over new-fangled amenities, the rooms have been painted in soothing, mellow hues and feature wooden floors, armchairs, desks and mullioned windows with perches from which one can look across the harbour to St Anthony‘s lighthouse. Falling asleep whilst listening to the crash of waves along the shore is just the therapy that you need if your ears are over accustomed to the squall of sirens and the braying of traffic, and though every room is equipped with wi-fi, taking a moment or two away from the omnipresence of technology can be restorative as well.
Opting for flatscreens with a DVD lending service in the lounge over pay-per-view is characteristic of this upmarket boutique hotel, as is the abundance of board games to entertain the children, and the various caches of novels interspersed throughout the building, with local writers like Daphne du Maurier and William Golding well represented. One of the most charming touches, however, is the Wellie lending library, where you can borrow a pair of boots for a jaunt into the beautiful surrounding countryside, either by taking a ferry over to St Anthony‘s Head or walking north along the peninsula to the Church of St Just in Roseland, a site of outstanding beauty.
Those looking for culinary nourishment will find it in spades at the restaurant. White washed with white tiles and servers donning white livery, one can draw aesthetic parallels to some of the more stylishly conceptual London restaurants, particularly St John. However, the gastronomy departs from any offal-based offerings, opting instead from the bounty of the nearby sea - with menu staples including local lobster, monkfish, brill, sole, cod and oysters. During the warmer seasons, breakfast and lunch is best enjoyed from the dining terrace wherein diners are encompassed by verdant gardens and breathtakingly beautiful vistas. Breakfast is a particularly standout experience - an omelette of smoked haddock and gruyere was the perfect beginning to the day, and great fuel for the vigorous walk to follow.