Craving crisp white linen, exquisite service and a touch of glamour? We’ve handpicked five of the best grand hotels by the sea in Devon and Cornwall
The Royal Duchy Hotel, Falmouth
A visit to the restaurant at The Royal Duchy (pictured above) presents a winning mix of beautifully cooked British and Med-inspired dishes served with a panoramic coastal backdrop.
Chandeliers, fresh flowers and crisp linen might suggest formality, but the vibe at The Duchy is warm and welcoming. The hotel’s champagne bar is the most glamorous spot in the house in which to pull up a stool and sip a well-made classic before heading in to dinner, although on warm evenings, there’s nowhere to match the sub-tropical paradise of The Terrace for pre-dinner drinks.
Woolacombe Bay Hotel, north Devon
This attractive seaside hotel in Woolacombe may look like a grand dame from the outside, but inside she’s quirky and creative with lots of appealing attractions.
Foodies will enjoy the interplay between the epic seascape (it overlooks one of England’s most stunning beaches) and the opulent surroundings at Doyle’s, the beautiful restaurant where head chef Eduard Grecu marries classic British cooking with continental flair. Beyond the vaulted ceilings, columns and chandeliers of the impressive dining room more treats await: a comfortable bar, indoor pool and spa, a large ballroom and a fabulous cinema which delights with its early 20th century Hollywood glamour. Forget cola and popcorn – this is leather seats and cocktails territory.
Carlyon Bay, St Austell
From its stately position on the headland overlooking St Austell Bay, Carlyon Bay Hotel is a charming base for anyone who wants to explore the south coast of Cornwall.
The elegant hotel’s spectacular location provides a sweeping backdrop to lunch or dinner in the Art Deco-style Bay View Restaurant, where head chef Paul Leakey crafts artfully executed modern European menus from the freshest local produce. Free golf, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and lavish spa facilities complete the escapist adventure.
The Riviera Hotel and Restaurant, Sidmouth
This grand hotel on Sidmouth’s esplanade offers wonderful English seaside views and smart two-AA rosette dining.
Attention to detail is the defining characteristic of chef Martin Osedo’s modern British menus, while the hotel’s heritage adds traditional appeal. Not only has The Riviera Hotel been run by the Wharton family for over four decades, the seafood on its menu is supplied by a third-generation local fishing family.
Get into the glamorous spirit of the place by sipping a cocktail in the Regency Bar or linger over a lunch of classic dishes out on the sunny terrace. With echoes of the South of France and a prime position on the seafront, The Riviera makes an elegant base from which to explore Sidmouth, a resort described by John Betjeman as ‘a town caught still in timeless charm’. Read more.
The Nare Hotel, Veryan-in-Roseland
The charmingly traditional family-run hotel sits right on the beach and is a fabulous gastronomic destination for foodies keen to indulge in Cornish produce crafted with flair.
The nautical themed Quarterdeck Restaurant holds two AA rosettes and is renowned for its fresh seafood and succulent locally reared beef. Dine indoors amid sailboat imagery or head out to the deck for lunch in the sun. Alternatively, The Nare Dining Room presents a classic fine dining experience that’s a traditional delight thanks to silver service, the hors d’oeuvres trolley, guéridon and flambé service. This is just the spot to feast on lobster pulled from the waters beyond the hotel. Read more.
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