I’ll come clean. I love Cornwall.
It’s a ludicrous obsession I know, living in Leeds.
It’s miles. Approximately 385 miles from mid Cornwall to Leeds in fact. When the kids were young, travelling down in the school holidays, it could often take 10 hours. The A30 is a tough mistress.
But it holds a special place in our family’s heart – magical camping holidays where the sun shone and the rain hammered and we didn’t care. Families and camping holidays are about as good as it gets in my book (as long as there’s somewhere to plug in the straighteners for J).
In recent times we’ve started to enjoy a more sophisticated relationship with Cornwall: anniversary trips to Padstow and new year visits to eco lodges in Porthtowan (all good, by the way). I still hanker after the laid back camping fun at Rose Hill and I’m sure we’ll all do that again.
This year’s wedding anniversary wasn’t quite the big one, but we;re getting close to being married for a quarter of a century and that in itself is a cause for celebration in my book (what isn’t?). J had seen a stylish looking hotel in a magazine and I decided to book a weekend there as a surprise.
The Scarlet Hotel is situated on a clifftop overlooking the ocean in North Cornwall in the village of Mawgan Porth. It’s a wonderful location. The hotel itself is relatively new – less than a year – and is modernistic in its design but chilled out at its heart. Imagine Norwegian cool meets Californian relaxed. We spent a weekend there recently and were blown away by everything from the service to the location, from the design to the food, from the art to the super friendly hotel dog, Casper.
It looks amazing too. Wood fired hot tubs can be hired to sip champagne whilst watching the sun go down, exotic spa treatments are available for all manner of modern ailment (and booked well in advance, please note) but the thing that strikes is the space, the quiet, the design and the consideration of the hotel and its relationship to the Cornish landscape.
One moment did make me smile. As I eagerly unpacked my iPad, I searched for the wireless access code in the hotel guide. I discovered that they had made a conscious decision NOT to install wireless after thinking about it long and hard. The Scarlet is about relaxation and escape – and you know what, after a nanosecond of disappointment, the lack of wireless (and mobile signal) was in fact liberating. Just what I needed. In fact, just what we both needed.
Highly, highly, highly recommended.
PS – My top tip would be to fly to Newquay airport and don’t bother with a car: there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a long weekend without getting on the road. That’s what I’ll do next time we go.