Location: Contemporary style on the Cornish coast
Perfect for: Cream teas and dramatic coastal walks
An award-winning eco hotel in pretty Mawgan Porth, with chic modern comforts, cliff-top hot tubs, a spa, an infinity pool, and their very own dog for you to take for walks along the beach. It’s boutique-y but with a conscience; …
“What’s an eco hotel?” Monsieur 2 enquires as our super-green bio-fuelled hybrid taxi whizzes piously along the A3059. “You’ve not booked us into an economy hotel have you?” he demands, wrinkling his nose.
“Perish the thought!” I reply, wounded, “eco as in ecological, silly. Green. Environmentally-friendly. At one with nature. Boutique-y but with a conscience.”
“Sounds a bit hippy to me,” he scoffs. I roll my eyes and sigh – it’s going to be one of those days.
Happily, though, when we arrive in Mawgan Porth and see our hotel perched high above us on the cliff, Monsieur 2 quickly eats his words. “Oh that looks fabulous!” he cries. I turn away, trying to conceal my smug expression.
Entering the lobby, we’re both immediately captivated – a huge picture window looks out onto an infinity pool, seemingly flowing into the sea far below, and the beautiful golden sweep of Bedruthan beach. We drop our bags and rush forward to take in the view.
A staff member comes out to greet us; there’s no reception desk, instead we’re invited to relax on one of the vivid colourful sofas while the formalities are completed.
En route to our room we’re given a guided tour, noting the bar (always important), the restaurant (likewise) and, to our great pleasure, the spa and swimming pool – I silently congratulate myself for remembering to pack our trunks.
Our room is true to its classification, ‘Just Right’; not huge, but a comfortable size which feels larger for having an open-plan raised bathroom. Patio doors open onto our own small terrace and the rugged garden that winds down towards the beach.
As I settle into one of the cute bucket chairs to familiarise myself with the hotel guide, Monsieur 2 searches in vain for the tea tray. “Hang on” I call out, “it’s here on page 9 – no tea trays in the room ‘to ensure quality’. We can have complimentary tea and coffee in the bar and a tea tray if we really, really want one.”
“Well I really, really want one,” he counters, so I call reception. It takes quite a while to arrive and in the meantime I find further examples of the hotel being a bit preachy about their values; TV watching is discouraged, for a start. It’s great that they care for our well-being, but we’ll decide what’s good for us, thanks.
Swimming is definitely good for us so we pop on our trunks, throw a bathrobe over the top and stroll upstairs to the pool. It’s a lovely temperature and very tranquil.
“Beautiful view!” Monsieur 2, gazing out of the picture window, observes; it’s a moment before I realise he’s talking about the tousle-haired groundsman tending to the outdoor hot-tubs.
After a session in the steam room and a while chilling out on the relaxation terrace, we head back to our room and open a bottle of wine.
There’s a lovely secluded bench halfway down the cliff; we claim it as our own and smooch as the sun goes down.
Dinner in the chic, modern restaurant is just made for two – each course features one sharing dish as well as individual options. Our starter is an excellent coarse ham hock terrine served with pickled vegetables and rhubarb, as well as cute ‘bonbons’ of shredded ham in a crunchy crumb.
Our main course is rib of Boccadon veal, served medium rare in thick manly slices, with some silky hispi cabbage, matchstick parsnips and a powerful Madeira jus. Both dishes have in common a precise elegant presentation that belies the boldness of the flavours. It’s clever stuff.
We do our own things for afters; I enjoy my selection of local cheeses but Monsieur 2 is a bit underwhelmed by a bijou and slightly bland white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. It’s the only flat note, though, of a very accomplished meal and we’ve liked the buzz of the busy dining room.
We adjourn for a nightcap in The Library which surprisingly, given its name, is the liveliest part of the hotel! We’re glad to not be the only ones who want a bit of fun to complement the quieter times.
It’s time to turn in, and as we slip into the comfy bed we can just hear the waves lapping the beach below. Nothing could be more soporific.
With no alarm set we simply wake up when we’re good and ready – which turns out to be super-early for us! We’re full of energy and what better way could there be to burn some of it than a bracing walk on the beach with Jasper, The Scarlet’s adorable resident whippet?
Returning to our room energised but sandy, we clean up with a hot shower in our wetroom using the gorgeous geranium-scented Tri Dosha products provided – we’ve not seen these anywhere else we’ve stayed and love discovering something new.
Our morning exercise has worked up a serious appetite, so arriving at the restaurant we’re pleased to find that breakfast is a generous three courses: toast with home-made marmalade and jam, granola with Cornish yoghurt, then a hearty full Cornish comprising a local banger, bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms, butter-fried egg and peppery hog pudding. To drink there’s lovely freshly-pressed apple juice served in chic recycled carafes.
While we were eating breakfast Monsieur 2 had scoffed at “those nutters” climbing the steep coastal path in the distance. So I’m pleasantly stunned when he suggests that we kill the couple of hours until check out, not lazily in our room, but by following said nutters’ example.
We stash our bags at reception and take the challenging but manageable coastal path to Watergate Bay. The 2.25 mile walk crests spectacular cliffs and skirts secluded, inaccessible coves. There couldn’t be a more exhilarating and life-affirming end to a stay that’s focused our thoughts on ecology and the environment by engaging with nature in all the right ways.
“So,” I ask an exhausted-but-smiling Monsieur 2 as we pull away from The Scarlet, this time in a gas-guzzling, planet-killing regular taxi, “eco-hotels, yes or no?”
“Yes,” he answers after some reflection, “but only if they’re as gorgeous this one.” It’s a condition that might prove hard to meet.
Don’t forget to mention les Deux Messieurs if you book a stay here!Not what you’re looking for. Discover other amazing UK cultural destinations and romantic breaks here
Stayed here? Tell us what you thought. The Scarlet is a gay friendly luxury hotel in Cornwall.
Powered by Facebook Comments