Everyone said that we were crazy for going to Cornwall for just one weekend. At an average of 6 hours drive each way, we were told to stay longer, to enjoy the time blah blah. But little do they know that Panu and I, we love roadtrips. We can drive for hours on end and 6 hours through the picturesque countryside is nothing considering not so long ago we did 9 hours through the Mojave desert.

So without so much as a GPS (mainly because we’re cheap) but loaded with snacks including biltong, m&m’s and yoghurt covered edamame, we set out early on Saturday morning, our destination: The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall.

I can’t even begin to describe The Scarlet. I mean, where do you start with a hotel that is perched on a cliff’s edge over looking the Celtic Sea, boasting eco-friendly operations and a Michelin starred chef? And even cooler than all that, what do you say about a hotel that has its own hotel dog, Jasper, who you can take for a stroll, run or play on the beach? You say yes please, that’s what you say, when they invite you down to stay the night*.

The Scarlet is an ultra modern comfort-driven hotel, nestled away in Mawgan Porth, one of Cornwall’s tiniest villages. Its objective is to unwind its guests through comfort, privacy and above all else, luxurious surroundings. I’m happy to say that The Scarlet does this, and it does it well.

Designed as a five story complex literally on the edge of the ocean, The Scarlet provides not only the usual hotel amenities. It goes above and beyond with a number of private (and lavishly furnished) lounge rooms and even a relaxation room where you go to well, relax, and I even noticed a couple of people napping in there.

The amenities continue with a heated indoor pool, outdoor “natural” pool (which at this time of the year is freezing so I didn’t give that a go) and a steam room. The bestest most awesomest amenity of all though? The traditional wood fired dutch tubs, situated overlooking the beach so you can truly relax and absorb the amazing surroundings while being kept warm and sipping on some bubbly if you so please.

But enough about the amenities for now. We arrived at The Scarlet around 2pm and were starving. Having totally bypassed Devon without stopping for cream tea, I was exponentially delighted to find out that The Scarlet’s all day menu included cream tea, so we ordered that and a cured meat platter to share. You can have the food anywhere on the premises; we chose to chill out at the eclectic and super trendy bar area.

The food itself was very good. The meat platter is standard fare I suppose, but the marinated artichokes, sundried tomatos and mini pickles won my heart! The cream tea with scones was also delicious because hello CLOTTED CREAM. Need I say more?

After our snacks and a soak in the tub, we retreated to our room to chillax before dinner. We were allocated a standard “Just Right” room, facing the ocean. If this is the quality of a standard room, I would die to check out an “Indulgent” room! And ps. HUGE SHOWER HEADS *love*

Oh one more ps. The bathrooms are “open bathrooms” ie there ain’t nothing providing privacy between the bedroom and the bathroom so if you’re in a new relationship and you’re a little shy about going to the erm, toilet? Maybe you ought to ask for a different room :)

After a substantial nap, we headed to The Scarlet’s restaurant, which is lead by Michelin starred chef, Ben Tunnicliffe. The dining room area is modern and spacious with high ceilings. We sat facing the ocean which at this time of the year means we sat facing blackness, but I can only imagine how beautiful it would be, dining in summer against the western sunset.

We had…

Fillet of ray bourguignonne

Potted crab, brown crab mayo & crispy egg

Breast of Cornish duck, jerusalem artichokes, pressed confit leg,
sprout top choucroute, date & leek

Pan fried halibut, pinenut & pumpkin seed crust,
purple sprouting, pomme anna & red wine

Salt lemon fudge parfait, pommegranet jelly & sorbet

Lemon tart, satsuma sorbet & crème fraiche

All in all the food was good. The mains didn’t wow me, but the starters and desserts were fantastic. I was particularly excited to find ray on the menu ~ I hadn’t had it in years (I love it just grilled with curry powder *nom nom*) and it hit the spot. Dessert wise, my salted lemon fudge parfait was amazing in all its sweetness, contrasted by the tartness of the pommegranet sorbet. Panu’s lemon tart, oddly coupled with a citrus satsuma sorbet, was also delicious.

After dinner, Panu and I retreated to one of the private lounges and played a couple of games of pool. Seriously, I think my most favourite part of the hotel has to be these lounges.

Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time!

Breakfast is served in the same dining room as dinner, which in all its luxuriousness the night before, felt a little too “proper” for breakfast. Nonetheless, it was comfortable and we slowly ate while reading the newspaper and magazine and things I never find time to do in London.

I started with a lemon & thyme poached pear in crème fraiche which OMG – I think this is meant to be dessert. It was soooooooo delicious, all I wanted was more, but I managed to contain myself.

Lemon & thyme poached pear in crème fraiche

Homemade muesli

Grilled flat mushroom, spinach, poached egg & hollandaise sauce

Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs

The breakfast was DIVINE. I can’t really fault any part of the meal, especially the grilled mushroom doused in delicious hollandaise sauce and did I mention the poached pear? I want to take that home and have it every single day for the rest of my life.

Though it felt like more than a day, our visit to The Scarlet wrapped up after breakfast and we started making our journey home. We decided to make a couple of pit stops along the way though, starting with Padstow, a small port town about 8 miles from Mawgan Porth.

The weather wasn’t really playing fair yesterday, bucketing down with blistering cold rain and wind. We managed to find refuge in Cherry Trees coffee house, right by the water and enjoyed a couple of ginormous Cornish pasties. I mean, we’re in Cornwall afterall. Panu had a steak & blue stilton pasty, and I had a steak, swede & potato. Thumbs up for both.

And another obligatory thing… I had to have come clotted cream ice cream… never mind that it was like below freezing outside.

We stopped again in Exeter, another town on the way home but didn’t eat anything because I was still completely stuffed from the pear and mushroom and giant pasty and ice cream. And finally at 7pm, we made it home despite the increasingly awful traffic heading into central London *grrrrrrr* and now I appreciate not owning a car here and having to deal with that crap.

Although it was literally a 36 hour trip (about 12 hours of which were spent in a car), we did manage to relax and unwind, most probably thanks to the hot tub, which if I could I’d totally take home with me. The Scarlet ain’t cheap (our room was £190 per night) but honestly, for a romantic, relaxing, secluded getaway, it is well worth the money and you could stay there for days without venturing out.

And now. It’s Monday. I’m back in London and really, should get back to some work.

The Scarlet Hotel
Tredragon Road
Mawgan Porth
Cornwall, TR8 4DQ
01637 861 800
website

* Panu and I stayed as guests of The Scarlet, including dinner and breakfast.

23 Thoughts on “our weekend getaway at The Scarlet, Cornwall

  1. Luxurious life some ladies lead, I must say…

  2. Love that you managed to work in “chillax”!

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  4. I’ve heard about this place and you’ve certainly just sold it to me! Looks amazing.

  5. Damn – that looks like a fine place. Wasn’t like that in Newquay when I were a lad you know. We were lucky to have a pint and cave in which to sleep on the beach…

    Glad you got to have a pasty – they are my (not so) guilty pleasure, and one i have all too rarely as most pasties outside the Duchy are rubbish. It’s the lard in the pastry that makes it so nommy.

    Almost enough to make me homesick. Almost.

  6. Krista: LOL it wasn’t hard, it’s part of my vocabulary :D

    Jules: It’s amazing and so worth the money for a relaxing getaway…

    The Grubworm: That’s exactly it! Panu and I were saying how the pastry is sooooooo buttery. Must be all the lard :)

  7. WOW what a cool hotel! and hahahaha you made me laugh with that reference to the non-private bathroom. I know what you mean about being shy hahaha.

  8. WOW, I don’t think I’d step out of that hotel!

  9. I recognise the photo of Panu reading the paper over breakfast, we were sat at THE NEXT TABLE! I can’t believe we were there the same weekend! Pete said just now when I told him, oh I saw the lady take a photo of breakfast and wondered idly if it was another blogger, grrr he didn’t say anything at the time!

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  11. jenny: Haha yeah well you know what I mean, there’s kinda like ZERO privacy! Me and Panu we didn’t really care… lol…

    pigpigscorner: I KNOW. I so didn’t wanna leave! :(

    Kavey: That is INSANE that we were next to each other and didn’t notice! I have to apologise, I was so tired and didn’t look around, was just engrossed in the magazine I was reading. Same though :(

  12. haha love how P is totally oblivious to you taking photo of all the food now :P looks amazing but i think not even i would want to be stuck in a car with me for 6 hrs….

  13. Linda at Pink Elephants coffee,LLC on November 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm said:

    Oh,Catty. What a beautiful presentation of your stay in Cornwall. Your photos of
    the food are inspiring. I have a friend there, a glass artist who has pet chickens.
    That hotel came as a surprise. Gorgeous photos again, Catty. I’ve never been to
    England, and visitors in the past always stressed that the food was bland and non-
    descript. I see nothing of the kind in your photos.

  14. What a fun looking place! And so unique too which is great to write about :D

  15. Ying: haha I know, he’s so used to it now… just blends into the background :)

    Linda: Thanks, lovely! I think traditional British food can be a little boring, but these days there are so many influences that it’s never boring.

    Lorraine: I KNOW! I could have written so much more about this place but had to control myself!

  16. Heheh I too noticed Panu’s calm approach to you taking photos. He must be so used to NOT actually getting to eat when the food arrives that he just finds other ways to entertain himself while you take photos! :-D Looks like a really nice weekend get-away!!

  17. Such an amazing hotel I loved it on our trip there as well – would love to go back in summer

  18. Maria: LOL he’s so well trained now… and if he’s hungry he orders the same thing as me so that he can start eating immediately! ;)

    Gourmet Chick: I KNOW… I *so* want to go back!

  19. Cat it looks gorgeous!!! I wanna go back to the UK just so I can stay at this place! And it’s not too expensive actually, I was trying to look for anniversary accommodation for Ed and I and nice places start at $200 a night here and they aren’t even that nice! The really nice places are about $350/night!

    • hey Di! Yeah it was amazing.. and you’re right I guess, for a place with some many extra amenities, £190 ain’t too bad! Hotels in Oz are getting crazy expensive these days… maybe you do need to come back, and bring Josh with you ;)

  20. It looks fantastic, one to remember next time I can face a six hour drive – we don’t have sat nav either, my husband says we have “sat nag” Grrrrr!

  21. What a wonderful stay! I’m happy that you and Panu enjoyed your trip. That hotel looks really beautiful and just something I would enjoy, but the price eek is rather high for us. I suppose if everything is included that it definitely can be worth it. Thanks for the share. :)

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