JACKIE: We want to Talk about landmarks like Land’s End. Very close to the end of the world – certainly the end of the land — when you’re in Great Britain. David loves an unforgettable spot called St. Mawes, and here’s why:
DAVID: This harbor side village sits on the Cornish Coast and is the spot where an array of fishing boats and yachts set anchor. I set my Renault Megane in front of the star of St. Mawes, Hotel Tresanton. I almost reluctantly handed over the electronic card key to the valet; I had become really attached to this brilliant car leased through the Renault Eurodrive program. Check it out if you are planning a driving trip abroad; you will profit from it.
My reluctance changed to awe when I entered the Tresanton. Right across from a safe and sandy beach, there are 29 picture perfect accommodations with two family suites (one more coming soon) — and every one with a glorious view of the sea and lots of antiques and local art.
JACKIE AGAIN: I love that they have a movie theatre, rare indeed. There’s a bar for the grown ups and a big special room for the young guests. They obviously love children at Tresanton and cater to families.
DAVID CARRIES ON: I had only one night in paradise, so I quickly settled in and explored. St. Mawes is all stone houses lining the seafront, all wearing gelato colors: lime, lemon, raspberry, vanilla — even stracciatella. After a windy walk, I relaxed in the charming room, with its two big windows framing the sea — almost within my reach. Little pleasure boats sailed by, a fishing boat surrounded by waiting gulls: a living picture postcard. The interior was very spacious with warm, comfortable furniture mixing antique with contemporary, arresting artwork and gleaming wood floors. A perfect accommodation for the seaside — and perhaps more doable off-season! All is the personal handiwork of owner Olga Polizzi of the famous Forte hotel family. General Manager Federica Bertolini and I shared a delightful time chatting about our mutual love of Italy.
Dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Paul Wadham, was worthy of the hotel: a starter of Risotto, perfectly cooked, with butternut squash and (surprise!) bits of Amaretti biscuits. Very inventive; very, very good. The main course was up there with the best Sea Bass I’ve ever eaten: crispy skin over melt-in-the-mouth fish. Dessert was a light, creamy — really lemony — lemon tart. This is a dream destination on all counts. I heartily, with all my senses, recommend Tresanton!
St. Michael’s Hotel & Spa
JACKIE: David’s Cornish adventure continued when he took the King Harry car ferry from St. Mawes to the lively port town of Falmouth. He was too late for the lavish Christmas celebration and a bit too early for the Spring Festival. Next time I’ll come with him, maybe in August when it’s warm enough for this coldish California girl. That’s the time for Falmouth Week with parades and bands, people in costumes, arts & crafts and even an air show.
DAVID: What I’m happy not to have missed is my stay at St. Michael’s Hotel & Spa. Recently, the hotel enjoyed a six million dollar refurbishment by its owners, Nigel and Julie Carpenter. The result: contemporary, high-style, stunning and loaded with all the best of everything from top of the line furnishings in each of the rooms and suites to the welcoming Spa with an indoor heated pool and Jacuzzi, fitness rooms and soothing treatments.
Add to this the sea beyond your bedroom window and the excellent Flying Fish Restaurant. The name says it all: wonderful fresh local fish and seafood prepared by Executive Head Chef Nick Hodges, worthy of all the awards earned. So, fish it was for me — my own DIY all local seafood feast: Port Navas oysters — big, plump, heavenly — followed by an enormous Falmouth Bay scallop with monkfish gratinee and ending with a small bucket of piping hot Fal River mussels — fresh and silken and swimming in white wine and cream. No room for pudding – and no more room to write.
So, we’ll Travel…