Getting away from it all in St Mawes
Having grown up in Falmouth, St Mawes has always been the very pretty village across the water. Somewhere to visit by boat or stroll around with visitors. Having now spent a night at The St Mawes Hotel, however, I’m completely sold on the idea of taking proper breaks there.
From the moment my friend Kate and I stepped through the door into reception, it felt like we’d escaped. There’s no waiting ages to check in, just a warm, welcoming smile, a quick demonstration of how to use our key when the door’s locked and then we were shown to our room.
And what a revelation that was. Beautifully furnished in a light, bright, contemporary maritime style - with original art on the walls and stunning estuary views – we felt both pampered and relaxed. There was an espresso coffee machine with the alternative option of Tregothnan tea tucked away in the cupboard, homemade flapjacks on the chest of drawers, bottled water for each of us and an array of indulgent aromatherapy products to choose from next to the designer bath and delightfully powerful shower.
Most of my previous outings to St Mawes had been restricted to the waterfront with its eclectic mix of shops, galleries and eateries but wander off the main thoroughfare to discover a maze of little streets and picture postcard cottages. Many take advantage of the steep hillside to grab glimpses of the sea but even those that don’t are within a stone’s throw of the picturesque harbour or one of three sheltered beaches.
After a good walk that included a visit to historic St Mawes Castle (it’s never been used in anger and has a sweeping panoramic vista), Kate and I returned to the St Mawes Hotel for dinner. Our table was by a window on the first floor and a general lack of formality meant we felt comfortable and at home. Not that my culinary skills come anywhere near those of Head Chef Ben Bass and his team. The hummus with crudités and flatbread starter, followed by fish pie and Affogato for dessert were simply sublime and we went to bed well-fed and happy (the delicious Knightor sparkling wine might also have contributed!)
There’s something very special about waking up to a coastal scene of brightly coloured boats sailing past on mirror-like water, with an early morning mist lightly shrouding the green, unblemished-by-buildings shoreline beyond. We took the time to enjoy it – sipping coffee in our deeply-mattressed beds – before finding a table in the lounge and indulging in a breakfast buffet that included smoked salmon, fresh fruit and newly baked bread.
One night in St Mawes and both Kate and I returned to our busy worlds relaxed, refreshed and revived.