‘Cornwall? At the end of November? You must be mad’ was the general consensus when I told everyone where I was going. But I wasn’t mad, was I. Because that’s me in my pants on the beach being not mad. (Don’t say a word.)
|The Scarlet Hotel – the view from my room. Rubbish, isn’t it.|
It’s true. D and I popped down to Cornwall a couple of weeks ago and I thought we were going to freeze our noses off. I didn’t mind though, for we were off to stay at the beautiful luxury eco Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth, so we’d planned to hole up there, wrap ourselves in blankets, eat lots of yummy food and splash about (I mean glamourously laze) in their gorgeous spa.
We arrived at around 3pm, handed our car over to the valet parking chappie, walked inside the hotel and then fell over… because we had just come face to face with this amazing view..
I was so blown away; I have about fifty photographs of this view alone.
Our bags had already been whisked away and so we were shown to our room. We walked up stairs and down corridors.. passed the spa (squeal) and along another corridor.. and everywhere was peaceful. There was beautiful light streaming in at lovely angles, roaring fires in hidden corners and lots of stunning pieces of furniture, colour and artwork everywhere…
|The Scarlet Hotel – the view from our balcony|
Our room was lovely; an open-plan bathroom and bedroom with a luxurious-sink-into bed, a writing desk, comfy furniture, HUGE shower, cosy bath, massivest-softest-wrap-you-up-foreverest towels and a long balcony overlooking the sea.. with a ridiculously wonderful view.
|Tea and biscuits (they didn’t mention the biscuits – amazin biccies) arrived in a flash.|
The Scarlet’s pool is natural and chemical-free. It’s cleaned by reeds, (mum, don’t scoff – it’s true!) and is, hands down, the most peaceful pool I’ve ever swum in. We swam and we steamed and we steamed and we swam.. and then we had a bizarre conversation with a lady in the steam room.. which is always quite strange as you are all very scantily clad talking about London transport and such… and one never knows where one should look… so I looked up. A lot.
The spa at The Scarlet really is something special. It has luxury tented rooms lit by lanterns and is a quiet, almost spiritual place. The relaxation area has cocoon-like pods swinging from the ceiling where you can drift away following your treatment. (D had a massage – he looked a bit drifty afterwards..) There is a big squishy relaxation space where you can listen to the waves crashing on the beach below. Or you might want to slather yourself in rich mineral mud within their rhassoul, experience a traditional rubdown in the hammam or try your hand at massage guided by one of their therapists…
|The Scarlet Hotel – cliff top hot tubs|
… and outside there are clifftop hot tubs inviting you to stargaze or storm watch. (Or drink champagne and giggle a lot. Don’t look at me.) The Scarlet really is eco by name and eco by nature.
Debbie, Emma and Rebecca set out to build a new hotel because they wanted to show that sumptuous need not mean unsustainable, and that luxury isn’t necessarily a guilty pleasure. And they have achieved this in so many ways, both big (they use solar orientation) and small (saving paper – they print your bill on the back of last night’s menu.)
Our candlelit dinner was delicious. Everything was cooked beautifully and it was wonderful to eat fish, which you knew had been caught that day from just around the corner… but if I’m honest, the absolute highlight of my night was realising that I was sitting just behind Philip Schofield! Should I say hello? Should I pretend to take a selfie but somehow land in his lap by ‘accident’ and steal one of his chips? I opted (you’ll be pleased to know) to do nothing. But if there you go – if my endorsement doesn’t get you pootling down to Cornwall immediately, perhaps Mr S’ will.
I had hoped to be awake enough after dinner to beat D at a game of Pool (I’m useless) but we were both so tired and were ready to sleeeeeep. So we did.
After we’d guzzled our breakfast, we donned our Winter woolies, cosiest socks, earmuffs and jackets and set off down to the beach.
Very quickly we realised we had somewhat overdressed for the occasion… and that’s when we decided to take all our clothes off and run into the sea. Then we screamed (it was beyond cold) and then we ran out. Then we did it again. And then I couldn’t feel my legs. So we sat in the sunshine and gazed, transfixed at the the birds, cliffs, rocks and starfish all around us…
The Scarlet is one of the most gorgeous and luxury boutiquey hotels I have ever had the pleasure of staying in, and the fact that it is in the UK and set in one of the most beautiful spots of the country made it all the more special.
Besides, I never thought that I’d be running around in my M&S knickers on a Cornish beach in November.
But I did. And it was brilliant.