Fowey, south coast of Cornwall
Fowey Hall is rumoured to be the inspiration for Toad Hall in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, and it’s easy to see why. The coastal manor is perched at the top of the hill, with sprawling grounds and plenty of rambling living rooms, libraries and fireplaces. The views over the mouth of the river Fowey are picture perfect from the front of the hotel, and sitting on the terrace watching the boats come and go is the perfect way to acclimatise to your new surroundings.
The hotel opened its doors in July after a multi-million pound refurbishment, but also after being closed for an extended period of time due to the covid-19 pandemic. They’ve put a number of new procedures in place including friendly notices reminding everyone to use the provided hand santiser when re-entering the building. The tables have ‘please do not sit here’ signs between them, so you’re always at a relaxed distance from your fellow diners. The buffet breakfast may be a thing of the past, but the menu is so detailed and plentiful you can still take your time exploring a wealth of dishes – don’t miss out on the perfectly caramelised banana pancakes or eggs royale.
Food is clearly taken very seriously at Fowey, who concentrate on high-quality and very local suppliers. As much love and care goes into the children’s menu – you can tell the head chef has kids of his own. The coconut curry with poached local fish and Fowey mussels, as well as Cornish crab on toast, are must-try’s, whilst children can get stuck into steak and chips and award-winning artisan ice cream.
The staff ask whether you would like your food left on an adjacent table, or served to you directly, and also ask if you’d like them to wear a mask. None of this feels overwhelming, and the overall ambience is one of pure relaxation and warm service.
This is a family hotel so children have been considered every step of the way, making it feel a truly luxurious experience for everyone. The family rooms are as beautifully designed and stylish as the rest of the hotel, with an abundance of playful touches. There are two well-stocked games rooms, with retro style arcade machines, table tennis, pool and football tables, plus a beautiful cinema room with hundreds of DVD’s to choose from. There’s also a small pirate ship outside for the youngest visitors, plus a zip wire and a number of swings. A morning and afternoon class are provided for the kids every day too – they can try their hand at everything from clay making to mocktail shaking.
The pool was closed at the time of our visit, but is now open and running on a scheduled timetable. The spa is the perfect place to de-stress after a strange few months – try the shoulder, neck and back massage for a dreamy vibe that lasted the rest of the day.
From the hotel you can wander 15 minutes down quiet, pretty streets to the beautiful Readymoney Cove, which has turquoise waters and a sandy bay. There’s open toilet facilities and a well-stocked shop which serves good coffee, locally sourced fresh-fruit ice lollies and generous golden Cornish pasties – it wouldn’t be a proper visit to Cornwall without one.
Rooms are from £249 on a B&B basis, visit luxuryfamilyhotels.com to find out more.