A weekend out of London was just what I needed and the Scarlet Hotel provided a luxurious refuge for the night. Located in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall, a blissfully remote and quiet area on the coast. The Scarlet prides itself on offering a simple but beautiful grown-up hotel with the highest eco standards. When we arrived on Friday evening the welcome put us instantly at ease, a porter took our bags to our room and we were offered a drink. After a swift tour of the hotel, it became apparent that the Scarlet caters for one's every need, alongside the inviting spa there are numerous relaxation rooms, and places to curl up with a book or have a comforting drink.
Our room opened out onto the cliff edge with sun loungers overlooking the beach. A lovely Queen-sized bed placed centrally was surrounded by all the essentials, a sizeable desk, snazzy white TV (that took a while to work out) and two comfortable velvety chairs. The open plan bathroom was found round the corner, with a large bath and gorgeous toiletries.
After a quick freshen up, a bounce of the bed and an outfit change, it was time for dinner and I was intrigued about what the Scarlet restaurant had in store for us. The restaurant is quite “zen”: very spacious and facing the sea with an airy feel. The waitress explained that dishes change daily and there is a strong focus on local and seasonal produce. I was amazed that an entirely new menu is created every single day, an impressive feat for the head chef.
We were treated to a lovely bottle of house white. Our starters then appeared very promptly considering how busy they were on a Friday night: Butternut, artichoke & apple cannelloni for me and Cornish duck, artichoke and duck egg for my guest. The menu explained the dishes in the simplest form while they arrived exquisitely ornate and complex. The duck consisted of a single ravioli filled with duck meat placed precariously in an artichoke soup with a poached duck egg, a strange but yummy combination. My cannelloni had been carefully assembled and looked like a work of art on the plate.
My main course: Venison, wild mushrooms, garlic cream potato was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The meat was simply to die for, even though I asked for it slightly more well done than is standard, it was juicy, tender, flavoursome and utterly delicious. I asked myself, ‘why do I not eat venison more?’ My friend tried the monkfish with pickled turnip and confit potato that looked divine and she seemed equally delighted with the taste.
We were thrilled with our puddings, which we chose very carefully from the appealing list. The Chocolate cappuccino with pistachio biscotti was too tempting to resist but was a little too rich for me. My favourite was the local berry meringue with butterscotch... melt in the mouth crumbling meringue mixed with sweet butterscotch sauce and fresh berries.
Our adorable waitress offered to bring us tea to our room, and after choosing a DVD from the vast collection at reception we wandered down to find a silver platter with fresh mint tea and a plate of assorted fudges, the perfect end to the evening.
I woke feeling refreshed and calm, the silence of the countryside almost eerie to me as a busy Londoner. Fresh coffee was brought in to us at 9am and we sat for a blissful few hours watching a film and sipping our drinks in bed.
Breakfast the next morning was just as good as supper and I was amazed to find I could fit it in! A selection of fruit and pastries, wonderfully nutty homemade granola and a traditional English breakfast plate with Kernow sausage, dry cured bacon, hog's pudding, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. Already placed on every table is a bottle of apple juice from the Cornish Orchards, a lovely alternative to orange juice.
I could bore you for ages about the fun things we tried at the Scarlet... highlights of the trip included walking the hotel dog Jasper down on the beach, splashing about in the seaweed hot tub outside with cocktails, and experiencing the facials and massages at the hotel spa.
I was so sad to leave, I felt totally relaxed at the Scarlet (helped by the lack of phone and internet signal) and the special attention to detail really makes a stay there unforgettable. I will definitely be visiting this heavenly hotel again.
The Scarlet Hotel is located at tredragon road, mawgan porth, cornwall, tr8 4dq. Visit the website and book here.