Posts Tagged ‘cornwall’

Spectacular views from the Splendid Scarlet Cornish Eco hotel

Arriving to a breathtaking view, inspiring art, and tea by the fire, what more perfect welcome for Mary Kate’s return to the Scarlet eco hotel.

Sweep back the curtains and a quintessional Cornish coast greets you, revealing a breath taking vista. Above the noise of the rhythmic waves crashing, the swooping gull’s scream in their daredevil flights, all framed by the larger than life sky overhead. A favourite sight is to watch the starlings flock in their annual dance, the black pattern of hundreds of birds all but disappearing at the turn of a wing, like swirling leaf tea first added to boiling water. It is impossible not to feel very alive to the possibilities of the day in this amazing part of the world.

A pot of Tregothan Leaf Tea in Bed is the perfect start to the day

Why it is so lovely to be brought tea in bed? A knock at the door, and while you’re still warm as toast in bed, a pot of freshly made tea arrives, perfectly brewed ready for pouring. It is the start of another amazing Scarlet day. The equally fabulous bit is the local Cornish tea estate, Tregothnan, supplies the leaf tea used. The unadulterated, sheer indulgence of that pot of splendid leaf tea that appears as if by magic at the door is such a perfect start to the day.

Tea in Bed at the Scarlet

Significant Life events are played out at the Scarlet

The Scarlet is a venue at which events happen. Just contemplating the arrival of the main course after a quite delicious starter, suddenly a chap on the table opposite is on bended knee, ring box in hand, gushing proposals – and they hadn’t even ordered their first course!

The appropriately coloured scarlet hot tubs are the place to view the sun set, as sky turns into evening

Spectacular Scarlet Hot tubs - add seaweed for an even healthier dip

The  stunning Cornish vista is displayed before you. Bathed in the warmth of the indoor pool, I watch as the sun rises, alternating between the eucalyptus steam room and a few more lengths for a completely clear conscience for breakfast. I am delighted to discover that as last year, the breakfast menu is a quite wonderful surprise each and every morning – lemon & thyme poached pears were gorgeous, followed by my absolute favourite – eggs Benedict.

After a blustery walk on the beach, what more could you desire than an Enchanting afternoon tea with scrummy christmas cake

Cornwall is an amazing and magical coastal retreat

A walk on the coastal path from St Agnus to Chapel Porth is rewarded with a Sinners Honeymoon, a warming milky drink with honey & cinnamon, and a slice of ginger cake. On another day, a gorgeous pasty from Rick Stein’s deli is the treat on the walk around Padstow’s beautiful harbour. Scenic, spellbinding, and utterly splendid, the Ayurvedic spa is an utterly healing experience, and the staff genuinely engaging, Mary Kate will be counting the days to her return to this rather special, and quite magical, hotel – did I mention the view?

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A special tea shop with its own Legends of Giants

I hesitate to divulge details of this rather special tea room at Bedruthen Steps, but with a generous flourish of my electronic pen, if you happen to be in Wadebridge, Cornwall, do go to this marvelous tea shop and unmissable destination, replete with it’s own legend of giants. “It is the tradition of the country that a much larger race of men stalked over this ground”, writes J. T. Blight in 1861: the vibrations of their laughter shook the cliffs, their footprints marked the solid rocks, they hurled large stones, tossed them in games of quoits, arranged them in peculiar ways, or in the case of the Bedruthan Steps used them as stepping stones.

A sight to behold - Amazing Bethruthen Steps

The joy of the experience is that contrast of the exhilarating sea air with returning to the cosy, intimate tea room

Initially, and this will be very hard, resist the temptation to rush into the traditional building, with it’s inviting lights behind original green painted sash windows (the building is National Trust owned, hence the authenticity, the tea shop a wonderful concession). Instead, take the exhilarating walk to see the ancient steps. Without exaggeration, this is truly an awe inspiring view, and it’s a fair walk, as although it’s downhill to the beach, there is the walk back up! But it is so worth it, one of the most breathtaking beaches that I have ever, ever seen. I can highly recommend walking further round the coast, particularly when the beach steps are shut in Winter ( understandable, as those who have walked down them even in summer will appreciate!)

Gorgeous flavoursome food awaits

Imagine a gorgeous scone, jam and Cornish Clotted cream

Returning, breathless, having lost count of the number of steps that have led you back, you feel like you’ve earnt the embrace of the welcoming tea room. Carnewas lives up to its rather splendid location. The building is cosy, inviting in contrast to the blustery exposed cliffs. Rows of long wooden tables to greet you, large enough to accommodate a big group and to meet strangers if the tables are busy, which they often are. A lovely touch is the special crockery with its jovial seaside inspired theme.

The food is freshly prepared by its friendly crew. I have always been delighted with what I’ve ordered, including lovely touches like diced sweet beetroot and orange on the crisp side salad. No surprise to hear that my first choice are the scones though. Freshly made, light, moist and flavoursome, with a nice choice of jam, and of course, gorgeous Cornish clotted cream, who could resist? And need I add, a lovely pot of tea!

The footsteps of Giants inspire a visit at Carnewas Tea room

Tea With Mary Kate seeks to highlight the heart and inspiration for living – & tea, & the ceremony of tea, as it represents an opportunity to pause, to breathe, to connect with the aesthetic & ourselves that we rush past most days. Carnwas Tea room is a unique opportunity not only to savour the timelessness of the quite splendid and traditional tea rooms but right on its doorstep is one of the most amazing beaches to be seen – visit soon!

Down on the beach at beautiful Bedruthen Steps

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The Eco Hotel that is truly environmentally friendly

The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel in the UK, sister of Bedruthen steps, smaller than its sister, but with a non child policy (the older sister prides itself on being the opposite). It’s a nice contrast, which will appeal to a certain group, with fabulous views over a quintessentially beautiful Cornish beach. Definitely not just lip service to the eco bit either – recycled grey water for the loos – & I was not brave enough to have even dipped a toe in the non heated naturally filtered outside swimming pool

…..ok, so I did dip  a toe & that freezing cold encounter convinced me to go for the hot tubs….

Two Scarlet bright red Hot tubs beckon on the edge of the lovely garden – views of course views to die for (as mentioned previously) but the experience of being absolutely freezing cold, then slipping into water warmed by wood burning stoves (seaweed infused if your heart desires)  is heavenly – you have to do the cold bit to get the nice bit (we are talking Winter here, but hey, this is the UK, maybe you’d get just the same exhilaration in summer!)

Red hot tubs

Gorgeous locally grown leaf tea from Tregothnan awaits your visit

So the hotel has very cleverly decided not to give you tea bags in your room – I initially thought this was a bit of a downer but instead, the Scarlet have sourced fantastic tea from the local Cornish tea estate Tregothnan – yes, really, tea from Cornwall! I thought it was just the blending but no, they are growing real tea plans – & it’s a lovely, deep flavoursome tea! You have the joy of tea leaves & boiling water to savour next to the fire, looking out, & I know the web site says this, but it is a truly awe-inspiring view of the beach. This was a nice touch that really resonated with me and I’m sure with fellow tea aficionados.
Their anytime, anywhere  menu is a brilliant idea
The soup was divine – we had butternut squash when we first arrived – it was gorgeous! Another thing I loved was choices at breakfast – & this was not just the same menu every morning – although that’s a solid tried & tested approach, but everyday, I revelled in a new decision having to be made – I found myself looking forward to the choice rather than thinking “ shall I have the porridge or the muesli!” And of course, the wonderful Tregothnan tea.
Take a healing journey at the Scarlets amazing UK Aruvedic Spa

A really very special highlight is swimming in the indoor pool at dusk, as the spa cleverly doesn’t blast the lights down, it felt very healing & magical. A unique aspect of the spa is that it offers Aruvedic journeys. I’m really very interested in this ancient health treatment that seeks to heal the body mind and spirit.

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