Cornwall has always been a rather mysterious place for me. For years, I’ve heard friends talk about their summers in Newquay, while I flew back to the USA to enjoy the warmer months, with guaranteed sunshine, alongside my family. Then, two years ago I was handed a book that, well, changed everything. Written by Milly Kenny-Ryder, The Weekend Journals Guide to Cornwall shone a light on a world I could have only ever imagined. Serene beaches, picturesque hotels, seafood extravaganzas and more were outlined on the pages, all photographed in a way that made this look like another universe entirely. After countless conversations with Milly about visiting the area, a trip was finally organised and it kicked off with a location that is probably the most photographed in the region – The Scarlet Hotel.
After a 45 minute flight from London to Newquay, and a twenty minute drive from the airport to the hotel, we arrived at The Scarlet. It took me less time to get to a hotel in Newquay than it usually takes me to get from West to East London in a car, people! I feel that is definitely worthy of a mention. Paradise is not as far away as you think.
Now, when we opened the doors to the reception of The Scarlet, we were greeted with a view of an expansive coastline, dotted with the occasional surfer, horseback rider and frolicking kids with sand pails. In the dead of autumn, we were given the gift of a beautiful summer’s day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, nor a threat of weather to come. I could have easily believed I was sitting in Spain, rather than the coast of England, and every single space in this hotel is geared towards showcasing that beauty. I tried to imagine the same views with the usual rainy weather we are used to in this country, and I have to admit that even with my imaginary storm clouds I was still in love with this space.
From orange sunsets atop the terrace to pink sunrises from the balcony of my ocean view room, I was taken away from real time and real life during my visit to The Scarlet. I slept with my balcony doors wide open to breathe in the salty air and to allow the breaking waves to lull me into a gentle slumber. I swam in the fresh water pool (which is more or less taking a plunge in the arctic) to wake me up in the morning, I lounged in the world famous hot tubs with a view in the afternoon to keep me in a chilled out state and I walked on the long beach at low tide imagining a life where this might be my front yard.
I indulged in a perfectly cooked fish and chips, I sipped finely selected rose wine and I laughed as waiters and waitresses offered time and again to hold light fixtures and various chairs out of the way so that guests could get good shots for Instagram. This was clearly not their first time hosting people with a passion for sharing their vacation shots. However, you can tell that each and every member of staff at The Scarlet is happy to help in making sure their picturesque part of the world is shared in its best possible light.
When I walked into The Scarlet, I felt every muscle in my body relax. As I went to leave, a new sort of tension and worry came over my body. When would I be able to venture back? I have found my retreat of choice in the UK and it comes with a view that no one else can even begin to touch. This hotel is the definition of magical. Try as I might, I wouldn’t be able to find a bad word to say against it. The food, the family, the view, the endless opportunity for activity and the air that you breathe while in residence all lend themselves to a place that can only ever be referred to, henceforth, as heaven on earth.
Note: FFG was a guest of The Scarlet Hotel.