The Inspector is charmed by the sea views and chic nautical decor at Cornwall’s St Enodoc Hotel


‘Far from stuck in the past’: The Inspector calls at a Cornish hotel that’s been open for more than 100 years… and is charmed by the sea views and ‘chic’ nautical decor

  • The Inspector stays at the St Enodoc Hotel, which overlooks the Camel Estuary
  •  He says the place has a ‘chic nautical feel’ with works by local artists on the walls
  •  Remember, the Inspector pays his way… and tells it like it is

House prices in Rock on the North Cornwall coast are absurd. They have been since the 1980s when swathes of moneyed Londoners descended on the place with their Labradors and let their teenagers off the leash to drink alcopops all night long.

William and Harry were regulars in the Nineties, and things got a little tricky in 2020 when the Lib Dem MP for the area said the seaside village had been taken over by ‘upper-class yobs’.

I dare say that in July and August the braying of the privileged might become tiresome, but out of season it’s a sweet little spot, especially if you stay at the privately owned St Enodoc hotel, an attractive Edwardian building perched on a hill overlooking the Camel Estuary.

It’s been a hotel for more than 100 years but is far from stuck in the past. Works by local artists are for sale on the walls; the blue and white stripes give it a chic nautical feel and the food and service is reassuringly good.

The Inspector checks into the St Enodoc Hotel, an attractive Edwardian building perched on a hill overlooking the Camel Estuary in Cornwall 

The blue and white stripes in the hotel's decor give it a 'chic nautical feel'

The blue and white stripes in the hotel’s decor give it a ‘chic nautical feel’

There are various places to sit and cogitate; sofas and armchairs are upholstered in William Yeoward and Mulberry fabrics and the atmosphere is warm and friendly.

‘To work on reception and look out at this view all day is pretty special,’ says the young woman who gives us our key. Our room is just above reception, with even better views. We spot a swimming pool in the garden and a large terrace for alfresco lunches and dinner.

There are two restaurants: one of them is called Karrek, offering a multi-course tasting menu. It’s open only Thursday to Saturday. Which suits us fine given that we’re here on a Sunday.

‘We spot a swimming pool in the garden and a large terrace for alfresco lunches and dinner,’ the Inspector reveals 

Sofas and armchairs at the hotel are upholstered in William Yeoward and Mulberry fabrics and the atmosphere is warm and friendly

Sofas and armchairs at the hotel are upholstered in William Yeoward and Mulberry fabrics and the atmosphere is warm and friendly 

It means we eat in the more informal and infinitely cheaper split-level brasserie where we start with six oysters caught two or three hundred yards away, before moving on to the catch of the day.

Apparently, the owners have a farm nearby and a lot of the produce comes from there, including the most delicious bacon.

A short walk brings you to the passenger ferry across to Padstow, the harbour town which is also at its best out of season. Eating a pasty on the way back is one of those essential experiences — like taking the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon.

TRAVEL FACTS 

St Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LA. Doubles from £201 B&B. For more information call 01208 863394 or visit enodoc-hotel.co.uk. 

Rating out of five: ****

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