What a delightful surprise, after a five hour journey from London, to find The Llawnroc Hotel, a luxurious boutique property located in the tiny harbour village of Gorran Haven, a little known corner of Cornwall. If you’re looking to rest and revive post-party season this January, this tranquil weekend break has to be it.
A true chic retreat, the stylish design of the hotel contrasts perfectly with the majestic, almost magical setting of the coastline sweeping before your eyes from your contemporary suite. With just 18 bedrooms, each room has been individually designed and lavished with attention to detail; expect fluffy bathrobes, crisp white towels and possibly the best mattress you will ever have the pleasure to sleep on. After a long journey and the peaceful surroundings of the hotel calling us, it was an easy decision to hibernate and rejuvenate in the hotel’s restaurant, Gwineas Bar and Bistro, leaving the outdoor exploration for another day. A modern Cornish bistro, the menu is based on locally sourced produce, is freshly prepared, beautifully presented and clearly a firm favourite with the locals who we spotted arriving throughout the evening. We can highly recommend the fish, all caught by local fishermen, especially the grilled Mevagissey scallops lovingly dressed with fennel, lemon and homemade bread on the side; a light and healthy starter. Although we certainly didn’t hold back and indulged our every gourmet whim, we were not at all shocked by the bill – a luxurious yet affordable meal.
As we discovered the next day, this particular part of Cornwall has a lot to offer the active traveller, with sailing, surfing, coasteering, kayaking, mountain biking all on offer and even a chance to see the countryside at a unique angle: flying on Europe’s largest zip wire through a disused quarry – there are many activities for the adventurous to turn their hands to. However, after exploring the rugged Cornish coastline and the maze of fishing villages it was a relief to escape the drizzly, grey weather and come back to the comforts of The Llawnroc. It was at this point that we must admit we longed for a spa or treatment room to greet us, and although the hotel does not currently offer this service we were thrilled to hear that their spa will be launching in 2013 – a perfect excuse to come back next winter.
Another great reason to return are the hotel’s extremely popular Yoga holidays. A weekend break with a difference, this is the perfect combination of yoga and indulgence – all in an incredibly unique setting. Upon arrival you will be shown to your sea view room, a chilled bottle of champagne waiting, before being whisked off to enjoy six hours of yoga classes in total over two days. But it doesn’t end there, the hotel also provide maps and a picnic for the intrepid to hike across the cliffs before returning to a three course bistro dinner to round off the day. We just missed the last retreat but the hotel informed us that as these breaks were so popular they will be running several in 2013. Make sure you call and book your place early to guarantee a spot.
Overall we were more than suitably impressed with what the hotel has to offer; the service was excellent, the staff were attentive and friendly, and all clearly committed to helping you enjoy your stay. The ethos of the hotel ‘attention to detail’ was evident in every service and gesture; they even bestow guests a parting gift of a bottle of water and an apple for the journey home – a touch we really enjoyed. If you’re looking for a unique winter break, which combines tranquillity with excellent food in unspoilt surroundings, you will not be disappointed. Equally for the yoga fans (from beginner to experienced) you can revel in all this luxury while practicing the thing you most love. Heaven.
www.thellawnrochotel.co.uk Yoga Weekends start from £400
words by Caroline Wilks