On the South Cornish coast between Polperro and Looe, Talland Bay Hotel is set in two lush acres of subtropical gardens, a pebble’s skim from the beach. From the outside, it is a quite conventional, long, low, white-painted building, partially covered in creeper, but the interior packs a cool punch. You’ll find sofas covered in zany zebra stripes, extravagantly high-backed chairs and quirky contemporary paintings and objets d’art. The gorgeous panelled dining room is more classic, an appropriate setting for Nick Hawke’s top-notch Cornish cooking. A large terrace provides plenty of space for summer dining, while the conservatory-style brasserie offers a more laid-back alternative. The hotel prides itself on being dog-friendly, with pooches welcome in most bedrooms as well as the cottages on the grounds. Choose to stay in one of the 22 beach-chic rooms, perhaps with a sleigh bed or four-poster draped in white fabric. Or for more space and privacy, the cottages are perfect. Doubles from £160.
Name to Know: General manager Stephen Waite. Ask him which gin to have from the extensive selection.
See: The hotel’s sculptures. Quirky, curious and amusing, the collection is dotted around the hotel gardens and lends an air of magic to this Cornish sanctuary.
Eat: At the hotel. Try the red mullet served with an Asian bisque risotto and accompanied with local crab coconut, nori and lemon grass.
Buy: A trip aboard Moonraker to Looe Island. Managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, this nature reserve is home to cormorants, oystercatchers and grey seals.
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