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Champagne and oysters in luxury Cornwall, England

Tresanton terrace restaurant, looking out over the River Fal

Tresanton terrace restaurant, looking out over the River Fal

Hotel Tresanton, in St Mawes, takes a gal’s breath away. Sit on one of its terraces and look out, across the River Fal to St Anthony’s Head, and St Just in Roseland (they had a lot of saints in those early days, those wily Cornish folk).

Hotel Tresanton evolved from the Club in Roseland, started in the 1940s by a business tycoon, Jack Silley, as a hang-out for his pals.  Now it is a full-fledged 29-room English luxury family hotel.

It is choc-ful most weekends with Yummy Mummies and other high-achievers with their families, doing the four-hour Friday commute from Fulham, or elsewhere in London, and back again Sunday.  During the week, come here to relax (fewer kids around!), paint, walk, play bridge, perhaps coincide with one of Tresanton’s regular music festivals, in the nearby Roseland Methodist Chapel.

The Italian GM, Federica Bertolini, is as charming as the hotel’s high-profile owner, Olga Polizzi CBE, married to best-selling author William Shawcross, whose many books include the authorised biography of the late Queen Mother.  She (Olga) is one of Sir Rocco Forte’s sisters, and oversees design in all the Rocco Forte Hotels.  She has obviously done the décor here.  It is cosy-comfortable, linen drapes, working fireplaces, a restaurant that seems like an ocean liner looking out over the water below.

Tresanton Hotel owner Olga Polizzi

Hotel owner Olga Polizzi CBE

I had a stunning mushroom risotto when I was last there, staying in room seven, the complete Everyman series of P.G. Wodehouse provided, as were rubber Wellington boots, in a multitude of sizes (yes, it does rain in England sometimes!).

There is special reason for heading to this luxury hotel October 13-16, 2011.  This is when the annual Falmouth Oyster Festival takes place, only five kilometres away, in Falmouth (a town so-called as it is at the mouth of the aforementioned Fal River).  One of Rick Stein’s chef is among the demonstrators, there are endless tastings and Veuve Clicquot is a lead sponsor.  Oysters and champagne, yum yum says any self-respecting girl.