England’s week-old 30-room The Pig at Harlyn Bay is SENSATIONAL, epitomising a new-look luxury hotel. It is rural, with history (a 17th century house, 500 metres from one of Cornwall’s best sandy surf beaches), up-to-date (faultless WiFi and free electric car charging), organic food and more.
Drive west from London, four to seven hours depending on traffic (or train, to Bodmin Moor or Newquay, and a ten-minute cab) to another world. Past a deliberately-wild front garden, with pairs of wood Adirondack loungers, and past all-day Lobster Shed dining, to the hotel. The grounds include four quirky shepherd hut ‘villas’, and an highly impressive and productive walled kitchen garden. Girlahead loves the main house’s upstairs room five, up 19 stairs – it has recycled wood floors, heavy antique wood furniture, including a cabinet for the glass-fronted minibar, binoculars for looking east to the sea, and pairs of electric sockets both sides of the heritage, cathedral-carved bed frame. The adjacent bathroom has an old-fashioned Burlington long-chain water closet, a highly-modern easy-turn instant-heat walk-in shower, electric rail to warm the really-large bathtowels and locally-made soap, plus organic toiletries (Bamford).
From the ground-floor bar – probably a Morning Room when this was a private house – look through a window of one-off glasses (see photo above). Walk though to the next-door Hall, with a wall gallery of old Cornwall prints, and past rows of Wellington boots, dark green and blue for adults, buttercup and fuchsia for kids.
Dinner, in a series of interconnecting rooms with centuries-old moulded ceilings, is a lesson in local, say homegrown beetroot, strawberry and rocket salad followed by a Philip Warren sirloin (I know, thanks to a map on the reverse of the single-sheet A4 menu, updated daily, it has travelled 28 miles). ‘Puddings’ include, guess what, an addictive wobbly jelly, gin and tonic flavoured. I drink the hotel-label Pig Hut Red Grenache and Syrah, by M. Chapoutier, and Belu water, benefiting WaterAid.
On another visit, I confess, I could exist off dinner’s sensational rough-wholemeal chunky bread slices, especially decadent with herb-infused olive oil – and what about chef Adam Bristo’s sensationally naughty triple-cooked potato-chip fries, in their own flower-pot container? At breakfast I went simple, berry compote and yoghurt, granola, followed by oh-so-British smoked kipper. Next time, of course, I will stay longer, to take in a Potting Shed pampering treatment, try that surf or at least walk the beach and beyond. I want to learn how this Pig still has original 1635 elements, and how come that four-metre naval oil on the stairwell is, despite its generations-old frame, marked 2020?
Tonight, and thereafter, listen to the Chairman of the Global Wellness Institute, Susie Ellis, on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST – how can wellness make each of us contribute to securing an even better world? https://anchor.fm/gostelow And tomorrow, Friday 14th August, do not miss the once-off Tina Lyra table-talk, featuring Mary Gostelow, plus Girlahead’s long-time friend, French-American people-person Benoit Gateau-Cumin, in Beverly Hills, and a new BF best friend, Cuban-Peruvian (but now American) New York-based travel advisor Fernando Gonzalez, Youtube: https://youtu.be/Gba9org2vmM Zoom: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_piaXBW1KQ1Cdbqwnomws1Q