Nestled away from the realities of the daily grind on a secluded southwesterly coastline you will find a little slice of Devon heaven in the shape of Soar Mill Cove.
Soar Mill Cove is a beautiful family friendly hotel with green valleys to the rear and a private sandy beach to the front. Set away from the nearest villages, you have to be on the lookout for Soar Mill – a little off the beaten track, adding to it’s secretive allure, you almost stumble across it at the end of a long and winding narrow dirt track.
The hotel is a unique stone building featuring just 25 bedrooms and villas. While a luxury resort, there’s a really relaxed feel conjured up from a blend of sea air and the home from home welcome. In maintaining its small size and intimacy, it presents a personal touch that is so hard to find nowadays.
Taking advantage of the finest of nature’s offering, the majority of rooms look out towards the sea with sprawling windows and patio doors flooding the room with light. Those on the rear don’t fare too badly with picturesque views of the manicured gardens and green valleys that run for miles.
Rooms are spacious and airy with plenty of space for a family of five. Décor is tasteful and sympathetic to the seaside location, but to be honest any hotel would be a fool to even try to compete with those views. And lap up those views we did thanks to a small garden area complete with sun loungers where we found ourselves sitting regularly while the children ran around the freedom of the garden.
Dining at Soar Mill Cove is a great foodie experience. Any excuse to indulge in a true Devonshire afternoon tea lathering my warm scone with clotted cream and jam is pure ecstasy!
The restaurant features a menu of local British produce with an emphasis on the very local with a lavish selection of fish dishes including scallops, seafood cocktails and crab taken from nearby Salcombe; Cornish hake, and my scrumptious choice, the succulent West Country rib eye that was tenderly cooked accompanied by a delicious Devonshire blue sauce.
Children are very welcome we lots of families with young children dining earlier. Highchairs, children’s menus etc are readily available and any special requests, no matter how large are accommodated without fuss.
For a more relaxed experience, or just a quick bite, the onsite cafe serves grab and go food items such as sandwiches, baguettes, salads and cakes a plenty, along with my children’s absolute favourite – ice cream.
Lathering my warm scone with clotted cream and jam is pure ecstasy!
When you have nature’s playground at your feet it’s hard to know how best to split your time. The hotel features a salt-water pool and sauna; spa and fitness suite. We managed to visit the pool daily, and found we mostly had it to ourselves that was great! I must admit I conveniently left my gym gear at home so that visit had to wait, but I had a look in and it has all the basic equipment, however I did opt to undertake one of the marked recommended walking routes to burn off that cream tea and appreciate the spectacular surroundings.
Furthermore for children, the hotel has an outdoor play area – not sure I have seen a swing with a more wonderful view of the rolling hills and sea between the peaks of the valley – and a small games room with table tennis, snooker, games and lots of toys.
If the weather isn’t favourable, an extensive DVD library is accessible and we picked up a couple one evening after dinner and snuggled down for some family movie time.
If you have any four-legged babies (dogs!) then they can join the family too – the hotel is dog friendly with dogs welcomed in most communal areas, the beach and in the rooms. The wash down room is also handy for cleaning up mucky pups!
For a welcome break away from phone signals (yes, you can pop your phone down!) and a rather ‘leisurely’ Internet connection, it is the perfect excuse to switch off and focus on the here and now.
The beach is a leisurely ten-minute walk, (more twenty minutes on the steeper way back!) and is small yet perfectly formed with rock pools for exploration, golden sands for building sandcastles and a gentle tide for dipping in your toes.
Just slightly further afield, we visited both South Sands, ideal for water sports, and Salcombe for a vibrant village bursting with eateries, ice cream shops and creperies.
For a hideaway to relax and reset as a family, Soar Mill Cove is absolutely perfect.
Room rates at Soar Mill Cove Hotel are from £199 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast. For more information and to book, visit www.soarmillcove.co.uk, or call 01548 561566.