St. Moritz Hotel at Trebetherick in Cornwall, the south-west corner of England. The West Country is a favourite with many people living in the UK – a place where you’re most likely to enjoy some sunshine with a climate that’s not dissimilar with the Channel Islands and northern regions of France such as Brittany. Here’s the front of the hotel on our arrival. On the left of the picture, you can see the hotel’s own Land Rover, bearing St. Moritz Hotel livery, used for promotional purposes as well as for transporting guests to and from, for example, the beach at nearby Polzeath. After a warm welcome, we were shown to our “room” which was a roomy suite with a beautiful sea view. It comprised of a bedroom, bathroom, open plan living and dining area (with enough space for two single beds if staying as a family), a well-equipped kitchen and a spacious decked balcony. Here’s the view from our decking, across the lawned areas and outdoor pool, and out towards the sea. We stretched our legs and explored the surroundings, soon locating the outdoor pool and a seafood restaurant within the grounds. The main restaurant is back in the main hotel building and led by Head Chef, James O’Connor, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Here you are looking at a starter of “Black Pudding Fritters with New Potato, Apple, Crisp Pancetta and Shallot”. For my main course I had the “Poached Lemon Sole with Beurre Blanc, Asparagus, Broad Bean and Pea”. Both were delicious, but to have a dessert as well would have sadly just been a little too much! Children staying at the St Moritz Hotel are really well catered for. As well having their own menu that’s far more interesting than the usual chicken nuggets and chips, there’s a games room, a DVD collection, and lots of other items available to borrow, from bicycles to buckets and spades. They even have a dedicated Mini Moritz website – cleverly written from the perspective of a child – and I’ll mention the opportunity to surf for the children who stay shortly. The hotel has its own Cowshed Spa, heated indoor swimming (as well as the outdoor one) and a gym. I really enjoyed the Cowshed Salt Scrub and Massage – a full body brushing followed by deep exfoliation and a Cowshed massage (a full body massage using signature Cowshed essential oils). My treatment came just days after completing a challenging off-road marathon in the Lake District so was a welcome tonic for those aching limbs. In addition to the hotel’s own facilities, the location is perfect for a variety of other activities. There are three beaches all close by, each offering something different. The closest of the three, just a short walk from the hotel and pictured below, is excellent for rock pooling. Slightly further afield is a beach with dunes and then a longer walk away (or a short drive) is the sandy beach of Polzeath, popular with surfers. Polzeath is clearly the place to surf as the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry had been there just a day or two earlier. Anyway, I digress… the thing to note is that the St. Moritz Hotel has a tie-up with Wavehunters surf school down at Polzeath beach, and our two sons – who’d never surfed before – took this opportunity to have a go. I listened in on bits of the lesson and was very impressed. The tuition was fun and engaging, but also didn’t skip on the important parts such as safety. Right from the onset (and before getting into the water, of course), the children were clearly told what signal to give if they found themselves in difficulty in the water and had it explained why just waving wasn’t a good idea. Â They then moved on to learning the correct names of various parts of the board, before moving on to technique. They did a bit of running around to keep warm and were encouraged to bond and just enjoy it. Yet within the space of just about an hour or so, I think pretty much every child had managed to stand on their boards… considering many had never surfed before, I think that’s quite impressive progress in such a short period. Back at the hotel, we decided to go for a little bit more of a wander. This is the rear of the hotel where there are some colourful beach huts and lots of ‘Fatboy’ hammocks (a Dutch make) to relax in. We could have easily relaxed here a bit longer, but unfortunately our time to leave was approaching all too quickly. When our stay did came to an end, we decided to break up the journey a little and take in a local attraction so, with our children enjoying the BBC’s very popular Merlin TV series, we decided to head for Tintagel and fuel their interest in the legend of King Arthur. It would have been a shame to spend such a lovely day just sitting in the car. Managed by English Heritage, Tintagel Castle is well worth a visit. There’s a short video you can watch, a shop and a café, and of course the castle ruins. If you catch the tide right, you can also explore Merlin’s Cave, and there’s a small coastal cliff where a cascade of water tumbles straight into the sea (if the tide is in) – a photographer’s dream.Last month we enjoyed a break at the
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