There’s a reason why the owners at Soar Mill Cove hotel have chosen Run away to the sea as their marketing strapline. At the end of the M5 lies another world. Three lanes drop down to two, then one, until finally the road becomes barely more than a path, as you wind your way towards the beach at Soar Mill Cove. As you step out of your car and breathe the salt air, everyday life recedes; it feels like an escape.
Just a short drive from the picturesque Devon town of Salcombe, full of yachts and fudge shops, Soar Mill Cove feels like a million miles from anywhere. The hotel sits peacefully at the top of the cliff, from where a bracing walk (just long enough to work off a cream tea) will lead you to a small beach with the perfect combination of sand and rockpools.
A tinkling stream runs across the sand and rocks to the sea, creating plenty of rockpools to explore, and if you’re self-catering at the hotel you could pack up a picnic and while away the best part of the day in the sheltered bay. If you’re feeling lazy you can just indulge in a crab sandwich at the hotel café – though you might want a piggy-back up the hill!
Once you’ve blown the cobwebs away it’s time to relax, and Soar Mill Cove hotel does relaxation in style. Book a massage in the spa for the ultimate indulgence, or just chill out in thick white robes by the saltwater indoor pool. Order huge, fluffy scones with homemade jam and clotted cream in the sunny lounge overlooking the bay. Top it off with a glass of fizz, or the creamiest of ice-cream milkshakes.
All the rooms have patios and sun-loungers, so on a warm day it would be easy to just drift in and out of the view, listening to the waves far below, but you absolutely must drag yourself up in time to sample the wonderful restaurant menu. Local crab, lobster and freshly-caught fish dishes vie for attention with triple-cooked chunky chips and perfectly-cooked steaks. We had a melt-in-the-mouth pork belly and the famous Soar Mill Cove chowder. Leave space for dessert though – take a look at the video to see some of the sweet treats on offer.
If you have young children, you’ll love the fact that the family suites at Soar Mill Cove hotel are more than just four beds in a room. There’s a very comfortable separate bedroom, and once the kids are settled you can sit and relax on your patio, or with a DVD from the hotel’s vast library. We opted to all pile into the huge main bed for a film – one of our favourite things to do on a family holiday at night. Alternatively, there is a selection of board games you can borrow, and a very cool chess board.
After a relaxing night courtesy of the sumptuous beds and the peace and quiet, you’ll be heartily welcomed with a wonderful breakfast. All kinds of cooked breakfasts to order – including kippers, or porridge with cream – are complemented by giant croissants and freshly-carved serrano ham. You won’t leave hungry, and if you’re staying another day you can set yourself up to explore the two thousand acres of national trust land and coastal paths, or to browse the lanes of Salcombe and the surrounding beaches.
I’m pretty certain you won’t want to leave…
Helen and her family visited as guests of Soar Mill Cove hotel for the purposes of review. The hotel has a selection of rooms to suit all travellers; from secluded suites for couples, to flexible luxury for families, and even dog-friendly self-catering perfect for larger groups. For a very special occasion, you can even secure exclusive use of the hotel and grounds, including the beach.
You can see more of Helen’s adventures at Soar Mill Cove on her blog.