Ferry into sunset
ST MAWES, CORNWALL Catch the last rays of a sunny day on a stretch of the Cornish coast that has it all – a ferry ride, great views and fantastic food and drinks, says Nicola Smith
St Mawes, Cornwall
here are few more magical places to celebrate the welcome return of sultry summer evenings than motoring across the waves as Falmouth’s undulating skyline recedes and the majestic form of Pendennis Castle comes into view.
The passenger ferry (www. falriver.co.uk) runs between the Cornish seaside town of Falmouth and the small fishing harbour of St Mawes. It takes just 20 minutes, leaving Prince of Wales Pier and taking in the views over the village of Flushing, sweeping past Falmouth’s impressive docks and heading out to the Carrick Roads. I have often seen dolphins and basking sharks put on a show for ferry passengers in this stretch of
Twater, ducking and diving as their captive audience squeals with delight. Rounding Pendennis’ twin, St Mawes Castle (both were built by Henry VIII), you quickly arrive in the attractive St Mawes harbour – a short walk from the understated Tresanton Hotel, boasting a terrace tailor-made for a sundowner… (see box)
KEEP LOOK OUT
Brainchild of renowned hotelier, Olga Polizzi, the Tresanton has evolved from its origins as a waterside yachtsmen’s club to an indulgent hideaway (it boasts its own cinema and even its own yacht), with views across to St Anthony’s Lighthouse.
As the theatre of the sunset unfolds, it is unlikely you will want to leave this wondrous spot after just a cocktail. Instead, slip inside to the restaurant with its floor-toceiling windows and watch as the sky darkens and the distant lighthouse calls across the water.
Stay the night in one of the decadently furnished rooms (room 29 boasts a huge picture window framing St Anthony’s Head across the water) and wake to the seagulls calling and the sun rising over the sea, with the whole of Cornwall before you and ready for a full day of exploring.
TIME FOR A TIPPLE?
My favourite place to watch the sun sink to the west is the terrace – an idyllic spot to enjoy one of the cocktails for which the Tresanton is known. Try the Tresanton Sour, comprising campari, galliano, cranberry, grapefruit and lemon, or the Virgin Mary, made with a closely guarded secret recipe, and sip away as you watch the last of the sailing boats drift home. St Mawes, Cornwall TR2 5DR 01326 270 055 www.tresanton.com
The Cornish fishing village of St Mawes winds down for the evening as it basks in a dusky glow
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