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The Idle Rocks, St Mawes

My readers will know how wary I am of restaurants with panoramic views. Equally that I factor into the restaurant experience greeting, comfort, service and cost as much as food. I’m pleased to report that the restaurant at the Idle Rocks scores on every count except possibly value.

I first came here as a very little girl many years ago. Don’t ask when!!! More recently it passed from the Richardson group, who own the Fowey Hotel, to Dave Richards the entrepreneur who is known first as a rally driver and then for his Pro Drive team and spearheading a takeover of Aston Martin. Well up The Sunday Times rich list he and his wife have not spared the cash in refurbing the hotel. It’s a boutique chic hotel set in the picturesque seaside town of St Mawes on the Falmouth estuary with pretty colourful Cornish homes. The restaurant has lovely views over the harbour, town and sea.

The colour scheme is a crisp blue and white to preserve the maritime theme and to endow it with a clean airy decor. We chose our table, which I always like to do, overlooking the sea. Sadly it was a day of grey scudding clouds which did not show the view to its best.

After a Campari and orange, we ordered 3 starters of oysters, fresh crab in a bun and dried saffron rice parcelets with Parmesan shavings. Each was quite delicious. For mains I went for a sea bass. In other circumstances I might have jibbed at the size of the portion but the Daffers tummy had already filled own with the starters my guest and mackerel in a blue cheese salad. In Cornwall I tend to eat local fish and certainly was not let down.

At £120 for two with a decent New Zealand Sauvignon and service not included which I prefer, though this was excellent, it’s not cheap. I did not see the bedrooms but one with a sea view was £350 per night. So if you stayed a week and ate in the restaurant you would be looking at at over five grand for a week which is quite expensive. There is not a awful lot to do and there is neither a swimming pool nor spa but the Eden project, which the National Rust party are visiting today, and the Magical Gardens of Heligsn are within striking distance. A couple of fishing trips and visits to Padstein as its now called, Lands End and St Ives should fill the week.

After three indifferent days of poor weather which we experienced, you have to weigh up the variable English climate into the financial equation though Daffers always found imaginative ways in her mispent youth of passing the time on wet and grey afternoon in a luxurious hotel!!!

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts