At Hope & Anchor, a warm and welcoming South Devon pub with stunning sea views
The bay that time has forgotten – and the magnificent pub and rooms it houses: Inside Hope & Anchor, a warm and welcoming inn in a time capsule village on the South Devon coast
Approaching a hotel can be incredibly important in determining its atmosphere, so take your time to enjoy the final leg on the drive to Hope & Anchor.
Lanes with high hedges meander for miles down beneath ancient trees, offering tantalizing glimpses of a sparkling sea drawing ever closer in this corner of South Devon.
Ultimately the view opens into Hope Cove, a tiny sandy beach framed by craggy rocks. Park by the seawall and you are right outside this classic maritime inn, the timeless heart of a community huddled in the shelter of the cliffs.
It’s warm and bustling inside at Hope & Anchor, a sprawling jack-of-all-trades village pub, restaurant, chic hotel and beach bar, all blending into a warm, welcoming world where you can instantly feel at home, no matter whether you want to retreat in comfort or embrace the wet and wild nature.
Upstairs is the realm of the hotel, its winding corridors packed with delightfully whimsical artwork. Rooms have chunky vintage keys, modern neutral chalk color, and huge beds, but it’s all dominated by the stunning sea views. It’s only later that you notice the Nespresso coffee machine, fridge (with a jug of fresh milk), and generous complimentary bottles of St Austell Brewery Ales.
Simon Heptinstall checks into Hope & Anchor in the Devonshire village of Hope Cove (above), which has two sandy beaches and a ‘Wonderfully Windy’ clifftop coastal path
The Hope & Anchor is a classic maritime inn with a village pub, restaurant, hotel and beach bar
For larger groups, up to eight people can stay at The Beachcomber, a spacious three bedroom self-catering cottage located opposite the pub and just meters from the beach.
Days can be spent in the Hope Cove time capsule. Splash or laze on one of the two sandy beaches, stroll the wonderfully windswept clifftop coastal path, or explore the village footpaths among piles of lobster pots and picturesque cottage gardens – the hotel has good printed walking routes available.
Or look for the public barometer in a glass case behind the old lifeboat station (used by boaters to check the weather) and the ultimate relaxation spot in the quaint Edwardian Fisherman’s Reading Rooms, where loud talking is not allowed.
It was chilly during our visit to Hope & Anchor so we decided to dine between the lively bar and the quieter restaurant, right next to a lovely warming wood stove.
“Rooms have chunky old keys, modern neutral chalk color, and huge beds, but it’s all dominated by the stunning sea views,” writes Simon
Nespresso coffee machines and generous complimentary bottles of St Austell Brewery are featured in the inn’s guest rooms
Isolated: Above is The Beachcomber, a spacious three bedroom self catering cottage opposite the pub which is only a few yards from the beach
Simon describes the inn as “a warm, welcoming world where you immediately feel at home”
The menu is far more sophisticated than you would expect from a seaside pub. On offer during my visit were mushroom arancini with truffle and chive mayonnaise, vodka-cured salmon with horseradish, succulent scallops fresh from local fisherman Nick and sea bass from Brixham Fish Market that morning.
Breakfast is served in a modern wood and glass room upstairs overlooking the bay.
Whether you choose a deep fry made with West Country ingredients or a healthier choice, the 20-mile panorama across the bay is a constant distraction. There’s an outside terrace on warmer days, which must make it hard to eat at all.
Hope and Anchor, Hope Cove, South Devon. B&B prices start from £94 per night (hopeandanchor.co.uk).