On the Camel Estuary, a stone’s throw from Polzeath and a ferry crossing from Padstow, Rock in Cornwall is popular with boaters.
Its long sandy beach and wonderful walks also make it a magnet for vacationers. But things can get a little hectic when the water’s busy, so give the wonderful St Enodoc Hotel praise.
Set on a hilltop overlooking the estuary on one side and lush countryside on the other, it was originally built in 1924 as a private home.
Vicki Reeve checks into the pictured St Enodoc Hotel in Rock which has stunning views over the Camel’s Estuary
The hotel is run by young couple James and Lucy Strachan, whose family bought and renovated St Enodoc in 2019 and reopened just weeks before lockdown
The secluded location means you’re far from the hustle and bustle of the crowds but able to slip in and out of the hustle and bustle below at your leisure.
When we arrive we climb the steps from the car park through the pretty planted gardens, past the outdoor pool, a petanque court and the zen zone. Friendly, relaxing atmospheres permeate the bright, colorful and cozy interior. Nothing is flashy or tries too hard.
The young couple James and Lucy Strachan who run the business are very active. Her family bought and renovated St Enodoc in 2019, reopening just weeks before lockdown. A Rocky start? You would never know now.
Vicki describes the hotel’s interior as bright, colorful and cosy. “Nothing is flashy or overdone,” she notes
Vicki stays in a ‘charming’ coastal style Superior Estuary View double room, one of which is pictured above. “It’s got a super comfy super king bed (our spoiled dog grabs a fluffy pillow) and a bench seat that I perch on to enjoy the view,” she says
The property was originally built in 1924 as a private home. Pictured is a Superior Twin Room with Estuary View – one of the hotel’s 21 guest rooms
Vicki notes the hotel’s “friendly, relaxing vibe.” Upstairs is a cozy family suite overlooking the estuary
After an excellent Elemis massage and facial at the spa and a leisurely stroll, I return to our charming coastal style Superior Estuary View Double Room. One of 21 rooms and suites, it has a super-comfy super-king-size bed (our spoiled dog secures a fluffy pillow) and a bench seat that I perch on to enjoy the view. The crisp white bathroom is stocked with Bramley toiletries. There is a Smart TV, Nespresso machine, kettle, tea and biscuits galore.
Not that we nibble before dinner, as we booked the nine-course tasting menu at St Enodoc’s pièce de résistance: karrek. Karrek celebrates Cornish produce, many from the family’s Devon farm. Karrek is the smarter, more intimate of two restaurants helmed by Executive Chef Guy Owen.
Suffice to say this is one of the most exquisite meals I have ever had.
Vicki enjoys a nine-course tasting menu at Karrek (pictured), the hotel restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Guy Owen. “It’s one of the most exquisite meals I’ve ever had,” she admits
Pictured is the hotel’s brasserie-style restaurant, where doors open onto the terrace and grill lunches are served in the summer
The brasserie-style restaurant (pictured) has a “crunchy menu,” says Vicki
Just as we think we’ve tasted the most delicious dish – shiitake broth with seaweed or oyster and clam risotto – another ambrosian plate arrives.
Dessert is a wonderfully tender rhubarb and white chocolate “Viennetta”.
It might sound ridiculous to say that £100 a head for dinner is a steal, but by this standard it really is. A Michelin star can’t be far away.
The airy, casual brasserie also has a great menu, including breakfasts of avocado, smoked salmon or a full Cornish. Doors open onto the patio, where BBQ lunches tempt on summer Saturdays. Go on!
Rock’s long sandy beach (pictured) and wonderful hiking trails make it a magnet for vacationers, according to Vicki
St Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall. B&B from £170 per night (enodoc-hotel.co.uk).