Alex Fisher explores Portscatho, Cornwall and stays at Driftwood Hotel, a privately-owned boutique hotel with its own beach and uninterrupted sea views…

This privately-owned boutique hotel with its own beach and uninterrupted sea views serves some of the most imaginative and divine food you’ll find anywhere on our coastline. My mouth still waters at the celery meringue canapé we were served as we waited for our supper. Yes, celery meringue, and it was delicious! The hotel’s restaurant is one of just four in Cornwall to hold a Michelin Star, and head chef Chris Eden’s contemporary and exciting menu makes the most of the region’s best produce.

Located on the Roseland Peninsula – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the rolling landscape and sandy beaches offer stunning walks. We visited in early spring and the lovely gardens and grounds were already full of flowers. Take a stroll along the coast path to pretty Portscatho, just a few miles away, to build up an appetite for an amazing dinner. You can expect a warm welcome from owners Paul and Fiona Robinson, who bought the hotel back in 2002 and continue to offer a secluded escape from the hectic lives we all seem to live now.

Calming blues and creams combine to create a stylish, but relaxed, ambience. A light nautical touch here and there, in the form of navy stripes or driftwood lampshades, adds to the coastal feel. Some rooms have baths and others have showers, so if you have a preference, check when booking. Children are welcome, and baby monitors can be provided so that you can dine with peace of mind.

Complimentary REN toiletries, free WiFi, king or super-king-sized beds, and delicious homemade shortbread was on offer in the rooms when I visited.

All but one of the 14 rooms have sea views, some have the addition of private decking, and the Rustic Cabin overlooks the private beach.

When I asked my companion what he hoped to find on the tasting menu at his first Michelin Star restaurant, he replied: ‘I just want to be surprised.’ It’s such a treat to eat a meal where every dish has been invented specifically by the head chef. We loved Chris Eden’s take on an oyster, served with frozen crème fraîche, white soy, caviar and sea purslane. Despite the complexity of the dish, the clean flavour of the rock oyster shone through. The honey-glazed pork jowl, with hazelnuts, crystallised ginger, rhubarb and radish was another favourite, with the slightly tart flavours of the fruit and vegetables complementing the perfectly cooked meat. The addition of gorse and lemon verbena to the two different desserts brought a real touch of the surrounding countryside to our table. The whole meal was faultless, and combined with a sunny day on the beach, one night here felt like a weekend away.

Rooms range from £190 to £295 a night and include
a cooked breakfast. In low season (28 October to 11 April) the room price includes dinner, and prices start at just £260 for DB&B for two people. If you are just having dinner, a three-course meal is £70 per person.

Call 01872 580644 or visit