The Wordrobe’s Sophie Ritchie experiences the quirky charm of this seafront hideaway in Porthallow, Cornwall
Located at the end of a windingly narrow, seemingly never-ending country lane (where you’re just as likely to come across a tractor as another car) lies Talland Bay Hotel – a building so automatically charming, that you forget all about the mild battle with Cornish traffic you’ve just endured to find it.
Nestled between the towns of Looe and Polperro, the hotel overlooks Talland Bay with striking views of the turquoise water and carpeted rolling hills. Once a family home, the white-walled 16th-century building is a pretty affair decked out with quirky details and two acres of carefully manicured gardens.
Upon first arriving, expect to question whether you’ve just stumbled across Alice in Wonderland, the Cornish edition. Talland Bay Hotel bursts with eccentric artwork, sculptures and intriguing pieces that’ll have you peering around the rooms and gazing across the gardens.
Giant red teapots, zebra-patterned sofas and paintings displaying dogs decked in suits – there’s no shortage of creativity within these walls. In fact, it’s harder to find a plain piece of wallpaper.
They do things differently at Talland Bay Hotel. Even the reception’s at the back – you stroll across the gardens to find it, making your way past the occasional parrot sculpture and sun lounger.
It’s laid-back, luxurious and utterly unique; and the friendly staff will have you feeling immediately at ease as you check in to the whimsical wonderland.
We stayed in a Superior Sea View room for the night, a spacious and tastefully decorated suite found on the first floor. Plush red velvet couches, star-studded pillows and beautiful touches in the form of lighthouse lamps, pinstripe curtains and White Company toiletries. These are rooms to unwind in – with views stretching far across the grounds and the surrounding bay.
No room is styled the same at Talland Bay Hotel; each offers its own individual decoration and personality. However, expect to find comfy seating, large TVs, inviting bathtubs and endless amusing decor in each.
Whilst beautifully styled, the walls are a little thin and there’s a chance of being woken up a tad too early for your liking.
Good news for the dog lovers though – you can pack up your pooch and take it along too, as “well-behaved hounds are always welcome”. Many of the rooms are dog-friendly, as well as the Brasserie restaurant (which meant that breakfast was full of puppy dog eyes attempting to get their share of the plates passing out of the kitchen).
Choose from two delectable dining options. Indulge with the double AA-rosette Terrace Restaurant (another equally madly decorated space) with fine-dining feasts or tuck in next door at the Brasserie, a less formal and pooch-approved option.
Both offer menus created by chef Nick Hawke – and don’t forget to pitstop by the bar beforehand for an aperitif and nibble. There’s also cream teas on offer for something traditional during your Cornwall adventure.
If Salvador Dali fancied a holiday in Cornwall, there’s no doubt that Talland Bay Hotel would be his automatic choice of accommodation. Quirky, a little crazy and utterly comfortable – this is luxury at its light-hearted best.
Make it happen
Where: Talland Bay Hotel, Porthallow, Cornwall PL13 2JB
Cost: Rooms start from £250 in high season
Bookings: Phone 01503 272667 or visit tallandbayhotel.co.uk to make a reservation