The Fal River Festival, Part 4

Here, Simon Skinner reviews the final stop over of his trip to the Fal River Festival in Cornwall; St Mawes Hotel

The final stopover of our trip. St Mawes is a picture-postcard fishing village located opposite Falmouth at the wider end of the estuary in the Roseland Peninsula. A hotspot for holidaymakers and with plenty of moorings and anchorages in the bay, it’s a mecca for the boating and yachting community. St Mawes offers a quiet, private bolt-hole with stunning landscapes at every angle and vantage point, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination for so many summer travellers.

Our accommodation for two nights was the historic St Mawes Hotel. Located directly across the road from the main quayside, where the ferries and leisure boats pull up through the day, you’ll find plenty of people ‘crabbing’ in the summer months but more importantly, where the St Mawes bakery/pasty shop resides, the hotel sits proudly over three stories in the heart of the village.

The ground level hosts the bar area of the hotel; open to all, it serves food including specialty stone-baked pizzas, a fabulous array of drinks and also puts on regular live music on certain days of the week. During the summer months the front doors are always wide open onto the street, encouraging passers-by into the informal bar and restaurant.

Above this, you’ll find the main lounge and dining area, which enjoys breathtaking panoramic views of the bay. Here we were treated to a delectable continental breakfast, made up from delicious produce, including local treats, whilst in the evening, we were presented with some of the most incredible food from the week in the most relaxed surroundings.

A recent addition to the hotel has been the in-house cinema room. A luxurious 25 seater, bespoke built room with a 160” screen, complete with HD projection and a powerful 3D sound system built in. Unfortunately for us, the room was unfinished during our visit, but we managed to take a look at the proposed space and now that it’s finished, the space is available for private hire as well as regular dining and movie nights, organised by the team at the St Mawes Hotel.

Beyond this, across the top floor and to the rear of the building lies the residential space along with an impressive private dining room and it was here that we were invited to enjoy the space that we’d call home for the next couple of days. And what a space it was.

Photo: Drew Gibson

Greeted by a nice cold bottle of Cornish sparkling wine, we settled into the sumptuous surroundings.

Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to get a room with a sea view but in all honesty, it wouldn’t have made a huge difference as the furnishing and general décor was of the highest order. Top marks were awarded by my eldest who decided that the elevated bed that she got to occupy was quite simply, the ‘best thing ever’.

The renovation of the St Mawes Hotel has been expertly undertaken by David and Karen Richards, a husband and wife team that sees Karen’s finishing touches and styling throughout the building. The result of this is a warm, welcoming environment with a relaxed, homely atmosphere. So homely in fact, that they even have a handful of dog-friendly rooms for those who can’t bear to travel without their hounds.

All in all, we were extremely fortunate with the three hotels that we’ve stayed at throughout the River Fal Festival week. Three stunning examples of modern, classic and luxurious residence and just a taste of the joys that can be found around the Falmouth Estuary.

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