Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Restoration Drama; Happy Valley: Rooms at the Cove Have Marvellous Views of the Sea

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Restoration Drama; Happy Valley: Rooms at the Cove Have Marvellous Views of the Sea

Article excerpt


SHOULD it be Jude and Sienna? Or Kate Winslet and Paul Bettany? Duringour stay at The Cove we played the game of "Who should star in the film?" Afive-star boutique hotel (located in a hidden valley on the Land's Endpeninsular), The Cove once played host to a love triangle that scandalisedCornwall's 19th-century artist community.

The president of the Royal Academy Sir Alfred Munnings brought his young wifeFlorence to live in the hotel, where she fell in love with a handsome landagent. It ended badly, of coursethe agent took a posting abroad; the young wife poisoned herself. But the storyhas all the ingredients of a Great British Costume Drama. A novel based on thestory, Summer in February, is being made into a filmand the hotel has a starring role.

We arrived at The Cove frazzled from London on Friday night. But it's hard notto fall in love with a coastline as beautiful as Lamorna Cove. For a start,it's so peaceful. Just west of Penzance, this is tropical Cornwall: with palmtrees, turquoise sea and wonderful beaches. In early spring, it feels like theMed.

The new London owners have refurbished The Cove (once a whiskery old colonels'retreat) so it really is the height of penthouse chic. The original building (agranite stone prayer house from 1850) has been extended with a glass annex tocreate 13 self-catering apartments. The design is utterly contemporary, withEgyptian cotton sheets and glass and wood furnishings. The colour scheme(turquoise, caramel and white) is based on the coastal view. In the apartmentwhere I stayed, you can lie in your fourposter and watch the sea.

Service is attentive but near-invisible.

Each flat has a fully equipped kitchen; flat-screen TV and DVD in both loungeand bedroom; wireless broadband and luxury detailing including oak flooring,rain showers and limestone bathrooms.

Some have outside terraces and balconies; one its own large garden. But ifyou're not the Nigella type, you won't starve. Pastries are delivered to yourdoor for breakfast; staff will stock your fridge with home-made meals andorganic food from local markets; and the restaurant (overseen byMichelinstarred chef Ben Tunnicliffe) serves a delicious menu including freeseafood hand-dived scallops, Newlyn crab sandwiches roasts and rib-eye steak. …

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