Look no further if you’re after romantic views and fantastic food at one of Cornwall’s best eateries, says Kirsty Nutkins.
Restaurant of the Week: Sea View at The Scarlet Hotel
The very name of the restaurant promised to blow me away, and when I arrived at The Scarlet Hotel’s Sea View near Newquay I was suitably wowed. It was a late summer evening and, at 7.30pm, the sun was just setting over the pounding Atlantic surf, streaking the vast violet sky with ribbons of deep claret.
As dinner outlooks go, it’s up there with the best I’ve experienced. But, then, this ultra-cool boutique hotel for adults offers incredible views pretty much at every turn.
Built into the cliffs overlooking the golden powdery sand of Mawgan Porth beach, this eco hotel blurs the boundaries between inside and out, with glass walls, flat roofs covered in sea thrift and a shimmering outdoor natural pool that bleeds into the sky. But if you’re not lucky enough to have bagged a room for the night, you can still enjoy this beautiful retreat over a long lazy lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Ideally located just a short drive from the A39 and Newquay, and just five minutes from Newquay Airport, The Scarlet’s Sea View is situated in one of Cornwall’s best locations, slap bang in the middle of the Bedruthan Steps and stunning two-mile long surf beach Watergate Bay.
Like much of The Scarlet Hotel, Sea View is a large, open space with floor-to-ceiling windows, modern furnishings with splashes of crimson, including bold red curtains – in a nod to its name – and unique artwork and sculptures, many of which are for sale.
There are also statement chandeliers and plush banquet booths, ensuring that the gleaming wooden floors and contemporary furnishings are lent a little warmth and intimacy. And during the warmer months, there’s a large terrace – the perfect spot to soak up the sunshine, while gazing out over the bay.
But while the restaurant has plenty of wow-factor, I suspect it’s the food that keeps people coming back. I started dinner with an aperitif in the bar – a low-lit space with a cluster of booths, suspended on a mezzanine above the restaurant – where I found it difficult to decide between their extensive local Cornish gins, vast array of cocktails and encyclopaedic menu of champagnes and wines, divided into helpful sections such as ‘rich and creamy whites’ and ‘medium and silky reds’. Eventually I settled on the Wrecking Coast Sloe Gin, a delicious combination of locally-picked sloes with a good helping of Cornish honey, which didn’t disappoint.
Suitably relaxed and ready for the main event, I headed down to the restaurant, where I caught the end of the sunset while enjoying some warm sourdough and perusing the menu; the focus here is on slow-grown, sustainable and seasonal local produce, and there’s a choice between an à la carte menu or a seven course taster menu, served with carefully-chosen paired wines.
I opted for the à la carte, which featured treats such as Newlyn crab tartlet and Cornish lamb breast to start, followed by whole locally caught John Dory and côte de boeuf, with Padstow kitchen garden greens.
Somehow, I still found room for a dessert afterwards, opting for the pistachio and olive oil cake with chocolate and cherry, which was just as delicious as it sounds.
Sea View does it exactly what it says on the tin – it offers an incredible outlook for a truly magical dining experience. But rather than rely on its location, it serves up some of the best Cornish food you’re likely to find. If you can, stay a night at the beautiful Scarlet Hotel, too, but if you can only stop for food, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Book your table today at scarlethotel.co.uk
Images courtesy of The Scarlet Hotel