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Cornwall holidays: A review of St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, which offers charming rooms and epic views

On Camel Estuary, a stone’s throw from Polzeath and a ferry crossing from Padstow, Rock in Cornwall is loved by boaters.

The long sandy beach and beautiful hiking trails also make it a magnet for holidaymakers. But when the waterfront is busy it can all feel a bit hectic, so kudos to the beautiful St Enodoc Hotel.

Located on a hill overlooking the estuary on one side and the lush countryside on the other, it was originally built as a private residence in 1924.

Vicki Reeve checks in at St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, pictured, which offers epic views over the Camel's estuary

Vicki Reeve checks in at St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, pictured, which offers epic views over the Camel’s estuary

The hotel is run by young couple James and Lucy Strachan, whose family bought and renovated St Enodoc in 2019 and reopened just weeks before closing

The hotel is run by young couple James and Lucy Strachan, whose family bought and renovated St Enodoc in 2019 and reopened just weeks before closing

The remote location means you’re far from the crowds, but able to pop in and out of the crowds below as and when you want.

When we arrive, climbing the stairs of the car park through the nicely planted gardens, we pass the outdoor swimming pool, a petanque court and a zen zone. Friendly, relaxing vibes permeate the bright, colorful, comfortable interior. Nothing is flashy or too difficult.

The young couple James and Lucy Strachan, who run the business, are very hands-on. Their family bought and renovated St Enodoc in 2019 and reopened just weeks before the lockdown. A rocky start? You would never know now.

Vicki describes the hotel's interior as bright, colorful and comfortable.

Vicki describes the hotel’s interior as bright, colorful and comfortable. “Nothing is flashy or too difficult,” she notes

Vicki is staying in a 'charming' Superior Double with a coastal style view of the coast, one of which is pictured above.

Vicki is staying in a ‘charming’ Superior Double with a coastal style view of the coast, one of which is pictured above. “It has a super comfy, super king-sized bed (our spoiled dog puts on a fuzzy pillow) and a couch I curl up on to enjoy the view,” she says.

The property was originally built as a private residence in 1924. Pictured is a Superior Twin Room with Estuary Views - one of the hotel's 21 rooms

The property was originally built as a private residence in 1924. Pictured is a Superior Twin Room with Estuary Views – one of the hotel’s 21 rooms

Vicki picks up on the hotel's 'friendly, relaxed atmosphere'.  Upstairs is a cozy family suite overlooking the estuary

Vicki picks up on the hotel’s ‘friendly, relaxed atmosphere’. Upstairs is a cozy family suite overlooking the estuary

After an excellent Elemis massage and facial at the spa, then a good walk, I return to our charming Superior Double Room with Coastal Estuary View. One of 21 rooms and suites, it has a super comfy super king size bed (our spoiled dog lays down a fuzzy pillow) and a couch I plop on to enjoy the view. The crisp white bathroom includes Bramley toiletries. There is a smart TV, Nespresso machine, kettle, tea and biscuits galore.

Not that we’re nibbling for dinner, as we’ve booked the nine-course tasting menu at St Enodoc’s pièce de résistance: Karrek. Celebrating Cornish produce and much of it from the family farm in Devon, Karrek is the smarter, more intimate of two restaurants overseen by Chef Guy Owen.

Suffice it to say that this is one of the most exquisite meals I have ever had.

Vicki enjoys a nine-course tasting menu at Karrek (pictured), the hotel's restaurant overseen by Chef Guy Owen.

Vicki enjoys a nine-course tasting menu at Karrek (pictured), the hotel’s restaurant overseen by Chef Guy Owen. “This is one of the most exquisite meals I’ve ever had,” she admits

Pictured is the hotel's Brasserie restaurant, which opens to the terrace and serves barbecue lunches in summer

Pictured is the hotel’s Brasserie restaurant, which opens to the terrace and serves barbecue lunches in summer

The Brasserie restaurant (pictured) has a 'cracking menu', says Vicki

The Brasserie restaurant (pictured) has a ‘cracker menu’, says Vicki

Just when we think we’ve tasted the most delicious dish – shiitake broth with seaweed, or oyster and mussel risotto – another ambrosial plate arrives.

Dessert is a wonderfully delicate ‘Viennetta’ of rhubarb and white chocolate.

It might sound ridiculous to say that £100 a head for evening meals is a steal, but for this standard it really is. A Michelin star can’t be far away.

The airy, casual Brasserie also has a fantastic menu, including breakfast with avocado, smoked salmon or a full Cornish. The doors open onto the terrace, which tempts barbecue lunches on summer Saturdays. Rock on!

Rock's long sandy beach (pictured) and beautiful hiking trails make it a magnet for holidaymakers, says Vicki

Rock’s long sandy beach (pictured) and beautiful hiking trails make it a magnet for holidaymakers, says Vicki

TRAVEL FACTS

St Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall. B&B from £170 per night (enodoc-hotel.co.uk

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