In need of a Bank Holiday break?
Paloma Minter recommends you head to the South West Coast.
4 At The Beach
Sometimes you just need to put city life behind you for a few days and head to the country. Fresh air, a slower pace of life, long walks along the coast and great food are just what you need to re-charge the batteries.The stunning patchwork field scenery of Devon came-a-calling recently and I headed to the county to check out exactly what it has to offer. It’s just three hours from London to Totnes by train and then a short bus ride to the pretty village of Torcross – you can drive but I think you miss so much concentrating on a map or the dreaded sat nav!
Looking for the ultimate chilled seaside experience, I booked 4 At The Beach, a gorgeous two-bedroom apartment, and yes, you guessed it, it’s right on the beach. Open the window and you can smell the sea. You’re also just 30 seconds from feeling the pebbles between your toes – perfect. The spacious apartment boasts an open plan living area with views towards the beach and out to sea. Stylish furnishings include an 'L' shaped 4-seater sofa bed, comfy arm chair, flat screen TV with Freeview, DVD/CD player and Wi-Fi internet access. There are two double bedrooms, one which is en-suite, as well as a shower room, and a full-equipped kitchen, complete with dining table that seats four. You can also access a patio making it a great spot for BBQs, though with the beach so near, you’ll probably want to cook out there! The peaceful village of Torcross offers a relaxing holiday destination, while still having plenty in the local area to keep you entertained. The local shop is extremely well-stocked but if you feel like eating out, there are a number of pubs and cafes to choose from serving fantastic local seafood. A delicious fish and chip dinner at the Start Bay Inn is a must.
4 At the Beach sleeps 4-6 and can be booked from £369 per week.
Short breaks of three nights or longer can be booked starting from £265.
Dart Marina Spa
The naval town of Dartmouth is just 20 minutes away and is a great day out destination. The Dart Marina Hotel & Spa is ideal for sitting outside with a glass of wine while you watch the boats sail in. It’s also home to the fabulous Devon Health spa, where you can soothe your body, mind and soul in the dual treatments room. If you’re going way for the weekend with your partner, The Romantic Soul Package - £92 per person - includes fruit tea on arrival, an Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow and a Deep Tissue Massage. Or treat yourself to the Recharge and Renew Spa Day – a favourite package for all over rejuvenation. At £107 per person it includes fruit tea on arrival, an Aroma-Spa Body Wrap and Deep Tissue Back Massage.
There are also plenty of treatments with guys in mind, including facials, massages, manicures, and even waxing, ouch! All of the day spa packages have been specifically designed to cater for your pamper needs and include full use of the spa facilities including swimming pool, fitness suite, spa pool and steam room.
South Sands Hotel
It would be impossible to find a prettier Devon village than Salcombe and a more idyllic spot to enjoy than the contemporary boutique South Sands Hotel on South Sands bay. Designed in classic New England style, the hotel has 22 beautifully appointed bedrooms, five opulent beach suites and a beachside restaurant and terrace that offer stunning views of the estuary. Set in a dramatically nautical location, with small boats literally passing your bedroom window, it’s one of the most relaxing places I have ever stayed in the world. If you're feeling energetic, take the 35-minute walk over the cliffs and around the local coves into the heart of Salcombe, with its bijou boutiques, pubs and restaurants. Sailing and water sports are, of course, extremely popular in the warmer months but the shooting and walking trails are also some of the most well-known in the South of England. The restaurant is open seven days a week, with an inspired menu from local celebrity chef, Mitch Tonks, which makes the most of the South West's fabulous fresh produce, particularly seafood.