Padstow has its celebrity chefs, St Ives its artists and Rock its royal visitors. Yet, for those in the know, Cornwall’s more exclusive Roseland Peninsula offers beguiling countryside, a subtropical climate and killer cuisine. Rosanna Rothery donned her espadrilles for a promenade around the peninsula
Friday night arrival 7pm
For contemporary Cornish cool nobody does it better than The Idle Rocks in St Mawes. Karen Richards’ beach-chic interiors ooze a joie de vivre, striking a balance between vintage nautical and calming contemporary coastal elegance. The result is simply stunning. Those who like to harbour gaze will delight in eating and sleeping here. Head chef Guy Owen’s tasting menus, which include everything from braised kid to roast hake, reflect the romance of the peninsula: special, simple and hot on provenance.
Have a field day 10am
Where better to learn how to make clotted cream or the quintessential Cornish pasty (granny’s own recipe) than in a cattle shed turned cookery school surrounded by fertile farmland? At Philleigh Way cookery school, chef George Pascoe delves into his family’s traditions to offer courses that make the most of daily-landed fish, farm-reared meat and wild treats foraged from nearby riverbanks.
Anyone for the terrace? 1pm
Cloud-watchers and sea-gazers are spoilt for choice on the peninsula but for va va voom views, the sweet waft of rose-scented geraniums and fresh-from-the-Fal oysters, it has to be lunch on the terrace at Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes. Hotel guru Olga Polizzi, a flotilla leader when it comes to the chic boutique Cornish getaway, has designed an idyllic country house and garden, loved by visitors and locals alike. Drink in the dazzling vista with a cocktail from the bar. And in summer months, don’t miss the weekly barbecue.
Can you keep a secret? 3pm
For walkers, the peninsula offers tumbledown castles, gorgeous gardens, fishing villages, wild beaches and coastal paths. If you know the secret spots, there’s some pretty yummy sustenance along the way too.
Visit the 13th century church and subtropical gardens at Saint Just in Roseland and temptation might get the better of you in the form of a swiss meringue sponge and other cakey wickedness at Miss V’s Cornish Cream Tea hut (open from Easter).
Explore the panoramic coastline near Porthcurnick beach and you’ll be elated to stumble upon The Hidden Hut. Seafood nirvana is a fishy chowder chomped to the sound of crashing waves (open from March 26).
Tranquil hideaway 8pm
Overlooking the stunning Gerrans Bay, the Driftwood Hotel, under head chef Chris Eden, has a Michelin star foodie reputation that speaks for itself. Add to that seven acres winding down to its own beach and cove and it’s a not-to-be-missed destination for hungry hedonists looking for luxury lodgings.
Tea by the sea 10am
Stride out around St Anthony’s headland and you’ll be thrilled by the reviving sight of Earl, The Thirstea Co van near Towan Beach, where Seth Richards and Jodi Meenaghan provide hungry hikers with a cup of loose leaf loveliness and baked-down-the-road pasties (open from April).
Nautical but nice 1pm
With reefed yacht sales for curtains, a hessian floor, nostalgic photos of sailing boats and sea views, you can fantasise about casting off into Gerrans Bay at The Nare Hotel’s Quarterdeck restaurant at Carne beach. On a warm day, the terrace is the place to enjoy freshly-hoicked-from-the-sea lobster. And if you stay over, a drink at Ken’s Bar is a must.
Fun, food and film 8pm
Kids are well catered for at The Rosevine hotel which offers a separate menu aimed at young palates plus a no-adults-allowed play room. Games for grown ups include getting giddy on gorgeous views with a glass of bubbly in the tropical garden before tucking into a stunning dinner. Or check out the Friday dinner and movie nights at St Mawes Hotel. The hidden cinema is just one of the attractions at this popular hostelry (a sister to The Idle Rocks). Linger over a bowl of Fowey river mussels by the soothing warmth of a wood burner before heading up to one of the jolly seaside themed rooms.
You bread my mind 10am
Before leaving the peninsula grab your tote and visit Curgurrell Farm Shop at Portscatho, famed for its hand-picked local crab and freshly-landed seafood (open from April). The Da Bara Bakery, meanwhile, on the A3708 to St Mawes is where you can load up your boot with bread puddings, rustic cakes and divine country grain sourdough loaves.