Fowey Hall Hotel is an ultra-stylish Cornish hotel that puts families at its heart.
This chic, five-star seaside retreat is bursting with activities for all ages. An ideal getaway with children, time here is spent snuggling up with a board game during winter, or swimming in the outdoor pool come summer. With trips to beautiful beaches, or mornings spent meandering around the cobbled streets of nearby towns, this grand Victorian property makes for a great family stay. Citizen Enfants checked in to take a closer look.
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOU
The moment you enter the sweeping drive towards the grand-looking Fowey Hall Hotel, you instantly know you’re somewhere special. The hotel, which provided the British novelist Kenneth Grahame with the original inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows, revels in Victorian history with grand entrance ways, beautifully-designed lounge areas, rich reclaimed-wood parquet flooring, and marble fireplaces. There are playful touches too though: a jar of cookies by the door, bunnies in hutches by the kids’ club, and Yoto players for children to borrow. This is not just a hotel where kids are tolerated, but one where they are truly welcomed with an excellent offering for families.
The Food + Drink
The hotel’s desire to please both children and discerning adults extends to its excellent menus. Breakfast is a feast, where children will delight in picking from the buffet that includes waffles and pancakes, while grown-ups will appreciate the locally-reared bacon and sausages in the full English, or the lighter options such as avocado and poached egg on toast. Dining is all day, featuring seasonal and locally-sourced dishes. A children’s tea is served from 5PM, where young guests are given colouring equipment and games while they wait for a crowd-pleasing menu of burger and chips, penne pasta and other high tea delights (babies are offered freshly-pureed meals, too). Adults can join them, of course, or wait until they are in bed and use the video monitors provided to enjoy an elevated dinner in peace: think lemon sole in a brown butter shrimp sauce or locally-sourced steak and chips. Cocktails are excellent and the wine list extensive, too.
The 60 rooms are as stylishly decorated as the rest of the hotel, with handmade oak beds, antiques, bespoke wallpaper and restful colour palettes. There are interconnecting rooms and suites to fit larger families, and cot and pull-out bed options for those who want to accommodate children in their room. Bramley toiletries are stocked in the bathrooms, and homemade shortbread (shaped like crabs which is a cute touch) is replenished daily.
The Child’s Play
Families are entitled to an hour and a half session in the excellent Ofsted-registered kids’ club. There are two groups; one for very little ones from just three months old and one for the over-sevens, and the latter can take forest school-inspired adventures. You can also pay for extra sessions, and babysitting can be booked. Outside of kids’ club hours, the Four Bears Den – a gorgeously kitted out playroom – is available for families to use, and the team run family activity sessions, including biscuit decorating, den building and games on the lawn. There’s also evening marshmallow roasting around a campfire, when the weather allows. Additional activities available to book include family cooking lessons or hiring a boat to sail up the estuary. There’s an excellent – and imaginative – playground on site, and lawn games available to borrow. You can even rent Bugaboo buggies to save bringing your own. The dark wood library is stocked with children’s classics for all ages, and the grand living room has family games, from Dobble to Scrabble. Add to all of this, story time in the library, a cinema room with two evening showings (one aimed at the under-fives and the slightly later one for older kids), and a teens’ games room kitted out with vintage arcade machines and table football, and you’ll soon understand just how welcome families are here.
The hotel has a spa tucked away in a separate building with a 12-metre indoor pool, a heated outdoor pool and four treatment rooms. Standout treatments are those that include seaweed-based products, in line with the coastal theme throughout the property. The spa also has a thoughtful menu for those who are pregnant, and children will love the range of junior options.
The To Do List
A short walk down the hill leads to the fishing village Fowey, where you can amble around the winding cobbled streets, browsing in shops and plotting your next meal: Appleton’s is open for lunch and dinner year-round and serves up a contemporary Italian menu, featuring seasonal Cornish ingredients; The Fitzroy and its sibling restaurant, North Street Kitchen offer excellent, freshly-caught fish and delicious biodynamic wines, and are open from March – October, with occasional pop ups. Turn right out of the hotel and you’ll hit Readymoney Cove, a picture-perfect but minuscule beach with a swimming platform and an excellent café – ideal for a post-swim cup of tea. Continue up the steps behind the beach and walk the South West Path up to St Catherine’s Castle, and on to a lighthouse a few miles along the track. Further afield, The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Mevagissey is a 200-acre garden that boasts the UK’s only outdoor jungle; children will enjoy crossing the rope bridge, spotting the animals on the farm and an enormous adventure playground that caters to all ages.
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