Review: The Gannet Inn, St Ives
PUBLISHED: 13:06 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 22 December 2017
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Cornwall has many lovely places to stay – but there is something rather refreshing about this boutique hotel overlooking the blue flag Carbis Bay beach, discovers Carol Burns
I’ll admit I have driven passed The Gannet Inn many times on my way to St Ives in the last year or so and thought: ‘Oooo, that looks nice’. And after being invited to spent time there, I can confirm it really, really is. A regular to Carbis Bay beach and a keen observer of all the incredible improvement works that have been undertaken in recent years by the Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate (not least its Beach Club Restaurant), The Gannet is a standalone boutique hotel where every detail has been carefully considered – from the décor to its extensive restaurant menu.
One of the first things I noticed was that, rather excitingly, the décor eschews the classic beachside abode look in favour of something slightly more New England in style – which makes it the perfect place to find ourselves on a cold winter’s evening. The classic blue hues are replaced with warm tones of grey and gold reflecting the wooden floors and roaring fire where embers emanate from a fireplace big enough to stand in.
The boutique hotel sits high above Carbis Bay offering views that make it very hard to move away from the perfecting placed window seat I find in our charming room. The ceiling rises into the eaves creating an airy space which is dominated by a big comfortable bed. The spotless en-suite featuring bath, waterfall shower and plenty of luxury goodies has the added extra of skirting level coloured nightlights – endlessly useful for younger guests sleeping in an unfamiliar room.
After the sun has set, we head downstairs to the open plan restaurant and lounge space, where drinks are served as we peruse the menu on comfortable sofas. Once ordered there is no need to leave the comfy seats until the food is ready to be served. Our drinks follow us to the table, courtesy of the friendly maître d’ who serves up platters of delicious food. First up is a Baked Camembert served with warm bread and roasted vegetables. My companion enjoys a hearty warming red pepper soup. The entre menu is extensive and hearty, created by the AA Rosette winning chef at the Carbis Bay Hotel, Spa & Estate. Each dish has been developed to fit with their home-cooking style menu, which is packed full of locally sourced ingredients from the finest Cornish producers. Featuring something for everyone – including steak, fish dishes and chicken kiev as well as burgers and pies; it’s nice to see more than a nod to vegetarian diners on the menu with two thoughtful dishes: Moroccan Spiced Ratatouille served with Herby Rosti, Poached Duck Egg, Cauliflower Fritters and Parmesan Crisp and a hearty plate of pasta pomodoro. They say you can tell a good chef by their omelette, but in my house, we tend towards the chip-test. The Gannet’s delicious hand cut chips served on the side are the first dish to be completed as we argue over the last one. The good news is that the restaurant is open to non-residents for lunch and dinner and is clearly popular with locals.
After such a hearty meal there is only one thing to possibly to – head up the stairs to our cosy room and listen to the stormy winter weather cocooned in pure white Egyptian cotton. Getting a good night’s sleep after all that fresh beach air is a given, but this hotel is one of the quietest I have ever stayed in – and for that alone it would get five stars. I can only say that The Gannet left all of us greedy for more.