Having spent half of my life in England, there are still many parts of the country that I have yet to explore, particularly along the South West Coast. And since there is no time like the present, we took the opportunity to venture south towards South Devon for a winter seaside getaway at the luxurious boutique hotel, Cary Arms & Spa, a hidden gem tucked away in the sheltered and sunny spot of Babbacombe Bay.
We stayed in one of their unique Luxury Beach Huts, the simplistic design of the exterior terrace, complete with sunbathing deck chairs, reminiscent of traditional seaside charm, combined with the contemporary duplex interior, hand-crafted furnishings, and bold, contemporary art-work; functional yet aesthetically pleasing, with stunning uninterrupted views across Lyme Bay to Portland Bill along the Jurassic Coast.
Complimentary sloe gin was served, ready for our arrival at our Beach Hut, alongside a bottle of wine and soft drinks chilled in the mini Smeg fridge. A Nespresso espresso machine and Smeg kettle was also provided on the wet bar. The bathroom suite was spacious, with a waterfall walk in shower, equipped with fresh bath towels, slippers and bath robes. They had also kindly prepared a dog bed and a ‘Doggy Heaven’ welcome pack for Charlotte, who settled in comfortably next to the contemporary, crackling effect, fireplace. On the mezzanine floor was a king-sized bed where we woke up each morning to a charming view of the sea through the pillow level porthole. Whilst it may have been cold and windy outside, the Beach Hut was well-insulated with underfloor heating.
In need of some rest and relaxation after the long drive from London, we headed straight to their sea-facing spa, equipped with a waterfall hydrotherapy pool, relaxation area, steam room, sauna, exotic experience shower, gym, two treatment rooms, and changing facilities. They also have a wide range of treatments available to suit your needs, using two product ranges, Thalgo & Gaia. In need of a bit of self-pampering, I was treated to the an hour long Gaia Bespoke Massage which uses effective and natural ingredients, combined with highly therapeutic techniques such as Swedish, Deep tissue and Aromatherapy to relax the body and mind.
We enjoyed several warm and comforting meals at the inn during our stay, a cosy space which maintains the charm and character of when it was built in the 1880s, warmed by a log burner on in the evenings. The menus are seasonal and they source their ingredients from suppliers who have been chosen for their excellence, proximity and the passion for what they do. Breakfast was provided on both mornings during out stay, where we began with a hearty Continental breakfast spread before tucking into one of their freshly cooked breakfast options, which included classics such as Eggs Benedict and pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. For lunch, we sat in the Conservatory which was light and airy; I had the Catch of The Day, which was a duo of sea bass and hake. There’s nothing quite like tucking into freshly cooked seafood by the sea. Dinner was a more intimate affair, as we enjoyed a delicious three course meal at a cosy table by the log burner. Highlight dishes included pan seared Brixham scallops, oven baked fillet of brill, West Country fillet of steak, and an espresso crème brûlée.
There were plenty of tables on the terrace which would certainly be ideal for outdoor dining and drinks in the warmer months, including a Captains Table which can be booked for special occasions.
The Resident’s Lounge had a really warm and welcoming ambience, the perfect spot to while away the evening by the fireplace after a hearty meal at the inn. Furnished with plush sofas and lounge chairs, there was also a chess table and billiard room that kept us entertained. Dogs were also kindly allowed in, which was a plus.
A short walk from the inn was Babbacombe Beach, a small pebble beach, and Oddicombe Beach, a long red sandy beach; not quite as lively during the winter months, but a nice coastal path for a relaxing walk nonetheless.
With the summer months approaching soon, I’m certain that this will be a hit with locals and tourists alike. In the meantime I’ll be doing more research on unique (and dog-friendly) locations around the UK – any suggestions or recommendations are welcome.
- My experience at Cary Arms & Spa was complimentary – views and photos are my own