What is it?
A cosy Cornish bolthole with super-luxe apartments.
What's the deal?
There’s something uniquely humbling about checking into a holiday apartment that’s both bigger and more luxuriously-appointed than your own flat. We can almost guarantee that the self-catering apartments adjoining Marchants Manor – a four-star hotel set within a whitewashed Queen Anne-style mansion in creative, chilled-out Falmouth – will induce flat-envy, no matter how thoughtfully-curated or well-laid out our own home may be. There are two apartments available to rent, both housed in standalone timber-framed structures ringfenced by thick foliage that keep prying eyes away. The Landlubber features two bedrooms, two bathrooms (each with walk-in rain showers), a capacious dining and living space, a full-sized kitchen, and a large wraparound terrace with a jacuzzi; the Landlubber is similarly laid out, only with an ocean-facing patio. Both are stylishly decorated in brown, green, and blue tones that nod to Falmouth’s bountiful fauna; little nautical touches also pay tribute to the town’s position by the sea.
Inside the main house, a snug bar and lounge space invites guests to stay a while with a crackling fireplace and plenty of plush seating options. Muted grey-blue walls let the architecture speak for itself – doorways and nooks trimmed in ornate moulding, soaring colonial windows, and grand white columns all add up to a luxe but cosy atmosphere. The hotel restaurant, Rastella, is where newly-minted head chef Aiden Blakely-May – a Falmouth local who cut his teeth cheffing in London kitchens – serves produce-forward dishes with an agnostic, cut-and-paste approach to flavour. Take the two snacks that open the £59 set menu – one is a mini-tartlet of fried chicken, served simply with homemade sriracha and clearly inspired by the deep-fryer food of East Asia; the other is a breaded arancini-like ball of Davidstow cheddar that’s cribbed from British tastes. You also have the option to go a la carte at lunch or dinner – the wine list showcases British biodynamic and natural bottles alongside more classic varietals from the continent. Rooms in the main house are bright and simply-decorated, and come either double or king-sized.
Merchants Manor bills itself as a “grown-up holiday retreat”. While we’re not exactly sure what that means, the hotel does make a great base for a romantic seaside holiday à deux – particularly if you can spring for one of the apartments, where a combination of space and privacy makes the perfect love pad.
The best stay for...
Lovers looking for a weekend by the sea.