It's just a little old inn perched at the top of a slipway in a tiny Cornish hamlet, but The Lugger at Portloe has somehow achieved iconic status. Perhaps because its owners have injected seaside simplicty with a measure of chic without adding an ounce of pretension. Or simply because its romantic harbourside location is unbeatable.
Twenty-two bedrooms and suites are spread over three small stone buildings, with a cottage on the cliffs providing perfect seclusion for honeymooners and storm-watchers who want to cosy up in front of their own wood-burner. We (and our dog - pooches are welcome) were billeted in a BRIGHT, white attic room with a big, shuttered picture window overlooking the sea and fishing boats. Bedroom and bathroom alike oozed deep but unobtrusive comfort.
Excellent food is served in the large, but cosy, beamed dining-room, with a wide choice of well-prepared fresh fish. Properly cooked porridge and fine kippers were a feature of breakfast, where the only niggle was the unexpected absence of freshly-squeezed juice. By day, sunny decks are a delightful place to enjoy lunch, cream tea or drinks.
While it is over-stating matters to call the treatment room a spa, a full range of face and body treatments are offered, plus everything else stressed urban souls might require, like reiki reflexology and pedi.
There's no beach at Portloe, an old smugglers' haunt, but plenty to explore along the Roseland Peninsula, and major resort life seven miles away at St. Mawes.
Rates: from £110