It had been our first day of gloomy clouds and chilly showers. Autumn was creeping in to block out the summer sun, and it was time for comfort food.
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Switching off autopilot and screeching to a halt outside the entrance to the Rosevine, I realised where we were. The hotel sits just up the road from Porthcurnick beach. What a spot. I took in the stretch of garden that reached out to the sea for a moment before realising that in typical fashion, I was a tad late.
The hall, lit prettily with fairy lights and lined with doors and dressing tables is one you feel compelled to explore – but again, my poor timekeeping meant that would have to wait until later. The dining room is sweet and small, complementing the rest of the hotel with its almost beachside manor house feel. In sea green Lloyd Loom chairs we sat at our glass-topped table with a crisp, white tablecloth laid with elegant silverware and candles. A beautiful room divider stood on the wooden floor adding a touch of privacy, and even the servers’ station looked to be an antique.
I ordered confit duck leg with deliciously crispy skin, roasted carrot and creamed potatoes. Our charming waitress Sarah, happily substituted the cavolo nero in my dish to suit my picky preference. My fellow diner opted for hake fillet with spinach, cauliflower and cashew nuts in a beautiful, light curry sauce. Unfortunately the chef was resistant to our desperate attempts to wrestle the recipe out of him. Dessert consisted of the lightest brownie I have ever eaten, wonderfully gooey to contrast with homemade honeycomb and chocolate mousse. The sticky toffee pudding, which I had set my eyes on from the moment I glanced at the menu, was perfect, with butterscotch sauce and clotted cream. Bliss. Now was the time for a wander.
The adjoining room featured a large mahogany dining table, and enormous mid-twentieth century style drum lampshades hung above leather armchairs and backgammon sets. Sarah guided me through to the drawing room, which was gently lit and filled with wooden chests and inviting sofas. Centred round the fire, I could just imagine snuggling up with a book and a blanket. Softly knocking on the door to the playroom, we found a couple doing just that. It was a little late to find kids raiding the contents of the toy cupboard after all.
Owners Tim and Hazel offer a discount to locals, so should you live nearby and feel tempted to sample the locally sourced menu and Hazel’s excellent taste in reclaimed furniture, let that be an incentive. Visitors from further afield can expect comfort and helpful facilities such as delicious lunches cooked fresh to take with you on an atmospheric coastal walk before returning to the fireside for a cosy liqueur coffee. Autumn isn’t looking so dreary after all.