The Wordrobe’s Sophie Ritchie visits this contemporary Cornwall hideaway for lunch straight out of a Bond film
I’ve been to my fair share of sleek venues in my time, but upon driving into The Scarlet, an adults-only hotel nestled close to Newquay, I immediately question whether I’ve taken a wrong turn a few roads back and accidentally found myself in the midst of the latest 007 movie.
Modern and modish, The Scarlet is a hotel with a simple yet stunning design aesthetic. Perched upon the cliff tops overlooking Mawgan Porth with its swirling azure water, this sleek Cornish hotel greets its guests with a valet service – and a rather interesting reception-less reception. Staff appear instead as if by magic, adding to the James Bond feel of the property.
I’m shown swiftly downstairs, past the chatty bar filled with casually coifed guests and down another flight of stairs to The Scarlet’s restaurant. With enormous floor to ceiling windows showcasing the mesmerising horizon, this is what I call a cinematic view.
After being led to an elegant table overlooking the outside ocean, I immediately make myself at home in the laid-back atmosphere. Buzzy and bright, the modern restaurant is filled with both guests and locals enjoying the fruits of The Scarlet’s kitchen. No sign of Daniel Craig though.
With a menu designed by Head Chef Mike Francis, the dishes here champion local produce and ingredients are sourced as locally as possible. I’m in the mood for something light (after a week of The Scone, Jam And Clotted Cream Diet, it’s needed) so I opt for The Healthier Option (£16).
This consists of a Juice of the Day, hummus, a trio selection of salads and a choice of either oak smoked salmon with lemon, chicken with chilli pearls or courgette and feta fritters. Always a fan of Cornwall’s fresh seafood, I opt for the former with my sin-free lunch and eagerly await the platter’s arrival.
Because The Scarlet sources its ingredients so locally, the salad options change daily – as do many dishes on the menu. For my visit, it’s samphire, chickpea and cucumber, saffron-infused rice and a vibrant heritage tomato creation on offer.
These are presented prettily in a trio of little white ceramic ramekins, with flavour bursting from each. The samphire number is especially good – adding just the right of crunch with the added cucumber.
After polishing off the hummus with its array of crisp crudités, my fork makes a beeline for the fresh oak smoked salmon with a delicate rocket salad and lemon. You can taste the difference between this and usual varieties – it’s smooth and silky, with a soft texture and melt-in-the-mouth consistency. It has to be said – nowhere does fish quite like Cornwall.
The Wordrobe verdict
The delicate feast now devoured, there’s nothing left to do but bask in the simply gorgeous view and enjoy The Scarlet’s luxurious interiors before it’s time to head off into the horizon.
If you’re after a gourmet experience with a touch of glamour, The Scarlet makes the ideal Cornish pitstop. James Bond, eat your heart out.
Make it happen
Where: Tredragon Rd, Mawgan Porth, Newquay TR8 4DQ
Bookings: Phone 01637 861800 or click here to make a reservation
Words by Sophie Ritchie