The Beach at Bude – A luxury boutique hotel in North Cornwall
North Cornwall is part of England I know and love. I grew up there and then, thirteen years ago, having spent several holidays in Boscastle, we bought a holiday cottage there. We loved the area and wanted to have somewhere to stay as a family. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, the people are friendly and the pace of life slower than in London and the South East. It’s the perfect escape for me.
The North Cornish coast is truly dramatic with rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and hidden coves only accessible by foot. I have fond memories of catching fish and shrimp in the rock pools at Port Quin when I was a child, a pastime my children have also enjoyed. It is on the Atlantic Ocean so it can be very exhilarating to walk on the cliffs when the wind is blowing. As well as cosy pubs, in even the smallest village, there are restaurants run by well-known chefs – it’s ideal for any food lover; Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Bistro in Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 (also in Padstow) and Nathan Outlaw who runs the Fish Kitchen and Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac as well as The Mariners in Rock.
I first visited the Beach at Bude in June 2016 when I was researching restaurants to recommend for visitors staying at my holiday cottage in Boscastle. It was a warm, sunny day and I had a very enjoyable lunch on the terrace. So, when I was offered the chance to do a full review of the hotel I was more than happy to do so.
The Beach at Bude is a luxury boutique hotel with sixteen rooms situated in Summerleaze Crescent in Bude, North Cornwall, with stunning views of Summerleaze Beach. This is a popular surfing beach all year round. The hotel is bright and modern with a New England feel. There is a ramp for wheelchair access and a room on the ground floor without any steps.
I arrived at the hotel in the afternoon with plenty of time to spare before dinner. The receptionist was very friendly and welcoming. I checked in and went up to my room which was on the second floor of the hotel under the eaves. The room was light and airy with a Juliet balcony looking out over Summerleaze Beach. A dressing gown was laid out on the bed, tea and coffee making facilities were in the room including a small bottle of fresh milk in the fridge, together with some RNLI spring water. The hotel has free Wi-Fi and a flat screen tv in every room.
It was a sunny day so I went for a stroll along the headland towards the sea taking in the brightly coloured beach huts, which are available to rent, and the sea pool which has been a feature of the beach since 1930. I also had time to walk to the town centre, a few minutes walk from the hotel, which has the usual high street shops including W H Smith and Boots as well as tea shops, restaurants and surfing clothes retailers. Bude is another North Cornish town which is following in the footsteps of Padstow and Wadebridge with refurbished hotels, shops and other facilities making it an ideal base from which to explore the whole area.
I returned to the hotel to take a shower before dinner using the Ebony (London) toiletries supplied in the bathroom. The bathroom was spotlessly clean with a modern suite and a walk-in shower. There is a hairdryer supplied in the wardrobe as well as a safe for any valuables.
The terrace and bar at the Beach hotel are both popular with hotel residents, locals and holidaymakers throughout the day so it was busy when I ordered a drink and sat outside to watch the sunset. Definitely a good idea, the sun slowly sets over the beach in front of the terrace, lighting up the sea. The bar is open daily and has an excellent choice of cocktails.
The dining room is spacious and light with comfortable chairs. There is a good choice of dinner menu with a reasonably priced wine list. I chose the scallops with stuffed courgette tempura and salsa verde, followed by the confit of stone bass which came with a salad of clams, mussels, cured Cornish pork, peas, mint, broad beans pickled red onion and fish crackling.
For dessert, the white chocolate set cream with mango and lime sorbet, pistachio sponge, smoked mango puree, toasted pistachios and yoghurt tuiles. The menu makes good use of the fresh produce available in Cornwall. I chose to drink the Sauvignon Blanc which perfectly complemented the food. Each dish was tasty and beautifully presented, the service was good without being overly attentive.
I had a good night’s sleep; the bed was comfortable; the pillows were soft and it was very quiet. When I woke up the following morning the tide had come in and the beach was completely covered by the sea.
The breakfast buffet was laid out with pastries, fresh fruit, cereals and Greek yoghurt. The cooked options included full Cornish breakfast, garden breakfast (vegetarian) and eggs Benedict. I chose the American pancakes with maple syrup and bacon – a delicious start to the day.
As well as Summerleaze beach and Crooklets beach, which is a short walk around the headland, The Beach Hotel is perfectly situated to explore the North Cornish coast. Walkers can access the Cornwall Coast path from Bude in the direction of Boscastle (roughly sixteen miles away) with stunning views of the Atlantic, the geology of Crackington Haven is particularly impressive. It is possible for the keen walker to walk to Boscastle and catch a bus back to Bude. Other surfing beaches along the north coast, Widemouth Bay, Trebarwith Strand and Polzeath are easily reached by car. The historic harbours at Boscastle and Port Isaac are well worth visiting as well as Padstow, park in the Rock Quarry carpark and take the ferry across to Padstow rather than driving the whole way. The Eden Project is also within driving distance and open all year round except for Christmas Day. And, you can hike on Bodmin Moor or, if you prefer something where there’s at least a chance of being indoors, visit the striking if macabre Bodmin Jail, reputedly the most haunted place in England!
Cornwall is beautiful all year round; the cliffs are stunning in the spring when they are carpeted in wild flowers and dramatic in the winter when the wind is up and the waves are crashing in. In summer it can get a little crowded so I’d personally recommend visiting in May and September, to make the most of the weather but avoid the crowds! Although you can travel by train to Cornwall, as there is limited public transport in Cornwall it can be best to drive, either via the M4/M5 or M3/A303 and A30. From London, it should take roughly 5 hours to get to Bude.
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Click here for more information on The Beach at Bude including room rates and opening times for the bar and restaurant.
Address: The Beach at Bude, Summerleaze Crescent, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8HJ. Telephone: 01288 389800. Email: email@example.com