Hotel Review: The Beach Hotel, Bude in Cornwall
Like a beacon for weary travellers, The Beach Hotel sits proudly atop the cliff roads of Bude, Cornwall. With the soft sands of Summerleaze beach just a stone’s throw away, the luxury hotel is a big hit among those that wish to relax and feel sand between their toes.
With just 16 rooms, it can be difficult to get a reservation at the boutique hotel – especially during the summer months. So when I was very kindly invited to experience the delights of this picturesque hotel, bar and restaurant I could not say yes quickly enough!
Staying in The Beach’s largest deluxe room was a luxurious treat. Room 16 – on the very top floor – may not come with an attached terrace like its siblings, but it makes up for this with enough added space to make you feel special.
Upon entering the room I was greeted with cool lime oak furniture, Lloyd Loom chairs placed delicately by the large sliding window, a king-sized bed, and clean pastel colours. It didn’t take me long to fathom that this décor is designed to bring the calming sensation of The Beach Hotel’s coastal environment indoors. With the waves crashing against the sandy beach below and a sea view and breeze provided by the floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, the room is a haven for tranquillity.
Freshening up in this suite is a delight as well. The spacious bathroom features all of the essentials, including two hand basins, a large power shower, toilet, and a deep bathtub.
While the pressure from the power shower and its colossal showerhead helps to turn even the earliest of morning starts into a special occasion, the bathtub is the real highlight. With steam ascending from the deep water you’ve run, it’s worth cracking the small, private window open before you submerge yourself. Doing this not only allows you to soothe every muscle in your body with a cooling sea breeze, but also brings the full beach scene to life as the gentle sounds of the waves crashing against the shorelines pressurise you to stay happily submerged for the foreseeable future – I’ll see you in a few weeks.
While the deluxe rooms are designed for tranquillity and long deep sleeps, The Beach’s exquisite bar acts as the beating heart of the hotel and encourages late nights, lots of laughter and a first for contemporary cocktails.
As soon as you step in to the vibrant room all attention is directed to the large horseshoe-shaped bar; where friendly staff confidently mix all manner of cocktails from classic margaritas to the their signature Summerleaze Sunrise. The extensive cocktail menu is designed to stimulate your imagination and is a massive hit with those staying at the hotel, as well as Bude’s locals. Speaking with the staff, I was told that weekend’s in this modernistic bar are always busy as friendly faces gather to socialise and sip on amaretto sours, peach melbas, and tiki coladas.
The bar is not the biggest, so if the intimacies of its green and orange walls feel a little too compact, customers are invited to take a seat on the outside terrace, where lighting and heaters mean beautiful panoramic views of Summerleaze beach and the cliff paths that surround it can be enjoyed late into the night.
A tasteful glass divider that diffuses noise without retracting any atmosphere separates the bar from an eatery that celebrates fresh local ingredients all year round.
Head Chef Joe Simmonds – who trained under Sam Moody at the Michelin-starred Bath Priory – proudly produces a well-balanced menu here that perfectly demonstrates the complexities of his previous employment. But giving diners portions that leave their pallets and bellies satisfied is the real attraction to this restaurant.
After being seated with a rich red wine in hand, my attention was drawn to the menu, which featured mouth-watering dishes such as pressed ham hock, seared king scallops, spiced duck breast, poached hake fillet, and more. My personal favourite was the spiced duck: A rustic plate framed a zesty orange salad, glazed duck bon bons, shaved fennel, a sweet and sour orange curd, a succulent duck’s breast, earthy carrots and parsnips, and a spiced duck jus.
As the plate was set delicately in front of me the balanced spices and orange segments blended beautifully to emit a sweet smell. The duck bon bons were incredible. Shredded duck was cocooned in a crispy breadcrumb that crunched before melting in my mouth.
With my main behind me, my eyes turned to the tantalising sweets menu where they found a rich and welcome offering – salted chocolate and caramel mousse, served with raspberry parfait, toasted pistachio nuts, raspberry curd, frozen raspberries and a pistachio caramel sauce.
The dessert was made more enjoyable by the complexity of the textures it possessed. It harboured everything from a satisfying crunch, a smooth mousse, and an ice-cold bite. The richness of the mousse was balanced perfectly by the sharpness of the raspberries, while the saltiness of the caramel added even more depth.
If ever you needed an example of “less is more”, The Beach Hotel in Bude is the answer. With just 16 rooms, every person that stays is made to feel unique. The staff will remember your name and converse with you like an old friend, rather than an unfamiliar face.
While the old Victorian building that sits atop Summerleaze beach could do with a quick lick of paint outside – more a result of harsh coastal weathering than staff lethargy – its tranquil rooms, modern bar and intimate dining area are immaculate.
A strong, traditional dining menu offers a great meal for residents and locals alike, while the aluminium-topped bar anchors all who see it to its delicious cocktail menu. But above everything else, The Beach Hotel succeeds in bringing the outstanding Bude coastline inside for a pleasant and relaxing stay.
Address: Summerleaze Crescent, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8HJ