Paul Bradley stays in a brand new Oceangate apartment in north Cornwall, with perfect views of the gorgeous Fistral Beach.
Seldom can you find anywhere that quite matches the rugged beauty of the Cornish coast. Even more unusual is finding a corner of it that is secluded from hoards of tourists while also having the luxury accommodation most people expect for a well-deserved break.
Fistral Beach is just a short walk away from the famous Newquay holiday destination on the North coast of the county.
It is hidden away in a tiny residential community, and the Oceangate apartments – as do virtually every home in the area – provide direct views of the beach out of the huge French windows.
The apartments, which are brand new with all the mod cons and fully-equipped kitchens, are ideally situated for walks along the coast, a hop down to the beach or a 10-minute walk into town.
That is, if you can bring yourself to leave the beautifully fitted bedroom and open plan living room/kitchen which boast so many home comforts and a wonderful view.
Indeed, we were presented with a dilemma as to whether we wanted to go out for a meal or have a cozy night in watching one of the vast array of DVDs on offer.
It’s a good thing we had more than one night there, and managed to do both.
Venturing a bit further from Newquay is Watergate Bay, which is similar to Fistral Beach in its being relatively remote, but with the benefit of a Fifteen restaurant opened by Jamie Oliver, and the beach café, whose food is so good and view of the beach so immediate that it’s quite easy to spend whole afternoons in there wiling away the time watching water sports enthusiasts tackle the waves.
The Xtreme Beach Café offers three-course lunches for people who want to do just this.
While fascinated by kite-surfers outside we first of all demolished starters of deep-fried squid and nachos with pulled beef chilli, followed by a lamb tagine from the specials board – which I can only describe as brilliance on a plate – and an Xtreme burger washed down with a bottle of white wine.
For dessert we enjoyed banoffee crumble, an indulgent twist on the traditional favourite and perfect finisher to a luxury meal.
The famous St Austell Brewery is not far away from the apartments for those of us who enjoy excursions, and enjoy our beer perhaps a tad more, and the historic venue offers tours and tasters of all the beers and ales they produce.
Staff expert in the art of ale showed us around the brewery and demonstrated all the work it takes to transform barley into beer.
What the brewery is not is a production line, conveyor-belt style, behind a wall of glass with tourist walkways.