All aboard for excellence at the Cary Arms
PUBLISHED: 09:30 29 September 2014
ANDY COOPER sails into the arms of a warm welcome at the Cary Arms…and is already planning a return visit
You almost feel as though you should be piped aboard the Cary Arms. This delightful hotel nestling at the foot of a winding hill is so close to the shore it’s only right there is a nautical theme running through the place.
This is no kitsch spot displaying barnacled trinkets, mind: there is a modern elegance, tastefulness and attention to detail about the place which signals owner Lana de Savary’s touch at every turn.
Our delightful bright, airy room opened out onto a private patio balcony which afforded us a fantastic view of the Cary Arms’ new pontoon, buttressing the harbour wall below. The occasional splash as someone took advantage of the early summer temperatures to launch themselves into the sea provided a happy soundtrack to our stay. This new landing spot also proved popular with visiting craft too as sailors in need of sustenance easily moored up and made their way to the inn.
Not for nothing has this boutique inn nestling just a short and enjoyable walk from the Babbcombe Cliff funicular railway along the cove been awarded two gold accolades for Best B&B and Best Restaurant in the Taste of the West 2014 Awards.
Our food, both in the conservatory restaurant for dinner and, delightfully, a breakfast served out on the patio in the morning as the sun trickled through, was exemplary. Making the most of the provender available locally, chef served up some memorable fare, which clearly was responsible for the fact the place was busy, busy, busy at lunchtimes and dinner.
Perhaps with a nod to that popularity, the Cary Arms has rather wonderfully roped off a discreet and relaxing area for residents only – both indoors and outdoors – meaning one can ‘get away from it all’ if the mood takes you. And with a hammock and private gardens to enjoy, the temptation is always there.
Talking of tempting – my one disappointment was that I hadn’t known to book ahead for use of the Captain’s Table – an exclusive seating area outside which seats your party in comfortable luxury. Well worth booking for that special occasion – and you get to ring the bell if you spot a dolphin out in the bay!
That winding hill out of the cove is reason enough to think twice about heading home. Having experienced the stay we did it was all the more difficult to think about dragging ourselves away, but drag we did – with a promise to return sooner rather than later.