Visiting The Lugger hotel in Cornwall feels like you have stumbled across a hidden secret. Tucked away in the sleepy village of Portloe you reach The Lugger down a series of tiny, narrow roads until you almost drive into the sea. In the village itself it feels like time has stood still with whitewashed houses and a pile of lobster pots sitting by the road in readiness for tomorrows catch. The hotel itself is located in a series of these cottages, blending in perfectly to its surroundings.
View of Portloe -The Lugger is the main building in the middle, next to the shore
The rooms are on the small side but simply and elegantly decorated in shades of cream. MTV boyfriend and I enjoyed the quality bed linens, the huge and comfortable bed and the lovely terrace which was accessible by French doors from the room. The whole place has a feel of understated luxury about it. It was only a short walk from our room to the main house which had a cosy sitting room with low, beamed ceilings and a restaurant area for meals. The manager told us that in winter time some guests settle in by the fire in the sitting room and just don’t leave for the day. It’s that sort of place.
Lobster traps on the shore
The Lugger offers dinner, bed and breakfast deals which are worth going for as it is pretty isolated so there are not really any other options nearby. Plus it means you don’t have to worry about leaving the cosy confines of the hotel. The menu is unsurprisingly big on seafood. To begin, three plump, juicy pan fried scallops were served with a light tan from then pan teamed with chorizo. A plate of six oysters on ice had a slight nutty flavour in addition to their salty, briny taste.
A large bowl of steaming hot seafood stew was packed with goodies including chunks of salmon, mussels, prawns, and lots of vegetables in a rich tomato based sauce. Fillet of lamb was great wintery fare, paired with sweet lingonberries and a rich sauce. It didn’t all fall down at dessert either with caramalised lemon tart, burnished on top and somewhat unecessarily doused with icing sugar. A simple apple crumble was served upturned with the perfect combination of crunch from the crumble and sweet softness from the cooked apples.
Our room at The Lugger
Breakfast at The Lugger offers a buffet style selection of fruits, cereals and pastries and then a cooked to order choice of hot breakfasts. The eggs benedict came with excellent, thick ham and a smooth creamy hollondaise sauce. Boiled eggs were cooked to just the right amount of runniness and were served with a pyramid of toasted soldiers. However, I was not as impressed with the dinky jams and commercial bakery style toast.
The Lugger is a lovely romantic place to escape too if you are looking for some down time and can cope with the slightly slow and isolated pace of life in Portloe. In fact, a little slowness and solitude might be exactly what you need.
Scallops on chorizo
Gourmet Chick was a guest of The Lugger
- We drove from London which takes between 4 -6 hours but you can catch the train to St Austell or fly to Newquay.
- Portloe itself is tiny but there are a few nice cliff top walks which you can set off on directly from the hotel and if you get up early you can see the fisherman haul in their catch.
Details: The Lugger
, Portloe, Cornwall, England TR2 5RD (Ph 01872 501 322)
Damage: Pricey. Rooms cost from around £180 to £250 at this time of year for a dinner, bed and breakfast deal. Prices are more expensive in summer.
Eggs Benedict at The Lugger
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of The Scarlet
also in Cornwall or for seafood in London try the Maida Vale, canalside restaurant The Summerhouse