There’s nothing but tranquil gardens and a pedestrian street separating Fowey Harbour Hotel from the town’s waterfront.
Newquay Airport, an hour’s drive away, has direct flights from around the UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal and Spain.
Direct trains from London Paddington and Bristol stop at Par (a 10-minute drive away) and Lostwithiel stations (20 minutes away by car). Hotel staff will be happy to arrange a taxi.
Cornwall’s windswept coastal paths, secluded creeks and pretty villages make bringing your own wheels worthwhile.The drive from London takes roughly four and a half hours along the M4 and M5; limited parking spaces at the hotel are charged £10 a night and should be booked ahead.
Worth getting out of bed for
Linger over an impeccable afternoon tea on the hotel’s sunny terrace, or find your favourite local beer or gin at a laid-back guided tasting. For beach days, staff can loan out all the kit you need, from blankets and windbreaks to kites and buckets and spades. The closest sandcastle-building spot is the sheltered Readymoney Cove, overlooked by a ruined fort and edged with rockpools at low tide. Local walks run from woodland rambles to craggy coast-path hikes, while the four-mile, circular Hall Walk to Polruan route takes in two scenic ferry hops. Alternatively, charter a motor boat from Fowey Maritime, mooring up at a waterside pub or sandy secret cove. Further afield, it’s a 20-minute drive down to the Eden Project, where pineapples, orchids and tropical palms run riot in geodesic domes.
Claim a riverside table at Bufala, known for its sourdough pizzas and flawlessly sourced antipasti (don’t miss the creamy burrata, draped with salty slivers of prosciutto). Back on the seafront, Pintxo is worth seeking out: a tiny, convivial tapas bar, which punches well above its weight. Sip on manzanilla sherry as you ponder its persuasive menu, which runs from Ibérico ham croquetas to Manchego with orange-blossom honey. It’s worth booking in advance for the rightly hyped Fitzroy, owned by the duo behind London’s Primeur and Jolene. Its artfully pared-back small plates showcase standout local produce, from sweetbreads with artichoke purée to caper-laced Cornish brill.
The homely Brown Sugar Café is the place for brunch or cream tea (withclotted cream from Rodda’s, and tea from the Tregothnan estate). To sample the best crab sandwich in town, head to Captain Hank’s Crab & Snack Shack, a no-frills cabin by the harbour, whose tarragon-mayo-dipped crab bonbons have a firm following. Regulars swear by the Cornish pasties at Quay Bakery, baked fresh every day, while Lazy Jack’s Kitchen dispenses cones of Moomaid of Zennor’s locally made ice-cream. If it’s on the menu, savour a scoop of Shipwreck, with dulce de leche, honeycomb and a hint of sea salt.
Just across the river in Bodinnick, the Old Ferry Inn is full of character, with its bric-a-brac, banjo-strumming regulars and line-up of local ales. Back in Fowey, Sam’s Bar & Lounge is a low-lit, kitsch cocktail bar. Settle into a pink velvet banquette and take your pick from the list, which runs from expertly mixed martinis to the signature Samba (vodka, apple schnapps, Cornish apple juice and a kick of ginger).