On a hill overlooking Falmouth Bay, boutique B&B The Sandy Duck combines sleek Scandinavian design with sea views and warm, home-from-home hospitality. Owner and manager Freyja earned her hosting stripes crewing aboard luxury yachts before she settled on the Cornish coast, transforming this Edwardian townhouse into a stylish, eight-room bolthole. Now, the interiors are painted in soothing shades and filled with a medley of modern Danish design, hand-picked antiques and artworks by her own family, creating rooms that are as inviting on a fresh January morning as they are on a hot summer’s day.
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A bar of chocolate from Falmouth brand Chocolarder
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £100.00, including tax at 12.5 per cent.
Rates include breakfast, which includes bread and pastries from a local bakery, homemade granola pots and preserves, and honey from a beekeeper just outside the town. Hot dishes, including full-English breakfasts, are made to order.
While you can count on the warmest of hospitality and a polished finish, the Sandy Duck is a B&B run by a very small team, so you won’t be waited on hand and foot. Instead, it’s the sort of place where you can let your hair down, kick off your shoes and do as you please.
The hotel is closed from 20 December 2021 to 11 February 2022.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV; Bluetooth speaker; Revo radio; tea- and coffee-making kit; free bottled water; bath products by Meraki.
Our favourite rooms
If we’re pushed to pick, we love room five, with its curved cane chairs, super-king-size bed and freestanding bath tub with a bay view. The best sea gazing, though, is to be had from the window seats in top-floor rooms seven and eight. Rooms two and six are as stylish as the rest, but it’s worth noting that they're the ones without sea views.
Beachwear if it's hot; throw on a thick Scandi-styled jumper if it’s not.
This historic townhouse has steps at its entrance and no specially adapted rooms, so it’s not suited to wheelchair users.
All ages are made to feel very welcome, though there aren’t many specific kid-friendly facilities. There are no extra beds, but room eight has a single sofa bed. Cots (free) are available on request and can be added to most rooms, but numbers are limited.
Nab the table right in front of the window, with the view on one side and the sun warming your back on the other.
There’s no need to stand on ceremony here, but those who like to chime with their surroundings should aim for something Nordic and minimalist.
Like the living room, the breakfast room has a tall bay window, ensuring it gets the best of the morning light. Stylistically, it's perched on the boundary between classic seaside style and Nordic design, with a pine floor, cane chairs and tables cut from thick slabs of elm – all of them fallen, not felled. Artworks by Freyja’s mother and sister hang on the walls, adding a dash of colour. When it comes to the food, Freyja not only sources the bulk of her ingredients from local suppliers, she’s also a dab hand in the kitchen, preparing full-English breakfasts, pancakes, avo on sourdough and more with aplomb. There’s no lunch or dinner served at the hotel, but cake (with a glass of wine or something softer) and a selection of snacks will be served. And there are plenty cafés and restaurants to choose from in town.
The hotel can arrange welcome bottles of wine, or something to toast your special occasion, on request, and a range of wines and beers are served in the afternoon.
Breakfast is served from 8am to 10am. Cake, snacks and drinks are served from 2.30pm to 6pm.
A short stroll from the centre of town, the Sandy Duck sits on a hill overlooking Falmouth Bay.
Newquay Airport is a 30-minute drive away, and can be reached directly from many UK airports. Those coming from further afield can fly via London or to Exeter, a two-hour drive from the hotel. The Smith24 team can arrange flights and transfers: call anytime, day or night.
Catch a train from London Paddington to Truro, then hop on a regional service to Falmouth Town, a three-minute drive from the hotel.
Falmouth itself is small enough that you won’t need a car, but having one will make it easier to seek out secluded beaches or take day trips along the coast. If you want to hire, Smith24 can arrange it. There are parking spaces in front of the hotel, too.
Worth getting out of bed for
The town itself has plenty of small boutiques stocked with locally-made homewares and fine antiques, making it a charming place to wander about on foot. To see the work of real Old Masters, head to Falmouth Art Gallery along Webber Street – it's one of the most noteworthy exhibition spaces in the South West of England. It’s here that you’ll also find one of the largest collections of photographs by war correspondent and fashion photographer Lee Miller. No trip to the town is complete without a walk along the shore, so try Castle Beach, which looks towards Falmouth Bay in one direction and Pendennis Castle in the other. A carpet of rock pools shows at low tide, which makes it a great spot for kids to poke around, but it does mean it’s not best suited for swimming. If you’re angling for a dip, you’re better off heading slightly further down the coast to the sandier shore at Swanpool. If you’ve had your fill of sand and sea, go for a wander through Trebah Gardens instead, rated among the best in the land. Filled with all manner of subtropical species, this slice of paradise bursts into colour each spring, becoming a transportive place for a picnic or stroll.
Falmouth is a fairly compact town, but it’s full of foodies attracted by the bounty of the Cornish coast. One favourite is Rick Stein’s Fish, best known for the pedigree of its fish and chips, which draw a considerable crowd. The menu also showcases recipes that the chef has picked up during his travels, then paired with the local produce – Indonesian seafood curry and plaice with lemongrass butter, for example. The simple furnishings and fish-themed artwork at Oliver’s convey a laid-back atmosphere, but the chefs’ attitude to the food is anything but, drawing on some of Cornwall's finest farms and fishmongers for their produce. Cooked creatively and presented with style, meals here are highly-sought, so be sure to book ahead. Drive 10 minutes up the coast to Penryn to dine at Muddy Beach, a popular spot for leisurely brunches. On a good day, snag one of the tables on the terrace, which looks across the Penryn River.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique B&B in Falmouth and unpacked their haul from local antiques shop Marmalade, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Sandy Duck in Falmouth...
A short walk from the centre of Falmouth, the Sandy Duck looks out over tree-filled gardens to the waters off the Cornish coast. Such picturesque views call for a handsome frame and, thankfully, owner Freyja has a sharp eye for design. Mingling contemporary Danish furniture with 1930s-style cabinets, vintage carpets and rattan peacock chairs, she’s added a touch of British eccentricity to the otherwise Scandinavian-styled rooms, each of them individually designed. That said, the Sandy Duck isn’t just good at preening its feathers: Freyja cut her teeth as a hostess aboard luxury yachts – not known for their lax service standards – so rest assured, you’re in capable hands. She and her small team cook and serve delectable breakfasts, fill the house with fresh flowers and deliver homemade cakes to your room each afternoon – but part of the attraction is that you’re also left to your own devices, making this a winner for those who like a bit of the good life, but enjoy exploring a place on their own terms.