Taken from our WGB Magazine, Life on Mars actor John Simm plays hard to get – and then falls in love.
I don’t really like hotels. I have to travel a lot for work – often far from home – so staying in a hotel isn’t high on my list of priorities during any downtime. Until, that is, we stayed at Watergate Bay.
My wife, Kate, had often talked of childhood holidays spent on the north Cornwall coast, when a surf at Watergate Bay was a must. The hotel in those days was quite old and unloved. Many years down the line and it has had what can only be described as the mother of all makeovers. Kate gleefully booked us in. And arranged surf lessons. In April.
I am going to be honest: the drive down from London didn’t exactly fill me with joy. But avoiding the motorways as we set off, and seeing the countryside roll out in front of us, escaping the city increasingly became a very good idea.
Watergate Bay Hotel appears as you round the headland. It sits majestically at the top of the bay, welcoming you in. The staff, on our arrival and indeed throughout our stay, were relaxed, charming and attentive to our every need. You’re well looked after here.
After unpacking our bags we headed to The Living Space to enjoy the spectacular views while enjoying a drink on the terrace. The sunsets at Watergate Bay are nothing short of incredible.
THEN THERE WAS DINNER.
Without going into too much detail, the food, in all the restaurants, was divine. I reserve special mention for the fish and chips served in The Living Space. I’m originally from the north of England, and quietly consider myself to be something of a fish ‘n’ chip connoisseur. Suffice to say, it doesn’t disappoint. I may consider going back for that alone.
I have it on good authority from both kids that the waffles (made by them, in the waffle machine) are the finest known to man and are now a must at breakfast. The slight problem being that we don’t have a waffle machine.
You tend always to sleep well by the sea. The fresh air wears out us city dwellers, so sleeping in the most comfortable bed of all time, by the sea, made it almost impossible to get up for breakfast.
And then the surfing (which, I will add, was not my idea).
I’ll admit it. My eye was on reading on the terrace while having my glass continually re-filled with a good Rioja. But no, we went surfing.
Despite my initial reluctance (getting into a wetsuit, in April, in the cold, made The Living Space a much more enticing prospect), the Extreme Academy instructors do a brilliant job of at least making you feel that you can surf. We even all caught a wave. What a great way of spending time with your kids. Especially when they’re better at it than you.
Exploring rock pools in the open air is best followed by swimming in the warm indoor pool or sitting in a hot tub before spending the evenings, post delicious dinner, playing cards or Scrabble over a bottle of wine. And man… those sunsets!
Lazy days and cosy nights; the freshest sea air known to mankind; knowing that another day awaited us and we could do it all again – bliss. We had finally found the complete package: a home from home by the sea, with something for everyone. Along the way, our kids had experienced a little of the Cornish magic that Kate had so yearned they would do. This place suits us. We can relax here. I’ve a feeling we’ll be back.
I don’t generally like hotels. But I love this one.