Sunny Salcombe is rock oysters at the Oyster Shack. It’s seafood spilling out of its shell at the Crab and Lobster. It’s dairy ice cream on the harbour wall as the fishing boats bob in the sea breeze. It’s Quba sailcloth jackets, sweets from Cranch’s Pantry and chargrilled scallops from the Winking Prawn.
Salcombe is irresistible. Making this corner of South Devon even more so is Cotliss Salcombe, a hunky Victorian villa packed with period features yet fizzing with mod cons, right in the beating heart of Salcombe. Take in the spectacular views from the house then follow the steps to the town centre’s breezy bars and crabby eateries. Take the ferry to the beaches. Or paddleboard your way there.
After a day at the beach, wash the sand away in the wet room, load another log and settle down to stream the superfibre broadband. Pick a DVD from the pile, uncork a bottle or two, then do it all again tomorrow. Breathe the briny air, wander the ragged coastal path, potter the steep colour-washed terraces, check the boats in the harbour.
The real playground here is Salcombe itself, with its steep terraces of colour-washed houses, boats that bob in the bay and the coves reachable only by water.
Yet there’s space here to doze in the sun on the loungers that dot the back garden, rising lazily to turn your steaks on the coal and gas barbies.
Or just sit out front with a glass of chilled fizz on the table and chairs that seem to hang over the harbour. Stare at the smacks returning with their latest consignment for the Winking Prawn or the Oyster Shack. Smile in the evening sunshine. Maybe consider a whole new lifestyle.
Lose yourself in the cosy comfort of a beautifully renovated Victorian villa packed with period features yet abuzz with modern technology and soft, sumptuous beauty. Celebrate, reunite, get family and friends together in your kind of hotel – the one where you pick the guests and you set the agenda.
Victorian property reflected a growth in personal wealth, expressed in high ceilings, ornate chandeliers, elaborate cornicing and panelled walls. Cotliss Salcombe embodies that sense of good living, with a healthy seaside vibe thrown in for good measure. So you can watch the boats sail down the estuary from the full-length sash windows.
Sadly, the Victorians never enjoyed Freeview, Netflix, and Amazon Firestick. But you can, along with slick streaming on superfast broadband. They never benefited from a garage, either – a place to play table football, store your wetsuits or keep your paddleboards.
After a day at the beach, come home to stoke the open fire, then get a match or a movie going on the 55” TV, or escape to the snug for alternative viewing, books or music. Stay up late for board games with the kids. Crawl out of bed as late as you like. Breakfast is served at you o’clock.
Cook local crab and lobster from A Fishy Business on Salcombe Quay on the four-drawer Aga and electric oven. Wrap things up by popping a pod in the Nespresso machine. Follow up with Salcombe Dairy ice cream from the freezer. Eat around the 12-seat dining table under the chandelier with the doors open to the call of the gulls.
Prefer al-fresco? Pick from coal and gas barbies and eat out on the front patio around the little white table with its view over the rooftops across to the sailboats that frequent the estuary. Uncork a bottle or two. Decide to stay a little longer. Catch the sunset. Uncork another.
Want to eat out? Quality pubs and cafes are just a minutes walk away. Potter to The King’s Arms for the fish bar, to The Ferry Inn for king prawns in a lemon and parsley butter, or to The Fortescue Inn for all manner of pizza. Or walk a little longer to tackle chilled, split half-lobster or hand-picked local crab meat at local legend The Winking Prawn. Wash it all down with a little prawn-juice beer.
Restaurants? Try Dick and Will’s for a meat, fish and shellfish fusion in one of the south-west’s best waterside locations. Stay on the water’s edge for crab and lobster landed on the quay right next door to Crab Shed Salcombe. Or how about pulled pork or potted crab served in an actual pod at the Lobster Pod?
Six bedrooms sleep 12 in Victorian splendour, with stripped flooring, sash windows, chandeliers, original fireplaces and even direct garden access (choose carefully).
Bedroom one is a superking on the first floor with an en-suite bathroom and a beautiful view of the estuary. And bedroom two is a first-floor kingsize with more views of bobbing boats.
Bedroom three is a double that offers garden views, while bedroom four is a second-floor double with estuary views. Bedroom five houses two singles, with estuary views on tiptoes through the Velux windows.
Bedroom six is a pretty double with doors out to the patio table in the walled garden with a wet room next door.