I saved an image of the dining area at The Idle Rocks to a Pinterest design board long before a trip to England was ever on our radar as a possibility. So as the plans for our English road trip began to take shape and we knew that we’d be able to fit in a few days exploring Cornwall, there was no need to look anywhere else for our accommodations, other than this charming seaside hotel in St. Mawes. An impeccably decorated Relais & Chateaux property, The Idle Rocks seems to serve as the focal point of the darling village – each night there were as many locals dining in the restaurant or meeting each other for drinks as there were guests of the hotel.
Our best night of sleep during our entire trip to England was that first night at The Idle Rocks. The doors to our room overlooking the harbour were open and the combination of the cool ocean breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the rocks below lulled us into the deepest of sleeps. A perfect night’s sleep could have only been topped by one thing – a bountiful breakfast spread of granola, pastries, meats, cheeses, and fruit that I am still daydreaming about, a whole month later. Dinner was easily just as memorable and delicious, each course more creative and satisfying than the previous. And perhaps the most extraordinary part of dining at The Idle Rocks – whether it’s breakfast, afternoon tea, or dinner – is the picturesque harbour view, seen from each of the restaurant’s tables.
Throughout our stay at The Idle Rocks, I found that I couldn’t stop myself from photographing the bright, chic interiors, all designed by owner Karen Richards. It seemed as though everywhere I looked there was a perfectly styled vignette – often anchored by a David Pearce painting – waiting to be captured. Staying in a hotel that is as thoughtful in its design execution as The Idle Rocks was, is one of the most enjoyable aspects of travel for me. Our all too short stay sent me home full of seaside inspiration and an even greater appreciation for pops of punchy colors.
I can sincerely say that packing up to leave St. Mawes and The Idle Rocks was probably the most difficult part of our trip, and if we’re ever lucky enough to return to the area, it will certainly be the first stay we book.
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu