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At Fowey Hall, a Victorian mansion hotel that was the inspiration for Toad Hall


Welcome to Toad's homely bunch: the lovely Cornish hotel in a Victorian mansion that inspired Toad Hall

  • Fowey Hall is located above the Fowey Estuary on the Cornwall Riviera and offers "breathtaking views," writes Vicki Reeve
  • The common word for such a 36-bedroom stack is "imposing," but the hotel has a cozy feel to it, she says
  • She explains that it offers "spot-on amenities for families and big distractions for couples".

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Fowey (rhymes with "boy") is a charming port town on the Cornwall Riviera, where the writer Daphne du Maurier once lived. It is now the home of actress Dawn French, who jokes about her "terrible" life from her Italian mansion overlooking the pretty beach at Readymoney Cove. With great shops, restaurants, and a castle, it's no wonder Fowey is bustling at the end of the year too.

Fowey Hall, a grand Victorian soft stone building, sits over the estuary and offers breathtaking views. The mansion was the inspiration for Toad Hall and, as Kenneth Grahame wrote of Toad's residence, is “a lovely, dignified old house”. The usual word for a 36 bedroom bunch is "imposing," but the hotel has a cozy feel to it, helped by happy staff who welcome us and our bouncy dog.

If she were a kid, she'd zip down the zip line or read the library's 800 children's books in the Wind In The Willows play area. This children's oasis also has ping pong and pool tables, vintage computer games, and a cinema room.

Elegance with style: Fowey Hall was the inspiration for Toad Hall and is, as Kenneth Grahame wrote of Toad's residence, "a lovely, dignified old house," writes Vicki

It's great for adults too. A recent renovation has retained many of the original features, with parquet floors in the lobby, lounges, and wood paneling, while a fresh, seaside-inspired palette, interesting lighting combinations (chandeliers, modern chandeliers), and bed couches bring them up to speed.

Our Deluxe View Room in the garden wing has cool gray, mustard and white tones and a modern bathroom. We admire the lawn and estuary through the French windows, but we absolutely have to, so head to the spa for an invigorating massage. The 12 m long indoor pool and the whirlpool with sea view invite you … and dinner too.

The main informal restaurant has a light area with two aspects and large windows and a darker, more atmospheric area. The bar doubles as a morning room with a touch of “Palm Court”, with Lloyd Loom chairs and botanical wallpaper. We eat here (dogs allowed): Thai beef salad; Bass, spinach, and spring onion porridge; and banana cream brulee.

The hotel business is a treasure trove, as you'd expect from the trained eye of a former Vogue editor, Fiona Golfar, who has a home nearby and curates the business. Credit cards ready!

Vicki writes: “A recent renovation has retained many of the original features, with parquet floors in the lobby, lounges and wood paneling, while a fresh, seaside-inspired palette, interesting lighting combinations (chandeliers, modern chandeliers) and sofa beds highlight the theme going out & # 39;

Vicki writes: “A recent renovation has retained many of the original features, with parquet floors in the lobby, lounges and wood paneling, while a fresh, seaside-inspired palette, interesting lighting combinations (chandeliers, modern chandeliers) and sofa beds highlight the theme going out & # 39;

The USP: A beautiful building with convenient amenities for families and big distractions for couples.

The rooms: Thirty-six modern and luxurious rooms in the main house, in the garden wing and in the inner courtyard include 12 family rooms and connecting facilities. Some have bunk beds and modern four-poster beds. They all have wonderfully comfortable mattresses – a collaboration between the White Company.

The food: The flexible, all-day dining focuses on fresh, seasonal dishes with locally sourced seafood and beef from farms in Cornwall.

B&B from £ 249 per night (luxusfamilyhotels.co.uk).

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