England’s Carbis Bay Hotel
By Mike May
Question: Guess who’s coming to dinner — and breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea – at the Carbis Bay Hotel?
Answer/Who: The political leaders of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, and the United States.
What: The G7 Summit.
When: June 11-13, 2021.
Where: The Carbis Bay Hotel (Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England).
Why: To discuss global issues such as how the world must “build back better after COVID,” in the words of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Yes, in mid-June, the G7 Summit will be held at one of Britain’s cool, classy and comfortable destinations – the Carbis Bay Hotel, a four-star resort, in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England, which is roughly a six-hour journey west of London. The hotel is perched on 125 acres of the beautiful Cornish coastline.
Carbis Bay — a seaside town of just more than 3,000 people — is a quiet, low-key, off-the-beaten-path community that is not used to high-profile international visitors. For decades, Carbis Bay has existed as the ‘next-door neighbor,’ so to speak, of the more well-known and more popular vacation destination – that being St. Ives, which is one of Britain’s more popular holiday ‘hot-spots,’ a functioning fishing port, and an artists’ colony.
For the most part, to get to St. Ives, you have to travel through Carbis Bay. But, for world leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Johnson, who will serve as the host of the G7 Summit, they will stop and actually spend most of their time in Carbis Bay, specifically at the Carbis Bay Hotel.
In addition to meeting in Carbis Bay, they will be dining, and, hopefully, do some sight-seeing in Carbis Bay, starting with enjoying the views out to sea from the hotel which are always pleasing to the eye. The seaside vistas from the Carbis Bay Hotel are worthy of a picture postcard. Those views are usually the most dramatic in the morning as you enjoy breakfast.
Johnson, Macron, Merkel, Biden, and their political peers – plus the aides and security details — will have an unobstructed view of St. Ives Bay from the cozy comforts of their meeting rooms at this boutique hotel which is perched well within Porthrepta Cove and borders Carbis Bay Beach. Truth be told, it might be tough to concentrate during these high-level meetings because the views out to sea, with the Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance, are mesmerizing.
When it comes to food at the Carbis Bay Hotel, there are three options: Restaurant 1894, The Beach Club Restaurant, and the Hungry Gannet. Unless each national entourage brings its own chef, the attendees will get to enjoy the talents and the culinary creative genius of executive chef Andy Houghton. And, if you want to enjoy coffee, tea, and tapas, The Conservatory, with its unobstructed views of the St. Ives Bay, is a great place to go at the Carbis Bay Hotel.
Restaurant 1894 specializes in breakfast, afternoon tea, Sunday lunch, and dinner. At breakfast, for anybody seeking an authentic English cooked breakfast, they should try the Carbis Bay Grill. That cooked breakfast, as the British refer to it, is local pork sausage, bacon, fried egg, mushrooms, grilled tomato, and bubble & squeak. For afternoon tea, you must order the Cornish Cream Tea which includes scones, local strawberry preserves, Cornish clotted cream, and a pot of tea – FYI: there are eight varieties of teas on the menu. For Sunday lunch, you will be served a starter (i.e. an appetizer), main course, and a dessert. The most popular main course is the roast striploin of beef, which is served with Yorkshire pudding and pan gravy.
Dinner is the featured meal at Restaurant 1894. At dinner, two of the more popular starters are the king scallops with potato, peas and pancetta, as well as the smoked salmon with parmesan waffle, beetroot sorbet and horseradish. Both items will tantalize your taste buds. Two of Restaurant’s 1894’s more popular entrees are the fillet of beef Rossini with croutons, pomme puree, tempura oysters, garlic wild mushrooms, and bone marrow as well as the barbecue chicken Makhani with curry, cauliflower, spiced rice, mung bean bread, and pomegranate salsa. If you want an Asian-influenced entrée, the dim sum and oysters will satisfy any appetite. Two of Houghton’s dynamic, delectable, and delicious desserts are lemon curd and Cornish clotted cream panna cotta with meringue and lemon crush ice cream….and autumn still life, which is a chestnut parfait with meringue, coffee anglaise, autumn leaves, candied nuts, and candied chestnut.
When it comes to wine, there’s a wide selection of wines to choose from, but you would be well served if you ordered The Crossings Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand. The drinks menu also has a wide variety of gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, cognac, tequila, and bottled beers and ciders. If you want to go ‘first-class continental’ with your beverage, Moet & Chandon Champagne from France can be ordered, too. You can also request smoke bombs on top of your champagne, if you want some visual side effects.
For a third-party opinion on Restaurant 1894, you’ll be delighted to discover that Trip Advisor has given it a full five-star rating. Also, the consumer reviews on Trip Advisor of the Restaurant 1894 are filled with praise.
The award-winning C Bay Spa can easily be the reason that you stay at the Carbis Bay Hotel. With access to an outdoor heated pool, a hydropool, private hot tubs, and outdoor massages, the C Bay Spa is worthy of all the awards it has won for excellence in recent years. As the hotel’s website accurately states, the C Bay Spa is where you go seeking “relaxation, replenishment, and rejuvenation.”
After sampling the sand on Carbis Bay Beach, the views out to sea, the food at Restaurant 1894, and the delightful C Bay Spa at the Carbis Bay Hotel, you might want to consider branching out to other sight-seeing ‘hot-spots’ in Cornwall such as Tate St. Ives (art gallery), Land’s End, Lanyon Quoit, St. Michael’s Mount, Minack Open Air Theatre, Trelissick Garden, Tintagel Castle, Truro Cathedral, Eden Project, and the world-famous Jamaica Inn, the focal point of a 1936 novel (Jamaica Inn) by author Daphne du Maurier. For walking and outdoor enthusiasts, Cornwall also has miles and miles of seaside walking opportunities, specifically, the South West Coast (walking) Path that is easily accessible, on foot, from the Carbis Bay Hotel. For golfers, there are more than 30 golf courses in Cornwall, including Cornwall’s oldest course, the West Cornwall Golf Club, which is located a few miles away in the adjacent village of Lelant.
If you are interested in staying at the Carbis Bay Hotel, having a cream tea at The Conservatory, taking advantage of the C Bay Spa, enjoying the hotel’s beach-level seaside views, eating at Restaurant 1894, The Beach Club Restaurant or the Hungry Gannet, check out the hotel’s website: www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk
The Carbis Bay Hotel — and all that it has to offer — awaits your arrival, ideally after the G7 Summit. Simply put, it is the ultimate in ‘barefoot escapism.’