Salcombe is a beautiful seaside town in the South-West of Devon which is the hot spot for sailing, canoeing and holiday-makers who want to enjoy stunning views, unspoilt beaches and an array of different watersports and activities. We recently visited the South Sands Hotel to experience the area and see what the boutique venue had to offer…
South Sands – A Haven of Relaxation, beautiful beaches and Great Tasting Food
South Sands: The Hotel
We travelled from Brighton by car which took just over 5 hours, (including stopping off for a bite to eat.) The traffic was fairly clear for a Thursday lunchtime drive, although navigating the skinny roads of Salcombe involved keeping a clear head as we weaved around single lane roads with cars coming onto us. When they say 20mph they really mean 5mph unless you know the roads!
The 4-star AA hotel is based in the South Sands of Salcombe, a mere 8-minute drive from the main town of Salcombe, 30-minute walk or around 10-minute cycle, using the smart bikes (electrically powered cycle bike) that the hotel provides when staying with them. After parking the car in their private car park we got out our cases and had finally arrived at what I would describe as a picturesque and contemporary hotel ideal for families, dog owners (it’s a dog-friendly hotel) and couples alike. The entrance of the hotel is modern and clean with a spiral staircase leading to the rooms above. The reception desk sits in front of double sided doors with the restaurant starting on its left and the bar to the right. Immediately it becomes clear that this is a hotel which clearly cares about its guests and wants you to feel at home with a warming aura flowing throughout.
The staff member at the front desk greeted us kindly and assisted us with checking into our room, which was room 8 of the dragon room category. Our cases were then taken to our room while we took a quick walk around the bar, restaurant and terrace area of the hotel. Walking onto the terrace it became apparent very quickly that this hotel literally sits metres away from the sun stroked, sandy beaches of south sands – there was barely a couple of footprints separating you from enjoying a kayak on the sea, or a paddle in the waves.
South Sands: The Rooms
South Sands Hotel have 22 different rooms which are all decorated and kept to the highest of standards, all with slightly different aspects and sizing. They are broken up into 6 different categories; Yawl rooms, J class rooms, Enterprise rooms, Optimist rooms, Dog-friendly rooms and the rooms which we stayed in – the Dragon rooms.
Having already walked around the hotel and felt the warmth and cosiness, I had a great feeling that our room was going to follow the theme and present something unique and exciting which guests would be happy to stay in for days on end and it certainly did! Walking into the room we were greeted by a spacious area with a super king sized bed which was just begging to be slept on. Two Juliet balconies sat at the front of the room boasting the most incredible sea views and with an armchair sitting at both balconies, you can sit back, relax and hear the captivating sounds of the waves lapping the shore all day long. The decor of the room is calm and relaxing with a nautical theme running throughout. For me, the only downside to the room was that the ensuite did not feature a bath which is something I love to have in a room, however that’s a personal choice. If you love showers their large walk in shower is perfect for you and with a sleek marble finish, the bathroom as a whole looks stunning.
South Sands: The Restaurant
Dining at South Sands Hotel is quite often described as ‘fabulous‘, ‘stunning’ and ‘beautiful’ but to us that’s no surprise considering the amazing view you get whilst dining. Just like our room and the terrace, the restaurant looks onto the beachfront which offers a warm and enchanting view whilst enjoying the company of a friend, family member or loved one.
When we arrived a friendly staff member promptly came over to lead us to our seat and guided us through the wine menu and took our order – Prices of wine start at around £30. The food menu starts at £33 for two courses or £42 for three courses.
South Sands Hotel pride themselves with finely cooked seafood and the use of the freshest ingredients (sourced locally when possible) and make sure every dish is cooked to perfection. I opted for the pan fried scallops with curried parsnip puree, parsnip crisps, soft herbs and baby spinach. Cooked to just how I like it, the flavours were subtle enough and not overpowering with the perfect portion size ready for our main. The Puree was a great addition which complimented the scallops entirely. My partner chose the goat’s cheese mousse with candied walnuts, pear, chicory and soft herbs. Smooth, light and full of flavour she thoroughly enjoyed her starter. The dish was not overpowering with the goats cheese offsetting really well with the candied walnuts.
For our mains, I opted for the pork three ways with carrot puree, heritage carrots, pips farm cabbage, soft mash, apple and crispy kale. It was elegantly placed on the plate with the presentation being a key part of the dish. Each type of pork was cooked to the highest of quality and full of flavour. The carrot puree, cabbage, mash and apple and crispy kale all combined together to make an exceptional dish. My partner decided to try the char-grilled dry aged Dartmoor rib eye steak, with chunky chips, béarnaise sauce and cherry tomatoes. Ordered medium-rare the steak was succulent and delicious. The béarnaise sauce complimented the steak entirely with it being finished in a matter of seconds – No complaints here…
Here at Seen in the City we often mention our sweet tooth, so it will come as no surprise that we could not wait to try South Sand’s dessert menu – We always leave space for a dessert, as you say as a child “I have my dessert side and my mains side!” Their desserts menu comprises of 4 sweet options, which all looked scrumptious, or a cheese board with a selection of five different cheeses. (Supplement of £4.95) It was a hard choice to decide which one to go for but I narrowed it down to two, the Milk Chocolate & Amaretto Cheesecake or the Vanilla Panna Cotta. Luckily on this occasion my partner wanted the Vanilla Panna Cotta meaning I could pinch some of hers, so I opted for the Milk Chocolate & Amaretto Cheesecake.
As mentioned above, presentation is something South Sands Hotel really pride themselves so it came at no surprise when my Milk Chocolate & Amaretto Cheesecake arrived laid out on the plate as if it was an art piece on show. You almost felt bad tasting it, it looked so good, but I did and I must say it was my favourite part of the meal. The cheesecake was so smooth and easy to swallow; it almost melted in your mouth. It was sweet but not too sweet making it the ideal dessert to end your night on.
My partner’s choice of the Vanilla Panna Cotta was the perfect finisher to our lovely evening. Silky and smooth, it was very light and just melted in the mouth with the texture being spot on. The Ice cream came as a nice touch and the dessert went down like a treat.
We finished off our meal with an evening drink in the bar area which was the perfect way to end the night. I went for a glass of Dalmore from their enhanced whisky list and my partner opted for something sweeter – a glass of Baileys. If you like your cocktails this is the perfect opportunity to look through their extensive cocktail list to find something you will like.
Breakfast at South Sands Hotel is served in the same restaurant as above and offers a selection of hot and cold dishes. These include fruit waffles, poached eggs and a freshly cooked full-English which is delicious. If you like your pastries or cereals these are also on offer in a continental buffet, along with a selection of juices. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate can also be ordered to your table. This is a perfect way to start your day and enjoy the sunny views which Salcombe provides.
South Sands: Summary
It’s rare to find a hotel which comprises of great food, picturesque views and a great location, all within a couple of metres of the beach front. Staying at South Sands Hotel is exactly that with the addition of extremely friendly staff and stylish, spacious rooms. If you are looking for the perfect UK getaway with friends, family or partner South Sands should certainly be on your list.
Head down to the South Sands Hotel now for a relaxing getaway.
South Sands Hotel
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