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Hotel review: Salcombe Harbour Hotel

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Don’t be fooled by the formal facade of this waterside hotel; piscatorial pleasures and spa treats are abundant, and gin and prosecco are on the house, discovered Jo Rees when she dropped anchor at Harbour Hotels’ flagship property

Salcombe Harbour Hotel

Lots of hotels claim to be your home-from-home, but Salcombe Harbour is like your home at its very best: on a Saturday night when you’ve spent the day cleaning and cooking delicious things for a table buzzing with your favourite people who are clinking glasses in the evening glow.

It’s all about good times here, from the decanters of gin and sherry in the bedrooms to the comfiest beds in Devon and a simple menu of daily-landed fresh seafood at The Jetty restaurant.

VISIT FOR revelry. Lively exuberance displays itself in the contemporary coastal decor, crowd-pleasing dishes and delicious spa with luxe loungers and stylish pool.

Understanding that relaxation means not having to studiously analyse what’s on your plate and make meaningful conversation about it with your waiter, the simple menu revolves around the day’s catch gussied up in the most unobtrusive way (wild garlic butter with the grilled lobster and cockles deep fried as a pre-dinner nibble).

The team is so committed to guests having a good time that complimentary prosecco is provided for staying guests as a loosener before dinner.

DON’T VISIT expecting to be outnumbered by stockbrokers in deck shoes. This may be yachty Salcombe, but it’s egalitarian and friendly.

WE LIKED the joy of melted butter running down the chin while wolfing lobster, the cheerful front of house team and falling asleep to the clinking of boats in the harbour below.

INSIDER’S TIP Book a table out on the jetty – it’s the closest you’ll get to dinner on deck. Finish with an espresso martini.

What we ate (dinner)

Nibble Cockle popcorn: deep fried pickled cockles in cider vinegar, fennel and spice
Starter
Twice-baked cheese soufflé with Salcombe crab
Main Half a lobster with wild garlic butter, fries and salad
Dessert Spiced poached pear with Salcombe Dairy ginger ice cream

Also try

Salcombe

Chic, yachty and in a stunning seaside setting, Catherine Jones sauntered round Salcombe in search of cracking crab and a room with a view

Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Moored on the banks of Christchurch Harbour, you could easily wile away an entire afternoon navigating the wine list on Harbour Hotel’s sunny terrace