Occupying a prime spot in a handsome terrace on Sidmouth’s Regency esplanade, The Elizabeth’s setting is simply superb, writes Rosanna Rothery
A stone’s skim from the pebbled shoreline, and a short promenade from Lyme Bay’s towering red cliffs or the town’s quaint tea rooms, this comfortable hotel is a comely base from which to explore.
VISIT for the lovely location. ‘A town caught still in timeless charm,’ wrote John Betjeman about Sidmouth, a resort known for its glorious public gardens, bandstands, croquet lawns, putting greens and listed buildings. The poet laureate found it to be one of the loveliest seaside destinations in England and its charm continues to delight.
Make the most of your visit and book an overnighter: almost every unique room at The Elizabeth (they’re all different sizes and designs) has a view looking over the balmy waters of Lyme Bay.
DON’T VISIT for the action-packed surf culture of the north Devon coast or the bucket-and-spade-friendly sandy stretches of Cornwall’s beaches. A seaside break here offers an altogether more genteel getaway: low-key, restful and thoroughly charming.
WE LIKED wallowing in seaside nostalgia with retro puddings like plum and marmalade sponge with custard. With jazz standard Take Five tinkling in our ears, we were suddenly holidaying circa 1959. Pops of turquoise blue and sea views are uplifting accents to the fresh decor in the contemporary dining room: it’s a pleasant setting for unfussy seaside eating. A menu of classics such as oven baked guinea fowl breast and beer battered fish and chips offers something to keep everyone in your gang happy.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Beetroot cured salmon, wild rocket, caper and lemon crème fraîche
Main Oven baked lamp rump, dauphinoise potatoes, celariac puree, rosemary jus
Pud Plum and marmalade sponge with custard
3 courses from £25 B&B from £70
No need to fear a Friar Tuck belly after dining at this former Benedictine salt cellar, as home-smoked salmon and free range local meats are as delightfully proportionate as every other aspect of The Salty Monk - a carefully crafted restaurant with rooms - discovers Rosanna Rothery