As the Cary Arms is dog-friendly, expect to be joined by a four-legged friend during your meal, like we were – a rather unique experience if you’re not used to it.
With two golden retrievers sitting at our feet watching every move of the waitress in the event that some food appeared, I swiftly made my way through the wonderful hot apple and berry crumble (£7.25) with a helping of vanilla ice cream for contrast, whilst my other half had a more refreshing vegan concoction of raspberries, chopped pineapple, sorbet and coconut cream (£6.95).
With yet another clean plate, it had been an excellent meal from start to finish. All that was left to do was to relax by the fire in the adjacent nautical-themed “Resident’s Saloon”, which is open to hotel guests only. Here, there’s plenty of soft seating to recline on, or if you’re after a spot of post-dinner competition, you will find a chess set and board games, plus a separate alcove housing a billiards table that we also tried out.
Breakfast is served at the inn between 8:00 and 10:00 at the weekend, and there’s a nice buffet laid out on the bar, which counts different cheeses, smoked salmon and large slices of rich chocolate gateau. In addition, there’s a chalkboard offering various cooked dishes to start the day on something more hearty.
I tried the freshly-made pancakes with some golden syrup on the first morning, and Eggs Royale on white toast the second. Other options include Isle of Man kippers, a full Devon breakfast, or eggs in various forms.
Summarising: The Cary Arms & Spa is an idyllic getaway with stunning views, tranquillity and pure luxury. Peter de Savary and his team have done a remarkable job of creating a cocoon of comfort that means guests can get away from it all, and simply relax and enjoy this quaint corner of Devon. Whether for a weekend break as a couple or for a family reunion to celebrate a special occasion, we can’t recommend it highly enough.
Exploring and visiting
There’s plenty to see and do in the area, especially if you’re a keen walker. In the immediate vicinity, you can meander along the narrow path around the bay to Oddicombe Beach, where you can catch the near 100-year-old Cliff Railway up to the town of Babbacombe (£2.80 return).
There are quaint shops and a couple of churches to explore, and we also visited the fantastic Model Village, which has hundreds of miniature versions of buildings, spanning Stonehenge to The Shard. Dartmoor National Park is also just a short car journey away.
The Cary Arms & Spa – Where and How?
The Cary Arms & Spa is located at Babbacombe Beach, Torquay TQ1 3LX, United Kingdom.
Deluxe rooms start from £265 per room per night B&B, Beach Huts from £385 and Beach Suites from £485. Cottages are priced from £475 per night. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.caryarms.co.uk or call 01803 327110.
See pictures of our stay on our Instagram page.
We travelled to the Cary Arms & Spa in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Milano Edizione.
Photos by the Cary Arms & Spa and Simon Wittenberg.
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