Gorgeous Apartment with stunning views over Falmouth Harbour
Above award winning restaurant The Star & Garter is a penthouse residence – should you wish to stay after a delicious meal
Review by Lara Lockwood
Alongside the Star & Garter, an awarding-winning pub that sits on the water’s edge of Falmouth harbour, a secluded doorway lets you through to a French navy blue stairwell. Two flights of stairs take you up to The Penthouse.
Entering the huge open-plan sitting room and kitchen, your eyes are immediately drawn to the view: one side of the room is entirely made up of windows through which Falmouth harbour is displayed in its panoramic glory. Boats bob gently on the water, clouds drift and swirl in the sky, and the combined effect is one of a subtly animated canvas. The land mass opposite and the expanse of sea bring to mind the paintings of Alfred Wallis – an artist of whom I have long been a fan.
Even without the spectacular view, the flat itself is fantastic. The white walls and white subway kitchen tiles are fresh and modern and the colour pop of the blue kitchen units and pot plants is funky and striking without screaming try-hard. There are wooden floors throughout and at the back of the apartment, on the street side, is the vast bedroom and en suite bathroom. There’s plenty of storage, the bathroom is compact but has everything you need with an excellent shower – and a jacuzzi bath in which to luxuriate.
Our welcome basket with fresh loaf, milk and exquisite chocolate brownies was much appreciated. A big soft, grey L-shaped sofa allows you to view the sea, or indeed the wall-mounted smart TV – which was a revelation to our toddler, who couldn’t believe that Wanda and the Alien could be so enormous or that he could get so close to them!
As locations go it’s about as central to Falmouth as you can get, but despite that there’s next to no noise, even with the pub two floors below. The view over Falmouth Harbour is stunning and once the toddler was in bed we sat watching the light fade over the water. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail or two – all conveniently available downstairs, where Ollie the barman shakes some great ones.
The Star & Garter benefits from the same spectacular views out over the harbour, and the food is richly deserving of its numerous awards. We enjoyed a long lunch whilst our little one entertained himself drawing and gazing at the sea. We had several small plates from the ‘Nibbles’ section of the menu to start including fennel salami and – a particular favourite of mine – Padron peppers with smoked salt, a taste I acquired whilst living in Istanbul. Served on brightly coloured, Mediterranean-style, hand painted plates, they didn’t disappoint.
Next up was a plate of broad beans and English pecorino on bruschetta. The beans had been lightly smashed up and mixed with torn mint leaves, and the grated cheese on top had a good nutty flavour. The best part of the meal for the husband was the Star & Garter ploughmans served on a circular wooden board. The Keens cheddar was delicious and served at the perfect temperature, the mutton shoulder was pulled and tender, locally baked Stones’ bread, an apple, apricot, watercress, chutney and house preserved pickled peas and fennel made for a memorable classic. The other half declared that he “could eat that every day!”
The Star and Garter also offers pasta and butchery lessons with their award-winning chefs and can also arrange fishing and lobster trips on their day boat, or foraging around the Helford. I imagine any or all of these could be great fun, especially once our boy is of an age to fish and forage.
Falmouth itself is full of lovely things to do. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is centrally located and currently has a rather splendid exhibition on the history of tattoos. There’s also an observation window in the museum from which you can see what is going on underwater in the harbour which (in case you didn’t know) is the world’s third largest natural deep-water harbour.
Ferries run all year round connecting Falmouth to St Mawes and Truro. After exhausting ourselves with all of the above and an extensive shopping expedition for art supplies and books for our toddler in the pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap retail beacon that is Trago Mills; we were grateful to walk the short distance back to The Penthouse and settle in with cups of tea in front of the expansive view of the harbour.
Enquiries: The Star & Garter, 52 High Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2AF / 01326 316663 / http://starandgarter.squarespace.com/