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La Frégate, Guernsey

FOR STARTERS: Visitors to Guernsey checking their

offshore trusts should deposit themselves at stylish

La Frégate overlooking the capital, St Peter Port, with

its charming Anglo-French influences. But the island

holds everyone's interest elsewhere too.

MAINS € MORE: Period and contemporary themes

blend nicely in this handsome Victorian manor, which

is suffused with light and surrounded by terraces and

pretty tiered gardens. Rooms are decorated in soft tones and

most of them have balconies with ocean views. The

rather formal dining room is top drawer, with an

enticing menu by chef Neil Maginnis offering the likes

of poached Rocquaine Bay oysters, seafood assiette

or sea bass with mussels and samphire.

SIDES: Don't tax yourself: amble to the town centre

for bonbons, then on to the fortified 13th-century

Castle Cornet. From there it's a gentle climb to Victor

Hugo's house. Follow sub-tropical trails at stately

Suarez Manor or hit Cobo's buttery beaches.

BILL, PLEASE: Double B‹B £185.

Burgh Island, Devon

FOR STARTERS: 'Gertie, old bean,

let's pootle down to Burgh Island,' as

Noel Coward might have suggested

to actress Gertrude Lawrence in the

1930s. And this divine hotel still exudes

quintessential art-deco romance.

MAINS € MORE: The hotel is situated

on a private island that's only accessible

by sea tractor when the tide's in.

Rooms, named after famous guests,

are top-hat. Black tie and glam frocks

are de rigueur for dinner, when retro

cocktails in the glass-domed Palm Court Bar precede delectable

seared hand-dived Salcombe scallops or poached Beesands

lobster tail. Afterwards, head to the ballroom and Charleston

the night away. Alternatively, get your fill of beer and pub grub

at the legendary Pilchard Inn nearby.

SIDES: The island's stunning landscape is easily navigable (spot

the dolphins). Otherwise, stroll pretty shorelines, take a dip in

the rocky Mermaid Pool, have a facial, sauna and massage.

BILL, PLEASE: Double dinner B‹B £400.

Sea Garden Cottages, Scilly Isles

FOR STARTERS: Tiny Tresco is the prettiest

of the Scilly Isles, just off Land's End. Mild

conditions ensure flowers year-round;

palms fringe turquoise waters and snowywhite

sands. Cars are banned. Life here is

less frantic, even a little bit Enid Blyton.

MAINS € MORE: Not cottages as such,

but self-contained apartments, newly

converted from a hotel. Interiors have

a seaside freshness in pastel hues, and

there are verandas too. Requisite bells and

whistles are in place for independent living,

so guests can chow down at the funky Ruin Beach Café next door.

Fashionable sharing plates vie with Italian wood-fired dishes and

seafood. Waves almost lap over your feet when dining alfresco.

SIDES: Go beachcombing and shrimping, or take pony rides.

Admire giant sub-tropical plants at the Abbey Garden (a mini Kew);

march proudly around battlements and castle ruins; delight at the

curious 19th-century ship figureheads in the Valhalla Museum.

For serious chilling, there's a fine spa too.

BILL, PLEASE: Double B‹B from £160.

Isle of Eriska Hotel, Argyll

FOR STARTERS: Eriska deserves a place on your hot list. Tick the

dreamy Victorian manse in heart-stopping scenery. Tick the island's

hidey-hole location amid glorious lochs and Highlands. Tick the

languid passing of time imbued with indulgences.

MAINS € MORE: Guests feel part of a house party hosted by

charming owners, within a backdrop of baronial comforts lit by log

fires. Chef Ross Stovold's Caledonian wizardry ranges over Mallaig

hake, West Coast salmon, Highland venison and Isle of Mull cheeses

bolstered by fine wines and

vintage malts. Cossetting rooms

in mossy greens, heathery blues

and plaid accents await alongside

vast baths, while five garden suites

boast hot tubs. Bliss.

SIDES: The sybaritic spa complex

does the business: hit a birdie on

a golf course that harmoniously

melts into the landscape; spot

magnificent eagles; take scenic

boat trips, traverse unblemished

eco-habitats and heathlands.

BILL, PLEASE: Double dinner B‹B from £370.

squaremeal.co.uk | 133

travel

Château Rhianfa, Anglesey

FOR STARTERS: Ex-residents Kate

and Wills (and other cognoscenti)

are already in the know about this

alluring but semi-secret Welsh domain.

Imposing Château Rhianfa with its

landscaped parterres and luscious

location by the Menai Straits appears

hijacked straight from the Loire.

MAINS € MORE: Public rooms with

gothic interiors are grandly appointed,

while Days of Empire furnishings lurk

beneath armorial ceilings. Bedrooms

are modern and intimate, many with free-standing baths.

Dinner's a social affair, served banquet-style: Andrew Sheridan's

menu might showcase celeriac velouté, pan-fried sea bass with

curried cauliflower, laverbread and Snowdonia cheeses. Rhianfa

buzzes - so pump up the volume with some mates.

SIDES: Ever tried zip-wiring across a quarry? Or coastal-careering

by kayak? How about a RIB speedboat trip round the island?

Hands up for falconry, tennis, golf? Then again, just chill on the

Château's private beach. There are spa treats too.

BILL, PLEASE: Double B‹B £199.

teau Rhianfa, Anglesey

FOR STARTERS:

and Wills (and other cognoscenti)

are already in the know about this

alluring but semi-secret Welsh domain.

Imposing Château Rhianfa with its

landscaped parterres and luscious

are modern and intimate, many with free-standing baths.

pretty tiered gardens. Rooms are decorated in soft tones and

Hugo's house. Follow sub-tropical trails at stately

Suarez Manor or hit Cobo's buttery beaches.

hake, West Coast salmon, Highland venison and Isle of Mull cheeses

Sea Garden Cottages, Scilly Isles

Burgh Island, Devon

on a private island that's only accessible

are top-hat. Black tie and glam frocks

are

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