New England: where the mountains meet the seaboard, sailboats glide across crystal waters, and multi-coloured clapboard houses stare wistfully out over tranquil harbours. Okay, so this is Babbacombe, Devon but, with its shutters, sea views and seclusion, Rosette House does a delightful impersonation.
Sleeping nine in five bedrooms, Rosette House is an olde-worlde wonder with views of the sea through the palm trees that dot the deck. Beneath the thatched roof, there’s plenty of space for family, friends, dogs, hens and stags reuniting, celebrating and recalibrating, and a garden that’s all your own for drinking in the views and the fizz.
Tuck into your welcome hamper, catch your lunch out on the bay, find a tearoom for clotted-cream teas, walk the South West Coastal Path, indulge yourself next door in the hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room at the Cary Arms and Spa. Lap up the microclimate, enjoy the company, come back next year.
Catch your own lunch out there on the bay and grill it on the coal barbie with the sea breezes carrying the aroma of fresh seafish in through the patio doors. Eat out on the deck and peer through the palms at the seascape beyond. Serve yourself a sangria, squint not too much and you could be on the Med.
There’s a homely, cottagey look to the main living space, with its rug and shutters. Settle down for a late one on the soft sofas as you nose your way through Netflix and stream your stuff on the BT Wi-Fi. Prefer your own space? A second living room’s on hand for bookworms and music buffs.
There’s a nautical chic to much of the elegant décor here, with pictures of boats dotting the walls and the ever-present lure of the sea through the windows. Get the fire going, stay up late for cards and charades, and adjust your alarm for you o’clock. This is the best hotel in the world: the one where you invite the guests.
Cook on the gas oven and hob and eat around the chunky dining table beneath the chandelier or out on the deck with the view of the sea through the palms. Fire up the barbie for meat from Hallett’s, and wash your steaks and sausages down with wine and cider from Tolchard’s.
Evening off? Put your feet up and let our chefs take over. We’re good for everything from a buffet to a banquet and a barbecue to a hog roast. Eat out at hearty local pubs, with baguettes from The Babbacombe Inn or pan-fried chicken supreme at The Mason’s Arms. Eat Brit at The Orange Tree or central European at Old Vienna.
You’ll sleep like a becalmed boat here on the English Riviera, against the sound of the waves washing up in the bay and beneath the call of the gulls. Rosette House sleeps up to nine guests in three king-size doubles, one twin and a child’s single room.
Bedrooms one, two and three are superkings, and bedrooms one and two are en-suite. Bedroom four is a twin and bedroom five a single. Pick bedrooms two and three for sea views. Bedrooms three, four and five share a bathroom. All rooms are on the first floor.
Holidays by the sea have always played a big part in British childhoods. And Rosette House is the kind of place where memories are made: memories of picnics in the sunshine in the enclosed 10 metre-square garden, barbecues out on the deck, the ever-present call of the gulls and the not-so-distant wash of the waves.
Plenty of room here for a home-from-home for the kids. With nine guests on site, you can bring granny and grandad and enjoy a multi-generational mix. Bring your binoculars, too, and watch the kids watch the boats from the deck, in between the palm trees. That’s after they’ve swarmed all over the play area.
Inside, things are pretty comfortable on the squishy sofas in front of the wall TV. Binge out on Netflix or Freeview, stay up way past bedtime, bring your devices to stream your stuff on the BT broadband. If things get hectic, duck out in the spare sitting room with a book or your Beats.