If you’re visiting Exeter, several fine hotels await you, none…
If you’ve been to Babbacombe Heights on a sunny and clear day, you’ll know that the views across Lyme Bay the coast are outstanding. As a Devon resident you may not be aware of the jewel that is Babbacombe Beach, nestling at the bottom of a steep road taking down you past what was Oscar Wilde’s old residence, who fell in love with Babbacombe Cliffs and built a fairytale Victorian mansion which clings to the wooded slopes surrounding the whole bay.
For our Overnight Stay for this issue, we visited the Cary Arms, situated just a stone’s throw up off Babbacombe beach. The Cary Arms mixes rustic, old Devon charm, together with luxury and beauty. As you walk into the bar and dining area, you’re greeted by characterful old stone walls and fireplace, it’s nicely informal with a great bar across the back of the building, the opposite sea facing side of the building has the most beautiful sea views from every window. The terrace is a great place to enjoy a crab sandwich and a glass of wine – if you’re looking to stay somewhere with excellent positioning; beach, pier and views, this makes an excellent choice.
Over the years, The Cary Arms has seen many famous visitors, not the least of whom being Edward, the Prince of Wales and it’s interesting to note Babbacombe has its own variety of variegated marble that amongst other things, was used to make a fireplace for the Queen’s dolls house. Smuggling was another part of Babbacombe’s historic past. Getting back to our visit, we stayed in the Sea Cottage (see photo),
which came with a luxurious lounge, kitchenette, bathroom and sea facing bedroom – it was a superb package, allowing you the privacy and comfort of your own lounge, whilst being able to walk down several steps to enjoy the hotel ambiance also.
The food? All I can say is it’s extremely rare to have a 3 course meal & wines (for 2 people) without a minor issue somewhere. Every morsel of food at The Cary Arms was totally delicious – if you love food, it’s worth paying a visit for the dining alone. Top marks, The Cary Arms makes a most compelling visitor package at all levels.