Last year we decided to treat ourselves to an extra special wedding anniversary at the Burgh Island Hotel near Bigbury-on-Sea on the South Devon coast. After winding our way down narrow country lanes to get to Bigbury, we parked up in one of the hotel's reserved spaces. It was soon after we met the friendly driver that we knew we were in for a pretty special weekend.
After climbing into a rather plush new Land Rover Discovery we were chauffeured across the sandy causeway that separates the small private island the hotel sits on from Bigbury itself. The driver enthusiastically told us all about the hotel as he merrily weaved his way past sunbathers and kids playing beach ball.
We'd already read a number of reviews claiming the hotel's hard to beat as an Art Deco experience, but walking through the front door really did feel like we'd stepped back into the golden era of Agatha Christie's Poirot, in fact, it's no surprise that she wrote two of her murder mysteries at the hotel!
We immediately started to unwind as we sipped champagne under the glass dome roof of the Palm Court Lounge which we eventually followed with a good look around the hotel itself, which as expected was packed with wonderful Art Deco features.
After exploring the grounds and the rest of the island, where you'll find the unique tidal seawater Mermaid Pool - there was no way I was getting in the freezing water for a swim! - and stunning views of Bigbury and the South Devon Cost, we got dressed for dinner - black tie of course - and headed to the Grand Ballroom.
With relaxing piano music in the background - pianist, NOT a recording - we settled down to a delicious three course meal. Toward the end of the evening, some of the guests, all of whom were extremely friendly, got up and danced. We were delighted to see some of them had really gone to town with their outfits wearing what looked like genuine roaring 20's attire.
We rounded off the evening with a game of billiards on an original 1930s billiard table and after thrashing my wife three games to none, we rounded of the evening with one more cocktail for the road - not a very long road, there was only one flight of stairs to negotiate back to our room, which like the rest of the hotel was packed with superb Art Deco fixtures and fittings.
Following a very agreeable breakfast we returned to Bigbury on the famous sea tractor the next morning - an experience in itself - and both agreed that we'd had a very special weekend, one we hope to repeat some day. All in all I'd thoroughly recommend it!