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A complimentary half-bottle of champagne.

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Hell Bay - Review

HELL BAY? Hell, no. Just a bit of scilliness on the part of owners Robert and Lucy Dorrien-Smith. Hell Bay clings to Bryher, a tiny foam-flecked sliver of land in the Scilly Isles overlooking an ocean that doesn’t stop till it reaches America. Azure water meets wash-powder white beaches here; there are few roads but wildflowers in profusion, and above all, a peaceful immensity.

Rooms are swish with Malabar fabrics and Lloyd Loom furnishings; think New England meets California with hints of the Caribbean. Reception areas boast world-class St Ives school art; Hepworth, Hitchens and Trevelyan. Suites maintain the eclectic theme and glory in vistas from private patios or balconies.

You're on the Atlantic's great fringe here. Sea breezes invariably get frisky and whip up appetites for Graham Shone’s classical-meets-modern cuisine, which shines with seafood creations. Dine on steamed sea bass with Asian herbs, chargrilled tiger tail prawns or Bryher crab. You can enjoy it alfresco, sharing the views with seals, puffins and seagulls.

Think sunshine yellow, powder blue

Bedrooms are made for getting fresh: think sunshine yellows, powder blues and crisp whites. Private patios and balconies offer dazzling sea views, and we loved the wide-open vistas from the aptly-named Emperor suite. Dining here is refreshingly informal. Lip-smackingly fresh cuisine casts its net wide over locally caught fish, crab and lobster – and more besides.

This is a tiny island with tons to do: try watersports, boat rides, beaches and coastal paths. Island-hop to Tresco’s Abbey Gardens, laze poolside or go golfing. There’s a well equipped leisure area too with a gym, pool, sauna and jacuzzi. Dreamy? Yes, oh yes.

Hell Bay was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mike North