Guest review by Alison Bailey
It seems like an odd address for an hotel. Just the right island….but if you address a letter or parcel to just that address, it would surely find its way there.
The Scilly Isles is a small collection of islands 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall. The first visitors to the islands came on board the “Little Western” the supply ship run by one Captain Frank Tregarthan. The Captain put them up at his house and so the first hotel was born in 1849. The heart of todays hotel is still that very same house, it just got bigger over the years.
The rooms are fresh, tidy and comfortable. The food is simply excellent, with a focus on local produce, the food is very much one of the attractions with many locals having a night off from cooking by choosing to dine at the hotel.
We also had our own dinner guest, named him Steven; Steven Seagull. OK, a bad joke but he did seem to know our dinner time.
The Hotel is a hub of the local community. As well as serving national and international visitors it is the place for business meetings, charity days, pensioner outings, meeting point and the home of world championship challengers.
The sport of gig racing (World Pilot Gig Championships) is popular on the Isles of Scilly and one of the boats is the Tregarthens. Sponsored by the hotel and crewed by 6 very determined rowers. The origin of the gig is a very serious affair, originally designed to take pilots to sailing boats, and later becoming lifeboats. Built for speed and it was down to the power of the rowers to get through the often foul seas to reach those in need of rescue.
This heritage still exists in the sporting use of these boats today, crews strain every muscle, every sinew as they race from St Mary’s to Nut Rock and back again. It’s a herculean effort and taken seriously by the crews, even declaring a “dry period” with no alcohol in the run up to the race ( and that was the ladies!)
We were privileged to meet the ladies crew who were deep into their preparations. The finished a very creditable second in 2015 and no doubt will be looking to go one better in 2016. Good luck ladies!
Tregarthens is a perfect base from which to explore all that the Scilly Isles has to offer. There is a shuttle service from the airport and the quay is well within walking distance for those all important island hopping and wildlife spotting trips. Both are a must. And at the end of your day you are ensured a quality meal and a good nights sleep. What more do you need?
About Alison Bailey
I started as a photographer at the tender age of three when my Dad gave me my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I crawled around ‘taking pictures’ of everything, even though there wasn’t any film, and I’ve been taking pictures ever since.
I’ve worked as a Lab Technician specialising in Pathology to the promised land of Olympus cameras, and even a spell in law enforcement. I’ve returned to my first love now however, specialising in wedding photography. I predominantly use digital today, but the traditionalist in me still loves film, and the skills required to develop it.