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Hotel review: The Old Ferry Inn, Bodinnick, Cornwall

11/07/2022 by .
An ariel view of The Old Ferry Inn Bodi 1

Lucy Daltroff  travels back 400 years to review The Old Ferry Inn in Bodinnick.

Bodinnick.  It may sound like a polite swear word, but not for me, as I will now always associate it with a picturesque little fishing village in Southeast Cornwall on the banks of the Fowey River.  It was here that I stayed in The Old Ferry Inn, where comfort and good food marries well with what must be some of the most beautiful views in England. The Inn has been a resting place for travellers for four hundred years with nine of the eleven bedrooms looking over the water.

The view from my window was superb.  In the foreground, just across the road, I can see the waterside house that belonged to Daphne Du Maurier,” Ferryside” still owned by her family, it was here that she wrote her first novel “The Loving Spirit” published in 1931, all about local families living in the area.  Then beyond that, is the River Fowey, and further still I can see where the river enters the English Channel.

Old Ferry inn Views

There has been a ferry in Bodinnick since the 13 th century, crossing the small strip of water of the Fowey River, across to the town of the same name.  Paul Worswick, with his business partner, Mike West, bought The Old Ferry Inn in 2021 and have completely revamped it with the aim of retaining its quintessentially Cornish atmosphere.  This it does in spades, but at the same time there are quite a few stairs, so the Inn may not be suitable for those who are less mobile.

Paul worked in London originally but says he now “loves living down here in this fabulous part of the world”.  Archie, Paul’s gentle Newfoundland, is the most patient of dogs, reminding me a little bit of Nana in the story of Peter Pan.  It is no wonder that he is a hit among the guests and stars in many of the hotel pictures.

The hotel welcome was relaxed, and we were then told of the many traditional features, including a wood burner and stone slate floor which makes it a cosy resting place in winter as well as on warm days. The old phone box opposite the entrance is now full of books to borrow or exchange when snuggling in front of the fire or to enjoy in some perfect place, on a hike while overlooking spectacular views. gif maker 1

All the bedrooms have goose feather and down bedding, wrapped in Egyptian cotton and trays containing homemade fudge, cherry cordial, and a kettle to accompany the array of hot drinks on offer, while all the bathrooms have high-count fluffy towels

Visitors who do not want to swim can visit the upstairs terrace and hop into the hot tub, exclusively for residents, and at the same time watch the sunset over Fowey harbour or else unwind after a day’s hike or canoe trip. gif maker 5 gif maker 4

The dining room shares the water views and is open every evening, serving locally sourced menus. Their most famous is the Sunday roast.  This comes on a board to include brisket of beef, lamb and pork shoulders served with organic vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and veal gravy. There are plenty of other dishes to choose from.

I met the ebullient, award-winning, executive chef, Kai Taylor, who prides himself in offering locally sourced food, within a 20-mile radius, including salmon that is smoked on the premises.  Traditional local ales are available as well as craft ales, gin, vodkas Rum and Tequila which are also made in-house.  All these, with many other local delicacies, from soaps to earrings made out of old fishing nets, are available in their adjoining well-stocked shop.

Breakfast basket Old Ferry Inn

The selection at breakfast the next morning was of an equally high standard.  I went for the poached kipper fillets, with homemade bread and butter and a local fried egg. But it was a difficult choice given the hard-to-resist waffles with red fruits, honeycomb, and maple syrup.    Breakfast in bed is also an option, to include fresh orange juice, muesli, fresh fruit, cornflakes, croissant, and Danish pastries.

Not surprisingly because of its location the Inn specialises in Cornish Cream teas at £10.00 per person.  This includes homemade sweet scones, Boddington Strawberry jam, local clotted cream and Pimm’s Jelly, all served with Cornish or herbal teas. gif maker 2

In each bedroom, there is a book describing not only the hotel facilities but the best places to visit locally.   The most famous of these is the Hall Walk, especially as the Inn is right on it.  This is a historical circular 4-mile hike which includes two ferry rides: from Fowey to Polruan and Fowey to Bodinnick.  It takes in rough woodland, a creek and affords striking views of Fowey Harbour.  It continues to the picturesque hamlet of Pont, once a thriving quay where sailing barges would unload coal, fertiliser, and limestone.

The walk is uphill in places and so takes on average about 2 hours 30 minutes to complete.  I loved doing it and then returning to the Inn.    It also had the added advantage of assuaging my guilt when eating the delicious, but somewhat calorific, cream tea.

Tell me more about The Old Ferry Inn

The Old Ferry Inn   Bodinnick, Cornwall PL23 1LX

T: 01726 870237

Prices at the Old ferry Inn range from £125.00 bed and breakfast


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