A little while ago Belle and I went for a weekend in Newquay, Cornwall. From the beach we could see a large building out on the headland.
Can you see it?
‘What’s that do you think?’ Belle asked at the time.
‘I don’t know,’ I said, ‘but it looks a little bit creepy doesn’t it? Like it could be an abandoned asylum, staring out to sea.’
Turns it out wasn’t an abandoned asylum at all. It was The Headland Hotel, as we discovered when we pulled into the car park in front of what, in fairness, does have a very grand, traditional feel to it. (I did ask and although it was purpose built as a hotel, it was used as a hospital during World War II, so perhaps I just sensed the ghosts of patients past.)
Inside was very far from hospital chic. Instead it had a very classical, opulent hotel feel. Proper chintz, but in a good way, if you know what I mean. Big comfy sofas and swooshes of curtain, framing gorgeous sea views from what felt like every window.