Cornwall LivingIssue #73
The warmest of welcomes
We meet Rupert Brendon, proprietor of The Falcon Hotel in Bude, and his daughter Sophia, manager of The Brendon Arms next door.
Established in 1798 and run for most of its tenure by the Brendon family (now by fifth generation Rupert and wife Christine), The Falcon is the oldest coaching house in north Cornwall, and while most of the family’s coaches have now been sold on, one Brougham carriage still remains in the beautiful hotel gardens, serving as both a reminder of the hotel’s rich history, and as a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs.
“It’s clear that the Brendon family is passionate about everything that The Falcon Hotel and Brendon Arms have to offer, from the museum-like displays of family heirlooms that can be found throughout the hotel…”
As we enter, it quickly becomes clear that this beautiful hotel is steeped in history. Proprietor Rupert Brendon shows us around, allowing us to take in every detail, from The Gallery and The Ballroom (which combine to create the Acland Suite, a beautiful and classy space for larger events and weddings), to the rooms above The Brendon Arms next door, each of which is named after one of the many shipwrecks on the Bude coastline.
It’s clear that the Brendon family is passionate about everything that The Falcon Hotel and Brendon Arms have to offer, from the museum-like displays of family heirlooms that can be found throughout the hotel, to the second-to-none food and service in the Lord Tennyson Restaurant. Even in The Brendon Arms next door, which is ran by Rupert’s daughter Sophia, we find a fantastic selection of Cornish beers, ciders and ales, as well as a hearty menu of traditional pub food, perfect for reenergising after a long day spent on Summerleaze beach, just moments away.
After a day spent exploring the countryside surrounding Bude, we return to our room, one of The Falcon Hotel’s 33 recently-refurbished bedrooms, before sitting for dinner in the Lord Tennyson Restaurant, where Rupert happily obliges with a fantastic selection of wines. Each one he recommends based on our meal choices, and every glass is as delicious as the last. Over dinner, we learn that one of his biggest goals is to encourage more guests to try fine wines. To achieve this, as well as slashing the mark up on the wines he offers, he recently introduced Coravin, a wine preservation system that allows him to offer wine by the glass. He’s even installed a Champagne bar, where guests can choose from six champagnes and sparkling wines by the glass, including the ever-popular Camel Valley Sparkling Rosé, of which he treats us to a glass!
The hotel team firmly believes that they provide the warmest welcome in the West Country, and it’s fair to say that our experience reflects that, so if you’re hoping to enjoy the finest food and wine that the region has to offer, be sure to make the Falcon Hotel your next port of call.
Every Friday, between 5pm and 7pm, it’s Falcon Fizz Friday, when you can enjoy half-price Champagne and reduced prices on other bubbles! There’s also a digital wine list on a tablet for fellow oenophiles, with illustrations, full tasting notes, wine critic scores and some personal comments.
"It’s clear that the Brendon family is passionate about everything that The Falcon Hotel and Brendon Arms have to offer, from the museum-like displays of family heirlooms that can be found throughout the hotel..."