If you are craving a Californian-style break, with wide sandy surfing beaches, sleek beach bungalow accommodation, luxury spas and fabulous fashion finds, we found the answer… in North Devon.
We checked into Casa Paloma, a three-bedroom bungalow near Saunton Sands, the spectacular sweeping stretch of beach on the North Devon coast, popular with surfers.
The house was built by Wanderlust Life Jewellery founder, Georgie Roberts, who runs her flagship store nearby in Braunton village, the home of the Museum of British Surfing. Braunton is holiday-heaven, with independent shops and a laid-back vibe that cannot fail but lull you into relaxation, such is the coastal-calm of the place.
Uber-cool owner Georgie transformed her 1960s bungalow into a Palm Springs’-worthy mid-century-modern three-bed holiday home. Casa Paloma has sleek interiors with earthy tones and natural materials, mono-pitch roof, vaulted ceilings, oversized windows and sliding doors and, yes, palms waving in the garden, with its outdoor eating area and views of the distant sand dunes of Saunton Sands, a five-minute drive away. It has real a laid-back traveller’s charm, with many of the furnishings sourced from around the globe.
Braunton is full of stylish shops, but we can’t resist visiting Wanderlust Life – the flagship store of Georgie’s jewellery brand. This understated label was born from Georgie’s passion for travel and creativity. Pieces are handcrafted by a talented all-female collective and I loved the brand’s focus on sustainability and women’s empowerment. The jewellery is minimal but meaningful and the brand collaborates with designers and creators from around the world, such as Love Welcomes, a social enterprise that supports refugee women. I enjoyed listening to Georgie explain the inspiration for her projects and left having purchased some beautiful pieces of jewellery.
A few minutes’ drive from Casa Paloma, is Saunton Sands Hotel, a grand white Art Deco hotel on the clifftop, overlooking the beach. We booked in for a spa day in their famous - and enormous – spa, which was just bliss. We lounged by the indoor pool (there’s an outdoor one too and rooftop relaxation room and sun deck) and had a couple’s treatment in the sensational suite overlooking the beach. Spa days include an afternoon tea and not wanting to leave the luxe hotel any time soon, we stayed on into the evening for dinner. The two AA rosette-wining The Dining Room is all about exquisitely-presented British classics and its famous lobster thermidor. The food was superb and we are definitely coming back. For more on the hotel, visit here.
Things to do:
The main attraction of the area, is the three-mile long Saunton Sands and its huge sand dune-system. Braunton Burrows is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a UNESCO designated Biosphere. Go for a swim, rent a kayak, or hire a surf board from Saunton Surf Hire. And don’t miss the secret swimming spot Broadsands in Watermouth, which you reach down 200 steps.
Beautiful Braunton is worth exploring, with its cafes and shops, such as Heartbreak Hotel Coffee, New Coast Canteen and Wanderlust Life.
You can also take a boat ride on the Appledore - Instow ferry, which runs in the summer.
For more information on Wanderlust Life and how to book Casa Paloma, visit wanderlustlife.co.uk.
To book Saunton Sands Hotel, visit sauntonsands.co.uk.
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