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My West Country: Sid Williams

My West Country: Sid Williams

Born and bred Cornishman and concierge at the Idle Rocks Sid Williams opens up his secret address book 

Can you tell us about your job, what kind of requests do you get?
The Idle Rocks is a hotel that attracts people from all walks of life, people may come to celebrate an anniversary, family members have flown in from all over the world to meet here and of course people simply come down for their annual Cornish summer holiday. The concierge requires the ability to engage with people, to offer activities and locations that suit a particular group. I may create an itinerary for the entire stay or offer something that they may never previously thought of, the concierge can really help make their stay a memorable one.  Unusual requests? I’m still waiting to be surprised. Helicopter charter with a Mexican mariachi band… I can make that happen!

Favourite way to relax in Cornwall?
A summer's evening on a quiet beach takes some beating.

What's your idea of a perfect Cornish weekend?

There are a number of great festivals in Cornwall, why not plan your weekend around one. 24 hours of art and dancing at Port Elliot or The Looe Music Festival, if you like it fast and loose how about The Masked Ball? Retreat back to St Mawes on Saturday evening for a great dinner and cocktails on our terrace. Sunday and it’s out on the water, maybe a fishing trip or if you would prefer somebody else to do the work a skippered yacht offers a bit of luxury, Sunday evening and across the St Mawes Hotel’s cinema for your favourite movie and a warming drink.

Head for Treen campsite and walk to the cliff for the views across to Logan Rock, best on a summers evening to watch the changing light.

Your favourite Cornish pub?

During the day it’s The Ferryboat Inn on Helford Passage, great oysters. After dark… The Ship Inn, Porthleven.

Where's the best beach?

A big question for a Cornishman, Chapel Porth is magic on a good day and Towan on the Roseland is great for families, but my favourite has to be Gwithian, 3 miles long and acres of dunes to get lost in. It’s located on the north coast, looking out across St Ives Bay. If you want to find a deserted beach, launch a kayak out of Praa Sands and head West.

What's your most romantic West Country memory?

I’ve helped a guest with a proposal here on the Roseland, a bottle of Champagne was provided for the coastal walk to St Just Church, it’s a very beautiful spot and I’m pleased to say it ended happily. On a personal note, I’ve brought somebody down from London and with the help of Lamorna Cove she stayed.

Where would you like to eat your last  meal?
 It would be on or near the water and include oysters and a Bottle of Knightor.

Can you share a hidden gem with us, somewhere off the beaten track?
The North Coast may seem like it’s well trodden these days, but Retorrick Mill in St Mawgan is a great campsite with a brilliant bar and good food. A favourite café is Genki in St Agnes, the best smoothies you’ve ever tasted and sushi evenings through the summer. If you’re looking for a farm shop Gear Farm on the Lizard makes some wonderful pasties and here on The Roseland we have Curgurrell Farm Shop, good for local lobsters and crab.

What do you love most about the West Country?
I have great memories of surfing with a bunch of friends from school on Gwithian Beach, it was the 1980’s and our 1970’s second-hand wetsuits were awful but it didn’t matter, it was all about getting out into the ocean with your mates. I’m sure people who fish or sail feel the same, sometimes it’s not all about catching fish or winning cups, I think it’s about being a part of the landscape… 

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