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Our little black book of enchanting places

Sawday's seaside escapes

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

How about some sea air? Sawday’s May Wanderlist is full of great suggestions for chic and quirky seaside breaks in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. Here are five of our favourites.

Never mind the two sleek decked terraces, at Sea Gem, above, even the baths have views of the glorious expanse of Camber Sands in Sussex. With a designer garden of beach-loving plants, this award-winning architect-designed home (which is often used for film shoots) is just 30m from the beach and when darkness falls, there’s a telescope for watching the night skies. There’s a large, open-plan kitchen but if you don’t fancy cooking, there are plenty of restaurants in nearby Rye. Sleeps eight from from £3,000 per week.Mornington Mews, Isle of Wight, Sawday'sMornington Mews, on the Isle of Wight, is just 45m from a pebble beach and 10 minutes from Cowes seafront and town. The three-storey house has large, light-filled rooms, gleaming wood floors and eclectic furnishings and as dusk falls, there are two wind-protected deck balconies for enjoying a glass of something as the sun go down. Perfect for city escapees who still need their morning latte, walkers and water sport enthusiasts. Sleeps six, from £800 per week. The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Sawday'sThe Idle Rocks hotel is bang on the water in St Mawes, one of Cornwall's prettiest seaside towns. Bedrooms, most with sea views, are cool and uncluttered, with simple whitewashed walls, padded window seats and big beds with crisp white linen. Idle on the terrace over the water or take a boat taxi to one of the sandy beaches nearby. Doubles from £150 per night.  Tancamelis, Sardinia, Sawday'sTancamelis in Sardinia is a B&B with what Sawday’s calls ‘charm, comfort and whitewashed simplicity’, set in a landscape that has barely changed in centuries and with views down the valley to the sea. Outside are pots of cacti and wicker sun loungers, inside are cool white walls, polished concrete floors, natural fabrics and chic mosaics. Leave bedroom doors open to catch a glimpse of a sandy cove with turquoise waters below. Doubles from €130 per night. Hotel le Manoir Saint Michel, Brittany, Sawday'sSet on a hillside overlooking wide white sands and wild coves, Hotel le Manoir Saint Michel is a 400-year-old manoir on Brittany’s Côtes-d’Armor. Comfortable and cosy bedrooms are located in the main building or stables; in the grounds you’ll find a small lake and sun loungers for those who prefer grass to sand. Monsieur used to be a pâtissier which bodes well for afternoon tea, served by the great log fire, and breakfast, comprising homemade croissants, yogurts and jams. Doubles from €55 per night. Convento Olhão, Sardinia, Sawday'sRooms at the Covento Olhão in Southern Portugal are white, bright and luminous, reflecting the brilliant light of the Algarve. Most open onto the courtyard or first-floor gallery; two have roof terraces, all have large marble bathrooms. Nearby is Olhao’s Ria Formosa lagoon with its long sandy beaches and at the end of a day in the sun, you can cool off in the Convento’s rooftop pool before an aperitif in the shady courtyard below. Doubles from €100 per night.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN 

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