Anyone involved in business will appreciate how important it is to have timeout both to rest and reflect. Business Cornwall’s Morveth Ward says Bryher in the Isles of Scilly is the perfect place to reboot.
Some of you may have recently read my feature on Tresco and are probably thinking that this is going to be much the same. However, for those of you have visited these islands, you will appreciate how distinct they all are – which is partly what make the islands so special.
Bryher is an island of many facets and offers an abundance of character – from the softer side and white sand beaches, not dissimilar from that of Tresco, to the barren and bleak West side which takes the head-on force of the Atlantic. It’s almost like the tough brother to Tresco shielding it from the brunt of the Atlantic.
This makes walking around the perimeter of Bryher an absolute necessity and the landscape certainly is the overriding thing about this island for me – it keeps your curiosity engaged at all times, not knowing what’s going to be around the corner. On the west side there’s more of a sense of vulnerability and scale, finding myself intensely staring out to uninterrupted and endless sea with the curvature of the earth noticeable. This in turn causes you to feel more alive and bound with vigour like you’ve never experienced before. At points you almost feel like you’re a castaway and feel at one with nature.
Then as you approach the south end of the island the landscape begins to soften and then does so entirely once you’ve reached the east side – all of a sudden you feel comforted – civilisation from both St Mary’s and Tresco apparent and the scenery beautifully subdued and with added colour.
On an island where only around 80 people live I do find it interesting investigating the various businesses that operate here – from boat servicing and repairs to shop owners and fudge makers. Here it is made clear that there are very different formats of success – and the question is: who’s right and who’s wrong? Here success is measured in terms of the quality of life issued rather than being based on material things. In a world of avarice, expectation and discontentedness, the integrity and happiness here is refreshing.
We stayed at Hell Bay hotel which was absolutely fitting with the rest of our experience. We were greeted off the ferry and then driven to the front door of where we were then welcomed by hotel manager Philip Callan. The Dorrien-Smith family of Tresco Estate also own Hell Bay hotel, so we were shown the same top-level of treatment– extremely helpful staff, who are hugely responsive if you do need them but equally respect your privacy.
The position of the Hotel is stunning and our room really made best use of this with glorious views over the land and extending way out to sea. There was also a complimentary bottle waiting so we could make the most of the view from our balcony.
The room itself was incredibly nice, and although very differently decorated and finished, it was similar to the Tresco Sea Garden Cottage in the sense that it also felt quite homely, making it feel less clinical and impersonal than most hotels. It was cosy and relaxing.
The facilities are as you’d expect, including a pool, Jacuzzi and gym. The food is truly exceptional and is a standout part of the stay that I just wasn’t expecting. A sophisticated and detailed menu with many perfectly executed elements – the peanut butter mouse was outstanding. Hat’s off to Head Chef, Richard Kearsley, who uses only local, seasonal and regional ingredients.
There is a decent bar if you fancy carrying things on afterwards – it is a very lovey-dovey environment so great if you’re holidaying with your partner but if you’re looking for some serious partying then you may be able to jump on a boat with one of the locals to get to the New Inn for more of a lively atmosphere. Personally, whilst staying here, it was more appealing to put our feet up in front of the fire and either chat away or do some reading – there’s a great lounge room for doing just this. The Hell Bay is all about unwinding and like I mentioned earlier, rebooting – coming away you feel totally invigorated.
Many are attracted to Bryher because it’s a stunningly beautiful place to both explore and relax, and provides amply for a fabulous holiday, whether as a romantic getaway or a family holiday where the kids can go paddling in the turquoise waters and build sand castles on the white sand beaches.
However there’s another aspect not to go without mention – Bryher is the perfect place to visit for harnessing your creative side and coming up with ideas. You don’t need to overthink this either – in fact that’s the whole point, it comes organically. As the case with most of us, I never completely switch off from work which means it’s always on my periphery, which isn’t a bad thing because your mind is always open to new ideas. It’s very easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day nitty gritty and lose sight of the bigger picture. Byher is just good at decluttering the mind and opening it up to new inspiration.
Overall, I was completely blown away with this island and the experience.