Every few days I get asked where I would recommend for a relaxing and fun weekend break. I often umm and ahh, ask questions and debate in my head, but usually my answer is Cornwall. Watergate Bay, on the North Cornwall coast, is one of my favourite places to stay in this part of the world. A stylish, seaside hotel with great facilities, good food and comfortable bedrooms... it ticks every box. I have visited the hotel a few times as research for our guide book, but recently was lucky enough to visit for a short and restful staycation.
Those in the know about British travel, take an annual pilgrimage to the Isles of Scilly. Of the 1500 or so islands in the archipelago only five are inhabited and after a short flight with Isles of Scilly Travel from the mainland to St Mary’s, the other islands are accessible by boat just ten minutes or less apart. The serene waters and warm climate provide an idyllic retreat for visitors and a safe, quiet lifestyle for the islanders.
If I owned a hotel I would want it to look like Chapel House. This beautiful, restored townhouse is on the corner of Chapel Street, one of Penzance’s most picturesque roads. With views overlooking the sea and St Michael’s Mount it is in an enviable position, but after years of neglect the building had fallen into disrepair. Previously the home of the Penzance Arts Club, new owner Susan Stuart saw an opportunity to renovate and refresh this grand historic building.
There are lots of characterful b&b’s to choose from when it comes to booking accommodation in Cornwall, but special hotels are harder to find. Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes set the standard when it opened on the Cornish coast in 1999. Owned and designed by the illustrious and creative Olga Polizzi the house oozes style, with charming details wherever you look.
The food scene in Penzance is progressing at speed and many predict this town will soon rival more touristy Cornish destinations thanks to its innovative chefs and fine produce. Bruce Rennie is leading the movement in Penzance with his new restaurant, The Shore. After gaining experience at prestigious restaurants such as two star Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, he moved to Cornwall to head up the kitchen at The Gurnard’s Head before opening his own eatery in September 2015.