No long weekender in Cornwall is complete without non-stop seafood, clotted cream with scones and strawberry jam, and still-warm-from-the-oven pasties. A pre-warning: do not check in to Padstow Townhouse on a diet under any circumstances.
If you want a quintessential coastal break, Padstow Townhouse does it all – boutique-style – with gourmet treats aplenty throughout your stay. Little surprise, as the 18th century townhouse is the brainchild of esteemed chef, Paul Ainsworth. Side note: the secret Pantry alone is worth checking in for.
In the heart of Padstow’s old town, this smart Georgian guesthouse has six individually-designed suites that have that elusive boutique but cosy feel. Here’s what we loved about Padstow Townhouse – besides the mini ‘welcome’ pasties.
Go coastal chic for a long weekender in Cornwall. Here’s what to pack for Padstow…
THE PACKING EDIT
A short stroll from Padstow’s pretty harbour in the old town, the Townhouse doesn’t succumb to nautical clichés. Instead, it feels homely and welcoming with roll top baths and beautifully handmade restored furniture that are unique to each bedroom. There are countless, unexpected details that make your stay memorable, including the door mat greeting that I note changes from ‘Good Morning’ to ‘Good Day‘ to ‘Good Night’. On arrival, we’re given a traditional Cornish welcome to our beautiful Honeycomb suite with mini warm pasties served on china plates. We savour ours with chilled prosecco from the well-stocked private minibar in our lounge area.
But the indulgences don’t end there… Paul Ainsworth’s love of food and drink is weaved throughout Padstow Townhouse with the six suites sharing a not-so-secret Pantry on the ground floor – a highlight. Complete with honesty box so guests can help themselves and jot down your feasting in a notebook, it’s packed with self-pour local wines, shelves of boutique spirits, and cake stands crammed with homemade treats. Just when you think every detail (and dessert) is covered, the friendly staff at Padstow Townhouse think of something else… As we (reluctantly) check out, the car key that we’ve left with reception is put to excellent use as we find two freshly-baked brownies in a box waiting in the car to sweeten our journey home.
The foodie vibe – because this place really is a foodie’s dream come true – honours Paul’s culinary prowess with the six uniquely styles suites named after classic sweets and desserts: Rhubarb & Custard, Popcorn, Marshmallow, Bon Bon, Toffee Apple, and Honeycomb.
Instead of opting for more bedrooms and less space, all six suites are roomy and spacious with your own lounge-dining area and en-suite bathroom – most complete with Instagrammable freestanding bath tub and so-big-you-can-dance-in-it double rain-head shower. Paul and wife Emma’s passion for locally-sourced products extends to the bathroom amenities featuring the handmade Cornish natural skincare line, Bloom Remedies, which come in bespoke Padstow Townhouse branded bottles for a personal touch.
Just when you think you can’t eat anymore, your bedroom persuades you otherwise. We arrive back to our suite after an evening meal at The Mariners to discover a devilish pre-bedtime nightcap of ‘Paul’s Marvellous Medicine’ on the bed, aka rich dark chocolate, a dash of Frangelico, a splash of Cointreau and whole milk along with home-baked mini macaroons. Delicious.
It’s impossible to visit the very picturesque Padstow and not be impressed by Paul Ainsworth’s growing culinary empire. Many Padstow Townhouse guests stay especially to dine in his hit restaurants: The Michelin star Paul Ainsworth at No.6, the relaxed Caffé Rojano Italian, and The Mariners at the nearby Camel Estuary in Rock, which opened last summer. A short hop by ferry (which, FYI, makes you feel a bit like a local), the restaurant-with-a-view serves pub classics and seafood favourites with a decadent twist. Think ‘The Dogs Pollock’ fish hot dog, and ‘Cornish cottage pie’ with slow cooked oxtail and crisp Porthilly oysters (we had to ask for the recipe).
Padstow Townhouse doesn’t have its own hotel restaurant, but guests get to eat breakfast in nearby Rojano’s (Townhouse cars are provided if you don’t fancy the short five-minute stroll). The light-filled top floor is exclusively reserved for Townhouse guests to eat breakfast and my ‘Land & River’ a la carte is one of the best I’ve eaten with Severn & Wye smoked salmon and St Ewe Cornish poached eggs on perfectly toasted crumpets – topped off with a dollop of lemon cream cheese. There’s more inviting, not-the-norm offerings like the ‘Good Morning Trifle’ (granola with Earl Grey prunes) and ‘Full Cornish’ (with maple-cured bacon) – so much more than your average full English.