An Inspector Calls… Padstow Harbour Hotel in Cornwall has been given a facelift and it’s now a ‘cracker’
- Padstow Harbour Hotel (previously The Metropole) has been given a facelift
- It offers ‘some of the most commanding seaside views in the country’
- The food in the ‘bright and cheery’ restaurant is reasonably priced
The grande dame of Padstow has been given a much-needed facelift. For years — and long before chef Rick Stein put this Cornish harbour town on the culinary map and began to build his empire — the Metropole has stood on high ground over the Camelford Estuary, crying out for some tender loving care.
That has now come in the form of the Harbour group, which, in my experience, gets things wrong just as much as it gets them right. But this one — now called Padstow Harbour Hotel — is a cracker, with even the pebbledash frontage softened and improved by several coats of creamy paint.
Inside, there are blue-and-white stripey carpets, painted wooden boats, high beds with striking headboards, velvet armchairs, plantation shutters, a grand, sweeping staircase and full-length windows in the dining room offering some of the most commanding seaside views in the country.
‘Keeping it simple seems to be the key ingredient in the bright and cheery restaurant, with its mustard yellow stools at the bar,’ writes The Inspector
Padstow is on another roll — or hopes it is. There’s this reincarnation, and in June, The Pig at Harlyn Bay is due to open. Standby for even more clogged Cornish lanes and longer queues on the M5.
The Pig will be the pricier option, but it’s good to see the Harbour group determined to raise its game.
Keeping it simple seems to be the key ingredient in the bright and cheery restaurant, with its mustard yellow stools at the bar. Prices at the moment are reasonable: a burrata with pine nuts starter is £9; a fish pie main course is £16; and posh fish and chips costs £14.
Padstow Harbour Hotel (previously The Metropole) has been given a ‘much-needed’ facelift. Pictured is one of the bedrooms
With the windows wide open to take in the sea breeze, I am woken at dawn in the nicest possible way by the chug-chug of a dredger. On closer inspection, a few fishing boats are heading out into the Atlantic and the pedestrian ferry from Rock is stuttering into action.
At breakfast, a group of men are discussing whose bill the drinks from the night before should be going on. It’s a refreshingly civilised conversation, with one saying: ‘Put it all on my bill, it would be a pleasure,’ only to be contradicted by his friend: ‘No, David, I insist they should go on mine.’
It’s early days (workmen are still going about their business), and planning permission will soon be granted for a swimming pool, but the hotel is a welcome addition to the Padstow scene. Surely even Rick Stein would agree with that.
Padstow Harbour Hotel, Station Road, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8DB. B&B doubles from £125. Form more information call 01841 532486 or visit harbourhotels.co.uk/padstow.