Great British Boltholes: Padstow Townhouse is the place to visit for pure indulgence and bags of Cornish charm
- Padstow Townhouse is a Georgian guesthouse near the harbour in Padstow
- It is part of chef Paul Ainsworth’s family of local restaurants
- There are six suites that have ‘all the expected amenities, with knobs on’
Lucinda, Paul, Betty, Chris, Shannon, Sarah… I don’t usually leave a hotel/restaurant knowing the names of the staff, let alone wanting them as friends. But such is the genius of chef Paul Ainsworth and his crack team at Padstow that this is exactly what happened. This is peak hospitality: oodles of charm, the personal touch, time for everyone. Not to mention sensational food.
Padstow Townhouse is a smart Georgian guesthouse near the harbour in the pretty Cornish town. Ainsworth’s aim was to offer diners at his Padstow restaurants – Paul Ainsworth at No 6 and Rojano’s in the Square – somewhere to stay.
He’s overdelivered. There are six beautiful suites. Ours, Toffee Apple, has a rural theme, rooftop views, a clubby sitting room with leather armchairs, Portmeirion plates and a walk- in-closet-sized minibar.
Attention to detail: The popcorn suite at the Townhouse
Attention to detail is top-notch: champagne coupes in the bathrack; bespoke Bloom Remedies toiletries; idiot-proof light switches (‘All on’, ‘All off’). Delectable mini-pasties were delivered after we’d settled in. Even the doormat is changed thrice daily for a timely greeting (Good morning/afternoon/evening). The honesty-policy Pantry is open 24/7. Don’t overdo it on the cheese, exquisite cakes, gins and other tipples if you’ve booked dinner at Ainsworth’s Michelin-starred No 6 – no nouvelle-cuisine portions here, just first-rate modern-British dishes.
Back in our room, we found a flask of Paul’s Marvellous Medicine (hot choc with malt, Frangelico and Cointreau). I’d like this on tap. At breakfast in airy Rojano’s – down the hill – the amiable Ainsworth was relaxed, despite having plenty on his metaphorical plate (alongside his Padstow establishments, he’s taken over The Mariners pub in nearby Rock and is launching a cookery school next to No 6). His passion for his work is obvious, and shared by everyone we met on Team Ainsworth.
Genius: Chef Paul Ainsworth, above
The USP: The food, relaxed conviviality, scrupulous attention to detail. Ainsworth imbues soul into hospitality. The people he employs are as important as the food he serves. Padstow Townhouse alone is excellent, but stay here and you can dine at No 6.
The rooms: Six splendid suites, individually styled. All the expected amenities, with knobs on.
The food: Food is the reason the Townhouse exists. Breakfast at Rojano’s offers Good Morning Trifle with Earl Grey prunes, yogurt and granola – great for the morning after the dinner before, though a Full Cornish (maple-cured bacon, sausage, black and hog’s puddings, tomato chutney, mushroom, fried egg) is hard to resist. No 6 is extra but worth it (two-course lunch from £30; à la carte dinner rather more).
Padstow Townhouse, Padstow, Cornwall. B&B £320 to £380 per suite; adults only. For more information visit paul-ainsworth.co.uk.