Cornwall was a place I visited once as a child, but I had very vivid memory of our time there. I just remember my parents not being too fond of it, as they were spoilt by the seaside in Bournemouth. However, when I was offered to visit Penzance, I was keen to explore it for myself and build my own opinions. Of course, I had to take my mum along with me too – I wanted to see if her opinions had changed since she last visited many years ago.
Setting off on the Great Western Railway, it is around a 5 to 6 hour train journey away, but when you’re travelling first class it makes it a little more bareable. The seats offer more comfort and support, therefore making it very easy to fall asleep. Not to mention, the regular rounds of refreshments to keep you hydrated and full. I would definitely recommend travelling first class for such a long journey but otherwise flying is another option.
Arriving in Penzance, you’re greeted with the freshest sea breeze that sets you up for your stay. You’re no longer inhaling polluted city smoke, but the cleanest naturally filtered air. It definitely sets you up for the best nights sleep too. Perfect for when you’re looking for a relaxing getaway.
Never been to Penzance before? Well I have you covered. I’m sharing the complete guide on where to eat, what to do and where to stay, so be sure to take notes.
There are many little places in Penzance, from cute budget B&B to more luxe inns. However, I found there are not many hotels (I only saw one whilst I was there). Therefore, you’re better off staying at some of the lovely smaller places.
Chapel House is a gorgeous B&B/inn run by Susan. She took the building under her wing around two years ago and started renovations until it opened around June last year. Turning Chapel House into an ideal Pinterest dream house. Beautiful white walls, artsy decor and the most beautiful views from large windows with grilles.
The concept of Chapel House is in the name, it’s like one big open house with 6 rooms. Susan likes the guests to feel at home, use the living rounds and outside terraces as they wish. There are beautiful views of St. Michaels Mount from the garden area and of the sea coast. I certainly want my house to be like that one day! Rooms are from £150 per night.
If staying in this Pinterest dream house isn’t enough, Susan is quite a whizz in the kitchen, whipping up the most delicious breakfasts and even delicious suppers on request. However, I suggest you try one of her dinners at least once. I’ll talk more about it a later on though.
However, if you’re travelling to Penzance on a budget I have you covered too. The Blue Seas guesthouse is a lovely family run B&B which resides opposite the sea wall, making for the most spectacular views. Rooms are from £80 per night.
Places To Eat:
As you all know, food is my number one love. The first thing I need to do when visiting a place is where are the best spots to eat? Whilst I was Penzance, I found a number of great places to eat but two in particular that were a bit more quirky and damn right delicious. They aren’t my normal high-end restaurants, but who says you can’t try different things whilst you’re on vacation!
I certainly would recommend paying a trip to Chapel House for dinner, if you’re staying there you can request supper any night of the week bar Sunday (with 24hr notice) and Susan opens her doors to the public on Friday and Saturday night for supper. However, if brunch is more your thing, she has you covered on Sundays.
Susan cooked up quite a storm for us, starting with roast butternut squash with ginger tomatoes and lime yoghurt, which was lovely and spicy.
For mains, we were served Pearl Barley risotto with watercress, asparagus and pecorino. There was such a generous helping that I couldn’t finish it all, but it was scrumptious. Of course I had to leave space for dessert too…
Especially when it is apple and wild blackberry crumble and the blackberries had been hand picked that very morning. Very fresh, light and divine. Bravo Susan!
As I mentioned earlier, it works like a house therefore it has a supper club concept to it where the other guests and diners are all sat around a large table. I loved the idea as you got to know other people that were staying in Chapel House or those that lived around Penzance. Many of them were so intrigued about my blog and how I took photos, it was definitely the hottest topic on the table especially with Dominic from Samphire and Salsify on the opposite side of the table.
Supper club dining isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for somewhere casual with hearty food and a real taste of Penzance (i.e. seafood) then I would recommend The Cornish Barn, which is a part of the Artist Residence – a chic and retro place to stay.
As i’m not a fan of seafood, I went for something a little more traditional, a steak. However, the Cornish Barn is also a smokehouse, therefore all their meat gets smoked for around four hours before being served – giving a light smoked taste to all the meat. Unique and delicious!
I would also recommend grabbing a pasty from Warrens when on your travels around Penzance. You couldn’t come all the way down to Cornwall and not try a traditional cornish pasty.
What To Do:
Now that we have covered where to stay and where to eat, I think we should think about what’s there to do in Penzance.
The first thing I would suggest is taking a long three mile walk down to St. Michaels Mount, the sea air will do so much good for your lungs. Not forgetting the beautiful view of the coast and the sound of the crashing waves. Something you definitely miss whilst living in London. Make sure you take your walking shoes/trainers, as once you get to the Mount you can climb up to the castle which is at the top of a steep hill. If you like history, it’s more up your street.
If the tide is down, you can walk across the path from the beach to St. Michaels Mount. If the tide is high, there is a boat service that takes people across, so you don’t have to worry. We were lucky that we went late afternoon, causing the path to be completely clear which was ideal.
The views on and from the mount are just like no other. Utter beauty and serenity.
If art, sculptures and plants are more your thing, then I would recommend going to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens which is also near to St. Michael’s Mount.
If the weather gets the better of you and it starts to pour down, booking in a baking class with Peboryon is a good idea. We sheltered from the rain and had a great day filled with lots of laughter. I also learnt so many new baking skills and little sneaky tips from expert bakers Christine and Phil Jensen.
I was pretty impressed by the outcome of mine and my mum’s cakes, but it was all thanks to the careful teaching of Phil and Christine that we got to this beautiful end product. Thank you both for such a fantastic and fun day. I think the next available dates they have for baking classes is February, so get booked in!
That’s a wrap! My short yet sweet guide to Penzance. I hope it will help some of you travellers get a head start if you ever visit beautiful Penzance, Cornwall.
Until next time…