Chapel House is a stylish boutique hotel housed in a beautiful Georgian building in the heart of Penzance, Cornwall. The decor is simple, pared-back and considered, fusing original period details and antique furniture with clean, contemporary lines and modern furniture pieces.
Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the country, so when I turned 30 I knew exactly where I wanted to escape to and celebrate. To be beside the sea and breathe in that fresh air into my London lungs. I’d heard about Chapel House via Instagram and other blogs, and had popped my head through the door to see the beautiful lounge space while on a break to neighbouring Mousehole in the summer. With my family in tow, it turned out to be the perfect home away from home, as it also offers delicious home-cooked evening meals that made the occasion a little bit different to just going out to a restaurant.
What made the stay so lovely was the little touches and attention to detail – there is tea and homemade cake for guests in the afternoons, a complimentary drink before dinner, not to mention the calming rooms that have all been carefully curated with beautiful objects and simple, well thought out displays. When you enter through the solid front door, you instantly breathe a sigh of relaxation as you’re met with two elegant, light-filled drawing rooms, painted in a soothing light grey.
Built in 1790, the hotel sits at the end of Chapel Street, overlooking Mounts Bay with views across the water to St Michael’s Mount. It had been a family home, shelter for World War Two evacuees, a lodging house and the Penzance Arts Club, before former investment banker Susan Stuart got her hands on it and lovingly brought it back to life as a six bedroom B&B.
Following a two year renovation that involved carefully preserving original features and adding contemporary touches, like the top floor loft conversion, Chapel House now offers a peaceful respite from the world. The soft decor references the calming waters outside, while rooms are flooded with natural light. Grey painted floorboards give an airy, spacious feel to the rooms, while unusual antiques add character and interest. You can relax in the drawing room with a book or newspaper, hide away in your room, or on a sunny day, enjoy the sea-facing terrace outside.
Upstairs, the six bedrooms offer understated luxury, with views over Penzance harbour and Mount’s Bay. We took over four of the rooms when we stayed, so a good chance to have a nosey in almost all of them!
Each room is spacious and roomy, with tall ceilings and huge Georgian sash windows. There’s marble fireplaces and wooden shutters, elegantly complimented by huge beds and crisp white sheets. Mid-century furniture, vintage artwork and a fresh vase of flowers add the finishing touches.
Some rooms feature huge, free-standing baths as well as en-suite bathrooms, a clever contemporary touch that adds an element of luxury.
There’s of course a TV and Wi-Fi, but who needs those when you can kick off your shoes, lie back on the bed and look out to sea.
As I mentioned guests can also enjoy a home-cooked supper served on Fridays and Saturdays around a big communal table in the lower ground floor open-plan kitchen and dining room. Each menu is designed around seasonal produce – we enjoyed sweet scallops followed by wonderfully fresh fish with samphire and new potatoes, polished off with a heartwarming apple and berry crumble when we stayed. Breakfast is served up here too, with freshly baked pastries, fruit salads, homemade smoothies and the usual traditional cooked dishes.
Chapel House makes a wonderfully restorative break in Cornwall, you’ll be fed well and slept well. It shows that a good hotel doesn’t need to overcomplicate things – a beautiful room, soft sheets, little luxuries, a decent shower and a delicious breakfast make for a brilliant stay.
Rooms are priced at £150 a night. Chapel House, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AQ. More information and reservations: http://chapelhousepz.co.uk
All images: Cate St Hill. This visit was not gifted or sponsored, we paid for our stay at full price.