Location – where are we?
The beautifully restored townhouse, Chapel House, is the grandest dame on Chapel Street, the oldest street, in Penzance. It’s potted history most recently includes a stint as the home of the Penzance Arts Club. There are a couple of stone steps up to the big wooden door, leading into a wide hallway, giving a fantastic first impression. There are six double bedrooms, in all. Owner Susan Stuart will always have a freshly baked cake waiting for you: just what you need – especially if you’ve had a long drive down.
Chapel House, from it’s garden, and the church on the opposite side of the road
Hotel: Chapel House
Location: Penzance, Cornwall
Phone: 07810020617 or 01736362024
Nearest airport: Newquay
Nearest station: Penzance (10 minute walk)
Pool? No, nor spa… yet
Wi-Fi? Yes, throughout
Perfect for: Couples looking for a stylish and luxurious, yet comfortable, getaway. Plus, anyone who loves seasonal and fresh food. Also good for discerning families, and could be a brilliant place for a wedding reception – you can takeover the whole house!
In keeping with lots of boutique style hotels, these days, Chapel House has no formal reception. Instead, you walk into an airy hallway with two big drawing rooms to your right, and stairs down to the large basement kitchen, (and that cake) on your left.
A cupboard of blankets, wellies and coats to borrow during your stay
White painted wooden floorboards throughout, huge sash windows and statement pieces of art create the signature style. This is how I always imagined staying in Cornwall should be, when not staying in a supercool surf style beach shack. The seemingly laidback luxury suits the rugged beauty of the county. Chapel House, as far as I know, currently stands alone in terms of luxurious standards, but perhaps will start to raise the bar? Although, the Artist Residence, just up the road, does already match it in terms of cool points.
Thoughtful details, at Chapel House, Penzance
Want to see more? Don’t miss my Chapel House tour video
Beautiful art, some of which is available to buy
Atmosphere – what’s it like?
It’s like staying at home… if your home was a high-ceiling, perma-tidy, whitewashed dream filled with gorgeously large pieces of art, and someone was waiting at the ready to cook incredibly delicious meals and cakes, for you.
What are the rooms like?
We were staying in one of the three rooms at the top of the house. The corridor up here (pictured above) is flooded with natural light, thanks to the full-length skylight, which runs along into what was our room – the one overlooking the church. It runs above the roll top bath and can be opened so that you can bathe in the open air, should you so wish.
Want to see more? Don’t miss my Chapel House room tour video
Each room is unique in its décor, from four-poster beds to a freestanding bath in one (that room was my favourite), but each one does have a waterfall shower, under floor heating, tea and coffee making facilities with fresh milk, natural local body products, hairdryer and television.
The beds are huge and comfortable, and our room had lovely vaulted ceilings and two deep inset windows with blinds that pulled up to reveal a view over to the church and the sea beyond – particularly nice on a sunny morning, should you be so lucky.
Don’t want to get out of bed? Order room service and read up on local info from the in-room iPad
Views from the corridor over Penzance town harbour
Food – what is there to eat?
You can’t come to Cornwall and expect to stick to any sort of diet. And nor should you want to, since you will seriously miss out on all kinds of treats if you start denying yourself any of the incredible local produce.
Breakfast at Chapel House…
Beautiful colours and light in the dining room
Later, dinner is served, at Chapel House
Susan sources all of her ingredients locally, to offer breakfast and dinner, should you like it. It’s all very ‘as and when you like it’, here, but as a general rule of thumb, dinner is only offered at the weekends and on the night you arrive. Susan will cook dinner for you, with a menu suggested the day before, to make the most of what is available and in season.
We started off with a glass (or two) of Prosecco at the kitchen table while the three of us chatted, then moved to the table in front of the log burner for our starter of slow roasted tomato and butternut squash, dressed with crème fraiche, nuts and a garlic pesto: utterly delicious. Susan drifted back and forth between the table, the oven and her makeshift laptop office at the kitchen bench, as she cooked.
There was some music gently playing from the radio. We liked chatting with her about the local area and how the town’s striking art deco Jubilee Pool has been renovated and is set to reopen this spring. It is a very striking example of a lido, but how much more incredible the Jubilee Pool would be, were it heated and had some kind of spa attached to it – Penzance Council, hope you are reading this!
Our main course was a chicken breast stuffed with red pepper and feta cheese and wrapped in Parma ham, served with cumin roast potatoes. Pudding was a plum crumble – couldn’t have chosen a better way to end our meal! We headed into the night and out onto Chapel Street for a few nightcap drinks. Not sure it was entirely our bag, but we did hear a few interesting tales from the locals propping up the bar at the Admiral Benbow pub…
The next night, we bought in fish and chips and popped a bottle of Prosecco, before having a bath under our skylight, then an early night. Long days spent in beautiful places, in the fresh sea air, having the best food and a great night’s sleep – that’s what a good time in Cornwall is really all about.
Read more about what to do in Penzance and the surrounding area (St Ives, Sennen Cove, etc)
Top tip for arriving at Chapel House: Parking in the town, especially here, on Chapel Street can be a logistical nightmare. Call ahead to check if you can park in the bay behind the hotel, if driving.
Love Cornwall? Read…
WHAT TO DO IN WEST CORNWALL: FROM PENZANCE TO ST IVES, SENNEN COVE, ST MICHAEL’S MOUNT, AND BEYOND
ARTIST RESIDENCE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [REVIEW + PHOTOS]
CHAPEL HOUSE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [HOTEL VIDEOS]
ARTIST RESIDENCE, PENZANCE, CORNWALL [ROOM TOUR VIDEO]
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