Newquay is often thought of as the seaside destination for drunken stags and hens, and adolescent school leavers heading there for a boozy weekend. So choosing that as our Cornwall destination of choice for a quiet weekend away (instead of the likes of St. Ives and Padstow) certainly raised a few eyebrows.
But the Newquay we had the pleasure of meeting was far from the stereotype some often attached to it. And heading along the driveway of the Headland Hotel we knew we were in for a treat.
Set on a clifftop overlooking Fistral bay, the 4* hotel and its private cottages are steeped in history (it first opened its doors in 1900), and the hotel oozes Britishness and old-school glamour – refreshing to see it still hold on to period features and design.
The golf course position was also a clever move. It meant there was no room for other hotels to be developed on the land so the view was beautifully unspoiled.
Each bedroom is uniquely decorated, and ours was a stunning suite overlooking the Atlantic ocean below us. The bed was comfy and the large sofa chairs meant we could lounge with our cuppas each morning watching the surfers begin their day catching waves. Despite there being 96 rooms, neighbours were seen but never heard, and despite the enormity of the building, it felt cosy and not like a labyrinth.
The Food and Drink
The food was undeniably delicious, whatever the meal or setting. Led by Executive Chef Christopher Archambault, the menus were Cornish inspired, using fresh, local produce. There were two main places to eat, The Restaurant, or the Terrace.The Terrace was a more laid back relaxed affair, and lunch was lovely, with a decent offering of sandwiches and burgers, and an even better view. Pre-dinner cocktails served here were also great. The bartender mixed up a cocktail off-menu after I said I was in the mood for a G&T with a twist. His concoction was a G&T with elderflower liqueur and a splash of champagne, garnished with mint and cucumber – yum!
The Restaurant was a lot more elegant and the view, breathtaking. A huge breakfast was served here each morning – you could choose between a buffet or pick off a small menu (the eggs Benedict were delicious).
The Table D’hôte menu was also superb and fairly priced. A particularly favourite was the stuffed squid main and floating island dessert.
It was the most fun we’d had in a long time, and Pepe was incredibly patient (I fell off a lot), and also acted as my number one fan, cheering when I eventually stood up on the board. I HIGHLY recommend taking up surfing lessons when you stay.
Despite still retaining its upmarket, old-style sophistication, the hotel’s modern elements and touches were to be admired. This means it’s perfect for any sort of holiday, whether you’re a couple in need of a romantic getaway, a group of girls after a spa break or a family wanting a Cornish holiday, there’s really something for everyone.
I can certainly see why the Headland hotel, and its wonderful staff, are so popular among locals and visitors looking for a Cornwall getaway. It’s the perfect shore-side retreat.