TOWERING over the picture postcard pretty Cornish seaside town of St Ives, the Tregenna Castle Resort hotel is the ideal place to use to explore its many charms, as Iwan Davies discovered recently.
AS a big fan of Cornwall who has become increasingly familiar with its many delights, I was very much looking forward to visiting St Ives for the first time.
After years of happily travelling down the A30 to discover a new jewel, I was confident of being on to a winner at the end of my latest journey.
And St Ives certainly didn’t disappoint, its great beaches, quaint cobbled streets, cosy pubs, cracking places to eat, art galleries and craft shops making it another destination that came up trumps.
I was fortunate enough to stay for a weekend at the Tregenna Castle Resort www.tregenna-castle.co.uk.
It’s a family-friendly hotel that’s also the ideal place for couples to unwind, as I did with my wife late last month.
Set on a 72-acre estate with stunning views of the coastline, the Tregenna has its own 18-hole golf course, 81 hotel bedrooms and 70 self-catering properties, outdoor swimming pool and an onsite creche/nursery.
Even on days when the weather isn’t too kind, as it was for us on one day during our break in late January, there is always plenty to do indoors with its swimming pool, fitness suite and beauty treatment rooms for anyone looking to pamper themselves.
There’s a cracking restaurant here too, the Brasserie, which prides itself on its locally sourced fare.
It is high quality stuff. The stone baked scallops with smoked bacon in a parmesan cream to start come highly recommended as does the sublime fillet steak as a main.
The restaurant staff, like all the hotel employees we met, were wonderful and this is a friendly place where we felt at home.
We stayed in one of the enormous gorgeous two bedroom bay view apartments which have super self-catering facilities and comfy beds.
When the sun did come out on a glorious Saturday, we did have a chance to explore outside and took the woodland walk in the lovely grounds, going through the sub-tropical gardens, with its waterfall, down to the centre of St Ives which is about ten minutes away.
For a full picture of what you can get up to in the town, the St Ives Tourism Association runs a slick website www.stives-cornwall.co.uk.
There are several places well worth visiting to eat out.
Going to the highly rated Cornish Deli and Café www.cornishdeli.com on Chapel Street was a real treat.
With impeccable service and top local food and drink, it is also tremendous value for money.
The Cornish Deli Burger with blue cheese was superb as was the marvellous Betty Stogs Cornish beer they have stocked which is from Skinner's Brewery, just up the road in Truro.
It is a venue that is patronised by the townspeople which was a good sign as to how good it is.
We also had a fabulous Sunday roast at the Chy an Albany Hotel chyanalbanyhotel.com on Albany Terrace, which is popular with both locals and tourists alike.
Pub wise there is plenty of choice. The Castle Inn castleinn-stives.co.uk
on Fore Street is a gem with its beamed ceiling, slate floor and a magnificent stained glass. The beer’s not too bad either.
And any visit wouldn’t be complete without checking out the historic Sloop Inn sloop-inn.co.uk on The Wharf at the harbour, a former fisherman’s boozer which dates back to around 1312.
All in all, a memorable weekend at a charming and friendly resort. Can’t wait to go back.
FACT FILE: Tregenna Castle Resort, Trelyon Avenue, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2DE, 01736 795254, email: email@example.com, website: tregenna-castle.co.uk.
For more information on St Ives, see stives-cornwall.co.uk