Padstow Townhouse – Paul Ainsworth At No.6 – Cockerpoo For My 60th Birthday
I hit my big 60th Birthday on 14th December 2016 and leading up to it, I have to say that I was not looking forward to the prospect of reaching this milestone.
Steve (hubby) arranged a surprise overnight stay somewhere as I am not one for parties and especially not a surprise one. I tried my hardest to guess what it was going to be but he wasn’t giving anything away. Now I love arranging surprises for others, but I am afraid that when it is me that is being surprised I find it difficult, as I like to be in control all of the time.
However all he did say was that it was “random” which was a bit worrying. He also said that the place we were staying had no restaurant so we had about a 10 minute walk downhill to the restaurant as there was no restaurant on site. Now come on, he expected me to walk in the middle of December with my hair!!! I couldn’t understand why he would have booked a hotel with no onsite restaurant, what was he thinking. I did then think perhaps he had booked a yurt or glamping experience.
So after opening my cards and presents, one being a beautiful silver and tortoiseshell jewellery box from my Son (read about Steve’s present below – the Cockerpoo bit) and another a lovely Royal Crown Derby Donkey foal paperweight (donkeys being my huge passion) from a very special lady, it was in the car for a magical mystery tour.
It became clear after we were heading towards the Tamar Bridge that it was somewhere in Cornwall but where? We headed towards Newquay but then we turned off for Padstow which I was very pleased with as I just love this place, but had never seen any glamping or yurt sites. We drove down a little side street and arrived at the “Padstow Townhouse” which looked like a goregeous Georgian building.
We turned into the gravelled car park and were greeted with a very warm welcome by Lucinda. She took us in to the beautiful house which was all beautifully decorated with very tasteful Christmas decorations, and gave us a tour around, stating that there were 6 suites in the house, all named after sweets and also showing us the beautifully appointed kitchen on the ground floor that serves the 6 suites. This is not actually for cooking but a stock of every drink imaginable and delicious home made cakes, chocolates, sweets, nibbles, cheeses and other goodies. There was a microwave that you could heat anything up if you felt the need to, all with an honesty sheet to be charged to your suite.
Lucinda then took us up to the 2nd floor where the 2 best suites were located and the one that Steve had booked called Bon Bon. She opened the door which led into a sumptuous lounge area with a red leather sofa and chair, and a table and chairs in the corner together with our own mini bar and tea and coffee making machine, and some chocolates and bags of nibbles.
This room led through to the gorgeous bedroom which in turn went through the beautiful bathroom, complete with roll top free standing bath with a bath tray over with two glasses and some bath salts. It also had a double headed walk in shower and all the fittings and fixtures were of top quality. There was also under floor heating and lights that came on automatically if you needed the bathroom during the night – what a brilliant idea, no walking around in the dark trying to find the light switch. The whole suite itself I can best describe as boutique, shabby chic and the whole suite was quite gorgeous, totally my cup of tea.
However Lucinda said that we could also look at the other suite on this floor as it had not been booked and if we preferred that one then we could swap. Although this one too was gorgeous I did prefer Bon Bon (much to Steve’s relief, as after speaking to Lucinda when he originally made the booking he decided that this was the best room for me). I too was pleased that we had actually agreed on something, which is quite rare!!!
We unpacked and settled in and noticed that there was a personal birthday card from the staff at the Townhouse, which was a lovely touch. Once unpacked we were going to take a short stroll in to Padstow before we got ready to go to eat (more about that later on). However that was curtailed slightly as Lucinda arrived with 2 little home made lamb pasties and some sort of relish which was all quite delicious and this was only the start of many more little personal touches that we enjoyed throughout our stay.
We had a little look around Padstow and as the light was now fading the harbor looked very Christmassy with some fairy lights adorning the quay and some of the boats. It was very quiet everywhere and so different from the hoards of people during the summer months – I know which I prefer!!!
We then walked back up the hill to get ready for the evening, which of course included trying out the roll top bath.
Paul Ainsworth at No 6 Restaurant
The 10 minute walk to the restaurant all became clear, as the Padstow Townhouse is owned by the Michelin starred chef Paul Ainsworth who also runs and owns the restaurant Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in the Square. He also had another Italian Restaurant Rojano’s in the Square where it transpired that was where we had breakfast (again just a short walk from the Townhouse).
Steve failed to mention that there is a courtesy car which takes guests to and from the restaurants if they didn’t fancy walking. As it was a lovely dry evening we would normally have walked the short distance, but Steve was very interested in going down in the car, which was actually a little electric BMW which was quite novel.
Again we were warmly greeted by the staff at No 6 and yet another personal birthday card, which again was a very nice touch. The restaurant was very cosy and relaxed and we had a super meal. It started with an additional starter which consisted of some lovely bread with 3 different butters which were absolutely gorgeous, particularly the caramel one which I have to say I have never tasted anything like it.
We both opted for the bird’s liver parfait which was served with grilled bread and piccalilli (which I hasten to add was nothing like the yellow acidic piccalilli that you get in a jar). It was all very delicious.
For the mains we chose the Rib of Beef for two which was a little awkward as Steve likes his meat medium and I like it well done, but nothing was too much trouble and even though it was one large rib between the two of us, they cooked half his way and half the way I like it and I have to say the meat was fantastic. It was served with pommes anna (a French gratin potato cake) and a Caesar salad, which was an unusual accompaniment but it worked and a lovely sauce timur (a rich beef jus!!). It was absolutely delicious.
I don’t usually do desserts but I chose an orange trifle which was delicious and a nice light ending to a filling meal. Steve is very much a dessert pudding and he went for the chocolate pudding, which was a chocolate mousse with a hot caramel sauce that was poured into the middle of the mousse which melted and then set. It was served with olive oil sponge and he too enjoyed his rather unusual dessert. We washed it all down with coffee and an assortment of petit fours
Back to the room and in the bedroom was a little tray with a flask and a little scroll tied with a ribbon to say about the night time drink. It looked very sweet which it was but it was delicious and aided a very good night’s sleep.(to enlarge any image click once, wait for it to load and then click again – helps to enlarge the text).
The following day we went downstairs to be greeted by Lucinda who asked if we wanted the car to take us to breakfast. She also asked if we had seen the stocking attached to our door. We hadn’t but saw it when we returned from breakfast. Steve still full from last night but we opted for the full “Cornish” in an Italian restaurant and it was nothing like any cooked breakfast I have had. Before the cooked breakfast arrived we were given a little basket filled with a home made croissant a Danish pastry and some unusual bread. Steve was still full so declined a croissant but I felt them both and they were still warm so decided that as it looked so good I would try the Danish even though I am not a sweet tooth, well it was a shame to waste it. As it was warm, the drizzled chocolate melted (all over my fingers) but I have to say that it was the best Danish pastry that I had ever tasted, it was delicious.
I managed to eat all of it, but when breakfast arrived I then wished that perhaps I shouldn’t have. Steve did struggle but I hate to see food wasted (particularly as this was included in the price of the suite) so I forced myself (although it wasn’t hard) to polish it off. It was very rich but again quite delicious and beautifully served (by a rather good looking Italian who had lovely eyes!!). It really was a super breakfast and I can thoroughly recommend it and you will not be disappointed.
We walked back up the hill fat and full back to room and saw the stocking hung on the outside of our door, and inside was another little ribbon tied scroll with a little note, which was very sweet. The stocking was packed full of little goodies including the ingredients to make cups of the delicious bed time drink.
Then packed up the car and drove into padstow and walked partway along the Camel Trail. Lots of birdlife, very quiet again unlike the summer months if you walk this trail you take your life in your hands, as this is the famous cycle way linking Padstow to Wadebridge and it does get very busy with families taking advantage of this lovely peaceful very safe coastal cycle path.
Steve did a fantastic job of making my 60th birthday very special, and he certainly pulled out the stops and a lot of thought and planning went into making sure it all went according to plan. However it even surpassed his expectations as he was not expecting the wonderful personal service and little goodies that kept appearing throughout our stay. It will certainly be a birthday I will definitely remember and if you ever want somewhere a little bit special to stay where you will receive personal service and attention to detail then look no further than the Padstow Townhouse. Please also see all the reviews on tripadvisor where everyone agrees that this is a very special place.
Now The Cockerpoo Bit
Now the Cockerpoo you will be asking, well we have been thinking of getting a puppy for quite some time and have finally decided that after our celebratory cruise in the Spring of 2017 (as Steve was also 60 back in June) we are willing to have a new addition to the family. The breed I have chosen is a cockerpoo which is cross breed between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. Why this breed? A number of reasons, all the ones I have come across are very friendly active dogs and of a nice manageable size. They also are non or low shedders and they are just adorable.
Steve very skillfully made a very sweet pretend gift voucher and presented it to me on the morning of my birthday, to be redeemed when we finally choose our puppy. In addition he gave me a book all about cockerpoos so hopefully I now know everything there is to know about owning one. I have been researching reputable breeders, as these delightful little “designer dogs” even though back in the day a crossbreed was referred to as a “mutt” or “mongrel”. But with the new label they come with a big price tag and unscrupulous breeders who are just in it to make big money. I therefore have plenty of time to make sure I pick a good breeder, so if there is anyone reading this who can let me have any recommendations then I would love to hear from you.
I will do a blog on my Cockerpoo starting with the search and updates through its early years and training into adulthood and then adventures that we might have along the way, so please watch my website for updates.
A couple of days following my main celebration Steve also arranged another special meal to include Adrian (our Son) who also has a birthday a few days before mine. This time it was to our favourite restaurant The Treby Arms which is a One Michelin star restaurant which is just a short drive from where we live so please also read this short blog (The Treby Arms Sparkwell Devon).