A TRIP TO CORNWALL - PART 1
THE LLAWNROC HOTEL - TRAVEL REVIEW - 26TH OCTOBER 2012
A few weeks ago, I was very lucky to have a trip to Cornwall with my other half Steve. Cornwall is one of our favourite places in the world but I had never ventured to the St Austell area, so when I was asked to review The Llawnroc Hotel in Gorran Haven, we were excited to visit.
It might sound over the top, but we flew to Newquay as it takes under an hour and it meant that we got more time in Cornwall rather than being stuck on a train or in a car. We arrived around 10am and got a taxi to Gorran Haven which took around 45minutes and was a picturesque journey through the countryside.
On arrival at the hotel, we saw a clean, modern building with white walls, exposed light brick and lots of big windows. We entered the reception through two double glass doors into a big room with a huge feature black chandelier. We were greeted by the very warm and friendly hotel manager, Jess, who booked us in and took us on a tour of the hotel. We immediately felt at home and noticed how cosy the whole hotel was and the attention to detail in the warming purple, brown and gold colours, lush fabrics and comfortable furniture.
Jess took us up to our room, one of two suites in the hotel, and we were taken into a big room with a huge bed in the centre, 3-seater sofa and flat screen TV, plush dressing table with ipod dock with a small but ample bathroom to one side and balcony accessed from two double doors looking out to sea on the other. It was a lovely room and was decorated in golds, creams and chocolate browns and felt very luxurious.
After a drink at the bar, we decided to explore Gorran Haven. It took much less time than we’d have hoped as it is such a tiny village and the main focus is the secluded gorgeous beach. Other than that there is a post office and shop and a church and that’s about it! We were hoping to find a cute pub to sit in but the only bar is actually at The Llawnroc as before the hotel was built, that was actually the pub of the village. Since it was only lunchtime, we decided to venture into Mevagissey and got a short taxi ride there. Mevagissey is a picturesque harbour town, similar to Padstow but smaller, and we had a wander around some antique shops, found a flea market and had a cream tea in a cute cafe.
We headed back early afternoon and sat reading the paper before getting ready for dinner in the hotels Gwineas Bistro. The bistro is situated off the bar and is a large airy room with big glass windows looking out at the garden and since it was a Friday night, it had a good amount of local residents dining in there with us.
There was so much choice on both the Al la Carte and Specials menus that it took us quite some time perusing over some olives with yarg cheese and bread and butter, to decide what to order. To start, I chose the Crispy Goats Cheese with Grilled Vegetables, Pomegranate & Chilli Mint Dressing and Steve opted for the Mevagissey Crab & Chilli Linguine. The pasta was homemade and perfectly cooked with lots of sweet, soft crab and a good kick of chilli. The goats cheese came in a light, crisp batter oozing with lots of warm cheese but I wasn’t sure the roasted vegetables worked and it would have been better just with some dressed salad leaves to compliment the juicy pomegranate.
For main course, I decided on the Grilled Mevagissey Lemon Sole, Smoked Haddock Chive Risotto, Chorizo Butter & Crumb and Steve went for the Duck with Cherries, Roast Garlic Mash & Hispy Cabbage. Both of the mains were huge portions and we didn’t manage to finish either but they were both delicious. I was given two fillets of lemon sole and it was placed on a huge plate of risotto that was rich and creamy with a good hint of smoked haddock and a smokiness from the chorizo. The duck came perfectly pink and had a sweet and sour taste from the cherries which was balanced well with the garlic mash and buttery cabbage.
Even though we were stuffed, we decided to share a pudding with our coffees. The Banoffee Cheesecake with Caramel Banana and Salted Caramel Ice Cream sounded too good not to try and it came presented well in an open clasp-lidded glass jar with the banana laid across the top. The cheesecake was light and creamy and the crunchy banana and smooth salty ice cream both complimented it well.
After our long and relaxing dinner, we retired early to bed with full stomachs and slept really well in our huge comfy bed with soft, crisp white sheets until we woke for breakfast the next morning. We thought we might have been too full but found ourselves venturing down to the luxurious gold and cream decorated dining room at the back of the hotel and were the first there. We helped ourselves to the cold buffet of juices, cereal, fruit and pastries and were both taken with the chefs homemade granola of fruit and nut or chocolate. For our hot breakfast I decided on the Full English and Steve opted for the Eggs Benedict. The full english was cooked well and was not the least bit greasy and the local sausages were particularly delicious. The eggs benedict came on two muffins loaded with ham, perfectly poached eggs and a great hollandaise sauce.
Before we had to check out, we decided to walk our breakfast off on the beach and had a lovely walk all wrapped up in the freezing cold and the beach literally takes less than 5minutes to get to from the hotel. We came back and sat in the lounge reading the paper before heading off to our next desination.
We saw Jess again before we left and she was again really friendly and even gave us a little paper bag filled with a bottle of water and an apple each for our journey, which I thought was a lovely touch.
I would really recommend The Llawnroc hotel - it feels like a luxurious little haven hidden away by the sea and if you wanted to get away and just relax, this is the place to do it.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of The Llawnroc Hotel.
The Llawnroc Hotel, Chute Lane, Gorran Haven, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6NU
* If you wanted to experience our trip, The LLawnroc is running a special offer in January and February for dinner, bed and breakfast in a suite for £250 *