You may be familiar with the London and Brighton incarnations of Artist Residence, but did you know you can also head west for a dose of its colourful treatment? Located in Penzance, near the toe of England, Artist Residence Cornwall is a funky boutique guesthouse in the same inimitable style as its South East sisters.
Just moments from cafés, pubs and galleries, you can sleep in your very own work of art, as each of the hotel’s imaginative rooms was designed by a different artist. On our last visit we also loved the new clutch of apartments, all equipped with comforts such as top-notch bedding, ensuite shower rooms and eco-chic toiletries.
Rooms: All of the rooms are utterly unique, and you can even learn about the artist who conceived yours during your stay. The proportions can feel a little small, though the lofts have an added sense of space thanks to their high ceilings. We loved the Picture Loft, which is the only room with a tub (a roll-top one at that). The Gallery Loft (complete with a mezzanine) is the largest, and the Attic Loft has a handy kitchenette and a novel floating bed. If you want to get away with the family, the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments are ideal. All have spacious living areas and full kitchens, but we’d opt for one of those with a sea view or courtyard garden as they’re particularly charming.
Food: At the heart of the hotel is The Cornish Barn, an informal, industrial-style restaurant that’s big on sharing and socialising. The delicious menu is simply divided into meat, fish and veg, and focuses on Cornish fare with a Deep South twist. We loved the tender buttermilk chicken, sweet pulled pork, fresh whitebait and peppery crab, all rounded off with a perfect mac ‘n’ cheese. The fruits of Cornwall are evident in the fantastic breakfasts, too – we started with cute jars of yoghurt and compote (everyone’s favourite), followed by a tasty full English and some (slightly tart) blueberry pancakes. If you want to self-cater, the apartments have everything you need to cook up a treat.
Author’s tip: A lovely – and unusual – way to explore this area is to combine your stay with a foraging course. The Fat Hen Cookery School, run by ecologist Caroline Davey, offers wild food weekends near St Buryan.