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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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i-escape gift: free daily breakfast

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