Padstow Townhouse may only have opened in December of last year but in the short time since has won plaudits from guests and critics alike. Owned by husband and wife Paul and Emma Ainsworth, more recently the hotel was nominated for the Independent Hotel Show Awards in the ‘Outstanding New Hotel’ category.
In addition to Padstow Townhouse, Paul and Emma own two hugely successful restaurants in the Cornish town, Paul Ainsworth at No6 and Rojano’s in the square. Paul has a wealth of top quality experience in the food industry, learning from some of the very best. He spoke to Premier Hospitality about Padstow, his latest venture and the reason behind its success:
“I knew somebody that knew the area very well. I went down to Padstow and started off in No6 as the head chef then three years later the opportunity arose to take the business on. I always knew from the moment I arrived we were there to compliment what Rick Stein has created in Padstow. We never went down to compete but to compliment. People couldn’t eat with Rick every night they were on holiday and that alternative would be us.”
“It (Padstow Townhouse) was something myself and Emma had always dreamt of doing in Padstow. A lot of our clientele in the restaurants are on holiday so to be able to offer an experience to eat, drink and stay with us was something we always aspired to do. However, we had to wait for the right property and the right moment to do it.”
That opportunity arrived in August 2014 when they acquired the 18th century building. Work acquiring the relevant listed consent and planning permission followed before a redesign began in early 2015. The hotel is spilt across three floors with two large guest rooms on each.
“What makes it different to a lot of restaurants and rooms is that it’s managed by Lucinda Bayne and her team from 7am till 9pm. They help with things like booking restaurants, sorting out what walks you want to go on or other activities you want to do. It’s such an experience when you arrive. It’s not just restaurant and rooms, you’re actually checking into the Townhouse.”
The actual design of the hotel was the responsibility of Emma and Eve Cullen-Cornes. Each room has been individually styled and fitted with home comforts as well as luxuries. Outside of the rooms, Padstow Townhouse also boasts The Kitchen Pantry.
Stocked with drinks, homemade cake and a cheeseboard, the pantry is operated on an honesty policy with guest settling up at the end of their stay. So far the kitchen has proved to be popular with guests, providing a relaxing space as Paul explained:
“People love the fact it’s an amazing space for them to chill out and I think that’s what you sometimes miss in a bed and breakfast. You feel you’re in someone’s home and private space. With this you’ve got privacy plus an array of luxuries and Lucinda and her team.”
Something else that sets Padstow Townhouse apart is the dedication to every aspect of the business. Breakfast, for example, is approached with the same care and attention to detail as any other meal. Putting in the extra yards has paid off for the Padstow team with glowing reviews in The Times and The Telegraph. For Paul, opening the hotel has turned out to be a masterstroke.
“It’s been one of the most brilliant businesses we’ve ever done. The actual rooms and design have blown people away. We went for a market that was niche but sometimes I look at it and wonder whether we’re actually that niche. Padstow Townhouse is value for money and something I passionately believe is that value for money doesn’t mean cheap. We thought we were going to mainly have one night stays but in fact its three and four night stays.
“My wife and I put everything into the building and it’s so personal which I think is what people feel when they walk through the door. My wife went up to Leek near Stoke every month looking in old antique stores to make sure nothing was a reproduction.”