The Abbey Hotel – Penzance, Cornwall

Its Georgian Gothic façade painted a pretty blue, The Abbey stands in a narrow lane in old Penzance, with views across the harbour to St Michael’s Mount (sunrise is marvellous). Step inside, and you leave the clamorous present and enter the elegant past, a comforting, mildly bohemian, timelessly stylish haven created by its owner, the legendary model Jean Shrimpton, and now run by her son Thad.

It feels like the best sort of home: complimentary newspapers at your breakfast table; fresh scones for tea; drinks brought to you as you relax by the fire in the firstfloor drawing room with its squashy sofas surrounding a roaring fire. Outside is the prettiest of walled gardens, but it’s the bedrooms that really entrance: each different, each charming, each with the feel of a guest room in a much-loved country house, the sort where you long for an invitation. In the panelled dining room, with a pretty mismatch of antique tables and chairs, a perfect, leisurely breakfast is served; and for dinner you can pop next door to the newly reopened Abbey Restaurant called The Slipway (

Doubles from £130, including afternoon tea
01736 366906