Tidal Pools and Prawn Platters: Exploring Padstow with Hosts Jess and Ash

Tidal Pools and Prawn Platters: Exploring Padstow with Hosts Jess and Ash

Hoteliers Jess and Ash Alken-Theasby invite us on a tour around Padstow, sharing their favourite lesser-known Cornish coves, brilliant bars and great gourmet suggestions

has long been labelled as the most cosmopolitan pocket
of North Cornwall, having been put in the spotlight by
Michelin-starred chefs and hip hoteliers. But step past the city
dwellers on their annual staycation and you will find the quieter,
tranquil landscape of Trevone – a setting yet to be taken over by
the visiting hordes. That’s where dynamic duo Jess and Ash
Alken-Theasby enter the picture. Co-founders of new guesthouse
Atlanta Trevone, the couple earlier this year unveiled
a selection of five cosy cottages perched on the craggy cliff top
of Trevone Bay, following a £1.5 million refurb of the 19th-century

Retaining many of the original features, including exposed
wooden beams and period fireplaces, the property has been injected
with contemporary furnishings to create a beautiful beachside botlhole – a place unlike any other
self-catering set-up we’ve seen. Light-filled bedrooms are dressed
in warm linens, living spaces stacked with reading materials. There
are snug seating corners and kitchens filled with all the
essentials. We caught up with the pair to learn more about the
inspiration behind the project, while also getting the inside scoop
on all things Padstow. Read on for their picks for a go-slow
breakfast, secret local spots and essential souvenirs.

How to adventure in Padstow according to Atlanta Trevone’s Jess
and Ash

Atlanta Trevone
Atlanta Trevone, John Hersey House

Atlanta Trevone cottages, left, and a sea-facing bedroom at
the John Hersey House cottage. | Photo credit: Alex

What was the inspiration behind Atlanta Trevone?

Ironically, we were just as busy before we started the
renovation, building our forever home, getting married and creating
a family. But Atlanta was a long time in the making. My father had
been wanting to do the work since I was a small girl, so it was
always a conversation. We knew it was important to wait until the
timing, budget, team and design were right, otherwise it would not
be the same space it is today.

Talk us through the renovation process. Any major

Our biggest challenge was the 10-month timeline. We had to
completely restore the roof, which meant replacing the structure
and adding a steel vault to give it a contemporary, beach-house
finish. Then, turning what was the former attic space into a
loft-style penthouse with balcony, both of which were huge tasks
that, at the time, seemed somewhat unmanageable.

How did the interiors take shape?

Almost all the interiors were decided before the project began.
We had previously designed and built our own home, so were in a
great position to start sourcing. I’ve always been inspired by the
eclectic style of Tom Cox at Ham Interiors, which we are lucky
enough to have on board for our next project, The Net Loft. I was
also pregnant at the time, which was a great excuse for me to kick
back and lose myself in a stack of interior magazines and podcasts
– my Pinterest board was on fire.

Atlanta Trevone, Lounge
Atlanta Trevone Kitchen

A cosy living space, left, and a kitchen corner. | Photo
credit: Alex Collins

There are five separate properties – what is different about

All five properties are totally different. Our intention was to
create individually designed spaces that have their own
personalities. I’d like to think that each one is somewhere that
suits all ages of life. Some are better for larger families; some
work for a girls’ getaway; others are perfect for a couple’s
retreat. Though, if you asked me today which one I’d choose, I
would be happy to live in any of them.

What sets you apart from other self-catering stays on the
Cornish coast?

Location, location. Firstly, we are just a pebble’s throw away
from two beaches in Trevone: a rocky bay, which is perfect for
shell hunting, and a sandy cove, ideal for surfing. I’d like to
think the second reason is our quality of finish. From bathrooms
and kitchens to finer interior details, we’ve created an
environment that has elevated the self-catering scene in North
Cornwall. Through more intimate touches, such as concierge service,
surfboard hire, private chef experiences and securing reservations
at Padstow’s most legendary restaurants, we strive to make every
trip memorable.

Atlanta Trevone, Breakfast
Trevone Bay, Cornwall

A breakfast spread, left, and Trevone Bay. | Photo credit:
Alex Collins

When’s the best time to visit Padstow?

The beauty is that it’s a year-round destination: with each
season, there is something special to enjoy, from balmy beachside
picnics in the warmer months to blustery coastal walks in the
winter. If I had to pick a month, it would be May. It’s still
relatively quiet and the change of season leaves everyone with a
positive spring in their step – if you pardon the pun.

We’re staying at Atlanta Trevone – which room is your

It changes, but my current favourite room is the Snug – a cosy
hideout that’s painted lobster-red. There’s also a television, for
those who’d like to snuggle and watch a film, and plenty of books
and curious trinkets, too. Open the doors and chat with the kitchen
team, or settle down and soak in the calm with a mug of Cornish

Where should we grab breakfast?

Why go anywhere when you already have the best seat in the
house? Padstow Farm Shop stocks everything you could possibly
need to cook up your own feast – from free-range meats to
farm-grown veggies, and plenty of local jams. Watch the waves from
your dining table and tuck in.

Padstow Harbour
Seafood platter

A sun-kissed Padstow harbour, left, and a seafood platter. |
Photo credit: Keith & Ratapan / Shutterstock.com /

What about a long, lazy lunch?

Without doubt, The Pig at Harlyn Bay.Turn left outside
Atlanta’s front doors and follow the coastal path for a bit, until
you reach the honey-hued building. There’s an impressive range of
options on their 48km menu, and plenty of seating areas to flit
between, too – from the main house to the bar, courtyard and
Lobster Shed, you can experience a totally different restaurant
each visit. Thanks to its close proximity, there will be no
designated driver necessary either. G&T, anyone?

And for an evening drink…

Cocktails taste better at Ruby’s Bar – just a short stroll from the
harbour. Failing that, nab a seat at the sparkling bar in Rick
Stein’s Seafood Restaurant.

Any other great gourmet suggestions?

So many… You’ll be spoilt for choice here, and would need an
extra week to squeeze in the time to taste-test them all, but a few
firm favourites are DuchyGrub, Prawn on the Lawn, Caffè Rojano, No.6, Greens of Padstow and Chip Ahoy.

Tell us a secret spot only locals know about.

Tregirls Beach. It’s the perfect picnic spot and remains pretty
quiet year-round. Part of the magic is the approach – a steep,
rugged passageway that unexpectedly opens to reveal a white-sand
beach and stunning views across Rock and the Camel estuary.

Sea Glass

Sea glass in the sand, left, and a delicious cocktail. |
Photo credit: Sara & Mae / Unsplash.com

Musts in the neighbourhood?

Take a paddle in Tinker Bunny’s Bathing Pool at Trevone Bay –
it’s one of the largest natural sea tidal pools on the Cornish

Any suggestions for day trips?

The Lost
Gardens of Heligan
and the Eden
are open daily. For those who love period properties,
is worth a visit – it’s been the home to the Prideaux
family since the 1500s. Lanhydrock is also a great option. It has a cosy
cream-tea room, stunning gardens and spectacular bicycle

A book to read while we’re there?

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is a novel that will ignite your
imagination and no doubt have you wondering what you would do if
you were alone in your newfound paradise, Trevone.

Something to bring back as a souvenir?

Sea glass – a naturally weathered piece of glass which has a
similar appearance to tumbled stones. Trevone’s Newtrain Bay is one
of your best bets for spotting a piece. Afterwards, head to
Silver Mermaid, where local Hollie will turn your
treasure into jewellery.

And lastly, what’s next for Atlanta Trevone?

The Net Loft. Without revealing too much, our next project is
set to become North Cornwall’s most stylish and spectacular
beachside stay. Following that, Atlanta Farmhouse, perhaps? Watch
this space.

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