The charm of Cornwall is ever-present in the coastal town of Marazion and at the delightful Mount Haven Hotel and Restaurant, which holds splendid views of nearby St Michael’s Mount.
A warm welcome is what I received at the hotel (as well as a welcome drink) and this hospitality remained throughout with friendly staff aiming to make my stay a comfortable one – it was achieved.
The fantastic view of St Michael’s Mount was the first thing that struck me as I entered the room. I was straight out through the patio doors and onto the balcony to take some snaps of the scene – and I was glad I did, the next day it couldn’t be spotted for the poor weather! The sea always offers such welcome viewing, I could lose hours staring out at the water, being mesmerised by the waves and the seaside sounds.
Inside, the sun trap of a room ( it got quite hot, I needed a fan! ) offered up a very comfortable place to spend a few nights with smart, soft-coloured décor, which emitted a relaxing feel. A couple of large, metallic framed mirrors sat on the walls, which were covered with a leaf-patterned wallpaper, while pale blue and cream curtains matched the fabric of the cushions and armchair. A pale wood desk, wardrobe and bedside tables accompanied a large bed, which held a soft grey headboard, while the modern bathroom was decorated with dark tiles and held lovely smelling refillable toiletries.
It didn’t take me long after getting into the food-writing game to realise that dinner, most definitely, begins with a drink in the bar and, with the spacious, welcoming lounge/bar at Mount Haven, I wasn’t about to make an exception to the rule here. Reclining on a low armchair in the large room, which offers a view to the water at one end, a bar at the other and plenty of comfy sofas and chairs in between, I delighted in a glass of sparkling Pinot Noir from Cornwall itself.
A read through the menu assured me that I would be very content with any choice I made, and I was right, so much so that I returned the next evening to sample the delights once more. With bar plates (I wanted them all), a lovely selection of starters and mains, offering a hefty helping of seafood options, all made with ingredients that were promised to be local, sustainable, and seasonal, I was happy. The menu is offered at two courses for £27.50 and three for £33.50, with sides in addition and supplements for certain dishes.
Stairs from the bar lead down to the restaurant, which is contemporary, with a clean and comfortable vibe – similar to the upstairs. The polished feel is achieved with light wood flooring and table-tops, pale walls, watercolour floral art in light frames, spotlights and gentle instrumental music to maintain the comfort factor too. This room also has a wall of windows looking out on a patio area and to allow a lot of light into the lower level room.
I truly cannot resist a beetroot and goats’ cheese dish – my dad spent years trying to convince to me to try it and like it, and it paid off, I am a big fan. This starter consisted of roasted beets and molasses with smoked cheese custard, damson, chia and linseed, and arrived looking fantastic and tasting delectable. I couldn’t get enough of the luscious complementary flavours and varying textures on this winning plate of food. The Newlyn crab starter was another delight with a gorgeous green colour in the surrounding gazpacho, and classic combination of cucumber and apple to make this a light, fresh and uplifting dish.
The favoured main course was the turbot (the next evening, this was replaced with plaice), which was served with celeriac, potato and oyster fritter and mussels cooked in seaweed. This dish showcased accomplished cooking with a wonderful crisp potato basket encasing some oysters, good quality seafood and an utterly gorgeous cream sauce. The autumnal duck, beetroot and blackberry dish was another winner with a lovely portion of melt-in-the-mouth Creedy Carver duck breast, ideally complemented by the sweet fruit and earthy beetroot. A chocolate mousse with cherry sorbet and meringue shards was a tasty but rather sweet dessert, designed for those with a very sweet tooth for sure!
Overall, I thought the food was very flavoursome, seasonal, local and of the finest quality. Dishes were unfussy with decent portion sizes and, as previously mentioned, I was more than happy to return the next evening for more.
Of course, the obvious attraction here is St Michael’s Mount, the island in the foreground, which holds a history richer than most dark chocolate desserts. From mythical creatures to spiritual tales, medieval battles and discoveries of bronze age artefacts, the castle, gardens and small island are really worth the visit. Depending on the tide, the island can be reached by boat, or foot along the man-made causeway and there is a fee for entry to the castle. It offers a great opportunity to discover its eventful past as well as what life is like on the island for its current residents.
Marazion is one of the oldest towns in the UK and boasts two beaches as well as some charming pubs, shops and art galleries. The plastic-free town sits a couple of miles away from Penzance and, if the need to explore further arises, Land’s End and St Ives are certainly worth a visit.
IN A NUTSHELL
Hospitality, the relaxed friendliness that is typical of a Cornish hotel, and good food is what Mount Haven Hotel and Restaurant has in abundance. I thoroughly enjoyed my relaxing stay here, spending time mooching in the room, bar, town and beyond, perhaps the magical myths of the mount are true.
Room rates at Mount Haven Hotel are from £100 per night. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast, taxes and fees.
Address: Turnpike Rd, Marazion TR17 0DQ
Phone: 01736 719937