Review: A long weekend away at Havener's, Fowey
PUBLISHED: 17:32 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:32 16 July 2018
The great position that Havener's occupies on the waterfront in Fowey is one of the key things that makes it a lovely place to stay, discovers Charlotte Skidmore
Surrounded by lovely art shops, bakeries and craft places, Havener’s makes an ideal base for a long weekend away.
Take a trip on the River Fowey, enjoy some fresh fish for lunch or dinner and enjoy a drink on the on the terrace if the sun permits before retiring to one of the five rooms that this St Austell Brewery-owned property in Cornwall has to offer.
The room we stayed in at Havener’s was a comfortably sized double with a view out to the water, bathroom with shower, kettle and plenty of room for two to put their feet up for a few days.
The décor is modern, obviously recently refurbished and on a seaside theme and very in keeping with the surroundings and the smell of the sea air.
Well what can I say? Fabulous food, great staff who knew the difference between courtesy and friendliness versus overcrowding, washed down with modern, comfortable surroundings.
For dinner on the first night I enjoyed mussels in a white wine sauce, with the shellfish deliciously fresh and sourced from the river in front of me. I could have done with a finger bowl or something to wipe my hands on, as all lovers of mussels know these things can get a little messy. But I won’t hold that against them as the mussels were huge, meaty and tasty, with the salt taste of the river coming through wonderfully.
It was sirloin steak for main, a little more overdone than asked for so just bear that in mind when ordering, but don’t let that put you off as the steaks were very tasty and tender. And I have to say that the blue cheese sauce, homemade using Cornish blue cheese, was the best I have ever tasted. If you are a real blue cheese fan and you like it strong and flavourful, this is a must-try accompaniment.
Believe it or not I managed sticky toffee pudding for dessert – I’d say my eyes are bigger than my stomach but eating for two currently means that’s not true!
The sickly sweet deliciousness of the toffee blended ideally with the ice-cream – Cornish clotted cream of course.
I have to say that my dining partner’s Eton mess looked delightful – even though I’m not normally a fan.
The fish coming out to other diners also looked wonderful and there were some nice fresh specials in addition to the normal menu. The fillet of hake in particular would be my choice if I were to try something different next time.
We were also fortunate enough to enjoy breakfast at Havener’s each morning of our stay and although the only cold buffet offering was Dorset cereals (hardly surprising out of season with only five rooms in total), there was a decent hot selection also included.
Favourites of mine included the beautiful eggs, sourced from just down the road and the sautéed mushrooms (how do mushrooms pack a flavour like that?)
The surrounding area
I’ve already mentioned that we were struck by Fowey on our visit – a lovely, picturesque place for R & R. The lovely shops and bakeries were a delight and there are some great little places for seafood around – we also enjoyed the St Austell-owned The Lugger Inn around the corner from the hotel. The seafood tagliatelle and fish pie were excellent.
But there are other places we enjoyed too.
Charlestown was lovely and that’s where we visited St Austell’s The Pier House Hotel for lunch (see the column on this page for more on that). It’s Poldark land with shipwrecks and tall ships ahoy – with scenes from the famous television drama having been filmed there.
While you couldn’t in my opinion spend a whole day there, there are some great places to eat, so it’s well worth a visit for that alone.
We also really like Falmouth and Padstow, which are a little further away if you want more of a drive. It is £6 per day to park the car in Fowey and you do need to walk about 10 minutes to the car park to top it up by 10am or collect the car each morning. There is a two hour limit outside Havener’s and we did unload our bags outside with no issues.
I would recommend Havener’s – there are a few tweaks that could be made here and there but for the price you pay this really is a great base for exploring the area and a lovely spot right on the waterfront.
Fowey is a lovely place for couples to explore and the staff at this St Austell property really do try to take care of your every need.
For more information or to book your stay, visit the Havener’s website.