Merchants Manor stole my heart. With its windswept, scenic sea views over a beautiful coastline, fresh Cornish lobster poached in shellfish butter, and gorgeous spa treatments, what’s not to like? From deep reflexology, sumptuous facials with aromatherapy oils and 4-handed seamless massages delivered by four female magicians, this is the way to relax in style.
Cornwall is a hop away from central London and with the one hour flight from Gatwick to Newquay, I just had enough time to read Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker Marketing before I stepped foot on this English coastal soil.
A joyful, smiley gentleman in a 1950’s bus came to collect us and it was filled with goodies, Cornish sparkling wine, seaweed and sea salt crackers and fresh market mushroom pate. Delving into our sparkling wine and treats, we were given a picturesque view of the small towns with white houses and the clear sand beaches. Young surfers in wetsuits were spotted across the coast diving into waves as we drove by.
We arrived at Merchants Manor, a beautiful house with 34 bedrooms, restaurant, and bar, a spa with treatment rooms, a pool, a gym and a summer house for the warmer months.
With a Welsh history beginning in 1559 when Welsh nobleman Richard Carne bought the property from the Carnes family of Glamorganshire to the recent acquisition by Welsh owners Sioned and Nick in 2012 to open in 2013.
When we arrived, the owners came to introduce themselves and were gracious, warm and welcoming, immediately offering hot teas to warm us by the crackling fire in the lounge before we retreated to the restaurant for a delicious fresh cold lobster lunch.
The new head chef Hylton had come to say hello, only arriving from his hometown of South Africa a week before. His thoughts on food and cooking are based on nature, foraging, fresh local ingredients, and smoky barbecue techniques which were apparent in the delicious cut of venison we had the last night of our stay.
It seemed he chose Merchants Manor as they chose him, the Cornish coast giving access to his addiction to surfing while the small, peaceful town is a perfect place for him to raise his children.
After a quick freshen up after lunch, we were taken into the library where the four “magicians” introduced themselves with a Cornish massage as created in a visual “Cornish Hieroglyphics” style sequence with Cornish history visual aids. Interesting enough, one of the therapists created this massage style so children could learn the art of massage in a fun easy way.
The treatments were incredible. Each is bespoke for your body type, with a selection of hand-picked aromatherapy oils, and body and face potions created by the talented Dr Mariano Spiezia and his wife of Inlight Luxury Skincare.
Dr Spiezia is at the helm of the ground breaking organic spa and the skincare product Inlight
With a degree in Medicine and Surgery, a diploma in Homeopathy, Clinical Phytotheraphy and Iridology as well as being a diet and nutrition teacher, Dr. Spieza’s products are used exclusive to Merchants Manor.
We had the pleasure of trying the Organic face cleanser, the floral face tonic, the organic firm and tone oil and the organic line softener. It is created with cold-pressed oil, herbs and beeswax, leaving your skin feeling renewed and glowing.
We got the chance to see the Inlight laboratory tucked away in a farm a short drive away from the hotel. Their passion for creating inner and outer beauty with a strong set of ethics for their pure production values is apparent.
The next day I had a walk along the beachside before my day of treatments in the Linen Rooms spa which includes the four hand Herculean massage using aromatherapy, a reflexology foot massage, and a mini facial which used Inlight face products.
The evening food was divine. The night started with a “blind” champagne tasting with the Cornish champagne as a surprise overall winner against the Laurent Perriet. Their resident specialist hand picks each and every wine bottle on their menu – from local producers, emerging talent and classic brand names.
The food was served as a special tasting menu full of scallops, mackerel, venison and the gingerbread cheesecake.
Cornwall’s Merchants Manor is a gorgeous family-run hotel with excellent spa facilities and products, delicious food and warm service.
1 Western Terrace