Food review: Eating my way around The Headland, Newquay’s five-star hotel on the beach | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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Trips to the seaside offer something truly special whether you’re going for the day or staying for a while longer, and despite the Great British weather not always being the most amenable, it doesn’t matter when you have a great location to marvel at, a resplendent hotel to cosy up in and great food to devour.

With over 250 miles of coastline and more than 300 beaches, Cornwall is one such place that provides a welcoming getaway with the sounds and sights of the sea feeding the soul. And standing boldly on Newquay’s coastline is the five-star Headland Hotel – the grand dame of the town, which has been welcoming guests for 123 years.

It’s easy to spot the red-brick building from Newquay’s centre as it stands high on Towan Headland at one end of surfer’s haven, Fistral Beach. One thing is for sure when visiting The Headland hotel is that you’ll get a warm welcome, some great views and hotel amenities – a brand-new spa anyone? – and some winning meals across its three restaurants.

The Terrace restaurant food
For a consistently good, hearty meal with views overlooking Fistral Beach, The Terrace is one to visit when you’re looking for a relaxed ambience

All offering a different atmosphere, menu and style of dining, The Samphire Restaurant, The Terrace and The Deck share the same goal of providing their diners with the same great quality of cooking, leaving them satiated until their next great meal at the establishment.

I headed to The Headland this winter to sample of the restaurants’ winning dishes and to see what’s new at the striking seaside hotel.

The Deck

With its cool, casual interiors and ‘Cornwall meets the Med’ food, The Deck at The Headland’s brand-new Aqua Club offers a relaxed meal from morning to night.

I visited for a decadent breakfast and made the most of the three-course breakfast where diners can enjoy a tea or coffee with juice and a freshly baked pastry, followed by a choice of seasonal fruits, homemade granola, porridge with pear or cinnamon loaf. After this, choose from a hot dish such as a bacon sandwich, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, mushroom royale, or shakshuka. I opted for the fruits and granola to share with a pain au chocolat and the avocado on toast with crushed green herbs and two poached eggs.

The Deck restaurant at the headland
With its cool, casual interiors and ‘Cornwall meets the Med’ food, The Deck at The Headland’s brand new Aqua Club offers a relaxed meal from morning to night

Enjoying a leisurely, and very fulfilling, breakfast in the circular, bright space, with its light, fresh décor and views to the water over the outdoor pools, was a winning way to start the day, and perfectly positioned if you want a swim in the new Aqua Club pools before devouring some of these tasty plates.  

For dinner, expect mouth-watering delights like burrata with black figs, wild mushroom risotto, Cornish mackerel fillet with a salad and pizzas cooked to order.

The Terrace

For a consistently good, hearty meal with views overlooking Fistral Beach, The Terrace is one to visit when you’re looking for a relaxed ambience – in between the casual nature of The Deck and the fine dining atmosphere of Samphire.

Enjoy a carefully crafted cocktail in the neighbouring bar before heading to the window-filled dining area to tuck into the likes of cheese souffle, King oyster mushroom tempura, traditional fish and chips, sirloin steak, half or whole lobster, or miso glazed smoked aubergine in the restaurant.

My starter of crispy Cornish pork terrine with pickles and a mustard mayonnaise was delightful. A crispy outer led to meaty goodness inside and the thinly sliced pickles on the side balanced out the mustard while providing a decent accompaniment to the terrine.

burger at The Terrace restaurant
The Terrace serves up hearty, classic British dishes such as burgers, seafood, steak and fish and chips

Next up was the Phillip Warren sirloin with Doom Bar onion rings, triple cooked chips, salad and Bearnaise sauce and the piece of meat was wonderfully thick and delicious – I’m pretty sure it was a fillet not sirloin though, but that’s even better in my opinion! The chunky chips, crispy onion rings and sauce were delicious along with the side salad, and this was made all the more mouth-watering with a glass of Malbec.

A Cornish cheese plate with crackers, chutney and grapes, and ‘chocolate nemesis’ with raspberries and clotted cream provided the desserts for the evening and were the ideal picks to share and really finish us off!

The Samphire Restaurant

Exciting things are afoot at The Samphire Restaurant and the eatery has been undergoing a revamp as part of its fresh new look over recent months. Not yet completed when I visited (half of the restaurant was closed off, which didn’t detract from anything as it’s a large space), the restaurant will have a whole new look and name and I’m excited to see what will become of the space as I feel it has struggled to reach its full potential up until now.

I visited Samphire for dinner and was thoroughly impressed with the fine dining menu, so I’m very much looking forward to the new iteration that will soon stand in its place. Stunning sea views and sunsets are guaranteed here through large windows and the hotel’s main restaurant will no doubt be serving up some of Cornwall’s finest ingredients in its stylish new setting.

On my visit, I sipped on Ruinart Champagne and luscious, light Romanian pinot noir while devouring lobster in a gorgeously rich bisque, with a delectable tartlet, followed by Tregothnan Estate venison with beetroot, sausage, red cabbage and elderberry ketchup. Great quality ingredients on every plate were well presented and friendly and attentive waiting staff made the night run smoothly. No doubt these winning elements will be present in the new restaurant, which is due to open this spring.

afternoon tea at The Headland
Afternoon tea can be enjoyed across the main restaurant and hotel lounges

The hotel

After eating my way around the hotel for two days, I had to make sure I had somewhere suitable to stay in between devouring all of these delicious meals and, of course, The Headland provides a great variety of accommodation options for a comfortable and sumptuous stay. With suites, rooms and self-catering cottages in their own village, with a superb selection of sea, beach and town views to be had, every visitor will be able to find something to suit themselves and their party.

On this occasion, I lived out my childhood fairy-tale dreams of staying in a turret at one of the few third floor suites, which had two bedrooms, lofty views of the seaside, tasteful blue and white décor and an enviable bathroom, which held a walk-in shower, an oval bath, lovely Elemis toiletries and underfloor heating.

In typical Newquay style we experienced a range of sunny climes and blustery weather across our two-day stay, making time for a walk around the area and also some book reading wrapped up in my cosy robe in my armchair by the fire in the suite. Perfect.

aqua club spa headland
The outside pools and deck area of the new Aqua Club sits outside the Deck restaurant

Days can also be spent at the two spa areas, being utterly pampered and taking in the luxurious facilities; cosying up on a sofa in one of the small private lounges, the ballroom lounge or the terrace bar; taking lessons at the on-site Surf Sanctuary and, of course, dining on delicious fare at the range of restaurants.

With new suites, refurbishments and the new main restaurant to be unveiled in April this year, I am excited at what’s to come at The Headland, and I’ll no doubt be heading back there to try it all out for myself. If you want to try it for yourself then check out all the information you need below.


Address: Fistral Beach, Headland Rd, Newquay TR7 1EW

Phone: 01637 872211



See snippets of my travels on Instagram @tashheard_food_travel and Twitter @tashheardtravel

All imagery provided by The Headland hotel.

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