13th May 2018
Heywood Spa Hotel in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
The Heywood Spa Hotel is located in a quiet, residential area above the town centre of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales as befits its origins as an elegant country house. The present owners, Claire and Peter Nutty, have fulfilled their aim to create cosy yet upmarket accommodation for tourists visiting Tenby. This hotel offers comfortable, tastefully furnished rooms in the house itself.
The bar on the ground floor of the house is furnished with comfortable leather sofas and armchairs, a snug corner to sip a post-prandial whisky – either in the bar itself or the adjoining lounge. Originally the Victorian kitchens, Scullery, Servants Hall and bedrooms for the higher ranking servants occupied this area. It was here that I first encountered Alish, the friendly restaurant manager, who was happy to answer all my questions including an enquiry regarding the cheapest petrol in the area.
Beyond the bar is the Heywood Brasserie furnished in the same style as the bar and the clever use of mirrors creates a great feeling of space. As a lone diner I did not feel at all self-conscious and from my table at the edge of the room I could enjoy the antics of a birthday party taking place on a large table in the centre of the restaurant. Throughout my meal Alish was quietly attentive without being intrusive and positively enhanced my restaurant experience.
For my starter I chose the scallops and they were delicious. Large and juicy they were perfectly complimented by a tangy celeriac, apple and hazelnut salad. It was a great start to my meal. I thought my main course was a strange mixture of tastes and textures. The sea bass (beautifully cooked) was littered with finely diced mango and balanced on top of some tasty crushed new potatoes. But the spicy cauliflower puree smeared across the plate struck a discordant note with the delicacy of the fish. Fortunately, I was able to avoid it and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the dish. From a selection of comforting desserts I chose the home-made apple crumble. I was disappointed by the balance of apple to crumble but cheered by the delightful honeycomb ice-cream that Alish allowed me to substitute for the custard that should have accompanied this dish. I could not help feeling the brasserie has yet to establish an identity and the current mixture of fine dining and comfort food has not quite hit the mark. Nevertheless, I did enjoy my meal.
After such a substantial meal I could not help feeling guilty that I had not taken advantage of the excellent leisure facilities that include a good-sized swimming pool, a well-equipped gym and spa treatments. The former occupy what were once the stables and are situated along one side of a grassed courtyard.
On the other side of this courtyard is a row of bedrooms. The ground floor rooms have patios where guests can sit outside at the chairs and tables. The rooms above have small balconies.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Heywood Spa Hotel and appreciated its peaceful situation and plentiful parking. I chose to walk into Tenby – a pleasant, easy walk of around twenty-minutes with the option of heading for the beach or the town centre.