Pretty Gothic style manor on the Pembrokeshire coast
THE MONKS ALWAYS KNEW how to pick a good location, building their sixth century abbey high above Carmarthen Bay with views to stir the pulse. Nothing remains to mark their passing and Penally Abbey is a mainly 17th century building in a prettily tranquil setting just yards from the Pembrokeshire shore
These days, Steve and Elleen Warren have imbued the large, airy and elegant antique-filled rooms with a sense of laid-back comfort. Penally Abbey's five acres of gardens and untamed woods are perfect for a relaxed ramble past the ruined 18th century St Deinol's chapel
. There are terrific views towards Caldey Island and the Gower Peninsula, while Indoors, you could take a leisurely swim in the small heated pool or tickle the ivories at the grand piano.
Bedrooms in the main house have superb sea views (you can have the sand between your toes within a few minutes), but those in the coach house – a converted stables – are equally welcoming, with touches such as complimentary sherry and thick towelling robes
Hit the spot
A whisper above the Pembroke coast, in Tenby.
Bed down in a lavishly draped four-poster
The pool is pint-size – but the ocean waves are just two minutes away
London luvvies are regulars, so it's the place to bump into thespians
Crystal and candlelight
Light and airy rooms are located in three traditional stone buildings: St Deiniol's Lodge, the Coach House (cottage-style former stables) and the main house. Some have lavishly draped four-poster and canopied beds, and all are individually furnished. Wherever you bed down, expect well appointed bathrooms and pleasing sea or garden views
Those in newly renovated St Deiniol's Lodge are refreshingly uncluttered and done out in mellow shades with a nicely contemporary feel. Rooms in the Coach House have their own front door, giving added space and privacy.
Penally Abbey's high ceilinged lounge has huge carved doors through which you can see the Gower coast and Tenby golf course. With its grand piano, Chsterfields, Adams fireplace and family photographs, it could almost be an Edwardian country seat. A small bar and conservatory lead out to the terraced garden – just the place to sip an early evening sundowner.
This is a place to live the good life on the Pembrokeshire coast. Doubtless the monks would have approved of Penally Abbey's delicious Welsh cooking and well-stocked cellars
– though the glittering crystal, candlelight and flowers may have been a tad too much.
Penally Abbey was reviewed by Room for Romance
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.
Dining at Penally Abbey is a candlelit affair. Crystal chandeliers, enthralling seaside views, hand carved fireplaces, large arched windows and polished mahogany tables all contribute to a pleasing ambience. The ethic here is simple: comfortable atmosphere, delicious food and friendly service equals a great evening. Regulars on the dinner menu include local seafood and lobster, Tenby plaice, rack of Welsh lamb and yummy desserts
There are plenty of dining-out choices in nearby Tenby, including Robin’s restaurant, for its views and eye for detail, Carrington’s for its fresh seafood and the Mews Bistro.
See & Do
Rack of Welsh lamb and signature sweets including a darkly delicious chocolate gateau and fresh-fruit filled pavlova.
Near the arched windows for ocean views.
This sweep of the Pembrokeshire coast is known for its miles of clean, sandy beaches – so get into that surf. Thrill-seekers can try abseiling and rock climbing, while at the nearby Heatherton centre there’s go-karting, laser clay pigon shooting and crazy golf. Keen walkers might like to hike from Amroth to Cardigan along the 180-mile Pembrokehire coastal path, while literary types can head for the Dylan Thomas boathouse at Laugharne. Caldey island also makes a great day trip.
You can snap up quaint antiques, crafts and souvenirs in Tenby, as well as good surfing and beach gear.
Friendly Tenby pubs include the Sun Inn, while there’s live music in the Buccaneer every Friday night. Dig out your dancing shoes for a night out at Sands nightclub in Saundersfoot, rated the best in the area.
Tune your ears to the sweet sound of the Blues at the Tenby Blues festival.
There’s music both contemporary and trad at the Tenby Arts festival, as well as literary events.
Penally, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 7PY
There is free guest car parking
Tenby station – 1.5 miles
GBP 6 from station
Cardiff-Wales – 90 miles
Rooms and suites
17 rooms, one suite
Two rooms have four-poster beds, while all have sea views.
There’s a billiards room, an indoor swimming pool and gardens.
GBP 150 - 190
Open all year
Minimum night stay?
Two nights at weekends, three during bank holiday weekends.
Breakfast is served until 10am.
There is no specified room service, but friendly staff are on hand should you need anything.
Welcome. High tea is served for children, and under seven’s are not permitted in the dining room for dinner.
Steve and Elleen Warren