Behind the scenes

Tregenna Castle: inside the Cornwall resort hosting G7 summit leaders

With secluded grounds, pools and golf course, the hotel is ‘ideal setting’ for Joe Biden and Co. to enjoy some downtime

Joe Biden and Boris Johnson are settling into some luxurious digs after arriving in Cornwall yesterday for this weekend’s G7 summit.

The leaders of Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan will join the duo later today as guests at the 18th-century Tregenna Castle Resort, which overlooks the coastal town of St Ives and is just a five-minute drive from the conference venue, Carbis Bay Hotel. Here is what they can all expect.

The history

Built in 1774 to be a private home for a local landowner, Samuel Stephens, the Grade II Listed building is believed to have been designed by John Wood, the Younger, best known as the architect behind Bath’s Royal Crescent.  

Treganna became a hotel after being bought by the Bolitho family almost a century later. The castle was leased to and later bought by Great Western Railway (GWR), which opened its St Ives branch line in 1877. “It was then fashionable for all the great railway companies to establish destination hotels by the sea,” explains the hotel’s website.

According to the hotel, Adolf Hitler’s ambassador Herr Von Ribbentrop stayed there in 1932 and later said that “on no account was St Ives to be bombed as he wished to live in Tregenna when ‘they’ had won the War”. Other guests have included Prince Philip, David Attenborough, Joanna Lumley and David Bowie.

Traganna originally had a “measly” 12 bedrooms but now boasts 98 rooms, making it one of the biggest hotels in the county, says Cornwall Live.

The facilities

The castle’s “secluded grounds, natural woodlands, manicured lawns and 18-hole golf course make it an ideal setting for leaders to build relationships and enjoy some downtime”, says The Independent.

The 72-acre resort also offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a croquet lawn, two all-weather tennis courts, a fitness suite and spa.

“The venue certainly has five-star grounds,” says The Telegraph, “but inside it is not so much World of Interiors, more Ideal Home.”

Staff have been working “frantically” to prepare the resort for the arrival of world leaders, adds the paper, which reports that recent attempts to tour Tregenna’s “glorious grounds” have involved “dodging police with sniffer dogs, already checking for potential trouble”.

The food

A Brasserie restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and a traditional Sunday roast is located near the west wing of the castle. However, the Daily Mail says the G7 leaders are to eat at the Carbis Bay Hotel, where the summit is being held. There they will  reportedly “dine on the likes of haggis mousse, pineapple weed and celeriac desserts” created by Scottish chef Adam Handling, who has appeared on Masterchef: The Professionals.

“Cream teas will also be served,” according to the paper, “although with no guidance on whether the jam should go before the cream (the Cornish way).”

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