Beachcliff, The Esplanade, Penarth


Project details

  • Summary : Painstaking restoration of historic building in stunning, seafront location, to create luxury homes, boutique hotel, a signature fine dining restaurant, casual dining & café offers.
  • Agents : Michael Graham Young (02920 368 931) Savills (02920 465 466)
  • Website:

Richard Hayward Properties (RHP) has transformed the historic Beachcliff on the Esplanade in Penarth, returning the impressive Edwardian building back to its former glory and giving it a new lease of life.

Following years of neglect and mistreatment, the building is now re-emerging as the jewel in Penarth’s crown, fully restored and redeveloped to create six unique, luxury homes, three restaurants/retail units and a nine-bed boutique hotel.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, originally as five single dwellings, probably by the Duke of Plymouth.  Over the years, the building has had many uses – some more salubrious than others.  In Victorian times it was promoted as “The Garden by the Sea” and was popular with visitors from the Midlands and the West Country, as well as day-trippers from the South Wales valleys.

More than 100 years exposed to weathering from the Bristol Channel, a lack of investment in maintenance and a host of unsympathetic alterations, followed by virtual abandonment while various developers tried unsuccessfully to secure planning consent for a large-scale redevelopment, all took their toll.

The future for the building looked bleak when RHP bought it in 2007.   Richard Hayward had a vision for the building and the RHP team spent the next six years resolving a host of complex planning, construction and design problems that had proved insurmountable to previous developers.  This was followed by meticulous programme of work to restore the structure and fit it out that is now in its final phases.

Initial works uncovered that the extent of the decay was much greater than anyone had realised and as a result large parts of the building had to be dismantled and reconstructed.   RHP took the opportunity to improve the quality of the structure, enhancing the rear elevations and introducing much higher levels of insulation, sound proofing and energy efficiency than would otherwise have been possible.

The result is the perfect blend of a unique heritage building with all the comforts of contemporary styling and technology.

The £6 million transformation of Beachcliff has created five unique homes (two apartments and three town houses). The two two-bed apartments are the first to come to market. Two town houses will follow during 2016 – Richard Hayward has already earmarked the third for himself.

The marketing of the individually-designed, luxury apartments at Beachcliff was launched at the end of 2015. The apartments are for sale through agents Savills and Michael Graham Young at £600,000 each – a price tag that reflects their extraordinarily high quality specification and beautiful location within the historic property.

Both apartments’ main reception room features a panoramic sea view stretching from Penarth’s beautifully restored traditional Victorian pier to the north, across the Severn Estuary and to the south to the islands of Flat Holm, Steep Holm and the Somerset coast beyond.

Everything within the spectacular new apartments has been carefully thought through to create the ultimate living experience, from Poggenpohl kitchens fully fitted with top brand equipment and luxury Laufen bathrooms to remote controlled heating and automatic electric window blinds.

There will also be a concierge service and, of course, the properties have the fine dining Restaurant James Sommerin, which is rated Best in Wales in the 2016 Good Food Guide and was recently awarded three AA Rosettes, on their doorstep.

The stylish Restaurant is itself the result of a collaboration between Sommerin and Richard Hayward, who invited the Michelin-starred chef to open a signature restaurant that would set the right tone for Beachcliff. James Sommerin says it is his ‘dream location’.

Working closely with Sommerin, Hayward and the RHP team designed and built an elegant restaurant, that allows the chef’s fabulous food – cooked in an open-plan kitchen so that diners can see their meals being prepared – and the restaurant’s breathtaking views over the Severn Estuary to take centre stage. The restaurant has been placed 24th in the UK and best in Wales in the 2016 Good Food Guide and was also recently awarded three coveted AA rosettes.

Restaurant James Sommerin has been a huge success and is fully booked most nights. New menus, including an extensive a la carte offering and a fixed price Market Menu, were launched in December 2015 and a refresh of the interior decor designed to keep it fresh and interesting for diners is planned for January 2016.

Also in January, Restaurant James Sommerin will launch nine luxury bedrooms providing dinner, bed and breakfast so that guests can fully enjoy all that Beachcliff has to offer.

 Beachcliff Brochure Download