Author Archives: heidi

Producing Cornish Sea Salt

Most people conjure up images of enormous salt flats in baking sunshine when they think about sea salt production. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly have the most reliable weather here in Cornwall (although when the sun is shining, there’s nowhere we’d rather be), so the crew at Cornish Sea Salt have had to think outside the box somewhat and recreate nature without having to rely on the climate.


They have developed a very natural process that blends age-old traditions with some innovative and energy-efficient technology which has no effect on the marine ecology or environment. It all happens down at their eco-friendly harvesting plant just a stone’s throw from the clearest, bluest ocean waters off the Lizard peninsula. It’s a stunning location, but more importantly it’s a protected zone and the sea waters are as pure as they can be, classified Grade ‘A’ by the British Fisheries which basically means that it’s clean enough that you could eat the shellfish straight from the sea, raw and unwashed!


They pump this grade ‘A’ sea water up into enormous tanks and then take the water through a very clever 3 stage filtration process to get rid of silt, sand and micro-organisms. Following this, using innovative technology to offer a low energy output the sea water is concentrated into a super-saturated brine. The brine is poured into vats, and gently heated. Over 2 days, salt crystals start forming on the surface, floating around in a mesmerising way. It’s at this point that other elements that occur naturally in the sea water like magnesium, potassium and calcium (there are over 60 in total, we won’t name them all!) come together and attach to the sodium chloride crystals giving the sea salt its intense flavour. The Cornish Sea Salt crew know exactly the right moment that the delicate crystals are ready to be hand-harvested and carefully scoop them out from the brine with a device that looks like an oversized spatula.


The salt is then left to dry before being packed into the little tubs that we’re so familiar with. Interestingly, sea water is naturally at around 3.5% salinity, and Cornish Sea Salt only take a very small portion of this, which means that the remaining water that is returned to the ocean (it trickles down a natural fault in the rock face) is technically sea water, not distilled water. Cornish Sea Salt is the only British sea salt company that takes sea water in and returns sea water back to the ocean as opposed to distilled water – which, over time, can have an effect on local salinity levels.


A Royal Visit

As part of his three day annual tour of Devon and Cornwall the Duke of Cornwall, Prince Charles, visited Royal William Yard and Watergate Bay.

On Tuesday 15 July HRH Prince Charles took a tour of Royal William Yard in Plymouth. He was able to see first hand the progress made with the development of this 19th Century ex-naval victualling yard. He spoke to residents, business owners going in to Melville and looking at plans which detail the transformation of the building into a hotel. Prince Charles was familiar with the yard from when he served in the Royal Navy.



On Wednesday 16 July, Prince Charles was joined by the Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to Watergate Bay. They were the guests of the Cornwall Food Foundation, the charity that owns Fifteen Cornwall, and came to learn about the work the charity does with young people and the impact the restaurant has on the food economy in Cornwall.



After meeting local food producers, chefs and staff from Fifteen Cornwall the Duke and Duchess made their way down onto the beach where they spent time talking to Surf Action, a charity who teach the sport to military veterans to help them to adjust to life after war service.

They were then greeted by crowds of guests and staff of Watergate Bay Hotel and plenty of well wishers. They even stopped to talk to the RNLI lifeguards on duty.




Camilla then travelled onto Camel Valley Vinyard and met guests including chef Nathan Outlaw at a reception to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the vineyard near Bodmin. To mark her 67th birthday on the same day Camilla was presented with a Methuselah of sparkling rose wine, containing nine bottles.

We hope they enjoyed their time in Cornwall and with the Watergate Bay team!

Photography by Guy Harris.

Why Cornish Sea Salt?

Throw away your table salt in favour of Cornish Sea Salt

Have you ever wondered why table salt pours out of a salt shaker so easily in its perfectly formed round crystals? No? Neither had we. But then we got talking to our friends at Cornish Sea Salt. There’s nothing these guys don’t know about salt (unsurprisingly as they make a fair few tonnes of the stuff every month!) and we soon found ourselves asking them more and more questions about it. What we learnt was fascinating…


What’s the main difference between table salt and sea salt?

In short, table salt is highly processed, deliberately stripped of its most nutritious minerals to leave pure sodium chloride and treated with anti-caking agents to make it free-flowing. If you’re lucky they’ll add a bit of chemical bleach too, to make it whiter. After all this processing it no longer does anything good for the body in terms of health and it doesn’t combine with our bodily fluids.
Cornish Sea Salt, on the other hand, is as pure and natural as can be. Nothing is added to it, and nothing is taken away either. It retains around 60 naturally occurring trace elements from the sea, in perfect biological balance, and is lower in sodium chloride.

Why do they take the nutritious minerals out of table salt?

The minerals that are stripped from table salt are used in agricultural and industrial chemicals, ammunitions and pharmaceuticals amongst others. It’s a huge industry. The table salt itself is actually a by-product of this industry. It’s not exactly a salt that has been lovingly produced for its great flavour or nutritious benefits!

So why is table salt so popular?

Because it’s cheap. There’s no other reason really. It’s cheap because it’s a waste product and it’s easy for the manufacturers to make some extra money out of it. And it’s not just sold for use in the home. It’s largely present in all the processed foods people consume on a daily basis – it’s a cheap solution for food manufacturers.
Is sea salt better for us then?
The trace elements that you find in Cornish Sea Salt, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, are at a natural balanced biological level. That’s because it comes straight from the purest sea waters. These retained minerals and trace elements help the body to both metabolise the sodium better and maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes in the body.

Is there a difference in taste?

Absolutely – grab yourself a cherry tomato and cut it in half. Sprinkle a small amount of Cornish Sea Salt on one half, and have a taste. Then sprinkle a little table salt on the other half and taste that. You’ll be surprised! When we do this test at food shows, most people will be amazed at how chemical and artificial the table salt tastes by comparison to the smooth flavour of Cornish Sea Salt.


Coffee at Watergate Bay Hotel

It’s fair to say we like coffee at Watergate Bay and we think our guests do too. Which is why we take it so seriously. There’s different coffee for different times of the day, made slightly differently, with different tastes and flavours, during different seasons. But one thing is the same. All our coffee comes from Origin Coffee Roasters.



Breakfast starts the day in Zacry’s with a filter coffee from Fazenda Mariano Farm in the mountainous south Minas Gerias of Brazil. The bean is freshly ground and brewed using an innovative, infusion system. This form of drip filtration from our La Marzocco machine, gives a much cleaner taste, where the flavours of the coffee shine through.


The Mariano farm is located high above the spa town of Pocos De Caldas a beautiful spa town in the south Minas Gerias. Origin has been working with them for over three years. The coffee displays all of the classic flavours associated with good coffee from this mountainous region. It has lots and lots of toffee sweetness it is rich, rounded and chocolaty and has a lovely hazelnut praline taste.


Afternoon cappuccino

Head to The Living Space or The Beach Hut for your afternoon cappuccino who both also use Origin coffee. This time of year they will be using their seasonal collection blend which consists of summer bean varieties from three different farms. These beans have notes of sweet toasted pecans, chocolate, intense caramel flavour with  full to medium body.


Your cappuccino will be made up of a double espresso shot of Origin coffee and frothy milk into 12oz cups. If a little more milk go for a latte.


After dinner in Zacry’s you can also opt for a seasonal Origin espresso blend. Filter coffee is for breakfast, whereas cappuccino, espresso, flat whites and lattes feature large.


Why seasonality?

Origin believe that seasonal coffee traded directly is the best way to ensure the production of exceptional coffee. It means speciality coffee created from a face to face relationship with grower. It means Origin have visited the farm and chosen those who share a passion for truly great coffee.

Producing coffee of the highest standard requires great skill and innovation. It’s an expensive process, so expert growers are rewarded for their commitment to quality. t’s an expensive process, so F30® rewards growers for their investment and their commitment to quality, guaranteeing them a minimum of 30% above the cost of production. Responsibility and sustainability are at the heart of Origin’s coffee purchasing.


What we like about Origin is that they focus on the core message of the coffee sourcing, quality, equality, seasonality, relationship and responsibility.

O’Neill at Electric Beach

Sit back, relax and fasten those seat belts, the O’Neill tour bus has started its road trip and it’ll be parking up at Electric Beach Music Festival on 7 & 8 June.


Decked out from boot to bonnet, the new look surf wagon has been ‘madeover’ using recycled and upcycled materials, including wetsuit inspired seats, giving it a cool new look with an old school vibe. The bus will make its first scheduled stop in Newquay and then on to the best surf spots, the diary is stacked with pro coaching sessions, product testing, acoustic sessions, onboard DJ’s and plenty of time in the water, including stop overs at Electric Beach Festival – Watergate Bay, Leopallooza – Bude and Somersault festival- Woolacombe.

When the bus parks up at Electric Beach Festival on 7 – 8 June, O’Neill will be able to offer expert surfing tuition from the long board master, Ben Skinner, who’s a regular in the British team and hunting his first World title; Sam Lamiroy, prviously Britain number one surfer; Celine Gehret who competes all round the world and the Swiss National Surf Champion; Dale Foster, a regular on the UK Pro Surf tour and Max Payne, Cornish School Surf Champ.



17-18 May: Newquay Fistral
24-26 May: Sennen
31-1 May: Perranporth


6-9 June:Watergate (Electric Beach Festival)
14 -15 June: Newquay/Fistral
21 June: Hayle
22 June: Polzeath
28-29 June: Bude


4-6 July: Mawgan Porth (Surf Girl Wave and Workout)
12 July: Braunton (British surfing museum- Fundraising event)
13 July: Croyde
15 July: Woolacombe
17-21 July : Castle Hill North Devon
23 July: London
26 July: Saltash


1-3 August:Leopalooza/Bude
4-10 August: Watergate
16-17 August: Mt Hawke /Newquay
23 August: The Witterings
25 August: Bournemouth
31-1 August: London

In Season – May


As the weeks move towards summer it becomes easier to eat more local and seasonal produce. April and May means asparagus. With such a short season, you need make the best of it while its here, along with all the green veg like broad beans and wild garlic.

Check out our Pinterest board to see what else is in season through May.

Fruit & Veg
Broad beans
Cornish new potatoes
Pea shoots
Salad onions
Wild garlic

Lemon sole

Broad beans


Broad beans are a great crop grown widely throughout Europe. They are a great source of protein and carnohydrates working well in stews and fresh spring salads.

Top tip: Buy broad beans as fresh as possible; pods should be firm and crisp. Avoid any that feel soft.

Perfect match: Head Chef of The Living Space, Adam Stock, enjoys broad beans with iberico ham for a spanish infused dish.



Lettuce are available in a vast number of varieties, from crisp leaves to soft. Growing from a central stalk to form and spherical head. Most are green but you can get red/pink varieties.

Top tip: Although mainly eaten raw in salads, lettuce works well in soups or braised as a side dish.

Perfect match: Shred and add to a spring salad. Or make it the main feature of a Caesar salad like that on the Living Space menu.

Cornish new potatoes


Cornish new potatoes are the first potato to be harvested in the UK each year. Cornish Earlies, as they are known locally, are a real sign that spring has arrived in the county. Our popular potatoes are know for being sold ‘dirty’, i.e. unwashed, as growers believe it retains the flavour and freshness.

Top tip: Keep them whole. Divide your potatoes into similar sizes and cook whole, this will give the potato a fluffier middle and lock in flavour.

Perfect match: In the Living Space we serve them boiled and buttered with hot smoked salmon, chives and fennel. It’s a real winner!

Wild Garlic


A.k.a 3 cornered leek. Wild garlic is everywhere at this time of year in Cornwall. In fact the distinctive smell of wild garlic greets you as you drive to Watergate Bay past the airport. Unlike common garlic, it’s the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs or flowers. The taste is delicate, often likened to that of chives.

Top tip: Use the flowers of wild garlic as means of decoration only. If you eat one, you’ll taste it for the rest of the day as it has an intense, overpowering flavour.

Perfect match: Wild garlic goes extremely well with lamb, or blend it into a wild garlic and nettle soup.

Recipe: Cornish monkfish with asparagus, new potatoes and wild garlic pesto.

Spider Crab


Looks scary. Tastes good. Spider crab, much like it’s relatives, yeilds sweet, dense meat in it’s legs. Male crabs tend to be bigger and harbour a heavier, richer meat, whilst the females are known for a lighter, sweeter meat.

Top tip: Spider crabs are a more sustainable breed of crab, so try them instead of other varieties like Atlantic blue crab, or the European Brown crab.

Perfect match: Flake the crab meat into an Asian infused salad with cucumber and sesame dressing.