Author Archives: heidi

Five reasons to stay in… February

It may be the shortest month of the year but don’t let February fool you. There’s lots on at Watergate Bay and Cornwall during the month – here’s our top five pick-of-the-bunch things to enjoy.

1. St Ives feast and hurling the silver ball – Monday 9 February


It may look an awful lot like quidditch but the game of Hurling the Silver ball is more akin to an old form of Rugby. The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition celebrating the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia, near Porthmeor Beach, in 1434. Following the mayor’s civic procession from the church, participants must win the ball from one another and return it to the mayor on the steps of St Ives Guildhall at the stroke of midday. Take a ring side seat near Porthmeor beach as the battle commences.

More information can be found online.

2. The World Pasty Championships at Eden – Saturday 28 February


We’ve all got our favourite Cornish pasty, but only the best crimpers in the world make it to the ‘Olympics of the Oggy’ held at the Eden Project. The event will celebrate the traditional Cornish pasty recipe as well as some more unusual varieties – and professionals and amateurs are all invited to compete. The acclaimed eight-man folk group from Port Isaac, The Fisherman’s Friends, are also set to top the bill this year.

Visit the Eden Project online for more details.

3.See daffodils in bloom


With it’s temperate climate, Cornwall is one of the best places in the world to grow daffodils and narcissi. The daffodil flowering season in Cornwall can last for seven months – weather dependent – from November to May, with the main picking-period between January and April. It’s not hard to spot these brilliant fields of gold around the county so make sure to stop for a great photo opportunity.

4. The Woman in Black at The Hall for Cornwall – Monday 2-Saturday 7 February

The original story from Susan Hill, The Woman in Black, has been thrilling readers, cinema goers and theatre audiences alike for more than a quarter of a century. Now the theatrical exploration of terror comes to Truro and is suitable for children aged 11 and over.

For more information and to book, plus for other events during February, visit the Hall for Cornwall website.

5. Valentines Day by the sea


Take a romantic stroll on the beach at Watergate Bay followed by food worth savouring and sharing as close as you can get to the sea – at The Beach Hut. Expect double rib of beef with béarnaise sauce and sweet potato fries, spatchcock free range chicken with winter panzanella, and whole sea bass with sag alloo.

Call our reservations team on 01637 861295 to book your table.

Book your stay online or call our reservation team on 01637 860543.

Plan your spring & summer holiday in Cornwall

The days are slowly getting longer and we’re already dreaming about blue skies and warmer weather. Now’s the time to plan your holiday, so here’s our top reasons to stay during spring and summer.



Fifteen spring fayre
Saturday 14 March

Bringing together local suppliers and growers to celebrate the spring harvest, the spring fayre will feature a great lineup of stall holders. Expect chef demonstrations whipping up a storm and possibly some tasty samples and treats.


Legend of the Bay
Weekend of 18/19 April

Back for its second year, Legend of the Bay brings together stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and kitesurfers together for one very unique event. And judging by those that competed in last year’s event, it should be a cracker. Dom Moore, the former Extreme Academy instructor, won the 2014 title – will he scoop trophy number two?

Falmouth Spring Festival
12 March – 29 March

Celebrating Falmouth’s open spaces, coastline and gardens, the festival also welcomes an explosion of colour, life and activity to the town – as well as some warmer spring weather (finger’s crossed). It includes a host of events including a half-marathon, a folk and cider fayre, a flower show at the Princess Pavillion, guided walks and talks and Gardener’s Question Time from BBC Radio 4.

Outsid’er St Agnes Outdoor Festival
Friday 10 April

A quirky little celebration of the best that St Agnes’ unique coastline and countryside has to offer. It’s perfect for the whole family with a focus on getting out there, getting stuck in and doing something a little bit different. There will be a foraged food walk, campfire cooking, beach finds. sundown opera, rock pooling, rambling and sand sculpting.


Polo of the Beach
Friday 26 – Sunday 28 June

Our biggest and most popular event held right on the sand here at Watergate Bay. Now in its ninth year, Polo on the Beach 2015 is gearing up to be the best yet. It’s a real community event and all about bringing polo to a new audience. There’s plenty of polo yes, but you’ll find other fantastic beach entertainment. And all for free!


Eden Sessions
June and July

The natural acoustics of the Eden Project, together with its beautifully lit and distinct setting ensure that top-notch music acts are attracted to Cornwall. Elton John has been confirmed for this summer so keep an eye for future acts to be announced in the near future.


Boardmasters Festival
5 – 9 August

Situated across two iconic locations, Boardmasters Festival is Cornwall’s biggest music and surf event. At Fistral Beach you’ll find an international surf festival with some of the best surfers in the world competing, skating, BMX, evening gigs and a host of stalls. Meanwhile, the Watergate Bay music arena – ‘arguably the world’s best view from a festival site’ – houses eight stages, bars and endless food stalls just five minutes from the beach. Rudimental are headlining this year.

This is just a small snapshot of the events taking place in Cornwall throughout summer. For more events held at Watergate Bay take a look at our online event’s calendar

Five reasons to stay in… January

We’ll let you into a little secret. January is one of the best months to see the real ‘wild’ side of Cornwall. Yes you’ll have beach to yourself but there’s also still loads to do. Here’s our top five things to do:

A Night Full of Sardines (2014) from Kurt Jackson Contemporary Artist on Vimeo.

1. Kurt Jackson: Line Caught and Local

Up until 25 January one of Cornwall’s most respected artists, Kurt Jackson, will be exhibiting at the National Maritime museum. Kurt is famed for his large canvas work and contemporary art which he produces from his studio in St Just drawing inspiration from the Cornish landscape.

Joining forces with the National Maritime Museum, the exhibition features a series of paintings, drawings, sculpture, supporting film footage and fishing artefacts which embracing the life and work of inshore fishermen in audio, film and handling objects. Kurt rarely exhibits so this is not to be missed.


2. Ice skating at Eden

Fear that you’ve missed out on all the festive fun in the run up to Christmas? Fear not. The Eden Project’s renowned skating rink is running until 22 February. There are even skating penguins for those a little wobbly on their skates to hold on to. Visit their online site to find out more.


3. Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Each year the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek expect to rehabilitate up to 60 seal pups. As most breeding activity occurs in September, January is one of the busiest months for seal pup call outs. The sanctuary’s hospital pools are often full so it’s the best time of the year to sneek a peak and them being rehabilitated and fattened up for release.

cycling the camel trail

4. On your bike

Hop on to one of the most popular recreational bike routes in the country. The Camel Trail is an 18-mile, largely traffic free, trail which runs along a disused railway line between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin and Wadebridge before running alongside the Camel Estuary to Padstow. It’s a great family ride and idyllically quiet this time of year – a paradise for birdwatchers. Bike hire is available at Padstow, Bodmin or Wadebridge. More information can be found on the council’s online website.


5. Lanhydrock Park Run

Every Saturday at 9am the Lanhydrock Estate near Bodmin host a timed 5k run. Winding through a beautiful route of National Trust parkland, woods and river-side trails the Lanhydrock Park Run is perfect for elite runners as well as beginners trying to keep up with a New Year’s resolution. It’s a free event but you must register before enter. Then undo all of your hard work at the end of the race with coffee and cake at the National Trust cafe in the car park.

Book your stay online or call our reservation team on 01637 860543.

The Beach Hut Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is a common “Hair of the dog” drink, reputed to cure hangovers due to its combination of vegetable base (to settle the stomach), salt (to replenish lost electrolytes) and alcohol (to relieve head and body aches). We think The Beach Hut Bloody Mary is good no matter what the aliment. Although particularly liked during Sunday brunch.

The Beach Hut Bloody Mary

Serves one


Cornish sea salt
50ml stoli vodka
Half a pint tomato juice
Half a lemon juice squeezed
Tabasco to taste (we find 4 drops pleases most people)
Glug of Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper
Celery stick

The Beach Hut Bloody Mary


Salt the rim of a tall glass, fill with ice and add the vodka.

Add tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and stir well.

Season to taste and garnish with a celery stick.

Venison burger with plum chutney

The Beach Hut favors a good burger always loaded with cheese, chutney, sauces and salad, with a side of fries. We’ve taken our favourite and changed the recipe to suit the season. Venison is leaner than beef so can be a called an healthier option. But we would always suggest adding cheese to balance the burger.

Venison burger with plum chutney

Serves six


For the burger
900g chilled minced venison
180g chilled beef suet
Olive oil
6 good quality burger buns

For the chipotle plum chutney
400g plums, de-stoned
50g onions, diced
50g apples, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
30g dried whole chipotle chillies
100ml cider vinegar
100g soft brown sugar

Venison burger with plum chutney


Combine the minced venison and beef suet in a bowl, mixing thoroughly and seasoning to taste.

Take a small amount and fry in a pan to test the seasoning. If you need to do add more.

Divide the mixture into six balls and press into burgers. Do not overwork the meat while mixing or else the burger will have a rubbery texture.

Brush with oil and fry the patties on a medium heat until reached the desired amount of cooking (rare/ medium/ well done).

In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the cider vinegar and sugar to the boil.

Add all the remaining ingredients and cook on a medium heat until thick and glossy.

Place in the blender and bend into a fine puree.

Store in sterilised jam jars until ready to use.

Load your buns with burger, cheese, chipotle, plum chutney and anything else you wish.

A chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines. Varieties of jalapeño vary in size and heat.


Tiramisu is from Italy. It means to ‘pick me up’ which explains the inclusion of coffee and alcohol.


Serves 4-6


250g mascarpone
100g icing sugar
10ml vanilla extract
1pt whipping cream
100ml Amaretto
250ml strong coffee
200g Savoiardi biscuits
100g dark chocolate
Cocoa for dusting



In a large bowl whisk the mascarpone with the icing sugar and vanilla extract, when smooth add the whipping cream and whisk until light and just firm.

Add the amaretto to the coffee and soak the savoiardi biscuits one by one for 10 seconds. Place them into glasses (it doesn’t matter if they break up a little to make them fit).

Spoon the mascarpone mix into a piping bag with a medium plain nozzle and pipe a layer over the biscuits.

Grate some of the dark chocolate over the mascarpone before adding another layer of biscuit.

When you get to the final layer of mascarpone decorate the top with grated chocolate, dust with cocoa and serve.

Plan your winter holiday in Cornwall

Swap your sun cream for a woolly hat and head on down to Cornwall to find out why Watergate Bay rocks no matter what the season. Don’t believe us? Here’s our top reasons for visiting the Bay during the winter months.

1. Try something new


If 2015 is your year for trying something new, then there isn’t a better place to start than Watergate Bay. Yes, you can learn to surf, but have you thought about hand planing, kite surfing, wavesking or stand up paddle boarding? You can learn to do it all at the Extreme Academy.

Or, if you like your water a little warmer, how about improving your swimming stroke with our two day Swim Clinic with Salim Ahmed, a professional swim coach.

2. Keep warm and toasty


January and February might be some of the coldest months, but indoors or out we’ll make sure that you are comfortably cared for. Come prepared for the elements and our hotel lobby is the place to leave your coats and wellies ready for your next adventure – our hotel is your home for a couple of days after all.

The Extreme Academy couldn’t be better set up for cold water sports, with high-performance wet suits and a temperature controlled changing room to keep you as warm as possible. And if all that sounds like too much effort, then curl up on the sofa in front of the ocean room log fire and check out our must read 2015 book list from Penguin.

3. Last minute breaks


Winter is the best time to down tools and get away from it all. And the low season is when you’re most likely to get a last minute deal on a getaway break. Add some spontaneity back into your life, pack up the car and we’ll see you in an hour or two.

4. The beaches to yourself


Nothing beats the beach in the summer, apart from the beach in the winter – just wait until you see the beach covered in frost rather than people. Get away from it all. Explore caves and clifftops. Loose yourself. Feel alive. Relax.

Take a look at our top ten favourite beaches in Cornwall.

5. Food for the soul


After all of that scampering around in the elements, you will have certainly have worked up an appetite. With a handful of places to eat and drink on your doorstep at the Bay, each with a different take on great, local produce, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’ll be Zacry’s for a changing menu of international and local influenced dishes, The Living Space for rustic sharing platters, The Beach Hut for brilliant burgers or Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall for fine Italian inspired fare.

But there are plenty of other great restaurant in north Cornwall, here’s our restaurants.

Book your stay online or call our reservation team on 01637 860543.

Penguin’s 2015 reading list

Your next great read . . .

With 2015 just around the corner, it’s time to start looking ahead at some of the new books and authors that could make it big next year. Here’s our guide to your next great read:

Penguin books

Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Emma Hooper
29 January 2015

Described by the author as a “love letter to her homeland, the Canadian prairies”, this truly moving debut beautifully – and with humour and magic – explores the themes of regret and love and the roads not taken.

Etta’s greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles to water. Meanwhile her husband Otto waits patiently at home, left only with his memories.

Robert Macfarlane
5 March 2015

An utterly joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two, from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Old Ways.

Landmarks is a field guide to the literature of nature, and contains a glossary comprising thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. With this book, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

Penguin books

Our Endless Numbered Days
Claire Fuller
26 February 2015

The most impossible-to-put-down novel you will read this year; this is the story of a girl named Peggy and a magical, strange, secret house in the forest. Peggy’s survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.

Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything. She is not seen again for another nine years.

The World Beyond Your Head: How to Flourish in an Age of Distraction
Matthew Crawford
9 April 2015

From one of the most influential thinkers of our time this is an essential manifesto on flourishing in the modern world; The World Beyond Your Head investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind. With ever-increasing demands on our attention, how do we focus on what’s really important in our lives? Perfect for anyone suffering from tech burnout!

2014 also had stacks of great books, so if you need some more suggestion then take a look at the Penguin best sellers from 2014.


Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

How to be Both by Ali Smith


Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe

Mr Bones by Paul Theroux


Elsa Schiaparelli by Meryle Secrest

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey


The Book of Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed

A Delicate Truth by John le Carre


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook


Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak


Walking Home by Clare Balding

Cranberry and clementine sauce

No Christmas dinner is complete without cranberry sauce. It’s the perfect partner with turkey but is also great with any game such as pheasant or venison and works well with duck and cold cuts on Boxing Day.

Cranberry and clementine sauce


200ml white wine vinegar
150g castor sugar
500g fresh or frozen cranberries
3 juicy clementines


Place the vinegar and castor sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Add the cranberries and stir gently until the cranberries start to soften.

Zest one of the clementines into the sauce.

Juice all three clementines and add to sauce.

Bring back to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes before removing and allowing to cool.

Toffee apple ham

This is our executive chef, Neil Haydock’s Boxing Day treat… and the day after, if there’s enough left! It takes a bit of time but it’s well worth it.

Toffee apple ham


1 green ham – with the bone
2 carrots peeled
2 bay leaves
1 large onion peeled
12 black peppercorns
1 sprig of thyme

Glaze ingredients

The glaze
1.5 litres of apple juice
500g soft dark brown sugar
½ a cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
20 cloves


Soak the ham overnight in a large container of cold water, changing the water at least once, this will remove any excess salt.

Place the ham into a large pan, big enough to cover the ham with water.

Place in the aromats (the carrot, onion, bay, thyme, and peppercorns) cover with cold water and bring up to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  From this point the ham will take around two and a half hours to cook.

Keep the ham covered with water throughout the cooking, topping up when needed with hot water.
The way of telling if your ham is cooked is to look at the two bones sticking out of the hock end take hold of the larger bone with a cloth and pull the smaller bone away if it comes out easily your ham is cooked.

If you don’t have the time or a pan big enough to cook your own ham ask your butcher to do it for you and then you can do the baking part yourself.

Leave the ham in the cooking liquid to cool this will retain the moisture in the ham.

When cool remove the ham from the cooking liquor and place in the fridge for at least three to four hours so it is nice and cold. Keep the cooking liquor to make soup.

With a sharp knife score the ham lightly just going through the skin making nice one inch squares.

In the middle of each square press in a clove, this is both decorative and adds flavour.

To prepare the glaze, place the apple juice, sugar, cinnamon and star anise into a pan and bring to the boil, continue to boil for around 5 minutes, this will start the process of thickening the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 150 degrees centigrade and place the ham into a high sided roasting tray. Pour over the syrup and place into the oven.

Every 10 minutes take out the ham and baste with the syrup. As the syrup thickens it will coat the ham more and more and the ham with caramelise. (This process takes about an hour depending on your oven.)

Remove the ham from the oven and continue to baste as it cools as the syrup will thicken further, giving a deeper glaze on the ham.

At this point it is impossible not to pick off little (or not so little) morsel to try dipped in the syrup.
The ham can be carved warm, removing cloves as you go. I like to serve this with cranberry and clementine sauce, new potatoes, pickled red cabbage, coleslaw, cornichon and lots of crusty warm bread .

Toffee apple ham