Author Archives: Watergate Bay

The National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow is a fascinating place to visit with the whole family. Open seven days a week, it attracts over 42,000 visitors a year. The National Lobster Hatchery was officially opened in 2000, in response to declining lobster stocks in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, set against a backdrop of lobster stock collapse in Scandinavia and elsewhere. Located next to the Camel Estuary, the Lobster Hatchery is on the Padstow harbour. The National Lobster Hatchery is a pioneering conservation, research and education charity that aims to conserve vulnerable lobster populations, preserve marine biodiversity and ultimately help safeguard our seafood industry and the many livelihoods it supports.

View from the lobster hatchery

How the hatchery works

When a pregnant lobster ‘berried hen’ is caught by one of the charity’s listed fisherman, she is brought to the hatchery’s maternity ward. Female lobsters carry their eggs under their abdomen for up to a year before releasing them. In the maternity unit the babies hatch from their mothers and are transferred into special rearing cones. After about two weeks, and having moulted three times, the lobster larvae start to look a bit more like their parents. At this stage they are transferred in to individual rearing compartments to develop further. It’s essential they are kept separate because lobster’s are cannibalistic creatures prone to taking chunks out of one another. Lobster A female lobster will carry in the region of 20,000 eggs, however in the wild only 1 of these is expected to survive. In the hatchery however,  this survival rate is more likely to be 1 in 20, an increase of around 1,000 times.  Clare tells us ‘The NLH has released  over 172,000 lobsters since opening and our research and techniques are advancing and improving all the time. By September of this year alone we’ve already released 50,000 baby lobsters, making it our most successful year to date’ After around 6 – 8 weeks of living in the hatchery the lobsters are ready to be released back into the wild. By now the lobsters are ‘benthic’ and will burrow into the ground, making them less vulnerable to predation and increasing their chances of survival. Lobster-2

Whilst lobsters may not be the cutest sea creatures, the work being done at the Lobster Hatchery is incredibly important for Cornwall’s marine ecosystems and it is helping to safeguard the future of our seafood industry and coastal communities. Make sure you pay a visit next time you’re in the area.

The National Lobster Hatchery is open from 10am, seven days a week. Admissions costs £3.75 per adult, £1.50 per child (5 and upwards), £2.50 for seniors and a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) is £8. 

Join us at The Beach Hut for Lobster Friday on September 19th!

SUP – Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand-up paddleboarding is the oldest form of surfing, originating in Hawaii. The sport really took off in 2005 when the first SUP competitions took place. Since then the sport has grown in popularity and gained a huge following.

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SUP-ing allows the rider to paddle farther out into the ocean and then propel onto a wave to ride it into shore.

At The Extreme Academy we teach SUP to beginners aged 18+ using boards that look much like an over sized longboard, ideal for learning. The paddles are used to propel the board on flat water as well as to turn and control the board when riding waves. 1-2ft clean surf is ideal with a light offshore wind.

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The Beach Hut sundae

A new day, a new sundae. We can’t enough of them at the bay this summer. This glorious dessert comes from The Beach Hut and layers raspberries, sorbet, double cream, coulis and brownies. YUM!

The Beach Hut Sundae

Find the recipe to our chocolate brownies here, just omit the marmalade.

Makes four

Ingredients

8 scoops of Treleavans Raspberry Sorbet
400ml Rodda’s Double cream
400g caster sugar
8 drops of vanilla essence
24 raspberries
400g brownie chunks
200ml raspberry coulis

Glass: Sundae

Method

Whip the double cream together with the vanilla extract and caster sugar.

Start layering.

Start with a couple of raspberries, followed by 2-3 brownie chunks, cream, raspberry sorbet, and raspberry coulis.

Repeat until glass is full.

Top with a raspberry and a few brownie chunks.

Enjoy!

Raspberry and Brownie Sundae

The Beach Hut Raspberry Sundae

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Meet the team – Katie

We’re heading behind the scenes of the hotel again, this time to the accounts department, to meet Katie our finance assistant. Having worked at Watergate Bay Hotel for the past six and a half years, Katie has been on a real journey with us.

Meet the team - Katie

We caught up with her to find out more about what her role within the hotel.

Meet Katie

How long have you worked at Watergate Bay Hotel?

I’ve been here for six and a half years. It’s gone so quickly, I can’t believe it’s coming up for seven years!

When I first joined I was on the front desk as a receptionist. I had great fun being front of house, interacting with guests and seeing the day to day life of the hotel. I stayed on the front desk for two years in total and then took the opportunity to become Food and Beverage Controller. As F&B controller I was responsible for stock take, GPs, managing margins and cost control of the three restaurants in the bay, The Beach Hut, The Living Space and what was the Dining Room (now Zacry’s). It really helped to have already worked on reception because I already knew all the different departments in the hotel.

After this I progressed to become finance assistant which is what I’ve been doing for the past few years. I work closely with Neil, the financial controller, on producing the accounts, reports and tax returns for the whole business.

What does a finance assistant do at the hotel?

It’s a varied role but day to day I handle lots of reconciliations, payment requests, and maintain the revenue sheets for the Extreme Academy, Swim Club and all of our restaurants.

Because the hotel is constantly growing and evolving there is always something new to do. There are always new projects, departments and products to keep track off. My job is never repetitive.

Have you always been interested in having a career in finance?

I grew up and went to University in Belarus where I studied at the Economics School reading Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Business, so I knew when I was 18 that I wanted to work in the tourism and hotel industry. During my course I was able to take a years work experience abroad so moved to Denver, Colorado, for six months. Here I improved my English and got a taste for travel.

When my six months in Denver came to an end I travelled to Newquay for a few months. Whilst here I met my now husband and knew I wanted to come back after I graduated. A year later I came back and started work at Watergate Bay Hotel.

The company has supported me in studying to become a fully qualified accountant.  I took my first set of exams December 2010, there are 14 papers in total, and I have only three more to go until I’m finished and become a full member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

The view! The accounts office have the best view out of all the offices. We sit above the Extreme Academy and have panoramic, uninterrupted views across the bay.

Apart from the view, the accounts team are great to work alongside. They are always there to help and offer support. Chris, the commercial director of the hotel, is my course mentor in the ACCA.

The View

Can you sum up your role in three words?

Busy
Challenging
And, I know this is a phrase but, ‘every day is a school day’ – there is always something new to learn!

When you’re not crunching the numbers at work where can we find you?

I have a young daughter who keeps me very busy. I love spending time with my family, going for walks on the beaches of Cornwall. We also love to travel and try to get away whenever we can.

Take a look at our current job vacancies and meet the rest of the team.

Zacry’s Waffles

Since Zacry’s opened, back in March, people can’t stop talking about the waffles. Each morning the sweet smell of american waffles fills the hotel, stirring guests from their slumber, drawing them to breakfast.

Waffles from Zacry's

Both children and adults alike have great fun using the waffle irons to create their own, and then choosing what toppings to go for. Be it maple syrup and bacon, yoghurt or fresh berries, each waffle is as mouth watering as the next. But will one be enough?

Waffles with yoghurt and berries

Makes four

Ingredients

1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
300g plain flour
350ml warm milk
75ml melted butter
1 pinch salt
Vanilla extract to taste

Method

Pre-heat your waffle iron.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Beat the eggs and add the warm milk and vanilla extract.

Pour the flour mixture into the liquid, whisking all the time.

When all the flour is in and the batter is smooth add the melted butter and stir.

Leave for 30 minutes before use.

Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

waffle-instructions

Zacry's Waffles

 

Banoffee-Bocker Glory

Now this is what we call a dessert!

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What’s that? You want a close up?!

Ok…

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Introducing the Banoffee-Bocker Glory from The Living Space. A twist on the classic Knickerbocker Glory, our dessert layers ginger biscuit, vanilla mascarpone, caramel, banana ice cream and salted caramel ice cream to create this masterpiece.

We insist that you make one right now.

Serves four

Ingredients

50g caster sugar
100g dried banana chips
12 ginger nut biscuits
200g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g icing sugar
200g salted caramel ice cream, we use Treleavens
200g banana ice cream, again, Treleavans
170g Dulce De Leche caramel sauce

Glass: Tall sundae glass

Method

To make the banana praline
Dissolve the caster sugar in 2 tbsp of water over a medium heat and caramelise gently.

Once the caramel has reached a light amber colour remove from the heat.

Spread the banana chips on a non-stick baking sheet and carefully pour the caramel over, spread and leave to cool.

When cooled and set, smash the praline into pieces with a rolling pin.

To make the sundae
Blitz the ginger nuts in a food processor and set aside.

Mix the mascarpone, vanilla extract and icing sugar together and set aside.

To assemble your sundae, spoon alternative ingredients to give a layered dessert. We begin with ginger nut crumb, then banana praline, mascarpone cream, salted caramel ice cream, 1 tbsp caramel sauce, banana ice cream and repeat.

Garnish your final scoop of ice cream with 2 banana chips, a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar.

And for the finishing touch, add as much caramel as you can!

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What is seasoning?

So, why do we need seasoning anyway?
Seasoning is what sets the chef aside from the amateur cook, and it’s much more that just salt and pepper. Here’s our guide to seasoning and why it is so important.

seasoning: noun: salt, herbs, or spices added to food to enhance the flavour.

When we asked chef about seasoning the first thing he said was that it’s essential. It creates deep flavours and marries together different ingredients to create balanced, flavoursome food. Seasoning can be sweet, savoury, acid or bitter. Without it a dish can be bland. It’s probably the easiest way to create a great tasting meal.

Thyme

When to add seasoning…
Seasoning can be added at the beginning to allow the flavours to develop throughout cooking, or at the end of a recipe to subtly adjust the taste. If you are working with meat or fish you can season directly onto the fillet before cooking. If you are cooking a sauce you can add it at the end.

There are various rules of seasoning. Seasoning can draw out the moisture which can be good or bad for your dish. With meat you could season the fillet just before you add it to the pan, or a long time beforehand if you want to firm up the meat. Curing meat is one stage on from this and used to preserve food.

Different types of seasoning…
Salt and pepper are probably the most common but seasoning extends to herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegars and sugar.
Salt is probably the most popular and may be used to draw out water, or to magnify a natural flavour, making it richer or more delicate, depending on the dish. Sometimes salt is rubbed into chicken, lamb, and beef to tenderise the meat and improve flavour.

Cornish-Sea-Salt

Other seasoning like black pepper and basil transfer some of their flavour to the food and a well designed dish may combine different seasoning’s that complement each other.

Saline seasonings: salt, spiced salt.
Acid seasonings: vinegar (sodium acetate), lemon juice, orange juices.
Hot seasonings: peppercorns, ground or coarsely chopped pepper, paprika, curry, cayenne, and mixed pepper spices.
Saccharine seasonings: sugar, honey.

Infused oils are also used for seasoning, especially in pasta and salads.

SPices

Which seasoning?

Seasoning depends on taste and preference. Here are our favourite seasoning combinations.

Beef: Bay leaf, cayenne, dill, paprika, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
Lamb: Basil, cardamom, mint, oregano, paprika, rosemary, turmeric.
Chicken: Bay leaf, nutmeg, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme.
Pork: Basil, cardamom, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Fish: Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, chives, dill, fennel, oregano, paprika, parsley, tarragon, thyme.

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Meet the team – Matt

When you arrive at Watergate Bay you’ll be greeted by the friendly faces of our front of house teams, from the receptionists to our restaurant waiting staff. But behind the scenes at Watergate Bay Hotel is a small dedicated team making sure everything is in working order ready for your arrival; the maintenance team.

Heading up the maintenance team is Matt. We caught up with him to find out a bit about his job.

Meet-the-Team-Matt

Meet Matt.

How long have you worked at Watergate Bay Hotel?

I’ve been here for nearly three years. When I first joined Watergate I was part of the waste team; disposing of hotel waste and making sure the hotel and beach were litter free. After nine months in that position I joined the maintenance team and am now maintenance manager.

What’s a normal day at work like for you?

Busy. I usually have an early start as I have to check the pool each morning before guests use it. I make sure it’s clean and test the chemicals and temperature and give the Swim Club team the OK to open. Then I’ll check the job list for the day, it’s always changing and being added to by all the departments around the hotel so I’ll keep an eye on it throughout the day, and once jobs are delegated to members of the team I’ll make sure everything gets done quickly and to the best of our ability.

What kind of things get added to the maintenance job list?

Anything and everything. From changing a light bulb to unblocking toilets to running and upkeep of the pool.

(Sneak peak behind the scenes of the maintenance room)

(Sneak peak behind the scenes of the maintenance room)

Before you joined Watergate Bay what were you doing?

Before I came to the bay I was a ran my own fencing and decking business in Devon.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

The location and being able to surf before and after work. I also work with a great team of guys, whilst we work hard we all get on well and have a lot of fun.

How many people are in the maintenance team. 

Eight, including me. There are four in maintenance, two in waste and one painter.

Can you sum up your role in three words?

Varied
Challenging
Fun

Everyone needs some downtime, so when you’re not at work where could we find you?

Surfing! At any of the local beaches but Lusty Glaze and Watergate Bay in particular.

And finally, how many maintenance guys does it take to change a light bulb?

1.

Take a look at our current job vacancies.

Boardmasters Festival 2014

This time last week we were excitedly preparing our tents, rolling up sleeping bags and packing our best festival outfits ready for the return of Boardmasters Festival!

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Having watched the main music arena develop at Watergate Bay over the weeks leading up to the festival, we knew this year was going to be the best ever.

Slowly the main arena transformed from a sheep field into a mecca of good music, festival vibes and beach views.

Thousands of you joined together at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay to try your hand at surfing in Cornwall, watch pro surf competitions, eat well, drink well (in moderation!) and get your hands in the air for a perfect line up of summer acts… all along the awesome Cornish coastline.

The Boardmasters 2014 line up included Chase & Status, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) and so many more! Kicking off with Friday night, Chase & Status got the crowds firmly in the festival mood. Whilst Snoop Dogg provided an unforgettable Saturday night spectacle. Sadly, due to bad weather we missed out on watching Bastille on Sunday, but nevertheless Boardmasters proved, once again, to be the best festival in Cornwall.

But we don’t need to tell you that, take a look for yourselves…

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Summer 2015 will be here before you know it…we promise. Boaradmasters will return to Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay from 5-9 August 2015 so stick on your flip-flops, grab your tent and leave your troubles behind, we’ll see you by the beach! #webelieveinsummer

Lemon sole with brown shrimp and Cornish Sea Salt

Lemon-Sole-with-Brown-Shrimp

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cucumber
Cornish sea salt lemon and thyme flavour
1 lemon
4 x lemon sole dark skin removed (200/230g each)
100g rice flour for dusting
100ml pomace oil
200g unsalted butter
100g samphire tips (blanched asparagus tips could be used)
200g cooked peeled brown shrimp

Method

Peel the cucumber, split lengthways and remove the seeds.

Cut the cucumber into 1cm dice and place into a bowl, sprinkle with a little of the Cornish sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pat the fish dry with a tea towel, dust with the rice flour and remove the excess.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan until medium hot, add the oil and lay in the fish flesh side down.

Allow to cook gently for 2 minutes before turning, the flesh should be golden brown.

Cook for a further 2 minutes before removing any excess oil.

Add the butter. When melted and foaming add the cucumber, samphire and shrimp.

Squeeze a little lemon into the pan and check for seasoning.

Baste the fish with the butter a couple of times before plating

Serve immediately.

Lemon-Sole-from-Zacrys