Author Archives: Watergate Bay

Damon’s coffee art

Stop and talk to one of our staff at Watergate Bay and you’ll probably discover something very interesting about them, be it they are a professional surfer, are in a band or have a, until recently, undiscovered talent for latte art.

That’s what happened when we stopped for a chat with Damon, Zacry’s.

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Having always had a flare for art, enjoying drawing and sketching, he never realised he could transfer the skill on to the canvas of coffee. On seeing the chaps in the Living Space free pouring flowers and hearts on to the top of their drinks Damon was inspired to give it a go himself. After a litte research into the latte art scene he discovered a group of people in New York drawing on to the foam of a latte ans set about making his own creations.

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It’s been all of two weeks since Damon gave latte art a try and it’s safe to say if he can achieve this is two weeks imagine what he’ll be doing in two months even two years down the line.

Meet the rest of the team.

Strapless Kitesurfing

Strapless kitesurfing combines the best of surfing and kitesurfing in one exhilarating sport.

Strapless Kitesurfing

And you can now learn to strapless kitesurf at Extreme Academy. New this autumn our team are trained to teach the sport. We caught up with them to find out a bit about strapless kitesurfing.

What is strapless kitesurfing?

In essence it’s kitesurfing on a surf board. Using the power of the waves and wind to accelerate along the break and perform different tricks and jumps. Strapless kitesurfing gives you the sensation of surfing whilst using the kite to enhance the experience.

Who can strapless kitesurf?

Strapless kitesurfing is a lot more difficult than just surfing or kitesurfing, it takes a lot of skill and is best suited to those who can already kitesurf confidently. Because you are not attached to the board it’s a lot harder to stay on, you’re constantly working to keep balanced on the board and control the kite. But once you master it it’s totally worth the effort, you get such a huge rush and greater sense of achievement.

At the Extreme Academy strapless kitesurfing is available to those aged 18+ with kitesurfing experience.

Why would you choose strapless kitesurfing instead of surfing?

Like we said you get a huge sense of achievement when you succeed at strapless kitesurfing. Because of the level of skill involved you really feel like you’ve accomplished something, even if you only stand on the board for a few seconds.

As well as this it also allows you to go wherever you want on the beach without having to paddle there. You can head further out back and catch the bigger waves for an even bigger thrill and perform surfing tricks and jumps.

Strapless Kitesurfing Watergate Bay

Watergate Bay Strapless Kitesurfing

Strapless Kite Surfing

Watergate Bay Strapless Kite Surfing

Top 10 tips for a beginner kitesurfer

Kitesurfing is a form of kite boarding that’s specific to wave riding. It’s the ultimate connection between wind and waves.

Josh Coombes Kitesurfing

As a beginner, kitesurfing can look daunting but after a few lessons with Extreme Academy you’ll find it exciting and rewarding.

We spoke to the team in the Extreme Academy to ask for their 10 top tips for a beginner kitesurfer.

Kite Surfing Watergate Bay

1. Be patient

As the saying goes ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’. We can’t stress it enough, kitesurfing isn’t something you can expect to be good at straight away. It takes practice, persistence and patience.

2. Listen

As with anything new, the key is to listen to your instructor, kitesurfing can be dangerous if you don’t.  At the Extreme Academy all of our instructors are qualified lifeguards and have an extensive local knowledge of the sports they teach and Watergate Bay. They understand the currents and rip tides better than anyone so it pays to listen to whatever they say. 

3. Don’t kitesurf by yourself

Even the best kitesurfers head to the waves with a partner or group of friends. You’ll always need someone to cast and land your kite. If a strong gust of wind comes and you haven’t got someone to hold on to, you could end up doing a bit of paragliding.

4. Practice

Time for another cliche quote? Practice makes perfect. Whilst no kitesurfer is perfect, there are always new things to learn, it’s true that the sport takes a lot of practice. Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t land your trick first time, or even the twentieth time, just keep going.

5. Practice recreational flying

Mastering how to handle a kite with your feet on solid ground is essential. If you can learn how to control a kite on land it’ll be easier and more instinctive when you are in the sea riding waves.

Watergate Bay Kitesurfing

6. Have the correct equipment

A workman is only as good as his tools…ok we’ll stop now, but you need to have the best equipment for kitesurfing so that you’re safe. New equipment is always being lreleased and as the sport is relatively new we’d advise on getting the newest and best kit you can afford.

7. Don’t go out in the wrong conditions

Just because there is wind it doesn’t mean you should go kitesurfing. If in doubt, don’t go out; or second best, ask a lifeguard or one of our team.

8. Have some kite etiquette

This goes for all water sports. Etiquette in the water is important to keep everyone happy and safe. Learn the universal hand signals and kite rules. This is something we teach as part of our kitesurfing lessons.

9. Be confident

Trust your equipment and your ability. Don’t over think everything else you may end up over sheeting or pulling the kite at the wrong time.

10. Have fun

This is the most important tip of all. Have fun, don’t worry if things don’t go perfectly, we want you to laugh when you fall off and soldier on! Determination is the key.

Kitesurfing 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.

Dave-Extreme-Academy-SUP

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.

SUP-lesson

Josh-Coombes-SUP

SUP-Watergate-Bay

Learning-to-SUP-with-Extreme-Academy

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SUP

Dave-SUP

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.

Cardamon