Author Archives: Watergate Bay

Meet the team – Carl Paparone

Carl Paparone, head chef at Zacry’s


Born and bred Cornish, half Italian Carl has always been interested in food. Starting work as a dishwasher Carl has worked his way through the ranks and is now Head Chef at Watergate Bay’s new restaurant, Zacry’s.

We caught up with Carl to see how he is finding life in a brand new kitchen.

How long have you worked at Watergate Bay Hotel?
I’ve been at Watergate Bay Hotel for around 18 months, having originally taken the position of Head Chef of the former Dining Room. I’m now Head Chef of Zacry’s and can’t wait to get stuck in.

Have you always worked in kitchens?
Originally I wanted to become a professional footballer, but that was never going to happen. I’ve always had an interest in food, coming from an Italian family, food was at the heart of our day. My first job was at The Penventon Park Hotel as a kitchen porter and there I found my interest in becoming a chef and they promoted me to commi chef. I’ve worked my way up the ranks and have worked in restaurants such as Greenbank Hotel, Alverton Manor, Fifteen Cornwall, Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, Hotel Tresanton and now Watergate Bay.

What is the day to day life of a head chef like?
Varied. I have to constantly make sure stock levels are maintained, fridges are clean, KPs (kitchen porters) are on top of their work load, chefs are briefed, menus are planned and written, food is prepped and consistence remains high.

There is a lot of forward planning in my role too. For example, if we were going to serve a meat terrine on the menu we’d have to make sure it was prepared at least three days before to ensure the flavour was there.

I also deal with suppliers on a daily basis. We buy our fish the same morning it’s caught, so I check what’s on the menu for that evening, estimate how many portions of fish we’ll sell and buy it straight from the market. Usually the supplier rings at 11am and the fish is on the plate and being served by dinner.

How many chefs work in your kitchen?
At the moment I manage a team of around 8 but we’re looking to increase that to 10 now that Zacry’s is open. Our team will have to be very confident as the kitchen is now open plan and customers can watch us cook and ask us questions.

Are you excited about the opening of Zacry’s?
Of course! I’m especially looking forward to the open kitchen; it’s going to be nice to be a part of the restaurant as opposed to being behind the scenes. I think it’ll give Zacry’s a great atmosphere having guests and chefs so closely linked.

However, it’s almost like starting a new job. I’ll have new members on my team, a new menu and a new kitchen; everyone will look to me if they have a problem and I’ve got to be on top of everything to make sure I’ve got the answer. It’s unnerving but very exciting.


What’s your favourite dish on the Zacry’s menu?
I love the Zacry’s menu, can I say all of it is my favourite? [Nope] Ok, for starter I’d chose, ZF rabbit with celeriac and apple slaw. For main it’s a toss-up between lamb chump and pork loin chop…I think I’d pick the pork. And we’ve just added a new dessert, pistachio and olive oil cake with poached plums and vanilla mascarpone.

What is your favourite meal to cook at home?
That’s tricky. I really like simple food, not too many ingredients, not too many flavours. I think as long as the produce is good then the meal will be excellent.

Try Carl’s favourite restaurant dish recipe at home – wild sea bass with brown shrimp, new potatoes, spinach and tomato.

Does your daughter like your cooking?
Thankfully yes. She is a big fan of both my mine and my wife’s cooking and luckily isn’t keen on fast food at all.

Lanhydrock Cycle Hub

Lanhydrock is known for the late Victorian National Trust House and estate that once belonged to the Agar-Robartes family through the 18th Century. With ancient woodlands, winding rivers and well-kept gardens, Lanhydrock is a great day out.

And now it’s even better!


New this spring is the Lanhydrock Cycle Hub. Cornwall’s newest cycling attraction. The £3 million Cycle Hub at the National Trust Lanhydrock estate near Bodmin includes 10km of purpose-built trails winding through the estate’s woodland – including a skills area, a cycle hire shop, the new Park Café and children’s play area, all with plenty of parking.

The trails are cycle specific and designed to be ridden in one direction; however, walkers can enjoy the green track just as much, especially if your little cyclist isn’t that proficient yet. There are off road cycle trails and special routes for families and novice riders.

The green route is smoother and wider and winds through relatively level woodland, but still makes for an interesting ride (see images below). There are three blue trails designed for moderate riders. These are narrower and have sharper turns, dips and bumps. There is also a red route which has a much steeper incline and created for the more experienced mountain biker.


Bikes are available to hire from Lanhyrdock for the following costs:

Adult bike                         £12 half day     £16 full day
Child bike                         £10 half day     £14 full day
Balance bike                    £5 half day       £7 full day
Tag-along                         £7 half day       £10 full day
Tag-along + adult bike   £17 half day     £24 full day
Trailer                                £7 half day       £10 full day
Trailer + adult bike          £17 half day     £24 full day
Child seat                         £5 half day       £7 full day

Lanhydrock have a full range of bikes for all heights and abilities, child seat mounts and they offer free helmets as standard.

Take a look at the trails:


Meet the team – Laura

If there is one thing people remember from visiting The Beach Hut its Laura, our general manager. Excited to welcome you into the restaurant and ensure your time there is brilliant, it’s fair to say she is a passionate host with a wealth of knowledge.


As a self-taught sommelier, Laura has designed the wine list which you see in The Beach Hut, often uncovering new brands of wine that customers are eager to taste.

We recently caught up with Laura, take a read.

How long have you been working at The Beach Hut?
I’ve been here a total of three years having started as general manager way back in 2011.

What were you doing before you joined us at The Beach Hut? Have you always worked in restaurants?
I’ve always worked in hospitality as my family have owned inns and B&B’s since I was young. Before I came to The Beach Hut I was working at River Cottage in Axminster as deputy general manager. It was the call of the sea that brought me back to Cornwall and I’m so glad it did, I love it here!

What is it you like so much about working at The Beach Hut?
It’s the people. Everyday familiar and new faces come into The Beach Hut and I get to meet them all, it’s great, we’re even on first name terms with some of the regulars. And not only the guests but the staff too. I have a great team of people working alongside me, many of whom have been at The Beach Hut for as long, if not longer, than me. It’s part of what makes The Beach Hut unique, what makes us a family.

I also love that we are dog friendly; I work for a dog charity and have three dogs of my own. It’s great to have somewhere dogs are as welcome as the people.

Can you remember your first day at The Beach Hut?
Yes. It is unforgettable. It was July 1st on a hot summer’s day and the place was madness! The rest was a mad blur of sweet potato fries and mussels.



What’s your favourite dish on the menu?
Easy, it has to be the lamb kofta with grilled flat bread, yoghurt and harissa.

Why would you recommend someone go to The Beach Hut?
I could go on for ages so I’ll just rattle off a few things that come into my head…ready?
Great coffee
Great view
Dog friendly
Passionate service
Any wine by the glass

Can you sum up The Beach Hut in one sentence?
A bottle of ketchup and great conversation.

Thanks Laura

P.S Richard, if you’re reading this Laura found a bottle of Rolling Shiraz in the cellar. It’s got your name on it.

Rabbit pie with Cornish Ale

‘Growing up with a Grandfather who lived and breathed the countryside, rabbit on the table was as familiar to me as chicken is to most people. It was simply cooked in a pot for hours with carrots and onions, but that aroma and taste is, and always be, unforgettable to me.’

This recipe by Neil Haydock is featured in The New West Country Cook Book by David Griffen.


Serves 4-6
Prep: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes soaking
Cooking: 2 hours plus cooling time


1 rabbit, jointed
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
400ml chicken stock
200ml blonde beer
3 medium leeks, washed and finely sliced
40g butter
40g flour
Salt and ground white pepper
250g ready-rolled butter puff pastry
1 egg yolk


- Soak the rabbit joints in cold water for 30 minutes to clean and whiten the flesh.
- Drain the rabbit and place into a saucepan with the carrot, onion, bay leaf, thyme, chicken stock and beer.
- Bring to the simmer and remove any scum.
- Cook for about 1 hour – or until the rabbit is tender.
- Drain the stock and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Take the rabbit pieces and place into a large pie dish, discarding the carrot, onion, bay leaf and thyme.
- Bring the stock back to the boil and add the leeks.
- Cook until tender.
- Mix the flour and butter into a paste and add to the stock.
- Stir until the stock starts to thicken.
- Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the rabbit pieces.
- Allow to cool before covering with puff pastry.
- Crimp the edges and brush with the egg yolk.
- Place the pie into the over for 20-25 minutes until rich golden brown.

In season – March


As the days get longer throughout March help yourself to fresh seasonal food. Serve whole sea bream with a zesty lemon and passion fruit dressing and roast cauliflower and parsnips to add an extra crunch to a spring salad. You can also check out our ‘In Season’ Pinterest board to see what takes your fancy.

What’s in season throughout March?

Fruit and Veg
Green cabbage
Jerusalem artichokes
Passion fruit
Purple sprouting broccoli
Spring greens
Young carrots

Fish & seafood
Rainbow trout
Sea bream




Like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower heads, which grow from a thick central stem. It has a firm, almost waxy texture, and a mild, delicate flavour. Most cauliflowers are white, but it’s also possible to find green and purple varieties.

Perfect match: Of course there is the classic cauliflower cheese, but you can also roast cauliflower to draw out the sweeter flavours, or pickle it to make piccalilli, perfect for summer sandwiches.

Top tip: Cauliflower makes a great base to soups.



A sweetly flavoured root vegetable native to Britain, parsnips resemble a bulky, beige carrot. They’re usually treated in much the same way as the potato: roasted, mashed, or made into chips or crisps.

Perfect match: Roast your parsnips with maple syrup instead of honey as syrup has a higher boiling point and is less likely to burn. You can also roast them with the skins on with apples and serve with pork.

Top tip: Parsnips are in season from October to March, but are usually best after the first frost. For the best flavour, look for parsnips about the size of a large carrot, with firm, unblemished flesh.



Lemons work well with a huge variety of foods from sweet to savoury. Their peel can be used, grated into sauces to add a zesty kick and the juice has a multitude of uses from flavouring, garnishing, preserving and even cleaning!

Perfect match: We’re all about pairing lemons with fish. From fish and chips to salads, it cuts through the flavours and compliments fish well. Why not try out Ceviche of salmon and scallops with tomato salsa recipe.

Top tip: To get the most juice from a lemon make sure they are room temperature, and firmly roll them back and forth under your palm a couple of times. Alternatively pop them in the microwave for a few seconds, warming them helps to create more juice.

Passion Fruit


Passion fruit is a tropical fruit with a brittle outer shell that contains crunchy seeds surrounded by intensely flavoured yellow, juicy pulp. You don’t need to do anything with passion fruit, just spoon it into yoghurt, cream or sauces and you’re ready to go. Alternatively you could make a passion fruit puree with the pulp.

Perfect match: Passion fruit tastes amazing with pavlova or cheesecakes. But they also go very well with fish in Asian infused dishes.

Top Tip: Passion fruit become more wrinkly as they ripen.

Sea Bream


There are a number of fish that come under the banner of ‘bream’, which can be confusing. These include black bream, red bream from Europe and the Mediterranean gilt-head, which is perhaps the tastiest of the lot. Sea bream is incredibly versatile you can grill, bake in aluminium foil or pan fry it.

Perfect match: Sea bream goes well with pasta such as linguine and ravioli or with roasted fennel and potatoes.

Top Tip: look for line caught sea bream as it’s a far more sustainable way of fishing. If the fish you buy is tagged you can go online and find out exactly who caught it.

Briony Cloke

Briony Cloke is a 22 year old illustrator from Cornwall. Having graduated from Plymouth College of Art just last year she is now building her portfolio, starting with Watergate Bay.

You may already be familiar with Briony’s illustrations as they feature in our Another Place magazine. But now, she is working on a series of drawings for our new restaurant, Zacry’s.


Why did you choose illustration at university?

I have always favoured art over any other subject at school and loved drawing. I took GSCE Art and then Applied Art for A-level. I knew I wanted to go to University and study something along these lines. I was drawn to the illustration courses, even though at this point I had no idea what illustration really involved. However, after attending various open days I fell in love with the illustration and decided on it as a career.

What other projects have you been involved in?

I have a passion for illustrating book covers and during my time at Plymouth College of Art I illustrated varied children’s stories that I loved when growing up, such as ‘The Magic Finger’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’ ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’ & ‘The Wind In The Willows’.
As well as this, I was fortunate enough to work on my first commission for a company called ‘Cloud Nine Marshmallows’ where I illustrated packaging for a jar of yummy marshmallows! I then went on to produce a double page spread for one of my favourite magazines – TinyPencil. I have also produced my own illustrated story called ‘Deforestation’ which was published by Pylon Press.

What have you enjoyed about working with Zacry’s?

It’s been so different to anything I have done before which made this even more interesting and fun for me. I have always had interest in illustrated food packaging and always wanted to produce drawings for a menu, which made this project all the more special!


Who’s your favourite artist or illustrator?

This is a tough one as I have many…but I do love Lizzie Stewart’s work, one word – stunning!

What is the funniest thing you have been asked to draw?

I haven’t actually been asked to draw anything funny… however when studying Applied Art I remember drawing my sisters face with part of her brain showing… weird!

What does the future hold for Briony Cloke?

I would simply just love to carry on drawing anything for everything!

And now a bit about you…

What is your favourite food?

I love all sorts of food…chocolate [of course], leeks, fruit, crisps, I’m not fussy!

What’s your favourite restaurant?

At the moment our local curry house. Completely different to Zacry’s


Do you prefer working in colour or black and white?

Black and white…but maybe with a hint of colour, in true Briony style!

Dogs or cats?

I have always been a dog person. I love taking my cocker spaniel, Archie (the big softie), out for long walks on the beach – lucky to have this so close to home! And at the moment I’m currently saving for a bulldog who I would like to call Edgar!

Keep an eye out for Briony’s illustrations on the menu and around the restaurant.

James the Guillemot

It’s been a busy week at Watergate Bay, on Tuesday we had Navy Southern Diving Unit from Plymouth on the beach to dispose of a WW2 bomb at the South End of the beach. But near the central part of the beach we discovered a guillemot that was in quite a lot of distress.

It was struggling to get up onto its feet and couldn’t fly.


Considering guillemots only come into land to nest it was clear we needed to step in and give the fella a helping hand.

James from the hotel, who we later named the guillemot after, approached the bird and gently picked it up wrapping it in his jacket.


We took the bird up to the hotel and called RSPB to let them know of the situation. They advised us that James the guillemot was probably exhausted and needed to rest in a dark space for at least an hour.

We tucked him away in a safe place and left him to sleep.

After an hour we spoke to RSPB again who said the next step was to try and release James back onto the beach but if he was still struggling they would come and take him to hospital and treat him.


We took James back to the place we’d picked him up and away he went. Rejuvenated and energetic he flew up to the cliffs to re-join his family.

Nice to meet you James!

History Uncovered!

On Sunday 16 February Bill Brain and Ian Dearing discovered a large metal object buried in the sand at the south end of Watergate Bay that had been washed in due to the recent storms. After bringing it to the attention of the local authorities it was decided that further investigation was needed.

Yesterday, 18 February, the Southern Diving Unit bomb disposal team from Plymouth came to Watergate Bay to take a closer look.

After x-raying the device it was confirmed as a bomb which they decided to destroy with a controlled explosion.

At approximately 13.15pm the bomb was destroyed with an almighty bang.

At first the naval officers thought it was a WW1 bomb that may have been air dropped to aid the planes landing at St. Mawgan. However, whilst inspecting the pin they discovered it was in fact a WW2 British bomb made of brass. They estimated it was from 1944 and carrying around 500lbs of explosives.

(The Bomb: Photograph by Bill Brain)







(The Explosion: Photograph by Len Pinner)




We’d like to thank the three officers from Southern Diving Unit and Newquay Police Force for their assistance yesterday.

More history!

On 28 December 1943 a Liberator plane named ‘Mucks Mauler’ got into difficulties after taking off from St. Mawgan air field. It attempted to turn around but resulted in crashing into the cliffs at Watergate Bay. Read the full story here.

Liberator crash at Watergate Bay 1943

Liberator crash at Watergate Bay 1943

On 28 December 1943 a United States PB4Y1 Liberator named ‘Muck’s Mauler’ took off from RAF St Mawgan carrying nine crew and four passengers. Shortly after take-off it’s believed the plane got into difficulties and tried to turn back to base. However, during this attempt the plane came down and crashed into the cliffs at Watergate Bay killing all 13 service personnel on board.

A rescue mission was launched but resulted in a further five casualties due to the incoming tide.

Liberator crews like ‘Muck’s Mauler’ were tasked to watch out for, and sink, German submarines or U-boats which were a threat to Britain’s food and war material supplies being shipped to Cornwall.

At the time a then 14 year old Douglas Knight cycled to Watergate Bay and witnessed the wreck of the U.S Liberator.

The cliff was all burnt and the beach was covered with wreckage. For several years after this accident whenever we walked across this part of the beach we still found bits of the wreckage.’


And to this day wreckage from WW1 and 2 often washes onshore after a heavy sea.

On 18 February a WW2 bomb was uncovered at Watergate Bay and destroyed with controlled explosion by southern Diving Unit from Plymouth. Read the full story here.

Wedding’s at Watergate Bay


Watergate Bay is an awesome setting for a beach-side wedding, with a two-mile sandy beach as the backdrop for your day.

Our weddings are intimate, for a maximum of 50 people, or exclusive – you have the whole hotel and team at your disposal.

We offer a dedicated wedding planner and team to work with you to create your own unique day.










This could be your day

Stay the night before in one of our sea-view suites and wake up refreshed and excited to say I do!

Order champagne to your room and let the celebrations begin. Start with hair and makeup, take your time there’s no rush, you want to look your best.

Fellas, the bar is open downstairs, bide your time with some last minute preparations and a drink with the boys. But first make sure you’ve got everything you need from your room.

At 12.40pm your registrar arrives to meet the groom in the event space, and calm those last minute nerves.

At 12.50pm your excited guests are ushered into the event space to be seated.

1pm it’s time to make your entrance. Walk down the aisle to your music of choice. This is it!

1.30pm How quickly did the last half an hour go? You are now married and can celebrate the rest of the day! Drinks and canapés are being served in the Living Space bar.

From 1.30pm – smile! It’s time for photos.

At 3.00pm The bride and groom are welcomed into the hotel’s new restaurant to eat. Charge your glasses, it’s also time for speeches and cutting the cake.

6.30pm – Head back to the events space which has now been transformed for your evening’s entertainment. We hope you’ve brought your best moves, your first dance is coming up.

Cor, all that dancing is hungry work, at 9.00pm an evening buffet is served with wedding cake.

11.45pm marks the last orders at the bar.

Time for bed.

‘As soon as we came to Watergate Bay Hotel to look around it was clear, we HAD to get married here. It was just what we were looking for. Our wedding of 50 would feel intimate and exclusive. Virginia allayed all of our pre-wedding jitters and made us feel like nothing was too much trouble. We married in June, with the sun shining, the ocean glistening and champagne flowing. I couldn’t stop smiling. The whole day proceeded flawlessly. I’d like to thank Virginia and the Watergate Bay Hotel team for making our day so special, it was even better then I had imagined!’


Take a look at our Pinterest board for some wedding inspiration, don’t hold back this is your big day!


Watergate Bay wedding FAQs

Do we perform civil partnerships?

Where will I stay?
As bride and groom you get a complimentary ocean view room on B&B basis for your wedding night. You can upgrade your room to a suite for an additional change but at 50% discount.

Is there parking?
If you are a resident of the hotel you will benefit from free parking. However, you will need to use the pay and display car park if you are not staying at Watergate Bay Hotel.

Do you offer babysitting services?
Kids Zone offer babysitting services in the evenings. If you’d like to use this service refer your enquiry to Kids Zone.

Can my dog come?
As a dog friendly hotel we welcome dogs. They are allowed everywhere except Swim Club, the hotel’s restaurant and children’s play areas.
Our dog friendly rooms on 1st and 2nd floors and coach house.

Can I have fireworks?
Yes, fireworks are allowed on the beach before 10pm as long as they are done by a professional, licensed company with a public liability certificate and risk assessment. We do not allow sky lanterns to be let off from the hotel grounds as they can be mistaken for distress signals, interfere with the airport or pollute the seas and marine life.

Thank you to Nick Bailey for providing us with such beautiful photography.