Author Archives: heidi

Seven 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 5 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 National maritime Museum – Science of the Sea

science of the sea

The National Maritime Museum is certainly worth a visit. Featuring 15 exciting galleries unlike any other in the country.

This February half term, discover the wonderful world of chemistry through the everyday life of water. Explorer Dome’s show is a live, expert-led science show with entertaining demonstrations, audience interaction and volunteers will be required! Giving people of all ages a hands-on experience of science and a chance to meet researchers from the nearby Penryn Campus. As well as hearing short talks, visitors become scientists themselves by taking part in a range of activities and demonstrations.

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. Farmers Markets

farmers market

Here you’ll be able to find free-range meat and eggs, freshly baked goods, Cornish produced cheeses along with jams and chutneys as well as quirkier items like home made dog treats. Our favorites are Truro market, every Wednesday and Sunday and Pendeen Farmers Market, every first and third Saturday of each month.

5. Early Man at Eden

Early man eden

Take part in an archaeological dig, using brushes and tools to uncover ancient artifacts, or head for the fire pit in the Orchard and learn the survival skills that you would need to survive the Stone Age. Discover the latest film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit – Early Man, including behind the scenes fun and activities.

6. Train the Troops at Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Train the Troops

Visit Pendennis Castle during half term to step back in time and see if you have what it takes to become a WWI Soldier. Learn about the vital part that Pendennis Castle played in the first World War as the command centre of coast artillery defences for West Cornwall.

7. Valentines Day by the sea

Couple beach watergate

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. The Beach Hut menu visits many places – among them Mexico, Asia and Italy – to create contemporary British seaside food. The Beach Hut will bring you together in the most relaxed, beside-the-sea way.



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

The Seven Stones gin cocktail

Featuring Wrecking Coast’s clotted cream gin, this cocktail combines crème de cacao blanc and orange bitters. Ideal for winter afternoons by the coast. We are now serving this in The Living Space.

Wrecking coast gin cocktail

Serves one


35ml The Wrecking Coast Cornish clotted cream gin
25ml Briotett crème de cacao blanc
3 drops of Fee Brothers orange bitters
Cinnamon Stick and a dried orange slice to garnish


In a tumbler glass, combine the bitters and gin.
Add two ice cubes and stir until they are melted.
Pour in the cacao blanc and add two more ice cubes.
Stir until melted.
Gently stir in a cinnamon stick and half fill glass with ice.
Drop in the dried orange and serve.

The Seven Stones cocktail is now being served in The Living Space at Watergate Bay Hotel.

Meet the makers: Cornish gins

With G&T’s and cocktails in hand, you’ll have the evening to quiz some of the county’s brightest gin minds. Understand their inspirations and ingredients, get down to the technicalities, or just take the chance to pat them on the back.

Join us at our Swim Club pop-up gin bar in the Ocean Room — on Wednesdays throughout November — where we will be hosting gin makers from around Cornwall for tasting and live sessions.

Wednesday 15 November 6pm-8pm: Craig Penn from The Wrecking Coast Distillery.
The team behind the renowned Clotted Cream gin will be serving up with two garnishes: blueberries and lemon peel or strawberries with Fever Tree tonic water.

Wednesday 22 November 6pm-8pm: Marc MeGilley from Trevethan Distillery
Brand new for this festive season comes Trevethan’s honey oak gin. Try it with apple and clove, cranberry and orange, Fever Tree clementine and cinnamon tonic or. as a hot toddy, with warm mulled cloudy apple juice.

Wednesday 29 November 6pm-8pm: Rory Colborne from South Western Distillery.
Try the award winning Tarquin’s Sea Dog Navy Strength gin, their British blackberry and Cornish wildflower honey gin, or the seasonal limited edition Mulled Cranberry and Tangerine gin.

‘Meet The Makers’ is available to guests staying at Watergate Bay Hotel.

Book your stay:
From £160 per night (double room)
From £175 on The Getaway (two night stay, per person, based on two sharing)

Book online to stay at Watergate Bay this November, or call the team on 01637 860543.

Gin-Watergate Bay Meet The Makers

Gin Watergate Bay Meet The Makers

Book online to stay at Watergate Bay this November, or call the team on 01637 860543.

Tigerlilly Quinn – guest blog

Instagrammer and lifestyle blogger Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn @tigerlillyquinn made her first break away from her babies a Watergate Bay one.


A break from the norm

Hello I’m Fritha from the lifestyle blog Tigerlilly Quinn. I visited Watergate Bay as my first weekend away from my now 18 month old but I was so impressed with how family friendly the hotel is, I can’t wait to revisit with my family at some point in the future!

What’s great about a hotel like this is that it has something for everyone. My five year old would have loved running around the beach as well as the fantastic childcare they have on offer. I love the idea of booking the kids in for an hour or two and having a childfree lunch or even a sneaky massage!


A veggie heaven

One of the many things that stands out about Watergate Bay Hotel is the food. My favourite place to eat was the Living Space as it had such a chilled out vibe and a brilliant menu. I’m a vegetarian and often find places limited with good veggie options but there was loads to chose from in all the restaurants there. As well as a brilliant spot for lunch its also great for a coffee and a view of the sea, as well as all the cute dogs that guests had (Watergate Bay is a very dog friendly hotel!).




When we arrived we were told one of the things people always remember from their stay here is the waffles and they didn’t disappoint. I’ve been dreaming of those waffles ever since.

As well as the perfect combination of family friendly and laid-back vibe, the hotel also has one of the most beautiful infinity pools I’ve ever been to. I swam one morning as it was raining outside and it was so atmospheric. Myself and the friends I was staying with also took a dip in the outside hot tub, which felt as if we were sat right on the beach. Absolute bliss.

Thanks for having us, I’ll be back, kids in tow!


Tigerlilly Quinn lifestyle blog

Weekend Journals – guest blog

Simon and Milly from Weekend Journals and Thoroughly Modern Milly visit Watergate Bay.


A weekend journal

I had visited Watergate Bay Hotel once before, on a frantic research trip for my Weekend Journals guide to Cornwall. Even on this fleeting visit the hotel impressed me, with the seaside chic decor, well-equipped spa and varied pretty restaurant spaces. Needless to say Watergate Bay earned it’s two page spread in the guide book, and said book is now available to buy from the hotel’s cute boutique shop. My recent stay at Watergate Bay was a whole new experience for me and after two days as their in-residence instagrammer I was ready to move in permanently!




Wet days

On a cold and wet March day I arrived at the sunny and friendly Watergate Bay, and quickly settled into my bright and spacious bedroom overlooking the beach. The rooms here are luxurious but comfortable with lovely soft furnishings and plenty of natural daylight from the large windows.




Eyes bigger than the belly

When you are not surfing and swimming with dolphins (yes they do occasionally make an appearance) there is plenty to keep you occupied inside the hotel. Three successful restaurants, Zacry’s for romantic evening meals, The Living Space for daytime feasting and The Beach Hut for seaside dining. As a food blogger, I try a lot of hotel eateries, but was impressed to see the standard is high at all three of the Watergate Bay restaurants. The Beach Hut was my favourite, a beautifully designed space with an easy menu of classics like fish and chips. If you followed my Instagram Takeover for the hotel you’ll have seen how much I enjoyed breakfast at the hotel too, especially those make-it-yourself waffles!




Get active, chill out

The spa welcomes all guests, but the pool has adults only hours, which I used to my advantage to get some much needed lengths in. The spa also offers a range of relaxing treatments, and my full body deep massage was one of the best I have ever had.

Before leaving Watergate Bay we went for a brisk walk on the cliff edge. Despite the bad weather the scenery here is truly spectacular year round, making it always a good time to have a holiday here.


Monalogue – guest blog

Ramona from Monalogue takes a trip to Watergate Bay.

Instagrammer escape

Last year I spent a few days in North Cornwall, and it occurred to me that I owed this part of the world some more attention. As you can imagine, it was a welcome surprise to be invited for a long weekend in the Watergate Bay hotel, along with my favourite Bristol bloggers and Instagrammers.


On a rainy Friday in March, @Porthjess, @Tigerlillyquinn, and @Kymgrimshaw of Instagram bundled into my car and headed for the motorway. I love working on creative projects in solitude, but there is something especially inspiring when such experiences are shared with other creatives. Slightly overwhelmed by this fact, we nattered about all things Instagram for what did not feel like three hours, until we arrived at Watergate Bay.

Explore, retreat, sleep, repeat

My typical holiday experience is something along the lines of arrive, abandon belongings, head out to explore until legs give in, retreat, sleep, repeat. This break was not characteristic of my typical holiday. We were encouraged to stay amongst the bay unless we had longer than three days to spare. This was great advice, because we really indulged.



Eat around the Bay

We were pretty much always eating. If we weren’t eating, you might have found us taking a stroll along the beach, reclining in a hot tub beside the bay or having a massage in the swim club.

After our arrival lunch, we had a tour of the hotel and a leisurely drink. At 8pm, it was time to head to the Beach Hut for Tapas Night. We stood beside the bonfire, slurping on Bloody Marys and tapping our feet to some upbeat acoustic guitar before heading inside for dinner. The atmosphere was great, and there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t happy to be there. By 10pm, after six sharing platters, some had left their chairs in favour of the dance floor. Others (ourselves included) had sunk deeper into their chairs in a merry, wine-induced haze.

If anyone did happen to over-indulge at Tapas Night, it was OK because the following morning meant breakfast at Zacry’s, and breakfast at Zacry’s entails eating fresh waffles to your heart’s content. If you prefer something light to start the day, there’s also plenty of fresh fruit, smoothies, cereals, or, my favourite, salmon and poached egg bagels.



Stormy sea in November at watergate bay

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast it was time for lunch. I’m not joking – as Instagrammers we spend four times longer at breakfast for the sake of taking photos. Though I am not complaining.

We had lunch in the Living Space, which conveniently also had gorgeously diffused light for taking photos. We didn’t humour the Instagram urge too much this time. Instead, we took a few snaps and enjoyed the food before swim/hot tub/massage time in the hotel’s Swim Club.

We returned to Zacry’s for our final dinner, feeling refreshed and somewhat sleepy after our treatments. I ordered fig, mozzarella and balsamic salad to start, hake and butter bean stew for mains, and a trio of sorbets in a pistachio biscotti sandwich for dessert. I’m not going to attempt to describe how good they were for fear of not doing them justice.

Once we had reluctantly checked out, we ventured onwards to Padstow for an afternoon of food and photography, what else? As we munched on some Cornish Pasties on the harbour-front, we agreed that we’d had a wonderful weekend.



Ramona @monalogue
Monalogue travel blog
Ramona is a Bristol graduate, working as a content curator and photographer, passionate about are food and travel.



Porth Jess – guest blog

Bristol-based colour photographer and content creator Jess Siggers makes a break for the Bay.



A warm welcome

I always think the sign of a great hotel is when you arrive and the staff are not only smiley and friendly, but clearly happy to work there. This is the first impression I had on arrival at the Watergate Bay hotel! And the good impressions just kept coming.

Within the first two hours of our arrival we enjoyed a delicious lunch within The Living Space, had a grand tour during which we all made serious ‘heart-eyes’ at the Swim Club, Beach Hut and Zacry’s and had a great chat with Neil Haydock, Executive Chef. And this was all before I’d seen my room…




Bedroom envy

Walking into a room decorated simply but beautifully and in my favourite nautical colour palette, with the sun bouncing off the sea and casting dancing sparkles across the walls is something I’ll never forget. But after an hour or so of staring incredulously at the view, it was time to get ready for the Beach Hut tapas evening!

What followed was a great night of lovely food, buzzing atmosphere and an absolutely cracking White Russian or two.



Dreaming of waffles

Saturday went by in a blur of delicious breakfast at Zacry’s (still dreaming about those waffles), a blustery beach walk, seeing James Otter of Otter Surfboards do his thing in the events space, the loveliest of lazy lunches at the Living Space and then some chill time in my room before it was time for yet more amazing food, this time a three-course dinner back in Zacry’s. We all agreed that the food was incredible and eventually fell into our respective beds, stuffed and happy (long after the restaurant had closed for the night…oops!).



I woke Sunday morning to the sound of the sea, refreshed and ready for more waffles and my treatment, which was an utterly blissful massage from Roxy at Swim Club. Seriously did not want to check out of Watergate Bay…I’ve been recommending it to everyone and will definitely return later this year with my family. Thank you for such a fantastic weekend! X

About me

Jess Siggers @porthjess
Jess stayed at the beginning of March 2017.


Jess Siggers is a Bristol-based content creator, consultant, social media influencer & photographer. She provides Instagram/smartphone photography workshops for both individuals & groups, and has been featured by the BBC, Time Out, The Chromologist, The Guardian & Mollie Makes. She became one of Instagram’s ‘Suggested Users’ and also runs the Bristol Instagrammers network (@IGersBristol).

On the plate – guest blog

Kym Grimshaw from On The Plate Blog makes a weekend break with friends at Watergate Bay.


Heaven is Portobello parmesan chips

Some weeks ago now, myself, Mona, Jess and Fritha packed ourselves into a little jeep and headed for Watergate Bay.

My first food encounter set the bar high for the rest of the weekend, Portobello parmesan chips in The Living Space. I was famished by this point and burned my tongue trying to scoff them down! I’m glad I savoured them long enough to enjoy their crispy fried breadcrumb coating and the mushrooms were cooked to perfection. Portobello mushroom chips devoured, glass of red in hand and looking out of the window at the breathtaking sea view. I got the feeling it was going to be hard to leave here.


Beach Hut event night

On that first Friday evening we spruced ourselves up a bit and walked down to The Beach Hut to be spoiled with courses of tapas. We were greeted by Bloody Mary’s, live acoustic music and a roaring fire on the beach before moving inside to take a seat at long communal tables. The friendly chatter of locals almost louder than the band! After the day of travelling I was relieved by the relaxed atmosphere, all in good company too. I lost count of the tapas courses but each one kept me on my toes, I kept my eye on the kitchen door trying to get a look at what was coming next! From fresh tuna poke,to spicy scallops, I enjoyed everything that night before falling into a food induced coma back at the room.

Zacry’s breakfast…

It’s Saturday morning by this point, we met down in Zacrys for some truly exciting breakfast offerings. By night, Zacrys transforms into something else, but more on that later! All of the breakfast choices are great, all fresh and quality far superior to any other breakfast buffet I’ve encountered. The crux of it all are their waffle machines. DIY breakfast! The waffle batter is prepared by the chefs for you, you pour, sandwich the maker together and set the timer for three minutes. Perfect waffles done! I don’t know why these waffles are better and more exciting than the ones I could make at home, but they are. Everyone else seemed just as enthused, even if there’s a queue for the waffle machine, I promise it will always be worth it!

From one indulgence to the next, if we weren’t eating (and taking photos of our food), we could be found by the swimming pool that looks out onto the sea, enjoying a massage in the treatment rooms and braving the British weather in a mad dash to the hot tub outside.


…and Zacry’s dinner

During the evening at Zacrys, the waffle machines are no longer in sight and the restaurant transforms to cater for fine dining. The menu is very much inspired by seasonal ingredients and the produce available locally. Plenty of seafood options, but by no means limited to just that. I ooooooh-ed and mmmmm-ed over the chicken liver parfait, with rhubarb chutney and toasted brioche. For main, an ode to what wonderful British modern food can be – English venison, dauphinoise potatoes, black cabbage, king oyster mushroom and Jerusalem artichoke puree. I’d fast for thirty days if I could just eat that meal again right now!

Needless to say, we were sad to say goodbye to Watergate Bay on the Sunday. One thing that became apparent during my stay is everyone had their own Watergate Bay stories to tell. I’ve never been so inundated with lovely comments and messages from sharing my time there on Instagram. I’ll remember the food, the happy dogs I met, the waffle machine at breakfast and that sea view. I hope not to leave it too long until my next visit, Watergate Bay is just too special not to return.

Kym Grimshaw @kymgrimshaw
On The Plate blog

Roger Black – guest blog

Former 400-metre champion Roger Black, his friends and family gather at the Bay each year.

Roger Black at Watergate Bay

Made for memories

I’ve many great memories of Watergate Bay Hotel, but perhaps my favourite is of the first time my twin sons, George and Max, went bodysurfing and loved it.

We’ve been coming to Watergate Bay with several other families – good friends of ours – once a year for the past six years. The weekend away is part of our life and what we do as a group. Each year, there are probably between 60-80 of us in total.

The boys had tried bodysurfing before, but it was a couple of years ago, when they were about eight, that they really got it. Seeing them among friends, having fun in the water was pretty special.


November break

We tend to come in November when there’s enough room for us all. The weather’s not an issue – you don’t need to surf in the sunshine. We make the journey on a Friday, each family driving down and arriving at different times. I head straight for the pool and for the rest of the weekend spend a lot of time there throwing kids in the air. It’s fantastic fun.

Kids zone at Watergate Bay

Family time

The children love playing in the Kids’ Zone – not having their parents around all the time while being in a safe environment. That’s what I love about Watergate Bay: you can go down as a family and just stay at the hotel. It’s about eating, drinking and just being with friends. You have the amazing beach. You have everything you need. There are lots of areas to relax. You’ve got the main bar upstairs and the ocean room beneath it, overlooking the beach – I love that space. Families get a real sense of freedom and relaxation. The hotel caters for all ages and the teenagers in our group are still keen to keep coming back. They don’t want to miss it.

Watergate Bay two miles of beach and coastal path

Take to the waves

Outside, we all spend hours on the beach. My wife, Julia, just loves being in the sea with the boys. The great thing about bodysurfing is that everyone can do it. You catch a wave and, once you do, you’ve just got to go back for more. Another great memory is of the four of us catching the same wave and riding it in together – pure excitement!

We hire wetsuits and boards from The Extreme Academy. They always have enough. We often think maybe we should get our own, but we never do. There’s no point. The guys there make it easy for you – they’re patient, enthusiastic and always accommodating.

Getting outdoors

As for the running, it’s good at Watergate Bay. You can get up on the cliffs for a challenging few miles. But I tend to stick to walking when I’m there. We go out every morning to walk on the beach. It’s about being social with the people I care about. As life goes by, I know more and more that what’s important is creating memories and spending quality time with friends and family. Watergate Bay gives us that year after year.

Chilled rice pudding, rhubarb and gingerbread

Desserts don’t come much more comforting than a good serving of rice pudding. Executive Chef Neil Haydock puts his twist on the classic with rhubarb and a gingerbread crumb.

Rice Pudding Rhubarb and Gingerbread Recipe Watergate Bay


Serves four

Rice pudding
200g Aborio risotto rice
1 litre full fat Cornish milk
1 vanilla pod split lengthways
180g of castor sugar
200ml Cornish double cream

Poached rhubarb
600g trimmed forced rhubarb
150g castor sugar
300ml water

Gingerbread crumb
Ginger cake

Rice Pudding Rhubarb and Gingerbread Recipe Watergate Bay


In a large pan of boiling water cook the rice for five minutes before draining, refresh under cold water and drain again.

Place the milk, vanilla, sugar and rice into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 25 minutes stirring occasionally to stop the rice from sticking until cooked, add a little more milk if required.

Allow the rice to cool stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

When the rice is at room temperature lightly whip the double cream and fold through the rice pudding and divide evenly into serving glasses.
Cut the rhubarb into 3cm lengths.

In a saucepan bring the sugar and water to a boil and reduce until a syrup forms before adding the rhubarb, simmer until the rhubarb is tender.

Remove from the syrup and reduce the syrup until a coating consistency is achieved.
Pre heat the oven to 120 degrees.

Break up the ginger cake into crouton size pieces and place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until dry and crunchy.
Pop the ginger cake into a food processor and blitz into a fine crumb.

Sprinkle a fine layer of the crumb over the rice pudding followed by the rhubarb and spoon over the syrup before serving.

Visit us in Zacry’s for more seasonal desserts.