Author Archives: Watergate Bay

Food festivals in Cornwall 2014

Cornwall is a paradise for epicureans. In the county’s eclectic mix of restaurants, pubs and delis you can find no end of fine fodder. Perhaps because of its distance from the rest of the UK, Cornwall is full of small, high quality producers that, between them, have driven a culinary renaissance.

All corners of the county host annual food festivals that celebrate not only Cornish produce, but Cornish talent. As well as the growers and artisan makers that flourish in Cornwall, there is an abundant crop of first class chefs. It’s the passion and imagination of the people in Cornwall that make its food tradition so rich.

Here’s our pick of the best food festivals in Cornwall this year. We hope you can get to at least one of them.


Food festivals of Cornwall 2014

Porthleven Food and Drink Festival
26 April

Fowey Mussel Festival
21/22 June

Looe Festival of Food and Drink
28/29 June

Rock Oyster Festival
12 July

Cornwall Food and Drink Festival
26/27/28 September

Boscastle Food, Art and Craft Festival
4/5 October

Falmouth Oyster Festival
9/10/11/12 October

Fifteen Cornwall Autumn Farmers’ Market
18 October

Padstow Christmas Festival
4/5/6/7 December

This article was taken from this years Another Place magazine 2014. For more like this pick up a copy at Watergate Bay Hotel or we’ll put one in the post to you.

My Watergate Bay – Caitlin Moran


Caitlin Moran came to stay.

We asked her to share her experience of Watergate Bay in our Another Place magazine.

She said, “Yes.” We said, “AMAZING!” And, this is what she wrote.

I’m not one for exaggeration or hyperbole – I never do them! I am THE WORLD’S LEAST HYPERBOLIC BEING! – but I genuinely can’t imagine someone going Watergate Bay and not loving it.

It’s a place designed to soothe a soul-become-peevish: two days here will melt your hunched-up shoulders back to their normal place.

A week might just prevent you suddenly standing up in the office one day, screaming, “I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!”, stealing the photocopier, and running down the fire-escape, forever.

The idea is simple: mankind becomes sane again when it goes and splashes around in the sea. It turns into a child again – collecting shells, swimming, running. Playing cricket at sunset, stumps in the sand, as the shadows grow longer. Mankind by the sea is the very best kind of mankind.

But as mankind gets older – hits perhaps, say, 38-ish – mankind might want to oscillate between the sometimes visceral effects of the sea, and  – again, say – a hot-tub, in which mankind could drink a margarita. Or perhaps mankind might bang its head a bit on a surfboard, become a little sullen, and need to go for an hour-long massage that smells of rose-oil.

Or it could be that mankind might find a rainy day rather off-putting, since it’s hips started getting this odd ache on colder days – and prefer to sit in a massive squashy armchair, drinking brandy hot-chocolate and reading Riders by Jilly Cooper  – occasionally looking up, through the huge windows, to observe the redoubtable Carl from Extreme Academy tiring its offspring out during an exhilarating, all-day long surf-lesson.

Yes. When mankind thinks about that, that’s really much what mankind would like. Followed by a gigantic dinner, overlooking the sea, with the children excitedly talking about how many “waves” they’ve “popped” while mankind beckons over the wine-waiter and whisper, “Something ballsy in a skull-sized glass, please. And keep it coming.”

As much sleep as you like, in a perfectly-made bed, before waking to find the beach empty and clean again – ready for you to do it all over again, but just slightly differently. Perhaps a cheese toastie for lunch today, and then floating in the pool, then a pedicure, then Monopoly. Oh God, that’s the best day ever.

Every time I’ve come to Watergate Bay, I haven’t left until I’ve booked in for the next time. And each time I book my next stay, I book it for longer than the previous one. And bring friends. Who bring friends. Who all become evangelical.

I have yet to tire of the endless, simple cycle of staying in the sea until I’m hungry or tired, returning to the hotel to be fed or soothed, and then going back into the sea until I’m hungry or tired again. So many places should be able to do this – keep a whole family suspended in a perfectly happy, lavish bubble, on the edge of the sea – but so very, very few do.

So that’s why, if you found it hard to book a room at Watergate Bay this year – “Sorry, that room’s taken” – it was probably my fault. I basically live here now. But now you’re here too, you’ll understand why.

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran was raised in the gutter by wolves and was a columnist for The Times aged 17, because she was desperate to leave Wolverhampton and not share a bedroom with seven siblings. She has won Columnist, Interviewer and Critic of the Year for The Times, and her book, How To Be A Woman, was 2011 Book Of The Year, and has now been published in 32 countries. When she stays at Watergate Bay, her favourite table is the big one by the balcony, which she bagsys no returns.

Electric Beach Ale

Putting the hip in your hops.


New to Electric Beach Festival comes Electric Beach Ale. A specialist, unique blend of flavours from Skinners Ale, ready to put the hip in your hops.

Sip a pint or two this June as you listen to the sounds of Grand Master Flash and Zion Train.

Or if you can’t wait until then head to The Beach Hut for a taste.

Tasting notes.

A stunning summery pale ale brewed using with the finest whole flower hops from around the globe including Citra from the US and 100% Cornish pale malts.

The ale is Skinners way of sponsoring a great local event like Electric beach by doing what we do best and producing an great tasting summer ale. It is named after the festival itself and is going to be available all over the county this year.


Swim Clinic at Watergate Bay Hotel

Due to the success of last years Swim Clinic we recently hosted our second event with Swim Lab over the weekend of 29 & 30 March.


The two day clinic with Salim Ahmed, a professional swim coach from Swim Lab, was designed specifically to allow guests to understand more about their swimming style. The weekend combined land sessions on the importance of streamlining, body alignment and ‘hydro-statics’, with sessions in the pool and video analysis. Front crawl was the focus, but the clinic was developed according to the specific requirements of those in the group.

Our next Swim Clinic weekend is taking place over the weekend of 22 & 23 November. If you would like to book your place please call our reservations team on 01637 861295.

We caught up with journalist, Lucy Fry, who came along to the clinic, to see how she got on.


Lucy Fry – Guest Blogger

”Salim’s Swim Clinic was exactly what I needed. Firstly, it gave me an excuse to go to Cornwall for the weekend, a county where, despite having travelled quite a bit during my thirty years (or so) of life, I had never actually been. Secondly, my attitude towards swimming needed to change, and fast (even faster than my stroke technique). I have a number of triathlons approaching this summer and the swimming had become a bit of a block. But one weekend, three one-hour pool-based swimming lessons and two one-hour coffee-inclusive presentations later, and I emerged… a far more confident, intelligent and enthusiastic freestyle swimmer.

Obviously there’s more still to learn – and to go on learning, I hope, for the rest of my life – but I really felt I’d broken through something this weekend, thanks in part to the restful atmosphere of Watergate Bay (and its beautiful beach-facing indoor pool) and also to Salim’s relaxed coaching style. His own passion for swimming just shines through in the way he teaches, encouraging others to make the best of what they’ve currently got (in terms of fitness levels and ability) as well as to understand the next stage for them as a swimmer, and how to arrive there, all in good time… I noticed a difference in every member of our group (seven in total, and all at different levels), each with our individual ‘ah-ha’ moments, and each with our own frustrations, that Salim gently coaxed us to regard as part of a wider reflection of our natures… irritations and mental blockages, which, if we wanted to, we could change for our betterment, via swimming, a sport that I began to suspect might be the antidote to my stressful, contemporary (and computerised) urban existence.”


Lucy Fry is a London-based freelance writer with a fitness habit! She writes for a broad variety of publications including Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Easy Jet Traveller and Outdoor Fitness. She’s set herself the challenge of a few Triathlons this year so is currently training (vaguely…) for those.

The next Swim Clinic will take part on 22 & 23 November 2014.

Harry, Josh and Mark

Harry, Josh and Mark are three local guys who all have a passion for watersports, Harry and Josh are sponsored by the Extreme Academy and Mark is sponsored by GUL. Be it surfing or kitesurfing you’ll regularly find these three in the ocean.

We caught up with them to see where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to over the last month.

Harry Timson

“The past month here at Lakeys, Indonesia, has been hectic to say the least. The waves have not stopped, pumping the whole time. I’ve been spending all day, every day in the water, surfing perfect barrels that people would give their right arm for back home in Cornwall!

During my down time I’ve visited one of the local schools and met some of the happiest, funniest kids! They were all so excited to be at school learning and quickly asked me for tips of speaking English. I taught them a few words which they picked up so quickly it wasn’t long before they were asking me how the waves were at home. Oh and then they all beat me at football (now i know why I picked surfing).

I only have a couple of weeks left here before I’m back surfing at Watergate, which I’m really looking forward to. See you all soon!”


Mark ‘Egor’ Harris

“For a while I’ve had this idea in my head, and this month I trailed it. I’ve always wanted to mount a camera to the back of my board and capture images from inside a barrel, ‘tubes’. I had to wait, patiently, for the right conditions; offshore, hollow waves, sunshine and the right wind so I could take the photos.

This is what I got. I’m really happy with the result and can’t wait for bigger waves so I can take bigger and better photos.

Aside from playing in the waves I’m also preparing for the English Nationals. I have a new surfboard arriving next week to test in the waves of Watergate Bay so I’m hoping I’ll be fighting fit and ready to take on the competition.”


Josh Coombes

“The past month has been pretty poor in terms of wind, either it’s been too light or there’s been too much of a Southerly force to it. However, due to these conditions the surf has been epic!

When I’m not able to kite surf, I try and spend as much time in the water surfing, which helps towards the progression of my favoured sport. And when times are quiet like this, I also try and train as much as possible away from the beach, using the gym daily and going for frequent runs.

I’ve also spent a bit of time testing some new products for C-SKINS wetsuits, including a kite surf designed suit that will not flare on the legs when water is exposed there. So far, it’s fantastic and the finished result will be the best on the market.

Hoping for more wind through April/May!”


Flotsam artist, Jo Atherton

Jo Atherton is a local artist who uses the marine litter as her inspiration to create individual pieces of Flotsam and Jetsam art work. We recently caught up with Jo, take a look a the pieces of art she puts together with other peoples rubbish…


Jo Atherton – Guest Blogger

The saying goes that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and this is certainly the case for me. I am an artist who creates intricate tapestries with flotsam gathered from the Atlantic coast of Cornwall.

I am repeatedly drawn back to Watergate beach to collect material for my flotsam weaving. Jutting out into the North Atlantic Current, a tributary of the Gulf Stream, this coastline serves as a unique collection point for material from all over the planet.

A stroll along this beach never fails to provide a thought-provoking artefact for me to include in my tapestries. My favourite finds from Watergate include lobster pot tags from as far away as Newfoundland, Canada, and small pieces of Lego. In 1997, a container carrying these popular Danish toys fell off a cargo ship close to Land’s End and fragments are still washing ashore today.

Much like the stone tools, pottery and metals that archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will one day signify our own throwaway society. I am captivated by the stories behind the objects I find – Where did they come from? How did they end up in the sea? What was their intended use?

Tidal currents ignore nations and boundaries when delivering marine litter to new shores. Rather than foster a culture of blame, by weaving with these international objects, I am hinting at the need for a shared responsibility when dealing with the important environmental issue of marine litter.

Initially the intricacies and vibrant colours of my weavings are striking, but on realising they are comprised completely from marine debris, their existence becomes all the more alarming. Worryingly, Greenpeace reports that the marine plastics problem is now affecting all of the world’s oceans. It is the cause of injuries and deaths for numerous marine creatures, either through entanglement or they are poisoned, mistaking plastics for prey.

Next time you visit Watergate, why not see what has delivered to our shores and leave the beach a little bit cleaner as a result? There are many objects out there that have travelled thousands of miles, and who knows, you just might be lucky enough to find a piece of Lego!


Joanna has been selected to exhibit her unique weavings in a solo show later this year at Space2 Gallery in Watford, England. ‘Flotsam’ will be taking place during May and June 2014. This builds on the success of participating in Not A Drop, a 48-hour arts event in London that used creativity to draw attention to the ecological, social and political issues associated with water.

Joanna recently won the Gateway Gallery art competition and looks forward to a solo show at London Luton International Airport. ‘Beyond The Horizon’ will take place later this year in the main terminal building and will feature a collection of large flotsam weavings created in response to the liminal nature of the airport space.

A former Fellow of Digswell Arts Trust, Joanna was recently invited to return as a Trustee. She is Artist in Residence at St Francis’ College in Letchworth, and writes a monthly column in the Hertfordshire Visual Arts newsletter. She has an MA in Cultural & Critical Studies from Birkbeck College,University of London and a BA (Hons) in English Literature from King Alfred’s College,University of Winchester.

SAS Beach Clean at Watergate Bay

In the wake of the winter storms that recently battered the UK, Surfers Against Sewage called upon the coastal communities to volunteer to organise SAS Big Spring Beach Clean on 28, 29, 30 & 31 March to help tackle the marine litter crisis. Relentless storms have brought with them severe flooding, continuous sewage discharges, extreme coastal erosion and revealed the shocking scale of the marine litter crisis our oceans and beaches are facing. Coastal communities, including Watergate Bay, have found their beaches littered with cotton bud sticks, shipping crates, carrier bags, water bottles, fishing netting, cigarette butts, mermaid’s tears – the vast majority of it plastics.

The response of coastal communities to this crisis has been truly inspiring and SAS asked us all to unite for the biggest ever Big Spring Beach Clean to deliver at least 150 beach cleans spanning all UK coastal counties. On 29 March local volunteers joined the Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean at Watergate Bay.


In just two hours from the team of 29 volunteers collected 50 bags of rubbish which in total weighed 299kgs.

Throughout Spring, SAS have organised beach cleans from Lands End to John O’Groats with a total of 3,500 volunteers collecting a staggering total of 25 tonnes of marine litter, equivalent to 833,333 1 litre plastic bottles.

A special thanks goes out to Venus who provided hot drinks to all the volunteers, as well as discount on take-away food. Also, Vita Coco Coconut Water who sponsored the Big Beach Clean nationally.




Great Job everyone!

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. This is certainly the case for Jo Atherton who creates pieces of custom artwork with flotsam gathered from the Atlantic coast of Cornwall. We caught up with her recently to see how she is turning marine litter into something more beautiful, whilst helping to clean up our beaches and raise awareness of marine litter. Find out more.


Chocolate and Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a classic American dish, thought to have originated in Alabama. Although our neighbours across the pond tend to eat pecan pie for special events like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we in The Living Space have it on the menu as often as possible. And now you can make it at home whenever you want.


Serves 12


Chocolate base
250g 60% dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
400g caster sugar
80g plain flour
80g cocoa powder
10g baking powder
4 eggs
1 egg yolk

Pecan topping
4 eggs
140g dark brown sugar
80g golden syrup
80g maple syrup
70g unsalted butter
40g ground almonds
300g pecan nuts


Chocolate base

Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat in thick bottom saucepan.

In a clean bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Sift together all the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Once cooled, mix the chocolate and butter with the eggs and sugar and finally fold in the dry ingredients.

Carefully pour into a 22cm loose bottom tin.

Bake at 170oC for about 35 minutes. The centre should be slightly wobbly and then will sink as it cools out of the oven.


Pecan topping

Mix together the eggs and sugar in a bowl and melt both syrups and butter over a low heat in a thick bottom saucepan.

Once cooled, add the eggs and sugar to the syrup and butter and fold in the almonds and pecans.

Pour the mix on top of the cooled chocolate mixture and bake at 160oC for a further 40 minutes, or until set.

Leave to cool and a cut into 12 small portions.

This pie is very dense and rich so serve with something lighter like crème fraiche or malted milk ice-cream.


Electric Beach Festival 2014

O’Neill presents Electric Beach Festival in association with Ion Cameras.

On Saturday 7 June and Sunday 8 June 2014, Electric Beach Festival returns to Watergate Bay with two days of great music on the beach. Hurry, there are still a few Early Bird tickets left online.


Check out this years line up…

Grand Master Flash


Headlining Electric Beach 2014 is the legendary Grand Master Flash, one of hip hops greatest pioneers. Setting standards in DJ-ing and creating hip hop history with well know tunes like The Message and White Lines, Grand Master Flash is an unmissable act.

Sam and the Womp


Sam and the Womp are a three piece group from the UK, best known for their summer 2012 No.1 single ‘Bom Bom‘. Mixing traditional elements of Balkan music with modern electronic and dance elements they’ll be bringing the ‘electric’ to Electric Beach Festival.

Zion Train


Back by popular demand, Zion Train. After playing Electric Beach 2013, Zion Train said it was their favourite festival of the year so they had to be on this years lineup. Returning with their energetic yet peaceful dub, reggae, dance vibes the entire beach will be on board the train of Zion.

Lloyd Yates


Since picking up a guitar aged 15, Lloyd Yates has been making music ever since. The self-taught musician is often likened to the likes of Ben Howard, Passenger and Bon Iver due to his distinctive singer-songwriter style.

And more…


The People’s String Foundation
Evocative, languid and mellow music of The People’s String Foundation scale the heights of jazz and hip-hop simultaneously.

Maseo (De la Soul)
Producer, DJ, MC Maseo  originates from the legendary group De La Soul and will be taking to the decks of Electric Beach Festival 2014.

Running Numbers
Combining live music with computer based elements, Running Numbers draw upon hip-hop, dubstep and drum n’ bass to create a big, energetic sound.


Dizraeku and the Small Gods
This seven piece band from England unashamedly play heartfelt reinventions of hip hop with a melodic, folk undertone.

Hong Kong Ping Pong
Playing an eclectic mix of dub step to hip hop, Djs Morphosis and Fat Harry have spent years perfecting their sound and becoming known as one of the most fun groups in the South West.

The Scribes
The Scribes are a new wave, four piece group who’s unique talents have combined to create a sound quite unlike any other.

More acts will be announced soon but hopefully that’s piqued your interest enough to buy a ticket online.


Gin Martini

Shaken or stirred?



25ml Noilly Prat
50ml Sipsmith Gin

Garnish with lemon or olive.

Glass: Martini glass


Add 2 scoops of ice into a boston shaker.
Add Noilly Prat and stir ensuring you lift the ice to make sure it’s coated.
Add 50ml Sipsmith gin and stir for 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist or olive.

Find our other cocktail recipes here.