Author Archives: frankie

Guest blog – Tigerlilly Quinn

You may remember Instagrammer and lifestyle blogger Fritha, Tigerlilly Quinn from a previous guest blog, where the Mummy of two visited without her babies. Upon leaving the bay after her first visit, Fritha couldn’t resist returning, this time bringing along her family including Wilf (6) and Mabli (2).

Tigerlilly Quinn family outside watergate bay

Hello I’m Fritha from Tigerlilly Quinn, you might remember I wrote a guest post this time last year when I was lucky enough to visit the hotel with friends. I was so pleased to be invited back this spring with the kids in tow, to experience all the hotel has to offer for families. I’ve also written a post over on my blog about our experience so do check it out for even more pictures.

It probably won’t be a surprise to hear that we loved our time here as a family but I wanted to detail the things we found particularly useful for kids that are two and six.

living space tigerlilly quinn

Our room

We had a family suite which consisted of a large room with king size bed and a separate small room with bunk beds. The kids have bunks at home so they felt at ease immediately and I loved that had their own little tv which helped with the early morning wake ups when they could watch cartoons before breakfast.

breakfast at Zacry's tigerlilly quinn

Food and restaurants

I was so excited to show the kids the waffle station at breakfast and it didn’t disappoint. My son Wilf (who is six) is still talking about it and asking us to make it a regular thing at home. I don’t think any other waffles will really compare though. One of our favourite thing about the hotel is how set up it is for families and the food is one of the things that make it so easy. In each of the restaurants we all found things we all loved which is always such a relief and there was a great selection for veggies too.

Our favourite place to eat as a family was The Living Space as it has such a chilled out vibe, during school holidays there is even a little room to the side of the restaurant filled with beanbags & kids activities so they can run and play in there whilst you are waiting for your meal. We also loved The Beach Hut with its views straight out onto the beach.

Zacry's Tigerlilly Quinn

Fun Activities

On our last night we had a child free dinner in Zacry’s which was such a treat. We used the video monitor to check on our toddler whilst our son was at the evening Kids club. We could have also used the baby sitting service which we might try on another visit. Our room was so close to the restaurant that when Mabli did wake up (just as we were finishing off pudding) my husband was up in the room with her in three minutes.

swim club pool tigerlilly quinn

Swim Club and the pool

The beautiful pool was a must each morning after breakfast and it’s perfect for small kids as there is a shallow pool for them too and dedicated family time so if you are visiting without children you can enjoy it kid free too.

Kids’ Zone

If you ask Wilf he will say his absolute favourite thing about our stay was the kids club. He got stuck in straight away and came home with so many crafts. The people that work there are so kind and attentive we always felt 100% confident with him in their care. My daughter who has just turned two was a bit little for the club (as we stayed in the school holidays, there is a younger club for 6m to 3 during term time) but we were able to play with both kids there when the supervised club times were over.

painting in kids zone tigerlilly quinn

We had such a wonderful time as a family on our long weekend at Watergate Bay and would definitely book in again next year. It really does have something for everyone and has managed to successfully mixed luxury with family friendly.

Tigerlilly Quinn

Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn lives in Bristol with her Husband Tom, son Wilf (6), baby daughter Mabli (2) and two cats (Rockie and Maddie). She has a multi award winning blog about her life, featuring fashion, travel, interiors and lots more besides.

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

Groundwork contemporary art

Cornwall may be known for its surfing hotspots, clotted cream ice-cream and the dashing hero, Ross Poldark. But this May, Cornubian Arts & Science Trust, is set to add to Cornwall’s creative oeuvre as they launch Groundwork, a season of international contemporary art across South West Cornwall.

Groundwork contemporary art

Groundwork contemporary art

CAST launches Groundwork this May, a season of international contemporary art in Cornwall from May to September. Exhibitions and events will take place in special locations including Goonhilly, Helston Museum, Par beach and Godolphin.

With a focus on place and an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, Groundwork will open this May bank holiday (5-7) and run until September 2018. Organised by CAST, the programme will present exhibitions of new commissions, together with existing works by internationally acclaimed artists, and one-off events in unusual locations across South West Cornwall.

Groundwork contemporary art

Groundwork will provide experiences and events ranging from the intimate to the spectacular. Highlights include:

CAST, 5 May – 3 June

Turner Prize and Oscar winner Steve McQueen’s film ‘Gravesend’, exploring the mining of coltan, the mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops, will be shown in a specially constructed black box projection space at CAST, with ‘Unexploded’, made by McQueen when he was sent to Iraq as a war artist and filmed – from multiple perspectives – a crater left by an unexploded bomb in a building in Basra.

Goonhilly Earth Station, 5 May – 3 June

Artist duo Semiconductor are making a new moving image work for Groundwork. ‘As the World Turns’ questions how we experience nature through the language of science and technology, combining video footage filmed at Goonhilly Earth Station with scientific data acquired through the process of radio astronomy.

National Trust Godolphin, 5 May – 24 June

Christina Mackie’s ‘The Judges II’, an installation inspired by the rock formations of New South Wales and by ideas of geological, mythical and personal time, will be presented in the Kings Room at National Trust Godolphin.

Kestle Barton, 5 May – 8 July

Manon de Boer’s new moving image commission ‘Bella, Maia and Nick (From nothing to something to something else, Part I)’, will be presented in the gallery at Kestle Barton. Filmed at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, the work portrays three local music students experimenting with new sounds and rhythms, continuing de Boer’s fascination with the importance of ‘open time’ in providing the conditions for creation.

Par Beach, 22 – 24 June

Passage for Par is a dance performance created especially for and presented on Par Beach, conceived and directed by choreographer Rosemary Lee. At the turn of the tide 30 women will rhythmically snake their way across the tidal landscape, tracing meandering pathways through the wet sand, their outlines etched against the sea and sky.

Groundwork contemporary art

A number of special one-off events will also take place over the opening weekend. You can find more information about these and about exhibitions throughout the summer on the Groundwork website.

CAST will be the hub for Groundwork activity and CAST Café will be open for extended hours over the opening weekend and throughout the programme.
Groundwork is organised by CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust), in partnership with Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives.

To learn more about Groundwork, visit their website.

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

The Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb

The new Watergate Bay Speed Hillclimb, Cornwall’s only motorsport event on a closed public road, will take place on the weekend of 15 & 16 September 2018.

Speed Hillclimb

Competitors will tackle the course one at a time to try to record the fastest time along a section of the B3276, the coast road linking Padstow and Newquay. The stretch of road will be temporarily closed to normal road traffic for the duration of the event.

The start of the course will be at Watergate Bay, one of Cornwall’s most popular tourist destinations. On each day of the event, a maximum of 90 cars will be allowed to participate.

Competitors will race in the direction of Newquay, with the breathtakingly beautiful North Cornwall coastline to their right, and cross the finish line 720 metres further up the hill.

Speed Hillclimb

The landmark event, which is being jointly organised by Truro and District Motor Club, Newquay Auto Club and Plymouth Motor Club, has been made possible by the passing of a new law that allows local motor clubs to apply for permission to temporarily close public roads and suspend the Road Traffic Act in order to host motorsport events.

It’s the first closed-road hillclimb to receive approval from the MSA, which governs four-wheeled motorsport in the United Kingdom, and the third closed-road event in all.

Speed Hillclimb

All profits from the inaugural running of the event will be donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance and the Cornwall Food Foundation, which includes Jamie Oliver’s apprentice training scheme at Watergate Bay’s Fifteen restaurant.

Speed Hillclimb

A poster advertising the event in previous years.

Speed Hillclimb

To join us at this thrilling event in September, book to stay at Watergate Bay Hotel.

Ultimate Library – guest blog

When Ultimate Library was asked to curate the Library at Watergate Bay, we were honoured. We knew how important this task would be after learning that Swim Club (in which the Library would sit) was the main area of relaxation in the hotel – aside from the beach of course!

Sunlit Ocean Room Watergate Bay Hotel Cornwall © Kirstin Prisk

Watergate Bay, a beachfront hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, is a well-designed, well-functioning centre of activity all year round.

The Ocean Room, situated in the Swim Club, is the hotel’s clever take on a family friendly spa: it features a 25-metre infinity pool, a café bar, a cardio room, treatment rooms and a living room with tables, sofas and views of the beach.

Judi Blakeburn Ocean Room

For the Library at Watergate Bay we put together a collection of books for adults and children. In total, there are about 200 titles to choose from, ranging from reference titles on Cornwall to recent bestselling fiction.

The book collection was made up of eight core subjects: Cornwall, water, wellbeing, food & drink, children, natural history, travel and fiction. The eight core subjects represent key elements of the hotel’s brand identity and were worked out between Ultimate Library and Watergate Bay beforehand.

Books on Cornwall are intended to educate visitors on where they are. Books on water are there to broaden an interest in activities like swimming and surfing which are offered by the hotel. Wellbeing books, such as books on sleep and mindfulness, reflect the importance of relaxation while at the hotel as well as the spa treatments available. Finally books on food & drink, travel, natural history and fiction for both adults and children ensure there is something for everyone who stays here.

Ultimate library ocean room

Our favourite read in the Cornwall selection is most definitely, Under a Mackerel Sky by the celebrated British chef, Rick Stein. Not only does it have the celebrity factor but it also has the truth element of what it’s like to live all year round in Cornwall. In the Water series, the Ultimate Library team absolutely loves Swim: Why We Love the Water, by Lynn Sherr. Sherr makes a compelling selection of facts and fiction on swimming, a key activity for guests of Watergate Bay.

Given that Watergate Bay is one of the few hotels in the UK that offers a surf school, books on surfing were an important addition to the broader library collection. One of the most interesting titles we picked is A Brief History of Surfing, by Matt Warshaw. This reference title comprises of lots of short essays that talk to the history of surfing, which is both funny and thrilling.

Ultimate library ocean room

For the children, we organised the reading material by age group so that there is reading material for every age starting from 4+. There are plenty of recognisable children’s titles and authors that children and their parents will find comfort in while being away from home. Books have a great ability to re-create a sense of homeliness in an otherwise foreign surrounding. A few of the classics we included in the collection at Watergate Bay were: Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, J.K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll.

Ultimate library ocean room

Guests of all ages and groups will spend a large part of their day in the Living Space, so offering forms of entertainment such as books was important to the hotel management team. To quell concerns about books wandering off, Ultimate Library worked with Watergate Bay to create bespoke bookplates that sit on the front page of every book and explain how to use and maintain the books. Placing the hotel logo alongside politely scripted text has the power to reduce shrinkage considerably.


We are great believers in the transformative power of books and believe anyone can enjoy a good book, particularly if one has a good setting, just like the setting of the Library at Watergate Bay. Sitting in one of the hotel’s comfy sofas, hearing the waves roll in and reading a good book is not bad at all!

Join us in the ocean room at Watergate Bay Hotel, book to stay.

The ocean room library

Overlooking the sea, in the warmth of Swim Club. We don’t think there’s any place we’d rather curl up with a book than in our Ocean Room. Thanks to Ultimate Library, our guests are able to browse the bespoke, carefully curated library for the titles that best fit the hotel and it’s location.


Founded in 2007, Ultimate Library have made it their mission to improve hotel book collections, with carefully selected book lists that perfectly match the location, whether it’s a huge resort or a small boutique hotel. They believe in book collections to educate, entertain and inspire that add warmth and soul to rooms.

Judi Blakeburn Ocean Room

With views that stretch out over the bay and coffee and pastries readily available at our cafe bar (or if you rather – cocktails and wine), The Ocean Room, in the heart of Swim Club, is the ultimate place to unwind by the fireplace with a good read.

This perfectly compliments our active relaxation ethos. After a hard days surfing and getting out in the elements, guests are able to come back to the ocean room and read about others adventures whilst taking a short break from their own. Guests are also free to bring any of our books back to their rooms for night time reading.


For Watergate Bay, the coast and surf were a huge influence on the books that have been selected; as well as our love of good food and local culture. With many titles from Cornish authors and fictional stories set in Cornwall, our collection perfectly fits the atmosphere of the Bay.

In the library, children will find plenty of books available for them, from authors such as David Walliams, Michael Mopurgo and Roal Dahl. Little ones and not-quite-so-little ones alike will be able to find something to sink into our sofas with, after a day in the Kids’ Zone or with the Extreme Academy.

Judi Blakeburn Ocean Room

Our Top five reads

The Little Book of Cornwall By John Van Der Kiste
A small travel companion with an array of facts on Cornwall’s towns, countryside, history, natural history, people and achievements.

The Secret Life of Sleep By Kat Duff
A comprehensive exploration of sleep from history to science making for captivating reading.

A Brief History of Surfing By Matt Warshaw
Lots of short essays that talk about the history of surfing, which is both funny and thrilling.

Swim : Why We Love the Water By Lynn Sherr
A reference title that explores the sport from biological and literary points. She is a swimming enthusiast who will convert you too.

Under a Mackerel Sky By Rick Stein
A foray into celebrated chef, Rick Stein’s childhood in North Cornwall in the 1950s. A classic no doubt.

Do you like the idea of curling up with a book in Swim Club? Find out more about our ‘Taste of the Bay’ three night break here.

The Blackforest cocktail

Our team in The Beach Hut have taken the traditional flavour of a Blackforest gateau and created a true crowd pleasing cocktail for any new year party. Luckily for you, they’ve let us share the recipe.

blackforest cocktail

Serves one


25ml Kahlua
25ml Raspberry vodka
A spoonful of chocolate powder
4 fresh raspberries
A couple of spoonfuls of fresh cream


Add a small dash of water to the chocolate powder and mix to make a thick liquid.
Combine the Kahlua, raspberry vodka, chocolate, raspberries and a few cubes of ice in a cocktail shaker.
Pour the mixture into a tumbler glass and gently add your fresh cream on top to create a thin layer.
To garnish:
Place a raspberry on top of the fresh cream layer and lightly dust with chocolate powder.


The Blackforest cocktail is now being served in The Beach Hut.

Lizzie Outside – guest blog

Lizzie Outside is an adventure blogger and record breaking stand-up paddle boarder, earlier this year she became the first woman to stand up paddle board solo across the English Channel. Here’s what happened when she swapped her SUP for a surf board on the surf course weekend with the Extreme Academy.

In early September I was invited to join Watergate Bay’s two-day surf school. As someone who is interested in trying everything at least once and, having surfed only twice before (badly I should add), I jumped at the chance. Two full days of surfing under expert tutelage would give me the opportunity to improve my technique and the thought that I might actually learn to ride wave was too tempting to turn down.

The surf school itself was not disappointing. It was intense but I threw myself into all aspects of it and came away from my time exhausted but proud of what I had achieved. Learning a new skill as an adult is incredibly rewarding and although there were some frustrating moments I was genuinely pleased with what I’d accomplished over those two days. My group was small (just the three of us) but that meant we all received a lot of individual attention on the water and formed strong bonds together very quickly – and that also added to the quality of the experience.

Lizzie Outside - Two day surf course lesson

After the briefing it was time to hit the water. We had perfect conditions – a light onshore wind and bluebird skies. After a short practice on the beach to familiarise ourselves with the boards and kit we were on out in the ocean.

I spent the afternoon trying to figure out the water – when the right time to start paddling was, when the moment to ‘pop’ up was, which wave was the right one to go after. A lot of surfing, I learnt, was about reading the water and conditions – and although that takes time I could feel my sense for it was marginally improving as the day went on.

Lizzie Outside - Two day surf course sea

Stopping for an afternoon coffee and cake was a welcome break – I was pretty exhausted and the caffeine fix was exactly what I needed before we headed back out for a sunset session.

The next morning was an early start and rather than get straight on the water we hit the yoga studio for an hour of stretching. My shoulders were quite tight from prone paddling all day and this was exactly the medicine to loosing up, ready for day two.

My confidence came in fits and starts on the first day and was often dictated by the quality of the last ride. If I face planted into the water I’d feel downbeat and that would impact how well the next ride went. It was a bit of a catch 22.

Starting off day two was completely different – I had decided to ease the pressure on myself and simply enjoy the process of learning with its highs and lows. I entered into the morning surf feeling confident and positive and my surfing immediately improved. My instructor, Pete, who had guided me through the learning process throughout was on hand to help me refine and perfect the areas that would either keep me on the board for longer or get me up when I failed to catch a wave.

I finished the course full of confidence and excitement about my next surfing experience. I wasn’t a professional by any standard but I was able to catch a wave, ride it and feel that sense of satisfaction that comes from it and makes people get back on the water time and time again.

You can join us for two nights and learn to surf on the surf course. Find out more about Lizzie Outside here.

Twelve gins of Christmas

Here at Watergate Bay Hotel, it’s no secret that we love gin. So, our Christmas gift to you is a list of our favourites, including some more unique variations – Christmas pudding gin anyone?

Introducing our twelve gins of Christmas…

12 days of gin

The Wrecking Coast Distillery Cornish Honey Sloe Gin

Sweetness from the Cornish wildflower honey with warming Christmas spice.

A seasonal and very limited edition gin, crafted with handpicked Tintagel sloes, Cornish spring water and a hint of winter spice.

How we serve it: Garnished with lemon peel and Fever Tree Lemon Tonic.

Conker Dorset Dry Gin

Refreshing and smooth.

A proper classic gin with the subtle addition of elderberries, samphire and hand-picked New Forest Gorse Flowers to the collection of 10 botanicals.

How we serve it: Garnished with lime peel and London Essence Grapefruit and Rosemary Tonic.

Stafford’s Gin

Sweet and citrusy.

Infused with botanicals that include lemon balm, rosemary, elderflower and bay foraged from the family owned Clowith Farm situated between Lostwithiel and Fowey, this gin is produced using the premium Aval Dor Cornish Potato Vodka.

How we serve it: Garnished with lemon peel and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.

Christmas pudding gin

Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin

Traditional notes of juniper with layers of citrus and pepper.

A craft gin made from 11 exotic botanicals including Kaffir lime and hibiscus, distilled and blended by a husband and wife team on the banks of the picturesque River Lyn, North Devon.

How we serve it: Garnished with kaffir lime leaf, orange peel and Fever Tree Tonic.

Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin

A festive Christmas G&T, refreshing with hints of dried fruit and spice.

Made by distilling whole Christmas Puddings from Ian’s (the distiller) old family recipe.

How we serve it: Garnished with orange peel, a cinnamon stick and Fever Tree Tonic.

Jynerva Organic Gorsedh Cornish Gin

Floral with a hint of coconut and lime.

Distilled with handpicked wild gorse flowers from an Organic Farm on Bodmin Moor.

How we serve it: Garnished with a flower and Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic.

Gin Cocktails

The Wrecking Coast Distillery Cornish Clotted Cream Gin

Smooth rich and velvety with a hint of spice on the finish.

A small batch gin born in the beautiful coastal town of Tintagel, this clotted cream gin is one of our favourites.

How we serve it: Garnished with lemon peel and blueberries and Fever Tree Tonic.

Tarquins Mulled Cranberry and Tangerine Gin

Spicy and dry with a zesty finish reminiscent of Christmas cake and orange marmalade.

Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin is infused with festive botanicals such as cinnamon, cloves, all spice, nutmeg, ginger and cranberries with tangerine for vibrant freshness.

How we serve it: Garnished with a dried orange slice, cranberries and Fever Tree Tonic.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin

Lovely and sweet with a long juniper and spice character.

Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes steeped in their benchmark Rare Dry Gin for 8 weeks. A combination of rare, native and traditional botanicals include juicy biodynamic and highly aromatic oranges.

How we serve it: Garnished with a slice of orange and Fever Tree Tonic.

Caspyn Gin

Caspyn Cornish Dry Gin

Crisp and fresh with lovely juniper, coriander and citrus zest.

Distilled in small batches to a traditional and aromatic recipe. Supporting the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, means proceeds from every bottle sold are donated to the trust.

How we serve it: Garnished with a slice of lemon, an edible flower and Fever Tree Tonic.

Trevethan Honey Oak Cornish Gin

A kick of juniper followed by citrus and floral notes and subtle spice.

The super new gin from the guys at Trevethan, keeping the old family recipe gin with the addition of aged honey oak.

How we serve it: Garnished with apple, cranberries and Fever Tree Clementine and Cinnamon Tonic.

Curio Cornish ‘Fly Navy’ Gin

Floral and citrusy with an earthy and rich flavour.

Handcrafted in small batches, local to RNAS Culdrose in Helston and supporting ‘Navy Wings.’ Botanicals include Madagascan vanilla, sansho peppers and local Cornish wild heather.

How we serve it: Garnished with pink grapefruit peel and an edible flower

Gin Cocktails

All of our gins are now being served in The Living Space.

What’s on in Cornwall in December

Getting festive is serious business in Cornwall. December is a full month’s worth of festivities, food, drink and centuries-old traditions. With so much going on, we’ve put together a list of things to do in around the county.

Padstow Festival Fireworks

Padstow Christmas Festival, 7-10 December

Probably the county’s best known festive get-together, Padstow’s Christmas Festival takes place from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 December featuring 110 food artisans and producers, plus demos from award-winning chefs – including our very own executive chef Neil Haydock. Expect fireworks, live music, carol concerts and a great lantern parade.

Miracle Theatre Christmas Carol

Miracle Theatre, 14-31 December

Following a sell-out run of “Cinderella” last year. The brilliant Miracle Theatre will be performing their Christmas show “Bah Humbug! A Christmas Carol” at Falmouth Princess Pavillion between 14-31 December.

Eden at Christmas

Eden – Meet Santa and see the Light and Sound Festival, December

December is a special time to visit Eden this year. Father Christmas and his elves are in residence and the entire landscape is transformed with soundscapes, live music and light projections. You can meet Santa until Christmas Eve, and the Light and Sound Festival runs 8–10, 15–23, 27–30 December.

Pendennis Castle Christmas Events

Pendennis Castle – Nadelick Lowen, 8-10 December

Visit Pendennis Castle to celebrate Nadelick Lowen (Happy Christmas). From Friday 8 to Sunday 10 December 11am – 4pm. Traditional fireside tales, dancing, Cornish carols and card making as well as a good spread of festive food.

Christmas Carols in Cornwall

Christmas carols, December

In the 1800s, Cornishman William Sandys brought Christmas carols back from extinction with his publication ‘Christmas carols, ancient and modern’. In more recent times, you’ll find carols being sung throughout the county. Notably, Truro Cathedral, where you’ll find carol services happening on most evenings throughout December.

Join in with Christmas in Cornwall and book your stay at Watergate Bay Hotel.