The Beach Blog
Chocolate and Strawberry Valentine's Martini
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to indulge your other half, or yourself, so in celebration of the most romantic day of year, we’ve shared our recipe for a chocolate and strawberry martini, a deliciously decadent blend that is super easy to make.
Shake the cocktail up at home to woo your other half, or invite your friends round and celebrate singledom together.
CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRY MARTINI
Bude in pictures: and interview with Clive Symm of Symages Photography
Clive Symm is a talented Cornish photographer specialising in surf, wedding, commercial, landscape and portrait photography, and over the years he’s taken some fantastic pictures in and around Bude.
We caught up with him recently to find out a little more about the man behind the lens, providing insights into what motivates him, his thoughts on Bude’s fantastic surf scene, and why he loves Bude Sea Pool.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into photography?
I’ve loved photography since I was at school, way before digital cameras were available. I worked at a local supermarket for the whole of the summer to save up and buy my first “proper” camera, a Ricoh KR10 Super and a 50mm lens. I’ve never stopped taking photos since then really. I’ve had a lot of sales jobs with some pretty big companies and being a photographer has always helped to build my profile within these. When I was at JVC I was often given their latest video cameras to take home and test.
You’ve taken some incredible pictures of the surf in and around Bude. What is it that motivates you to take pictures of surfing in particular?
Having surfed myself since the age of about 14 it’s a great way to enjoy two of my passions at the same time. Also taking the odd surf shot has helped me stay focused on the sea when I’ve been unable to surf due to injuries or ill health.
What’s your favourite thing about shooting around Bude?
Bude has a great “vibe” about it, it’s one of those places that always feels welcoming no matter what the weather’s doing, the scenery is stunning and the people are, mostly, friendly. I love just going for an unplanned walk with my camera and seeing what images I can come up with. It’s not often I get home disappointed with the results.
Bude has produced some of the best professional surfers in the country in recent years. Why do you think that is?
I think there’s loads of factors that have attributed to the success of our local surfers. Obviously we have some quality waves within a few miles of Bude and depending on the tide our local beaches can be surfed at almost any size. There aren’t that many days when there’s no surf. I’ve been doing this a long time and seen the amount of time and effort these athletes spend in the water improving their skills. They’re training constantly which makes a huge difference to their performance. There’s a great community spirit locally.
Bude Wave Riders, run by volunteers, offer a great introduction into surfing for very little outlay. Also our more experienced surfers seem quite happy to share their knowledge with the young, up and coming, super keen, groms. We have some excellent surf schools, some of which run “elite” clubs for the up and coming kids that show potential. They can even get one-on-one coaching from British and European champions if they want it. Obviously media coverage is a huge part of everything these days. Luckily we have some great local photographers and videographers who spend a lot of time, in and out of the water, capturing images and footage of these guys helping to show the world of what they’re capable of.
Do you surf yourself, and if so, where’s your favourite spot?
I do and my favourite local spot has to be any one of Bude’s three beaches. I live a couple of minutes away by foot from Crooklets and like being able to just wander down, check the conditions, get changed at home and be in the water within 10 minutes.
Your portfolio features some beautiful landscape pictures. Where is the most photogenic place you’ve come across in Cornwall?
Thank you, that’s a tough question, the whole of Cornwall is beautiful. I don’t really have a favourite. I’ll check the conditions, the time of year, when the sun sets, etc. and decide where to go on the day, could be anywhere…
We’ve also noticed Bude Sea Pool in lots of your images, and we’ve even shared a few of them ourselves. What do you think the pool brings to the local community?
I think it’s a fantastic facility, one of the best ocean pools in the country, definitely a great tourist attraction which brings people into town. I really enjoy capturing the different moods it seems to have, very photogenic and just 5 minutes from home.
What’s the most memorable or favourite image that you’ve ever taken?
I don’t really have a favourite but this image (below) always comes to mind. It was taken just down the coast from Bude on a very stormy winter day a few years ago. I just love the energy and movement, not to mention the timing of that wave breaking against the cliff in the background…
What would your ideal day in Bude consist of?
It would be warm and sunny with light offshore winds and the surf at first light would be about 4ft and clean. That’s when I’d get in for a wave. After a couple of hours I’d get out look back and see the surf building to 8ft. I’d check my phone for messages and see that the Ash brothers (two of my favourite local surfers) where going in for a wave. I’d grab my camera and shoot them until they got out. Have a quick look at the photos I’d taken and then head down to the sea pool for the sunset and maybe stay a little later to photograph the stars reflected in the water. Then on to The Beach for a drink at the bar.
Dry January is officially over, and to celebrate the occasion we’re sharing a delicious cocktail for you to try at home. Combining zesty lime, fresh mint, and prosecco, this cocktail is a brilliant twist on a classic mojito, with a refreshingly exotic flavour that we can’t get enough of.
Skinny Prosecco is also lower in sugar than your average bottle of bubbly, so it’s a healthier option if you’re sticking to the clean eating plan. Have a go at making the cocktail yourself at home, or head to our bar and request one.
– 1 lime sliced into quarters
– 25ml gomme syrup
– 10 mint leaves
– 50ml white rum
– Skinny prosecco
– Muddle the lime and mint leaves in the bottom of a sturdy glass,
– Add the gomme syrup and continue to muddle,
– Half fill the glass with ice and pour over the rum,
– Carefully transfer the mix to your desired serving glass,
– Fill to the top with Skinny Prosecco.
The best coverage of 2017
Our hotel, bar and restaurant received some fantastic coverage and reviews in 2017, with lots of great feedback from some brilliant sources.
Have a read of some of our favourite features, and if you’d like to enjoy a stay or meal with us, give us a call on 01288 389800.
The team at London Unattached nominated their top boutique hotels across the UK, and ours was in the top seven favourites. Kay Woolley stayed with us for one night in October and said ‘Bude is another North Cornish town which is following in the footsteps of Padstow and Wadebridge with refurbished hotels, shops and other facilities making it an ideal base from which to explore the whole area.’
She also particularly enjoyed the food and restaurant, adding that ‘the menu makes good use of the fresh produce available in Cornwall. I chose to drink the Sauvignon Blanc which perfectly complemented the food. Each dish was tasty and beautifully presented, the service was good without being overly attentive.’
Read the whole article here.
The Daily Telegraph
Our hotel was featured in the Daily Telegraph in February of 2017 in a round up of it’s favourite luxury hotels in Cornwall, The Cream of The Crop. Of our hotel, it said: ‘the vibe is contemporary, young and unpretentious, though its a hotel enjoyed by folk of all ages. Rooms are flooded with dazzling north Cornwall light – at least on sunny days – and contain big baths perfect for warming up after a swim or surf.’
We were featured in Prima magazine’s 2017 Holiday Hot List, and our hotel described as a ‘gorgeous boutique bolthole, which overlooks Summerleaze Beach and has 16 beautiful rooms’.
Our hotel was included in Red magazine’s 20 Of The Best Boutique Beach Hotels In Europe, and we were thrilled to read such a positive review of our hotel and restaurant: ‘soothing bedrooms are decked out in a New England style and many look out to sea. Joe Simmonds heads up the restaurant with dishes like seared king scallops and butter and tarragon poached hake fillet’.
Read the full article here.
Country & Town House
We were featured in Country & Town House’s Great British Hotels, with the comment ‘the hottest of Cornish hotspots, The Beach at Bude is a skilfully updated Victorian house, retaining its original character, but with decoration that feels fresh and modern and looks the epitome of seaside chic. The groovy Beach Bar positively hums at weekends, with its inventive cocktail menu and summer terrace drawing a young crowd.’
Read the full article here.
The Sunday Times
In October we were delighted to be included in The Sunday Times 100 Great British Hotels list with a brilliant write up: “The Beach’s terrace is Cornwall at its most photogenic, packed with beautiful young things in floaty slip dresses and Orlebar Brown leisurewear, accessorised with Ray-Bans and Cornish mules. (That’s a vodka-based cocktail, by the way.) Even this crowd isn’t nearly as cool as the view: it takes in one of the best beaches in Britain, Summerleaze, with a tidal pool and rows of pastel huts.”
Our brilliant head chef Joe Simmonds was recognised as one to watch for 2018 by Olive Magazine, contributing to getting Bude to be more widely recognised as a foodie destination and ‘drawing a crowd’ to our AA awarded restaurant.
Spiced hake fillet with roast artichokes
Our head chef Joe Simmonds has very kindly shared his recipe for a delicious and hearty dish that’s guaranteed to impress dinner guests: spiced hake fillet with roast artichokes. This recipe serves four people and would make a great meal to enjoy in the colder months of autumn and winter.
4 fillets of hake
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
500g Jerusalem artichokes
1 pack of cooked flatpack chestnuts (you can normally buy these in most supermarkets around Christmas)
200g of Brussel sprouts
100g of smoked streaky bacon or pancetta
200g of clams (or you can substitute for another shellfish)
2 medium sized shallots
1 sprig of thyme
2 cloves of garlic
500ml of chicken stock
1 large baking potato, diced
100ml of double cream
Knob of butter
Crispy kale (optional)
- Lightly toast the cumin, cinnamon and ginger in a dry pan, for 2-3 minutes until it smells aromatic. Leave to cool.
- For the artichoke and clam chowder, dice one onion. Sweat that off with a knob of butter in a heavy base pan for about 5 minutes. Then add one sprig of thyme, two cloves of garlic, 50g of the Jerusalem artichokes and the potato. Cook those off for another 5 minutes together.
- Cut the streaky bacon into small strips and add to the pan.
- Add 500ml of chicken stock. Preferably fresh, from a supermarket or you can make your own. Bring to boil and then turn to simmer, until the potatoes and artichokes are cooked. Put this to one side.
- With the remaining artichokes, wash and cut in half. Put them face down on a baking tray with a little bit of oil, roast them in the oven for about 30/40 minutes until tender and a nice golden colour on base.
- For Brussel sprouts, boil in a pan for 5 minutes. Put into ice water.
- Return to chowder, add 100ml of cream and then blitz in a liquidiser until smooth and season to taste.
- Place the hake fillets flesh side down in the cooled spices. Heat a non-stick frying pan, with a tiny dash of oil.
- Shake off any excess spice from the hake fillets and place skin-side down in the pan, holding it so the skin stays flat and goes crispy. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn over, and add knob of butter, and pop it in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Reheat the chowder with 200g of clams until they open. Put the chowder in a large soup bowl and then place artichokes, sprouts and chestnuts around. Place the hake fillet in the middle, and garnish with crispy kale if you like.
You could be in with a chance of winning a two night weekend stay with us here at The Beach.
All you need to do is like our Facebook page by 17 December 2017, and you will be entered into a draw for a weekend away, with dinner and breakfast included.
As if that wasn’t good enough, we will also be giving away 50 ‘two for the price of one’ lunch vouchers to celebrate the launch of our new daytime menu, AND 50 coffee and cake for two vouchers.
Head to our Facebook page and click ‘like’ before 17 December. Winners will be notified via Facebook.
Terms and conditions:
The prizes cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
The two night stay prize can be used for any week-end between 17 December and Easter, excluding the week between Christmas and New Year, and is dependent on availability.
The lunch and coffee & cake vouchers can be used at any time, but are also dependent on availability.
The Beach in the press
We’ve cropped up in the press several times in the last few months, and we’re incredibly proud of the great reviews and positive feedback we’ve received.
Here are a few of the latest clippings. If you like what you see, give us a call!
In October we were delighted to be included in The Sunday Times 100 Great British Hotels list. Here’s what they had to say about us:
“The Beach’s terrace is Cornwall at its most photogenic, packed with beautiful young things in floaty slip dresses and Orlebar Brown leisurewear, accessorised with Ray-Bans and Cornish mules. (That’s a vodka-based cocktail, by the way.) Even this crowd isn’t nearly as cool as the view: it takes in one of the best beaches in Britain, Summerleaze, with a tidal pool and rows of pastel huts. The ground floor is dominated by a huge bar with a brushed zinc counter, and there’s an informal bistro overseen by Joe Simmonds (once of the Bath Priory’s Michelin-starred kitchen). The 16 rooms are chic, with dainty prints and limed oak furniture, and all have at least king-size beds.”
In August, we were included in a roundup of the most stunning restaurant views in the country by the Daily Mail.
“Situated right on the coast in North Cornwall, The Beach at Bude is a rightly popular restaurant, bar and hotel with sweeping views across spectacular Summerleaze Beach and the Atlantic.”
Read the full article here.
Cornish journalist Lee Trewhela included us in his Cornish Guardian article looking at the coolest places in Cornwall.
“[Bude has] this wonderful boutique hotel: a fantastic restaurant with some of the best food in Cornwall, a great bar, chic rooms and that view over Summerleaze Beach.”
Back in the summer, we went State-side. USA Today included the hotel in a roundup of 20 scenic beside hotels in Great Britain.
Cheese scones with onion jam
Our head chef Joe Simmonds has put together a wonderfully simple recipe for cheese scones and onion jam, a great combination that would be perfect for a quick but delicious lunch, or a mid-afternoon snack. This recipe makes 8 – 10 scones, and they’re best enjoyed fresh from the oven, with a chunk of butter and a healthy dollop of the jam.
For the scones:
225g self raising flour
pinch of salt
55g unsalted butter
40g mature cheddar, grated
For the onion jam:
Three large white onions
200ml balsamic vinegar
100g demerara suger
Splash of vegetable oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (fan).
- Peel and slice the onions as finely as possible. Add a splash of vegetable oil to a heavy-based pan and put on a medium heat.
- Sweat off the onions very slowly until they are nice and golden and soft. Make sure this is done gently – this could take up to two hours, stirring occasionally.
- While the onions are cooking, work butter, salt and flour together in a mixing bowl with your fingers, until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency.
- Add 30g of the cheddar to the bowl.
- Slowly add the milk while working the mixture with your hands, until it comes together as a dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until one inch thick.
- Use a circular cutter to cut out the scones. (A two inch cutter should give you 8-10 scones.) Transfer to a baking tray.
- Egg wash each scone using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top.
- Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
- While they are cooling and once the onions are cooked, add the balsamic vinegar and demerara sugar to the pan.
- Heat the mixture uncovered on a low heat until the liquid has reduced right down and become sticky. This will take around 30 minutes, and you’ll need to stir it every few minutes.
- Place the jam into a Kilner jar and store in the fridge. Spoon out the jam whenever you are ready to enjoy with the cheese scones!
We want to say a big congratulations to the guys that took part in The Smugglers’ Challenge.
The team of four Bude locals set off from the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth on 29 August, aiming to paddle a surfboard almost 300 miles around the Cornish coastline, finishing up in Bude.
The weather, unfortunately, had other ideas. The team completed the stretch along the south coast without any problems, and were making incredible time. However, as the weather set in, it soon became clear that the exposed north coast would just be too risky. There’s very little shelter up there, and not many opportunities to dive into harbours for cover.
At the half way point, the team followed the advice of the coastguard and turned around to paddle back to Plymouth. The total mileage was around the same as it would have been if they’d made it to Bude, so it was still an amazing accomplishment.
The goal was to raise money for two cancer charities – Force and Cancer Research UK. We held a fundraising dinner in at The Beach in August, with all proceeds going directly to the challenge, and have been donating £5 from every three course lunch sold in September. To date we have contributed around £6,500 to the challenge, and have been very happy to support them the whole way.
Donations can still be made via the Smugglers’ Challenge website here. They are very close to their £30,000 target.
We have plans in place for a big finish celebration in early November, to mark the completion of this amazing challenge. Watch this space for more information.
Take a look at the video below for more on the challenge, and the story that inspired it.
An interview with Fretted Knot
If you’ve been into our bar on a Sunday afternoon, you may have noticed some live music being played from one of our very talented resident musicians, Fretted Knot, an acoustic duo made up of Mark Wilson on guitar and Buster Cottam on the bass. The talented pair play a great selection of covers and their own songs in acoustic, folky and reggae styles, the perfect recipe for the ultimate Sunday soundtrack. We had a chat with Mark to find out a little bit more about the band…
Firstly, how did you get into music?
After listening to my older brother’s CD collection of artists such as Jimmy Hendrix, Radiohead, Ash and lots more, I knew that creating music was something I definitely wanted to try. So I started guitar lessons with a few different teachers; some were classical and others more folk or rock influenced, but I loved learning anything I could get my hands on.
What can people expect when they see Fretted Knot perform at The Beach?
We play a mixture of covers and originals, and the set can vary from John Martyn and The Beatles, to Nirvana and The White Stripes. Most of the covers will have our own twist on a song to make it a little different. For example, we play the White Stripes’ rock song Seven Nation Army in a reggae style, and Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box is played on a lap steel guitar, which gives it a slight country and folky feel.
How did you and Buster meet and why do you think you work so well together as a duo?
We met through a mutual friend when Mark moved to Bude and we work very well together, but we couldn’t say exactly why. Maybe because we both have beards?!
Who, what and where inspires you the most?
The North Cornish coast is a great place to live for inspiration, not to mention the friends and family we have here.
Do you prefer to write and play your own music or play covers?
If it’s a cover we can relate to and put our own twist on then that’s easily as enjoyable as performing an original song, because you’ve still done something creative and made it your own.
What would be your ultimate Sunday soundtrack?
(press play and have a listen)
What’s the best and worst gig you’ve ever done?
The worst gig was at a festival where the acoustic stage was next to a fairground waltzer playing very loud Techno, and the best gig was a showcase event at Ronnie Scotts in London. There was an awesome crowd and it’s a great venue.
What are your favourite songs to play?
Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder. It’s got great lyrics that are still very relevant today.
What’s your opinion on the music scene in Cornwall?
There’s some excellent festivals and venues in Cornwall, but it would also be great to see more showcase events for local singer-songwriters and bands.