The weekend I finally got back onboard!

posted on July 28th, 2011 by sian

I’ve lived in Falmouth for 2 years now and every day I watch the beautiful yachts sail gracefully around the harbour waters. I love being by the water and grew up surrounded by all things nautical; thanks to my dad being an avid (and extremely experienced) sailor! Listening to sea shanties in the car on the way to school was a common occurrence for me with dad at the helm (excuse the pun)!

It is for these reasons why I am extremely ashamed that in my adult life I have forgotten all my sailing skills, I wouldn’t even know my port from my starboard! Terrible! When I was recently asked to tie a fender to the side of a boat, I was totally stumped – how ashamed my dad would be! With this embarrassment came a desire to put things right,  it was definitely time to swot up on my knots, train my sea legs and learn to sail again!

Dad was delighted and quickly booked in a father & daughter sailing weekend on board the White Mistral (or Misty as we like to call her).  Misty is a 33ft Westerly Ketch (I think I got that right), a beautiful yacht moored at Cobbs Quay in Poole Harbour, which dad has the use of thanks to his friend David.

Our sailing weekend came around quickly and I’ll admit I didn’t feel very prepared. I hadn’t looked at the knot book dad had lent me or done any other sailing research but I did have my Seasalt waterproof jacket, sailor shirts and hoodies so I thought I would definitely look the part if nothing else!

It was strange that once on board I felt a lovely sense of familiarity, most probably from my time sailing as a child. It was also lovely to watch my dad in his element, he really comes alive when on a boat and he was so excited to teach me everything he knew.

After eating a takeaway down in the galley with Dad & David on the Friday, I bunked down for the night in my little cabin, bumping my head a few times on the way!

We rose early on the Saturday and after a bit of a safety talk we headed out into the harbour to practise manoeuvring the boat under motor, just to get the feel of how Misty operates. This was a fantastic exercise in observation; considering what the wind and tide were doing as well as what other boats were doing around us, so much to think of at once! Dad gave me the task of approaching a buoy and coming to a complete stop next to it, not an easy task but I mastered it pretty quickly and prompted my dad to joke with David, “Don’t think we’ll bring her again!!”, but whispering to me, “You did great! You’re a natural!” .

In the afternoon we headed out of the harbour into open sea to have a go at proper sailing, getting the sails up and trying my hand at tacking. It was a beautiful day with a steady wind – perfect conditions! After getting over the initial panic of pulling the right ropes, winching the sail tight and dodging the swinging boom, I was really getting into it all! I loved the feeling of being powered by the wind with no motor noise and just the sound of the water rushing by. Amazing!

Life on the water is extremely therapeutic, you don’t have much time to trouble your mind with everyday worries, you are totally focused on what is happening on-board, what the wind is doing and where you’re headed. It’s scary, calming and exhilarating all at the same time! By the end of the day I was left feeling comfortably tired and totally de-stressed – topped off by a rewarding beer back at the Quay!

I totally ‘get’ why so many people love sailing and now understand why nearly everyone down in Falmouth owns a boat of some sort! I realise I am incredibly lucky to live by the water plus Falmouth is so beautiful and rich in nautical culture. I would definately urge all that haven’t done so yet to get out on a boat and give it a go!

Needless to say…I loved my sailing weekend and I shall be back out on the water as soon as I can for my next lesson – there’s so much to learn!

seasalt is coming to Exeter!

posted on July 26th, 2011 by Helen

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be opening the doors to our new shop in Exeter this Saturday 30th July.

To help us celebrate we’ll have lots of Seasalt special offers and also the first of our new arrivals from our Autumn Winter range.

PLUS – we’re offering an extra 10% off everything (including items in the sale!) when you print out the flyer below and bring it to the Exeter shop, which you can use this Saturday and Sunday.

You can find us at 24 Gandy Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS

See you soon!

If you can’t make it to Exeter we may have another Seasalt shop near you – click here to find all our shops.

click on the image and print

big summer sale starts in our shops tomorrow!

posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Helen

For those people who find themselves in this neck of the woods this weekend …. our brilliant big summer sale starts tomorrow across all of our shops in Cornwall, Devon, Guernsey and the Isles of Scilly. We’ll open the doors nice and early at 8am so make sure you get to your nearest Seasalt store to pick up a beauty of a bargain.

We haven’t forgotten those of you who like to shop online with us though … there are big summer sale bargains to be had in our online shop right now!

We have all sorts of special offers and deals on our website all the time so to make sure you don’t miss out on any and sign up to our newsletter today.

enjoying a cucumber glut

posted on July 21st, 2011 by Emma Raczkowski

If you grow vegetables to any degree you are bound at some time in the summer/autumn months to experience a glut. In our family garden it seems the cucumber reigns supreme and will do for months to come thanks to a rather modest PolyTunnel. That said outside it’s glut king status could be stolen by its rapidly swelling cousin the Courgette!

As the cucumber is firmly stuck in the horticultural section of mind I thought I’d share a few tips and suggestions to aid you through the summer.

As far as growing the green vined one goes there are two things to remember, plenty of water and plant care. The first is obvious since the cucumber is  more than 90% water. With regards to care one thing to keep on top of is the removal of the male flower. Failing to do this may result in pollination and thereafter seed development which can make the fruit bitter in taste. They are easy to spot as you will find no evidence of the fruit behind the flower.

So when you come to enjoy the fruits of your labour, pardon the pun, there are actually almost a never-ending choice with regards to eating them. My favourites are cucumber omelettes and cucumber margaritas. You will find it has more than just the very British cucumber sandwich in it’s repertoire. But as it’s the glut that we are considering here this blog wouldn’t be complete without a good old pickling recipe.

All hail the cucumber!

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Pickled cucumber

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cucumber, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60ml/2fl oz white vinegar
  • 50g/2oz sugar
  • 7.5cm/3in fresh root ginger
  • 4 stem ginger in sugar syrup

Preparation method

  • Use a fork to run through the surface of the cucumber, vertically downwards, to obtain a fluted pattern when sliced.
  • Cut cucumber into thin slices and put into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Leave the cucumber for 10 minutes to absorb the salt then rinse with cold water. Drain off excess liquid in a colander. Return cucumber to the large bowl.
  • Grate the fresh root ginger. Cut the stem ginger into thin slices.
  • Combine sugar, vinegar and the two types of ginger together. Add to cucumber slices and mix well.
  • Decant into a plastic container and frigerate overnight or for a few hours before serving or storing.
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    Seasalt Blog: Cucumber recipes and tips

     

     

    “the best festival in the world” starts tomorrow!

    posted on July 20th, 2011 by Helen

    Tomorrow sees the start of the ninth Port Eliot Festival – an annual celebration of words, music, imagination, laughter, exploration and – above all – fun.

    Based in the grounds of the historic home of the St Germans family in south east Cornwall, the Port Eliot Festival has grown a strong following over the years and its visitor numbers are ever-increasing. Originally a literary festival it now embraces all areas of the creative world including music and fashion, as well as a popular flower show, and talks and demos from top chefs and food writers. A huge range of speakers and performers have appeared at the festival over the years and some of the names from this year include Sam Bain & Jesse Armstrong (creator’s of Channel 4’s Peep Show), Ice Cold Idiots and Fast Show writer and star, Simon Day.

    Another brilliant highlight of the festival is also the wild swim where you can strip down and take a dip in the ‘refreshing’ waters of the estuary at Port Eliot! There’s plenty for kids to do too with heaps of special entertainment laid on for them.

    We hope everyone who’s going has a fantastic time – drop us a line or send us a pic to our Facebook page.

    Pics from http://www.porteliotfestival.com/

    a pod of fun – dolphins off falmouth coast

    posted on July 19th, 2011 by sian

    Life by the sea is pretty great even on an average day, with wonderful coastal walks to venture along, beautiful beaches to explore and not forgetting plenty of opportunities to get out on the water to breathe in that fresh sea air!

    Our coastline is also a great place to spot an abundance of marine wildlife and it is always a treat when the opportunity comes to see or even interact with some of the larger sea creatures in the area such as seals, basking sharks and even dolphins!

    A friend of Seasalt, Alan Sanders, loves nothing more than getting in the sea to explore life under the water and also likes to film his experiences to share them online. Last week, whilst out on his boat, he and his friends came across a very playful pod of dolphins just off the coast of Falmouth and caught the special moment on camera!

    We thought it was a great video and very worthy of sharing on our blog – thanks Alan!

    Dolphin Play from Alan Sanders on Vimeo.

    seaside summer photo competition – win a cornish cream tea picnic hamper

    posted on July 18th, 2011 by sian

    Roll up, roll up! It’s the famous Seasalt photo competition – this year we’re looking for pictures of the quintessential British summer holiday.

    Whether it’s a photo of people eating ice-creams in the rain, seagulls stealing your chips or even your Auntie Vera biting down on a sticky piece of Brighton rock – if it sums up what’s great about the British seaside holiday, we want to see it. Be as creative as you like!

    Check out all the details and find out how to enter on the Seasalt Facebook page

    Seasalt Seaside Summer Photo Competition on Facebook

     

    big beach experience™ with catch a wave® uk cic

    posted on July 15th, 2011 by sian

    Get out this Sunday with Catch a Wave® UK cic, as they launch their Big Beach Experience 2011 at the gorgeous Godrevy Beach.

    The Cornish based not-for-profit is holding a free for all on all things sea, surf and sand related, with the chance to have a go at circus skills on the beach, Pilates, surfing, capoeira, rock pooling and art workshops, amongst others. Plus there’ll be live music from Matthew P and Tom Carey, a beach clean and prize draw raffle.

    Catch a Wave® UK cic was set up to harness the healing properties of the natural environment, to offer everyone, regardless of ability or normal access, the chance to get out in the great outdoors, into the sea and connected with the world around them. Run by a team of sea loving water babies and complementary therapists, the courses on offer are aimed at not just improving physical fitness, but also emotional well-being.

    This weekend is a great taster for anyone and everyone, admission is free, but donations are warmly welcomed.

    Bring plenty of water, sun cream (fingers crossed) and a packed lunch.

    For more information www.bigbeachexperience.com

    Seasalt Blog - Coastal Pictures

     

    hampton court blooms

    posted on July 14th, 2011 by sian

    Inspired as we are by a beautiful bloom, we couldn’t resist a trip to Hampton Court to take a peek at some of the amazing displays.

    We’re constantly taking inspiration from the natural world around us, so much so that our very own Sophie Chadwick designs unique Seasalt prints that you won’t find anywhere else – watch our video to find out more. And it seems that we’re not the only sailor stripe, flower fanatics out there either – we spied a lot of our Sailor Shirts in amongst the flower beds.

    Here are some piccies we took on our day out.

    where have thirty years gone!

    posted on July 12th, 2011 by sian

    This week Seasalt turns thirty, here Neil Chadwick remembers the influences and early days that inspired our wonderful seaside company.

    “In the seventies it used to take eight hours to get to Cornwall, even with leaving at two o’clock in the morning. We’d arrive just in time for Mrs Richards to make us breakfast in St Ives.

    The Chadwick Family in St IvesOur B&B was right next to the artist studios in Back Road West and when we moved down here in 1981 we moved into the same cottage permanently – Dad had quietly bought the house after breakfast one morning a few years before. It was perfect timing because our shop in the Midlands had started to suffer in the worsening recession. Businesses were closing everywhere and it was a strange sight driving through once thriving areas of Walsall and Wednesbury seeing factories that had removed their roofs. The law at the time curiously stated that if there wasn’t a roof on the building you didn’t have to pay rates.

    In 1980, on a fairly typical drizzly August day whilst on holiday, my brother David and Dad went to Penzance and came across a shop called General Clothing Stores. It sold government surplus clothing, fisherman smocks, rigger boots, gloves and balaclavas for cauliflower and daffodil pickers, and wellies. You name it, if it was practical and useful, Mrs Strutt sold it. David bought an army parka and dad and Mrs Strutt got on like a house on fire. She was from Palfrey, Walsall – just round the corner from our shop in Caldmore, which gave them lots to talk about. They got on so well in fact that after half an hour they’d shaken hands on the sale of the shop. It was a great stroke of luck for our family; Dad had managed to sell off his shop in Walsall and buy one in Penzance. He always said that this was one of the most fortunate times for our family and looking back over thirty years he was right.

    Don ChadwickI was in the last year of school when my father moved down to start the new venture. We opened in July 1981 and remember the winter of that year very well, because the Penlee lifeboat disaster happened just along the coast towards Lands End. The next few years Dad built up the business and I’d be working holidays and weekends, eventually joining the business full time in 1991. Brother David had joined the business in 1984 and for five years we all worked together. The business had changed quite a lot and we sold camping and outdoor gear as well by that time. Then, as now, we were so busy in the summer. It seemed to rain non-stop and we sold heaps of waterproof jackets. So many in fact that my other brother Leigh used to go to the factories in Birmingham to buy the cagoules and wax jackets and meet Dad on the M5, just so we didn’t run out of stock.

    By 1995 we were ready for another shop and we knew exactly which one we wanted. A beautiful shop called Blenkinsops in Falmouth, Number 1, Church Street. We were busy from the first day; it was a revelation for us that with a busy main street location we’d do so well.

    I moved to Falmouth fulltime and in 1999 we had our second biggest stroke of good luck. We were offered 14,000 pairs of amazing quality walking boots and shoes from a company in the north that was closing down. We only sold a thousand pairs of shoes a year at that time, so it felt like a massive risk to us, but we went for it. My other brother Leigh stumped up some extra cash for us to do the deal and two weeks later we were the proud owner of a warehouse full of shoes.

    Just after that we were offered a shop in Fore Street St Ives and decided to buy it – we had to sell the shoes somewhere! Thank goodness they flew out, we’d sold the lot in a year and that set us up to open shop number four, in Truro. It was an exciting time for us, but in 2001 we were knocked back when Dad became very ill and passed away.

    In 2003 we’d made a decision that we wanted to design and sell our own line of clothing and we’d always been interested in sustainable textiles. So, I contacted the Soil Association and talked with them about organic cotton, something that was hardly heard of at the time. It turned out that no fashion company had ever used Soil Association certified cotton in their range, we saw the opportunity: to produce environmentally sound clothing whenever we can, reflecting the Cornish heritage that we love.

    Luckily, I’d met my future wife Sophie by then – a graduate in textile design, so we had some design expertise as well! It was around this time that brother Leigh also joined the business full time, after working with us part time for a few years. We changed the name of our business to reflect our coastal heritage and that’s when we became Seasalt. At this point a few devoted customers will have noticed I’ve skimmed over a short period around 2004 when we had another name, Wildlife. A brilliant name I thought, except that we were inundated with people looking after injured seagulls, so we had to change it… Eight years on and Seasalt is thriving.

    Seasalt Shop Sign 2011We design products that speak of the fantastic place where we live and the people who share it with us.

    The heritage of Cornwall, the creativity and the maritime history are what make our clothing what it is. And every day when we look out of our design office overlooking Falmouth Bay or out of the shop doorways of most of our shops to the local harbour, we feel inspired. We’ve now got twelve shops and have around 300 stockists in Britain and Europe.

    Thirty years on since we started our first shop, we feel incredibly lucky to live and work in such a beautiful county. We work with a wonderful team of people, lots of whom have been with us for many years and without them we of course wouldn’t have a business at all, thank you.

    But most of all we thank you our customers, our most important people. Thank you for supporting us all this time and we look forward to the next thirty years with more excitement than ever.”

    Neil Chadwick

    Find out more about the Seasalt historic family tree…