The First Shoots of Spring

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Laura Ellis

Despite the cool wind and pouring rain we’ve spotted spring trying to show itself. There are lambs in the fields and spring flowers shooting up in the fields and hedgerows. Here’s a few snaps of daffodils and snowdrops we’ve found on our travels.

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Birds of a Feather Flock to SS15

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Laura Ellis

Living in an area with dramatic coastlines and open moorland means there is a wide variety of animals making their homes here. Cornish wildlife is very important to us here at Seasalt and is a common source of inspiration for our designers and Seasalt Artists alike.

You may have noticed a theme running through our SS15 collection. Whether it’s our Magpie Cardigan, Raven Dress, Little Grebe Smock or Nut Hatch Cardigan, our latest arrivals are peppered with pretty bird prints and products named after our favourite avian creatures.

Below are just a couple of our favourites accompanied by beautiful sketches by our talented Seasalt Artists.

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Our Turnstone Scarf is named after the crustacean loving sea bird of the same name. With brown or black upper plumage, white belly and orange legs the turnstone can be found in many coastal areas, often trying to peck at a crab or two!

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The small, plump sanderling lends its name to our new leaf print cardigan. This amusing little sea bird likes long sandy beaches and can be seen running away from incoming waves while it tries to feast on small marine worms and molluscs at the shoreline.

Even our prints this season feature our feathered friends. The Cornish Chough has a print all to itself, puffins adorn our tea towels and blue tits, finches, siskins and thrushes make up the beautiful Cornish Birds print.

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These are just a few of the birds featured this year. Have you spotted any others? Let us know your favourites on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Behind The Scenes of our Charity Jute Bag Press Launch

posted on January 30th, 2015 by Nikki Phillips

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Earlier in the week, we packed our bags and took a trip to the big city to launch our Charity Jute Bags to some of the country’s top media and bloggers.

The bags have been exclusively designed by some of our well known friends, Dame Judi Dench, Savannah Miller, Alex Polizzi and Monty Halls. £1 from each of the Jute Shoppers will be donated straight to Fishermen’s Mission, a charity we’ve been working with for the last few years now. The bags will be on sale from the end March, but we wanted to give the press a sneak peak of the unique designs.

The event was held at the very chic Wright Brothers Soho Oyster House right in the heart of London.

The Seasalt Marketing Team arrived early in the afternoon to arrange the limited edition jutes, fill the goodie bags full of Cornish treats and dress the waiters in unique Seasalt print aprons. With minutes to spare, we pulled on our Lottie Dresses and it was time to welcome to crowds.

As the journalists arrived, the fantastic Fishwives Choir struck up their accordions and belted out a song or two about the wild seas. The atmosphere was charged as the guests reached for a Fish Wives Fizz cocktail, made using Cornish wine maker, Polgoon’s Sparkling Aval.

Two-tiered Fruits De Mer glittered on crushed ice, and the Cornish Oysters were definitely a talking point for lots of people… down in one or give it a chew first?!

We were delighted that Savannah and Monty popped in to say ‘hello’ and shared a glass of fizz with our visitors. All in all it was a fantastic evening and we can’t wait for the bags to launch in our Seasalt Shops and Online. Whose will sell out first?

Let us know what you think of the designs over on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

More details on our limited edition Charity Jute Bags here.

 

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Cornish choughs and a chirpy new print for spring

posted on January 16th, 2015 by Laura Ellis

We’ve been excitingly welcoming in beautiful new Seasalt styles over the last couple of weeks, spring is on its way! One particular print has captivated us all. Laura Watson, one of our talented designers, has created a chirpy unique print called Kissing Choughs, featuring Cornwall’s most famous bird.

Kissing Choughs the latest pattern from Seasalt designer Laura Watson

At Lizard Point, the most southerly point of mainland Britain, choughs, which were absent for many years, can now happily be found in abundance. We think Seasalt designer, Laura, has captured their cheeky personalities perfectly in this print.

The chough (pronounced ‘chuff’) is a member of the crow family, sharing the same inky black plumage. However, unlike other crows the cheeky chough has a distinctive and easily identified bright red bill, legs and feet, and a loud, ringing call. It’s this distinct call that gives the chough it’s name. However, the bird’s Cornish name, Palores, means Digger, a reference no doubt to its habit of digging away at loose soil to find invertebrates.

It’s the national bird of Cornwall and features on the coat of arms, proudly sitting on top of the crest flanked by a tin miner and fisherman. It is widely used in Cornish heraldry showing the significance of the bird on Cornish history. One Cornish legend states that King Arthur did not die but was transformed into a red-billed chough, its red feet and bill signifying Arthur’s violent and bloody end.

Sadly the increase of trophy hunters and degradation of the chough’s preferred habitat towards the end of the 18th century meant a steady decline in numbers.

Cornish chough painted by in house Seasalt Artist Matt Johnson
The year 1947 saw the last successful nesting attempt in Cornwall. An ageing pair of choughs lived near Newquay between 1960–1967 but one of the pair was found dead in March 1967. Its partner patrolled the cliffs alone until 1973 when it too, the last of the Cornish choughs, was seen no more.

For the next 28 years, choughs remained absent from Cornwall. But early in the spring of 2001, a group of three wild choughs took up residence on the Lizard and in 2002, two of the birds raised young, the first in Cornwall in more than 50 years! Happily, thanks to this pioneering duo, there are now 7 breeding pairs, and it is estimated that over 70 youngsters have fledged from Cornish nests.

In the autumn and winter months, flocks can be found performing fantastic acrobatic diving and swooping displays on the Lizard. Favourite chough nesting sites include sea caves, cliff crevices, old buildings, quarries and mine shafts – where they’re safely tucked away from the worst of the Cornish weather. So if you’re taking a stroll around the Lizard peninsula be sure to keep an eye out for the cheeky Cornish bird. If you are lucky enough to spot a chough or two you can report your sightings to the RSPB who are working to help protect them. To report your chough sightings, email cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk or call 01392 453775.

If you’d like to find out more about Cornwall’s favourite bird this website knows all there is to know about Cornish choughs http://www.cornishchoughs.org/choughs/

These beautiful watercolour choughs were painted by our in-house Seasalt Artist, Matt Johnson.

Photoshoot in Lerryn & The Fowey Hall Hotel

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Laura Ellis

We’re incredibly lucky here at Seasalt to get out and explore different parts of Cornwall for each season’s photoshoots. Part of our SS15 collection took us to Lerryn, a beautiful village situated on the river which you can cross by an Elizabethan bridge or via a set of stepping stones.  Our location shoot also took us to the Fowey Hall Hotel, which is believed to have inspired Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows.

We’ve put together a few photos taken whilst on location so you too can get lost in the beauty of our surroundings. Keep an eye out for one of our models taking a little rest by the river.

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A Room With A View

posted on October 17th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Tucked away behind the nineteenth century chimney at the summit of Cape Cornwall is a little white building with spectacular views across the ocean. It’s the National Coastwatch Lookout Station for Cape Cornwall and it’s a fascinating place.

The station’s open 365 days a year, whatever the weather and manned entirely by volunteers. There are 24 active watch keepers at Cape Cornwall looking out for anyone in danger around the local coast, for flares and sailors in distress. We met Jonathan Rothwell, the Station Master for the Lookout Station to find out a little more…

Around midday there’s a handover to the second watch keeper to share any points of interest and the watch continues. Visitors are welcome and there’s often wildlife to spot – a pair of seals are frequently sighted at high tide enjoying the waves, with the warmer months bringing basking sharks and huge sunfish closer to the shore. Gulls, puffins, choughs and kestrels soar through the skies. At the end of the day, the logs and reports are filed and the coastguard notified that the station has closed. And as for the most unusual sighting? ‘A difficult choice between the Dawn Treader ship from the Narnia films or the JS el Carno a distinctive four masted Spanish schooner!’

The station’s day starts just before 8am when the first watch comes on duty to open up and declare facility status to Falmouth coastguard station. After phoning through a weather report to BBC Cornwall, all the marine vessels that pass by are logged. The station’s equipped with radar, online GPS tracking equipment, radio and a pair of custom made binoculars with an impressive  25 times magnification power. The watch keeper keeps an eye on all the local marine traffic, from huge container vessels right down to small lobster fishing boats and kayakers. They communicate any significant sightings or concerns by phone with other lookout stations and Falmouth coastguard station should any rescues be needed.

 

An adventure around West Penwith

posted on October 10th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Into Mousehole
Kitty and Laura from the online team headed on a little adventure to explore the wild West Penwith!

Kitty Mousehole

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Honesty box

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Can you see why The Brisons sometimes get called ‘General de Gaulle in his Bath‘?

 

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The Great British Beach Clean

posted on September 22nd, 2014 by Laura Ellis

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The Marine Conservation Society has put together a campaign to help keep British beaches clean. Last Friday Seasalt headed to Swanpool Beach in Falmouth to take part in the ‘Great British Beach Clean’.

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We met with several members of the public who came to help, including possibly the youngest member of any beach clean yet!

Armed with gloves, bags and grabbers we scoured the beach picking up rubbish.

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to those who turned out to help, and a huge thanks to Swanpool Beach Café for supporting us and for the yummy hot chocolates!

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The youngest member of our beach clean team

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We were horrified at the amount of rubbish we found.

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We marked down everything we collected

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Some well deserved Hot Chocolates

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Well done, team!

Learn to speak Kernowek (Cornish) in Kernow (Cornwall)

posted on September 19th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Would you know what we mean if we said it’s time for our ‘crib’? Or maybe if we said that it’s ‘henting’ today? No? Well you obviously don’t speak Cornish!

Cornwall is one of the six Celtic territories and our language is one of the Brythonic group of languages to which the Welsh language also belongs.

Cornish place names can be very interesting and if you look at a map of Cornwall, you’ll see lots of similar names. ‘Pen’ for example appears at the beginning of many Cornish towns or village names. It means headland or the end of something… there’s Pendennis, Penryn, Penrose, Pentire and Penzance, to name just a few.

To get a better understanding of where you are in the county here’s a few of our favourite prefixes and places to visit in Kernow (Cornwall):

 

TRE means a homestead.
Trebetherick, Trelissick, Trematon Castle and many more Cornish places (this is the most used name)!
PERRAN derives from St Piran, the patron saint of tin miners and widely regarded as the national saint of Cornwall Perranporth, Perranarworthal, Perranzabuloe and Perranuthnoe.
POL means a pool. Polzeath, Polruan, Polkerris and Polperro.
PORTH meaning a bay, port or harbour. Perranporth, Porthtowan, Porthleven, Porth and Porthgwidden Beach
ROS means moor, heath or common Roseland, Roskear and Rosenannon Downs

 

The last known “Cornish-only” speaking person was Dolly Pentreath, of Paul near Moushole. She claimed to not have learnt English until she was in her 20s! She died in 1777, and according to legend, her last words were “Me ne vidn cewsel Sawznek!” – “I don’t want to speak English!” There is a monument dedicated to Dolly at Paul Church. Her death is often referred to as marking the death of Cornish as a community language but here in Kernow, we think it’s still very much alive!

By the way, ‘Crib’ is a mid-morning break for a snack and ‘Henting’ means it’s raining hard!

Down a Cornish Lane

posted on September 5th, 2014 by Laura Ellis

Our latest catalogue takes inspiration from Denys Val Baker’s book, Down a Cornish Lane.

Here we take a look down a few narrow byways and find out what might be at the end. After all, you never know what you might find when you go down a Cornish lane…!

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lane to the sea and shadows

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