Coldwater therapies: how to embrace the elements

By | SPA, WINTER | No Comments

The sheer feeling of the cold. When you go swimming in natural waters, that’s the first thing that hits you.

But then your body acclimatises. It becomes a little easier to be in the water. And afterwards — once you’ve clambered back onto dry land — a radiance remains.

At least that’s what Stephen, one of our in-house creatives, is telling us about his new wild swimming hobby. “For me the greatest satisfaction has been post dip feelings – the surge of endorphins or dopamine. Whatever it is? I feel good about myself and it’s here to stay.” (Though Stephen, who also moonlights as a RNLI lifeguard, reminds us of the importance of undertaking wild swimming with care and consideration.)

It’s clear to see that activities involving cold water are having a moment. Old lidos are enjoying a renaissance, while articles on wild swimming are appearing more and more frequently. Amongst our friends, more and more people have started swearing by cold showers — what was once a shrieking surprise is now something they do regularly, saying it helps them to feel more awake and alive.

It always come back to this sensation. That after an exposure to coldwater therapy, it feels as if that initial shock unblocked something: you feel more open to the textures of the world. And in the lethargy of dull lockdown days, the idea of fully exposing yourself to the sheer elements is appealing.


The Scarlet’s outdoor natural pool.

The benefits of cold water

But sharpening your senses is just the tip of the very cold iceberg. Regular time in cold water has been linked to many physical and mental benefits. These include increased circulation and better general mental wellbeing.

What’s more, humans have known about their goodness for centuries: think about those traditional Nordic wellbeing cultures, where an ice bath is often part of the communal spa.

Another key benefit is how cold water is most often found in proximity to nature. At the Scarlet, our natural bathing pool is right out on the clifftops. You can see the waves and hear the seabirds while you swim. It makes everything feel better, more harmonious.

Getting started 

Great care needs to be taken when exposing yourself to cold water. Prolonged or even sudden exposure to cold temperatures can be actively dangerous. Research whether you any existing health issues may need you to take extra caution.

Particular attention must be given if you’re keen to begin wild swimming, too. Before your first swim, research using resources such as SH₂OUT and the Outdoor Swimming Society. Natural waters, including the sea, are very different to swimming pools. Be mindful of water cleanliness and nearby wildlife, alongside shifting tides and currents. Don’t swim alone either: always make sure someone will be available to help if something goes wrong.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into these new waters, also consider beginning small. Seek out sea pools or natural pools. For instance, Scarlet’s reed pool is designed to give you the thrilling textures of open water swimming, but without having to worry about changing tides.

The outdoor Sensory Spa Garden at our sister hotel Bedruthan is another place to discover how the cold can awaken the senses. Inspired by thermal contrast therapies, it features an ice bucket drench that really sharpens the mind.

After a less-than-great year, here’s to trying new things and feeling more alive than ever.

Spa Breaks at the Scarlet

Find a complete wellbeing experience, including use of the Scarlet’s natural pools. Our spa breaks allow you to focus on yourself.

Fireside Listening


It may sound a little obvious but we all need to take a little more care of ourselves. Give ourselves a more downtime and rest those eyes. Technology plays a big part in our lives, now more so than ever, but rather than spending hours on social networks or reading the news, why not tune into something else that gives your busy minds another focus, a calming or uplifting one.

We love a good audio book or podcast and as the winter months draw in we’ve picked a few of our favourites, designed to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.

Tunnel 29: Ok so we know you may well have already had a listen but if you haven’t, this one is an incredible story, with intrigue, history and perfect for when you need to a little reminder of what people have been through. It will make your day seem pretty good. It’s an extraordinary, true story, told by Helena Merriman, of a man and his friends, who dug a tunnel right under the Berlin Wall to help friends, family and strangers escape. Gripping throughout!

Hunting Party Audiobook by Lucy Foley: Sometimes you listen to an audiobook and the actors voicing the characters are just not right and it can be so distracting. They got it spot on with this one. Really helped to bring to life an already brilliant story. I can’t wait to get stuck in to her next book, The Guest List.

Giles Coren – Has no idea podcast: Love him or hate him, Giles’ podcast is always entertaining and about real life … no matter how dull. we can all relate and it never fails to amuse me.

Off Menu: Primarily it will make you laugh, but you’ll also get some great cooking and restaurant recommendations, and an insight into the lives of some interesting comedians/actors/personalities – plus Terri Hatcher name drops Scarlet in her episode!

Dispatch to a Friend: Something to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling with tales of friendship, and a glimpse of life on the other side of the world (for those based in the UK). It’s humorous, gentle, uplifting and sometimes a little emotional. We can relate!

Holly Tucker’s (founder of NOTHS) ‘Love What You Do’ : Conversations of inspiration with business founders. We particularly loved the episodes with Alistair Hall and Kirsty Telford of Hoxton Street Monster Supplies/Ministry of Stories (charity which inspires young writers, very cool), and Sir Tim Smit.

Song Exploder: This is a podcast that goes behind the scenes of songwriting. Musicians take apart their songs and explain the initial inspiration, first demos and final production touches that make the song what it is. Artists interviewed include some of our faves, Phoebe Bridgers, Michael Kiwanuka, Fleet Foxes and The National.

We’d love to hear what your fireside listening recommendations are and we hope you enjoy ours.

Nothing can bloom all year

By | WINTER | No Comments

Tips for leaning into hibernation and rest 

In spring, the bulbs we lovingly placed into the earth way back in the autumn come alive. And so do we. Our diaries begin to fill with engagements – be it Easter celebrations, May weddings or garden parties. In summer, the days are l o n g. Sunshine drenched afternoons and balmy evenings cry out for a whole host of after work jollity. 

However the above may not apply to this year, as it hasn’t played out like we thought it would. In 2020 our world and each season’s greetings have been turned upside down, but in the run up to Christmas, are you feeling just as tired as usual? Suffering from a sort of warmer month comedown? The emotional toll of this unusual year isn’t to be ignored. But the good news is that as always, winter is coming (yes, it’s good news!), and its purpose still applies. 

During the winter months, muddy seeds slowly grow and form under the soil’s cover. And maybe we’re the same. Maybe we also need a few months of deeper rest, hidden away from the world, finding time to slow down and hibernate. Pull on woolly socks, stoke the fire and enjoy an artisanal hot chocolate. Of coursewe all still have busy lives to lead, but it’s important to weave in moments of rest, and here’s a few pointers on how you can take some downtime, and blossom when ready… 

It’s OK to say no 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, practice the art of saying no. A little self-preservation can go a long way. If pounding the streets during some post-work Christmas shopping with a friend fills you with dread, politely decline and shop online in the warm instead! (Of course, we recommend you still #shopsmall). 

Do like the mammals do 

Hibernating animals have got it all figured out. They makes themselves a cosy cave, and they stay there! Curled up in the warm, waiting for spring. Whilst going into hiding for months might not be realistic, we do encourage making your habitat somewhere you can retreat to at any given moment. Treat yourself to a lovely blanket, find your hot water bottle, pull out the winter quilts, light some candles.

Get more sleep 

Where possible, retire a little earlier. Your body needs help adjusting to the change in weather, and building its defences to help fight off the common cold. Be kind to your immune system, by getting more Z’s!

Step away from the digital 

Unplug. Upturn your phone, avoid the internet, turn off all notifications. Take some time to ‘just be’. 


Something your phone can be useful for is guided meditation. We personally like the Buddify app – its guided meditations are accessible and can help you to build a daily practice which works for you.


Strike a balance which works for you, between being active and resting. Reward yourself with a bath after an evening jog. We’re not made to keep going and going. 

If you’d like to book yourself in for some hibernation in our Cornish haven, we recommend our Winter Wellness break

A sense of hygge this winter, as illustrated by our recent guests

By | WINTER | No Comments

Hygge – a concept cultivated in Denmark, which is said to the happiest country in the world. You may have come across this word in recent years, pondering on its pronunciation, or perhaps going a little deeper by reading into such a philosophy, and trying to be a little more hygge yourself.

For those new to this, we recommend turning to an explanation by Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. In her book The Little Book of Hygge, she writes:

‘Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life – or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company – or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.’


Rather gorgeous, don’t you think? Reading this, we cast our minds to our guests. To our heartfelt reviews, the authentic images we’re tagged in, and letters sent and filled with sentiment. The moments we house, and they share with us.

Many staying at the Scarlet feel a sense of hygge during their stay, perhaps without even knowing it. And we thought you might like to feel it too. Here are some of those moments we’ve recently enjoyed viewing ourselves, over a cup of tea.

N.B. You can browse more by viewing our rather fittingly named hashtag on Instagram, #scarletmoment

Waking up early enough to appreciate this kind of sky


A warming drink, alone. In a comfortable spot


Moonset morning swim in the natural reed pool


Taking in the fresh scent of pine from our tree


The simplicity of closeness to nature. Wrapping up warm for a winter beach walk


Focussing on your favourite hobby, with no distractions


Pulling on some cosy slippers (and you can take these home!)


Food good for the soul


A long, deep bath


A sustainable Christmas gift edit, curated by the Scarlet


Christmas is a time of thoughtful giving. Slowly searching for the exactlyright present. Thinking hard about what someone might need. Delicately wrapping gifts with care and love. But Christmas gifting can also be a time of thinking about our community and planet. Shopping small, helping local artisans, and supporting sustainably-minded businesses are all good ways to give back with your gifts. Ready for your recycled wrapping paper, here’s a small list of mindful gift recommendations from the Scarlet. Your recipient will be even more moved by your thoughtfulness.

Sustainable versions of Christmas classics

(Because we all need socks sometimes.)

Cups and tableware by Dor and Tan

A true fixture of Christmas giving: the humble mug. We’re particular taken by the local potters at Hayle-based Dor and Tan. Their aim is to go against the mass-market disposability of contemporary consumer goods. Instead, they want to bring beautiful, tactile finishes into more people’s homes and hands. They also use as much green energy as they can, while understanding the importance of making things last. (If you’re feeling especially generous, maybe combine with a fresh roast from sustainable Cornish coffee roasters Yallah.)

Body wash by the Scarlet | 250ml Oula bottles from £12.95

Giving body wash can be a thoughtful gift. Designed in-house by our spa therapists, Oula’s the result of much care and attention. Not only the highest-qualities ingredients, but also the most ethically-sourced. Oula is sustainable, fairly-traded, locally-made — and it smells unlike anything else. If you’ve stayed here, you’ll instantly recognise that rich, nourishing scent of lavender, rosemary and patchouli. No surprise then that we’ve recently had many people recently writing to us asking if we can send bottles their way. Here’s your way of having a little bit of the Scarlet at home. 

Socks by Surfers Against Sewage | £6.00 a pair

Available in both size for men and women, these socks from local environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage are made from 100% bamboo. Not just a comfortable pair of socks, this is also a novel way of supporting crucial environmental work. Cornwall-based Surfers Against Sewage first began as, well… surfers against sewage, a small group of wave riders fed up of heading into Cornwall’s waters and coming back onto land covered in gunk. Since beginning, they haven’t stopped campaigning: they now argue also for better water quality, battle against plastic pollution and greatly help to heighten overall ecological awareness. We think their work is truly important: at the Scarlet, we contribute to SAS’s work through our guest giving scheme.

For the home and garden

(Small, careful objects for the house that respect the planet.)

Wooden designs from Tom Raffield

With great focus on the natural materiality of wood, Tom Raffield designs flowing and twisting light fixtures here in Cornwall. Their manufacturing process isn’t energy-intensive, instead focusing on simple handcraftsmanship and older techniques that eschew harmful chemicals. Naturally, the wood itself is sourced sustainably too. Their designs include not only their famous lights, but also coat hooks, planters and mirrors. P.S. If you’ve eaten at the Scarlet Restaurant, then you know Tom Raffield’s work — our sinuous light fixtures are their own steam bent designs.

Fairly-traded homewares from Nkuku 

Based just across the Tamar in Devon, Nkuku is a homeware company inspired by the skills of artisans across the world. Focused on sustainability, the company supports smaller enterprises through the 10 Principles Of Fair Trade and their own schemes. Nkuku’s carefully-sourced goods have a fine handmade quality, prioritising the use of sustainable materials such as hemp, rattan and jute. We particularly like the atmospheric colours of the Ngolo T-Light, their selection of fair trade jewellery pieces, and these paper journals carefully handmade in India from recycled cotton rags.

Insect and bird-friendly additions from Green&Blue

Along the coast in Perranporth, B Corp-certified Green&Blue create innovative designs that undo years of harmful designs that have ignored the needs of our nonhuman neighbours. The team’s perhaps best known for the Bee Brick, a brick set with a pattern of open oculi that give bees a place to rest (the BeePot incorporates this into a plant pot). Other products include bird feeders and bird baths that are set in incredible modern style.

Stored-away time at the Scarlet

(A quiet eco-hotel to come and be amongst nature.)

Gift vouchers for the Scarlet | From £25

Since opening, the Scarlet’s been a place to try on a way of living more in tune with nature. Large windows that catch the coastal scene, local food that’s grown with care, a spa that’s near to the crashing waves. We carefully minimise our environmental impact and promote sustainable living.

Scarlet gift vouchers

A grown ups guide to winter blog

Top picks for December in Cornwall

By | WINTER | No Comments

December in Cornwall is rugged, romantic and occasionally stormy, making it perfectly matched with open fires, red wine and plenty of coastal exploring. The fishing villages are putting on their best displays – bejeweled in Christmas lights that twinkle on the water.  Miles of sandy beaches stretch ahead with a few dog walkers as your only company and the Christmas markets are abuzz with the best local produce.

Contrary to what many people believe about Cornwall in winter, there is so much going on that’s not to be missed! We’ve put together our early picks of the key events that you’ll want to experience.

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A grown ups guide to winter blog

Grown-up’s guide to magical Cornwall in Winter

By | AUTUMN, WINTER | No Comments

At this time of year, we truly believe there is no more romantic a place to be than Cornwall. With its stunning natural scenery, huge skies, dramatic sunsets, miles of empty sandy beaches and fresh air straight off the Atlantic, the result is a luxuriously unique combination of relaxation, space, peace and calm.

In order to help you make the most of what this beautiful part of the country has to offer, we thought we’d suggest a few things to see and do while you’re here.

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New Year’s Resolutions to celebrate you

By | WINTER | No Comments

Resolutions traditionally seem punishing: abstinence from the finer things in life, gruelling exercise, stopping your favourite habits – and they rarely last long, leaving you a little deflated. And punishing resolutions in one of the coldest, and darkest months of the year makes them particularly hard to keep.

Instead, why not focus on resolutions that are positive, life affirming and joyful – making them easier to keep and giving you the feeling of success from day one. Here are some of our ideas for creating exciting resolutions that will make sure the year ahead is one of promise and positivity!

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The grown-ups guide to Cornish festivities 2017

Cornwall is magical in the run-up to Christmas. You can take bracing walks on beautiful, empty beaches. Explore one of our picturesque fishing villages all a-twinkle with lights and get any last minute gifts you need at one of our festive markets. There’s so much to do and see on a pre-Christmas break in Cornwall. Here’s our list of favourite festive events not to be missed:

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