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.

Sacha Dench’s Climate Change Challenge


Why we’re supporting her two World Record attempts

A paramotor isn’t a complicated, or necessarily comfortable, aircraft. First, imagine a chair with a propeller bolted to the back. Then, add a parachute-like sail overhead that’s used for lift and steering. That’s essentially all there is. And though it may be simple, paramotor fans will tell you that it’s unlike anything else. It’s a way of experiencing the full thrilling freedom of flight: your body suspended in the sky, nothing under your feet but empty air.

This coming April, environmentalist Sacha Dench will spend five weeks piloting her paramotor around the entirety of the British coastline. It’s something that’s never been done before. When she touches down at end of the 3000+ mile flightpath, she’ll be awarded with a new World Record. But Sacha isn’t just a white-knuckle rider who wants her name in the Guinness Book of World Records. She’s known for her conservation work, previously paramotoring across Russia and Europe to help save the Berwick’s swan.

This time, she’s got another big goal: spreading environmental awareness at a crucial time.

Grabbing the world’s attention

This is a big year for international gatherings in our patch of the world. As you’ve likely heard, the G7 will soon be held along the Cornish coastline in St Ives. And in November, the UK will be hosting the UN’s Climate Change Conference (“COP26“). For British climate activists, this second event is a particularly golden opportunity to take their message straight to the world’s most powerful politicians. The team at Conservation without Borders wanted a large-scale event that would be impossible to ignore. Sacha’s flight is their answer.

In terms of awareness, Sacha’s flight has two main aims. From above, she’ll be able to photograph Britain’s varied coastline and document how it’s being affected by ongoing climate change. And from time to time along her route, Sacha will also touch down and explore. (One of her scheduled stops in on Mawgan Porth beach, just below the Scarlet.) While Sacha’s on the ground, she’ll also be meeting people who are working on solutions to our current environmental problems. Her message is a hopeful one: that there are many incredible people who are making a difference, who can inspire us all to step up and make a change.

Two world record attempts

See, there’s a second world record that Sacha is going for. Not only is she going for the first and fastest paramotor flight around Britain, she’s also aiming to secure the most pledges to act on climate change in one month. This is maybe the more important World Record attempt: getting a huge amount of people to individually commit to lowering their carbon footprints.

If she manages it, it will send out a strong message during the climate summit. That we all take climate change very seriously — and that we all understand the need to do something real about it.

How to support her

Sacha will need all of our help to break that second record. When April comes, we’ll be supporting her pledge drive and sharing what exactly you need to do. But if you want to get involved right away, you can contribute to the project’s CrowdFunder. The larger organisation, Conservation Without Borders, is also funded by donations.

We’ll be following her progress as soon as she takes to the sky. Keep your eye on our journal and on our social feeds for updates and possible events.

As part of the Scarlet’s focus on sustainability, we’re proud to say that our eco hotel is actively contributing to this event. If you’d like to join us in supporting this project, please email

Image courtesy Conservation without Borders.


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.

Festive Wine Serving Suggestions from Jim Bass

By | FOOD & DRINK | No Comments

2020 has probably not panned out how any of us would have imagined. But with Christmas just around the corner, we wanted to make sure your festive holiday is as exciting and special as it can possibly be. So we asked resident sommelier Jim Bass to share some of his top tips for a festive tipple to help you celebrate in style. Over to you Jim…

I genuinely love every wine that I am recommending and I hope you do too. Most were actually discovered by lockdown Zoom tastings with producers arranged by my fabulous suppliers – sadly the new normal for wine tastings, plus a few old favourites for good measure. I am really passionate about quality and sustainability in my wine selection, so have highlighted some of my favourites which are ethically produced, made with integrity or have been certified, values we hold dear at the Scarlet.

Spark celebration with a classic Christmas fizz

Nothing sets the tone for a great day like popping a cork on a special bottle. This year I discovered Raventos I Blanc, Blanc de Blancs (Catalonia, Spain) 2017 which is made as traditional method Champagne. This wine has incredibly balanced acidity, fruit (apple and lemon) and toasty notes with an abundance of fine bubbles. Biodynamically certified, Pepe Raventos has broken away from the Cava Do in the pursuit of quality and sustainability.  A significant move as Pepe’s family created the first traditional method sparkling wines of Spain in 1872.  It is worth mentioning here that English sparkling wine has gone from strength to strength and many great options are available.  The 2020 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year 2020 was Langham Wine Estate in Dorset, England – an incredible achievement!  This would make the perfect Christmas morning fizz too.

For your traditional turkey roast

A quality Pinot Noir, Gamay or Grenache work best with traditional turkey if you prefer a red, with fruit profiles of cranberry, raspberry and cherry. They are all slow ripening, thinned skin varieties so tannins should be soft and velvety (without being jammy), and have a great acidity which allows for beautiful matches with your meal. Any oak should be subtle and well-integrated, while a little bottle-age and some tertiary flavours create the best pairings in my opinion. My top recommendation would be Morgon, Marcel Lapierre (Beaujolais, France) 2018. A leading light in the natural wine movement, these wines are always exciting and bright. If you want to try searching for an older vintage, 2009 was an excellent year and is drinking very nicely now.

If you prefer a white wine, I would head to the Languedoc for great value. A Limoux Chardonnay with a year in French oak and a little bottle-age would be my preferred choice. It features subtle tropical fruits and butterscotch along with the depth of concentration and ripeness needed for your Christmas roast.

What to pair with a lamb dish

It’s a French Malbec every time, for me. Dark fruit, coffee and winter spices work so well without the heavy tannins, not necessary just with lamb. I also love a Primitivo from Puglia or an old vine Carignan from Chile or the Languedoc in France – neglected treasure in my opinion which provides a great match with a hearty lamb meal. My top tip here is Les Anciens, Chateau Maris (Minervois, France) 2017 with blackcurrant, herbs, and sweet tobacco, winter spices. The vision of ex pat Bertie Eden, the godfather of biodynamic wine in the Languedoc, it’s certified by one of the top five sustainable wineries in the world.

The perfect pairing for your roast beef

Either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah / Shiraz based wine is needed here. Beef has big, bold flavours and fat so a classic Bordeaux blend or Southern Rhone GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre) would pair perfectly.

The Reyneke Cornerstone (Stellenbosch, South Africa) 2016 would be my top value recommendation. It’s a classic left bank blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and a little Merlot for finesse. This wine has a full and luxurious palate combining the freshness and concentration of dark fruit with the necessary tannic structure for roast beef.  The Cornerstone wines are certified organic and the project has an incredible story; the proceeds of this wine helping farm workers and their families with education, housing and retirement annuities.

And if you’re not a wine lover, try a dark stout – an underestimated but incredible match for roast beef.

Best for Boxing Day (and second helpings)

A quality Rosé – yes, Rosé is not just for summer!  I would highly recommend Judith Beck Pink (Burgenland, Austria) 2019 which is a stylish pink with vibrant red fruit with hints of peach from native varieties Zweigelt and Blaufrankish. This wine is pure and bright with biodynamic certification and a focus on minimal intervention in the winery and farm. This is what I will serve on Boxing Day this year – it’s great with most dishes but will brighten up any leftovers making them taste fresh and exciting once again.

I hope that my festive suggestions help you to celebrate in style, wherever you are this year.

Have a merry Christmas, Jim Bass

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

No time like the present

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If you are anything like us, you’re reading this whilst keeping one eye on the family, the dog or something cooking on the stove. It’s life, a constant juggling act, multi-tasking and just doing too much at once. It’s not ideal but often necessary.

But picture this… time for yourself, time to practice being fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction: mindfulness.  

We all want to feel more calm, less stressed, improve our ability to cope and just be kinder to ourselves. Right now it’s never been more important. So, how do we become more mindful?  Let’s keep it simple, and focus on the things we can do with ease. Here’s our top tips to bring a little more mindfulness into your day.

1. Breathe

Anywhere… just take a few deep breaths for a couple of minutes. Pranayama (or ‘breathing exercises’) is a powerful stress-reducing activity. We recommend sitting in a chair or on the floor with crossed legs and a straight spine. Breathe in, breathe out and calm your mind. 

2. Stretch

Take five minutes to stretch. When you stretch you activate your blood circulation which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Your body will thank you for it.  

3. Walk

Walking is one of the most effective ways of bringing clarity to the mind and eliminating the stresses and strains accumulated throughout the day. Take deep breaths and take your time.

4. Eat 

How often do we eat with awareness, taking time to chew our food, soaking up the entire sensory experience of eating a meal. It’s not just the taste or the aromas, it’s also the people we are with. Make time to do this and see how it makes you feel and how it changes the experience of eating.

5. Digital Detox

Take a step back from technology. It’s hard as it has become such an important part of the daily routine. Perhaps start with giving yourself a digital curfew to help calm the mind before bedtime.  Airplane mode is your friend.

6. Daydream

When was the last time you just sat and let your mind wander? Allow yourself to daydream every now and then, the benefits are quite something. Daydreaming helps boost your creativity, gives you greater focus, concentration and can improve your memory.

Now is the time for a little more self care. Every second counts. 

Winners of ‘Seaside Hotel of the Year’

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Who doesn’t love winning awards? We’re no exception at the Scarlet, but our most recent award is a special one.

We have always been fans of The Good Hotel Guide and their continued support of independent hotels. We love that they listen to their readers and the impartial reviews to recommend wonderful independent staycation hotspots across the UK – there is always somewhere new to discover and try out. So we were utterly delighted when they announced that we had been awarded ‘Seaside Hotel of 2021’.

We think the Scarlet is a hotel unlike anywhere else. When we built the Scarlet, we were lucky to find this beautiful stretch of Cornish coastline to create and inspire. It’s a quiet place for staring out over the sea, and now, we know these clifftops have gained a special place in many of our guests’ hearts too. It certainly holds a very special place in the hearts of our team. The Scarlet is always a team effort, an experience delivered with passion and love.

Thank you to all who have reviewed, recommended and stayed with us. We hope to welcome you back soon.

The Scarlet team


Re-opening the Scarlet doors

By | SUMMER | No Comments

We’re delighted to share some heartwarming news – all being well, we will be re-opening our doors on 4th July, which is sure to delight those wishing to bask in the Scarlet’s serenity this summer. As a team, we look forward to returning to the familiar sights and sounds we know and love. Here’s what you’ve been swooning over via our social channels, and before long, you’ll be able to experience your own #scarletmoment…

Ocean views from a bedside

The glistening natural, reed pool

Our iconic cliff-top hot tubs

Meadow gardens bursting with blooms

A tangerine sunset from a Spacious Room balcony

Wave watching from the retreat terrace

For reassurance:

We will be making some changes in the hotel, to ensure we comply with social distancing and to keep our guests and employees safe. You may find out more here:

We recommend – Three Night Spa Break:

Stay a while and let us take you on a journey. Indulging in a three-night spa break at the Scarlet will be a real escape from your daily life, and lockdown. Take this opportunity to wind down and make a lasting difference on your wellbeing.

Find out more here: