From luxe new beachside eateries to earth-kind conservation projects, we round up what's new and exciting news stories from Devon and all around the county’s coast
Words by Jessie Johnson
1. Bottled sunshine
All female-collective jewellery brand, Wanderlust Life, chose the local beach and surf spot – North Devon’s Saunton Sands – as the location for its latest shoot showcasing the fresh new collection ‘Face the Sun’. Created to exude positivity and sunny vibes following the darker days of solitude of the last year, the range of gold pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets take inspiration from ancient Mayan, Aztec and Inca designs featuring uplifting turquoise and mother of pearl (wanderlustlife.co.uk).
2. Best of British
For the second year running, artwork from Devon-based artist Becky Bettesworth is at the centre of a global summer marketing campaign for iconic British clothing brand, Barbour. Starring St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay and the cliffside ruins of Tynemouth Priory, Becky’s evocative depictions of the North Tyneside coast are inspired by classic 1930s travel posters, brought up to date in her signature palette of pretty pinks, blues, yellows and greens (beckybettesworth.co.uk).
3. Ocean champions
Plastic-free cup hire, beach cleans, school talks and business audits; these are just a few of the inspirational campaigns from grassroots community group, Plastic Free North Devon. We love the ‘Protect our Playground’ initiative in particular, which encourages locals and visitors to switch cheap polystyrene bellyboards for sustainable, wooden boards available locally for hire (plasticfreenorthdevon.org).
4. Beachside cool
Headed up by renowned local chef Michael Caines, a seat at Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant has become the hottest ticket in town since opening in Exmouth this spring. Overlooking the Exe and Lyme Bay, a lip-smacking restaurant, bar and cocktail menu features local mussels, boat-fresh seafood cooked over coals and Mickeys’ 5 Finger Punch – a wicked blend of rum, pineapple, pomegranate and absinthe, perfect for a sunset tipple with your toes in the sand (mickeysbeach.co.uk).
5. Food fest
Local fish, cheeses, ciders and sea salt are all set to tickle the tastebuds of visitors to the Dartmouth Food Festival, which is back from 22-24 October this year, showcasing the culinary bounty of the South West coast and beyond. The free, not-for-profit event will feature workshops, tastings and exhibitors, alongside demonstrations and seminars from some of the nation’s biggest food heroes including Mitch Tonks, Angela Hartnett and many more (dartmouthfoodfestival.com).
6. Clubbing together
The need for nature regeneration – from plastic clean-ups to seaweed farming – has never been greater in Devon, but of course funding doesn’t grow on trees. That’s why the Devon Environment Foundation has set up the Devon Nature Club, allowing local nature lovers and businesses to help those working in conservation and restoration projects around the county to safeguard the coast and land for generations to come. To find out more, visit devonenvironment.org.
7. Beach buoys
Fancy a cocktail on the beach without the faff of a shake and stir? Devon-based cocktail company Bar Buoy mixes its range of 12 cocktails by the sea and serves them up as ready-to-drink bottles, each one serving two people. Its new limited-edition blend ‘Seabird’ marries Salcombe Distilling Co’s flagship gin, Start Point, with pink grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave syrup, joining classics such as the Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Negroni and Old Fashioned. All orders include the option to send a gift message, with free delivery across the UK (barbuoy.co.uk).
8. Creatures great & small
Since first donning a diving mask 50 years ago, leading marine biologist and photographer Paul Naylor has been capturing the sea’s watery wonders both around his local Devonshire coast and way beyond. His latest book, a brand-new edition of Great British Marine Animals (£19.99), is a vivid exploration of marine wildlife including new material on the social behaviour of some of the most under-appreciated sealife on our shores – from sea slugs and spiderfish to charismatic tiny tompot blennies. Find out more at marinephoto.co.uk.
9. Green thinking
An independent fish shop in Totnes might be home to the UK’s most sustainable fish finger sandwich. Founded by chef Aarik Persaud in 2018, Cormack’s Seafood works with local, small-scale vessels to allow fish stocks to remain healthy while honouring the livelihoods of local fishermen. Alongside fresh seafood, shellfish and hampers, Cormack’s crafts its own thickly cut fish fingers by hand using 100% pollack fillet wrapped in a dill and spiced panko breadcrumb, with zero preservatives. Drop in to the shop for a fish finger sandwich or buy a box for all the family at cormacksseafood.co.uk.
10. Paradise beach
All eyes are on Salcombe’s South Sands Beach, as the brand-new Harbour Beach Club Hotel & Spa throws open its doors for a next-level luxury coastal getaway. Featuring 50 rooms and suites, an indoor pool, sauna, treatment rooms and sea-facing beach bar and restaurant, the resort also runs a complimentary shuttle into town and back – if you can make yourself leave the hotel, that is (harbourhotels.co.uk/harbour-beach-club).