We ABSOLUTELY love Mexican food here at Portlebay! Weather its rolled in a tortilla, crammed into a taco or chilli and lime popcorn, all of it gets our mouths watering!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this annual celebration, this Mexican festival celebrates love and respect for deceased family members and creates an opportunity for relatives to unite throughout the day of festivities. The ancient Mexicans believed that the souls of the dead returned to visit the living once a year in a day of food, drink and celebration, and this tradition has been carried forward for thousands of years.
It is common for people attending the festival to have their faces tastefully painted as skeletons. Although this may appear macabre to some, the traditional indigenous people of mexico saw sculls as a symbol of life rather than death, and this is still a view adopted in modern mexico today.
Are you celebrating this vibrant festival this Novemeber? If so (or even if not), why dont you ‘spice up’ your day with some of our chilli and lime popcorn? Go on, you know you want to!
As we say goodbye to those long summer nights it’s time to cosy up with something simply wonderful this Autumn, and whilst you can’t buy happiness you can certainly buy Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Popcorn, which is pretty close in our opinion!
We all love a chance to indulge in our favourite snacks and what better excuse is there to scoff up some Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Popcorn than National Bacon Day! National Bacon Day celebrates this yummy meat in a variety of unusual ways with Bacon jokes, Bacon art and event Bacon outfits! The first ever wild pigs were said to be domesticated over 10,000 years ago in central Asia, where the process of preserving pork became popular due to it being easy to cook, delicious and inexpensive. In the modern world, bacon can be found in all kinds of tasty treats such as bacon chocolate, bacon mayonnaise and most importantly bacon popcorn!
To celebrate National bacon day, here are a few of our favourite bacon facts!
1. Bacon grease was used to make explosives in world war II.
2. The name for this delicious treat originated from Germany where it was referred to as ‘Bakko’, the name then developed in the 16th century to Bacoun before eventually receiving the name that gets our mouths watering today- Bacon.
3. The reason your craving bacon? That’ll be because bacon contains six types of umami which produces an addictive nurochemical response.
4. The phrase ‘bringing home the bacon’ is said to have originated from 12th century England where husbands were awarded a side of Bacon if they could swear before god that they had not argued with their wife for a year and were therefore seen as good citizens.
and finally to give you hope through these chilly winter days we leave you with our all time favourite bacon quote from chef Anne Burrell:
At Portlebay we believe that life isn’t purely about large, exciting day trips or hugely memorable land marks like a birthday or wedding (although these are pretty important!), it’s also about cherishing the little moments and the simple, tiny things that bring joy to your every day life (like munching on your favourite flavour of popcorn). A very wise photographer once said:
“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” — Marc Riboud
For us this quote reminds us to be grateful for even the littlest things that make us smile and also allows us to admire the amazing talent of photography. Since today is world photography day, photography guest blogger Sarah (Checkered_photography) spoke to us about her photography journey and gave us a few top tips on how to take photos that do truly allow you to savour life in one of the most wonderful ways!
How did your passions for photography initially come about?
When I was younger my dad was always really good at photography he then passed me down one of his cameras and I have been addicted ever since.
2. How long have you been taking photos for?
I have had my own photography business now for 5 years.
3. What is it you find so wonderful about photography and why do you love it?
I am actually quite a shy and reserved person, but photography allows me to show other people what I see and allows me to express my feelings through the imagery that I produce, along with giving me the confidence to talk to anyone when I have my camera in my hand.
4. What is your favourite genre of photography and why?
I don’t actually want to pin it down and say I have a favourite. As you can imagine living here in Cornwall it allows me to be on the beach whenever I wish to be, so a lot of my photography is based in and around the sea.
5. What would be your top 5 photography tips?
Always be original, never set out to copy someone else you need to have your own style.
Stay relaxed. I can be way over critical of my work.
Keep learning, you can never take too many photos.
Stay confident. I have had a lot of tough life situations but my photography has always got me through them.
5. Be aware of your surroundings. Take in as much as possible when you are photographing, it will shine through in your imagery
We recently launched a competition in honour of the Royal Wedding. We asked our lovely popcorn lovers to send in their engagement stories, for the chance to win ninety bags of our Portlebay Popcorn, four big tubs of scrumptious Cranch’s sweets and a personalised ring box from Clouds & Currents, for their own wedding. It was an exciting nine days, as we received lots of lovely stories from many wonderful couples! However, there could only be one winning story… and we just LOVED Liz and Seb’s engagement!
It was such a dreamy story, we thought it just had to be shared with you all, so keep reading to hear the winning story!
Liz and Seb’s Engagement- As Told By Liz
Cruising the Norwegian Fjords last month, my partner proposed at the base of Briksdal Glacier. My parents were on the cruise with us and Mum had the responsibility of looking after the ring.
We walked through the mountains, up towards the glacier, with me not having a clue of what was to come. We took some truly amazing photos and were in absolute awe of the beautiful setting at the lake and glacier, but time was ticking on and we had to walk back to get our coach. Seb was lagging behind, so I suggested we head off and so walked off with my folks. Luckily, my Mum knew what was about to happen and suggested I go back to Seb and catch them up later. I went back to the lake and joined Seb, where he started talking about how long we’d been together and that it was the happiest he’d ever been. I jumped in at this point and corrected him on some of the time frames, still oblivious to where the conversation was leading. We took a selfie with the snow capped mountains in the background and as I turned around to see him, he was on one knee. He looked so nervous and was so red, but he managed to ask ‘will you marry me?’, to which I swore in shock. I looked to my left and a lady happened to be near by and was clapping and crying, as I turned back to him, still on the floor, he asked ‘Is that a yes?!’. I laughed and said ‘of course I will!’ and he placed the ring on my finger. We were both a bit dumbstruck by this point and not sure what was left to do other than run back down from the glacier and tell random people that we’d just got engaged, until we found my folks. My dad cried and my mum thanked the Lord she no longer had the ring.
Now let me tell you, that poor ring had been on a crazy ride. I almost found it on the first day of our trip when rummaging around in mum’s bag for a pen. Then she left her bag in a bar after the cruise emergency evacuation talk, and then, she locked it in the safe and forgot the code!! She was understandably elated when Seb finally asked for it back at the start of our trek to the glacier. So Norway, especially that Glacier, will always have a place in my heart. It was a perfect, picturesque setting for the most unexpected proposal.
We truly loved this story and wish the lovely couple a happy and healthy future, with lots of popcorn!
We are delighted to introduce you to one of our very wonderful stockist, Pretty Local. Based just down the road from us in Kingsbridge, in sunny Devon, you can find the lovely Andrea and the Pretty Local HQ!
Pretty Local provides the option to have your weekly shop delivered right to your door with minimum food miles. The company offers everything from fresh seafood and meat, to fruit, veg, freshly cut flowers and all your cupboard essentials; all from a selection of trusted producers located in South Devon.
So why did Andrea start Pretty Local? “There is an abundance of wonderful food being grown, harvested or caught within a few miles of my home, but no easy way to buy it all at once. I created Pretty Local to provide a one-stop shop supporting the fabulous producers, farmers, fishermen and growers on our doorstep and bringing their produce closer to our community.” Says Andrea – and we utterly adore this idea!
Whilst living in the USA, Andrea unfortunately fell ill with Lyme disease. With no medical care, she decided that eating better would be her road to recovery. Sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy were all eliminated from Andrea’s diet, as she focused on being healthier. This highlighted, to Andrea, the importance of sourcing her food. However, when she returned to Devon, the local produce she was looking for just wasn’t that easy to get a hold of…until now. Pretty Local became the solution to our’s, your’s and Andrea’s food sourcing struggle and we think it’s pretty amazing!
Pretty Local currently deliver to locations within the South Hams, but not to worry if you aren’t quite in the delivery territory, Pretty Local also have multiple collection points for you to pick up your delicious goodies! Have a peek here for further delivery and collection info!
This week is the perfect excuse to pack all your favourite snacks and treats, and head to the perfect picturesque location! Gather the girls, the fam, your very best-est friends-it’s National Picnic Week!
Have a read below for all your National Picnic Week needs and inspiration!
Where to go?
Find a pretty spot that you can spend the day…
By a river or lake
A national park venue
Under a beautiful tree
A spectacular garden- even if it’s your own!
Take a slightly different spin on National Picnic Week and host an evening dinner picnic party!
What To Pack? (That you may forget!)
A good blanket! – If you only have a normal blanket, line it with a simple shower curtain to make it waterproof!
Cushions- keep comfortable!
A portable speaker
Napkins and hand wipes
Re-use a jar for salad dressings
A bag to collect any rubbish
A bottle opener
A cutting knife
A ball- tennis ball, beach ball, any kind of ball! You could even pack some rackets or bats too
Swimming costume and towel- in case you pitch up next to some enticing water
A good book
If you can, bring a bike along and explore the area!
A map of your chosen picnic destination, to help guide a new adventure!
We hope you have the most amazing picnic, with the most scrumptious treats and wonderful company! Happy national Picnic Week!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU LOVELY DADDIES! Today we are introducing you to our very fabulous guest blogger Claire. Claire is a keen blogger focusing on open and honest motherhood. Her blog is full of great tips and ideas for all of you mummies out there and is definitely worth a read, click here to head over to Claire’s blog! We stumbled across Claire’s blog and loved everything about it, it’s just so adorable and really makes for a great read! We reached out and asked Claire if she would be interested in working with us and so here it is, a special Father’s Day guest blog post! Here is Claire, Cailyn and Chris’ perfect Father’s Day! (Also check out Claire’s Instagram page @Cailynsmummy it’s truly wonderful!)
Popping Into Father’s Day Like ….. What’s Your Flavour?
Firstly let’s just give a massive shout out to all the dads out there who are absolutely amazing!
You’re all fantastic & deserve the best day ever!
Father’s Day for Daddy Chris this year was spent doing the things he loves the most. That definitely included driving his car, eating, spending time with his family & being able to enjoy the silly moments in life!
We enjoyed family time in the sun at Dalkeith Country Park, while having one of my famous picnics… (I’ve had a lot of practice & guidance as we used to have them every other weekend as kids.)
We enjoyed some favourites while talking, playing with Cailyn & laughing together.
Cailyn gave Chris his Father’s Day card that we made for him and a funny poster which she helped me make, as daddy really does eat all the popcorn…
13 bags in one day to be precise.
Chris loves us making him cards, as it’s personal and something he can keep until he’s old and grey! I think the personal touches are far lovelier than just buying a card or gift off the shelf, as it’s rare to find a card that captures your relationship with that family member or person you’re addressing. So make your own card this Father’s Day, either with pens and paper or personal photos, and I’m sure it’ll be the best card they have received to date!
After eating our sandwiches, Cailyn gave Chris his present of popcorn, which he was obviously over the moon about, but there was only one draw back… he had to share with Cailyn. You see she’s just as crazy about it as he is. It’s so amusing to watch them both sit together and just shovel in handfuls of the stuff while reaching for more and more……Hello hamster cheeks!
Who would’ve thought that Popcorn would be the one thing she would eat with her dad and only with her dad, she will never eat popcorn whilst sitting with anyone else like she does with Chris. Cailyn will cuddle up with him and just sit there until it’s all gone.
With some things, she’s definitely her father’s daughter.
They really can’t get enough of the stuff, so when Portlebay Popcorn sent over some of their delicious flavours for Chris to try it certainly put a smile on his face and Cailyn was clearly happy too as whatever he eats so does she.
You wouldn’t think that something as simple as popcorn would create such a bond, a memory, a special “thing” with someone, but they really do have that and I absolutely love watching it! Cailyn will always offers you some of their popcorn, while Chris just eats and will only think of you when there’s just the crumbs left at the bottom of the bag.
“oh did you want to try that flavour? Sorry it was too good.”
After taking Cailyn to the play park, we took a walk along the woodland path that led to a field of wild flowers, myself and Cailyn whipped our shoes off and became one with nature, just enjoying the sun.
Cailyn then took off with the her bag of popcorn and sat herself down in the flowers- the cutest thing ever, as she looked around for Chris to see if he was watching her. She has the most amazing & beautiful little ways, whilst also being such a fierce little Madame. She seems so far from being just a little 18 month old baby – she’s already one hell of a smart, talented & kind little lady who is so head strong, and we just love it!
“Enjoying favourite moments as a family really does great things for the soul”
Portlebay have an array of different, delicious flavours and I must say that Lightly Sea Salted, Chilli & Lime and Lemon Sherbet are my favourite flavours, Chris is still deciding as he loved them all & Cailyn, well she’ll eat anything too.
What’s yours? Have you tried them all before?
We will definitely be buying more packs of Portlebay Popcorn, as I for one need more Chilli & Lime in my life. It’s that good that I get cravings for it and I’m not even that big of a popcorn fan (unlike the other two!)
Whatever you’re doing this Father’s Day, I really hope it’s spent doing something amazing & making those family memories matter!
Ros, Kirsty, Laura and Kate, are the founders of Row For The Ocean, a 3000 mile row of the Atlantic; to raise awareness of the ocean plastic crisis. The girls are working with the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to establish a Plastic Free Exeter by 2020. Working with SAS and also the charity’s Ocean Schools Programme, the girls want to also inspire and educate the younger community about the future and the environment.
We were lucky enough to speak with these four very amazing ladies, who told us a little more about their mission! Keep reading to find out more about Row For The Ocean…
Q&A with Row For The Ocean!
Why did the four of you amazing ladies decide to take on this challenge?
I think we see it as the ultimate challenge, once we have stepped on to the boat there is no escaping until we reach the other side. Since starting the campaign, we have also been driven to succeed by the amazing support we have received and the want to create real change in Exeter by reducing single-use plastics.
What was the planning process behind the idea of the row and when was the idea first thought up?
Ros had the idea, she sent us through the link in January 2017 and it took us 6 months to decide to sign up after realising we couldn’t think of a reason not to (apparently the fear of dying at sea isn’t enough to put us off!). For the past 9 months we’ve spoken to as many people that have gone before us as possible to make sure we’re ready for the race start, it’s a big learning curve, but absolutely worth it!
What do you hope to achieve through your 3,000-mile row?
Our aim is simple, we see Exeter as a Plastic Free Coastline Community by 2020; and us winning the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, to ensure we get the most coverage possible for Surfers Against Sewage and the fight against single-use plastics. We want to raise £60,000 for SAS to go towards their Ocean Schools programme.
Where will you be launching and finishing the row?
The row starts in La Gomera in the Canaries and finishes in the lovely English Harbour in Antigua.
Prior to this challenge how long had you each been rowing?
Kirsty, Ros and Kate had all rowed for 5-7 years before takin on the challenge. Laura , whilst not rowing in fine boats (think Olympics), has rowed around GB in 2016!
How long do you think it will take to complete the row?
We’re aiming for under 40 days however we’ll be taking food for up to 60! It really depends on the weather we get so we’re hoping for winds – in the right direction of course!
What does your weekly training schedule look like?
3 sessions on the rowing machine and 2 weights sessions is our base training schedule, however some weeks we’ll also add other cardio workouts in to up the workload and mix it up a bit. Training for 12 months can become monotonous so it’s good to make sure you’re enjoying it!
Have you had to train in a specific way for this challenge?
We’ve recently been lucky enough to get Silver Olympic rower Guin Batten on board who rowed across the North Atlantic a few years ago. She’s currently helping us to build up our endurance on the rowing machine so that we’re ready for the 2 hour on 2 hour off shift patterns. James Parkes from Exeter Chiefs Strength and Conditioning team has also put together our weights programme – it’ll be important to have core strength when getting bashed from all angles by the Atlantic.
Can you tell us a little about the boat that will be taking you across the Atlantic?
We’ll be taking an R45 Ocean Rowing boat built by Rannoch Adventure in Essex. She’s already crossed the Atlantic twice and weathered a Force 10 storm so we know she’s up to the task! She’s 8.5 x 2m in size and has two cabins at either end that can sleep two people; she also self rights after capsizing (great!).
How much ‘stuff’ can you take with you on this adventure? What will your packing lists look like?
As we’re aiming to be the fastest women in the race we’re going to be very careful with how much we take. The race specifies the essential items and equipment we’ll need – Watermaker for fresh water, first aid kit, lots of food, jetboil, suncream, wet weather clothing and about a hundred other items including an anchor (not that useful for the Atlantic which is 5000m deep in places but the risk of hitting the reefs in Antigua makes it a necessity).
What are the biggest dangers/ scariest situations that could occur?
Capsize is always a danger, whilst we’ll be tied to the boat at all times the moments we enter and leave the cabins with the doors open are the riskiest. If we capsize with a door open the boat won’t self right which has caused crews to need rescuing in the past! Help can also be quite far away so we’ve had to train ourselves to know what to do in an emergency – including getting the liferaft out as a last resort.
What are you most looking forward to during your adventure?
The simplicity of life will be fantastic – no distractions, no mobile phones, just you and the boat. There will also be amazing sunsets, wildlife, and views hardly anyone else have ever seen!
What will you miss the most?
We like to answer this one with family and friends excluded – of course we will miss them! A good shower will be missed, a coffee in bed, and also just some alone time – whilst we’re all good friends a 8.5x2m boat doesn’t allow more much personal space!
Will supporters be able to track your movements somehow?
The race is tracked by Yellow Brick – they have an app that updates every 4hours so you can see how we’re getting on. I always say it’s good to leave it a day so it looks like we’re moving faster!
What are the different ways supporters can get involved?
We will be launching a Crowdfunder campaign for some of the final items of equipment on the 19th May 2018 so we want as many people as possible to support and spread the word! We’ve also got the opportunity for businesses to become a Row for the Ocean partner, here they’re able to get their logo on the boat and receive coverage through our social media, the press and the race media! You can visit www.rowfortheocean.co.uk for more details or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vessel, located just outside the heart of Plymouth’s city centre, is a seriously cool spot for those of you that are looking for a different evening venue. With over 100 varieties of beer, from some of the best breweries around the world and regular events that allow you to experience various beer styles, what’s not to love?! (Just in case you aren’t all about the beer, Vessel do also have a lovely selection of cider, spirits, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee too!)
Who are the geniuses behind this beer-illiance? The fabulous Sam and Katie! With a shared passion for beer, their interest in breweries grew, leading them to sample a great amount from across the globe. Now the lovely pair are sharing their beer knowledge with us all through Vessel!
Not only does Vessel allow you to indulge in delicious drinks in a charming setting, it also offers the option to take your beverages home, to continue enjoying in growlers. A growler is a reusable glass bottle that prevents the air from coming into contact with the contents of the bottle, so your beer can remain fresh up to two weeks!- If you haven’t already drank it all that is!
Our Portlebay team heard all about Vessel when they recently became a stockist of our popcorn (and Sean our Sales Magician also LOVEEES the place and can be found there regularly) and of course, we just had to check it out! We made use of an evening one weekend and a handful of us popcorn lovers took to tasting some beers, gin and cider! We have to admit, we absolutely loved the place! With it’s modern interior and gorgeous display of bottles from around the world and not to mention the incredible drinks, how could we not have had a marvellous evening?!
The 10th June 2018, is the next great Vessel event! Sam and Katie recently visited Cascade Brewery whilst they were away in Portland, Oregon and decided it was certainly a brewery worth showcasing! Cascade Brewery specialise in barrel aged sour beers using fruit grown locally in Oregon. Tickets are quite limited for this event so make sure you snap them up and pop it in your diaries! (Here’s the Facebook event for more info!) Also, here’s a clip of Sam tapping one of the Cascade Brewery beers!- just click here!