Doing Sober October? Meet Sarah from Sea Arch
Say salut to the co-founder of Sea Arch Drinks, Devon's tastiest non-alcoholic gin. Plus, your chance to WIN a Sea Arch bundle worth £101.30!
She and husband Geoff distil probably the tastiest alcohol-free gin in Christendom, perennially Muddy’s go-to for school nights or just when I don’t want a sore head in the morning.
Sarah and Geoff live close to Torquay’s natural sea arch, London Bridge, and it’s this which inspired the brand’s tagline, ‘More beautiful without’, ie the alcohol may be missing but you won’t feel like you’re missing out. It’s intended to be a grown-up’s aperitif, a sundowner or anytime treat.
The flavour is created from complex botanicals, including native coastal samphire and sea kelp found in Sarah’s local landscape of the south Devon coast where she loves to walk, eat and generally hang out.
And don’t worry if you haven’t tried it yet you can WIN a Sea Arch bundle worth £101.30 here!
So, Sarah, do tell…. Where should a a woman of taste and means go when she’s in your ‘hood – and when she’s trying to be good?
THE ELEPHANT BY Simon Hulstone, 3&4 Beacon Hill
The Elephant, Torquay’s Michelin-starred eatery, just off the pretty harbour is amazing. Chef Simon Hulstone’s menus are brilliantly varied but I always go for the seafood. I had the most wonderful rhubarb souffle here once and, of course, they will make you a delicious Sea Arch if you fancy!
ME & MRS JONES, Wellswood
If we’re going off for a picnic, this family-run deli in Wellswood is where I’ll go for nibbly bits, with its amazing sourdough, lovely salads and quiches and yes, Sea Arch Coastal Juniper! It’s a real treasure trove – you always meet someone you know here and it’s a really buzzing place to meet for morning coffee.
A fab brunch pitstop to drop in from a walk on the South West Coast Path before it gets too busy – amazing views and another sea arch worth seeing in Thurlestone Rock.
WESUP, Torquay Marina
I’m a member of WeSUP’s paddle-board club – if a fair-weather one – and it’s great for socialising with other women or just having some peaceful paddle-boarding time. You might even get to see a seal. One time they saw a basking shark – right under them! I wasn’t there for that, probably just as well as I’m not sure what I’d have done! It’s also good for a cocktail or to meet for a coffee, for work or with friends. I like the way it’s got lots of little rooms you can tuck away in and you have these amazing views over Torquay marina.
THE CARY ARMS, Babbacombe
Even though this 5-star hotel has won loads of awards, it’s really kept its character and still feels like a traditional Devon pub in some ways. Geoff and I love going here for a drink – non-alcoholic and otherwise – on the terrace overlooking Lyme Bay, which is like the Mediterranean on a sunny day.
You can walk down to the beach for a paddle from there or over to Oddicombe Beach. Here’s one of my favourite places for Brixham-caught seafood, I can recommend the prawns, scallops and the hake. My favourites!
WINE @ NO 7, 7 Beacon Terrace
Geoff and I used to run a successful wine bar in Wellswood and I noticed how when people didn’t want to drink, there was nothing interesting to offer, so drivers etc always ended up on soft drinks like the kids. So with Geoff being a trained chef we set out to create something sophisticated and delicious, with a good enough flavour to feel as special as having an alcoholic drink. We’re not saying ‘don’t drink’, just have something really good when you can’t! When I do drink, I love a glass of wine from the upstairs bar from No7, Torquay’s seafood bistro. The wine list is huge, and there’s loads of choice by the glass. Robin, who runs it, is really friendly and knowledgable (and he mixes a mean Sea Arch cocktail!). The views across the marina from here are beautiful too.
I get very nostalgic about the village where I grew up – my late father used to call it Shangrila. I love the walk up to the old tramway track, Puffing Billy, and, when we go back, there are a couple of good pubs we always visit, The Ship Inn and The Anchor. The Ship is our safe Sunday lunch spot, or when we fancy a really good steak or fish and chips.