Amanda Barlow’s Favourite Places
Love a spa day? Scenic walk? Seafood with a view? We tapped Made For Life Organics MD, Amanda for some top local knowledge. Here are the Cornish places she loves best.
All-round inspiring, businesswoman, Amanda Barlow is MD of Made For Life Organics and a leading voice in organic skincare and wellbeing. Her award-winning, Cornwall-based company hand makes products that are packed with pure botanicals and active natural ingredients and have been snapped up by organic spas from Bude to Balmoral.
On a mission to make positive change through her business, Amanda also runs cancer charity The Made For Life Foundation, is a Soil Association ambassador, start-up business mentor and frequent speaker on environmental issues. Plus, as a qualified massage and Reiki practitioner, with over 35 years experience in hotels and tourism, she can spot a great spa, restaurant or retreat concept a mile off.
So I couldn’t wait to hear all about her favourite Cornish haunts…
Crantock Bay & Spa, Crantock, nr Newquay
This is where I celebrated my last birthday with a Made for Life Spa Day package and I love going here. Having a beautifully relaxing organic spa treatment (especially when it is one of your own signature treatments), followed by a glass of Champagne and delicious lunch overlooking one of the beautiful Cornish beaches is pretty special. When it is with your family it is even better.
I love the whole space at Crantock Bay. Tony and Nina, the owners, along with the team there are always welcoming and friendly. There are fantastic coastal walks where our three small dogs are in heaven. The C Bay Cafe offers a range of really great locally sourced dishes and dogs are welcome there so it is always happy and relaxed with people enjoying the views after walking. The beach is a surfers paradise and the car park has one of the BEST views ever! A great place to go and ‘catch the breath’.
The Eden Project, Bodelva
Every time I go to this place which I must admit is mainly out of season, I am in awe of it as a concept. I love it because I have been there for some great conferences and events. I have enjoyed fantastic concerts there with family and great friends; ice skated with my daughters when they were younger and recently enjoyed the stunning light and sound experience which was breathtaking. In addition, walking through the biomes and learning about the flora and fauna is simply a gift.
I think that any project which raises awareness of the importance of sustainability is great. Eden is a place where I always learn something and that is why it is also on my list of favourites.
Rick Stein Cookery School, Padstow
This is one of my favourite places for two reasons. The first is that it is where I first met Jill Stein several years ago who I have the privilege of working with; as we created the new Porthdune range of shampoo, conditioner, hand and body lotion and body wash for her. We are now working on extending the range so we arrive with all sorts of different natural products and have fabulous meetings in Jill’s office which always include a good laugh too.
It is also my favourite place because I took my whole team to the Seafood School for Christmas and it was the best Christmas party ever. The Chefs there are really fantastic and great teachers as well. We all learned to cook a great dish, inspired by one of Rick Stein’s recipes using locally sourced sustainable ingredients and then enjoyed eating together. It was so good that we held another event there in September.
Every time I walk in through the door I smile as it holds great memories and I love being there.
Trelissick Garden & Woodland, nr Truro
Trelissick Gardens and the nearby woods are my local walk (and also run). It is where I go with my husband Geoff to unwind and relax and have some space. I love watching the changing seasons. The bluebells are out in abundance in Spring; but it is always lovely and there is always something beautiful to see – from the curlews on the river; the trees and fields around you; to the reflection of a sailing boat on the still water. Often a walk will include walking or running through Trelissick Gardens which is a great open space with views out over the Fal.
There are great areas for picnics and for the braver folk, swimming too.
We have a little boat called ‘Miri’ and we also travel up the estuary. The view from the river is equally good.
The Made for Life Organics Lab at the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre, Truro
Well this may be slightly different but…I love walking into our Lab at the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre, Truro. It is great before I even walk in there as the scents drift up the corridor but when you walk in and see all the glass jars with organic flowers herbs infusing into organic oils it is a little bit of magic. I love the blend of the artisan process of looking at the best of nature and using this alongside a scientific approach to create the skincare products that we do.
On a sunny day, the macerations of oils look alive with a golden glow and the herbs and flowers smell and look amazing. I also love this space because I am very blessed to work with a really great group of people and I love the laughter and energy that also drifts out from the Lab and dispatch area.
The Cove Restaurant, Maenporth, Falmouth
When I first moved to Cornwall in 1999, this was my favourite restaurant and it still is today. Chef Proprietor, Arty and partner Anette have created some of the most beautiful dishes and also environment in The Cove which I have seen grow and develop. The food is absolutely impeccable with a really imaginative use of ingredients and the setting, overlooking Maenporth Beach is perfect..
It is my ‘special occasion’ place and Arty and Anette have always been really kind and supportive. They even loaned out the restaurant and provided free food to a group of women going through cancer, working to help the Made for Life Foundation when we were working with a film crew from Embarrassing Bodies.
Special memories and always a happy experience.
7th Rise, nr Truro
So this place is special. Set up my good friend Thom Hunt (also extremely inspiring) to let people reconnect with Nature and the Wild. This project has been amazing to watch as it unfurled. Tucked away, you can go here and forget everything. Switch off the mobile phone and immerse yourself in a woodland environment – bliss! Catching your own fish and cooking it over a fire that you have helped to build is pretty special. Great conversations take place when you go down here with friends and there are hideouts and retreats where you can stay with friends and reconnect with them too.
For me, it has been a place to go and clear my head and have good and honest conversations. That makes it a favourite place.