Burgh Island Hotel (2017)

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URGH ISLAND has a natural microclimate, with wildlife to observe and cliff walks around its circumference. The sandy tidal beach on the eastern side, facing the mainland, is washed by the tides twice daily and so is always silver and clean. Protected by the lee of the western slope, the Art Deco hotel and the 14th century Pilchard Inn naturally face the mainland and the concourse of the tides. The western side of the island is a series of rocky outcrops inhabited by cormorants, gulls, seals and sometimes dolphins. At the island’s peak stands the Huer’s Hut, an ancient look out for shoals of mackerel from the Atlantic. Since the Celts came to the Bantham Estuary to trade tin with the merchants of the Mediterranean, Burgh Island has had a reputation as a secret getaway. A monastery once stood on the site of the present hotel and, for centuries, fishermen lived and worked from the foreshore of the island, enjoying hospitality in The Pilchard Inn. Stories, theories, myths and legends abound‌ These notes from our very small island aim to give an essence of Burgh and our history. They are a digest of what we have learned, living and working here over the past 16 years and are not necessarily historically accurate, but our best shot at recreating the past and the present for you.


ONCE MORE fashionable in the 21st century, Art Deco grew out of the movement launched at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925. Art Deco is characterized by the machine-made, precise lines and exuberant, eclectic decoration in a ‘modernist’ style, contrasting with the earlier sensuality of Art Nouveau. Burgh Island Hotel is possibly the best working example of Art Deco in the UK and preserves the style and substance of the era within a Grade II listed building. The original hotel was built in 1929 by Archie Nettlefold, who commissioned architect Matthew Dawson to design an extraordinary cross between a suburban villa and a Scottish baronial castle. Fortunately, in 1932 and when the hotel was on the cusp of becoming fully commercial, Archie found architect William Roseveare, who proceeded to re-model the front façade in clean, ocean-going lines. The South Wing, Palm Court and Ball Room were also built at this time.

1895 The first cinema showing 1910 Edward VII dies takes place in the Berlin and George V accedes Wintergarten Theatre to the throne 1901 Queen Victoria dies and Louis Armstrong born

1920 Edward VIII (then Prince of Wales) rides an early surfboard in Hawaii 1921 The term ‘swimming suit’ is coined for the rib-knit costumes made by Jantzen, in the US

1895 ‘Borough Island’ bought for a pittance from a local farmer by famous music hall performers, George and Rose Chirgwin. The hotel was then a wooden structure on the site of the present Staff House.

1922 George died, leaving Rose to soldier on with the business.

DRESSING FOR DINNER…OR NOT? It is impossible to be overdressed at Burgh Island: each night our guests mingle in black tie and evening dresses (no, they don’t have to be full length) before eating in the Ball Room, where live music entertains on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Don’t fancy the faff? Easy: our Captain’s Cabin and Ganges Room are set for you, where good company and food is the priority and there is no formal dress code.

1922 ‘The Waste Land’ by T S Eliot is published 1923 Coco Chanel introduces a craze for sunbathing after a cruise to Cannes

1925 ‘L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ 1929 The first classic Hollywood-style is held in Paris, marking the birth of ‘Art musical is released: ‘Broadway Melody’ Deco’, and F Scott Fitzgerald publishes 1927 Jean Patou launches the first ‘The Great Gatsby’ suntan oil, ‘Huile de Chaldee’

1925 ‘Uncle’ Archie Nettlefold, having inherited a large sum through Guest Keen and Nettlefold (GKN) engineering and munitions, bought the island from Rose.

1929 ‘Uncle’ Archie built himself a large country house in eclectic style and invited his theatrical friends down from London for the summers.



Burgh Island has wifi in all public areas so there’s no cold turkey. But take our digital challenge: are you ready to embrace the period, look up not down and enjoy quality us-time without the chatter of your echo chamber? You’re safe and smug in the knowledge all your friends are naturally envious – no need to brag.

1929 UK surfing history begins with the introduction of the 8’ longboard at Newquay 1930 Noël Coward and Gertie Lawrence star together (with Laurence Olivier) in ‘Private Lives’ 1932 ‘Uncle’ Archie became fed up with his friends sponging off him all summer long and decided to turn his house into a ‘proper’ hotel.

HOW AND WHERE TO PROPOSE A delicate question that needs thoughtful planning. Consult our expert staff, who have intel on the best cliff spots, beach walks and rockpool seclusion. Artfully finding a ring under a shell? Carelessly writing ‘will you’ in the sand at dawn? Or the riskier downon-one-knee during a dance in the Ball Room? Trust us: we can make it happen for you.

1936 Abdication of Edward VIII and first Spitfire flight 1933 ‘King Kong’ is released

1930s Party-time. Winnie, the Manageress, ran the hotel with her girlfriend. The women dined with ‘Uncle’ Archie every day, cutting his food up and feeding it to him themselves. Archie’s sight was tragically fading and by the late ’30s he was blind.

YOUR ISLAND YOUR RULES Did you know that you can hire the entire island for your wedding or significant birthday celebration? We love a big party and have hosted hundreds here: each different but sharing the same ‘wow’ factors of the location and building itself.

1939 ‘And Then There Were None’ by Agatha Christie, set on a fictitious Burgh Island, is published in the UK (title changed in 1949)

1939 The island was requisitioned by the MOD and was reputedly the scene of covert meetings between Churchill and Eisenhower later in the War.

1941 ‘Evil Under the Sun’ by Agatha Christie, also set on Burgh Island, is published

1942 A German bomber, on its way home from Plymouth, dropped unused bombs over the island and the north wing was badly hit, rendering the hotel unusable.

1944 ‘Uncle’ Archie died.




Our original sprung dance floor in the Ball Room is asking for you to black bottom, foxtrot or tango your way over it. Trust us on this: no expertise is needed, although it’s often seen here! And at the end of a glamorous evening, turn out onto our external dance floor and swish together under the stars.

1946 The bikini is introduced on the French Riviera 1949 Horizon Holidays launches and the package holiday is born

1946 Captain Keith Anderson and his wife – the last white Maharaja and Maharani of Sarawak, returned from Borneo to buy the wrecked hotel and island. Rebuilt, to an extent, the hotel took on a postwar dolce vita, trading as ‘the best hotel west of the Ritz’.

1952 ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie opens in the West End (it is still running)

1955 Both Captain Anderson and the hotel were failing in health. The Captain died and the island went to auction. The hotel was sold subject to the occupation of a mysterious old woman, living in what is now Mermaid Suite.

THE SEA TRACTOR It’s vital to be completely blasé when riding the Sea Tractor, despite the childish urge to squeal with delight. The current model is our third generation, built in 1969 by Robert Jackson CBE, a pioneer of the nuclear power industry, who was paid in champagne. She works on terra-technology, a direct response to beach conditions and different from previous generations of Sea Tractor, which were basic tracked vehicles, susceptible to faulty chains and bearings.

1962 Australian lifeguards bring the first fibreglass surf boards to Newquay

1955–1961 The hotel was bought by Landstone Estates and held derelict. The mystery tenant eventually died.

1965 The Monkees, directed by John Boorman, shoot ‘Catch Us If You Can’ at Burgh Island

1966 Yves Saint Laurent introduces ‘le smoking’, a tuxedo-style suit for women

1961 George Goss, a local businessman, bought the island and planned to market the experience as ‘Ventura: a land of mystery and adventure’. The guests were required to self-cater: small kitchenettes were built into the rooms.

TIDES Know this: the tide is not a creature of habit, nor does she keep regular hours. Instead the tide ‘meets’ and ‘parts’ at the whims of the moon, the convergent currents, the height of the beach, albeit on an approximate sixhour cycle. When booking, you will be told the times when you can arrive for guaranteed access by 4x4. Remember, it’s not just you; we have brought everything in the hotel over the beach.

1970 Speedo is the first company to produce swimwear made of nylon/elastane

1970 With the end of the swinging ’60s, George Goss gave up on mystery and adventure and sold the island to Tom and Sue Waugh. The Waughs capitalized on the self-catering angle and the island became a family-friendly mini-Pontins.

1978 ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ is pulled from the BBC 1981 ‘Brideshead Revisited’ is screened on ITV


Vintage knitted costumes are not essential for this activity, although they do add to the general hilarity when wet… athletic guests often enjoy a refreshing dip after breakfast or before supper, while the more indolent relax on the sunny decking.

1982 Roxy Music release ‘Avalon’ citing Bauhaus and ’30s cabaret references

1982 Tom died and Sue sold back to an unknown buyer. The hotel was moth-balled.

1981–88 The Memphis Group of designers produced furniture with a definite Deco influence, once more popularising the period 1986 The island was bought at auction by Tony and Beatrice Porter. The hotel was by then a wreck and Tony and Beatrice aimed once more to tempt the media folk of London down to Devon on the back of their PR business.

An authentic smugglers’ pub, The Pilchard dates back to the 14th century, originally serving the fishermen living on the island shores. It was later made infamous by the capture, and death, of young Tom Crocker, a local smuggler who was apprehended by Excise-men while trying to make his getaway through a tunnel, which reputedly still runs under the cellar to the southern side of the island. Do not be alarmed by the resident poltergeist. Do enjoy the local ales and good wines from the comfort of the fireside bar.


2000 Filming for ITV’s ‘Poirot’ takes place on Burgh Island


2011 The Museum of British Surfing opens in Braunton, North Devon 2010 ‘Staycation’, meaning a holiday spent in one’s home country, enters the Oxford English Dictionary 2001 The island changed hands again. The current owners are Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark, both with commercial backgrounds. Married in the hotel, they fell for its peculiar and unique charm. In the following decade, they undertook extensive renovations, added ten bedrooms to the hotel and revived its pre-War reputation… with modern comforts.

2013 Warner Bros release the blockbuster ‘The Great Gatsby’

Zorana Damjanovic Receptionist How long have you been at Burgh Island? Since Autumn of 2016.

What was your first impression of the island? I knew of the island, before I joined in 2005, but I was not prepared for the ‘wow’ factor of the views and the history. What is the best part of your job? Definitely our guests, lots are on special occasions while others are returning guests but all are super excited to be here, so it makes it a great place to work. Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? The overwhelming number of guests who tell me they want to return – it happens every day.


Danny Jordan, Maintenance Manager

What was your first impression of the island? It’s a ‘one of a kind’ place. What is the best part of your job? Interacting with people. And, of course, the dressing up. Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? Yes. ‘Our thanks to the sweet and delightful CHUBBY blond receptionist.’

Gary ‘McBar’ Maguire How long have you been at Burgh Island? A mighty 24 years, man and boy. What was your first impression of the island? A sunny place full of sinister people (as it was then). What is the best part of your job? Imparting knowledge and wisdom to the guests and gossip and scandal to my fellow staff. Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? Being called ‘pivotal’ by a lovely guest. At the end of the day it’s just a bar job, albeit in a fabulous place.

How long have you been at Burgh Island? Eight years. What was your first impression of the island? Where am I? What is the best part of your job? When people thank you for a good time, good food, good service, etc… Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? Many of them: ‘Thank you, Tash, that you cared about us.’


Natalja ‘Tash’ Samolianova Restaurant Supervisor

Vladimir Krupa General Manager How long have you been at Burgh Island? Almost a decade! It will be 10 years in 2018. Tim Hall Chef

What is the best part of your job? Interacting with guests.

How long have you been at Burgh Island? Eight years.

And the worst? Seeing them leave…

What was your first impression of the island? Look at all those rabbits! How many pies could you make from them! What is the best part of your job? Producing good food from great local ingredients. And the banter and togetherness in the kitchen. What has made you laugh at work recently? Food allergies that tend to stop at desserts!

Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? So many comments from guests make you realise just how special this place really is.

Steve Margrain Driver/Maintenance/ Painter-guru

How long have you been at Burgh Island? Two years.

How long have you been at Burgh Island? Seven years.

What was your first impression of the island? It seemed like time had stopped, and the island wanted you to enjoy its nature, peace and positive energy – and, of course, good food and drink.

What is the best part of your job? The variety. What has made you laugh at work recently? Gary McBar – all the time. Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? ‘Like the beard’… on many occasions.

What is the best part of your job? Working here is like my hobby. For many of our guests coming here is a dream come true, so I really do my best to make them feel welcome. Seeing happy guests makes me feel happy. What has made you laugh at work recently? The kitchen staff singing Christmas songs in the summer!


Martina Juzekova Reception/ Front of House

Jozef Brudnak Sous Chef How long have you been at Burgh Island? Four years. What was your first impression of the island? Stunning place with lots of history. What is the best part of your job? It’s good chance to learn how to cook everything from scratch and from fresh. I love the creativity. And the worst? Crazy hours to make everything ready.

Tony Orchard & Deborah Clark Owners

Lilly Krupa Duty Manager

How long have you been at Burgh Island? Just over four years. What was your first impression of the island? OMG!!! What a stunning place! What is the best part of your job? Bringing happiness to people through my food. What has made you laugh at work recently? Gary’s retirement date! Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? (In the pub – *hint*) ‘Can I get you a drink?’

What was your first impression of the island? Coming over on the sea tractor for a two-month summer season job, aged just 16. Bloody brilliant! What is the best part of your job? Gossip in the office with Gary after shift. But of course it’s all the different personalities of guests and staff and challenges with them every day. What has made you laugh at work recently? The amount of guests saying ‘lets go for a swim in the mermaid pool before breakfast…’ after too many cocktails. The swim never happens!


Lukas ‘Soki’ Sokol Chef de Parti

How long have you been at Burgh Island? We bought the island in 2001 and moved straight on board with our two small kids. What is the best part of your job? Watching the diverse community of staff work like clockwork, and being proud to be part of it. What has made you laugh at work recently? The handover notes from each shift always make us smile: funny, wry, sometimes romantic tales about the day’s activities. Are there any guest comments that have stayed with you? The body of very lovely comments on Tripadvisor gives us real insight into how our guests experience the island.


NETTLEFOLD 1870-1944 ‘Uncle’ Archie Nettlefold was the first owner of the hotel in its present form. He is a man of mystery, with few images remaining and less still known about his private life. It is to him that we owe our iconic modern vision on the seaside. From a successful industrialist family, Archie’s ‘proper’ job was to dabble in the financing of plays (through which he met Agatha Christie), horror films and even expeditions to Everest.

NOËL COWARD 1899-1973 Nicknamed ‘The Master’ because of his wit and deft writing of some of the most successful songs and plays of the period, Noël began performing at the age of seven, adoring songs, music and his mother. Noël was invited to Burgh Island for the weekend by Archie Nettlefold in the late ’20s and reputedly loved it so much he stayed for three weeks… who knows whether Room with a View was written here?

MALCOLM CAMPBELL 1885-1948 Pushing his vehicles to their limits, Campbell is best remembered for his records: in 1924, at Pendine Sands, he achieved the record for the two-way kilometre at 146.16 mph; in 1925 it rose to 150.766 mph, with Campbell becoming the first driver to exceed 150 mph. ODEON 1893-1941 Oscar Deutsche, the chain‘s founder, claimed that ‘Odeon’ was an acronym for ‘Oscar Deutsche Entertains Our Nation’. Tapping into the Art Deco zeitgeist, by 1937 there were 250 Odeon cinemas in Britain. Just before the outbreak of WWII, Oscar, his wife Lily and their companion, WW1 fighter ace Sol Joseph, travelled to Burgh Island in Sol’s Ford V8 Pilot.

AMY JOHNSON 1903-1941 A smart, good-looking cookie, Amy moved to London after graduating from the University of Sheffield. She began flying in 1928. At first titillated by the thought of a woman aviator, the public soon took her seriously when, after just two years’ training, Amy became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. JESSIE MATTHEWS 1907-1981 Another of the beautiful, self-made celebrities who haunt our corridors, Jessie was a gamine, graceful dancer, with a warbling voice, and waif-like sex appeal – the embodiment of ’30s style. She looked as good in a sheer chiffon tea dress as in a DJ, dressed as a boy. Matthews danced from an early age, and worked at elocution lessons to create her trademark plummy accent.

JOSEPHINE BAKER 1906-1985 The chorus girl took the swiftest route she could from her basic beginnings, dancing and performing vaudeville, to New York City and thence Paris. She was gorgeous; Hemingway called her ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw’, and she was soon the lead and the star of the show, billed as the ‘highest-paid chorus girl in vaudeville’. DOROTHY BUTTON A former Zeigfield Follies dancer and sometime femme fatale, Miss Button is now immortalised in the phrase coined by the last white Maharani of Sarawak with reference to the Maharaja, Captain Keith Anderson, who was taken with Miss Button during a monsoon. Commented the Maharani, in 1946: ‘button up!’

W O BENTLEY 1888-1971 In 1920, ‘W O’ designed and built a high-tech four-cylinder engine and stylish chassis – his Bentley 3 Litre. The car was a breakthrough for the Fast Set, matching durability with pizzazz when it won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1924. Archie Nettlefold owned three and garaged one always at Burgh Island.

AGATHA CHRISTIE 1890-1976 ‘The Queen of Crime’ needs no background synopsis. Agatha met Archie Nettlefold through his financial backing of a number of London stage productions. The original Beach House (re-imagined in 2008) was built for Agatha to write in, and her home, Greenway, is just a short day trip from Burgh Island.

CHIRGWIN 1854-1922 The world of Victorian music hall was a competitive place and this may explain George Chirgwin’s bizarre guise as a black-faced minstrel. Billing himself as ‘the white-eyed kaffir’ Chirgwin had worked his routine since childhood, in an act that mixed sentimental songs, wisecracking comedy, costume and make-up. CUNARD 1896-1965 Nancy Cunard’s mother was a friend of Wallis Simpson and through her, Nancy might have discovered peace at Burgh Island that her life in Paris and London could not offer. A ’20s wild child with truly intellectual leanings, Nancy had numerous bohemian affairs: she was muse to every left-leaning poet, writer or artist to throng around the cafés of postwar Paris.

‘FRUITY’ METCALFE 1887-1957 How did Major Edward Dudley (‘Fruity’) Metcalfe acquire his moniker? Nothing in his generally decent life gives a hint at a seamier side. The aide-de-camp to Edward, Prince of Wales, ‘Fruity’ was a brick. Escorting the Prince through Europe and on frequent trips to Burgh Island, Fruity was constantly touched for the odd fiver, or to ease the Prince’s travels by greasing the hand of an official, a husband (or two). MOUNTBATTEN 1900-1979 Louis Mountbatten of Burma accompanied Edward, then Prince of Wales, on a 1922 royal tour of India, and the pair emerged as great chums, although relations with Wallis Simpson were frosty and their friendship hit a low during the abdication crisis in 1936.

R J MITCHELL 1895-1937 Reginald was a progeny in the world of aeronautics. At just 22 he joined the Supermarine Aviation Works as Chief Designer. By 24, he was Chief Engineer; at 31 Technical Director. In the ’30s Mitchell used Burgh Island as a retreat during his battle with cancer. It is said that his Spitfire was inspired by a seagull’s flight. GERTIE LAWRENCE 1898-1952 ‘I am not what you’d call wonderfully talented, but I am light on my feet and I do make the best of things.’ So said Gertrud Alexandra Dagmar Klasen with cute understatement. At ten Gertie met a boy named Noël Coward, who wrote, ‘she gave me an orange and told me a few mildly dirty stories, and I loved her from then onwards.’

FORMBY 1904-1961 Over a 40 year career, George Formby appeared in 21 hit films, made 230 records, hundreds of stage performances, two Royal Command Performances and entertained an estimated 3 million Allied servicemen and women during WWII. Burgh Island guests didn’t know what to make of the cheeky Northern chappie who proudly played on his northern accent and picnicked on Bigbury Beach. MERMAID In May and October we entertain dolphins in the bay, so why not mermaids and mermen? You can check from the windows of this suite, overlooking the Mermaid Pool and, if you see one and can prove it, claim your free ‘Mermaid’s Kiss’.

GARDEN SUITE In the 1960s, this was the games room of the hotel. It was piled high with a jukebox, table football, cigarette machine and pool table. It’s come a long way: now the largest suite in the hotel with a large private garden, this was renovated in 2004 in classic Art Deco style.

AVON Generically ‘the river’, our particular Avon flows through the nearby village of Bantham into the sea just opposite the island. The beach is one of the top surfing destinations in the UK and dolphins are attracted to its shallow, warm waters. We popped a picture of Clarissa, Countess of Avon and widow of Anthony Eden, on the door just because she’s rather lovely.

HOPE Looking towards nearby Hope Cove, with memories of the lights of shore at the end of a long sea voyage. Hope Bay is a local beauty spot for sailors and walkers alike.

EDDYSTONE (LIGHTHOUSE) Position 50°10’47.99”N 04°15’53.99”W; height 49 metres; range 31km; intensity 26,200 candela. Subsidiary fixed red light covers a 17° arc marking the ‘Hands Deep’ reef. The original lighthouse was established in 1703 and its Victorian progeny stands 14 miles out from Plymouth Breakwater. It is visible from the island tonight. SHRIMP Our smallest room! Until 2004, this was the General Manager’s room in the hotel and a repository for unwanted furniture. Now fitted in gentlemanly style, you can enjoy a slipper bath while watching seagulls wheel outside the windows.

THE BEACH HOUSE Originally created as a writer’s hut for Agatha Christie, who based two of her most famous books here (‘Evil Under the Sun’ and ‘And Then There Were None’), The Beach House was renovated first in 2002 as a home for the current owners and their children. A later renovation, in 2008, created a spacious suite with sun decks. Robins, cormorants and oystercatchers are your neighbours, and a family of peregrine falcons nests on the right hand promontory.

THE ARTIST’S STUDIO Our bohemian studio apartment above The Pilchard Inn was converted in 2003. It is named after Turner, who in 1812 was cast ashore during rough weather and ‘with a pencil, clambered nearly to the summit of the island’ to sketch its wildness.

AND COMING SOON THE POOL HOUSE We’ll let you know when bookings are open for our newest suite, dropping into a natural curve in the rocks between the Mermaid Pool and the beach. After a national RIBA competition in 2016, London architects Carmody Groake have designed an organic, environmentally sound, luxury bolt-hole for your pleasure.

THE BURGH ISLAND Makes 15 scones 800g self-raising flour 20g baking powder 10g salt 200g butter 200g sugar 380ml milk


1. Place all the ingredients, except the milk, into a mixing bowl. 2. Using your fingertips or an electric mixer, rub the ingredients together to a breadcrumb consistency. 3. While continuing to mix, slowly add the milk. Mix until a soft dough is formed. 4. Turn the dough out onto a floured marble surface. 5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3–4cm approx. 6. Using a 7cm round cutter, cut out circles of the dough and arrange on a lined baking tray. 7. Brush the scones with a little milk. 8. Bake in the oven at 180ºC until risen and golden brown (15–25 mins). 9. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Jam or cream first? You decide. Loyal Devonians will always go for cream first, but we prefer the look of jam. Just don’t get us started on the ‘correct’ pronunciation of scone…




A timeless breakfast staple: simply oranges and sugar. Remember to sterilize your container before use. 1. Soak 12 oranges in water for 24 hours to remove any wax. 2. Blanche oranges in a pan of simmering water for 45 minutes or until skin has softened. Drain oranges and allow to cool; discard water. 3. Once cool, carefully remove the skin in quarters. 4. Remove the pith from the peel, keeping the pith and the pips. 5. Finely slice the peel. 6. Tie the orange flesh, pith and pips in a muslin bag, in the pan. 7. Weigh the sliced peel. Add double the amount of sugar to peel. 8. Pop the peel and sugar in the pan and add just enough squeezed orange juice to cover. 9. Bring to boil and simmer until a temperature of 107ยบC is reached. 10. Place in a sterile tub or jar and leave to set.


Now this is easy and distinctive, just like a sunny evening at Burgh Island. Take a margarita glass (or coupette) and build it in the glass with: 50ml Midori liqueur; 20ml Amaretto then top up with champers. Garnish with something red and fresh: strawberry, raspberry; and a leaf of mint. Send us your picture! #blacktieglam

Burgh Island Hotel Bigbury-on-Sea Devon TQ7 4BG +44 (0)1548 810514 www.burghisland.com hello@burghisland.com Cover image by Janice Walton. Janice lives in Bigbury-on-Sea and her studio overlooks Burgh Island. If you would like to visit and view her work, please contact the hotel reception. Photography by Pete Canning, Richard Downer, Andy Green, Paul McLoughlin and James Millar.