SOAKING in hot seawater and being smothered in freshly picked seaweed on a beach is the latest outdoor sensation being offered by The Camper Van Cookbook author Martin Dorey. The BBC Two presenter is offering the natural beach-side spa experience as part of a bespoke weekend for VW camper owners.
"Seaweed baths are relatively common in Ireland but here in the UK it's not something most of us would consider – even though many beauty products have seaweed in them," he said. "Sitting in mineral-rich seaweed is odd, at first, but feels fantastic on the skin. I'm going to be demonstrating how good it is by setting up my own home-made seaweed spas during my series of Campervan Weekends in Devon this summer."
Martin, who presented the TV series One Man And His Campervan also promises other wild experiences on his bespoke weekends. As a lifelong camper, VW owner and cook he, along with small team, will pass on their knowledge about living in the great outdoors, hopefully giving newbies and VW camper owners a weekend they won't forget.
Alongside his zany beach-side spa he has lined up foraging walks, beach fishing and lobster potting with survival expert Steve Marvell, surfing with a local surf school and beach trekking to find local wrecks.
Campers will also get to stay at wild camping locations in North Devon, waking to views of the Atlantic as well as one of the prettiest seaside meadows in the region. By night the campers will be treated to music from local musicians around the campfire, with toasted marshmallows and shanty singing.
Martin will cook recipes from his books as well as rustling up a few treats with foraged ingredients and the very best local produce. He'll demonstrate simple home smoking techniques, cooking over open fires and eating foraged beach food as well as cooking up the ultimate camper van breakfast with local bacon, free range eggs, Appledore seaweed delicacy, laver, and foraged seabeet.
"The idea of these weekends is to offer campers an instant and extraordinary camping experience with everything laid on," he added. "Wild camping on the coast is near impossible in England and, for people who are new to the camper van experience, it can be difficult to know where to camp, what to eat and how to cram it all in. I'll show them the way."
For those with their own vans, weekend prices are £320 per person including food, drink and three nights camping, with discounts for groups and children. However, VW Camper owners aren't the only people who can get in on the act: Martin has teamed up with O'Connor's Campers in Okehampton to offer 15 per cent discount on camper van hire for those who don't have a van.
Weekends take place on: May 17, 31; June 14, 28: July 12, 19.