Beach Tomato: My Secret Beach


We're usually concerned with life in the city as opposed to beachlife, but in celebration of our Destination Reiss holiday giveaway to the Cook Islands, we spoke to Beach Tomato's Editor, Kirsty Hathaway, who seemed pretty well placed to guide us through the world's best beaches. Name: Kirsty Hathaway Occupation: Editor of Beach Tomato

Where's your secret beach?

Muri Beach, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. It is just the most phenomenal place on earth.

What is the local beach style?

Relaxed and casual with mixes of colour, pattern and grey. Black stays at bay on holiday.

What is your tried-and-tested beach look?

Ideally a soft cotton t-shirt dress, a big hat, brown leather sandals and some colourful jewellery like friendship bracelets.

What are your five essential suitcase items?

A pair of sandals that will do day and night, a nourishing face mask like Gazelli triple youth ultra nourishing saviour mask, a hat - big or small - it's a great accessory and keeps your barnet and face well and truly safe from the sun. I also love an ultra-light knit that can be thrown on in the evening when it's slightly chilly and books, books and more books.

What is your one beach must-have?

Is it sensible (read boring) to say sunscreen? Nothing makes me more irritated at myself than burning.

What do you read on the beach?

Anything and everything. I don't often get the chance to read when I'm at home, so the beach is the perfect time to read as much as I physically can. Nothing better than bidding farewell to reality and getting lost in a book. I'm particularly fond of a biography, but of interesting people, not Katie Price and the like!

What do you listen to on the beach?

The waves. There is nothing more relaxing or therapeutic than listening to the waves crashing in on the shore.

Where is your favourite beach bar?

Plays De Los Artisistas in Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. It does the best ceviche as well if you're after a bite.

What is your favourite beach tipple?

An ice cold local beer.

Where’s your favourite ocean-view restaurant?

Sense of the Edge in Zighy Bay, Oman, is just incredible. Perched on top of the mountains over-looking Zighy bay and the sea beyond, it really is a pinch-yourself place to be.

What’s the local speciality?

The seafood is second to none. The chefs here really look for unique and interesting fusions. The lobster and mango dish is delicious and just-out-of-the-sea-fresh

Where do you party when the sun goes down?

Somewhere close to the water still. I love really rustic and a little bit decrepit beach bars. Nothing too flash, just relaxed and good fun.

What is your favourite beach activity?

I love surfing. Well, anything in the water, but especially surfing. You get a great sense of achievement catching a wave and feel phenomenal (albeit knackered) after a few hours in the water.

Where are the best waves?

I love going to Morocco. There are great hidden little breaks away from the crowds.

Where is your secret hidden gem?

Nature's Valley in South Africa. It is on the garden route, although a bit of a secret from the other stop-offs. With an incredible beach bordered by a lagoon and the sea, as well as some of the best nature hikes, it is somewhere you can go to rest and be exhilarated. What's more, it is utterly beautiful.

Where can you take the best pictures?

Anywhere with great golden light. I think that California's Big Sur offers this in bucketloads, add in the incredible location and backdrop and even I can't go wrong.

Where’s best for a paddle?

The idyllic and turquoise waters of the Cook Islands.

Where’s the best spot for posing?

Quite possibly Ibiza. Tis the best for people-watching at least.

Where’s the best spot for people-watching?

If not Ibiza then Cannes and St Tropez certainly deliver on some of the best beach-side people-watching in the world.

Where’s your favourite sunset?

I have such incredible memories of the sunset in Corsica. I used to go out there quite a bit with friends and we would go to the top of this hill with some beers. The most perfect, beautiful and idyllic time and sunset.