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The top five outdoor activities (within 10 minutes of our hotel)

South Devon; some of the best beaches in England, stunning coastal walks and beautiful countryside. Explore the culture and history of our county with our guide to the best outdoor places to visit, which are all within 10 minutes of the Osborne Hotel.

Paignton Beach – 3 miles from the hotel

The Marine Conservation Good Beach Guide lists Broadsands Beach, Hollicombe Beach and Preston Sands in Paignton amongst its top recommended beaches.  The beaches are family friendly, safe and clean.  There is a huge range of water sports on offer from kayaking to water skiing. The sands are lined with cafes, shops and pubs – so after all the sand castle building, you can recharge before heading back to the hotel.

Coastal Walk – 0.1 miles from the hotel

The South West Coastal Path was originally formed as coastguards walked the cliff tops watching for smugglers. Today the 630 mile long path is the longest National Trail in the country. Starting at Minehead in Somerset, it runs along the coastline of Exmoor, continuing along the coast of North Devon into Cornwall. Running in front of the hotel, follow the path from Meadfoot; head north (keep the coast on your right as you walk) and climb the hill to Thatcher’s Point, Hopes Nose and around to Anstey’s Cove. Walking south will take you to Daddyhole Plain; a limestone plateaux which offers great views of the bay and harbour. The coastal path travels through an area once cultivated by Victorian gardeners but is now preserved as a wildlife conservation area, rich in rare plants with its own colony of the nationally endangered horseshoe bats in a former wartime lookout post. Watch out for the Devil in his limestone cave!

 Babbacombe – 2 miles from the hotel

Only 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel is the quaint village of Babbacombe. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the independent shops and tearooms before exploring the pretty coastal and woodland walks which offer spectacular views and a treasure trove of hidden coves. No visit to Babbacombe is complete without a trip to the model village or cliff top railway. The railway was built in 1926 and takes visitors down the 240-foot cliff face to Oddicombe beach.

Cockington Country Park – 3 miles from the hotel

Cockington Country Park and Gardens is an award winning country park and is part of the UNESCO English Riviera Global Geopark. A paradise for walkers, gardeners, nature lovers and families alike, the park contains wild woodlands and formal landscaped areas, such as the rose garden, arboretum and ornamental ponds.

Kents Cavern – 1.4 miles from the hotel

Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe. It is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (since 1952) and a Scheduled Ancient Monument (since 1957). As you walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns, you’ll be surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. All tours are guided so you will need to check the times before you arrive.

Planning a trip to Torquay? To get the best rates and terms it is best to book direct. Stay and dine at the Osborne Hotel this winter and take advantage of our special package – £60 pppn for dinner, bed and breakfast. To read more about this offer, visit > http://www.osborne-torquay.co.uk/offers.

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5 reasons to visit Torquay in December

A winter trip to the coast may not be a traditional choice, but with ‘staycations’ increasing in popularity, Devon is becoming a popular destination all year round. If you’re planning a trip this December to relax ahead of the festive chaos, then here are our top five reasons to visit Torquay:

1) Micro-climate

Did you know that due to the sheltered nature of Torbay, Torquay is especially mild all through the year? As result of this, palm trees have become a familiar sight! Our mild microclimate means that you’ll never face the full fury of the winter weather. In Victorian times, people were encouraged to visit the area as the weather was deemed a real tonic to their ailments! Why not give it a try yourself?

2) Christmas Market and Town Centre Festivities

If you’re looking for an exciting yet different winter destination, there is plenty happening in the area in December. The Christmas market in Lower Union Street will host 40 stalls selling traditional gifts and food. The market will be present throughout December and coincides with late night shopping. Santa’s grotto and a brass band can also be found in the town centre. Traditional pantomimes are plentiful at the town’s theatres – Cinderella at the Princess Theatre is a particular highlight this year.

3) Perfect for Children – whatever the weather!

Santa will be visiting Kent’s cavern, a UNESCO global Geopark, again this year. This is a magical event, which includes a one hour show and a personal visit to see Santa. The event is located in one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe; surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. If the weather is wet, then a trip to Waves Leisure Pool ensures fun for all the family. Recently refurbished Torre Abbey is also undercover and brings history to life with family trails in the house and gardens.

4) Travel back in time – Victorian Christmas at Bygones

To celebrate Christmas as it was in 1897, a visit to Bygones in Torquay is highly recommended. Look out for the 12-foot tree and join in the hunt for modern gifts hidden around the museum for a festive treat.

5) Meadfoot Beach

Meadfoot beach, in front of the hotel, is quieter during the winter months. Part of the Geopark, the rock formations are of great interest to budding geologists. However, a Boxing Day dip is only for the hardy! The bay is sheltered and secluded and is a favourite of the locals. Rock pooling and crab fishing are popular here and it’s only a quick walk from the hotel, where you can warm up with a cream tea afterwards!

To book an overnight stay at The Osborne Hotel during December, please visit our website and book direct. Not only will you be guaranteed of the best rates, but you can select the exact room you want – ensuring a sea view. Our new menu in Langtry’s, is a collection of wholesome, home cooked food with an innovative twist. Just perfect after a cold day’s exploring the array of attractions in Torquay.

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Delicious New Menu at Langtry’s

Our brand new Dinner menu at Langtry’s has arrived. Head Chef Kevin Robertson-Wells and Sous Chef Phil Davidson and their chef team, have created an array of mouth-watering dishes, designed to tantalise your taste buds. The new menu has been developed with wholesome home cooked food in mind, but with an innovative twist.

The Dinner menu has an entirely refreshed starter menu. We’re excited by the new additions, which includes game terrine, served with piccalilli and sour dough toast. Garlic roasted scallops which are presented on an edible shell and a delicious chive butter sauce. The king prawn dish is a piece of theatre – served with a blanket of cuttlefish, which upon being lightly sprayed by beetroot jus, reveals an enchanting secret!

The main event features herb crusted pork tenderloin which is accompanied by cabbage and leek with a spiced apple puree, roast herb potatoes and a pork and cider cream sauce. Our venison suet pudding perfectly encapsulates chef’s vision of wholesome, home cooked food. This delicious, warming meal is served with a caramelised pear, gnocchi and a comforting red onion gravy. The hotel’s enviable location has inspired our ‘From the Sea’ dishes; grilled turbot, landed at Brixham, is complemented by a lemon and seafood foam and a twist on macaroni cheese combines crab with scallop dust.

To finish, indulge your sweet tooth with ‘The Osborne Apple’. Filled with toffee apple caramel and raspberry cream – truly scrumptious! The pumpkin pie is a perfect fit for the colder season ahead. Served with Chantilly cream, toasted seeds and maple syrup ice cream; ideal to round off a deliciously satisfying meal this winter.

At Langtry’s, we’re firm believers that the ‘enjoyment of good, fresh and healthy food should not be restricted by dietary requirements.’ We welcome vegetarian and vegan diners plus those with food allergies and intolerances with open arms.

The new Langtry’s menu is available from 7th October 2016. To view the menu in full please visit our website. To book your table please call 01803 213 311. Reservations are recommended.

 

 

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Your Christmas At The Osborne Hotel

This Christmas, why not wake up to a stunning view across Torbay… it may only be September but now’s the perfect time to start planning how you’ll be celebrating Christmas 2016.

Mini breaks have become an increasingly popular way to spend the festive season, with many of us keen to escape the chaos and stresses Christmas preparation can often bring. You don’t need to jump on a plane to enjoy a winter break; thanks to the sheltered nature of Torbay, Torquay enjoys a milder climate at Christmas than is typical for the UK. Choose Torquay for your festive celebrations instead of heading abroad and you’ll have extra money for next year’s summer holiday too!

Think how wonderful it would be not to worry about cooking Christmas lunch for the whole family, have your festive entertainment taken care of and a beautiful setting to enjoy it all in… we’ve got Christmas all wrapped up for you!

Whether you’re local to Torquay and looking for the perfect place to enjoy a festive meal or you’re travelling further to make the most of Christmas by the coast, we’d love you to join in the celebrations at the Osborne. Discover our Christmas offering for 2016:

Stay with us – Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year so make sure you truly take the time to enjoy it; get away from it all with one of our festive breaks. We have a range of offers available from a one night stay on Christmas Day (includes Christmas lunch, evening buffet and lazy breakfast on Boxing Day) to a three-night break from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day to help you relax and unwind. With our three-night stay you’ll be welcomed with a glass of bubbly on Christmas Eve, enjoy a delicious lunch and evening buffet on Christmas Day plus a late breakfast on Boxing Day (checkout is on the 27th December). We’ve also got plenty of exciting (yet relaxing!) entertainment on offer to keep you in the festive spirit!

Spend the day with us – Join us for dinner on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day or lunch on Christmas Day. From 7-9.30pm on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, you can look forward to a three course meal for both adults and children – a particular highlight is the Edible Christmas Crackers for dessert on Christmas Eve, sure to be a favourite with the little ones!

Christmas Day lunch with be served from 12.30-2pm. We’ll treat you to a glass of bubbly on arrival before you tuck into an eight course meal (a three course meal is provided for children under 12). There are plenty of options to choose from for each course with mouth-watering mains including roasted traditional turkey and pan seared turbot. When it comes to dessert, you can choose between Christmas pudding served with brandy custard and clotted cream or Baileys Cheesecake – it’s a tough decision!

We have more Christmas Packages available, including two-night stays and Christmas parties. Take a look at our Christmas 2016 brochure for full details of all our offers or call our Christmas team on +44 (0) 1803 213 311.

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Top Tips on Accessing the Best Rates

Get the best deals on luxurious stays at our elegant seafront hotel by following these simple tips:

Always book direct!

Book direct to access the best advanced rates on all of our rooms, including those that aren’t listed on other booking sites like our stunning Superior Sea View rooms. If you know the exact dates you need, then be sure to book with us to secure our best non-refundable rates. And if you’re after a little more flexibility, when you book direct you can also access our refundable rates which allow you to cancel or modify your stay up to 24 hours before arrival at no extra cost!

Book early

Our reservation system allows you to make a booking up to 365 days in advance! Act fast to get the best rates before anyone else does.

Join our mailing list

Stay ahead of the curve by signing up to our mailing list, which features exclusive monthly offers like 10% off dining, discounted accommodation deals and ‘Wine and Dine’ specials. The offers change each month so there’s always something to look out for. Better yet, it won’t cost you a penny to subscribe so you have nothing to lose by signing up.

Follow us

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get up-to-the-minute info on our latest deals and to take part in our social media competitions – you can win fantastic prizes including hotel stay packages and complimentary extras.

Check our offers page

We feature specific details about our seasonal discounts on our offers page. Keep checking regularly for updates because we refresh the page with new deals and special promotional codes as often as we can.

Call us

Give us a ring and speak to us directly to discuss our rates and rooms 01803 213 311. We might even be able to create a bespoke package for you that includes breakfast, full access to our gym and pool and a box of delicious handmade chocolates. Tell us what you’re looking for from your stay and we’ll do our best to tailor your booking so that the time you spend with us is truly memorable.

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Planning your trip to Torbay

Plan your trip to Torbay in advance and pencil in some of these fantastic recommendations to make your trip to the coast a vacation to remember:

Riviera Lane

Go for a stroll along Riviera Lane. Just a small part of the 630 mile Southwest Coastal Path, the stunning coastline makes for a beautiful summer walk and the scent of the purple heather turns it into an experience you’ll never forget.

Paignton Zoo

Head a little further out to see over 2000 animals at Paignton Zoo. A fun-filled day out for the whole family, you’ll come across everything from baboons and giant tortoises to boa constrictors and flamingos. You can even book in for an animal experience and get up close and personal with meerkats, giraffes and rhinos.

Little Theatre

Visit the Little Theatre to experience the best theatrical drama that Torbay has to offer. Based in a converted church, this intimate venue has a retro bar and red velvet chairs. Catch classics, comedies and thrillers with the whole family in tow as you enjoy the old school atmosphere.

Ferry Boat

Want to head further out to Brixham and Paignton? Take a ferry service across the bay and relax as you watch the world go by for the 30-minute journey. Private charters are available too for celebrations like weddings and birthdays!

You can also take a ferry trip to Dartmouth, and if you get lucky, you may spot dolphins and other sea life on the way!

English Riviera Wheel

See the sights of Torbay from up high by taking a ride on the English Riviera Wheel.Witness the spectacular views from the centre of the famous Pavillion Gardens in the 360 degree view gondolas. Then finally, head back to the Osborne Hotel for a spot of lunch at Langtry’s or visit the Terrace bar & grill to see the panoramic views across the bay.

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How to make the perfect Black Forest Gateau – Interview with Head Chef Kevin Robertson Wells

A Seventies classic, the Black Forest Gateau is a layered dessert rich with chocolate, cherries and cream. With a contemporary twist on this classic cake, Head Chef Kevin Robertson-Wells divulges his secret to making the perfect Black Forest Gateau.

Tips on:

The ‘make or break’ ingredients

Invest in high quality chocolate, Griottine cherries soaked in Kirsch and make your own cherry coulis to create a truly luxurious gateau.

Getting the perfect layers

Getting the perfect layers is important for three reasons. Firstly, the layered construction of the gateau ensures it stands up on its own and can carry the weight of the ingredients set between each round of cake. Secondly, the layering process creates the different level of flavours that result in a delicious and balanced mouthful with every bite. And thirdly, the layers create that WOW factor when you cut into the finished gateau, revealing the decadent strata of chocolate, cherry and mousse in each delicious slice.

The layers (bottom to top):

  • Dark chocolate sponge soaked in kirsch
  • White chocolate mousse
  • Griottine cherries
  • Chocolate sponge
  • Cherry jelly
  • Dark chocolate mousse
  • Chocolate spray
  • Topped with false cherries

The best type of chocolate to use

I highly recommend Callebaut (73% cocoa solids) dark chocolate. This is a chocolate that I’ve used for a long time as a chef because it works really well in a mousse – it lends a Black Forest Gateau the perfect amount of dark chocolate bitterness to offset the sweetness of the filling. I also use Callebaut white chocolate and the sweetness of this too is a great combination with the richness of the dark chocolate.

Using the right kirsch

We use the Kirsch Pur d’Alsace from France because of its high potency and 45% alcohol.  It has the smell and instant taste of kirsch which is classic in any black forest gateau.

Glazed or fresh cherries

I never use glazed cherries because they’re too sweet and the cherry flavour can get lost alongside the dark chocolate. Instead I use (1) fresh cherries to make a coulis for the jelly and (2) Griottine cherries matured in kirsch.

The hardest part

The hardest part of the gateau is the layering. We have to make sure each of the six layers is even and fits perfectly into the mould so that it looks impeccable when served. The layering is also crucial in getting the right balance of flavours for the best taste – layers with perfect symmetry result in a cake that not only looks attractive but tastes perfect; you get the heavenly combination of rich chocolate, sour cherries and fragrant kirsch in every bite.

Key things to avoid

Two key things to avoid are to not make the mousse too thick or the jelly too hard. This can offset the texture and moisture levels of the final cake. It takes two days to make this gateau but, judging on the great comments we get, it’s definitely time well spent!

Decoration – the final touches

Our original gateau was garnished with chocolate shards but our new and improved version includes something extra special: we top it with edible false cherries to create an impressive garnish! Although these cherries take a day to make they are truly worth the time and effort. Here’s how we do it:

  • First we make a cherry coulis and freeze it
  • Then we prep a cherry jelly, which is made with fresh cherry juice
  • Frozen balls of coulis are then dipped into the ‘cherry jelly’ and shaped into the form of a cherry
  • The stalk is made from a dried vanilla pod and the final touches are tiny hand-picked mint leafs

For the ultimate finish we serve the gateau with chocolate sauce and a delicate kirsch ice cream. But even when freshly sliced and served on its own, our glamorous gateau is truly a winning dessert – each of the flavoursome layers boast an intense flavour and a delicate texture that oozes decadence and indulgence.

Reserve a table at our restaurant, Langtry’s – click here.