Celebrate Christmas at the Osborne Hotel

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the Osborne Hotel will make it a Christmas to remember with our fantastic new function suite ready to host your Xmas Party.

Whether it’s the work’s Christmas do, a festive family reunion or an all-out Xmas party with your friends, here at the Osborne Hotel we’ll provide a complete bespoke service that will let you celebrate Christmas however you like.

We can host small dinners to big events in our exclusive Crescent Suite, with its own private entrance and terrace with breath-taking views of the Torbay coast. It doesn’t matter if you’re a group of friends or 130 work colleagues, we can cater for you all. Whatever the size or type of party, our advice for a perfect Christmas party is always to book early.

‘Last year was the busiest Christmas we’ve had,’ explains general manager Anthony George, ‘and we’re expecting the same this year, so the earlier you book the better.

‘We accommodate all group sizes and party types for Christmas, it’s a very busy time for us at the Osborne Hotel thanks to the unique location and exquisite menu we provide. It’s always a lot of fun at Christmas too and we can’t wait to start celebrating the festive season.’

Now is the ideal time to book your Christmas party for 2017 as we still have some dates available to celebrate the festive time of year. We can accommodate all types of parties, whether you’re looking for a sit-down meal or just some drinks and a dance.

By booking ahead you’ll stand a much better chance of getting prime dates like the final two Thursday evenings before Christmas (which in 2017 will fall on 14th & 21st December). These dates tend to be the ones that book out first – so make sure you’re in with a chance!

There’s nothing worse than trying to plan a Christmas party only to find that the venue and entertainment you wanted are no longer available. So, minimise that risk through smart, forward planning. Organise your event way ahead of everyone else so you don’t miss out.

We’ll help you organise the party, which means less stress for you as we lead up to the busiest time of the year. Our aim is for you to have a fantastic party full of Christmas cheer, a true experience to remember.

For a bespoke party tailored to suit your needs, please give us a call on 01803 213311, email enq@osborne-torquay.co.uk or click here to fill out our contact form.

Our Award-Winning Gardens at the Osborne Hotel

As we head towards the 19th Torbay in Bloom competition, we thought it was a good opportunity to take a closer look at the Osborne Hotel’s beautiful gardens.

So, we caught up with our head gardener Phil Marshall to find out what keeps the gardens in such a fantastic condition while getting his thoughts on the upcoming Torbay in Bloom competition and his hopes of winning in 2017 (the Osborne Hotel has come second for the last two years).

‘First and foremost, we select the planting based on whether the plants will sustain the summer, as we’re right in front of the sea and the salty sea air,’ explains Phil, ‘the second consideration is then colour coordination and whether the blooms will fit with the existing plants.’

The gardens at the Osborne Hotel are a big attraction for our visitors thanks to their year-round colour and considered planting that maintains your gaze but it’s not all flowers and shrubs, the fruits and vegetables are important too.

‘We grow a lot of food here including tomatoes, peppers, chillies, marrows, cucumbers, strawberries, rosemary and mint. You name a seasonal vegetable for the UK and we’ve probably grown it here,’ says Phil. ‘This year we also have our first year of Fennel producing.’

All that planting needs some serious pest-control considerations and here at the Osborne, we like to keep things as natural as possible – it’s why we have a pond in our poly tunnel.

‘Bugs live in the bark we have in the poly tunnel and once they’ve reached maturity, they can cause a lot of damage to the plants we have growing in there. The pond is there as a natural form of pest control because we have newts in the pond that hunt out those bugs and prevent them from causing too much disturbance to the plants.’

At the Osborne, we’re proud of the positive feedback we regularly receive about the garden but visitors should always expect to see some slight changes between visits as we consistently strive to establish a sustainable garden for our guests to enjoy.

‘We have a few plans for next year but the main one is growing more kitchen produce and we’re going to do this by reclaiming some of the borders and laying raised beds. This will mean a few less flowers to add colour but more fresh produce for guests to enjoy,’ adds Phil.

This year’s Torbay in Bloom competition takes place on Tuesday 19th September. If you’re a fan of the Osborne Hotel’s gardens please come down and show your support.

‘It would be a real privilege to win this year,’ exclaims Phil, ‘we have come second two years in a row to different winners each time and this year the garden’s looking fantastic so I’m hoping we’ll be top in 2017.’

If you would like to see the gardens or visit the beautiful Torbay coastline, then please get in touch by calling 01803 213311, emailing enq@osborne-torquay.co.uk or by filling out our contact form.

Summer Holiday Activities Near The Osborne Hotel

The Osborne Hotel is only a stone’s throw from Meadfoot Beach, where you can soak up the sun to the sound of crashing waves.

But we know there’s probably a few other things you’d like to do during your stay as well, so we’ve compiled a short list of the best local attractions to keep you active and entertained during your visit.

Babbacombe Model Village

You will feel like a giant as you explore the four-acres of award-winning gardens that show hundreds of model scenes, vehicles and people.

Babbacombe Village is famous for its miniature landscaped gardens almost as much as its model villages and is one of Torquay’s top attractions, ranked number one on Trip Advisor for ‘things to do’ in Torquay and on the English Riviera.

Adults love the humorous representation of British life over the last six decades and the award-winning gardens, while children love the miniature characters and enjoy following the spotter sheet to see what they can find. It’s a must-see while visiting Torquay.

Kents Cavern

Kents Cavern is a cave system in Torquay, Devon, England. You can explore the caves and learn all about human history and how our ancestors survived nearby.

There’s a summer of prehistoric-themed fun this year where children can join the Stone Age School gane in the woodlands and discover pebble decorating, pouch making and spear throwing. You will also get to handle stone-age artefacts and make your very own stone-age pendant for your stone-age necklace.

Torquay Museum

You can travel back 400 million years with a visit to Torquay Museum, which is a family-friendly attraction with lots of hands-on activities for children and adults alike.

Come face-to-face with North-West Europe’s oldest human fossil and the sabre-toothed tigers he shared his Torquay home with 44,000 years ago, and explore life and death in Ancient Egypt, including the coffin of a 2,500-year-old mummified boy. Find out about Torquay’s explorer’s, including the inspiration for Indiana Jones and what life was like in an Devon Farmhouse in the 1800s.

You can also detect your way through Britain’s only Agatha Christie gallery at Torquay Museum, which is dedicated to the life story of the Queen of Crime.

Living Coasts

Living Coasts, Torquay’s award-winning coastal zoo and aquarium, is home to an array of marine life from around the world. Set in a state-of-the-art naturalistic environment, you can journey from the South African coast to a mangrove forest and then onto a sunken wreck.

On your visit you can mingle with the playful penguins, get up close with the otters and come face-to-face with the seals. In the aquarium you will see fish species from around the world while you’ll see birds in the Wader’s Estuary foraging in the grass and the shallow waters for insects.

With a host of events and activities throughout the year, you are sure of a great day out whatever the weather.

Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo is home to some of the planet’s rarest and most amazing creatures including gorillas, orangutans, giraffes, lions, tigers and rhinos. There are also hundreds of rare and beautiful plant specimens around the site.

At Crocodile Swamp you’ll come face-to-face with huge crocodiles and large snakes, turtles and fish and don’t miss Amphibian Ark or Monkey Heights.

Paignton Zoo is a registered charity, so not only do you get a good day out, you know your money is going to a good cause, supporting education, scientific research and practical conservation both at home and abroad.

If you want to visit Torquay then book one of our sea-view rooms directly with us for the best possible deals. Click here to book now.

South Devon Walks

With its award-winning beaches and picturesque countryside, it’s little surprise that there is a wealth of scenic walks along the English Riviera. From gentle walks for beginners to challenging routes for keen ramblers, there’s something to suit everyone.

Bay Walks

If navigation isn’t your forte, then one of Healthy Lifestyle’s led walks is the thing for you. The walks run regularly in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, with routes of various lengths and difficulty to suit all abilities and fitness levels. The Cary Park walk is great for beginners and those recovering from illness; it’s also wheelchair accessible. Lasting just 30 minutes and covering 0.7 miles, it’s a gentle introduction to South Devon’s walks. (The Cary Park walk runs every Wednesday at 1pm.)

South West Coast Path

Spanning 630 miles along the stunning south coast, this is the longest national trail in the country. It begins in Minehead, Somerset and runs through to Poole Harbour, crossing the Exmoor, North Devon, Cornwall and Dorset coasts along the way. The stretch through Torquay passes right outside The Osborne Hotel, along Meadfoot Beach.

Pick up the path from any point and take in some of the most spectacular views of the south west. There are many things to look out for – visit the South West Coast Path website to find out more about the heritage, wildlife, geological and cultural points of interest.

Blue Plaque Heritage Trail

Discover the history and culture of South Devon on this trail. Scattered across the English Riviera, from Maidencombe down to Berry Head, are 49 blue plaques that mark notable sites and residencies of famous figures throughout history. Sites include Rock House in Torquay, where Rudyard Kipling spent two years, and Hesketh Crescent, where Charles Darwin spent some time – right next to our hotel! You can download a map of the plaques from Torbay Civic Society.

Coves & Cliffs

Explore every nook and cranny of the dramatic coastline with this self-guided walk along the Babbacombe coast. Starting at Anstey’s Cove and finishing at Babbacombe Cricket Club, it’s a 4.5 mile walk along challenging paths that are quite steep at times. You’ll pass many points of interest, including Withy Point, Gasking’s Rock and Devil’s Point.

Coral Coast

You can take a slightly gentler route from Anstey’s Cove along the Torquay Coral Coast. There are still a few inclines, but the route is mainly along the even coastal path. Enjoy the spectacular rock formations and wildlife along this 5.6km route.

Dartmoor Circular Walks

Further inland from the coast is the stunning Dartmoor National Park. If you like hiking, then this is the place for you. There are a number of circular walks, taking you to the finest viewpoints of the park. Worth a mention is the Moors & Tors of Eastern Dartmoor – a 22.5km route, along which you can experience the beauty of the wilderness without straying too far from public roads.

Agatha Christie Mile

For a shorter stroll, take a gander along Torquay’s Agatha Christie Mile. See the sights and places from her early years that inspired some of her famous works, such as the Princess Pier where she enjoyed roller-skating as a child, and The Pavilion where Archie Christie proposed to a young Agatha. You can also arrange guided tours on request to discover even more about the best-selling novelist.

After all that walking, you’re sure to work up an appetite! Join us for lunch or dinner at our newly-refurbished restaurant, The Crescent. Or you can dine al fresco on The Terrace and enjoy breath-taking views of Torbay.

All About Torquay

Now a popular holiday resort, Torquay’s origins can be traced back to the Stone Age. From pre-historic caves to famous novelists, discover the history of this beautiful coastal town…

In the beginning

The town’s inhabitants resided in the coastal caves, now known as Kents Cavern. The caves are one of Europe’s significant Stone Age sites, with rocks dating back 400 million years. Unsurprisingly, Kents Cavern is a key tourist attraction and visitors can take a guided tour to learn all about the 15-year-long Victorian excavation, led by local archaeologist William Pengelly, that unearthed the caves’ history. Tourists can continue their voyage of discovery, with a trip to Torquay Museum where more than 500 stone tools are on display – many of which were found in the excavation.

What’s in a name?

Torre was the town’s ancient name and means “weathered rock outcrop.” It took its name from the remains of the historic quarry, which you can still see on Tor Hill Road. Quay was added at a later date due to the town’s increased fishing activity.*

19th century developments

Torquay’s major phase of development occurred in the 1800s. The Palk family were notable residents and owned much of the land in Torquay during this era. It was under the Palks that a new harbour was built in the early 19th century which increased Torquay’s importance as a fishing town. It was in the second half of the century however, that Torquay came to be known as a popular leisure destination. As seaside holidays became fashionable among the upper classes, Torquay’s mild climate made it one of their preferred holiday spots.

The Osborne Hotel also has its roots in the 19th century developments. It was Sir Lawrence Palk, 4th Baronet, who commissioned the construction of Hesketh Crescent; the grade II listed Regency crescent building we call home. Completed in 1848, it’s a fine example of 19th century architecture and is said to be one of West England’s most elegant crescent buildings.

Notable buildings

Aside from Hesketh Crescent, there are many significant historic buildings in the town. Torre Abbey was founded in 1196 as a monastery. Dissolved in 1539 during Henry VIII’s Reformation, today it’s home to four floors of art exhibitions, heritage and interactive displays.

A mile from the seafront, you’ll find Cockington Court – a stunning manor house built in the 16th century. Now it’s more commonly known as a thriving crafts centre with over 20 studios. The house is open to the public along with its beautiful walled and Tudor rose gardens.

A little bit of mystery

Torquay’s most famous resident is probably crime novelist Agatha Christie. Born in the town in September 1890, her childhood home provided much inspiration for the setting of her popular crime mysteries. Fans of the author can discover more about how Torquay influenced her work with a walk along the Agatha Christie mile, which includes the Princess Gardens and Beacon Cove.

Experience the wonder of Torquay yourself with a stay at our seafront hotel: check availability.

*Source: Travel Wessex.

What’s on this Easter in Torquay?

Think bright blue skies, beautiful beaches and flourishing countryside – Easter is the perfect time to visit the English Riviera. With the school holidays fast approaching, here’s what you can expect from a visit to Torquay this Easter…

Dinosaur Quest at Kents Cavern

Just a short drive from The Osborne Hotel, you can treat the kids to something a little different with this underground experience. There are daily tours of the caves plus exciting activities including the Dino Quest – see if you can find the dinosaurs hidden around the site. And your visit wouldn’t be complete without taking part in the Easter Egg Hunt!

Distance from the hotel: 5 minute drive.

Bygones Easter Egg Trail

Step back in time with a trip to Bygones. Three floors showcasing over 100 years of British history, from the Victorian Era to Wartime Britain. Get involved in this year’s Easter Egg Hunt, taking place 1-17 April.

Distance from the hotel: 10 minute drive.

Cockington Explorers

If you’ve got some adventurous little ones on your hands, feed their curiosity with a visit to Cockington Court. Grab one of the Court’s backpacks full of activities when you arrive to keep them entertained. There are packs suitable for under 5s and 6-9 year-olds, available 11am – 3pm.

Distance from the hotel: 15 minute drive.

Torquay Mystery Treasure Trail

Explore the story of Torquay whilst getting out and about in the spring sunshine. On this self-guided two mile trail, you can take your time – simply follow the directions to stay on the fixed walking route. The kids will be kept engaged with clues to solve en route. Pick up the trail from Vaughan Parade.

Distance from the hotel: 5 minute drive.

And something for the grown-ups…

When you’re ready to relax after your fun-filled activities, why not stop by our hotel and enjoy a traditional Devonshire cream tea for a true taste of Torbay?

Celebrate Mother’s Day at The Osborne

There’s no better way to treat your mum this Mother’s Day (Sunday 26th March) than with a delicious three course meal.

Book your table at our award-winning restaurant and prepare to tuck into some mouth-watering dishes. There’s plenty of choice too with five options available for each course. Starting dishes include our signature Osborne terrine or shellfish & leek chowder. Our delectable mains include baked cod loin and macaroni & cheese crumble. End your meal in style with an indulgent pudding like the warm chocolate brownie or citrus pannacotta. If you have any special dietary requirements, we can adapt our dishes to suit – please let us know when you book.

After your meal, why not take a relaxed stroll along the seafront, if the weather’s nice?

You can book your Mother’s Day Sunday Lunch for either 12-2pm or 2-4pm for £22.95 per person. See the full menu on our website and call us on 01803 213 311 to reserve a table.

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.

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.

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.