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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.