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?

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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.

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.

7 reasons to book direct

Planning a stay at the Osborne Hotel? Make a direct booking using our online service, instead of using an aggregate booking site, to take advantage of the exclusive benefits we have on offer!

  1. Booking direct gives you full access to all of our rooms types and packages, including those suites that aren’t listed on other booking websites such as our gorgeous Sea View Rooms.
  2. We include all of our best rates on our secure online reservations system to help our guests make the most of their money (you won’t find anything cheaper elsewhere!). Your personal details are also automatically encrypted so your information is always kept safe.
  3. Every booking you make is fully flexible – you can cancel or modify your booking up to 24 hours before your stay for no extra cost (unless specified in the booking process).
  4. Plus, you won’t need to make any payments until you arrive at the hotel! (unless specified in the booking process)
  5. Have any questions about your room, want to upgrade or keen to know more about sightseeing spots in Torquay? Bypass the intermediaries, give us a call and a member of our team will provide immediate answers and a personalised service to suit you. We can even provide Champagne on Ice, chocolates and even flowers for romantic stays.
  6. Scroll through our website to view pictures of our rooms that are always up-to-date.
  7. Gain access to web-only extras, such as 10% off dining at Langtry’s Restaurant, free late check out and free room upgrades (where available). Some of our book direct packages also include a free gift on arrival or a glass of Prosecco with Afternoon Tea at our award-winning in-house restaurant.

 

Create the perfect Torquay getaway by booking your stay at the Osborne Hotel here.

5 Hidden Gems of Torquay

Torquay is famous for being a beautiful coastal town. If you’re planning on making a visit, here are our top five recommendations on the best sightseeing attractions in the area:

Meadfoot Beach

Just a stone’s throw away from the hotel are the stunning sights of Meadfoot Beach. The picturesque pebbly beachfront is perfect for families and makes the ideal spot for a stroll or a sunbath. Enjoy the rock pools, build a sandcastle or simply enjoy the undisturbed peace and quiet with an ice cream.

Kents Cavern

Visit the prehistoric Kents Cavern for a touch of history. See the spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations, walk along the outdoor trail or let the kids get hands-on in the archaeological dig area. Find it a mile away from Torquay harbour.

Cockington Court

Go for a day out at historic manor house Cockington Court. Set in a beautiful country park, the stunning property is home to a selection of gardens, tea rooms and craft studios that feature the work of glass blowers, blacksmiths and even a chocolatier. There are also food festivals throughout the summer, boasting delicious handmade products from local farmers.

Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium

Torquay’s Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium is situated on the sea front and is the perfect place to see otters, penguins, jellyfish, birds and other sea animals. Open every day from 10am, Coastal Zoo features an array of sights and sounds that will keep both kids and parents entertained.

Babbacombe Model Village

See the miniature world of Babbacombe Village! There’s so much to enjoy and the kids will adore getting to see everything from a mini castle and hot air balloon to a train and seaport.

Osborne Hotel offers the perfect place to stay on your visit to Torquay. Enjoy 4* accommodation and an unrivaled location, with spectacular views across the beautifully landscaped gardens stretching down to the picturesque Meadfoot Beach.

For more information, visit our website – www.osborne-torquay.co.uk