An Important Mother’s Day Message!

Toorak Grosvenor RestaurantAttention all Torquay and South Devon Dads!  Mother’s Day is on Sunday 3rd April!

Basically, I’m here to do you a favour – don’t forget Mother’s Day on Sunday 3rd April this year! Plan ahead and book your table for a really special Sunday lunch at the Toorak Hotel Torquay – don’t leave it too late!

I’m just looking after your interests because forgetting Mother’s Day is a serious faux pas and you could be in ‘big trouble’ with the mother of your children, ‘er indoors, the Mrs, not to mention your own Mum! Now I’m being polite here but… Some of you chaps aren’t the most organised at this sort of thing (and I count myself amongst them!) We know this as we have had many a call on the Saturday night to ask if ‘by any chance do you have a free table tomorrow?’ Many a time we’ve saved your bacon!

Toorak dishFortunately the Toorak Hotel has the perfect Mother’s Day lunch solution – a 2 or 3 course menu in the elegant (but not so posh you don’t want to bring your children!) surroundings of the hotel restaurant. Finish your meal with a coffee in the stylish Buckingham Lounge or on the terrace if the weather allows. Excellent value too, at only £12.95 for 2 courses, £15.95 for 3.

To really boost the brownie points, you could even book ‘Mum’ a spa treat too in the Aztec Spa – see – I’m full of bright ideas!

So you can’t say I haven’t warned you – woe betide you if you forget! Call us  now and get that table booked!

,,,,,Your Guardian angel!

Toorak Hotel 01803 400400 toorakreception@tlh.co.uk

Buenos Aires to The Bay – Learn Argentine Tango at TLH Leisure Resort

An exotic country, underground clubs – sweat, heat and passion filling the air – perhaps some of the images conjured up in my mind when I think ‘Argentine Tango’, very much like the salsa scenes in Dirty Dancing II (a flutter of excitement at the thought!). I too want to be such a dancer and experience this romantic, passionate dance, so when presented with an opportunity through a ‘Learn to Argentine Tango’ weekend dance break at TLH Leisure Resort’s Carlton Hotel & Spa, I packed my sparkliest pair of heels, grabbed a partner (well two as I’m greedy) and headed for the dance floor!

When I signed up for this exciting break I never imagined in my wildest dreams -with only an introduction on the Friday night, a 2 hour morning session and a recap the following evening- that at only halfway through the break everyone would spend a whole evening confidently dancing Argentine Tango at our red and black themed evening dance!

A dancer myself and with my dance partner and another of limited experience I enjoyed a mixture of learning as a complete beginner and also the excitement of learning something completely new with my regular partner and finding it very different to what I was used to. This was Argentine Tango not Ballroom Tango, it’s very free-form and stirred up excitement amongst those dancers who have only done sequenced/structured dancing before.

Fernando Guidi (an Argentine Tango teacher from the Torbay area) and his partner Elaine were amazing. They were inspiring to watch, clear in tuition and Fernando had a brilliant sense of humour that kept us relaxed and having fun as well as engaged in what we were doing.

Socialising at Learn to TangoEveryone seemed inspired (the buzz in the air walking in on Sunday morning palpable) we all enjoyed watching others and socialising too. It was a great mixture of learning (we all took a lot away from lessons), dancing, laughing and making the best of a Torquay break too. Most people we spoke to either knew about classes in their area already and intended on going regularly after Fernando’s teaching or were going to find out about what was available to them locally on their return home, so I think it’s safe to say that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!

The lovely Riviera Ballroom was available for us to use to practise during the day if we wanted, though with so much to do on site and around Torquay many were easily distracted, the Aztec Pools and Spa being one such distraction for some weary dancers it has to be said. It was made clear from the start that this was not in any way going to be akin to Ballroom Tango and that there would not be Ballroom music for us to dance to in the evenings, nor should there have been as we had signed up for Argentine Tango and some of us didn’t do Ballroom, but Fernando did play 1 or 2 more familiar tracks which allowed an escape to familiar territory and therefore a more positive persistance upon return to our Tango.

Practicing Argentine TangoWhat stood out for me the most?… (aside from a great venue and location, amazing teaching and brilliant, fun weekend or course)

For the men – Freedom! I can still hear the resounding echo of ‘I can’t go wrong?!’ (No patterns, no fixed plan, just constant communication and the freedom of freestyle!)

For the ladies – The shoes!!! I know that’s very stereotypical but I must have spent the best part of the weekend staring at Elaine’s feet and dreaming of the shoes I could buy if I took up this dance properly!

All I have left to say is… bring on the next level of Argentine Tango, my desire to learn this dance has grown to a desire to master it! I will also be checking out other dance breaks at TLH as I think it’s an amazing way of learning new dances or brushing up on something you already do as it’s more intensive than weekly classes and the facilities on offer allow you to relax and therefore keep the mind clear and ready to absorb all that is flung your way!

Learn to Salsa Holiday

‘Salsa dancing you say, hmmm……’, that was my friend’s reaction when I told her that I and my husband had got hooked on our weekly salsa dancing sessions.

‘It’s been fantastic!’ I cried, ‘ definitely brought us closer together and trimmed our waistlines!’

She felt that was far too much information, but was still wary about dragging her other half to an organised dance class. ‘He says he’d rather stick needles in his eyes! He is so uncoordinated!’ she wailed.

My challenge was to convince her, and him, that they should give it a go and as they live near Bristol, the perfect opportunity was under my very nose. A ‘Learn to Salsa’ weekend at the Carlton Hotel, Torquay, perfect for complete beginners.

This was a way of combining a short break in sunny Torquay ( the break is in July) with an exciting new ‘learn to’ dance experience. My friends would get about 5 weeks worth of salsa tuition in one weekend from Tony M of the Latinfest Team, as well as great food and accommodation.  What a brilliant way of trying something new! And if they really do get hooked, there are lots of other salsa breaks run by the Latinfest Team.

Learn to Salsa Fri 1st – Mon 4th July 2011         4 nights from £169 pp

Call 01803 400500 to find out more.

South Devon Skydive Raises over £1000 for Rowcroft Hospice

3 months after jumping out of a perfectly good plane, all in the aid of charity, me and my fellow skydivers from TLH Leisure Resort have finally collected all of our sponsorship money and today were able to present Laura from Rowcroft Hospice with a cheque for £1185!

Thanks to contributions from MJ Baker Foodservice, Steers Greengrocers, Caterfood and Academy 4 U Training in Exeter, we were able to increase the amount of money we had raised to over £1000.

The photo below shows us presenting Laura with the cheque.

Thank you to everyone for your support, I still can’t believe we actually did it and managed to raise such a great amount for such a deserving charity.

Not sure what we’ll be doing next, but I definitely think another skydive will be in order!!

Jenny, Steph, Darryl, Adam & Ryan.

The TLH Skydive Team

Steph, Ryan, Laura from Rowcroft, Darryl, Adam & Jenny

The Romance of the Riviera

photo care of ERTC imagesTravelling home from TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay, to Teignmouth I was struck by the beauty of this area. In the summer we are known as the English Riviera, but in the winter this area has another attractive lure.

It was 10pm on a very clear full moonlit night, and I had just finished bowling in a league at Torquay United, the weather was freezing cold with no wind and the air was crisp and clean. On the coast road I looked out to sea, and was surprised by a sea mist, which shrouded the horizon. There were several well-lit coasters just off the shore, which looked ethereal in the stillness. The sea was calm and the sky star studded with this bright moon. Nothing was really moving apart from me on the road home.

When I got to Labrador Bay I stopped in the car park to look over Lyme Bay. Looking right toward Torbay the cliffs along the coast had that distinct clear, sharp look about them, and Babbacombe downs with their promenade lights was clearly visible in the moonlight.

Looking left toward Teignmouth there was a mist running out to sea from the estuary, and the rest of the coastline towards Exmouth was lit by the habitation of thousands of people, warm in their homes. The air was so clear that I could see as far as the Axminster mast – 30 miles away (I measured it on the map) and the Portland Bill lighthouse flicking away almost opposite me.

I wondered how many people in the area were looking out into that beautiful darkness and seeing this for the rare and lovely thing that it is.

Anyway, enough of this sentimental twaddle – Torbay is a great place to be summer or winter, so come on down and live the adventure.

That’s all folks
They are coming to take me away ha ha he he

Easter Holidays in Devon – the perfect choice.

We’re half way through February already, and before you know it the Easter holidays will be looming on the horizon. If you’re stuck for ideas for taking a UK holiday, then look no further than here at TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay.

With so much uncertainty surrounding holidays abroad, forget airport queues, delayed flights poor exchange rates. Just hop in the car and head down the M5 to the English Riviera, the jewel in the crown of the glorious south west and the perfect location for an Easter break.

With the additional bank holiday provided by royal wedding taking place at the end of April, the holiday period extends pretty much through the whole of April. Here at TLH you can choose from a range of value-for-money family breaks which include some great offers including kids under 10 staying free. And we’ve arranged a great deal with Babbacombe Model Village where kids age 3-14 can get free entry with a full paying adult. This offer is exclusive to guests staying at TLH Leisure Resort.

There are also events taking place for bowlers with the Spring Short Mat Festival, the Easter Bowls Festival and the Toorak Pairs Festival. Dancers can choose from Ballroom & Latin events or the Easter Sequence Dance Break.

It’s been a long old Winter, so give yourself something to look forward to and book an April Break here at TLH. Call us on 01803 400500.