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.

The Fish Kiss Spa Pedicure

Fish – dead skin – eating……….3 words I’d never normally use in one sentence. That’s before I’d heard of The Fish Kiss Spa. The Garra Rufa fish, related to the carp, are natural scavengers in their native Turkey and for some years now their natural behaviour has been harnessed to give the most amazing pedicures. Strange I know, but surely no odder than injecting botulism into your forehead, or any of the other crazy things we do in the pursuit of beauty.

The great thing about The Fish Kiss Spa is that it’s not just a beauty treatment but an organic and very natural therapy which leaves your skin feeling soft, stimulates your nerve endings and can really help skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Sometimes known as doctor fish, the Garra Rufa gently suction away all the dead skin from your feet, or hands, or body. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t have teeth but use a gentle sucking and nibbling action, which devotees say tingles a little, but is definitely a pleasant sensation. When sucking the skin off, the fish also salivate an enzyme containing a substance called dithranol, a natural healing enzyme which is found in many rejuvenating therapy creams. This enzyme stimulates the growth of new skin cells, so skin is left healthy and renewed.

The therapy has come to Britain’s shores from the Far East, by way of the States and many UK major cities have fish spas within department stores or on the high street. It has now come to Torquay, with The Fish Kiss Spa opening up at the Aztec Spa on the 7th February. This is the first of its kind in the area and offers a relaxing, holistic experience for clients. Personally I can’t wait to give it a go – it’s not quite flip-flop season yet, but my feet will thank me for being kissed by fishes!

Fish Night supporting the Fish Fight at the Toorak Hotel, Torquay

Friday 25 February 2011

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal - Fish Fight CampaignThe Toorak Hotel, Torquay part of TLH Leisure Resort cares passionately about sustainable food. Having a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme shows that the hotel is committed to the green issues that influence the business we run.

You will have, I am sure seen or heard Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal’s Fish Fight camapaign.

Part of the campaign centres on trying other types of fish many of which currently get returned back to the sea. Hugh says… “We need to diversify our fish eating habits, and we need to change policy so that it works for fish, fishermen and consumers.”

At the Toorak Hotel on Friday 25 February we will be featuring a special fish menu created by head chef Nick Coombes that features such fish as are supported by this campaign. It’s also a chance for you to enjoy some beautiful and maybe more unusual fish dishes too.

Click here to take a look at the menu.

For this night only we will also feature special offers on some white wines that will compliment the menu perfectly.

Places for this evening are limited so early booking is advised on 01803 400400

Please, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for Hugh’s Fish Fight by clicking the link below. It’s good to think that maybe we can make a difference!

Fish Fight sponsor bodies

Try Something New for 2011

If, like me you have always liked the idea of an activity holiday, but have been too scared to take the plunge, then let me take you by the hand and show you that it need not be scary at all!

The Carlton Hotel & Spa at Torquay’s TLH Leisure Resort has just the thing for novice or beginner dancers. Fantastic –  a way to keep fit, have fun and enjoy a short break on the English Riviera!

If you really have no or very little experience on the dance floor then one of the following breaks may be just the thing!

 Argentine Tango for Complete Beginners
Fernando Guidi – 11 February 2011 – 3 nights

Fernando is a professional teacher and has travelled all over the world performing and teaching Argentine Tango. Join him on this exciting learn to dance experience, aimed at the complete beginner or for those who have had some limited Argentine Tango dance experience.

You get about 5 hours tuition over the weekend as well as dancing every evening.

You will definitely feel more comfortable if you come with a dance partner for this one so persuade your other half  to take the plunge with you!

Take a look at Fernando’s website for inspiration. 

Ballroom & Latin for Complete Beginners & Beginners – Stage 1 & 2
Pam Peters – 11 March 2011 – 3 nights       

Pam Peters and her team will be hosting this lively weekend dance break. It’s perfect for those taking their first steps on the dance floor but also for those who have already had some dance experience and would like to improve on the basics. You will enjoy learning the latest and most popular Ballroom & Latin dances that you have seen on the TV.

There will be tuition every day in some of the following, Waltz, Social Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Jive and a selection of Party Dances, plus you can put your newly learned steps into practise each evening. 

So come on what are you waiting for? If you watch Strictly Come Dancing with envy or always wished you could dance, then now’s your chance! Find out more at

Scuba diving at Aztec, TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay

Jenny with AlphadiveThere is something that not a lot of people know about me…and that is that I am petrified of going underwater and can be quite claustrophobic! So, if I were to tell you that I was going to give scuba diving a try, you would probably think I’d gone completely mad! Well you’re probably right, but none the less I thought I’d give it a go! When Rob from the Aztec asked me if I wanted to do a trial scuba in the pool I jumped at the chance. Trev & I went to Mexico last year and I had a go at snorkelling, but as I am so scared of going underwater I don’t think I got as much from it as I could have, so thought, why not give scuba a go, it may increase my confidence and get rid of my nerves…. right??

Jenny takes a diveAnyway, last Tuesday night I met Rob at the Aztec Pool and he introduced me to Sam & Karen from Alphadivers. Rob had already told Karen that I was a bit nervous, so she made sure I felt relaxed and comfortable. I got kitted out in my dry suit, mask, flippers and tank then we headed into the water. The first thing we had to do was some main dive skills that you need to make sure you’re ok under the water if something goes wrong. First off was allowing your mask to half fill, and then completely fill, with water and knowing how to empty it. I found this really difficult and didn’t like the sensation of the mask filling with water, I’m sure I’ll get used to it though when I do some more dives. After this I had to learn what to do if my air supply got knocked out of my mouth. At the bottom of the Aztec PoolThis was actually a lot easier than I thought so I was now ready to go. I had so much fun, it was a really great experience and once I got over my initial nerves I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sitting on the bottom of the pool, in the deep end, was an amazing experience. I can’t wait to do it again and then hopefully get out into the sea, I’m sure that would be even better!

So, if it’s something you’ve thought of doing, even if you’re a bit scared, I would definitely recommend it. As you can see from the photos I did ok, so I’m sure you will too!

Dates have been set for try dives at the Aztec Pool, so give the Aztec Reception a call and they will be able to give you
all the info. I’ll definitely be having another go, and hopefully
do the full course as well!

See you under the water!