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!


Yoga versus Pilates

The Aztec Studio introduces new Pilates and yoga teachers to their timetable of classes this year and to help you work out which class is best for you, we’ve put together this quick guide.


  • Yoga uses movement, breathing, posture, relaxation and meditation to create a harmonious body, mind and spirit.
  • Research suggests it was created in India 5,000 years ago and was brought to the Western World more than 100 years ago.
  • It emphasizes balance in all areas – equally strengthening all muscle groups, creating mental and physical balance, and encouraging moderation in everything.
  • Yoga exercises are mostly static; you get into the pose, and then hold it for several breath cycles while you focus on breathing, physical feelings and emotions.
  • Yoga emphasises flexibility and mental well-being.


  • Created in the 1920s by a German named Joseph Pilates in an effort to help his own health problems.
  • Pilates strives to develop a graceful, fluid rhythm while performing the repetitions.
  • Pilates exercises are constantly moving; you perform five to 10 repetitions of an exercise and then move on to the next.
  • Pilates is about moving in ways that help strengthen your core or trunk and all its stabilising muscles.
  • There is evidence to suggest that Pilates is especially good for back problems.

So different sorts of exercises, but both have several similarities:

  • Both have a mind-body approach to exercise.
  • Both can result in long, lean muscles, combined with good core fitness.
  • Both claim to exercise the body ‘inside out’, benefiting the vital organs and endocrine system.
  • Both help you relax and relieve stress while increasing your flexibility, strength and balance.

If you’re not a ‘sweating in the gym’ type, or have had enough of leaping around at an aerobics class, then yoga or Pilates may be for you. Either exercise would also compliment an existing fitness plan very well. You can come and give either or both a try at the Aztec Studio, Torquay. Call 01803 400190 for more details.

Beat the January blues with 2 for 1 dining at the Grosvenor Restaurant – Toorak Hotel, Torquay

3 course meal at the Toorak - puddingSo here we are, a New Year upon us! All the festive preparation is all over in a trice, the kids are back to school and before you know it it’s back to the old routine!

January can be a bit flat in all honesty, we’ve started the new diet and we’re back in the gym (the Aztec gym of course) so we could do with a little treat to inspire us to stick with it all!!!

Well the Toorak Hotel is back with its 2 for 1 dining offer which makes a very affordable treat indeed and a welcome respite from the New Year Diet and those grey skies.

For just £21.95 two of you can sample our 3 course daily menu offering some very tempting dishes prepared by our award winning Head Chef – Nick Coombes. Dine in the elegance of our Grosvenor Restaurant any evening -Sunday to Thursday- through to the end of February (subject to availability).

3 course meal at the ToorakMake it a special night out without breaking the bank.
Go on… treat your other half I am sure they deserve it!!!

Click here for sample menu…