Fancy Dress Parade at the Toorak Christmas Short Mat Festival


Short Mat Fancy Dress winners

The winners - PRATS!

If you all think that PRATS is a rude word…………….. I can tell you, you’d be wrong. It actually means :

……and the effort and design of the aeroplanes that this group made and wore in the fancy dress was truly brilliant. No wonder they won first prize.  As they paraded onto the indoor bowling arena they even did a bit of formation flying, which again was well rehearsed. Well done you guys. Here they are in formation just after landing.

Other entries were topical and amusing. We had ‘Elf and Safety, Head Masters and Mistresses and Oh What a Pantomime. In all there were 10 entries in the fancy dress and Sarah and I were delighted that everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion.

This year we were delighted to welcome Chris Hopkins, the Chairman of the ESMBA, to assist in the adjudication of the fancy dress. Chris stayed with us for a couple of nights and we look forward to the possibility of working closely with the ESMBA in the future.

It has been a pleasure, during the year, to work with bowlers and group organisers who seem never to tire. It is with these people in mind that I wish you all the very best for a happy Christmas and a great bowling New Year.

That’s all folks
(Under the mistletoe with fingers crossed and lips puckered)

Fancy Dress at TLH

Some of our other competitors - well done all!

The best Party Night in Town!

Me & the Toorak team!

Every year I go out with the Toorak Reception and Housekeeping teams to celebrate Christmas and this year we decided to spend the evening at the Toorak for one of their infamous party nights!

Having never been to one before I didn’t really know what to expect, especially as I see how hard the staff work and how tired they all are after the party nights! And oh what a night! Everything about the whole evening was fantastic. We arrived to be greeted by Hayley who directed us to the Conway Bar for our pre-dinner drink, where we were served by the lovely Krzystof who was his usual efficient and friendly self. Chris showed us to our table when we got to the restaurant, which happened to be right by the entrance (I think he wanted to keep an eye on us!!). We had all the party stuff on the table – streamers, blowers, hats and crackers – to make it look lovely and festive.

The lovely Naomi then took our orders and I was so impressed with, not only the speed of service, but also the quality of food! To be able to produce such an amazing standard of food for such a large amount of people is a great achievement. Nick and his team in the kitchen obviously work extremely hard to make sure that they continue with the same high standards that they are known for throughout the year.

After dinner it was down to the Chatsworth for the disco! This was lots of fun and Danni did a great job with the music, a really good mix of party classics and up to date hits….as you can imagine, lots and lots of dancing took place by everyone! So, as you can tell, I had the best time and will definitely be recommending Toorak Party Nights to all my friends and family, and you never know, you may see me there again next year (sorry Chris!!). Oh and finally, if you have the opportunity to stay the night I would highly recommend doing this……everything under one roof and no need to worry about getting cold or taxi’s home, made even more special by the standard of bedrooms and housekeeping service!

Now it’s time to start planning my birthday party night so it’s busy, busy here! Will be updating you with more blogs soon!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Jenny xx



Health and Fitness for the New Year

Feeling Weary?We don’t really want to think about it now, with 2 weeks of eating, drinking and making merry to look forward to, but you may just like to spare a thought for that pale, bloated figure in the mirror on the 1st January. Yes that could be you! But don’t despair, help is at hand – by the end of January the mirror (and scales!) could tell a different story. Continue reading

Our Anniversary Dinner at the Toorak Hotel

Jenny & trevor

Jenny & Trev

On 6th December my husband and I celebrated 19 years together! I know, I don’t look old enough, but it’s true! I met Trev when I was 16, and here we are 19 years later and still very much in love….well most of the time anyway!

To celebrate this momentous occasion we decided to go to the Grosvenor Restaurant at the Toorak Hotel for dinner. We had such an amazing time I felt I had to tell you all about it! We were greeted by Kev in the Conway Bar for a pre-dinner drink and, as always, Kev was his jolly, chatty self. From there we headed to the Toorak Restaurant to be met by Assistant Restaurant Manager, Dan, who showed us to our table and introduced us to our waitress for the evening, Magda.

The menu was positively mouth-watering, and we both chose the same starter and main course (see, I told you we’d been together forever!). Breaded Camembert to start followed by the most gorgeous steak I’ve ever had with a white wine, mushroom and tarragon cream sauce! The whole meal was fantastic and the service from all of the staff second to none. We couldn’t manage dessert though, which is a shame as they looked delightful!

Jenny & Trev - the way they were!

After dinner we headed down to Albert’s Bar for a few drinks before getting the taxi home. It was a wonderful evening and a great way to celebrate our 19 years together, thank you to all at the Toorak (oh and I guess I shouldn’t forget Adam & Karla in Albert’s) for making our evening so special!’


Countdown to Christmas

Christmas at TLH

Our very own TLH Christmas Elves!

It’s the 1st December and the countdown to the Christmas and New Year holidays has begin in earnest. I guess there are some cynics among us who would say that the countdown starts in September as soon as Christmas gift boxes appear on the supermarket shelves, replacing sun tan lotion and mechanical Santas start ho-ho-ho-ing in the aisles of the local garden centre. Personally I try to wear blinkers for as long as possible to save up the excitement. This year I found it particularly weird back in the early Autumn when Chris Evans started his breakfast show half an hour earlier at 6.30am, opening on a daily basis with Andy Williams singing my favourite Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” All that aside – as soon as I open that first door on my advent calendar – that’s when it all starts for me.

Of course, here at TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay, the festive season begins with our first Turkey and Tinsel Breaks at the beginning of November, when groups of friends join in a weekend or mid-week break to party together. It really is a great feeling to see people enjoying themselves and having a good time – and let’s face it – we all  deserve some fun in our lives these days. These breaks adopt the popular theme of celebrating all of the main days of the festive season in one fun packed break. “Christmas Eve” includes carols and mulled wine, on “Christmas Day” there’s a visit from Santa before guests enjoy traditional Christmas fayre in the restaurant,” Boxing Day” sees our talented Entertainment Team performing their special Christmas show and “New Year’s Eve” is celebrated in style with a gala dinner followed by party night with Kevin of KB Sounds.

Christmas food and drink

The Toorak chef's with a festive buffet

This, of course, is only a potted version of the main Christmas and New Year celebrations here at TLH. The days and nights are packed with a sparkling variety of activities and entertainment, not forgetting all the delicious food and drinks our chefs prepare. Everyone has a fantastic time, and we’ve just got a few rooms left for anyone who hasn’t made any plans yet, so come and join in the party. Call 01803 400500 to book.

Couple ‘Bowled’ Over by Diamond Wedding Celebration

Reg & Audrey raise a glass

It’s not every day we get to celebrate a Diamond Anniversary at the Derwent Hotel, but this week we’ve been honoured to do just that. 60 years ago Reg and Audrey Gay from Trowbridge tied the knot and have been happily married ever since!

They decided to celebrate with friends and family whilst on their annual bowls tour to the Derwent Hotel. Reg said, ‘We usually come away in November and our actual anniversary was in July so it made sense to celebrate now when we have all our good bowling friends with us anyway.’ They also invited close members of their family to enjoy the week with them.

When asked what is the secret of such a long and happy marriage, Reg replied, ‘We’ve never had a row, just differences of opinion!’ Audrey added that their shared love of gardening and bowling has helped keep them together over the years.

The couple were keen to add that they thought the Derwent was a great place for a celebration with friends and family. They have been thrilled with the champagne, fruit basket, balloons and card. ‘The Derwent team have made us feel really special, Audrey said. Jason Garside, General Manager, added, ‘this is the 14th year Reg and Audrey have stayed with us and we feel privileged to have been able to share such an important date with them this time. We hope to see them again for many years to come.’