New Tables in Torquay

Ok so I haven’t blogged for a while! Maybe I’ve used up all my words blogging for 15 days straight on the other side of the world!! After the madness of Christmas has calmed down (I hope you all had a great one by the way) and before the madness of New Year begins I thought I’d write a little bit about my time back in Torquay.

OMG have there been some great changes! I haven’t been back to the bay for about 6 months which is a long time for me and it’s so nice to see so many new places open. Mainly that of the seafront where the palm court hotel once was and Mojos (yes there you go, we all remember Mojos!). In fact it’s now a completely different area, it’s as if a little piece of the French Riviera has been shipped over and plonked down in one of the best positions of the bay. Facing South are now a selection of gorgeous modern apartments mirroring that of s cruise ship, with arguably one of the best views in the bay, starting at £425,000 for a 2 bed. Set in a shiny new white almost art deco style block with curved edges and large sliding doors onto decked balconies. But beneath these plush residencies where once stood a selection of takeaways, beach shops and failed bars now is home to a selection of up market eateries and cafes so busy you can’t get a table.
With such lovely weather in the bay at the moment it seems a lot more people are eating out and taking a winter stroll to work off their over eating of turkey and mince pies. We were doing the same and after a walk along the beach in the blazing sunshine stopped off in Visto Lounge which was also engulfed in sun, so much so that we actually sat outside (for me to sit outside in winter is definitely something, I normally shudder at the idea of sitting in the cold when there’s a perfectly good, not to mention warm seat inside!).
And what a great cafe/bar/restaurant! Actually a chain but you wouldn’t know as it was very well run  and the service was excellent. The inside is full of artwork plastered over the patterned wallpaper, kind of funky but it totally works. The roof is exposed and is lined with silver pipes and lights giving it a spacious warehouse feel. Like something straight out of Shoreditch but with a little more comfort and cosyness.
The menu is very nice too with favourites being the Lounge Breakfast and Lounge Eggs (basically eggs benny) my go to of course! They also have a selection of tapas as well as traditional burgers etc so perfect for the all day brunchers, lunchers and general coffee goers!
Just next door is another new addition: Le Bistrot Pierre. A French inspired venue split over 2 levels. You must get a table upstairs to appreciate the view and book early as this place is super popular! The menu includes a large selection of French delicacies such as muscles,pâté, Camembert, boeuf bourguinon, ratatouille and a roast shoulder of lamb to name just a few. They also have a super pre theatre menu, perfect for a pre drink or bite to eat before heading off across the road to a show at the Princess Theatre. Of course you must get a chilled bottle of wine to accompany. Bon Appetite!
We actually had dinner at a 3rd venue in the same parade: On the Rocks.
Set up at the beginning of 2014 by 2 friends, OTR (as it is known) is a great little find to see the evening through. What sets them apart is their relationship with those close by to acquire and use local produce. If you want a good burger this is the place to go as I watched a few go by and wondered why I hadn’t chosen to indulge myself! Opting instead for the fillet of monkfish I certainly was not disappointed and very satisfied with my choice, arriving on a bed of vegetables and linguine I felt I had made the healthy choice although the lingering smell of juicy burger still tempted my taste buds!
We actually visited on a Monday which happened to be pie night much to the enjoyment of my table as everyone else decided to have a pie, at under £10 why not hey! The selection of home made pies did sound delicious with chicken, leek and tarragon, lamb and mint and traditional beef and ale.
Even the selection of drinks on the menu had been thoroughly thought through and carefully selected to match the menu, including the Old Mout Cider from New Zealand. I am not a fan of beer or cider but I could drink this until the world’s end! It’s got a very sweet but very light bubbly texture, perfect to accompany your meal or even just on its own! Here’s my Dad enjoying a glass!
In regards to food I’m basically saying pick anything it’s all lovely and you can’t go wrong!
A few other new places worth mentioning  that I unfortunately haven’t had time to go to!
1. Offshore – set on the corner of the marina and Vaughn Parade, a nice little pub style watering hole to catch up with friends and enjoy the harbour view.
2. Soho – set in the building next to Prezzo which used to be the place that served fun shots like doughnut shots (why is that not still there???) anyway I’m told it is a quaint little upmarket pre drinks or catch up drink venue. The Christmas lights outside certainly look enticing!
3. Rockfish – I’m sooo gutted I haven’t had time to visit as one of my friends Oliver is actually the head chef here! Sorry Oliver!! Owned by Mitch Tonks you won’t be let down at this family seafood restaurant on Victoria Parade.
4. Prestige – a cute little cocktail bar set above Henessy. Let’s hope it lives up to the latter as I really feel Torquay is missing a fun yet sophisticated cocktail venue for all ages although maybe not the pre teens that seem to have taken over the bars of the few clubs that remain!
So thanks for making my Christmas Holidays great Torquay, with so many new venues popping up I hope it continues so I can indulge in some more lovely meals the next time I’m home!
Happy New Year!

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