Take a look at our delicious Lundy Cod and Clams recipe, as featured in this months Love Ilfracombe Focus magazine. This is a firm favorite on our regular brasserie menu. This simple dish of local cod and clams are perfectly complemented with warm, smokey chorizo.
Love the planet? Then fly less…. and enjoy a go green holiday in North Devon. It’s the simple but inconvenient truth for many of us who want to lead environmentally friendly lives but tend to ignore, when it suits us, the negative contributions we make. This is never truer than our holiday habits – for instance there is some irony to ‘jetting off’ to an eco friendly holiday resort halfway round the world!
Ok, so this may sound like shock tactics – cancel the foreign holiday this year and take your break in North Devon! – but there is some truth in this article’s opening statement. On the flip side, if you follow this advice, to take a green holiday in North Devon, you may just discover what you’ve been missing all this time!
If there’s one thing that North Devon offers in bundles, it’s opportunities to appreciate the environment at its most raw, fresh and enchanting. Ok, so the sun may not shine every day, but in the summer months the temperatures of the South West are mostly pleasant, and when the sun does shine, this part of England can visually compete with anywhere in the world.
Its environmental credentials are impeccable. The region is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beautyand a UNESCO Biosphere, and hosts a National Park, making it the perfect destination for anyone seeking a moreeco friendly holiday this summer.
Eco Friendly Destinations in North Devon
Ilfracombe, home to the Carlton Hotel and its 30 4* quality rooms, is ideally suited to make the most of two fantastic natural green holiday destinations in North Devon, right on the doorstep.
Braunton Burrowsis a UNESCO biosphere and is situated in the most ecologically diverse parish in England. To appreciate the environment in all its glory is to be reminded of the importance of working to preserve it, and ‘The Burrows’ delivers a wonderful example in this respect.
Christie Estates, which owns the land, allows the public free access to the Burrows, which sits behind the majestic expanse of Saunton Sands beach. Home to 470 species of flowering plant, 33 species of butterfly and 5 of the 6 reptile species native to the UK, it is the perfect example of an outdoor classroom with nature on centre stage.
Another green holiday North Devon destination is Exmoor National Park. A wonderfully scenic mix of heather moorland, seaside cliffs, woods and hidden valleys, the best way to explore Exmoor is on foot. Recognised as one of the best places in Europe for walking, with many picturesque routes, it is also a hit with road cyclists and hosted a section of the Tour of Britain in 2018.
The Sea: Appreciating the Marine Environment
North Devon’s beaches are renowned for their beauty and also their variety – from the sandy open spaces and clean waves of Woolacombeto the rugged coves which extend north along the coast from Ilfracombe.
Perched on the edge of the Atlantic, one can appreciate the glory of the marine environment, but also the need to contribute to its management. A regular feature on the North Devon calendar is the series of beach cleans, which take place throughout the year. These are great occasions, where doing good is mixed with a social aspect and a real sense of achievement as sackfuls of rubbish are pulled off the beach.
Team building and Corporate Social Responsibility
Of course, environmental appreciation doesn’t stop with an eco friendly holiday. In the business sphere corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a buzz phrase for some time.
Those companies that combine business growth with giving something back at an environmental level, benefit from many positives, including better business image and empathy from customers, boosting brand loyalty along the way.
For a business, corporate social responsibility adds value internally too, proven to give employees a sense of worth as well as a sense of team building achievement. The Carlton Hotel saw this at first hand while hosting team building sessionsthis Spring for businesses booked in with our Refreshpackage.
Fitted around seminar sessions on one occasiona collective beachcombing session on one occasion turned into an impromptu beach clean session. The effect was inspiring as delegates discussed the treasures they had turned up over evening drinks at the bar. It was a lovely moment and one that illustrated the power of practical corporate social responsibility at work.
Go green this year with a trip to North Devon’s Adventure coast. Book a stay at the Carlton Hotel, Ilfracombeand marvel at the wonders of the UK’s own backyard (whilst enjoying some of the best in locally sourced and cooked foods)! You can contact the hotel by emailor telephone (01271 862446).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Easter is a moveable feast, quite literally, but this year at least we all benefit from it being later rather than sooner. Spring will be more advanced and that is great news for anyone planning Easter holiday activitiesin North Devon, even if it doesn’t answer the eternal question ‘why can’t Easter be fixed’!
For North Devon, Easter is the time of year when the region emerges from its winter hibernation and becomes the go to holiday destination. It has been a favourite seaside stop since the early days of the Victorian era, when the railways opened up the possibility of travel for millions and a dip in the ‘old briny’ first became a holiday ritual.
Times have changed dramatically, but funnily enough Ilfracombe still retains much of the original Victorian charm, as evidenced in the architecture of one the West Country’s most picturesque seaside towns with its narrow streets, unfussy harbour, town cove beaches and coastal views.
Making the Most of the Seaside
Nevertheless, Easter holiday activitiesin the region have progressed significantly since the days when men and women were obliged to bathe on different Tunnelsbeaches – women strictly covered and men in the altogether. The Twenty First century staple of British seaside bathing – the wetsuit – means that even in April a dip in the Atlantic can be a fun and enjoyable experience!
For vacationing visitors this Easter, any What’s on in North Devonguide to activities can’t ignore smorgasbord of sea based activities available. These range from surfing the waves at nearby Woolacombe (10 minutes by car), which was recently voted one of the best beaches in the world by Trip Advisortravellers, orcoasteering with H2Outdoorto get a seal’s view of the beautiful North Devon coastline.
For some, even a warm layer of neoprene and the exaltation of “it’s not too bad once you’re in!” is still not enough to be coaxed off the beach and there’s no harm in that either. There are few simpler pleasures in life than beachcombing for shells, rock pooling for crabs or joining one of the region’s regular beach cleansto get a sense of well being. North Devon is blessed with many beaches – from wide expanses of golden sand to intimate secret covesstraight out of a Famous Five adventure.
Nature on the North Devon Doorstep
Of course seals are very much a part of the local scenery and are often sighted from the craggy cliff tops around which the coastal path weaves its way with impressive stretches either side of Ilfracombe town. Aside from advertised ‘What’s on in North Devon’ activities over the Easter break, nature puts on its own show, ranging from the Spring flowers which are beginning to bloom on Braunton Burrowsin the heart of the UNESCO biosphere, to sightings of deer on the hoof and buzzards in flight over the dramatic landscapes of the Exmoor National Park.
Around the Town Of Ilfracombe
For most visitors, a sudden exposure to copious amounts of North Devon fresh air can lead to a sudden unwillingness to want to venture too far afield! Luckily, this town has many treasures to reveal , and all within walking distance of the Carlton Hotel. A great guide to what’s happening in the town is provided by the very informativeVisit Ilfracombewebsite.
The Tunnels Beachesand Ilfracombe Museum give a wonderful glimpse of Ilfracombe’s Victorian past while the Aquariumand boat trips from the harbour give an insight into what makes the North Devon coast so special as a marine habitat. There’s no pier’s end entertainment in Ilfracombe (other than the locals enjoying a spot of crabbing!), but The Landmark Theatrehas a full programme of events this Easter, with old favourite Sooty coming to town as well as grown up comedy in the form of the play Rotterdam.
A stroll around the harbour invites pause for thought at the sight of Damien Hirst’s Verity statue – a bit of a Marmite piece of art – and any appetite raised can be sated with traditional fish + chips and ice cream, pub grub or upmarket fayre from the Michelin starred Olive Roomrestaurant.
Base Camp Luxury – The Carlton Hotel
The Carlton Hotel is the perfect base to explore Ilfracombe’s charms with its combination of old fashioned character and high standard modernroomsfollowing its recent and extensive refurbishment. With high end bathrooms, super comfy beds and speedy Wi-Fi access as standard, the hotel brings a welcome slice of luxury to the seaside experience.
Kitted out to make your stay as relaxing as you hoped it would be, fresh locally sourced foodcan be enjoyed in the brasserie while the relaxed environment of the bar makes for a perfect end to the day. For more information about booking a stay at the Carlton Hotel this Easter you can emailus or telephone (01271 862446).
Take a look at our delicious West Country Beef Brisket recipe, as featured in this months Love Ilfracombe Focus magazine. This is a firm favourite on our regular brasserie menu. This cheap and verstile cut is slow cooked then pulled, drizzled with BBQ sauce, filled into a bap or bun.[/vc_column_text]
If you’re at home on the range or looking to pick up a clay for the first time, there is great fun to be had by rounding up a posse and heading down to the West Country for a clay pigeon shooting break.
The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, North Devon has been hosting clay pigeon shooting parties for many years and stands out proud from the pack thanks to its association with two of the best sited shooting grounds in North Devon.
Offering the completepackage – for novice and pro shooters – the Carlton plays host to clay busting individuals, couples, a handful of mates or full blown clay pigeon shooting breakparties. High quality 4* standardrooms (the hotel has recently undergone extensive refurbishment) promise a great night’s sleep after a day spent in range of the traps.
The Carlton Hotel’s facilities include a dedicated gun room with individual gun safes, drying room to cater for shooting break parties, an excellent bar and restaurant (dinner deals available) and all the facilities you would expect from a top class hotel, from high speed broadband to private gym.
As a destination, Ilfracombe provides all the ingredients for a great weekend or mid week break away, with sea view restaurants serving up fresh catches of the day and local pubs serving regional ales and ciders.
Pulling Power on the Doorstep
The Carlton Hotel has two fantastic shooting grounds in North Devon as partners for our clay pigeon shooting breaks, both of which are just minutes away. The North Devon Shooting Ground
and South West Shooting Schoolboth offer a wide range of packages – from ‘Have a go’ specials to activities and programmes for corporate and larger clay pigeon shooting parties.
With the sport increasingly attracting new participants, both shooting grounds cater for all ages and abilities (with family friendly options too) and can provide shotgun hire on site. Some shooting parties visiting the Carlton like to make a real wild West Country weekend of it and also book in stops along the way at shoots in Tauntonand Holsworthy.
From the Traps: A Brief History of Clay Pigeon Shooting
The clay (pigeon), as we know it, began life in America in 1880 and soon found its way onto British shores, it’s flight ‘somewhat resembling the flight of a partridge’ according to The Field (or Country Gentleman’s Newspaper) at the time.
Trap shooting, as an event, promoted by the rather uninspiring sounding Inanimate Bird Shooting Associationsoon grew in popularity and by the turn of the century there the 1900 summer Olympics witnessed clays flying around the skies of Paris!
As the Twentieth century progressed this popular alternative to live game shooting became a sport of its own, adapting to the demands of its participants as the clays coming out the traps took on a new life of their own with tweaks to trajectory, speed clay size and distance.
Fast forward to the present day and clay pigeon shooting parties are no longer just the preserve of older country gentlemen as evidenced by increased participation by women as well as the younger generations.
It’s all About the Bird Talk
For such an inanimate and inoffensive object (essentially a fragile clay frisbee), there’s a ferocity to much of the terminology used around clay pigeons. Released from ‘traps’ with a shout of “Pull!” from those in the ‘stands’, the ‘birds’ (clays) are first seen at the ‘pick up point’ before being dispatched in the ‘kill zone’.
While such jargon is every day speak for pros,it can be confusing for novices trying out for the first time. Unless gifted with a natural marksman’s eye – or incredible beginner’s luck -one thing most novices will experience is the obligatory shake of the head at the sight of a ‘bird away’ (missed clay), not to mention letting loose the occasional curse word (fortunately no one will hear you as it is mandatory to wear ear and eye protection while shooting!)
Challenging, addictive and jolly good fun to be had in the country, clay pigeon shooting is one of those sports, a little like golf, where somewhere between the extremes most shooters experience good days and bad days and the occasional day when ‘sometimes the magic just happens’!
If you’re looking to get away for a clay pigeon shooting break that combines high class hotel accommodation with access to excellent shooting grounds in North Devon , contact Ilfracombe’s Carlton Hotel by emailor telephone (01271 862446).
Grow your team, grow your businessis one of those clichés that is periodically rolled out in business event planningsessions or by business magazinesand consultants, but what does that actually mean?
Google the term and you will find pages devoted to the topic, filled with jargonese chatter about onboarding, feedback loops or gardening metaphors that wax lyrical about the team progressing from seed to flower!
The phrase is of course a catch all intended to give the boss team building ideas, along with tips on how to increase productivity and profit…while really aiming to nudge the reader to click the link in the vague hope of finding out something they don’t already know.
Business Event Planning in North Devon
In Ilfracombe, North Devon, the Carlton Hotel brings its own slant to business event planning and the burning question of how to grow your team. It involves dispensing with the jargonese and getting ‘back to basics’. Not in a John Majortype throwback to the past, but by simply stripping away all the white noise that goes with the daily grind of life in the office and seeing things from a different angle.
In this respect, the Carlton provides much more than a conventional venue with meeting room hire – although meeting and seminar rooms (fully equipped and ready to cater for groups of 5 – 150 people) it also happens to have! Thanks to its fantastic location on the North Devon coast it offers far more in terms of team building ideas than most destinations.
The Carlton’sEngage business packageoffers unique opportunities for companies to get away from the office for a 2 day midweek break in Spring or Autumn where the art of business can be combined with pleasure in ways that are intended to grow the team as human beings. As most of the afore mentioned articles agree on one thing; people are the cornerstone of any business.
Bathing With Your Boss?
Growing one’s business is so often a case of working effectively with who you have rather than complaining about what you don’t (just ask Jose Mourinho!). This is something that some bosses fail to grasp when considering team building ideas – hoping that just by putting on an away day the team will magically fall in line and come together regardless of the activity.
There are plenty of bad away days you could drag your team through, such as ‘naked relationships’ otherwise known as bathing with your boss, which is apparently a popular bonding activity in Japan! So here are some far more appealing options from the Carlton’s Engage business package which makes the most of the beautiful North Devon coast.
Let’s start with the sea, which lends itself to kayaking, coasteering and surfing – cue a bracing, bonding and fun filled experience splashing about off Atlantic facing beaches such as nearby Woolacombe (which regularly crops up in the list of the world’s best beaches).
For confirmed landlubbers the action can easily switch inland – on the golfing green, off piste on a quad bike or even in mid air (as the clay pigeon flies!). If this sounds like far too much expended energy then gentler pursuits – from chocolate workshops to barista making by way of beachcombing on secluded beaches – can be arranged.
Bespoke Activities and Business Quality Accommodation
The Carlton has a reputation for working with members of the firm responsible for business event planning to come up with activities that will fit the company and the people that make it. Add to a programme of bespoke activities superb business class quality rooms, excellent in-house diningand meeting room hire thrown in for free (to ensure some business motivated moments in the break) and this is a winning combination for growing your team’s appetite for growing your business.
With Engage business packages starting at £100 per person, per night, get in touch by emailor telephone (01271 862446) to find out what the Carlton Hotel can bring to tour team this year (and, just for the record, a longboardingsession is far more memorable than an onboarding session!…).
The problem with modern life is that it just doesn’t stop! There is a lot of research out there regarding office worker health, urging us to switch off and de-stress, but we just don’t seem to get the time to get round to it…
This is something of an irony seeing as the first bit of advice given when our technology stops functioning as it should, is to turn it off and give it a reboot!
Stress is part and parcel of business. It is the adrenalin fuelled engine which drives aspiration, ambition and achievement. But it is a double edged sword. Stress can lead to burn out and also be detrimental to the office environment and the business as a whole.
Many businesses use team building exercises and business away days to take their employees out of this environment. Business away days are an opportunity for the team to de-stress and connect on a different level . Bonding over something other than the shared use of the water cooler is beneficial to office worker health, but frequently business away days are over too quickly to fully enjoy the benefits.
Team Building Exercises to Beat Stress
That’s why the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe, North Devon, has seen a swift uptake of its two day Refresh & Energise business breakpackages this Spring. The midweek business breaks combine opportunities for team building exercises with a programme of relaxation activities for the team – from massage and Tai Chi sessions to outdoor coastal pursuits and a specially prepared Wellness menu that’s big on taste but healthy too.
Carlton Hotel owner, Eliot Seabourn-Wren, says, “There is a lot of uncertainty in the UK at the moment and many companies are waiting for the green light on some kind of direction, but this is also taking its toll on the office. Our Refresh and Energise breaks are proving popular because bosses are seeing the benefits to office worker health as well as promoting focus for what’s coming next.”
The Office is Bad For Your Health
It seems obvious, but research has been drawing attention to the negative impact of sitting for up to 8 hours a day. So the solution is to get a stand up desk right? Not necessarily! Standing for any length of time brings its own problems (from conditions such as plantar fasciitis – foot swelling to lumbar spine pressures).
A positive contribution to office worker health (aside from making efforts to bring more mobility into your day) comes through the power of massage. Massage techniques – from head to full bodyto feet massage – will flush out the muscles, put knotted muscles back in place and remove accumulated tension.
The ancient art of Tai Chi has also enjoyed a revival with its clear benefits for the modern office worker. Carlton Hotel ‘s Tai Chi partner, Paul Maxfield. “Tai Chi can be used in various ways such as for strength, flexibility, and mental wellbeing. It has obvious advantages for management and company employees. In day to day business, life can be stressful, and where decisions have to be made with a clear head, Tai Chi brings calm and focus.”
While massage and Tai Chi are more specialised features on the Refresh & Energise business break programme at North Devon’s Carlton Hotel, team building exercises don’t get any less formal than just taking a stroll on the beach! Walking is good for our health and everybody is saying it (hands up if you’ve done your 10,000 steps today?!)- and nowhere is this more pertinent than in relation to office worker health.
Guaranteed to boost the mind and energise the body is a coastal walk, or pleasant time spent combing the beach and marvelling at the power of the elements and the mighty Atlantic ocean – just the kind sight to help get things into perspective. It may be the simplest and most informal of team building exercises on a Refresh & Energise business break package, but it’s an effective one!
And of course a good walk builds a good appetite too. The office is a magnet for poor eating habits; grabbing lunch on the go, snacking on quick fix sugary and salty snacks, being too tired to rustle up anything other than a ready meal in the kitchen at the end of a long day…
The specially prepared Wellness menu at the Carlton appreciates the importance of fuelling correctly for maximum performance. Eating well is just another element of the hotel’s Refresh & Energise two day business break (from £102 per person, per night) – the perfect opportunity to hit stop, reset and prepare the team’s focus for the year to come.
For more information about the Carlton Hotel’s Refresh & Energise package, get in touch by emailor telephone (01271 862446).
Ilfracombe has a rich maritime history and its close links to the sea is one of the things we simply love about being here. Now whether that’s the day-to-day workings of the boats in the harbour; or the array of watersports and activities you can take part in; perhaps enjoying the fabulous seafood that come straight from the Atlantic waters or simply just setting out on the South West Coast Path and admiring the views across the ocean. Being close to the water is a must!
People often think of Ilfracombe as a Victorian seaside town, but its seafaring past goes way back – it’s played a huge part in the country’s maritime history. Did you know that the man who carried news of Nelson’s death home to England was born in Ilfracombe? Captain John Lapenotiere was a British Royal Navy officer and commanded the HMS Pickle which was at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Previously we have supported our local pilot gig boat club, so when the opportunity arised last year we set up stall at the local maritime festival called Sea Ilfracombe. You can see the team hard at work in the image above.
The Carlton At Sea Ilfracombe Festival
We’re really proud to help carry on this maritime tradition by taking part in the Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival. This years festival takes place on 31st August – 1st September 2019. It’s a celebration of everything to do with the sea and there’s loads going on.
Last year we were proud to have the support of Nathan from Passmores fishmongers to create our seafood dishes. So popular in fact, we sold out of the local oysters supplied by Phoebe Chope who picks and processes them on the Torridge, just outside Instow.
We really enjoyed meeting lots of people who came along to enjoy an oyster or 2, with one of our gorgeous dressings, or our special seafood risotto. We couldn’t resist having some of Eliot’s famous hand-made scotch eggs too, made with flaked Exmoor ham hock, Farmer Bob’s free range eggs, fresh herbs and fennel – with piccalilli on the side!
We even had lots of Vegan options too!
Take a look at Sea Ilfracombe Festival 2018, and you can be sure we will be back his year.
The Carlton we have sought to work with a range of local quality suppliers, since August 2015. And to be fair we’ve got an amazing choice being based in the South West.
Being surrounded by over 230 miles of coastline means we get to choose from a huge variety of fish and seafood. Plenty of boats land in the south of the county, but in North Devon we have a thriving market at Appledore where Ilfracombe based S&P boats land their daily catch. Other smaller boats land in our own harbour. Species such as plaice, sole, cod, haddock and of course skate are all harvested. The quality of the fish is superb, and the sustainability is wonderful. The smaller day boats means the catch is fresher and caught in a more sympathetic less damaging manner.
We are equally proud to work with Phoebe Chope who supplies us tidal mussels and oysters from the Torridge estuary. The plump mussels are usually available all year round except when the weather is truly hot. Oysters make an occasional welcome on the menu too!
You can be sure that fish and seafood is a big feature of our brasserie and event food offer.
We tap into the main fruit and veg market in Bristol from time to time, with more exotic options. Equally we shop locally for vegetables, and our menu serves plenty of produce grown and picked locally. All year-round staples like cabbage, cauliflower and brassicas are regularly included. Seasonal delights such as asparagus from Braunton, samphire from the River Taw feature when the time is right.
Another true local merchant is Tony The Butcher. Tony works out of his shop in Muddiford, just a short 8-mile drive from our kitchen. Despite the size of his business Tony manages to bring us some fantastic West Country meats including most of our beef, pork and chicken. In one of our most popular menu items alone, the marriage of his pork sausagemeat, mixed with our recipe of herbs and seasoning, together with (another local) Farmer Bobs free range egg really makes our Scotch Egg. You’ll find this and other hand made dishes on our Club brasserie menu.
Tapping in to the knowledge and passion of our local merchants is really inspiring. Ensuring our own team of kitchen pro’s stay in tune with what’s best on the market and therefore best for our guests.
Celebrate on 17 March 2019 at The Carlton and help raise funds for local charity, On The Doorstep.
This year we are thrilled to be supporting local charity On The Doorstep by putting on a special one off event to celebrate St Patrick on 17thMarch in our Club bar & brasserie.
Three courses of fine food, featuring our classic Sunday lunch offer, with the addition of some genuine Irish classics, including boxty potato cakes, rarebit, oysters, colcannon, beef & Guinness pie and much more. Check out our menu here, packed with local ingredients to be sure.
Also, as part of the inclusive price, you’ll have a choice in welcome drinks, from a pint of Guinness through to Emerald Cocktail. And local dance champion, Nikki Carter, will be presenting her own stage show with two exhibition dances.
It’s sure to be a busy event so why not help us raise funds for a good cause whilst celebrating St Patrick’s Day. You can book your table today on 01271 862446 or email enquiries@ ilfracombecarlton.co.uk.