While the winter of 2020 seems to be hanging under a bit of a cloud, to coin a theatrical phrase from the 1800s, ‘the show must go on’! So this is a call out to all party planners – when it comes to family celebrations in North Devon, the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe is a venue to fit any bill!
As well as hosting corporate events and parties, the Carlton‘s doors are wide open to bookings from those who are planning family celebrations in North Devon – from special birthdays and anniversaries to weddings, christenings and funerals.
We often get asked for our top party planning tips, so here are 5 based on our experience:
1) Secure the venue
It probably comes as no surprise that this tip is at the top of the list. If you have no venue you have no party right?! It’s amazing how many people leave things to the last minute, or spend too much time umming and ahing about whether to book a venue.
The Carlton is different to many venues, in as much as it has a range of event spaces,
often allowing us to accommodate a last minute booking (if this applies to you, give us a call and we will always see what we can do!). However, we always recommend booking far ahead.
The Library, Burlesque Room, The Stage, The Brasserie Bar and Restaurant; our event spaces reflect the theatrical theme which runs through the hotel. Each party event space comes with its own particular ‘vibe’ and caters for a range of capacities – from as few as 6 guests to as many as 150.
Our best tip: If the date is free, book now. Once a booking is in the diary it’s done, it’s yours and you can move on to the next stage of party planning which is…
2) Make a plan
If there’s one thing that party planners universally agree on, it‘s the need to put in the preparation as leaving it all to the last minute is a recipe for stress and sleepless nights.
Fortunately, this is where the Carlton comes into its own as a party venue. We run numerous events of all sizes – from weddings to parties for friends and families – throughout the year. With our experience, we are there to help with all aspects of party planning – able to act as a soundboard for your ideas and suggest the best way to make them happen so that your party goes with a swing!
Our best tip: if the venue offers help to plan your party then accept the offer. Whatever your party headaches, it has seen (and overcome) them before.
3) Arrange the Food & Drink
This is often the most stressful thing about putting on a party. There are key questions which are always asked – what food to provide, how much food and drink to provide, what to do about those with special dietary requirements?
The simple answer to this is, it is far easier to work with a venue like the Carlton on this aspect of the party. We can help with suggestions regarding food options – from light snacks to heartier items from our menus – and amounts needed. In addition our kitchen has a reputation for catering for those with special diets and we bring this experience to all our party occasions.
For drinks, the Carlton offers an excellent choice from the bar, located in the Brasserie restaurant, its selection including a great range of alcoholic choices – such as good House wines, craft brews and spirits – to non-alcoholic options such as nice juices, soft drinks and teas and coffees (a must for family celebrations in North Devon featuring a range of ages).
Our best tip: Take advantage of a party venue’s food and drink options to cut out preparation stress and post-party wastage.
Some people love being at the centre of the party planning process and taking centre stage when the festivities begin. Others prefer hugging the background and will do whatever they can to keep busy and avoid their guests!
However, at the heart of every great party is great hospitality. As a party venue, the Carlton appreciates this is a key ingredient and works with planners to ensure that this base is covered, through a personalised service and a ‘no problem’ attitude.
Our best tip: If the venue is experienced in hosting parties, leave that side of things to them so you can enjoy the party yourself!
5) The Clear Up
It’s everyone’s least favourite party job! You’ve spent all that time planning the celebration and enjoying the occasion… and you get to see how much everyone else enjoyed it by wading through all the mess they left behind.
Our best tip: Skip this stage completely! Hiring a venue which caters for every aspect of the party will include the clear up.
6) One More Reason to Choose The Carlton…
We’re a hotel. Yes it’s obvious, but it does provide an added dimension if you have party guests coming from away. The Carlton offers a number of room options, all of which come finished to the highest standards. Is it time to plan your party? Give us a call on 01271 862446 and see how we can help you create the perfect occasion.
We are really looking forward to Easter coming to North Devon. In this season of delicious treats and family fun, you’ll find plenty of things to do around the area, with everything from top attractions hosting special days and activities during the holidays, to additional local events so you can really make the most of your holidays.
Easter is all about having fun with the family or just taking time out for yourself or as a couple. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the plethora of events and activities with everything on offer from hunting dinosaurs to riding on trams to marine exploration. Some of the events you can expect include Easter themed afternoon tea experiences, searching for Easter chicks, dinosaur egg hunts and craft workshops with arts and crafts all geared towards the holidays.
If you’re only really interested in the food available at Easter, then Devon is clearly the place to be. Restaurants and other eateries will be proudly showing off the wide range of local produce in their menus throughout the Easter holidays, so if you fancy some locally reared lamb, fresh veg, a hearty hot cross bun or even locally made chocolate eggs, you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s our what’s on Easter Guide:
30th March – 13th April 10:00 – 17:00
Find The Easter Chicks near Bideford
Children receive a village map on entry to Clovelly.
This is to mark the location of a number of Easter chicks perched up and down the cobbled High Street to the quay.
1st April – 13th 10:00 – 18:00
Unique Easter Grotto at The Milky Way in Bideford
Ever wondered where the Easter Bunny’s magic is made? From Wednesday 1st April to Monday 13th April journey down the rabbit hole to the NEW expanded Easter Bunny HQ at The…
4th April 10:00 – 18:00
Meet Star Wars Characters at The Milky Way in Bideford
Star Wars fans will be excited to hear that Storm Troopers and other characters from the legendary films are coming to The Milky Way Adventure Park over the Easter holidays.…
6th April 9:00 – 12.15
Young@Heart Adventure Club in Bideford
Adventure days for adults looking to stay active, learn new skills and to have fun!
Meet every 1st Monday of the month for a fun active session of outdoor activities…
10th – 13th April 10:30 – 15:00
Cadbury Easter Trail
Cadbury Easter Trail, Woolacombe …. What have the bunnies been hiding in the Woolacombe Sand Dunes?! This trail takes you on adventure around Woolacombe Warren to find the…
12th – 13th April 11.00 – 17:00
Easter Egg Hunt at Hartland Abbey Near Bideford
Come to Hartland Abbey for our great Easter Egg Hunt – follow clues around the beautiful gardens and walks to hunt for Easter eggs. Each child participant receives one!…
12th April 10:30 – 16:00
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Easter Sunday Fun Day
Lots of fun things for kids to do FREE event.
(Although the event itself is free – fares still apply for train rides)
1st – 13th April 10.30 – 16.30
Watermouth Castle Family Theme Park & Castle Ilfracombe
30th March at 17:00
Kundalini Yoga Class
28th March & 4th April at 9:00 – 11:30
Woolacombe Dunes, Park Run – Free
Weekly Running & Walking every Saturday 9am. Free Event 5km event run by volunteers (arrive before 9am to receive briefing) You will need to sign up on the website beforehand to print off a barcode to bring on the day. Dogs are welcome, one per runner & on a short lead. Kids under 11yrs must be accompanied by an adult.
Tue, 28 April, 09:00 – 15:00
Ilfracombe Group Walk
From Lidl car park, Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8BS, UK to Hartland Quay, Hartland Quay to then walk along the coastal path to the waterfall, inland to Stoke & back along the coast path (5 miles) Bring a picnic/ Pub at the end of walk.
Sat, 4 April, 10:00 – 12:30
Ilfracombe Farmers’ Market – The Lantern, Ilfracombe
Held on the first Saturday of each month, the market sells fresh local & organic produce, craft, refreshments & more.
For further details please visit:
“What’s this we hear about a new restaurant opening called The Brasserie?” We’ve been getting this quite a lot recently, so let’s deal with the (chocolate coated) elephant in the room before we explore local food provenance!
We’ve recently re-launched our restaurant as The Brasserie at the Carlton, complete with its own website. In addition there are some menu changes for the new season and a programme of food promotions which includes Foodie Friday events.
The Brasserie is particularly looking forward to a special February event (Friday 28th), which ties in with this year’s Exmoor Food Fest. Diners are invited to make the most of the best quality Exmoor steak & wine for £17.50, with the farmer thrown in for free. And yes, you did read that correctly!
Before the rumours begin to swirl, the farmer in question is Chris Lerwill, one of the Brasserie’s key local suppliers. Now, more than ever before, serious diners are seeking food provenance of the restaurant dishes they eat, and with good reason. Not only does locally sourced food hit sustainability and ethical notes, it also comes with greatly enhanced taste- the-difference flavour.
Grass Fed Exmoor Beef
So Chris will be in the Brasserie to talk about the Exmoor Park beef on the plates of those taking advantage of this excellent Friday Foodie deal. Local food provenance doesn’t get more local than Exmoor National Park and the traditional cattle breeds which graze it. These traditional breeds, such as the magnificent Devon (Ruby) Reds are far more hardy than ‘farm cows’, able to survive outside in all weathers and subsist on rougher grazing.
Grass fed beef is of course the best meat that you can have on your plate and, in the case of cattle grazed on Exmoor, the environmental impact is minimal too. Working with the herd and managing sustainable animal husbandry may be a foodie trend now, but in effect it is just a throwback to deep rooted farming traditions. In the case of the Lerwill family, these Exmoor farming traditions extend right the way back to the 12th century.
After enjoying a beautiful cut of tender, succulent, marbled steak, Chris will explain to Foodie Friday diners exactly where the meat has come from and how his family manage the farm and produce beef in line with sustainable principles.
Local Food Provenance at The Brasserie
Having the farmer along to give his account of local food provenance is an important aspect of what The Brasserie at The Carlton is setting out to do. Aside from this special Foodie Friday focus on Exmoor beef, local provenance runs right the way through The Brasserie menu.
The term ‘brasserie’ is tied intrinsically with France and in French the word also means ‘brewery’. A traditional brasserie combines a bar and casual restaurant space where meals and snacks are served throughout the day. The Brasserie at The Carlton embodies this take on dining and serves breakfast, lunch and dinners in a beautiful space which has been completely updated in line with a £1.7M makeover for the hotel in recent years.
Starting with breakfast, the menu features local free range eggs and British bacon, taken from high welfare stock. Lunch and dinners feature locally sourced vegetables (from the Great Field of nearby village, Braunton) and herbs, alongside local cheeses, meat and fish, caught by North Devon fishermen, in the bay. Reflecting the original French brasserie concept, the restaurant is complemented by a well stocked bar including local craft brews.
Dietary Requirements? Mais Oui!
Where The Brasserie at the Carlton differs dramatically from most of its French counterparts is in the welcome absence of the Gallic ‘non’ when diners ask if there are options for vegetarians, vegans or those with gluten free or other special dietary needs! Chef/patron Eliot cooks menus from scratch and the kitchen will always adjust a dish to ensure it fulfils diners’ requirements.
To book a table for the Foodie Friday steak & wine event or make a reservation to just sample the Brasserie experience, call 01271 862446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a year 2019 has been! As we draw to a close of another great year in Ilfracombe, North Devon, we’ve got an exciting, jam packed December to look forward to, full of festive fun. Discover all the best events coming up in our handy North Devon Christmas Events Guide showcasing everything from festive entertainment to Christmas markets, art expeditions, live music, craft workshops and more.
Monday 2nd – 8th 10.30 – 3.30 December Christmas Tree Festival, with Nativity set display and Christmas songs – St Philip & St James Church.
Wednesday 4th 8-9pm & 9th 6-9pm Jack and The Beanstalk Pantomine, The Lantern, Ilfracombe Library.
Friday 6th – 9th Winter Wonders at Quince Honey Farm & free entry to the whole attraction.
Friday 6th Dec 10.30 – 11am Ilfracombe Walking For Health – Landmark Theatre. A gentle 30min walk every Friday.
Saturday 7th 9-11.30 Woolacombe Dunes Park Run. Every Saturday.
Saturday 7th – 8th and 22nd-23rd 10-5pm Santas Grotto & Elf Emporium – The Milky Way.
Saturday 7th 11-8pm North Devon Christmas Market – Museum Of British Surfing.
Saturday 7th, 14th, 21st Dec 9-12pm Christmas Markets – The Big Sheep.
Saturday 7th & 8th, 21st & 24th 10-4pm Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Santa Specials – Woody Bay Station.
Saturday 7th December 10-3.30 Christmas Wreath Workshop – The Lantern, Ilfracombe Library.
Saturday 7th Dec 10 – 12.30 Ilfracombe Farmers Market – The Lantern, High Street, Ilfracombe. First Saturday of every month.
Saturday 7th – 20th Dec 10.30 – 4.30 Printmakers Exhibition – Folio Studio, Ilfracombe.
Saturdays & Sundays 7th – 22nd Dec 10-4pm Wooly’s Winter Wonderland – The Big Sheep.
Sunday 8th December 6-8.30 Christmas Carol Singing – Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station.
Wednesday 11th December 10-3pm Christmas Decoration Workshop, inc Christmas wreath and tree decoration – Museum Of Barnstaple & North Devon.
Friday 13th Dec – 5th Jan Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Panto At Queens Theatre Barnstaple.
Saturday 14th Dec 9.11.30 Woolacombe Dunes Park Run – free.
Sunday 14th at 2pm Christmas Marketing – The Big Sheep, Bideford.
Sunday 14th Dec 9am – 4pm RHS Rosemoor Magic Of Christmas Food & Craft Fair.
Wednesday 18th – 19th Dec 7.30 – 10.30 Wonderful Christmas Time – Seasonal Variety Show.
Saturday 21st Dec 11.30 – 1pm Santa Arriving By Gig Boat – Ilfracombe Harbour.
Saturday 21st Dec – 1st Jan 11-3pm Watersmeet Christmas Trail – Watersmeet, Lynmouth.
Sunday 22nd Dec 12-3pm Father Christmas At Arlington Court.
Saturday 28th 8-10pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club. Presents the best in live stand up. last Saturday of every month.
Saturday 28th 8-10.45 Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club – The Landmark Theatre.
Saturday 28th Dec 10.30am Festival Of Winter Walks – Braunton Countryside Centre.
Sunday 29th Dec – 1st January 10.30 – 2.30 Mince Pie Specials at Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. Enjoy a steam train ride with fresh mince pies.
Tuesday 31st Dec 8-11pm The big Fat Blues Band, Live At the Pier – the Quay Ilfracombe.
For more information please visit http://bit.ly/WhatsOnNorthDevon
For that special birthday surprise. For that symbolic anniversary. For that reunion, you’ve been waiting years for. For that extra special wedding day. For that first baby shower. For that family gathering & Sunday roast. For that show stopping foodie treat. The Carlton is the perfect place to make your event sparkle and celebrate those special moments with loved ones that last forever for
Now fully refurbished and open all year round, The Carlton remains a great value venue for any occasion. With private dining for that special birthday surprise, or symbolic anniversary, or reunion that you’ve been waiting years for. The hotels fresh and well designed facilities are equally perfect for weddings, formal dinners, as well as smaller gatherings. Event spaces at the hotel have a capacity of up to 90 guests formal sit down, and flexibility to allow for dancing and entertainment.
Call us today on 01271 862446
or email email@example.com book your table or special event.
Business events in conference venues can be such dull affairs, so it’s no wonder that business leaders are looking for new ways to inspire their team and seek an alternative training venue or away day experience. One such innovative experience is pairing Michelin star food with a beautiful seaside venue to stimulate minds and focus.
The Carlton Hotel in North Devon is doing just this with its new Michelin business package offering which includes a fine dining evening with Thomas Carr at The Olive Room, the area’s only Michelin starred restaurant (see his exclusive interview below).
The author Bill Marsano, once wrote that, “The British Empire was created as a by-product of generations of desperate Englishmen roaming the world in search of a decent meal.”This was particularly true of British seaside towns which for many years were typified by menus that were high in sugar and fat and low in flavour and substance.
That was then, but things have changed dramatically in recent years. Now the British coast is speckled with small towns where culinary pearls are waiting to be discovered. This is particularly true for Ilfracombe, one of the most picturesque harbour towns on the West Country’s Atlantic coast and home to one of Devon’s most pleasant conference venues for hosting business events.
Business Events With a Difference
The Carlton is pushing the envelope with three unique two day businesspackages that combine business class luxury accommodation with top of the range training venue facilities (from on site meeting and seminar rooms to gym and treatments). The Carlton is one of the more exclusive Devon conference venues for business events – from team meetings and business workshops to training & development courses.
The Carlton Hotel’sMichelin Package, centred in Ilfracombe, sits neatly into this programme, offering a truly unique shared experience for office teams seeking an alternative training venue in North Devon.
For a restaurant, a Michelin star is the pinnacle of success and one that cannot be bought. The go-to guide for food quality began life in 1900 and was soon blazing a trail for the finest food to be found on its travels. The secretive nature of the world of the Michelin inspector was revealed to the New Yorker Magazine in 2009, which noted that ‘inspectors themselves are advised not to disclose their line of work, even to their parents’.
An interview with Michelin Star Chef, Thomas Carr
This is what Michelin Guide inspectors say about Thomas Carr at The Olive Room; “A simple, homely restaurant beneath a B&B, run by an experienced local chef who trained under Nathan Outlaw. Ultra-fresh seafood is the focus, with dishes only confirmed once the day boat deliveries come in. Cooking is skilled.”
So what can Carlton Hotel guests expect from the fine dining aspect of Michelin Package? We caught up with Thomas Carr to get his views on Ilfracombe, what makes the Olive Room so special and where his culinary inspiration comes from.
What is special about Ilfracombe as a place?
Well you only need to have a look around to see. You step out the front of the restaurant and you have a lovely view down Fore Street to the sea. It’s really at its best when the sun’s shining and everyone’s just enjoying a walk along the seafront. We’re also a special place for food! We’re the only place in Devon to have a Michelin Star and a Michelin Bib Gourmand. We’re punching above our weight for such a small town, but it’s brilliant.It’s not just about the Michelin level dining though. We also have the best chippies, fantastic local artisan producers and lots of quality restaurants.It’s a foodie haven.
What is special about the Olive Room fine dining experience?
I think for us, it’s always about making the food the star of the show. Our dining room is cosy and the service is relaxed. Our customers often comment on how they love how unpretentious the experience is. People expect a Michelin Starred restaurant to be a high class affair, but when we have such amazing ingredients to work with, we want to make sure they don’t get lost in an in-your-face Front of House service; we just want our guests to relax and enjoy themselves.
Where does inspiration for the Olive Room menu come from?
I think we are always inspired by the quality of the ingredients we have access too. When a beautiful fish comes into the kitchen we just want to do it justice. We offer chef’s tasting menus (and a la carte midweek), and it’s about keeping the tastes simple, not overloading the dish with unnecessary additional flavours, and showcasing the ingredients. That’s not to say that there aren’t some nice little hidden flavours amongst the dish though. As a chef I’m a bit of a grazer so I tend to pick at different ingredients and every now and then I’ll stumble across a combination of flavours which aren’t typically served together, but I can taste that they could work I’ll start trying to develop a dish from that.
With delegate prices starting at £119* per person per night (for a two night midweek business package stay), the Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe offers one of the most unique Devon business venues and without doubt one of the most flavoursome! Please emailor telephone (01271 862446) to find out what the Carlton Hotel can bring to your business this year.
*Price based on 20+ delegates.
Ilfracombe’s business breakfast meetings are held at The Carlton, where you can meet and network. Chat with fellow business owners and entrepreneurs at Love Ilfracombe’s fortnightly open sessions.
This informal group meets every other week on Thursdays from 7:45am onwards. It’s a safe and friendly environment where ideas and tips are shared. Usually a guest speaker presents their business, initiative or advice.
Enjoy a tasty local pork sausage or grilled back bacon sandwich washed down with juice and as much coffee and tea as you need! Meetings close around 9am.
Upcoming dates include
- March 4 & 18
- April 7, 16 & 30
Book your place at www.loveilfracombe.co.uk/ibb
To recover catering costs there is a small charge of £5 per attendee.
Find out more about our meeting, business facilities here.
This event is organised by Love Ilfracombe.
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!…).
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.