Christmas in Devon is a wonderful time of the year and we even sometimes see a little snow! But whether the white stuff visits or not, there are still plenty of great ways to celebrate the season. Christmas at the Ilfracombe Carlton offers a number of them, ranging from Christmas party nights to our special Christmas day celebration.
Christmas party nights
Spending time with friends and family is a big part of what Christmas is about but it is also a great time for work colleagues to spend some time outside the business premises and have fun together. The Christmas party nights at the Ilfracombe Carlton offer a brilliant way to do with a three-course meal and dancing, all in a classic Christmas setting.
Party nights are an excellent way to celebrate the season together and to relax after a long, busy year. The hotel has rooms of various different sizes so can accommodate small and large groups and everyone gets a glass of Prosecco when they arrive at the event. There are all the holiday traditional too such as crackers and hats while there is the option to stay overnight in one of the hotel’s quality bedrooms.
Party nights aren’t just for businesses either – they are a great way for a group of friends to enjoy an evening together with great food and music to dance to. The whole process is very simple and the hotel offer a headache-free planning to make everything happen without a hitch.
Prices start from £35 per person with a three-course dinner and ½ bottle of house wine. There are still spaces available for the party nights on the 9th, 10th and 16th December but they are going fast!
You can also celebrate a traditional Devon Christmas with a festive meal offered in our Bar and Brasserie from 5th December onwards. The combination of food good and drink, a relaxing atmosphere and friendly staff epitomises what Christmas in Devon is all about. The festive menu also offers great value for money, with prices from just £20 per person for a three-course meal with all the crackers, hats and novelties that you would expect.
There are options for each course of the meal including traditional starts such as Prawn Cocktail or Tomato & Basil Soup alongside light starters such as Melon and Berries. A proper Devon Christmas experience wouldn’t be complete without Roast Turkey while other options for main courses include Grilled Rump Steal, Basked Code and vegetarian Butternut Squash Risotto. The hardest part may be choosing one of the puddings on the menu – there is Christmas Pudding, Banoffee Pie and even fruit salad if the first two courses have filled you up!
Christmas Day Lunch
Christmas Day is a great opportunity to have the ultimate in meals and our chefs are preparing an eight course masterpiece of Devon Christmas food for guests at the Carlton. The menu includes all the traditional best dishes including smoked salmon blinis and Devon plaice caught locally in the Exe valley.
The highlight of the meal is the roast crown of Devon turkey that comes with all the traditional trimmings or alternatively, with a vegetable terrine selection to suit all preferences. There is traditional Christmas pudding with brandy butter and whiskey sauce as well as local cheeses on a cheese board. Relax after the meal with coffee and mince pies as the lounge is open until early evening so you can chill afterwards and spend time with your friends and family.
Prices are £55 per adult and £35 for children aged five to fifteen. There are limited places and they are selling fast, so book quickly to guarantee your spot – deposit is £25 per person and the full balance is due by 1st December.
The hotel is still open for normal corporate events during the Christmas season so if your business is one that is quiet at the festive season, then it can be a great opportunity to get some training courses conducted or hold a corporate event. The hotel offers classroom style set ups for up to 75 people that are great for workshops while there are meeting areas and other facilities to suit the business’ needs. These include large screen AV and sound systems as well as high speed broadband to use the internet for presentations.
There are also a selection of special events taking place through the season and the hotel is ideally located if you are attending an event in the Ilfracombe area to use as a base or even stay overnight if needed.
Celebrate Christmas in Devon
If you are staying in Devon over the Christmas period, we have en-suite bedrooms available for personal and corporate guests. Even if you don’t want to attend one of our special events, you can enjoy a traditional Devon Christmas atmosphere with our beautifully decorated rooms and we can all celebrate the festive season together.
With the busy summer season behind us work has started on the first floor bedroom refurbishment at The Carlton. Ten bedrooms will be made into eight meaning that guests will benefit from more space to relax including in room dining, built in wardrobes with room safe and personal bar, blackout curtains, new beds and furniture, controllable lighting and other features you would expect in a 4* property. The opportunity has been taken to strip the spaces back to the main structure which also means soundproofing can be massively improved.
Our images show the building activity away from hotel guests and internal walls stripped back in readiness for the first fix electrical and plumbing works.
The work is planned to be complete by early December as The Carlton will once again be full this Christmas.
This week the Carlton front of house team visited the Voyager Coffee Academy in Buckfast, South Devon, for their kick off training in the art of coffee. Dawn, Kirsti and (our newest recruit) Sheena spent the day honing their knowledge on coffee beans, the basics of roasting beans and the difference between a latte and a cappuccino. Their knowledge on milk, bubbles and aeration is contagious. Dawn is so enthused she can’t wait to serve the best flat white in town.
Our new state of the art San Remo machine is being installed in mid-June just in time for our anniversary and the launch of our new event spaces and of course this year’s busy summer season.
The new owners of the Carlton have swung behind local suppliers and are proud to showcase Miles tea and beverage supplies in the bedroom hospitality and Voyager coffee in the brasserie. Both are local producers and suppliers. On the coffee front we will be serving Mustang blend beans ahead of a further trial of Roadtrip beans. You can sample these great espresso blends in Ilfracombe, only at the Carlton, from late June 2016.
What does the typical celebrity birthday party look like? Liver cake surrounded by your favourite canine pals? That’s exactly how it went down at The Carlton Hotel in Ilfracombe for the region’s latest YouTube star celebrating his third birthday.
The young pooch has taken to the stage following the launch of his new YouTube channel, The Adventures of Ragamuffin, attracting over 40,000 viewers some of which even made it to the Ilfracombe hotel to celebrate. Launching just over 2 months ago, the series saw Outnumbered star Daniel Roche come on board as the voice of Ragamuffin propelling the series success opening up countless opportunities for the now 3 year old pooch.
Ragamuffin has dedicated his time on screen to his loyal followers and aims to appeal to both pet lovers and children alike in the new series, giving a bit of insight into the thoughts of a young pup and his daily adventures.
The party was of course attended by friends and family of the pooch with a posse of canine pals taking part in the activities and enjoying the finest liver cake on offer. Followed by plenty of doggy presents and enough tennis balls for everyone.
Already feeling the signs of success, Ragamuffin has immersed himself in the celebrity life taking on a dinner date with land speed record holder Andy Green in London. Though enthusiastic to give back to his community, Ragamuffin concluded the evening with a visit to the Edenmore Nursing Home to say hello to residents and continue his work as a Pets as Therapy Dog (PATs) which has been supported following his launch to fame.
As Ragamuffin continues his rise to the top there is no telling where he will be in a year’s time but one thing is for sure he will still loyal to his own Fiona and support the community that supported him.
Here’s what Ragamuffin had to say about his special day!
Dear Uncles Michael and Elliot,
Thank you so much for the best birthday party I have ever had, my fiends say they have never done anything like it before and that I throw the most fun parties as not many parties have dog games.
It is the first party I have had that got in the paper, but I am only 3. Moja, my girlfiend, said she is quite jealous because she wants to be a star as she is very pretty.
My Mum and her friends said the service and food was excellent. I was a bit annoyed though because Mum didn’t let me eat her food but I guess she made up for it as my liver cake was delicious and all my fiends took some home in their doggy bags.
We all want to come back as soon as possible for another party. Although you will have to watch my fiend Buster as he is rather light pawed and prone to stealing handbags.
Thank you again.
Your loving nephew
P.S your birthday card was my favourite except for the one I could eat.
Choosing a business conference venue can be a tough decision. There are a lot of considerations, and you don’t want to end up in some cramped, dilapidated building because you didn’t bother to do your research first. Conference facilities, meetings rooms, and other venues for hire can be critical to the success and productivity of your meeting. Here’s how to choose a business conference venue that will help keep you motivated and focused.
Choosing a Conference Venue
Before you start looking at business venues, decide what location would work best for your business conference. Will it be more laid back and casual, or do you want a high energy meeting with surroundings that inspire you to get motivated? Once you’ve decided what kind of a venue you need, you can start looking into specific venues that meet these requirements. You should also make sure the venue is easily accessible for those who are traveling from out of town.
Look At Cost
This should be done before you’ve considered any particular venues. Much like shopping for groceries when you’re hungry, budgeting for venues when you’ve toured more expensive places might lead you to stretch your budget a bit too far, so lay out a budget before anything else. Stick to what you can afford. Granted, this doesn’t mean that you have to choose the cheapest place available, but you should still be frugal and cut company costs as much as possible.
When considering costs, ask about the venue’s refund policy. This will be helpful if you need to cancel, as some venues only offer partial refunds. Ask if you need to make a deposit and when full payment must be received.
Review The Facilities
Depending on what kind of business conference you’re having, hiring a venue without checking the facilities first could mean disaster. Not every venue is upfront about what “meeting facilities” entails. Many a company has been disappointed when they show up to a venue and don’t have the facilities they need. Necessary business conference facilities can include:
- Projection screens
- LCD televisions
- Readily available electrical outlets
- Heavy duty cables
- Adequate lighting
- Clear, unobstructed views for the entire room
Ask yourself what you need for any presentations, speeches or demonstrations and plan accordingly. It helps to have a thorough checklist before making an enquiries to a possible venue.
Pay A Visit
Once you’ve selected a list of possible venues, it’s time to pay them a visit. Touring the venue not only helps you make sure all amenities and facilities you need are there, but it also gives you a chance to see how the staff treats you. Take note of how you are greeted by both the receptionist and sales representative; it’s most likely how the rest of your conference attendees will be treated.
Unprofessional or rude representatives mean you should chalk that venue off your list immediately. If they treat you poorly upon your first meeting when you haven’t even given them money yet, how do you think they’ll act once they’re paid? Some things to consider when visiting the venue are parking arrangements, cafeterias or nearby restaurants, and so on. If there’s a cafeteria, try some of the food to see if it’s quality enough for your business conference. If it’s not, it may be best to spend lunch elsewhere.
Speaking of lunch, make sure your attendees have enough to eat and drink! It’s your responsibility to make sure food and drinks are available, and if that means you have to hire a catering company, then do so. Have options for any attendees that have food allergies or different diets (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) if at all possible.
Let’s say that your business conference will last for more than a day. Where will the conference attendees be staying? Is there a hotel nearby, or is it reasonable for attendees to commute each day? You’ll most likely need to book accommodation for conferences that last several days, but you can make things easier for you and your company by booking at a venue that has both a hotel and conference center.
Of course, you’ll need enough room for all of the attendees, so if the hotel/conference center doesn’t have enough space, you may have to book a separate hotel. Most hotel/conference centers will have adequate space, however, and finding enough parking space shouldn’t be a problem (plus parking is free for those staying at the hotel!).
Choosing a business conference venue depends largely upon what is available at the time of your conference. Some venues may not have all dates open for conferences that last several days, so you’ll want to check available dates before settling on any particular venue. If you’re booking separate accommodations, they will, of course, need to have the same dates available as well. Ask the venue beforehand what their policy is if you need to change dates. You don’t want to get stuck with the bill for two different venues because you couldn’t make it work with one of them.
Easter in Devon
The coastal resorts of North Devon are once again gearing up for Easter celebrations. As thousands of people travel to this wonderful part of the world, several key events will be shining a spotlight on local culture and providing a spectacular time for anyone visiting. Here’s our guide to having the best Easter in Devon.
Find the Clovelly Easter Chick, Clovelly Village, Clovelly
Wander Clovelly’s High Street in search of 15 feathery friends. Easter chicks have been hidden all along the way, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for these chirping charmers. The Visitors Centre will give you a map to mark the location of each chick. Once you’ve found at least 10 of them, you can return for a prize. The event runs every day from March 19-28, 2016. It’s fun for all ages!
Landmark Easter Craft Fair, Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe
The Promenade in Ilfracombe, Devon is once again hosting its annual Landmark Easter Craft Fair. Local craftsmen will be selling their wares, along with hearty Sunday roasts at The Rendezvous Cafe. Pick up a few handmade items to commemorate your visit and support local artisans! This event is open from 10am-5pm on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016.
Easter Egg Hunt, Hartland Abbey And Gardens, Hartland
The annual Easter Egg Hunt is back! This well-known tradition has brought joy to children and parents alike. Children can wander the beautiful gardens with their lush greenery while searching for clues that will lead them to collectible Easter eggs. Wooded paths and blooming flowers provide a colorful backdrop to a long-standing favorite for Easter activities. The Easter Egg Hunt runs March 27-28, 2016 from 11am-4pm.
Toddler Takeover Day, The Big Sheep, Bideford
Make way for the little ones! The Big Sheep‘s Toddler Takeover Day gives smaller children the chance to hunt for Easter Eggs before the big kids do. Other activities for toddlers will also be hosted, including Meet The Easter Bunny, animal petting zoos, face painting and more! Space is limited to 250 persons, so make sure you reserve your spot before they run out. Those with annual passes get in for free, but reservations must still be made. The event is held March 22-24, 2016.
Easter Celebration, Pennywell Farm, 1 Mile South Of Buckfastleigh
Adorable barnyard animals will be available for petting and cuddling at Pennywell Farm this Easter holiday. Children will love the opportunity to mingle with cute baby chicks, ducklings and piglets. Horse & Heart is an all-new event for those wanting to understand pony language more, and it’s sure to be a huge hit. Special guests for the month of March include Matt Pang, Mr. Phil, Dan the Hat, and famous icon Muffin the Mule. Events run March 25-April 10, 2016.
Breakfast With The Easter Bunny, The Big Sheep, Bideford
Devon holiday celebrations on March 28, 2016 include Easter breakfast with the Easter Bunny himself! The Easter Bunny and his friend Woolly will have you rolling with laughter as they entertain you and your children with a fun show. The Easter Breakfast will include a full English breakfast along with cold options like fruit, yoghurt and cereal. Breakfast starts at 8:30 that morning, and reservations are needed to ensure a spot at the table. There are only 50 spaces available, so call and make your reservation today!
Easter Weekend, World Of Country Life, Exmouth
Are you a Minions fan? You’re in luck! The Minions have decided to return for a very special Easter show at World of Country Life in Exmouth. You’ll enjoy being amongst cute barnyard animals while you watch the show, with other events including bottle feeding, the Lamb National, and the Deer Train. There are also plenty of opportunities for younger children like an Easter egg design contest, arts and crafts, and Easter egg hunts. These events are held March 25-28, 2016.
Dinosaur Quest, Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves, Torquay
Go back in time with Dinosaur Quest and find prehistoric artifacts this Easter. Clues are scattered around the caverns, and kids can gather them up to win Easter prizes. Easter activities include the Ice Age Animal Hunt, Geowalks, Rock Art, Woodland Quest, Kids Fun Dig, and the Stone Age Trail. No reservations are necessary, and all activities are included in the admission price. Easter indoor and outdoor events will be available March 25-April 10, 2016.
Magical Illuminations, Babbacombe Model Village, Torquay
Babbacombe Model Village‘s Magical Illuminations is opening just in time for Easter! Starting March 24, 2016, visitors will be able to tour the gardens and stay for a whimsical light show that lights up the model village in a fantastical display. Imagine you’re a giant and walk tall amongst the intricately-designed buildings, cottages and town squares. The Babbacombe Model Village will also be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt on the trail March 19th-April 10. Illumination shows start at dusk, but make sure to come early to see daylight displays as well.
What will you be doing in Devon this Easter?
We can’t wait to welcome our guests back in 2016. And with just a few days left to the reopening of Ilfracombe’s Carlton Hotel, the finishing touches are being made to our bedrooms, public areas and also to the brand new all day dining menu food offer.
Improvements include superfast WiFi to all areas of the hotel, brand new toilets, library room on the ground floor, and a refresh to all the interior spaces.
The Carlton has received some excellent guest feedback recently TripAdvisor which endorse the improvements.
Our new food offer includes local seafood such as Exe Valley mussels, beer battered haddock, West Country specials like Squab Pie and honestly made burgers, game terrine and salmon fishcakes. Chef’s favourite is the chicken and ham pancake which is great as a starter or as main with side order or two!
The new business owners are delighted with the progress being made in the planned refurbishment works to the hotel. Areas now undergoing some major transformation include the library, public toilets, reception, lounge and bar on the ground floor. And on the lower ground the former dining room walls have been removed to ensure that a thorough refit occurs.
And in readiness for the summer season, work should be completed by March. Our guests can then expect the following features including all day dining, barista coffee lounge, brand new meeting and events spaces, resident’s gym, contemporary toilets with wheelchair access. And with this work comes the prospect of attracting external guests and building on the food and drink offer well into 2016.
Watch this space for further updates.