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Category: General
Posted by: nicky
Today I had the rare opportunity for an afternoon out with some girlfriends. We all own guest houses and b&b's and with our busy lives its hard to get a time when we can all get together.

We decided to experience the traditional "Devon Cream Tea" at the Angels Tea Room in Babbacombe. Babbacombe is a short drive out of Torquay, its more peaceful than the bustling town of Torquay with spectacular views over Lyme Bay and further afield to Shaldon and Teignmouth. It has its own promenade and quaint old fashioned theatre and victorian venicular railway allowing visitors to ascend and descend to the beach below in style.

The tea rooms themselves are situated on the Babbacombe Downs with enviable views, with seating outside to enjoy the surroundings. Too cold to do this today though!

Inside the atmosphere is very traditional, mismatched bone china cups, pretty cake stands, loose leafed tea, home made scones and cakes attract visitors and locals alike. I was really amazed at how busy the tea rooms were, this is considered the quiet season and the weather was horrendous but the place was bustling with some even braving the elements outside!

This place is well worth a visit and has become quite infamous. During the summer we had visitors from the USA who had booked a table at the Angels Tea Room even before they got to our guest house www.buckinghamlodge.co.uk in the UK

A word of warning. You will need to book a table even in the quieter months.
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Category: General
Posted by: nicky
3rd November 2012

Shaldon's Fun Bonfire & Fireworks night is on Saturday 3rd November 2012. The Bonfire will be lit at 6.30 pm, and the fireworks will take place at the usual time of 7.15pm from the point.
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
Its that time of year again, the time between Autumn and Winter when leaves change colour and die and superstitition abounds.
Halloween is thought to have its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a time when townfolk celebrate a festival to mark the end of the harvest and the coming of the winter months. Cattle would be bought down from the pastures, some slaughtered for the winter months and the lighting of bonfires took place to cleanse the area of any roaming ghosts.

The traditional craving of a pumpkin originally took place in Ireland when people would use turnips or potatoes to carve out their Jack-O-lanterns, it wasnt until the Irish immigrants arrived in America that the more commonly recognised pumpkin was used for this ritual.

Today, Halloween is celebrated in a number of countries around the worls, as the nights draw in people still gather in harvest and celebrate with costumes and "trick or treating".

A number of events will be taking place in Torquay and the surrounding areas of Torbay this Halloween. The Babbacome Model Village takes on a real spooky feel at this time and will be well worth a visit. The caves at Kents Cavern is the perfect location to be scared to death by Martha the Witch, ghost tales and a pumpkin hunt. For those of you a little bit older there is a halloween trail of Terror being organised by the Venue Nightclub in Torquay. And, of course if you need somewhere to rest your head after all this activity accommodation is still available at the Buckingham Lodge guest house Torquay.

http://www.babbacombemodelvillage.co.uk/events2012
http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on/kents-cavern-halloween-events-p1390833
https://www.facebook.com/venuetorquay#!/events/497805686904821/
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
The long awaited Kingkerswell to Torquay bypass is well underway which I believe will be a huge benefit to the area of Torquay, Torbay to ease congestion for all our visitors to the English Riveria.

What is quite surprising is the Mayor in his infinite wisdom has chosen to purchase a Spanish palm tree to mark the "gateway" to the English Riveria, its quite beautiful, looks a bit like a pineapple but the price has caused quite a stir within the residents of Torquay.

7,000 is a lot of money in these cash strapped times, and Torquay is by no means a wealthy town, unemployment is high, the number of single mums is high and many feel the money could have been put to much better use, such as the Surestart project helping families with small children.

The palm will look impressive, lit at night by LED solar lighting and will certainly give a holiday feel on arrival to Torquay but surely a cheaper, alternative would be better? And the fact that it will need to be moved in 3 years time to make way for the new bypass means this topic will be discussed for many months to come.

more info
www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/Mayor-s-palm-arrived-Torquay/story-17089397-detail/story.html

www.buckinghamlodge.co.uk
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
The quieter months gives us the opportunity to go out and explore the beautiful towns and countryside near to the town of Torquay on the English Riveria and yesterday we drove out to the beautiful nature reserve that is Slapton Sands and Slapton Ley.

The quickest and prettiest way to get there is via the ferry from picturesque Kingswear over to the beautiful town of Dartmouth and then take the coastal road (A379) out of town taking in the dramatic views over Blackpool Sands and onto Slapton Sands and the town of Torcross.

The beach itself is made up of pebbles and is approximately 3 miles long, with Slapton ley lake nature reserve behind the beach. The ley itself is made up of woodland, reed beds and fen and is home to a variety of birds such as swans, all duck varietys, badgers and otters.

The area is steeped in history, in 1943 the town and nearby towns and villages were taken over by the allied forces to use as a rehearsal area for the D-Day landings. Slapton Sands is similar in size and formation to the beach at Utah so the Americans started training excercises using live ammunition to experience how the real operation would feel like. At the time german submarine boats were stationed off Cherbourg and on the night of 27th April 1943 a group of nine German E-Boats set out on a normal reconnaissance mission. They followed the usual channel route without any sign of a convoy or 'enemy' ships. As they headed towards the Lyme Bay area, they suddenly came in visual contact with the allied forces which they consequently attacked with torpedos. The attack resulted in 749 Amercian soldiers and sailors deaths.

Subsequent investigations revealed two main reasons for the tragedy, firstly lack of naval escort vessels and secondly an error in radio frequencies. The convoy was supposed to be accompanied by a Royal Navy Corvette and a World War I destroyer. The destroyer having suffered damages was in port for repair, a replacement not available. The carefully prepared radio frequencies were issued with serious typographical errors which resulted in the troop landing craft being on different radio frequencies to the Corvette and the commanding officers on shore

Today the event is commemorated with a stone monument alongside a Serman Tank at Torcross. Its well worth a visit on your next visit to Devon and the Buckingham Lodge

More info required?
Slapton Sands history

www.buckinghamlodge.co.uk
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
The 20th annual Cockington Apple Day Food and Crafts Festival is taking place this Sunday 14 October. A great day out and firm favourite for the whole family!

Set in the beautiful grounds of Cockington Manor there will be food and craft marquees offering delicious handcrafted local wares including: pies and pasties, cheeses, traditional sweets, home-made fudge, cup cakes, cheesecakes and other sweet treats, chutneys, marmalade, honey and freshly baked breads, juices, cordials and ciders. There will also be a beer tent offering Bays Beer a local family run company based in Paignton. Other items on sale are stitched home wares, giftware and hand knitted baby items, a variety of bespoke jewellery, greetings cards, photographic prints, natural skincare products, and much much more!

Programme of events:

spectacular fire juggling, Punch & Judy and magic shows.

Live jazz music from John Shillito's Select Four.

Children will enjoy free activities including toffee apple making, clay modelling, apple bobbing and creative crafts.

Make your own apple dessert, baked as you wait, in Cockington's outdoor wood fired clay oven.

Watch the historic apple pressing on Cockington's five tonne Victorian press and take home freshly pressed juice for brewing into your own cider!
The festival runs from 10am - 4pm
Admission is 3.50 for adults and 1.50 for children (aged 3-15).

All activities and performances listed above are included in admission price.


Cockington Apple Day is a fundraising event run in aid of Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust.
For more info follow the link
www.countryside-trust.org.uk
www.baysbrewery.co.uk
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
silly price offer for this weekend 12th October 2012.

Bed and breakfast in a double or twin room for two people at just 55 per night. Call direct to take advantage and escape to Torquay on the beautiful English Riveria in the heart of Devon.

Our contact details can be found here.
www.buckinghamlodge.co.uk

Details of events taking place in Torquay can be found here
www.englishriviera.co.uk
Category: General
Posted by: nicky
A lot of our guests that stay at our guest house asks us the same kind of questions... Firstly they seem surprise that its only Steve and myself who run the business which consequently leads onto the question is it hard work? YES! but also enjoyable, frustrating, worthwhile and never boring. This made me wonder what sort of people should be running a guest house bed and breakfast and anyone considering entering into this kind of business should not do so without through research and asking themselves - am I the right type of person?

Firstly dont forget your busiest time is going to be from April to October - this means unless you are very lucky and are very organised you WILL NOT have a day off during this time. This is the time to be building your revenue for those quiet, dark winter months when you can fly off to sunnier climes or (if like us) spending it on scaffolding, rendering and double glazing! Very exciting. But very worthwhile if it means more comfort for our guests whilst assisting with the environment.

Also you will need to remember that you are not going to please all of your guests all of the time so a good judge of character, patience and a friendly personality is going to invaluable. Luckily Steve has all these! The majority of our guests are lovely, sociable people who we enjoy chatting with and finding out all about them. Some however just want a relaxing, quiet time away without being pressured into socialising. Both Steve and myself recognise that everyone is different and try our very best to give our very best service for individual needs.

Dont underestimate the power of the Internet for your business. A good website should include all the information a potential guest is looking for with extra interactions through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and an interesting blog, hopefully like this one. A large majority of our bookings (unfortunately) arrive through outside distribution channels such as Booking.com, Laterooms or Expedia. These big companies are a necessity for small businesses because of their dominant presence on the web and have made it very easy for people to book either by laptop or more recently via an app on their iphones. The downside to these companies is they charge a basic rate 15% commission to hotels and bed and breakfasts with some hotels paying upto 30% to appear higher on search rankings. We love the direct approach, chatting to people booking via the telephone is so much more personal and from our point of view we can find out more about our guests. This could include dietary requirements, any physical difficulties, arrival times so we can collect from the station or whether they are celebrating a special occasion.

The area you choose for your bed and breakfast is crucial. Research on this is critical. The area will determine visitor numbers, room rate, length of season, access links and attractions. Not to mention the price of property to start with. Devon, for excample. is a beautitul county and Torbay on the English Riviera has a wealth of things to do and with the new addition of the bypass will only increase its numbers and boost tourism. Consider if you want business during the winter, North Devon is very quiet as will be other counties, in comparison Torquay is almost year round business with many hotels offering Christmas and New Year deals, and delegates attending conferences at the Torquay Conference Riviera Centre during the quieter months.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg for anyone considering venturing into this type of business. And if you are I am happy to answer any questions you may have, I will be absolutely truthful on the highs and lows! Good luck
http://www.buckinghamlodge.co.uk