New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

A good wander unveils the wonder of our beautiful city…

Whether you are here on holiday or a living Plymouthian; wandering really does unveil the true wonder of Plymouth…

 

Living In Plymouth |

Sometimes, when you live in a city your only experience of crossing it is a hectic commute, some frantic shopping in the city centre or drinks on an evening out. We all have a scalextric that we all seem to stick too, and so the scenery around us becomes a little like wallpaper. If this is the case, then we are all missing out!

Visiting Plymouth |

Our Ocean city is divine. The twists and turns; the cobbled streets; the history and culture. What we have as a city is truly breathtaking. A patchwork quilt of marvellous pieces; pieces that together make our city so great.

When you wander around our city, it becomes evident of its richness. Walking through the centre you will experience a platform that to the naked eye looks rather grey; but this city centre represents a deep passion and determination of a community intent on rebuilding their ‘Plymouth’ as quickly as possible after the destruction of WW2.

Around the Hoe and Barbican you have the hidden alley ways, the cobbled streets and a vista like no other. The highest concentration of cobbled streets in England stitch together stories that include Sir Francis Drake, Scott Of The Antarctic and surrounded by beautiful and iconic buildings that date back to the 15th century onwards.

Wandering The City |

Wandering around Plymouth really is the best way to see its wonder.  What’s more, getting lost is sometimes the best way to find what you never knew you were looking for!

Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts |

Some of us may like a more structured approach than simply getting lost on the cobbles. We may like some insider knowledge, interesting stories or just the company of other like-minded people.

That is where Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts makes for the perfect choice. There are other walking groups and tours in Plymouth, but what we love about Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts is that it is a bespoke walking, talking, feasting experience.

An experience that combines our cities culture and creativity; but also gives you a taste of our rich history and the amazing plethora of restaurants we have. This is all beautifully blended with the fabulous company of others. It incorporates not only the city but laughter and frivolity, interspersed with delicious food and drink!

Whether you are a seasoned walker – or simply looking for something new from your holiday; you will share with others (or alone if you’d rather) the perfect urban stroll.

Walking through the city, you will experience more than just a beautiful landscape. You will experience enchantment, tasty treats and memories that will last a lifetime.

 

 

For more information on a Whimsical Wander you can like them on Facebook or check out their website to hear more!

Five Minutes With | What An Event..!

New Continental Hotel, PlymouthFor us, our teams are an integral part of how and why we do what we do.

We know that there is no way we would be able to achieve and deliver without a truly passionate bunch of people supporting, empowering and enabling our objectives.

Our staff are our backbone and we take five minutes to talk all things ‘events’ with one of our Events Co-ordinator.

Five Minutes With Katie | lady sat on a rock in the sun surrounded by green grass

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
It has been over 4 ½ years now. It has gone by so quickly and I have learnt so much.

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?

Just that! – Part of a family! Because it’s a family run business, you are made to feel like part of a large, supportive family. This gives you an even greater sense of pride in everything that the hotel achieves. It’s the main reason I love working here. I know for a fact it’s the main reason that so many members of staff have been here for so long. I feel I’m amongst family and friends.

There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department?
Hopefully in a very positive way! It’s an exciting time for the city bringing in a lot of new and exciting opportunities. I feel the hotel is a major part of Plymouth’s rich history and hope this alongside our excellent facilities and central location will entice potential new clients for us as well as older ones who want to hold their events in an iconic Plymouth destination.

What does your day look like..?

Tell us about a day in your life?
No day is the same as no event or function we hold is ever the same so the preparation and planning varies on a daily basis. On a typical day I will be preparing for an upcoming event- creating place cards, table plans, creating function sheets so that each department knows what needs to be done for this event. Communicating with the function organiser to make sure all their needs are being met. I also show around lots of potential wedding couples and event organisers- showing them our function rooms and what we can offer to their event- going through menus and printing etc. Always researching or working on the next blog too!

What’s the most rewarding/enjoyable part of your job?
Seeing an event successfully come together; whether it is a wedding, corporate event or any other type of function.

Knowing we’ve all worked together to make sure every aspect of the event either matches or exceeds the client’s expectations. I also love seeing a wedding couple that I have been working with and getting to know get married and say ‘I Do’. It’s a huge honour to be part of someone’s big day and helping to create wonderful memories for them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not very good at looking too far into the future. I’m a very ‘of the moment’ type of person but I hope to be happy, healthy, providing all I can for my family whilst doing all the things I feel most passionate about. Plus working hard to achieve my goals whilst supporting others.

What’s your advice for those wanting to enter hospitality..?

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
A positive and friendly ‘can do’ attitude will help you go far in this industry. A willingness to do all you can for people plus be willing to go the extra mile for customers. Good customer Service is essential. Bing able to think on the spot to resolve issues quickly whilst providing excellent service to all clients and guests is key.

The Ultimate Guide To Eating Out This January…

So.  It’s cold and wet.  We are all feeling the pinch on the purse strings and are at least one belt notch thicker. They call them the January Blues for a reason!

The month of January can be a drag, it’s true and there isn’t much we can do about it! Our tendency is to slouch on the sofa at any given chance and eat all of the left overs (no matter how random the concoction!) and watch films for the fourth and fifth time in our elasticated PJs!

But come hither! Chin up guys, because January is one of the best times of year for one thing at least – eating out at Steve’s Brasserie!

Steve’s Brasserie are offering some amazing deals to ease us into 2019 gently. Their menu offers up amazing dishes throughout the year, but January is the perfect time to feel fully sated whilst saving money. Before the seasonal change in February, Head Chef, Rob Dunne has promised his most delicious of dishes with some really hefty discounts.

Rob Dunne; Head Chef at Steve’s Brasserie and the New Continental Hotel:

“January is a month that we see a lot of our guests feeling like they may have slightly overindulged during the festive period! You can physically see some emerging from the other side, graving healthy, colourful food! Swearing off alcohol, fatty foods and sugar for good – or at least for the first few weeks of January! I love January. As a chef I get really excited with the wealth of lovely fresh produce, knowing that that is just what people are craving. I’m not talking kale smoothies and protein balls, but real flavoursome, quality ingredients.

Vegetables in January are still mostly roots such as potatoes, parsnips, parsley roots, chervil roots and swedes. All of the vegetables we saw donning the tables throughout December. January is when new season leeks begin to hit our suppliers in time for hearty bakes and stews; this coupled with the start of the vast citrus season from Europe and further afield, with blood oranges, Seville oranges and bergamot all starting to appear.”

The simple tones between the marriage of the two are what really sums up January for me; roasted root vegetables with a citrus vinaigrette spell out January in both taste and aroma.

In December, Steve’s Brasserie will be introducing FIVE amazing offers for dinners to use throughout January. Watch their Facebook Page for news and announcements!

They are deals NOT to miss! 

Steve’s Brasserie’s Christmas Opening Hours

Festive Fun Doesn’t Mean You Have To Pile On The Pounds…

Adam Domyslawski, Club Continental Manager, talks Christmas ‘Trimmings’!! 

I know you want me to say that this is Christmas; the green light is on to overindulge and eat whatever you want whenever you want…but no, sorry!

But don’t worry, you can still enjoy the festivities of Christmas and get through the days and nights without too much impact on your health or waistline!

Alcohol units can really mount up over Christmas. I’m not saying don’t drink at all, but there are some really simple tips, like replacing tonic waters with soda, and going for light beers that will really help.

Sadly, it will pretty much always come down to self –control! If this is a problem and you find it hard to stop once you’ve popped the drinking cherry (!) then you want to aim for low-calorie options; perhaps less-flavoursome drinks, but they will be by far the safer option!  If you have good self control, I would always say indulge in what you love, but just one or two!

Remember:

It’s not just the calories it’s the antitoxins and carbs too; make sure you have some days off alcohol to detox your body. It will really help that foggy, stodgy feeling! Inferably, a hang-over also leads to bad food choices the morning after too – so pace yourself and be mindful!

Christmas Dinner can contain anything up to, and over, 3000 calories – more than the entire recommended daily intake for a grown man!! This gigantic festive feast not only stacks up your daily Christmas calories, but can also contribute to other things too.

If you over indulge on Christmas Dinner you are far less likely to feel ready, willing or able to burn any of it off – even a game of charades may be asking too much! Not to mention the lethargy for the rest of the day, the indigestion and heartburn!

It’s worth remembering it takes your brain a while to register that your tummies are full!  Start with a small portion, meats and vegetables then give yourself some time and see if you are still hungry!

Remember:

You can still have the trimmings – it’s Christmas! But the sauces, stuffing and pigs in blankets are there for taste – not for filling!

TV Snacks are hard to avoid! Chocolates, nuts, dried fruits and anything else that dons the Christmas shelves at the supermarkets who then tell you your Christmas will only be good if you buy this box of cheesy puffs!

Again, it’s about self-control, and if you don’t have any, make sure you have loads of fresh fruit in the house and try playing games and keeping busy!

Remember:

Being busy having fun will stop your hand feeding your mouth!

The most important thing of all is to have a Merry Christmas, with great choices and happy memories.

 

Staff Share Their BEST Things About Christmas…

Christmas Time In Hospitality…

Spending time with your family and friends surely hits everyone’s top spot! It’s true, you may get tired of hearing the same embarrassing stories about the time you did ‘that’ thing when you were five; or the stubbly kiss from your Great Aunt Winnie; the forced feeding of sprouts and then that deep, dark cringe when you hear ‘you’re next’ – for the annual game of charades!

…But, this all being said, there is something magical about Christmas and the way it makes us all warm up inside with fuzzy excitement at the very thought. Whether you have family traditions, cosy days in or you take it in turns to host; Christmas holds something very dear to everyone, including all of us here at the New Continental Hotel.

Working in hospitality means Christmas is busy, but staff at the New Continental Hotel LOVE Christmas. The twinkly lights, the smiley faces, the late night shopping and everything in-between and we love nothing more than sharing our Christmas with friends; both old and new.

Top Five…

We wanted to share our top FIVE favourite Christmas things, things that have already got us excited about the coming weeks!

At FIVE: Dec the Halls! We have so many beautiful Christmas Trees and decorations scattered lovingly throughout the hotel from November, with carols playing softly in the background and lights down low; the dark nights and warm hotel glow spell ‘Christmas’ to us all!

At FOUR: The Smell of Christmas! The best and truest of all treat for the senses; the smells from the kitchens! So hard to describe but oh so good! The mix of mulled wine simmering, stock bubbling, meat roasting and just love lingering; when it hits your nose, your brain instantly realises that it’s almost time! It’s almost Christmas!

At THREE: Friends gathering! The foyer is full, the bar is packed and friends and family unite. The love felt during this festive time sends pulses throughout the hotel and we LOVE it!

At TWO: Christmas Party Nights! When you see the glamorous entrance of those who have worked hard all year round and are now celebrating the successful end of their year together with fine food, great company, dancing shoes and the odd pop of a champagne cork! They are the nights we remember!

At ONE: Christmas Day! When people choose to crack their crackers with us! Christmas Day at the hotel is by far the most magical day of the year. Even Father Christmas chooses to spend an hour with us!

 

Christmas Party

Be A Polar Bear Explorer…

Plymouth is a city full of many wonders; and now we can add 20 beautiful Polar Bear Cubs to the list!

From November 25th through until March 3rd, 20 Polar Bear cubs will be let loose across Plymouth’s Waterfront. The cubs will be hiding in Sutton Harbour, The Barbican, Hoe, Millbay and Royal William Yard and they NEED our help!

As Britain’s Ocean City, the Polar Bear Cubs have chosen us to bring an important message to Plymouth this winter. Each cub will have a Bear Fact with them, telling us about the Arctic and the oceans, how plastic is affecting their home and how we can all help.

Polar Bear in water

So, What Is It All About..?

Your task, should you choose to accept it,  is to become a Polar Bear Explorer and find each of the Polar Bear cubs with their Bear Facts!

You can download the Polar Bear Explorer brochure here and using the Explorer form on page 11, you can write down the key word from each of the cubs’ Bear Facts.

WWF, Greenpeace and the National Marine Aquarium have each helped to inform the Bear Facts, so they are both interesting and factual. For a little extra help, you can also download the map here.

Once you’ve found all 20, complete the Explorer form. Just add your details and make your pledge! Your pledge is  to help Polar Bears by reducing single-use plastics at home, at school and in the workplace.

Deliver your Explorer form to one of the Arctic Post Boxes at either the National Marine Aquarium, the Barbican Tourist Information Centre or Bistrot Pierre.

You can also mail it to: Polar Bear Explorer, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Ballard House, West Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3BJ or enter online here.

polar bear cub statue

What Might You Win..?

Your completed form will then be entered into a draw to win one of the great prizes on offer to include:

10 x Family tickets for the National Marine Aquarium
5 x Blue Planet The Collection box sets
3 x Polar Bear Adoption Packs with WWF
A family ticket to Dartmoor Zoo
Lunch for 4 people at The Lookout (at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre)
4 x Create Your Own Sundaes at Valenti’s Gelato Venue
A £40 Voucher to spend at Steve’s Brasserie
A viewing of the Mount Batten Tower for up to 12 people
A 3 course Sunday lunch for 2 people at The Fig Tree @ 36
A dinner for 2 voucher (up to £45) at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel
2 x B-Bar Comedy Night tickets
A 6 Months Club Continental Gym Membership

Illuminate 2018 – Plymouth Shining Brightly

Proud To Be The Official Hotel Partner…

What we love most about our beautiful city is the people so passionate about making it shine…and shine it really will this weekend! And what’s more – you still have two nights to enjoy it!

Royal William Yard | FREE ENTRY | 17:30 – 22:00

Illuminate is a spectacular light-based festival that connects all of the Mayflower 400 destinations across the UK and internationally.

In 2017 Plymouth’s Illuminate celebrations saw parts of Royal William Yard turned into a spectacular display of light-based art installations and projections. This year, we truly believe, it’s even brighter!

In 2018 Illuminate has definitely grown; it’s showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists. It provides a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for everyone. It has become a signature event in Mayflower 400’s programme; and an annual large-scale light festival that will be a highlight in Plymouth’s event calendar.

This weekend the Royal William Yard is lit up with light installations, immersive visual art and light projections. Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, has grown for 2017, and taken on a new location in Plymouth’s historic former victualling yard.

If you have yet to experience it, then it’s a real must see event in Plymouth. Crowds  have the chance to walk around and see some fantastic light installations and projections around the yard as well as being entertained by music, food stalls, glowing candyfloss and the amazing settings offering food and fun around the yard.

For more information visit the Illuminate Festival website and you can download the Illuminate Map here!

Have a bright weekend – and be lit up by Plymouth!

Train Like A Strongman…

 

Adam is our Club Continental Manager; but in addition to this he is also a competing athlete in his own right.

This year Adam has taken part in three competitions around the UK; and his fourth one will be this Sunday 18th November in Caerphilly, Wales.

We talk to him about what it takes to compete and more..!

This is going to be a very basic question to start the ball rolling! What is a Strongman Competition?

“Strongman competitions normally range from 5 and 6 events over the course of the day. They are designed to test static strength, explosiveness and muscular endurance. This means that training has to be adapted to accommodate all these qualities. Strongman competitions differ from other strength sports. It’s not like weightlifting or power-lifting, these only have two and three disciplines respectively. In power-lifting and weight-lifting the athletes have to be very strong in specific movements where as strongman demands a much more general level of strength and fitness”

Why do you compete?

“It’s a question I get asked all the time! There are so many reasons. Most of the exercises in strongman force you to use most of your muscle groups at once. It gives me a focus for my training and goals to strive for. I really enjoy the periodic tests that I put myself under to see how I’m progressing and improving and I thrive on the challenge. The journey that I go on in the training is amazing, it can be several weeks or months in advance, and I can feel my body and mind getting ready.”

So it’s not just because you like to flip tyres, pull trucks and throw balls?

“Perhaps a little (he laughs!) The ‘balls’ you mention are Atlas Stones!”

Most of us grew up watching the World’s Strongest Man on TV, with giants from all around the world moving insanely heavy and awkward objects! How many people will be competing on Sunday and is there a lot of rivalry between you all?

“This one is a Strongest Man Novice competition and there will be 20 people competing.  Like any sport, you all go in wanting to do your best. It’s what we train for and it’s a passion. The thing that makes strongman so accessible is that anyone can train for it, which is always exciting to be part of.”

What will the lead up to Sunday look like?

“My family and friends are hugely supportive. They understand that I love a challenge and the chance to push myself to my limits. It can be quite stressful; even though I love it!  Although I know that me pushing myself to my limits – can at times push those closest to me to theirs too!

Being in pursuit of excellence and perfection means early mornings and lots of training and ‘fuel’ planning. On Saturday I will eat well all day, really carb up and have a big meal in the evening followed by about 6-8 hours sleep and then a light breakfast in the morning.”

Good luck Adam! Thank you for sharing and happy training!

Bringing A Brighter Start To 2019…

The New Continental Hotel lights the way thanks to Nev, his ladders and a ‘lorra’ LEDs..!

We are now entering into that time of year where it always feels pretty dark outside! Many of us are doing our morning commutes before the sun has risen. Then finishing the day under the dark night sky!

With over 4,200 light bulbs in our Grand Old Lady, that means a very big switch on during this time of year..!

Nev’s BIG BULB-BINANZER…

Over the past 6 months, our Maintenance Manager Nev, has been VERY busy indeed! He has been working towards completing the big plan for the hotel LED changeover!

Now over half way through the BIG BULB-BINANZER, Nev has over 2,600 LED bulbs replacing the older halogen ones.

This lighting upgrade has taken a huge amount of work, not to mention a fairly hefty price tag, but we know it’s worth it; Nev explains:

man standing with his arms crossed in front of a christmas tree

“On average, just over 30 per cent of our organisation’s electricity costs come from our lighting, but a switch to lower-consuming LEDs will reduce this amount, in some cases we are told it could be reduced by as much as 80%.

Not only will it ultimately save the New Continental Hotel financially, but less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions so is better for the environment too. So beyond cost savings, there are a numerous additional benefits that we can look forward to.”

Taking care of the environment is a responsibility that everyone should feel accountable for. Given that we have so many light bulbs, changing them is an effective way for us to make change happen for the better.

Some interesting facts that Nev has learnt during his LED mission for a brighter future…

Nev’s News..!

LED Lights Reduce Light Pollution:

LED lights have inherent directional nature which means that their light is highly focused. Due to this characteristic, LED lights contribute significantly towards reducing what is called as’ light pollution’, by reducing the unwanted scattered light in the environment.

LED Lights Emit Negligible Heat:

One of the most environmental friendly aspects of LED lighting is that these lights have very high electricity to light conversion efficiency, as high as 90% in most cases. This high conversion efficiency implies that there is minimal heat loss in the environment (or the bedrooms!).

LED Lights Have Long Life:

LED lights have a rated life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours which is many folds greater than the conventional counterparts. This longer life span reduces the need of bulb replacement after every few weeks, thereby reducing the need to dispose-off the old ones into the landfills.

LED Lights Are Safer:

LED lights are a product of advanced solid state technology which has imparted amazing durability to these light bulbs. These are completely sealed and are highly resistant to vibrations, impact and harsh weather conditions. Moreover, there are no glass parts and hence no risk of serious injury in case a bulb breaks.

LED Lights Do Not Add Noise To The Environment:

Unlike other lighting technologies, LED lights are designed in such a way that they do not generate any vibration or humming noise. So by replacing conventional light bulbs with an LED light bulb, we can help reduce noise pollution from the environment too.

LED Lights Have Smaller Carbon Footprint:

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with the LED lights are relatively far less than the conventional incandescent or Compact fluorescent lights. According to carful calculations, one LED bulbs, providing the same luminosity as one incandescent bulb emits 80% less greenhouse gases. The same calculation for CFLs suggests a reduction of 50% GHGs by switching to LED lights.

Matchmakers – Not The Mint Chocolate Kind!

Fizz, Fun, Meet and Mingle!

Being single doesn’t mean being unhappy; especially when there is some free fizz and fun here at the New Continental Hotel!

There are many stages to newly found single life.  At first, perhaps grief of the loss of a loved one.  Then perhaps despondency, as you watch friends in their couples!

Then you start to embrace the single life and have fun with it. You see, it’s really only then that you can start to be open to finding someone else.

If you are at that stage of your single life; and you’re looking for that certain someone – then perhaps you should look no further than the 8th November!

You could spend the evening with some like-minded single people, you may not find love but you will definitely have fun trying!

With a glass of bubbles on arrival, you can meet and mingle with singles in Plymouth!

Find a friend, a lover or just a happy place for the evening with the Pi Society; a professional Matchmaking Agency based in Devon. With tonnes of experience there will be no awkward ‘what do we do now’ moments, you will be in the best company.

Although there will be no sophisticated coding or analytics to match you with the perfect someone, there will be time and space for you to feel when something is right, when you feel connected (and not just connected to the internet – but to a person stood next to you!)

For more information or to book your place visit Eventbrite and perhaps this could be an exciting new chapter – and if not – it will most certainly be an exciting night!

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