Twenty-five years ago, England made an amazing contribution to European Heritage Days. It created the perfect platform to take stock; to appreciate and most importantly enjoy all the riches on offer in England…to everyone.
2019 brings us the SILVER anniversary of Heritage Open Days,so we though what better time to take a look into why these amazing events, each September, are so important to us all…
Heritage Open Days…
Established in 1994, every September each year over 40,000 volunteers across England all contribute to over 5,000 events!
These events celebrate and showcase our fantastic, rich and diverse history and culture. They give everyone amazing opportunities to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.
It’s part of a national campaign that encompassing a huge range of heritage events and attractions. The open days are growing year on year, and combined they already make the country’s largest heritage festival.
Heritage Open Days have not only highlighted hidden gems, but they also celebrate England’s amazing riches. All of the open days give individuals and groups the opportunity to come together and to share the stories and history that matter the most to us all.
Exploring The Region…
There are 100’s of events planned across Devon & Cornwall this September and the New Continental Hotel is at the heart of all of them. Making us the perfect central location to explore, learn, enjoy and get involved!
We have so much history on our doorstep. Heritage Open Days is the perfect platform to explore the plethora of history and culture that we are all so proud of. It gives everyone a free way to learn and to get involved. There is so much that is meaningful about our region; and of course our yesteryear’s!
One of Plymouth’s most celebrated and friendly City Centre Gyms has a VERY special Birthday …
We are always grateful to Adam and his amazing team for all their hard work, passion and dedication; but this September we say an extra special THANK YOU, as Club Continental celebrates 30 unbelievable years.
Does Time Change Things..?
Like with fashion, music and art; in today’s fast-paced leisure sector trends seemingly come out of nowhere … and then evaporate just as quickly!
So, in such a changing landscape, it can be hard to play the long game, which begs the question:
“What is the secret to the success of our hotels leisure complex?”
We ask Club Continental Manager Adam that very question …
“Trends, or ‘fads’, will always come and go; but we commend everyone that joins us in the club because they are choosing the healthy and sustainable way – and we know that that is no easy feat.
It’s made especially harder with promises from magazines and celebrity endorsed ‘diets’ offering ‘quick and easy’ weight loss secrets!
Yet there really are no secrets; there is just one very special ingredient; and that special ingredient has been a constant in the Club for 30 years.
The ingredient is … we genuinely care…
The main reason people cannot follow through and accomplish sustainable and long-term results is that they become discouraged because they’re doing it alone.
If people lack the support network necessary to realise a goal, then the path to results is a really long and lonely one. Club Continental, along with our community of members and amazing staff offer support, in a welcoming and motivating gym, and we have done for 30 years and will do for 30 more!
I am so proud of what the Club and staff have done over the last 30 years; despite all the crazes we have always concentrated on the person that is stood in front of us. The person who has had the courage to make that first step, and who is on the path to a better tomorrow.
Whether you have been hitting the gym for years or you have just made a promise to yourself to a make change happen; Club Continental supports you.”
So, from ‘The Grapefruit Diet’ of the 70’s to the ‘Special K Diet’ of 2010; from the ‘Aerobics’ craze in the 80’s to ‘Spinning’ in the 90’s; this September, as we celebrate 30 amazing years, we also delve into the history of health and well-being. We look at best practice in the sector and we pick Adams brains with his news, views and reviews. You know this is going to be one very happy birthday month and we hope you help us celebrate!
This year marks a very special Christmas here at the New Continental Hotel; besides the fact it’s Christmas and we love that time of year, we are celebrating our 35th Christmas!
To celebrate, our dedicated chefs have created another amazing mouth wateringly festive Christmas Menu for you to indulge in!
Starters are always a treat! With so many options it’s hard to choose. We love the Butternut Squash soup with Parmesan crisps, or the juicy oven backed ratatouille vol-au-vents with a puff pastry shell. Perhaps even the pate with apricot and ginger chutney – all deliciously indulgent!
For mains, we can’t fail to mention the amazing vegetarian alternative to a beef Wellington. This incredible Beetroot Wellington, with its earthy celeriac and beetroot filling, makes a show-stopping main course for any feast. Served with a chestnut jus and all the festive trimmings, it’s the perfect choice for food lovers, not just vegetarians!
Of course we have the tempting and traditional Turkey, but what about the Baked Cod? We love this tender and flaky white fish dish, oven baked to perfection with a juicy tomato and pesto finish. Delicious!
Desserts are always a dreamy affair! Christmas Puddings, Chocolate Brownie, Cheese Boards … and that’s naming just a few of the festive delights! With plenty of Gluten Free and Vegan options, no one will miss out on a sweet treat of savoury finish.
With a menu worth braving Plymouth’s wintry weather for, and prices that will please, Christmas at the New Continental Hotel 2019 is the perfect way to end the year!
We Ask The Head Chef…
We sat down with the Head Chef, Rob Dunne between his busy service to find out about his Christmas foodie favourites…
Which dish from the Christmas menu 2019 are you most excited about?
“I think one of my favourite starters this year is probably the Potted Smoked Trout. This in part is due to the fact that it’s home smoked. We are also using local crab and fennel, coupled with a fresh and crisp pickled cucumber salad. I think the combination of flavours, the trout which is smoked and the pickled cucumber together is just a lovely combination.
The Christmas Day Nut Loaf will be a real show stopper! We have experimented with our initial recipe and feel that the one we have all agreed on is a winner. Everyone devoured it in the tasting! It feels really indulgent and earthy, but fresh at the same time.
First of all, choosing a dessert is tricky! I’m a big fan of all things sweet! Yet because I have to pick just one, it’s got to be the Chocolate Brownie paired with the salted caramel ice-cream. You can’t beat the warm velvety chocolate with its sweet notes mixed with the cold, salty caramel ice-cream. I’m a huge fan!”
If you haven’t made you Christmas dining and party plans yet,then call us today. We still have some availability and we would LOVE for you to join in the festivities of Christmas 2019 – AND our 35th Christmas Celebration!
Call today to check our current availability or to make a booking | 01752 276783
It stands to reason that some of Plymouth’s best bars are located inside our amazing hotels.
At the New Continental Hotel our sophisticated Roma Bar holds echos of Art Deco styling. It has high ceilings; a mirrored bar fascia; marbled style tiles and gold finishes. It creates a destination of style and escapism … all in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City.
The Roma Bar at the New Continental Hotel provides a relaxed and open environment. It really is the perfect place for an informal drink; a catch-up with friends or a debrief with colleagues after work. What’s more, EVERYONE is welcome!
Unwittingly, at first glance it might seem that our chic little bar has taken inspiration from the hotels rich history.
In 1936 Richard, an influential London business man, reported as friend with Mr Selfridge himself, was part of the Trust House Ltd. The company who owned the hotel at the time. Richard designed and developed many areas within the hotel that you see today, and some that have since passed. One of his passed creations being the American Cocktail Bar, which was located near the Ballroom.
It was the first of its kind outside of London; equipped in the latest style of the times. It was furnished with chrome stools and chrome tables. It had a semi-circular bar and was a place that women were welcome – even when unaccompanied by a man!
The toilet-rooms also sounded like they paid homage to the decadence of 1930s Shanghai! They were decorated in a scheme of primrose and pink glazed tiles with plush gold finishes. There was also a separate cloakroom and ladies powder-room; with a full-time assistant on hand for your every whim!
The cocktails were named after the best-known authors of the time. Guests were offered an unsurpassed range of hand-rolled cigars that came with ‘the full service’! There were staff on hand for the cutting and lighting of your cigar; either at the bar or at your table!
The experience did not end there!
For the VIP’s, they were offered a space in the heated indoor car park! Also the first of its kind outside of London!! The parking was a service reported at being ‘very acceptable’ to many. It offered spacious underground parking for 50 cars which was beneath the Ballroom (also Richards creation) and it meant that access could be granted to the Cocktail Bar and hotel via a private stairway. So, there was no need to go outside of the building in all your evening finery!
The Central Location…
The Cocktail Bar was a hideaway which was popular for many. There are reports of customers sipping on the many whiskeys on offer and botanical cocktails as they ‘escape reality with pure fantasy’.
It would also seem there was a great working relationship between Mrs. Hoyle and the Trust House Ltd. Mrs. Hoyle was in charge of The Palace Theatre at the time and it would seem that collaboration was in the air even back then! They would share patrons and market shows for each other. Partly due to location no doubt, but also after the Ballrooms completion in February 1936, when it became heavily programmed for weekly live music events and dances.
The dream was to have as much live music as possible to lift spirits in Plymouth, with a large dance floor ‘on springs’, concealed lighting, air purifiers and enough space to seat comfortably 350 people in one sitting. Under the Ballroom was the heated indoor car park, now Club Continental.
The Roma Bar Today…
Although many features of the American Cocktail Bar are now only in the words of historical documents and newspaper articles, the Roma Bar has echoes of the relaxing and welcoming old world bar.
It is still a perfect destination to meet friends or colleagues; perhaps meeting before a show or an evening meal at Steve’s Brasserie. Open to all, not only yo residents, the Roma Bar is open daily from 5.30pm and is in the perfect city centre location. Perhaps to take a breather after shopping, work or sightseeing and to step away from the bustle of Plymouth, yet being close enough to step right back into it again.
So, make some time to perhaps enjoy one (or two) of the 13 Gins on offer (including of course Plymouth Gin) and soak up the history that is hidden within the DNA of our beautiful, historic city centre hotel.
Being kind is not a new phenomenon. Kindness has become a definite movement and it’s heartening to see more and more people reaching out, being nice and taking the time to make a difference. No matter how big, OR how small.
Working in hospitality, we are surrounded by ‘good’ people every day. To work in this sector you have to have many natural aptitudes; and kindness is definitely one of them.
What that doesn’t mean is that you become complaisant to kindness. When you see people taking the time to go above and beyond, taking a genuine interest, it still fills you with a warm glow.
Kindness In Hospitality…
Hospitality in my eyes, has its very own gene pool of staff. Just as we need in life to produce a happy society – with human communities made up of an array of characters and human bands – hospitality needs that too!
We have the strong and silent; the fast and curious; the nurturing and empathetic; the clever and witty; the quiet and shy; the patient and determined; the funny and generous…with the common thread throughout being kind and passionate.
From The Top Down…
From our Directors and leaders through to team members, we have a perfect and eclectic mix of characters; all who are kind and all who are generous with their time in order to help each other, our guests and our community alike.
Something that placed a clear lens over this beautiful mix happened at the end of June; and it happened thanks to a perfect stranger.
Meeting The Perfect Stranger…
They were not guests staying at the hotel, but they came into the foyer clutching a beautiful black & white photograph. Greeted by our receptionist they told of their tale, an enchanting narrative that captured our receptionist and instinctively she wanted to help.
Within minutes, the Director, our Development Manager and receptionist were busy trying to fill in the blanks with their local knowledge and of course Google!
Meet Henny Korver | New Friend and Dutch Journalist…
The gentleman was a Dutch journalist called Henny Korver. He had visited Plymouth several times when younger in the 70’s. He came to document the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race (STAR) from Plymouth to the USA. Inaugurated in 1960 and celebrating 60 years in 2020.
During Henny’s stay all those years ago, he frequently visited a pub in Millbay Docks. With so many happy memories and friends that welcomed him – he had never forgotten their kind hospitality and friendship and wanted to go back. He wanted to revisit the city that captured his heart and take a stroll down memory lane.
But all Henny had was his memories and a photo; he couldn’t remember exactly where it was – or what it was even called.
The idea that he might be reunited with the places he held so dear seemed impossible. Plymouth is a city that’s regeneration and changes caused Henny disorientation. With only a few hours left in Plymouth to find what he was looking for, and nearing the end of his search, he felt like he may not find his little piece of Plymouth.
Then he found us!
Resembling the image captured on the photo he came in to ask, on the off chance, if this might have been the hotel that he had stayed in during the 70’s. Then perhaps he could trace his steps back and find his memories. Sadly we weren’t the hotel, but we were keen to help!
So, using Google and our own memories of Plymouth we set Henny off with a route and a potential place, ringed in red on our hotel map!
We all hoped that Henny would find his little piece of Plymouth – but never thought we would find out. That was until we received an email from Henny Korver & Eline Verburg from their home in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
They Did It!
In the email they shared their thanks and told us how this part of their trip, visiting Plymouth, was a real highlight of their holiday. And that Henny indeed found what he was looking for.
Although there is no ‘hard’ evidence to suggest that we are all hard-wired for kindness, here at the New Continental Hotel it’s safe to say that helping people enjoy their time in our city IS what we are hard-wired to do! Helping people and offering kindness leaves us all thinking and feeling ‘I’m so glad we did that’.
Simple acts such as holding a door open for someone, can really change someone’s day, smiling or simple human interaction makes the day a little better. Here at the New Continental Hotel, we lead by example and have Directors that empower and enable kindness and generosity because they give it so full heartedly themselves.
It’s been called the Virtuous Circle, whereby one good deed begets another and little by little we make the world a better place to live. A ripple effect occurs and little by little people become happier.
For us, receiving the email and photos from Henny & Eline was exactly what we needed to remind us that kindness takes just moments – but the happiness it gives lasts a lifetime.
To the two that were strangers and who are now friends…
From all of us here in Britain’s Ocean City to you in The Netherlands, and with the Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race uniting us – we hope to welcome you back soon to make new memories in Plymouth.
There is nothing quite like the countdown to the Summer Holidays.
Everyone is feeling the wind-down in the air and we are all busy planning our family time; packing it full of activities that everyone will enjoy.
The long stretch of the summer holiday can (more so than any other school break) create some financial stresses though. We try to keep everyone entertained week after week after week! It can not only be daunting, keeping everyone happy, but also can be traumatic on the purse strings if we aren’t too careful!
Plymouth isn’t only a remarkable city to visit because of its riches and beauty. There are the many trails and walks too; most popular perhaps along the Barbican, to the Hoe, with children’s activities and play-parks scattered like enchanting pit-stops.
Then you have the stunning area around Richmond Walk, Devils Point, Royal William Yard, Mount Batten and too many others to name! All full of beautiful areas for picnics and ball-games, friendly cafes and ice-cream vans, passing ships and statues to admire and above all else; a city famous for its warm welcome to all guests and visitors alike.
Not only is Plymouth alive with greatness on every turn, but there is also a HEAP of amazing activities, events and days out you can all enjoy and plan into the holiday diary which either won’t cost you a penny – or that are fabulously priced!
It’s true to say that there isn’t a week when you can’t do something fun for nothing; but there are also a great many amazing offers and deals that you can take advantage of too.
So Much To See & Do…
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest Aquarium in the UK, and is located here in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City. The NMA is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust and all money goes towards their Ocean Conservation initiatives. There are always great events and activities and you really can spend days learning, exploring and growing. Entry to the Aquarium gains visitors a free annual pass, you can then come and go as you please, and use their new garden and attend Ocean Giants without paying again!
There are amazing Boat Trips that capture the pirate in little ones whilst gently learning about Plymouth’s history. There is nothing like the view of Britain’s Ocean City that from the waves.
Culture also plays a massive part in Plymouth’s DNA. With THE premier arts organisation in the South West; the Theatre Royal Plymouth; lots of outdoor theatre; open-air cinema at Tinside Lido and so much more! There really won’t be a moment of boredom from anyone!
So, what could be better?!?
We’ve scoured the width and breadth of Plymouth and the local areas to compile a list of ideas that are free or what we think are great value and that can all be part of your holiday planning starting point! BUT don’t think that’s all that Plymouth has to offer! Here are some great places to unearth action packed days for you and your family this Summer.
In the meantime; here are some that we rather liked the look of! Don’t forget, we also have some amazing offers to stay and play in Plymouth too!
Month By Month…
The Squiggly Wiggly Giant Squid – FREE
Between May and September 2019 you have a challenge at the Royal William Yard…That is should you choose to accept it!
A playful Giant Squid has made its home at the Yard and has brought six friends along too! By collecting a free trail passport from any cafe and restaurant in the Yard, you have to find all its friends and collect six letters to spell a nautical word and then claim your reward!
A truly gorgeous setting for this fun activity that the entire family can enjoy; you can easily spend a few hours exploring and enjoying the beautiful area and art instillation; designed by illustrator Jack Viant; graduate from Plymouth College of Art. With bars and restaurants you might choose to eat out, or take a short walk to beautiful picnic spots, or a ferry back to the Barbican. So much to do, see and explore!
Shopping Is In Bloom This Summer at Drakes Circus! - FREE
The stunning flower installation is back, transforming the Centre into a spectacular meadow and spilling out onto the streets with a wildflower canopy suspended above Old Town Street.
Not only are the streets lined with petals; but there is a fun-filled summer planned too! There is a range of activities alongside that are not only unique, but great for learning whilst having fun too!
On the 22nd & 25th July you can have a go, with the help of Plymouth College Of Art at designing and printing your own tote bag or tea towel using screen printing techniques. Or perhaps you would rather do something a little more active with some Ping Pong In Plymouth; with free table tennis courtesy of the Plymouth City Council’s Sports Development Unit.
There is SO much to do – the colour isn’t only in the flowers; it’s in the memories you will make.
Elmers BIG Parade PLYMOUTH - FREE
As PROUD supporters of this amazing project we are thrilled to share this amazing free activity.
For 10 weeks this summer a parade of 40 fabulously colourful, unique elephants will be taking you on a trail around the beautiful city of Plymouth and surrounding areas. From the hustle and bustle of the city streets to the peace and grandeur of the Hoe, Elmer’s Big Parade will navigate you around Britain’s Ocean City.
You can download the APP or pick up MAPs and have an entire day of FREE fun, exploring Plymouth and finding the beautiful elephants scattered around Plymouth.
Stoke Village Summer Fun day - FREE
When we talk about ‘old-school-community’ this is exactly what we think. Bunting, stalls and happy smiles; this is a fun day like we did in the old days! A full day of entertainment is planned, bringing the village alive and offering a warm welcome to non-village folk too!
You can look forward to stalls, inflatables, live music, fabulous food and entertainment, as well as a dog show! What could be better!?
Who Will Be The Next Town Crier? FREE.
Now then! Here’s one that might not have sprung to mind without a little hint! Help Plymouth choose the best Town Crier for our Mayflower 400 celebrations! It’s on the Thursday 25 July and kicks off at 6pm with some Morris Dancers!
You don’t have to be part of the competition, nor do you have to know someone that is; this is an evening like no other! Starting at 7pm, each entrant will perform 3 elements and a panel of judges, plus the public themselves, YOU, will choose the winners. There will be entertainment and a bar and it should be a loud lot of fun!
EcoFest - FREE
On the 20th July at Tavistock Meadows, just a short drive from Plymouth, there is a free festival including eco-friendly stalls, talks, poetry, arts and crafts, live music, forest school, a film showing, drumming, face painting, yoga, children’s activities and much more.
Summer Of Fun - FREE
Enjoy a Summer of Fun in Plymouth, with free entertainment for families to enjoy taking place every Saturday in July & August 2019. Expect to find a variety of entertainers, workshops and performers appearing on the city streets.
Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival - FREE
The Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival returns for a third year to the Parade on the Barbican, between the 9th and the 11th August. It’s a firm family favourite and you can not only enjoy great music; but sensational food, views and an atmosphere like no other!
If you haven’t been before you should definitely go; if you’re staying during the festival talk to reception and they will help you navigate the 8 minute walk!
This is your chance to see a live brass band concerts this summer on Plymouth’s historic harbourside. Listen and watch the sensational sounds of the Soundhouse Brass, Plymouth’s award-winning brass band. They will be playing live concerts on the city’s historic waterfront in Sutton Harbour ALL summer and it’s a truly captivating experience.
Every Thursday evening in August, Soundhouse Brass will be performing on the harbourside in the heart of Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
Enjoy spectacular pyrotechnics that will illuminate Plymouth Sound as six top firework companies battle it out over two nights, each putting on an awe-inspiring ten minute display in an attempt to be crowned the winner.
Head to Plymouth Hoe for the best view and enjoy the show.
Plymouth Pride - FREE
On Saturday 10th August, the colourful loud and proud Pride Festival returns to Plymouth, celebrating and promoting the diversity that exists within the LGBTQ communities.
All are welcome to join them to show support and acceptance of our diverse people and talent but also have so much FUN!
The Parade departs from the Jigsaw Garden (Nr. Drake Circus) at 11am with pre parade activities starting at 10 am. The Parade will make its way through the City Centre to the iconic Plymouth Hoe for the main festival with live music, fun fair, children’s rides, selection of food, licensed bar and lots of fun activities for people of all ages.
ROLEX Fastnet - FREE
Now this is truly a sensational event in the Plymouth diary and one NOT to miss! Join in the fun at the Fastnet Race Village, at Plymouth Yacht Haven on Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August to celebrate the finish of this historic race.
There will be live music, family friendly activities, tasty local food and opportunities for you to try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding.
Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights - SMALL DONATION
The 2019 Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights are held on Thursday evenings from 6pm until 9pm during BST on Plymouth Hoe Promenade on the following dates: 04/04, 18/04, 02/05, 16/05, 30/05, 13/06, 04/07, 08/08 & 22/08. Where you can expect to see hundreds of different type’s motorcycles, motorcycle trade stands, fast food catering and on selected dates a live band.
You’ll have a ‘roaring’ time!
West End Carnival & 60th Anniversary of Plymouth's Market - FREE
This summer Carnival has well and truly landed in Plymouth; specifically the enchanting West End Of Plymouth as the sights, sounds and smells of Carnival comes alive!
Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Market will host a day full of FREE family fun on Saturday 31 August around the West End of the city centre.
An Evening With Ann Cleeves - FREE
Perhaps not for the little ones, but this is set to be an award-winning kind of evening!
Join prize-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, the author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland.
Ann will be discussing her latest book – The Long Call – the captivating first novel in a brand new series set in North Devon.
Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Although free you do need to register.
Park Fest - FREE
Park Fest 2019 is part of a series of events through the South West celebrating all things park life!
As well as the usual park activities from football, tennis, table tennis and rugby we are taking over Devonport Park on September 8th 2019 with a full day of Live Music, inflatables, market stalls, story telling and a whole host of entertainment!
Plymouth Seafood Festival is back for its 8th year in 2019 and is set to bring The Barbican and Sutton Harbour alive with entertainment, activities and dishes to celebrate the city’s fantastic caught seafood.
Plymouth is the first city in the world to be awarded the Fish2Fork Blue City status for its commitment to sourcing sustainable fish. Between Saturday 14 to Sunday 15 September 2019 there will be opportunities to watch inspirational, regional and celebrity chefs who will delight you with their tantalising dishes at the Cookery Theatre. Wonder the array of local food and craft stands and be entertained.
Doggy Day Out - SMALL TICKET FEE
The perfect day in the most beautiful setting at Mount Edgcumbe, Cremyll. Have-a-go activities, dog displays, live music and so much more. No need to take a four legged friend, it’s just great fun for all the family.
Wild Tribe - SMALL TICKET FEE
Let your imagination go WILD!!!
Wild Tribe Children’s Festival will pitch up again around the Soapbox Children’s Theatre in September 2019. This fun packed festival brings art, science and the environment together in the form of entertainment, workshops and activities. The theme for this year is tiny to huge exploring the tiniest things in life from insects and plankton to the bigger picture including dinosaurs and space.
We hope you found this useful and look forward to welcoming you and your little ones to Plymouth soon! Happy Holidays!
There is just less than a month to go for the award-winning Pirates Weekend Plymouth! A weekend that offers a swashbuckling weekend of free fun for all the family to enjoy. What’s more; the sun always shines on Pirates!
This amazing weekend is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District. It is one of THE most amazing weekends in Plymouth and this year takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Britain’s Ocean City becomes alive with merry activities as the weekend unfolds across the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe.
Meaning you wont miss a thing!
What’s It All About?
Well! What you can be sure of is two amazing days packed full of entertainment and activities. Including a pirate trail, storytellers, puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, street entertainment, amazing food and much more!
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said:
“Pirates Weekend Plymouth won Silver at the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year as the best family Pirates Weekend in the South West. Designed and funded by Waterfront businesses, Pirates Weekend Plymouth has activities linking the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe Park, whilst Mount Batten Pirates powerboat experiences and PDSSA pirate sailing lessons will give visitors a treat to get out onto the water too.”
“In its eighth year, Pirates Weekend Plymouth is unmissable – so get yourselves dressed up as pirates and come along for two days of brilliant fun!”
What To Wear..!
What’s not to wear! We say go crazy with those head scarfs and eye patches; fancy dress is encouraged throughout the weekend; and new for this year is a Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. Led by the The Drake Corps of Drums and the infamous Jonty Depp, all of Plymouth’s pirates will march through the streets of the Barbican together.
Every young participant dressed as a pirate will be given a special gift!
Children can also follow a Pirate Trail around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, this is amazing fun for them and you get to see the sights whilst they are totally entertained! This event is sponsored by Sutton Harbour Group.
You can find maps from the Tourist Information Centre for just £2, every participant will receive a prize for completing the trail and also be entered into a draw to win a Lego Creator set.
A full programme of shanty bands will entertain the crowds between 10.30am and 3pm each day. The area will be full of action in a number of locations: along Southside Street, outside Capn’ Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship.
For more information about all the activities at this year’s Pirates Weekend Plymouth, head to visitplymouth.co.uk.
What we know for sure – you will have an amazing time!
More than just a city centre hotel; a business; a workplace or a historic building. This Grand Old Lady represents courage, strength and willpower…
The New Continental Hotel. A Grand Old Lady who’s seen and survived horror and history. A location that many of us have used for celebrations and special life events. A history that many of us have been part of, be it dinner & dances in the Ballroom or drinking in The Grapevine!
Not just a bricks and mortar city centre structure; but a Grand Old Lady who’s been part of many of our lives and who has witnessed centuries of change and challenge, yet has gracefully and seamlessly adapted and endured…
She is as much a part of Plymouth as the Plymouth people.As familiar to us as the face of a friend. Yes, she has seen struggles, but here she still stands. Waiting to see Plymouth’s transformations, waiting to be part of Plymouth’s future, knowing that she still has the spirit to be exactly what she needs to be, in a city she is proud to call home.
Isn’t that what incredible women need to do?
The strongest of actions for anyone is to love themselves; be themselves and shine amongst change. Building his or her own world, wearing their past pain with pride.
She has been through The Blitz, being in the hands of the receivers, being battered by storms and by the social climate! But continually in pursuit of opportunity; trusting in her value and knowing that she can be and do anything she wants; because she is proud of where she’s come from.
Happy International Women’s Day from this proud, Grand Old Lady!
It’s really no big surprise to us that the UK receives more than 30 million tourists a year!
Which ranks us in the top 10 most visited countries in the whole world!
When you work in Tourism, you see first-hand how truly blessed we are here in Plymouth; with our hugely diverse landscape, sandy beaches just a short drive away, hidden coves, moorland and more!
With all this on the New Continental Hotels doorstep; we love hearing our guests’ talk of their explorations and their ‘Devon Discoveries’!
With 2020 now in sight, and the big celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago; we take a look back at holidays gone by. We make our own predictions when we ask:
“What might the future look like for travel?”
Jetting off to foreign lands will always hold a certain sense of adventure. Like for those that we will commemorate on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, who sailed from Plymouth to America; carrying the pilgrims who founded the modern United States.
They were off to foreign lands for an ‘adventure’ – but how we choose to ‘holiday’ has changed so much throughout time.
The travel industry is a sector that will always undergo dramatic transformations; be that due to digital revolutions, fashionable trends, politics or the social and economic climate.
What has never changed though, is why we holiday; it’s to make wonderful memories.
That’s what we love to be part of, and that is why no matter what transformations take place; our passion for holidaying here at the New Continental Hotel and in Plymouth will never fade.
Holidays Gone By…
It was in 1841, Thomas Cook started the holiday industry rolling with their ground-breaking offer of a shilling-a-head rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough! Then followed swiftly in the 1870s, with the Lancashire cotton workers, who really helped develop UK holidaying. They saved all year to convert the traditional (unpaid) one-week holiday into seaside breaks. A chance for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company; without the stresses of everyday life!
Then, 80 years ago in 1939, we saw holiday leave became a legal right for employees! And by 1975 most people had at least two weeks’ paid holiday a year!
For the rich jet setters 1976 saw the supersonic aircraft Concorde enter commercial services; people could now cross the Atlantic in a record 2 hours 52 minutes!!
Fast forward to 1979; a year when for the first time in history we spent more on overseas holidays than on holidays at home!
Why was this?
Well, for £50 you could spend a week in the glamorous Majorca – with the sun on your back and hotel bedrooms that had balconies and ensuite bathrooms!
And, when we talk about an industry that can be transformed overnight by factors such as social media and digital revolutions; could it also be perhaps transformed by TV?!?
In 1975, a new comedy aired on BBC2; Faulty Towers! A hilarious comedy that neatly exaggerated bad hospitality in the UK..! Could that have helped galvanise holiday’s abroad Vs staycations?!
Perhaps – but the way we book holidays today would certainly look like science fiction to the holidaymaker of the 70’s; actually, probably to those in the early 90s too!
Package holidays were sold mainly from high street agencies, the only reviews in the 90’s were from friends at dinner tables. Travellers had little real clue what to expect before they arrived. Internet access was limited and the Smartphone still in development, holidaying in the 90’s was a very different kettle of fish!
Now, in 2019, we can see another big shift! The Staycation!
Our favourite for obvious reasons! Travellers searching for better value breaks, with a growing demand for interesting destinations closer to home. Destinations like Plymouth, that have a plethora of history, heritage and beautiful vistas!
Interestingly, here at the New Continental Hotel, we have also noticed a connection that we like to call: the ‘nostalgic staycation’!
If we look back to the early 80’s, when the UK entered a recession – with falling output, rising unemployment and a fall in the inflation rate; if holidays were taken, they were taken in the UK and just a short drive away from home – due to fuel prices.
We have had many conversations with adults holidaying with us, those in their 40’s, who are bringing their family back to Plymouth to relive their childhood memories.
The time was tough for families – but the holiday memories were so magical they want their children to experience them.
2018 proved to be a really successful year for the staycation market; we have also noticed that this year looks like more and more families, friends and couples are also choosing to holiday in Plymouth. And that makes us immensely proud.
We ask our guests what the ingredients are for a perfect holiday at home. Top is obviously a great location; but also an extra eye for the details that matter, whether it’s parking, or high speed Wi-Fi, or a warm family welcome. It’s these thoughtful touches that make our family owned hotel a winner for many holidayers; those from both home and away!
Throughout the years; tourism has been the lifeblood of many communities up and down the UK and many travellers are realising the fun to be had by discovering what’s on offer just beyond their doorstep.
What can we expect in the year 2039 – 20 years from now? Perhaps we will be sitting on-board a pilotless plane; with a chip in our wrist that tells the robot with the trolley our dietary requirements, and the exact temperature we like our Gin? Maybe we will all have a programme that aids us when speaking languages. Or no luggage as hotels will know what we want and our disposal holiday wares will be waiting for us. Or electronic implants that pay as we check-in..?
Who knows what our holidaying will look like 20 years from now; but one thing I am sure we can all be certain of; holidaying will always be that moment in time that we make magical memories … together. Like those on the Mayflower setting off on their adventures. Regardless of where we go, or why we go, or how we get there, or what we experience along the way; holidaying will always be about togetherness.
Whatever the future has in store; the wonderful world of holidays will always be exciting, because we will be with the people we love.
So, here’s to the next two decades of Devon adventures; of Plymouth exploring; and a hotel that hopes to help you create wonderful memories in Britain’s Ocean City.
Eating Up The Past! Our Kitchen Prepares For 2020 Celebrations…
We talk to Executive Chef Paul Doidge…
As 2020 approaches, the celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago is on the horizon, and we are really excited to be part of such a sensational moment in time.
This week, we take a look at what our amazing Kitchen Staff are working hard on. We will have many new additions for 2020. Today we look at the Kitchen Brigade and ask them what they are creating that will be an additional extra threading through Hotel Life in 2020.
Our creations in celebration and memory of the extraordinary adventure…
So, with the theme ‘The Age of Exploration’ our amazing brigade are thinking about the many sailors and explorers on transoceanic voyages throughout the years. Brave individuals who made significant sacrifices to better our today’s. What are they thinking you ask? They are thinking ‘pickling’!
As one of the earliest mobile foods, pickles filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and travellers, but not only was it a great food source to store for long travels, it’s reported that Saurkraut also played an important role in helping prevent scurvy!
We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why ‘pickled food’ was such a good tonic:
“Fermented sauerkraut is basically cabbage which is finely shredded, layered with salt, and left to ferment. It may not look very appetising; but it is said to have played an important role in helping prevent scurvy aboard ships. Scurvy was a real and very prevalent disease, resulting from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It’s said to have been responsible for an estimated two million deaths between 1500 and 1800 — on sailing ships around the world.”
Scurvy plagued sailors aboard long-distance sailing ships for centuries. All-too common, and life -threatening, many explorers made sure they had pickled food in their diets, as well as Rum of course! Even on the storied expedition to the New World, Christopher Columbus reportedly made sure he had plenty of pickles aboard for his sailors!
With Paul on hand, we ask him why food plays such an important role in understanding our history:
“Food, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated means for understanding, teaching and celebrating our rich history. Especially here in Plymouth where the food scene has always been so highly placed in our community. Cooking is one of those life skills we all need, throughout every decade. Throughout time, food and the craft of cooking has been a survival skill. Employed by every generation of human beings, extending way back to the beginning of time. Food is one of the few means by which we come to know our ancient ancestors. To me it makes complete sense for the talented chefs in Plymouth to help and play a role in telling the tales from the Mayflower Voyage.”
“Food plays an essential role, not only in our lives today but also in understanding cultures and those days gone by. It’s a great tool to explore trends and culture. We recognise this in main when we holiday or travel; when you go to Spain you will try their local dishes like paella and tapas; you understand so much about how they live their lives. The same goes when you look to the past, to understand how they lived and in cases such as with the Pilgrim Fathers how they survived trying times.”
In keeping with all of this, our kitchen staff are on their own adventures. They are doing things a little differently for some 2020 Continental Mayflower Pickles!