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

Tel: 01752 276798

It’s The Weather!

Don’t Blame It On The Weatherman!

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is a smile on everyone’s lips because we have another long weekend ahead of us!

BUT just how important is the sun when it comes to enjoying and exploring Britain’s Ocean City..?

There is no two ways about it. There is something magical that happens in Plymouth when the sun comes out. Alfresco Dining.  Socialising with a drink in hand as we catch up with friends. The sea a shining rug of elegance and beauty gently soothing the soul.

When the sun comes out in Plymouth, there is no place better to be.

We are at the point where Winter feels like it’s almost beat us! Our skin looks anaemic and our souls are tiered of the dark mornings and nights and the dreary wetness! Then, a hint of Spring hits the air. Flowers start to bloom in gardens and road sides and our skin feels the breeze for what feels like the first time in a decade!

We barely believe it. We delay the Winter/Summer wardrobe swap in fear it’s just a fluke! It becomes a conversation starter in queues, on buses at the hairdressers … or just about anywhere where anyone will listen!

“Lovely isn’t it”. “I can’t believe how nice it is”. “Do you think it will last”. “Be terrible again when the Kids go back!”…

Endless sound bites that have been generated, stored and whipped out at every opportunity!

What’s more. We desperately want to be outside ALL OF THE TIME! Our gardens look pristine but our kitchens become overgrown with dishes!

But boy does it feel good!

Just like saying ‘sorry’ when someone steps on your toe; we are programmed to blame, or to thank the weather for EVERYTHING!

The roads are busy today: It’s the weather. The restaurants busy today: It’s the weather. You look tired today. It’s the weather. I don’t feel great today. It’s probably the weather..!

As well as put blame on the weathers head, we also use it a gauge as to how good a holiday will be.

 

When you say where you are going on a vacation, peoples almost first response is usually:  “What will the weather be like?”

Now, you have one of three responses to that:

1) The weathers going to be really warm. The response) Oh, you’ll have a GREAT time.

2) Ahh, it’s ok, not great not awful.  The response) Never mind, it does you good just to get away sometimes.

3) Raining and cold. The response) Oh no that’s such a shame.

The one thing that we can not argue about is yes, when the sun is shining, Plymouth is truly beautiful…HOWEVER, when the sun isn’t shining  – Plymouth is truly beautiful too!

You see, the sun shining is a bonus yes, but it certainly isn’t the be all and end all of a good time in our city by the sea!

Here are some great treats; treats for the grey and cloudy, the damp and drab AND the sunny and bright  – because let’s face it, we could have all three of these weather types in any given week – so we better make the most of every second, every element and every memory whilst enjoying ALL that Plymouth has to offer!

When you have a good time in Plymouth, it won’t be the weather you thank; it will be the unique and the startling that has been embedded in our cobbles DNA! When you talk about your holiday to Plymouth – you will have a smile on your face no matter what the weather and  the sun will always be shining on the memories you make.

 

 

The Biggest Food & Drink Festival In The South West…

Flavour Fest…

From Watercress Festivals in Hampshire, to Onion Markets in Bern; food festivals seem to be everywhere these days. For foodie enthusiasts like us, we are more than delighted!

However, we don’t just want overpriced bowls of noodles; we want great food AND great experiences too. We want experiences that we can take away to our own kitchens, which will leave lasting legacies and incredible memories.

For us, Flavour Fest here in Plymouth is by far our favourite’s food festival. It’s not only because it is in our favourite city! The content that’s included in the THREE day event is truly spectacular.

The food revolution here in Plymouth has been prevalent for many years. In 1253 the town was granted the right to hold a market;  indeed Henry VI himself sealed the deal in 1440 by granting a ‘Royal Charter’ to the then Mayor of Plymouth and Commonality for ‘fairs, feasts & markets’.

 

Plymouth’s DNA…

Food and feasts have always been in the DNA of Plymouth’s cobbles, with amazing restaurants and sensational stalls, shops and specialities. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for specialist hand-made chocolate or award winning pasties.  Mitchelin star meals or sensational dishes. Plymouth has it all…in abundance!

Flavour Fest brings everything together. Like a beautiful bouquet of flowers; individually they shine but together they are breathtaking. That’s what Flavour Fest is, breathtaking.  It’s a three day event that celebrates food. It celebrates talent and it enables everyone to take in the aromas and tastes of some of the world’s most incredible offerings and flavours.

 

i love flavour fest strawberry

Friday 31st May – 2nd June…

Now in its 16th year it is known and respected as the biggest food and drink festival in the South West. It attracts more than 10,000 visitors to Plymouth, visitors who want to sample everything that Britain’s Ocean City and the region has to offer.

The locally baked artisan bread, regional cider, sweet treats and savoury delights – there really is something for everyone!

Plus there are always passionate famous faces; this year we welcome Nadia Hussain and Steve Carter-Bailey, and what’s really exciting is the popular Ready, Steady Cook Challenge in Back, with the beautiful and talented BBC Spotlight presenter Natalie Cornah.

Join Us…

So free up Friday 31st May – 2nd June for some delicious activities, sensation food and amazing experiences and join us, for what we guarantee to be one of the best weekends Plymouth has to offer.

Plymouth Half Marathon 2019 …

Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon | Sunday 19th May 2019, 08.30

Running Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon will be a host of individuals, businesses and groups who have put hours and hours into training and preparing. Primary schools who have taught that through dedication and commitment comes great things.

The Plymouth Half Marathon isn’t just about footsteps to the finish line, it’s about taking footsteps in your life that make you stronger, more focused and part of something great.

Many of our amazing staff are not only dedicated to our guests’ experiences, but also to our city; taking part in city events like the Plymouth Half Marathon.

Staff Have Their Say…

Our Wedding Coordinator talks honestly about how she felt before she took part. Here she shares some very heartening advice:

“The pit of my stomach slowly started to churn as I noticed the signs going up around the city, advising people of the road closures for the half marathon. Suddenly, suddenly it all became rather real!

After months of training and fundraising for a charity very close to my heart – race day arrived!

After checking for about the 10th time that my kit was packed, my watch charged and plenty of fluids were on board  … off we go to join the thousands of people in exactly the same boat as me!

All I need to remember is that I have done my training. Now I just need to enjoy the next 13.1 miles!!

There are so many expectations from so many different people, each of us with different reasons for doing it, but all of us having exactly the same goal – to cross that finish line. 

This is your moment and no one can take it away from you, and when you are climbing up that last hill and its hurting just keep saying; “pain is temporary – but pride is forever.”

Have Fun…

As an independent, family owned hotel, we pride ourselves on the support that we give our staff when they are passionate about things, and prepared to work hard for what they love. Be that CPD, returning to work after illness or indeed activities and events such as marathons.

We know that there can sometimes be a negative stigma associated to employees having a ‘busy’ life outside of work.  Especially hobbies or passions that involve burnout style training. But we truly believe that if our staff are happy outside of work, or training hard for something they love, it will not negatively impact their ability to do their job, put positively enable them to do it better.

We would like to wish EVERYONE taking part the very best of times.  May you enjoy the footsteps that lead you to the finishing line and the pride we are sure you will feel when you finish.

Please check the following link to find out more about the Road Closures on Sunday 19th May 2019.

Just a few pictures of some of our amazing team…

 

 

Inside & Out…

How many times, when we see someone that looks fit, thin or strong, someone who wears their clothes well and who can shop in any high street store do we stop and think WOW! Their life must be perfect..!?

But what is ‘perfect’? What kind of ‘perfection’ is it that we are striving for?

As we are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, we wanted to highlight that sometimes, just sometimes our outsides don’t always match our insides.  And sometimes, just sometimes, we are just sensitive people living in a broken world. A world by where how many likes on our profile picture or how many times we are told we look pretty or handsome or thin today can confuse us because…

…if people say our outsides look ok – why is it we don’t we feel ok on the inside?

Here at Club Continental we care about your inside as much as we do your physical appearance … your ‘outside!

You matter to us. How you feel – that matters to us.

We know that being strong with a six pack on the outside, won’t naturally mean you don’t have days, weeks or perhaps even months that you wont feel ‘weak’ on the inside.

As people we think (wrongly in most cases!) that other people will feel more comfortable, more relieved if we don’t tell them the truth! When they say ‘you look well’ or ask how you are, we say ‘OK’.  Sometimes to make them feel better; sometimes because that’s our script – the script we stick to be it true or not!

Each year, thanks to the work that many amazing organisations and individuals do around Mental Health and well-being, we are making progress as a society. Many staff and members within our Club community are talking more openly about issues that affect their mental well-being. It could be stress, addiction, bullying, relationships, health conditions, money worries…and everything else in-between.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is body image. How we think and feel about our bodies, about our outsides!

It’s a great time for everybody to show their support and take a minute to think about our mental health – but also those we work with, our friends and our families.

As an independent gym, hurtling towards our 30 year Birthday – being older and wiser we have learnt that putting in a little extra time to talk, to chat and to just be still for a moment, is just as important as working up a sweat.

We all know that working out is great for our body and mind; that exercise helps positive changes in our brains; it reduces tension and stress whilst boosting mental energy through endorphins.

But what about ‘Working Up’ a conversation with someone you know who might be strengthened by your chat?

Going to the gym is often about our outsides.  But here at Club Continental we want to highlight and support people to improve, grow and see their internal strength too.

Join us #workupaconversation as well as a work-out.  Take note of how people may feel on the inside, as well as how they look on the outside.

Thanks for listening, here’s to talking and may we always #workupaconversation!

Mental Wellbeing & A Wedding…

You can’t Plan For The Pressure…

There has probably never been before a time when there has been so much exceptional pressure placed on couples when they are planning their “perfect day”. Trying hard to be all things to all people, always hearing voices that are louder than your own.

Knowing in your heart, that when you decided on forever, when you found your very own love story, the hashtag you would use on the day was the furthest thing from your mind … or heart!

When something is your choice; when you are doing it for you, understanding why you feel so giddy, lost and low is tangling! You can’t find the end of the rope to sort yourself out; because the colour of the bows, the dietary requirements and where Gran will sit all seem to take over!

That is unless we stop – for just one minute – and own the moment!

We thought today would be the perfect day to talk weddings and mental well-being. It is after all #weddingwednesday during #mentalhealthawarnessweek!

Just like our physical health, we can have ‘good mental health’ days and we can have ‘poor mental health’ days – and neither last forever.

We have to take care of ourselves and be mindful of every moment, especially during times of pressure. Many couples I know say that it took someone to actually remind them of why they were getting married, to allow them to take a breath.

The flippant language used like: ‘bridezilla’ and ‘wedding mad’ really aren’t helpful…

People are not their behaviours; but their behaviours are often the outcome of how they feel in all the places we can’t see.  Like their soul, their minds and their hearts.

Our ability to cope with pressure, when we want something to be the very best it can be because we won’t be doing it again, gives a certain kind of weight like not much else.

First there’s the planning pressure; the where and when – who’s family wins! The financial pressure; how do we set a budget – where do we get the budget! The family politics; who’s in the wedding party and who isn’t – the fallout of any decision!  The food, the wine, the hashtag, the photographer, the flowers, the first dance…evenings don’t feel long enough for all the thinking and planning there is to be done.

People have a certain kind of expectation that because you have chosen to say ‘I do’; because you have found ’the one’ – everything else is smooth sailing. That it’s’just a day’ and that all that matters is love. So then that makes you feel even more guilty! You ask yourself why are you finding it so hard. Why is all the confrontation and difficult conversations making you feel so emotional? And how come it is so impossible to please everyone?

It’s OK to wobble…

There really isn’t another life event or occasion that has so much judgement and expectation. The unexpected and unprecedented pressure on our minds, on our body and our soul is overwhelming at times.

Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause. To be more than the planner of your wedding day. It’s about understanding that time you enjoy wasting  – ISN’T wasted time.  It’s odd, during times of stress or when we have pressure on our shoulders, those are the times we seem to drop the things we actually enjoy – to make more time for the things we don’t!

So amidst the planning and the preparing we need to remind ourselves every day; that we in this moment matter.

By giving ourselves this time, this care will give our wellbeing a boost. After all, you are about to start the biggest adventure and chapter of your life; you have to make sure your tank is full to be ready for the ride of your life.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, visit their website and get involved, inspired and engaged.

The Mental Health Of A Road Warrior…

Navigating the motorways is one thing; but how do Road Warriors in the 21st century keep their mind and soul on a healthy path..?

In the lead up to Mental health Awareness Week 2019, we invited two of our most regular business travellers to share with us their tips and tricks. Telling us just how they keep their minds healthy and happy and their souls full of joy.

As an independent hotel, our guests’ and their experiences are always so important to us. Be they guests who are here as part of a tour; on a leisure break to our beautiful city or here for business. How they feel, matters.

We understand that for a business traveller there are many ‘bumps in the road’. They are away from their families a lot; they often miss milestones and celebrations. Family home-cooked meals are a thing of the past and although they may see lots of beautiful cities, they rarely get to experience them.

Brushing over the discomfort of travelling for a living seems to be a common theme for many business travellers. They love their jobs and are passionate about their product, service and customers. Like many people with high pressured jobs, they keep going because they love what they do.

But keeping going without complaint is one thing; but is it the best thing?

By ignoring and not identifying the challenges we are encountering, and how they might affect our health, can mean that we could easily become lost.

Prince Harry is a keen advocate for all things mental health and brings awareness to so many by talking about his experiences very openly. He talks at length about how scary it can feel to broach the subject: “People are scared to talk about it, but they should be scared about not talking about it,” he said at the annual Time To Talk Awareness Day.

Perhaps that has something to do with us skirting around the edges of our challenges. Be they around our jobs, our lives or both! Knowing it’s ok to find things hard – even when we love them – is part of the challenge.

We talk to some very open and honest business travellers about their routines to keep their body, and their mind, healthy. We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to them, for taking the time and for their honesty.

Sam:

“It has taken me almost 7 years to find my dream job. I meet new and interesting people all the time and I have a product that I love to share. But I learnt very quickly that I would have to be mindful about certain things.

It sounds silly, but my first challenge was food! I had always been a comfortable size 12, but within just three months I was a tight 16! It’s not that I thought I was fat – but I just wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore!  

So I started to be better organised, taking healthy snacks rather than relying on petrol station food. I choose hotels that have restaurants and gyms. Now I pre-book a table before I get there; so I don’t get tempted to fly in fast food drive throughs!  I have also now re-gained my love of the gym.

I have a lot of alone time, I drive for about three hours most days, so quickly found pod-casts and when I can, I use the time to keep in contact with friends on my hands free.

The best advice came from a mentor of mine; he said if you keep your mind active, you will keep your heart alive. I am now learning Spanish whilst I drive too!”

Paddy:

“A Dad to three lively boys, being away from home at the beginning meant I could get a good nights sleep! After a while though, that wore off as I started to miss nativity plays and parents evenings. Now in their late teens I feel that I am actually better connected to them. In some ways better connected than some of my friends are with their children. Technology offers us countless ways to stay connected, and with great Wi-Fi we can even watch films together, play games and chat face-to-face even when I am miles away.

I don’t think working away is right for everyone, and I know that it took my wife many months to get used to the feeling of being alone.  But now we make it work. I love my family and I love my job and I am really aware of what we all need to be happy and connected.”

Like with many hotels, we always want to do what we can to better your experiences. We know that there are days when you feel frazzled and want to just check-in and lie-low; but then we also know that there are days when just having a good old chat – is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Whatever you need; if like Sam it’s a table for dinner and a warm swimming pool and cool gym; or like Paddy and his room with the best Wi-Fi. Just let us know. Let us help you wipe your thoughts from your minds and find a happy place whereby you can give yourself and your family exactly what you all need whilst being on the road.

Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 by visiting their website.

This Weekend In Plymouth…

Not Just A Saturday & Sunday!

So, you thought a weekend consisted of a Saturday and Sunday –not in Plymouth!

A weekend is so much more!

A city steeped in history and packed full of fun action, events and things to be part of EVERYDAY!

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This weekend is no exception:

Bohemian Rhapsody Outdoor Cinema Experience |Fri 10 May –  Saltram House

Pirates Weekend | Sat 11 and Sun 12 May 2019 – Plymouth Barbican

Cheese Fest |  Sat 11 May 2019 – Plymouth Pavilions

Performance: The View From Behind The Futuristic Rose Trellis | Sat 11 May 2019 – Barbican Theatre

Worth The Weight – Vintage Sale | Sat 11 May – Plymouth Guildhall

Plymouth Comic Con |  Sun 12 May 2019 – Plymouth Life Centre

Plymouth Food Scene…Through The Looking Glass!

Steve’s Brasserie | Loved By Locals And Guests Alike…

All we really want when we go out for food is a chef-driven restaurant with a menu that’s equal parts seasonality and creativity, with a service that makes you feel welcome.

Here at the New Continental Hotel, Steve’s Brasserie is a neighbourhood favourite; as well as being the perfect retreat for our hotel guests.

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It offers all the comforts and convenience that you would expect from an independent restaurant. But the thing that makes Steve’s Brasserie so special … is the food. Our chefs have created a traditional and accessible dining experience, one that takes guests back to classic moments with familiar favourites and flavours.

Menu items range from long-time winners like our Beer Battered Fish, Chips and Seaside Treats; our outlandishly popular Belly Pork, served with a grain mustard mash and roast vegetables to brand-new standouts like the Home Cooked Lamb Stew, served with crispy fried new potatoes.

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What we believe elevates Steve’s Brasserie from the rest is the artful pairing of seasonal food with nostalgic flavours; portions that won’t leave you hungry and a down to earth ambience. With stone work on show, arches with history (for those of a certain age you can still feel the Grapevine!) and a warm welcome; it really is a charming setting to enjoy true classics.

Set in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City; with a classic menu and food that emphasises fresh, local ingredients which offers a modern twist on culinary classics…it’s a must try if you haven’t already!

Loved by locals and guests alike!

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Cheese Fest Plymouth!

Who doesn’t love a cheesy event?

We say, let there be Cheese – and plenty of it!!

Cheese Fest lands in Plymouth for the very first time EVER! Put the date in your diary now: 11th May 2019 …  we are super excited!!

CheeseFest UK is an amazing festival, touring the entire width and breadth of the UK. It’s unlike many other festivals you have ever witnessed before! Bringing with it so much cheesy fun! With sensational live music; Wallace and Gromit will be mingling; model making with Aardman Animation; Wallace and Gromit life size vehicles; cooking demos; activity areas;  street food and so much more!

What a day!

cheese fest

An action packed day is on the cards; celebrating 30 cracking years of Wallace & Gromit.

Experience some of the cheesiest cheeses in the world!  With Melted Raclette, Cheese Wheels, Gooey Mozzarella Sticks and a whole host of cheesetastic tastes from the UK’s best cheese traders!

There are 15 live dates throughout the UK, celebrating all that’s great in the world of cheese. Expect the most incredible melted delights and delicious cheese-based cuisine presented for your culinary pleasure by the finest fromagers from across the land. What’s more; there will be so much for the entire family that you will feel a day just isn’t long enough!

CheeseFest UK promises to be a grand day out for all the family with a jam packed programme of feasting and entertainment hosted by the world’s most famous cheese ambassadors Wallace & Gromit. Kids can enjoy model making, life-size vehicles, film screenings of popular Wallace & Gromit movies, and a meet & greet with Wallace and Gromit themselves. Young and old, all are welcome, so don’t be sheepish! – get involved!

For more details check our website www.cheesefestuk.com

Stay and Play!

Why not extend your stay?  We have great promotions and offers that mean you can stay for as little as £50 per night! For more information check out our offers page!

Pre-Theatre Food In Plymouth

We love a good show…and we know you do too! But what about your  food pre-theatre here in Plymouth..?

We have the answer! Why not start your visit to the theatre in style! Our restaurant, Steve’s Brasserie, is open for pre-show theatre dining every Monday-Saturday from 5.30pm.

Relax, unwind and enjoy classic flavours with a modern twist. Tempted? We are too EVERYDAY when we  smell the amazing aroma coming from the kitchen!

What’s more, two sensational courses will not only leave you fully sated and safely in your seat for show-time, but are just £16! Or, add that extra sparkle to your evening! Indulge in a three course meal for £20!

The smash-hit production of ANNIE comes to Plymouth for 1 week only starting on Monday 6th May. It’s direct from London’s West End.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck soon changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…

With its Tony® award-winning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it (!) and with a treat before you take a seat; it’s the perfect evening out!

Pre-theatre dining in Plymouth is easy and satisfying when you choose Steve’s Brasserie. Read here for more information on Steve’s Brasserie!

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