A week today, Plymouth will be hosting their very own International Men’s Day Conference here at the New Continental Hotel.
The International Men’s Day (IMD) Conference is a platform to encourage, enable and empower men to teach boys values and responsibilities. Furthermore, the hope is that it will create a springboard that connects everyone to a better understanding of issues such as men’s health.
IMD is a grassroots movement which is totally inclusive. It’s an event that invites everyone to celebrate every single man and every boy. It doesn’t matter their ability, social background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, religious belief or relationship status; it’s simply about them being seen, heard and celebrated.
Tuesday 19th November, from 1pm…
This event, which is being held at the New Continental Hotel and it really does seem like everyone in Plymouth is supporting it. Probably in part because this event has organically grown into a very purposeful solution to some very real challenges. Challenges that we all face on a daily basis.
The speakers feature influential and inspirational people, speaking about their experiences across a range of different industries, areas and diverse topics.
The Plymouth conference aims to celebrate positive male role models, provide a forum for open discussion and will most certainly offer access to health care support. There will be ample opportunity for delegates to mingle, meet and learn from each other and from the various organisations and exhibitors supporting the conference.
From the turkey to the Christmas pudding and everything in-between; Christmas food and drink is the icing on any festive cake!
At the New Continental Hotel, we know that food should take centre stage at Christmas. That’s why our sensational chefs are busy planning and prepping the Christmas treats that await our guests this year.
The hotel is celebrating our 35th Christmas at the New Continental Hotel. We wanted to take this moment to look back at some Christmas’ past. Looking at the big shifts in trends and some of the marvellous menus that have donned our festive tables over the years!
Just as importantly though; we wanted to take this time to celebrate and acknowledge the prodigious talent of all of the chefs; those both past and present. Chefs who, over the decades, have all played an intrinsic part in the hotels history. But also who have played an important role in helping people make fond Christmas memories at the hotel too.
Looking back in the archives has been an honour. Seeing the past menus, orders scribbled on notes with splashes of food sprawled across the pages and pencilled shifts, all scratched in old diaries with arrows and lines to mark changes. It’s clear to see that our hotel has had the ultimate collection of Christmas Menus but also, mind-blowing, passionate and committed talent in the kitchens too.
Swiss Evening October 1962…
We believe that Christmas 1962 came off the back of a successful Swiss Evening in the October before. This was an evening that had taken twelve months of planning and a continuous 24 hours for the brigade to prepare! No small feat! The hard work certainly seemed to have paid off! The event took place in the Ballroom and by all accounts “…it was plush and impressive in both appearance and style”.
It was an event for members from the Plymouth Branch of the Wine & Food Society. They sat down that evening to enjoy an exclusively designed menu. With much of the ingredients hand picked and collected by the chefs themselves. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing too lavish! There were Alpine cured meats, soups laced with egg yolk, trout cooked in butter and almonds and fillets of veal.
The Ballroom was dressed facing the stage. The tables set out in the form of a Swiss cross. There were huge flower arrangements and the entire room and serving staff were dressed in the national colours of red and white. Every detail was given immense care and attention, as it is now for every event.
We believe it was this event that then left echoes on the design of a rather lavish Christmas in December 1962, 57 years ago!
Christmas Treats In 1962…
In December 1962 the Continental Hotel was dishing up a very unique menu!
In the year that cheese and onion crisps were introduced by Golden Wonder, the Continental Hotel introduced a new way of serving Christmas. It was to become all about the show as much as the taste. With service boards in the centre of the room, Chefs in full sight and the poshest of buffets!
The 1960s saw a boom in the British economy and so there was a dramatic rise in the standard of living, and peoples expectations. Rationing was now a thing of the past; and the 60’s saw a spike in the European holidaymakers visiting Plymouth. The food was therefore influenced by all of these factors and there was a big movement occurring in kitchens across the UK. Chefs were now experimenting and introducing the British palate to some tasty new foods and ingredients.
Wine was also on the rise! Before the 1960s wine was really only ordered at the hotel for extra special occasions, the majority of people drank beer, stout, pale ale and port and lemon. In the 60’s the hotel saw an increase in wine orders and introduced bottles such as Chianti and Mateus Rose.
The hedgehog was also on the pre-dinner drinks list! These accompanied the drinks; cubes of tinned pineapple and cheddar cheese on sticks, stuck into a melon or grapefruit to look like a hedgehog – the height of 60s sophistication!
There were five Christmas Menus in 1962. All different and all definitely unique! There was some of the usual dishes you would expect to see; Shrimp cocktail and melon balls, but with the addition of a Clear Turtle Soup with Sherry! What’s amazing to see is even back in 1962 ‘local’ played a huge part in the design and delivery of the hotel menus. Chefs had amazing relationships with the farmers locally, not naming the farm but the farmer himself in their notes.
Just as in 1962, the ingredients matter to our chefs. Although there is no Turtle Soup this Christmas (we can all breath a sigh of relief that this trend has passed!) there is the same love and attention given to every dish by every chef.
No matter what the year; Christmas at the New Continental Hotel is full of fun, fabulous food and a history rich in hospitality. 2019 is no different to 1962, our talented chefs are busy ensuring all guests this Christmas have the best experiences and make magical memories that last another 57 years!
Money saving tips are everywhere this time of year. From utility switch overs to promotional offers for money off brands. The consistent message for all savings though is to plan, plan, plan!
2020 Break Away…
2020 is a big year for Plymouth. It marks the celebration of one ship that links four nations, spans 400 years of history and connects millions and millions of people.
From November 2019, an ambitious year-long commemoration will mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage. It will include a creative, inspiring and unforgettable series of events – from breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime festivals to grand, thought-provoking artistic installations and a vast network of community events too. Over the year-long celebrations there will be something for everyone.
Plymouth really will be the place to be; but that does mean you have to get planning to get in!
It’s All In The Planning…
Planning your 2020 breaks away over the next few months is the best way of getting the best price, but also booking the best time off work!
There’s nothing quite like a long weekend – or the shorter working week to give us a new lease of life and something to really look forward to.
So why not crack out your calendar and get planning how you’re going to use all your days off in 2020? After all, it’s never too soon and Plymouth is waiting for you with some AMAZING events and activities to entertain EVERYONE!
2020 UK Bank and Public Holidays:
New Year’s Day:Wednesday 1 January
Good Friday:Friday 10 April
Easter Monday:Monday 13 April (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
Early May bank holiday:Friday 8 May
Spring bank holiday:Monday 25 May
Summer bank holiday:Monday 31 August (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
Christmas Day:Friday 25 December
Boxing Day: Monday 28 December
We know it seems like a long way off (we haven’t even got this Christmas out of the way yet) but if you’re a planner like us then you need to get ahead to maximise your time off and save pounds! We have some amazing offers for 2020, and more being added. So, check availability and join us here in Plymouth for 2020 and a fabulous year of celebrations.
This time of year is particularly busy in the world of hospitality. There are Christmas Party Nights galore and lots of families visiting Plymouth for some Festive Fun!
If you are looking for a temporary job, the festive season is the perfect time to broaden your experience and perhaps take a peep at what Hotel life might look like for you.
A job in hospitality is hard work; but it’s also so rewarding. It’s a job that keeps giving long after your shift is over. Be it that you know you have made a massive difference in someones experience. You are part of a memory that will last them forever. Or you have learnt a new skill that is transferable and helps connect you to your next step. You have met someone that inspires you and creates a form of mindfulness that you had never thought of before. It’s a hard job – but a rewarding one!
Want to join us? It’s not just about tidying up your CV …
A CV is important, but so too is passion and enthusiasm says Simon Hawke, Operations Manager at the New Continental Hotel:
“Staff are so important to us here at the hotel. They are the reason customers have great experiences and keep coming back. Our staff need to provide exceptional service, guiding the guest around our business, and helping them explore and understand our menus. Although a CV is important, to be part of our amazing waiting teams you must have more! A friendly face, a lovely manner and a passionate nature is essential. “
A legion of hotels and restaurants are currently recruiting people to join them during one of their busiest period…
Some require prior experience, while other vacancies are looking for workers with a cheerful personality and a can-do approach to the role. Essentially those looking for flexible work.
Simon continues: “There are some amazing benefits to working casually in hospitality over Christmas. Many of our Managers started on a casual contract and have worked their way up; be that in Finance, HR, Marketing or the Kitchen. No experience is necessary, full hospitality training is provided, we hire the attitude and train the skills!”
Here at the New Continental Hotel, we are looking for a team who are passionate about hospitality and take pride in their customer service skills. If that’s you, then let us know you’re looking. Send your CV anda short covering note to Simon, telling him why you would like to join his happy, friendly team of Elves this Christmas!
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org today!
We have opportunities perfect for those looking for casual part-time work to slot around existing commitments or those looking for more hours. You need to have the ability to work flexible hours over evenings and weekends.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas…In Plymouth!
With just EIGHT Friday’s left before Christmas, we are all getting excited, especially the little ones! To make things even MORE exciting, this Festive season is full of family fun in Plymouth’s city centre.
Here at the New Continental Hotel we have some GREAT Winter Break OFFERS too; free stays; great discounts and some very special promotions.
So, why not stay in Plymouth this Christmas 2019 and see the return of three sensational family-friendly events from Plymouth City Centre Company…
Christmas Lights Switch-on, Thursday 14 November
The Christmas Lights Switch-on marks the start of the festive season. This year, the evening will be hosted by Radio Plymouth.There will be performers and groups, including local schools, choirs and Plymouth Party Princesses. The stage on the Piazza will be full of Christmas cheer!
The lights will be switched on at 6.30pm by Santa himself! The Mayflower 400 Town Crier will also be there to assist! Once the city centre is illuminated, there will be a local four-piece indie, rock and pop band, The Sound. They will be performing popular tracks from bands such as The Killers, Kings of Leon and Oasis!
Thursday 14 November also marks the start of late-night shopping in the city centre. Many of the shops open later on Thursday evenings in the run-up to Christmas.
Plymouth Christmas Market, Thursday 28 November to Thursday 19 December
From Thursday 28 November, Plymouth Christmas Market will return to the city centre for three weeks (until Thursday 19 December). More than 50 traditional wooden cabins will fill the Piazza, with stallholders from across the South West. Here you can find a great range of products from handmade jewellery and homewares to artwork and clothing.
Some of the region’s favourite food and drink producers will also be in attendance too. Including the English Spirit Distillery, South Devon Chilli Farm, Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Retro Shotz, Ventons Devon Cyder and Loco About Cocoa.
What’s more the Bavarian Bar will return! There will also be a number of street food stands offering delicious treats such as traditional hotdogs and melting cheese raclette. The giant illuminated bauble will also be located at the entrance to the market, acting as the perfect background prop for festive photos.
Every Thursday to Sunday, there will be entertainment to enjoy in the heart of the market too, including local choirs and bands.
Penguins: A LEGO® brick trail, Saturday 30 November to Sunday 5 January
Back by popular demand, Penguins: A LEGO brick trail is returning to the city centre this Christmas. The trail will run from 30 November to 5 January, with 19 Rockhopper penguins and one Emperor penguin! They are all life size and made out of LEGO bricks!! The penguins will be hiding all over the city, and if you find all the penguins you can be in with the chance to win incredible prizes! These prizes include a weekend family trip to LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort courtesy of Plymouth Citycoach, or a penguin feeding experience at Living Coasts in Torquay for four people.
Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Plymouth City Centre Company, said:
“There is so much for everyone to enjoy in the city centre this festive season. Not only is there brilliant shopping, with everything from big brand names to unique independents in the West End and Plymouth Market, but there’s so much to keep the entire family entertained.
“Enjoy one of our brilliant festive events, hunt for LEGO brick penguins, take in a show at the Theatre Royal Plymouth or head to Drake Circus The Barcode to enjoy the new restaurants, adventure golf and cinema.”
Plymouth city centre is easy to get to with plenty of buses and parking. In the West End, Western Approach car park offers inexpensive parking for just £1 an hour, or £5 for the whole day, and Drake Circus The Barcode has created another 420 parking spaces in the north of the city centre.
For more information about Christmas in Plymouth, including full event details and travel information, keep an eye on our blog page or head to Visit Plymouth for more information!
Illuminate Plymouth | 28th November – 1st December 2019
Plymouth is an ambitious and inspiring city, which is so easy to fall in love with. It is full of beauty and innovation at every turn. There is always something wonderful to see, do or be part of.
One of those things has soon become the city’s best-loved free outdoor event. It welcomes thousands of people of all ages each year. Running across four FABULOUS days …
Illuminate Plymouth has added a real richness to Plymouth’s dynamic and eclectic programme of events and activities. It’s a series of dazzling installations and projections that not only make Plymouth shine brightly, also provide the most vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for EVERYONE!
The festival will run this year from 28th November – 1st December from the festival centre at Royal William Yard.
Yet this year there is more!
New for 2019 there will be additional light installations at the Barbican, the Watefront and Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park.
Illuminate is a free event. Open to families and people of all ages. The installations can be viewed by boat, on foot or bike. You can wander around and explore the works at your leisure. Or perhaps follow one of the dedicated routes which enhance the experience.
This 4-day event will open the Mayflower 400 commemorations, and is inspired by the values of freedom, humanity, imagination, and future. The festival offers a host of workshops, installations, performances and projections with various opportunities for you to take part in activities or simply wonder at the spectacular illuminations.
Claire Honey, Project Manager for the festival, said: “In 2018, Illuminate stunned with incredible light installations, interactive artworks and spectacular projections from local, national and international artists. The festival was enjoyed by over 28,000 people across the four days. Now a multi-site festival we’re really excited to welcome new artists creating awe-inspiring light art to inspire visitors of all ages.”
Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair Mayflower 400 and Destination Plymouth, said: “Growing on the back of previous years’ festivals Illuminate has become a real highlight in Plymouth’s annual events calendar. It’s such a special event and we’re thrilled that this year it will act as the opening moment of the Mayflower 400 commemorations, not just in Plymouth but across the whole country.”
Proud Partners of Illuminate for the second year running. We are thrilled to be supporting people to stay and enjoy the totality of the festival. Our guests receive 20% off their stay by simply using the promotional code LIGHTS19.
Sense of place and seasonality are key elements when it comes to eating out in Plymouth. The food scene in the city is sensational. With an eclectic and diverse offering for all tastes and inclinations.
There is no shortage of exceptional and locally produced ingredients to inspire the cities top chefs.
Perhaps not a restaurant that would first spring to mind, yet certainly adding to this impressive catalogue is Steve’s Brasserie. The New Continental Hotel’s in-house restaurant open from 5.30pm between Monday and Saturday.
A new creation from New Continental Groups Executive Chef, Lee Holland is our Special board. Taking pride of place at the main reception, it’s been tempting diners and hotel guests with seasonal offerings.
Executive Chef …
Lee explains:“Introducing a Specials board to Steve’s Brasserie means that the bounties of the season can play centre stage and be the real stars of the dishes. Autumn was the perfect time for me to introduce a Specials board. It’s possibly one of the year’s most rewarding seasons in terms of ingredients. Apples and pears, squashes and pumpkins; a fine selection of mushrooms and the beginning of the game season. As the shorter, darker nights draw in, the soups, stews and broths come into their own and will certainly form part of the offerings in coming weeks!”
When the cooler weather hits, it signifies change, making it the perfect time to introduce new menu items and special, limited offerings. The daily Specials board has already proved popular with diners and hotel guests and each day we are all excited to see what the nights creations will be.
To book your table, call us today on 01752 276798. Not only does Steve’s Brasserie have the Specials board, but an Early Evening menu which is perfect for diners on the go. There is a fabulous full Evening menu with coffee and desserts. Of course, not forgetting the infamous Pizza oven and amazing selection of sides. There really is something for everyone!
New Continental Hotel Partners With Best Western Great Britain Brand…
It’s been an incredibly exciting two weeks for everyone at the New Continental Hotel.
On Tuesday 15th October 2019, the New Continental Hotel joined the Best Western Great Britain brand; to sit within their Sure Hotel Collection.
As a proudly independently operated hotel, Best Western was the perfect choice. The partnership enables the hotel to remain independent and keep complete autonomy over the running and direction of our growth; and allows the flexibility to maximise our independence…
“We are delighted to join Best Western’s new Sure Hotel Collection. We were looking for a brand that would allow us to continue operating independently but could give us access to all the benefits that come with being part of a global brand. With Best Western’s new range of soft brands, it makes the perfect fit.
Plymouth is a popular destination for leisure and business travellers alike and we look forward to welcoming new and regular guests to our property under the new Sure Hotel Collection umbrella.”
Bobbie Hajiyianni, New Continental Hotel
As the hospitality sector becomes more venturesome and advanced, it affords more opportunities and opens more doors to exciting possibilities. If you have the right offering, one that is not only well executed but also led by passion, and you have access to the right support.
It’s the perfect formula…
The combination of our family hospitality, our knowledge and experience, our loyal and dedicated staff and our pride for Plymouth; fused with their distribution, access a global loyalty scheme and benefit from new sales, marketing and revenue technologies is a truly exciting collaboration. Not only for the hotel, but for Plymouth too.
The Best Western brand empowers independent hotel owners to take all the opportunities and really thrive; and we’re excited to see what the future holds…
Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, added: “We’re delighted to welcome the New Continental Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection to our family of brands. Best Western now has brands to suit every guest, from economy to luxury, across over 260 locations in Great Britain. We look forward to working in partnership with the team at the hotel to showcase and celebrate their hotel both locally and globally.”
What we are perhaps most excited by is the access we will have to a range of tools and expertise to support in driving tourism to Plymouth.
What will not be changing is our determination to provide a consistent and reliable experience to ALL of our guests…
As a Grade II Listed hotel, full of charm and centrally located, the hotel has always been popular with business travellers and leisure guests alike, but with the support of Best Western we are certain that not only will more guests connect with the hotel, but with Plymouth as a destination too.
Having a dream is one thing; making it happen is another…
There are people that inspire millions through their bravery, curiosity and life’s work. Individuals that’s difference, is what makes the difference.
They might be artists; CEO’s; authors; scientists; community leaders; athletes … basically, an inspirational person is that someone who challenges the status quo. That someone who thrusts through said limits of human capacities. That someone who evokes wonderment in our hopes, dreams and imaginations.
Someone that has captures our hearts…
One of those people for us is someone who significantly and triumphantly changed Plymouth, Politics and Perceptions forever. She made people, especially women, feel that the possibilities were endless. That any limits which had been put upon them could be surmounted.
In December 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons. One seat alongside 706 men. A turning point towards equality and the beginning of a story, a story we are still writing, but a light that sparked possibility for everyone.
This is not only a terrific tale about a women who marched through barriers and who was triumphant in changing the landscape of Politics. This was a women of strength, curiosity, bravery and vision in so many other ways too.
A woman who came from America to the UK after a divorce; who went on to re-marry and have five children. Who supported and empowered her husband to shine. A woman who fell in love with Plymouth and who was proud of the many riches; yet could see even more possibility and potential. A women who swallowed the fear and used her voice, even though at the time it was a voice sharing a very bold message.
Actions speak louder than words…
There are many amazing people that have added to Plymouth’s patchwork; Lady Nancy Astor was one of them.
On November 28th from 12:30pm, there will be a great celebration of the passion and purpose that ran through the veins of this remarkable lady. After a large Crowdfunding campaign, Lady Astor Statue Appeal has unlocked the funding (and the hearts of all) and have built a statue a Lady Astor which will be unveiled on the 28th November.
This will not only commemorate this momentous event where Lady Astor is back in Plymouth, but also celebrate 100 years since the first woman walked the corridors of power, representing the men, women and children of Plymouth.
There will be an AMAZING VIP to unveil the first statue of the first woman in Parliament. There will be so much happening, combined with a truly sensational atmosphere whereby everyone there will be celebrating a century of increased equality, democracy and freedom and a change that the people of Plymouth made happen.
EVERYONE is welcome to see a dream come true on The Hoe, on 28th November, from 12:30pm.
At the New Continental Hotel, we are all about days that celebrate people. People who do amazing things; people that support amazing things to happen and people who form part of the amazing community in which we live.
A good ‘International’ day of recognition is exactly what we love. To celebrate and to acknowledge; to guide and support and to bring together all the great people that surround us.
International Men’s Day (IMD) is far from being an antithesis to International Women’s Day. In fact, the day marks ways we can all work together. Ways in which we can change gender stereotyping and discrimination – just this time, the lens is on men!
This annual day of recognition was started in 1992. It has grown each year exponentially and is now being celebrated in over 70 countries around the world. Proving that it’s a really powerful day -and a day that has really powerful outcomes.
Our Difference Is What Makes A Difference…
This is not only a day that celebrates positive role models in Plymouth. It’s also a day that puts narrative over some of the issues that affect men; whilst helping to raise awareness of some very real challenges.
There are some incredible topics that will be covered during the conference. Even if they aren’t topics that affect us directly – they are topics that most definitely will impact all of us indirectly.
This is a day that talks inclusively about topics. Topics such as men’s health; diversity; toxic masculinity; coping with bereavement and the prevalence of male suicide. The biggest killer in young men here in the UK is sadly suicide. So, it’s vitally important that we ensure boys and men are supported and given the tools they need to ask for help.
Your attendance on November 19th is the most important and powerful way that you can show those that need it most, that they are not alone. That there are positive role models, that there are success stories and many people waiting to listen. The visual sign of togetherness is what will show everyone the very tangible signs of the support they have in the city.
There is a tremendous line up of inspirational speakers, sensational exhibitors and there will be amazing opportunities to create new friendships, to mingle and meet new people and new contacts. What’s more, the opportunity to learn and grow from each other’s experiences and from the various organisations supporting the conference.
It is so important that everyone feels supported, empowered and enabled. We may have separate days to recognise and support individuals, but knowing that everyone has a time and a space to feel that they have a moment to breath, to feel supported is an essential element of a strong community.
The Plymouth conference aims to celebrate positive male role models, provide a forum for open discussion and provide access to health care support.
Throughout the afternoon there will not only be time to hear from local and national speakers, but also time to step off the treadmill and take a moment to connect, or perhaps reconnect with others in Plymouth