I’m sipping bubbly in the sunshine and eating a delicious homemade brownie, watching the birds in the front garden. Yes, The 25 Boutique B&B is the place to relax, and I’ve only been here 10 minutes.
This Torquay B&B is run by Andy and Julian Banner-Price, who have done the place up in a funky style and know how to welcome you, too. After enquiring if I like dogs (yes!), they allow their cute little pooch, Patsy, to join in the welcome party, and Andy gives me the tour.
The reception room makes a statement with striped chairs and a bold rainbow coloured sculpture, while the mint-green living room has a reassuringly old-fashioned feel, complete with honesty bar and comfy chairs. Awards from various tourist organisations adorn the walls as we walk upstairs, and when we enter our room, the Broadsands Room, I can see why. Not only does it look great, in a kitsch kind of way (purple walls that glitter!), but it’s very hi-tech: there’s an Alexa to answer to your every need, an iPad with lots of magazines uploaded, two TVs with Netflix and more (one in the large bathroom), and excellent lighting options (disco bath, anyone?).
You know, I’m surprised to learn that no-one has yet booked the whole place for a three-day party, and make a mental note for my next big birthday. There are a few other couples staying in the six rooms, but two are free to view so Andy shows me them: the black and white striped Torre Suite is an elegant modern choice with a (fake) zebra head on the wall, complete with sunglasses. The red Watcombe Suite has a warmer, cosier feel and comes with a living area so you can have more of a suite effect – some couples like to watch different programmes when they come here to escape, I’m told. Our room also has Andy’s treat of the day: two scrumptious Melting Moments – stay here and you’ll get a different treat every day.
Yes, I can see why some people barely leave their room, but the sun is shining and I’m keen to explore. It’s a pleasant 15-20 minute walk down to the beach through pretty Torre Abbey. There’s a cluster of fairly new bars and restaurants in the Abbey Sands area and more in the main harbour – all are carefully detailed in The 25’s eating guide, which features recommendations as well as handy tips about booking and timings. I pop into a couple of the wine bars along the seafront for aperitifs before going local with Bombay Express, a hearty traditional curry house that’s in a nearby street – not so scenic, but friendly and filling and open later than many of the more touristy haunts.
Another tip. If you’re staying here, do save some room for breakfast, which is well worth getting up for the 8.30-9.30am window. The cute downstairs breakfast room has a lovingly displayed buffet of sweet treats and healthy fruity options, while the a la carte menu features a very satisfying Eggs Benedict. We are certainly well fed before our scenic boat trip to Dartmouth and return to Torquay via steam train and bus.
When we drop by to pick up our bags and check out, Andy gives us water and more homemade biscuits for the train. It’s touches like this that make The 25 more than just a B&B: it’s a place that caters to its guests in many thoughtful ways, whether you want to explore, chill out or live it up in your suite. Watch out, guys – there may be a party coming your way soon.
Tell Me More About The 25 Boutique B&B
The 25 Boutique B&B, 25 Avenue Road, Torquay, South Devon, TQ2 5LB
Single occupancy starts at £99, double rooms from £125 including breakfast.
T: +44 (0)1803 297517