Booking.com
Boys to the left of me, boys to the right of me, and such a lot to drink! It's Devon boy heaven down in Torquay says Out UK's man-overboard Adrian Gillan. The city always been attractive for the gay visitor but just this week it's been announced that now there's a world class gay B&B to stay in while you are there. It's a big plus if you are planning a boyz trip to the South West.
Though it has the feel of a typical English seaside resort and with an image that won't ever completely shake off memories of Fawlty Towers, there's nothing retiring about Torquay, undoubtedly the heart and soul of the 'Gay English Riviera'. Its compact scene nestles between palm-clad hills and a harbour warmed by sub-tropical winds, wafting gay male mariners in from as far as Exeter and Plymouth.
The friendly and attitude-free Meadfoot Inn just above the harbour parade is a good place to start the evening off with the local crew. Then coast down to the harbour and soak up some of the salty seaside atmosphere until you're dizzy. It attracts a varied crowd so customers feel they can drink and relax in a safe and friendly environment.

If you are the kind of person who likes to eat as well as drink and know your plaice from your cod, catch the freshest fish and shellfish dishes for miles around at Number 7 Fish Bistro down on the Inner Harbour. Meanwhile, Park Lane on Torwood Street is a gay friendly casual dining grill that offers outside seating in the summer and a range of quality tasty dishes.

A NIGHT OUT

Soho Bar & Lounge located on Palk Street is a contemporary late stylish lounge which offers value for money in a safe trouble free environment. A full range of guests, young and old, skinny or curvy, straight or gay, interested in sports, work in a salon or feel good in drag, who want to be part of the SOHO family are always welcome.

JD's Bar on Fleet Street is totally different. It's Torquay's best Karaoke Bar, open for all but catering towards a gay crowd with friendly staff and good atmosphere. Some nights they offer a spirits double-up for an extra 1.

GETTING STEAMED UP

Steamer Quay is the South West's largest sauna which offers a 12 person sauna, 10 person steam room and 16 person spa. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday before 6pm the sauna is gay men only and on the third Friday each month between 8pm-2am, it's Naked Night. On the first Friday of the month they hold Club Taboo which is open for all - Gay, Bi, Straight, Fetish, BDSM, Leather, Rubber, Trans, Singles, Couples, Male, Female. A place to enjoy freedom with no boundaries and a chance to meet like-minded people, and on the second Friday it's Nomercy Manor which is a fetish and BDSM night by Invitation Only through FetLife.com. Famously Steamer Quay also offers a swingers night - Swingers Quay which is open to straight couples. Single men can attend but only by invitation or advance arrangement.
Outside, Babbacombe Downs has loads of places to disappear into and plenty of areas for 121 and groups. Catch it right and the place is heaving with guys doing just about everything. Catch it at the wrong time and all you'll get is a 70 year old with a dog and permanent sniffle, plus a drunk trying to sleep it off in the shelter at the top.
Dusk at Torquay Harbour - Photo: ianwool
The Harbour Parade lures a fairly mixed crew down its basement hatches, but local scene sailors account it's not as gay these days as of yore.

BEACHES

In summer, drop your kegs and let it all hang out at Petit Tor, a nudist beach with men-only area just to the north of town. And there is year-round cruising along the paths above Meadfoot Beach, but watch out for the tides and dodge the cliffs.

The garden gate leads to Meadfoot Beach, views of the East Shag and cliff walks to Daddyhole Cove (we kid you not!), the harbour and gay life as only Torquay knows it.

WHERE TO STAY

The Palm Grove Hotel is located close to Cockington Country Park. It was the former Key West Resort, an exclusively gay resort, but nowadays Palm Grove attracts a mixed clientiele. Set in a Victorian-style building, the venue comprises 10 rooms and a stunning garden with a pool. This venue is only 4 km from the center of Torquay.
The 25 Boutique B&B has funky design meeting cutting-edge technology in this recently refurbished adults only boutique B&B. Andy and Julian offer six individually styled luxurious bedrooms to relax in, each with a fabulous en-suite in their gay owned and run B&B.

Although not exclusively gay, you'll be greeted warmly, receive great service and appreciate lots of little touches you just don't get elsewhere including fast Wi-fi, fluffy dressing gowns, Nespresso coffee makers, free movies on demand, Elemis toiletries, iPads, high pressure showers, homemade biscuits, and super comfortable beds as standard. In some rooms you'll also find extras like air-con, a slipper bath, mood lighting, super-king beds and bathroom TVs.

The TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2019 have just been announced this week and The 25 Boutique B&B won Best B&B in the World!


The 25 Boutique B&B - Photos: A & J Banner-Price
Our congratulations to Andy and Julian on this outstanding achievement. You can always book direct for the best price on +44 1803 297517 and if you mention OutUK you'll receive a special 10% discount!

MORE INFO

Adrian travelled to Torquay in just over three hours by train from London Paddington with GWR. By car from London it's best down the M3, A303 and A30 and it should take you just under 4 hours.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
25 Boutique B&B (25 Avenue Rd; T: +44 1803 297517; Website; @The25Torquay on facebook, Twitter and Instagram)
JD's Bar (1 Fleet Street; T: +44 1803 200818; facebook)
Meadfoot Inn (7 Meadfoot Lane; T: +44 1803 297112)
Number 7 Fish Bistro (7 Beacon Terrace, Inner Harbour; T: 01803 295055; Website)
Palm Grove Hotel (Meadfoot Sea Road; T: +44 1803 200063)
Park Lane (1 Torwood St; T: +44 1803 214446; Menu Website)
Soho Bar & Lounge (1 Palk Street; T: +44 1803 411585; Website)
Steamer Quay Sauna (Rock Rd; T: +44 1803 201401; Website)
Swingers Quay Sauna (Rock Rd; T: +44 1803 201401; Website)


Revised January 2019

 

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