England’s Seafood Feast

Seafood Feast is just around the corner and boy oh boy do we have a line up for you!

Friday 20th September

Welcome to England's Seafood FEAST. Below Decks will be offering a three course dinner for £25 per person for one night only on Friday 20 September. Join us to enjoy a selection of fresh, locally sourced seafood, looking out over the sea where it was caught.

Thursday 26th September

Below Decks welcomes the Crabstockboys for a fun evening with Adrian Bartlett, veteran of food festivals across the country. Enjoy a crab-cracking demonstration followed by a two course dinner.

Friday 27th September

Join us at Below Decks for a ladies' three course seafood late lunch, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Thursday 3rd October

Come and join us at Below Decks for an interactive crab masterclass with the Crabstockboys. Get involved with cracking and picking your own crab. Then learn how to dress your crab, and finally enjoy all your hard work served with a seasonal salad.

Sunday 6th October

We're finishing off our Below Decks events for England's Seafood FEAST with a Sunday Funday Seafood BBQ with live music from New Daze. Help us see the Feast out in style!

A feast for your eyes

Last month, the lovely Matt Austin came to visit. The result? A whole bunch of fabulous pictures of our (even if we do say so ourself) fabulous food!

Whilst our wonderful team prepared meal after meal for Matt to photograph, we… well… devoured meal after meal!

We have shared a small selection below and hope you enjoy them as much as we have - and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see more!

Or better still… come in and try our delicious food for yourself!

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How we got here…

You will know Below Decks as the friendly Bistro which serves delicious food and overlooks Torquay’s harbourside – and that it is!  But for us, it is also the calm after our storm – quite literally!

This year, we celebrate 10 years at Below Decks so what better time than now to tell you a little bit about us and how we came to own this wonderful place.

Let’s rewind a few years.

Life before Below Decks

You could say hospitality is in our blood.  Born in what is now The Backpackers on Abbey Road, Torquay, Gayle and Adele (2/3rds of Below Decks ownership) have spent a whole lifetime living, running and owning hotels and restaurants.  Following a stint at the Holiday Flats in Torquay, at 11 and 16, Gayle and Adele moved into the Norcliffe Hotel, Babbacombe. Whilst there, they welcomed Michele (their sister-in-law and last third of Below Decks ownership!) into their family.

In 1994 Adele, their brother Dean and Michele started their first business venture – co-ownership of The Downs, Babbacombe.  At this time, Gayle was still a pipsqueak but as soon as she was able, in 2002, bought the Beachcomber shop in Paignton.

In 2004, the sale of both these investments enabled Gayle and Adele to purchase the café on Oddicombe Beach and 4 short years later, together with Michele, they bought the Galley Sandwich Bar in Torquay.

Below Decks is ours!

And suddenly it’s 2009 and Below Decks, a closed and unloved Café came on to the radar – an opportunity that could not be missed.  Time was spent making minor tweaks, listening to customers and forming a vision as to what the ‘new and improved’ Below Decks would become.

The calm after the storm

You may recall the horrendous storms in 2014.  The same storm that ripped away at Dawlish’ coastline, also caused devastation for our family.  Our lovely Oddicombe Beach Café was destroyed and we were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to move on.

Although through upsetting circumstances, the sale of Oddicombe Beach allowed for the investment in Wellswood Post Office, as well as a renovation project to take place at Below Decks; transforming it into the place it is today:

The Below Decks, you all know and love!

We hope to be here for many, many years and have some exciting plans for the future – Hint: longer opening hours, more fabulous events and an even better outside seating area!

Watch this space!

Adele, Gayle and Michele x