Today we visited the English Riviera Centre in Torquay for a swim with my toddler.
We arrived at 11.40 and parked in the pay and display car park outside costing £3 for 3 hours (I always like to over pay just in case we stay longer than planned).
We went into reception asking to pay for a swim and was told the pool was closed until 12.15 which was a little disappointing as there had been no mention of this on their website. So having paid to park I decided we might as well have an early lunch there so we headed down to the Bay Brasserie located on the ground floor.
We found a table and I went to order at the bar. There was no queue but I had to wait a couple of minutes while the two staff behind the bar continued their conversation leaving me ignored . One lady said sorry, served me, then continued her conversation while I waited for my coffee. I can't say I was especially impressed at the service!
Our order of kids burger and chips and adult vegetarian burger and chips and latte came in a reasonable amount of time. It cost £11.05 and was quite good. I enjoyed my burger and my boys burger got mostly eaten too.
We then went back up to reception to pay for our swim where the receptionist was polite and friendly. I did get accosted by a woman promoting a burlesque event that's coming up there soon who thrust a flyer into my hand saying it'd be just my kind of thing. - I hate burlesque, but not as much as I hate people presuming I like burlesque just because I have tattoos.
We then went back down for our swim where we found the changing rooms spacious and clean with plenty of lockers requiring a £1 coin to use.
We'd been given a laminated card to hand in at the pool but there was no one on the desk so after a short wait we just left it on the side.
My boy loved the slope into the pool making it possible for him to walk into the pool. He started shivering as soon as he got in, it was a bit cold but not as bad as my little actor was making it out to be. After a short swim the wave machine came on. My boy liked it at first but then got scared so we sat on the side until it finished. There's a small water slide and seperate pool. There's also a big flume for older kids although it wasn't clear or not if it was open.
We didn't stay in the pool too long as my boy was complaining of the cold so we went and had a shower and got changed. There were plenty of showers and cubicles free although we chose not to use a cubicle as it was too much of a squeeze for both of us and they were very dark inside.
The swim cost £4.20 for me and was free for my son as he's under 3.
All in all we had a good time although we would have liked the pool opening time to have been advertised as it wasn't clear on the website that it was closed until 12.15 (I'm not sure if it had been closed all morning or just for a short period). Parking charges were also a bit off putting as our usual pool offers free parking. The swim itself I feel was good value for money and I was impressed with the cleanliness.
Nice Mum Stars *** 3/5
Warm up the pool and give the Brasserie staff somewhere private to chat for more stars!