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History of Meadfoot

The 1850s were a time of massive change in Torquay. The railway arrived in 1848 which signalled a step change in the expansion of the town. Using a template laid down by William Kitson who prescribed that villas should be built on plots of one acre or more, hundreds were constructed following these guidelines, including Meadfoot. As you can see from the picture below it was one of a group of four which still stand and at one time or another all have been hotels or guest houses. Interestingly Meadfoot is the only one whose one acre plot it still intact. 

We believe that the first owner was a naval officer, many of whom retired to the English Riviera. As the reputation of the town grew it attracted ever more affluent residents and at one time had the reputation of being the richest town in England! 


Even more sobering is the fact that in its heyday Torquay boasted over 600 hotels and guests houses. Today the competition is a little less intense!

While we have a few glimpses of the Meadfoot back story, the first evidence of it becoming a hotel was in 1927 and to our best knowledge it has stayed one ever since.

Old leaflet.jpg
Old leaflet.jpg

The 1970s saw one of the biggest changes to the building when the West Wing was added at the back of the hotel. At the same time Meadfoot was gaining something of a reputation amongst the gay community and legend has it that "Rocket man" Elton John used to drink in the cellar bar which occupied what is now our pet friendly room, Labrador Bay!

Moving onwards and into the 21st century, the decor took a distinct retro step with red being an overriding theme for the period of ownership that predated today's owners Vicki and Phil. Within a year the 'bordello' look was replaced with something more calming and contemporary and Meadfoot moved into a new phase of its history. The programme of refurbishment has continued ever since including the opening in 2019 of its restaurant Brasserie at the Bay.

As you will see from the original photograph at the top of the page, Meadfoot doesn't sit in acres of ground and as such doesn't boast sweeping views from its bedrooms. Whilst the sea is just three minutes walk away it too is hidden from view. But what we lack in views we make up for in warmth and so we hope we can look forward to welcoming you to our little haven by the bay .

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