For those who could afford to travel, Torquay’s mild climate attracted visitors to recover from illness or surgery with convalescent homes offering patients access to the benefits of “healthful” air, calm, rest, light, food and exercise. Significantly, the medical profession recommended health resorts depending on their relationship to a particular illness. A lung condition would be aided by, for example, the bracing Welsh mountain air while tropical diseases were the speciality of a warmer resort such as Torquay. Hence the presence in town of officers from the East India Company in the early nineteenth century, along with their Indian servants, making Torquay one of the few places in nineteenth century Europe where you could see Muslims and Hindus in their traditional dress.
By the latter years of the nineteenth century Torquay was claiming to be the richest town in England. This lead to significant investment in infrastructure such as street lighting, public parks, road building and trams. Building styles were transformed with architecture taking on a more exotic style while tropical plants were used to suggest romantic images of warmer climes, again promoting the idea of an English Riviera. Source: www.wearesouthdevon.com
Torquay has long been a destination to relax and recuperate. It now has lots of restaurants, bars and coffee shops to enjoy and watch the world go by.