After a chance conversation on the return leg of a business trip and despite having no hotelier experience, Julia and Nick Davies decided to give up their jobs as management consultants living in Shoreditch to become owners of boutique hotel The Cottage in the Wood in Malvern – a favourite of Margaret Thatcher in the 80s – in July 2015.
Phase one of a five-year refurbishment programme was completed with the 1919 Bar & Restaurant now attracting a new wave of local diners, cocktail lovers and ladies who lunch.
Ingredients from local suppliers are used in chef Mark Redwood’s modern British dishes, with pop-up menus appearing during the year. Nick and Julia encourage and support the team to think outside the box and be creative in their respective roles across both the hotel and restaurant.
An upcoming partnership is with RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May, where the hotel will be creating an ‘Instagrammable’ lounge/dining area in collaboration with Morgan cars at the heart of the show.
Since the launch of 1919 in spring 2017, business has grown by over 30%. In January 2018, Julia and Nick saw an 80% increase in revenue above target. Refurbishment of the bedrooms begins in January 2019, as Nick’s consulting skills and Julia’s marketing experience combined with their love of leisure, travel and hotels have helped them to re-establish The Cottage in the Wood as an aspirational place, providing memorable experiences.
They have worked tirelessly with their team to learn about the industry whilst applying their own business expertise.