Highlight of your career so far?
Becoming a St Julian’s Scholar and attending the summer school at Cornell University. The quality of the lecturing was inspiring and the ability to network with peers from around the world was a unique opportunity. The whole experience changed my self-belief enormously.
If you could choose three guests, dead or alive, to dinner, who would you choose?
David Bowie, Pele, Billy Connolly. Just the best entertainers in their own field. Hopefully, it would be a late night.
Last hotel you stayed at?
I rarely enjoy staying in hotels, as I find it so difficult to switch off and relax. I would choose a tent most days.
However, it would be the Park Plaza Westminster. I’m simply amazed at how they manage 400 bedrooms and still achieve personal service and individual recognition. It’s an impressive hotel with an equally impressive team. They hosted the Relais and Chateaux World Congress so seamlessly.
Best piece of advice you ever received?
Just make the bloody decision. You cannot expect to get them all right; and be happy if you achieve a 51% success rate.
Biggest service bugbear?
Anything that resembles rules and regulations. They are absolutely made to be broken by every guest.
If you went on Stars in their Eyes, who would you portray?
Mick Jagger – I think I have the lips for it!
Which other company (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?.
Patagonia – absolutely set the trend for ethical business and lead the way in inspirational team cultures.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
Interrupt breakfast service to make myself a coffee as I am normally desperate for a caffeine rush by 8am. Then say hello to all the team on duty and make them coffee or tea. Then get out of the damn way and let everyone get on with their day!
Your first job?
First proper job was Assistant Manager at The Lygon Arms, Savoy Group. After four years of studying hospitality management it was a bit of an eye opener to realise, I did not know everything or indeed anything!
If you weren’t a hotelier what would you be doing?
Think I would have made an OK teacher. Not that I am anywhere near bilingual now but teaching languages could have been a route I followed.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I would be very happy to be part of the senior team at the Eden Hotel Collection. I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge at Mallory Court and the culture created by the family and the board is very collaborative and engaging.
Your dream job?
How I wish my careers master had told me that the role of sommelier existed.
Something you wish you knew before joining the industry:
Confidence can get you a long way. Don’t be shy.
In one word…
Favourite food? Sunday Roast
Favourite UK city? Glasgow
Favourite request on the jukebox? Suspicious Minds – Elvis
Favourite drink? Guinness
Favourite holiday destination? The Med
Favourite film? Long Time Running
Favourite gadget? TV remote
Favourite thing you own? Lagouile Cork Screw