Niall Keating, executive chef, Whatley Manor
During lockdown, Whatley Manor, while closed as a hotel, launched ‘Paradise Carriage’, an innovative food truck operation led by executive chef Niall Keating (two Michelin stars for The Dining Room at the hotel).
The graffiti covered truck – which Niall had acquired for occasional charity events around his hometown Stoke-on-Trent – was positioned in the parking area of Whatley Manor, and opened most days of the week for drive-by dishes (a creative menu from Niall, supported through the summer season by guest chefs, also not working in their own establishments, including Sat Bains and Tom Brown).
The menu offering was eclectic, a bit more casual than The Dining Room – but it was a fun experience for all involved, including the customers, who became a mix of regulars to the hotel as well as a whole new, younger demographic.
As a result, Whatley Manor intends to use Paradise Carriage on appropriate occasions as a promotional asset for myriad events, both at the hotel, and elsewhere.
This was a major ‘pivot’ for the hotel, and had changed many peoples’ perceptions of the Cotswold manor house – it has added an ‘edge’ to their profile. Also note that charitable donations were made during the operation of Paradise Carriage.