SUCCESS….WITH BOTH THE AA AND IN
THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE 2011
The week’s good news started on Wednesday morning when, one of the businessmen checking out informed us he was the AA Inspector. Head Chef Shaun and I duly sat down with him to review his assessment of the hotel and more importantly Shaun’s food.
As it was the first time Shaun had been reviewed, we knew the most the inspector would award would be two rosettes. Compliment after compliment and eventually, with us sitting on the edge of our seats he makes the announcement.
This is a really significant award for us, as it is the start of our food journey to being one of if not the top food destinations in Oxfordshire. I know I am totally biased but I do think we are already up there among the top three.
On the Hotel side of the inspection, he praised our Housekeeping as well as the welcome and passion for our business demonstrated by our Reception team – they rate every aspect of their contact with the hotel from booking to the way they are treated on departure. We passed with flying colours and an increase in their scoring system.
On Thursday night we had been invited to the finals of the Beautiful South Awards. We knew we were either Highly commended, silver or could it even be gold. We have won the gold award before in both 2005 and 2007 and wondered if they could possibly give it to us again. Both the reception and award dinner was at Denbie’s Vineyard just outside Dorking in Surrey. It is amazing how the nerves and the excitement build up….I could not tell you what we had to eat or whether I enjoyed it. Finally the time came as they awarded many of the other categories…we were about half way through…by this time I was down to the quick I can tell you. At last……our category. Two hotels were awarded the third place, Highly Commended and then they announced the winner. As soon as I heard the Tourist board Chairman saying “and the gold award goes to a hotel in 12 acres of its own ground………………” I knew it was us at that point and a few minutes later, Peta and Alexi, my youngest daughter took the stage to receive the plate.
*TSE + Tourism South East, the Tourist organisation for the whole of the South East of England.