Getting Started: From a very young age I was working in pubs in Herefordshire, where I grew up, and got the taste for working in hospitality. I went to college to get qualified and gained the equivalent of an NVQ. I had training as a chef and service training.
Working Up: Thanks to contacts that I had made and nurtured while at various pubs, I knew enough people to keep me informed about job opportunities quickly, and to put myself forward. I was introduced to an establishment in Bath Spa where I started as a commis waiter, and over the course of four years I kept moving roles, pushing myself and learning every aspect of the business, gradually working my way up to management level.
Impressions: Someone who is always working and pushing to move upwards will get noticed, and making sure you keep up to date with all your contacts and really build a network means that when opportunities arrive you are in a good position to go for them. I came to London and opened the Grange City Hotel in Tower Hill, and from there was approached to move to the Bentley Hotel in Kensington.
Development: I get myself involved in everything I can, every aspect of the business – scholarships, anything that can be learnt from. Contacts have invaluable advice about the right moves to make, and now at Lords of the Manor, having managed both restaurants and hotels means that I can handle both with confidence. Pay attention to the details, know more about your property and restaurant than anyone else and never be satisfied. Here I want people to feel at home, I try to lead by example and look forward to new challenges every day.