'Looking On The Bright Side'
We are nearly there – 17th May is looming and we are all ‘Looking on the Bright Side’!
One of my favourite Beatles tracks is ‘Here comes the Sun’ and I found myself cheerfully humming this whilst pottering around in the warm deserted Luttrell Arms garden earlier this week – nobody within hearing of course which was very lucky!
At Dunster, the strange silence within the hotel, which we have experienced for the past 4 months, suddenly and noisily ended abruptly a few days ago with the arrival of a large group of excited and enthusiastic members of the hotel teams, who had not seen each other since Christmas and were loudly ‘catching up’ with old and new friends and colleagues. Lots of training sessions happening has had the effect of the hotel having the feeling of a ‘college’ with ‘students’ eager to gossip and learn about the new systems introduced and revise on already established Fire, First Aid, Hygiene, Health, Safety , Covid etc procedures in advance of the big day when we re-open on May 17th.
We are all keen to get ‘back to normal’ or the ‘new normal’ that everyone is now talking about! This atmosphere of excited anticipation and breathing life back into the building has led me to feel very optimistic and fortunate that we have such a dedicated team here who are actually looking forward to returning to work. Inevitably, the stresses and strains of the last year and a generous Furlough system has led to a few people departing having decided that returning to work will disadvantage their ‘work/life balance’! – (this includes Nigel who keeps plaintively mentioning the word ‘retirement’ – we just ignore him!)
Our Beauty and Hairdressing Salon, The Mews, has already opened in line with the lockdown restrictions being lifted. We are delighted at how busy both Sarah and Alan have been with local customers booking appointments and who enjoy the ‘one to one’ attention and spacious and exclusive space that we are able to offer at the Mews. When we re-open the hotel, Sarah will be joined by two new and very experienced beauty therapists who we have been fortunate to recruit to the team at the Mews. This will enable us to operate longer opening times and include more evening and weekend appointment opportunities for our hotel residents
Our new garden room and exclusive terrace area, easily accessed from the salon, will enable us to offer a more extensive selection of treatment experiences for guests. We feel that experiencing the luxuries of the ‘in house’ top quality Elemis salon during their stay with us really adds to the overall enjoyment of our guests at the Luttrell Arms and extended opening hours will be an added advantage to those wishing to enjoy this exclusive facility whilst staying in the hotel. It’s still a really good idea to book your treatment early though!
We are re-opening both hotels with the advantage of a fresh start and a very motivated team who are keen to welcome back our customers. At Porlock Weir the glorious weather we have been experiencing here has led to the decision to open earlier than originally planned this week , fire up the pizza oven and serve food and drink to local customers on the outside terraces next to the hotel. This has been a very popular decision with both the staff and locals and enabled us all to trial our new ‘leading edge’ table ordering system with involves an App which speeds up and simplifies the ‘table service’ rule that we have to adjust to as a result on ongoing Covid procedures.
I enjoyed my first delicious pizza of the year there at Porlock on Thursday which I have to say was amazing and I greedily ate the whole one – It was a new addition to the menu that I was meant to sample and take half back to Nigel in the box for him to try - but he didn’t get to see it as the box was mysteriously empty when I arrived home! Apart from the pizza, the most exciting thing about my visit to Porlock this week was the huge difference that the landscapers had made to the residents garden at the rear of the hotel – the views from here are spectacular and guests will be able to use and enjoy the large garden this season (parts will be open from May 17th). There are 2 dining pods as already established at the Luttrell Arms, which will provide a unique and exclusive outdoor dining experience to Porlock Weir guests and there are plans for lots of new ‘al fresco’ casual dining for our resident guests as well as peaceful and secluded areas for future activities , to include art classes and yoga sessions which will be available later in the project.
Can’t Wait To See You!
The phone has been busy with incoming calls and it has been a great pleasure speaking on the telephone to several returning guests in the last few weeks and we are looking forward to welcoming both regular and new guests to both the Luttrell Arms and the Porlock Weir Hotel very soon.
Very best wishes from us all here,
Anne and family