We met outside Boodle’s private members club in St. James’s at 8.20 am. It was pouring with rain, which made the day rather damp walking and getting to and from hotels.The students looked smart in their business suits and hair tied back etc.
Boodle’s- the second oldest private members’ club in the world. Celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. We were met by the Club Secretary [=General Manager] and were also introduced to the Club’s House Manager.We were offered coffee and pastries and were given a presentation on the Club and what employment clubs can offer - Christmas and August off plus most weekends! A tour followed where we were shown parts of the silver collection. Solid silver cutlery is counted twice per day as each fork is worth about £90 each. The wine cellars have about 50,000 bottles in stock at a value of approx one million pounds. The public areas are very impressive and include a Bar, Drawing Room, Dining Room and Private Dining as well as a smoking area.
The Goring Hotel, privately owned by the Goring family for over 100 years, famed for its independent style and modern British cuisine. We were welcomed in the lobby by the HR manager and her assistant took us on a guided tour of public areas and bedrooms. This is the hotel where Kate Middleton stayed with her family the day before her wedding last year. The General Manager came to say hello and we met the owner, Mr George on the stairs to the bedrooms. Executive Chef, Derek Quelch told us how his kitchen is organized. This is Catrin’s placement. A friendly, quirky and very special hotel.
The Goring Hotel
Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly since 1707– it is recognised internationally as an iconic British symbol also known as the Queen’s Grocery store. We were taken to the roof and shown the beehives that are specially designed and built for Fortnum’s. Unfortunately due to the weather we did not see any bees but we did see fantastic views over London. We were also shown the newly refurbished tea rooms and we had a chance to browse around the fantastic food hall on two levels.
Fortnum & Mason
A brief stop at Pret A Manger in the Strand for a quick bite to eat and then on to.
Pret A Manger
One Aldwych, next to Covent Garden, a contemporary and traditional hotel. We were taken to the screening room where we were met by the Recruitment Officer, Amy, who is Jessica’s contact during her placement. They offered us tea and delicious pastries and macaroons – all made in the hotel. The General Manager welcomed us and told us about his career in hospitality as did the Front Office Manager. Amy did a presentation on the hotel and also advised the students on what she looks for in a CV and prospective candidates. Afterwards she took us on a guided tour of the hotel including bedrooms, public areas, restaurants, swimming pool, spa, kitchens and back of house.
Final stop W London- Leicester Square, where George (Gustav) Kalogirou was our guide accompanied by the Front Office Manager. It is an amazing hotel with a serious WOW factor! This is an hotel wherever/ whenever is possible as long as it is legal. The Room Attendants are called ‘Stylists’ and the Guest Relations are ‘Insiders’. The rooms are fabulous with lots of fun detail. We had a presentation on what W hotels are about. They have a real edge, fun and young. No black suits and ties here! The Lobby Bar was buzzing as we left at just after 6 pm.
W London- Leicester Square
A long and interesting day, which gave the students a range of what the hospitality industry has got to offer from an old fashioned club to the latest in hotels. We were extremely well received by all the hotels and senior management gave us their attention. It was commented on how smart our students looked and the General Manager of One Aldwych pointed out that they are the hospitality stars of the future!
UK Placement CO-Ordinator