The Hotel TerraVina Blog

Keep Calm and Carry on here at TerraVina

This blog post has been many months in waiting and I did not envisage writing another blog post that was less than positive, but sadly sometimes the curved balls just keep coming at you! 2017 has been a challenging one and as it nears its close I have to say, we all at TerraVina will be relieved to wave goodbye to 2017 and welcome in a new year, hopeful that it will be more positive, productive and less challenging.

The challenges this year have been and continue to be numerous. Brexit and its negative impact on the business has been a huge challenge and one which is still very much being felt. Tragically, in early Springtime, the sudden death of our beloved Ross, our super special assistant manager hit us all hard. We watched and supported the team to deal with their collective and personal grief and the feelings of pride we had for them all are immense, as they supported one another through their loss and now, we are grateful to them all, as they have come together again to lend support, firstly to me as I dealt with the news that my mum is bravely battling wide spread cancer and more recently in the past couple of weeks, their support to both me and Gerard, coupled with their hard work in ensuring the business keeps going, whilst we deal with the recent news that sadly Gerard is also battling an aggressive cancer, for which he is undergoing immediate and urgent treatment, with a major operation to follow, hopefully in the Spring.

There is a saying that when life serves you lemons, you should make lemonade.. well metaphorically speaking we will have made gallons of lemonade then by the end of the year. Crisis certainly do prove if you have character and with certainty I can vouch for the fact that each and every TerraVina team member has character a plenty.

Despite so many setbacks this year, we remain positive, determined and strong in our conviction that the business will survive the knocks it has experienced over the past year. Gerard will win his battle, as will my mum and we will come through this period of challenge ready to rejuvenate, re-invent and kick start the business after 10 (long!) years of trading…. Watch this space as 2018 will be an exciting one and whatever the next challenge may be we are ready to tackle it!

I and the team look forward to welcoming you back to TerraVina again very soon. Gerard may be conspicuous by his absence in the short term, but he remains very much a vital part of TerraVina and whilst we will miss him being with us whilst he concentrates on his treatment, we will all be cheering him on in this latest challenge!

In case you have missed our latest newsletter, full of special mid week rates and reasons to tempt you back, please follow the link: http://hotelterravina.cmail19.com/t/ViewEmail/r/C4C94DA4EF97D9FC2540EF23F30FEDED/6F8A4811B7DA49C4F990754F028F0E8F

Until next time

Nx

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A TerraVina blog post (at last!!) and a tribute to a very special team member, Ross Craig.

It has been far too long since I wrote a blog and I am surprised at how quickly the weeks and months have slipped by without me feeling compelled to write; but in recent weeks I have started to miss musing and ranting (!) in my blog and so at long last I feel ready to write again…. It wasn’t so much ‘writer’s block’, a falling out of love with writing the blog, or even not having something to say, more that everything I wanted to say was too controversial, too explosive and would have come across as me simply being angry and barring my teeth at all and everything- I still feel like that often as the challenges of running a small business get bigger and bigger, people get ruder, the world around us becomes less tolerant and generally we all seem to have less human kindness to share and then WHAM! I was stopped in my tracks one ordinary, but fateful day at the end of March, when I was bought up short with a bang, when put simply, life will always be a little bit different since that day..

Many of you who know the hotel well will know that Gerard and I have, over many years taken on team members who we have mentored, nurtured and guided and we have watched with pride as to how their careers have flourished and how successful they have become… we choose team members not always for their abilities, but often more for their character, their personality and their potential. We see something special in them that we hope we can draw out and then we watch them with pride as they grow in confidence, expertise and maturity and then they ‘fly the nest’.

One such lovely chap was Ross Craig, who joined us a year ago in March and who in that time we had watched flourish and grow with confidence and gain a self assurance that would have ensured he had a very promising career ahead of him, both here at TerraVina and beyond at some future stage… but life is sometimes cruel and works in mysterious ways and tragically Ross was taken from us all too soon, when he sadly passed away in his sleep. It is no exaggeration to say that it has rocked our world and tipped us off kilter. The team are very close knit and Ross was without doubt the most popular member of our TerraVina ‘family’- we all loved him and had all looked on with pride and encouragement when Ross had joined us and started his journey of growth- we marvelled at his courage and bravery when he embraced each new challenge we gave him- I personally pushed him out of his comfort zone on so many levels and he took each one in his stride, with a smile and blossomed as his confidence grew. He was simply a lovely young man and he

touched us all with his smile, his kindness and his integrity. Whilst I shouldn’t admit to having a favourite, I unashamedly do say that Ross was my absolute favourite and his loss has been hard to bear for all of us and has left us feeling bereft of a very dear and special person. A month on and the sense of unfairness and loss has not diminished or dimmed and our thoughts remain with his dear parents and brother and his extended family, all of whom have been so brave and strong and shown such strength of spirit.

TerraVina is a better place for having had Ross work within it and he will always be remembered by us all- he touched our lives and taught us much about human kindness. As the summer starts to peep around the corner, life here will move on apace, but Ross will remain in our thoughts and his family will be welcomed warmly into our TerraVina ‘family’… many of our guests tell us that’s what makes TerraVina special, the sense of family, of unity, the closeness that the team share and the warmth of those who are part of the TerraVina team. Our team have all been troopers this past month and have helped Gerard and I and each other come to terms with the tragedy that has happened and we are very proud of them all. God bless Ross, sleep peacefully and know how much we all loved you and will always remember you as being so special.

Looking ahead we are getting ready for the sunshine, preparing the pool to re-open in May, planting the flowers and tubs, dusting ourselves off and planning new dishes, new colour schemes and generally moving forward in readiness for the summer. We are looking forward to continue to welcome many familiar faces back again to TerraVina and thank you all for your on going support and enthusiasm for TerraVina- it really is very much appreciated

Until next time

Nx

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Ten Years of TerraVina…

Hello!

It has been a while since my last blog but today seemed a good day to start writing again- I very much enjoy writing the hotel blog. but since the last time I put ‘pen to paper’ or more precisely fingers to the keyboard I have been grappling with some fairly major problem changes which precluded me either having the time, inclination or wish to write- but my writing mojo is returned so here we are…

Ten years ago in 2006 Gerard and I purchased what is today Hotel TerraVina- we don’t think of the hotel as being ten years old yet as TerraVina didn’t emerge until the refurbishments were complete in August 2007 but certainly next year it will be the 10th anniversary of TerraVina.

When we opened he hotel full of hope and expectation we couldn’t have begun to imagine hat a rollercoaster the past ten years have been – we have loved, hated and had periods of indifference about the place in equal measure- it has bought us much worry, heartache, hardship and stress, coupled with lasting friendships, a sense of pride in our achievements, a loyalty that we have appreciated enormously and some moments of real enjoyment, pleasure and even joy.

Over the past years much has changed about being a hotelier- some for the good and other aspects not so positive, but one thing is for sure, no matter what style of hospitality business, a place is only as good as the standards it upholds, the attention to detail and the team of staff who work within it. We have had some very special staff over the years, some of them remain, in fact we still have many familiar faces who we love and appreciate. Of those who have moved on, we are still in touch with many and we are proud of many of them too.

Mentoring young people and watching their careers soar is a sense of pride and achievement to both Gerard and I. We are thus delighted that after a stumbling, stuttering and bus frustrating few months, when we appointed some nice people into various roles, but then quickly parted company with them, as they were not right for us, nor we for them, we have now gathered a team of people who we are keen to develop, nurture and mentor as our management team and who we feel will ultimately fit into the TerraVina ethos and who will work closely with us to continue to ensure that our mission to make TerraVina the most liked hotel in the forest remains our goal and objective.

We do hope you will visit soon to meet the newest members of the team- headed up by James and Sarah-Jayne, ably assisted by Kayleigh, Ross and Jordan. Do keep in touch be it via social media, our newsletter, website or personal visits- we truly do appreciate our guests and are thrilled to welcome so many of you back to what we hope remains, not only in its tenth year, but for many further years ahead, a gem of a place tucked away in the forest, with food, wine and friendliness at its heart.

Hope to see you soon

‘Til next time Nx

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All change…Hotel TerraVina has a ‘sea change’ and is now shaping a new team for exciting times ahead…

We have a new team in situ and they are doing very well….. our new General Manager is Andrew, his deputy is Jo and we have two assistant managers, Ross and Laura… many of you will have already met Laura as she has been with us for some time and we are delighted that she has been promoted to be an assistant manager with us. Alwine, our Head Sommelier, has a new assistant in her team, Andreas, who has joined us from the Fat Duck and we are delighted at how well he has settled into TerraVina- he is a charming edition to the team and we are thrilled to have him with us.
Please don’t think there are no familiar faces left though, as we have many of the original team members still with us (right from before we opened, such as Pearl, Marie, Lin and Paul) and many others who have been with us a number of years, including Rowena, Gavin, Mark and of course Suzi who has never really properly left and still keeps a watchful eye over us all (!) Thus for those of you who keep returning, and many thanks for doing so, there are still many people you will know from your previous visits.

We have had a busy and hectic few months gathering the new team, shaping and mentoring them – it has not been without its stresses and challenges, but the pain has been worthwhile as the new people bring a maturity and enthusiasm to the hotel which we are already feeling is benefiting from a rejuvenation and reinvigoration of its spirit. In almost ten years Gerard and I have seen the business develop, grow, stumble and fight its way through adversity, be it a builders dispute, an acrimonious parting of the ways following a disastrous merger and a very costly legal battle and surviving through a recession, which undoubtedly is not behind us yet.. through it all we have had the support of each other, loyal team members and a regularly returning clientele who have remained stalwart supporters of what we do and how we do it. Recently one of our team members who left a couple of months ago, e mailed me to tell me that she had not been able to settle in her new job as she just couldn’t get to grips with their philosophy and ethos about customers and staff and how they are looked after- she simply said… “it made me realise how special a place TerraVina is and what a hard act it is to follow once you have worked there”.

Sometimes Gerard and I are too close to the action, too embroiled in the daily grind and challenges to realise that TerraVina is indeed special and we have created and nurtured something to be proud of- but it is not about us, it is all about the people we choose to have work with us.

They are the special ones that give their all and work so hard to ensure TerraVina stays special and so this blog is dedicated to them all, along with a heartfelt thank you from us both for their hard work, loyalty and commitment- they are, each and everyone of them hugely appreciated by us both and thank you to them for helping us through what has been to date a challenging year- we’re getting there together!

Until next time

Nx

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At last…A Hotel TerrAvina Blog

As I write this long overdue blog, I am looking out onto a sunny terrace, listening to the birds singing and enjoying the warmth of the spring sunshine through the glass and the sight of early blooms, already the size of dinner plates on the Rhododendron bushes.

Despite the glorious tableau before me and the promise that summer is on its way, it is with mixed emotions that I write this blog as we have bid “Au Revoir”, or are soon bidding farewell to a number of our long standing team members. Collectively they have new and exciting adventures to embark upon and are off to enjoy some diverse new roles, as well as travelling around the world for the next two years, a move to Spain to be closer to family, a promotion and promise of their “own” restaurant site and a move into a different sphere of hospitality. Gerard and I thank them all for their hard work, commitment and loyalty over the years and we wish each one of them every success in their next challenges….. They collectively become still more protégées to add to the long line of young people we have mentored, nurtured and watched “fly the nest” over many, many years.

However, with every departure there brings a promise of new and exciting times ahead and no less so now when we are embarking on a small restructure which we are very enthusiastic about and which we know will re-energise an hotel which is now reaching its 10th birthday, (I know, it’s unbelievable we have been open so long!) and is due for some positive changes.

We have appointed a dynamic restaurant manager, Helen, some of you will have already met her, and she brings a passion and depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all things food and beverage, which compliments brilliantly the same mind sets of both Gavin and Alwine. We have a new Front of House manager starting towards the end of April and he too brings a depth of experience, maturity and commitment to the newly created role- he is a chap Gerard and I have known for a number of years, so whilst a “new face” at TerraVina, we already know of his abilities and how well he will fit into the team. There are a couple of other new team members joining us too and these include two assistant managers, a couple of new sommeliers and we are delighted to welcome back Stuart Dawkins as our new Sous Chef- Stuart was with us for a number of years, left to hone his skills in London and elsewhere and has now returned into a promoted position. We are delighted to have him “come home”.

For those of you who follow our newsletters, you will note we have the popular TerraVina Temptations back by popular demand- our monthly dinner, bed and

breakfast offers. In addition there are fantastic returning guest rates, late rates and some superb wine dinner events and even a couple of midweek supper events hosted by Gerard and myself, which should prove to be relaxed, informal and fun evenings, if past events are anything to go by

We do hope you will come to visit soon to meet some of the new team members – there may be new faces, but the ethos of TerraVina very much remains and we still have a huge number of long standing team members here too!

Please remember to check the hotel’s website, Twitter and Facebook for all our latest news and events and I am deligthed to report that after much “gentle” persuasion we have convinced Gerard to tweet too… for those who would like to follow him, his Twitter account is @GerardBassetOBE and he is in a tweeting frenzy at the moment as he reports back, via Twitter, from Mendoza in Argentina, where he is head judge, an organiser and Master of Ceremonies at the 2016 ASI World Sommelier Championships

Till next time

Nx

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Ooops! Where did January disappear to?

Thankfully February has arrived and TerraVina has managed to not only “lose” January but isn’t sad to see the back of such a dreary month! Roll on Spring…..

Not quite sure how it has happened, but I seem to have “lost” January! No bad thing as I actually am really not very partial to either January nor February too but I can cope better with February as its so much closer to the Spring and the nights start to lighten and there’s hope and promise in the air… whereas my “lost” month of January is just full of gloom and grey skies… thus I genuinely do have an excuse for “blog silence”… my blogs in January have been swallowed up by the month itself which has now thankfully been and gone and good riddance too!

Following a hectic December, with a great atmosphere here for both Xmas and New Year’s eve, albeit we had x19 no shows between Xmas eve and Boxing Day…. Shame on you as you all know who you are and not bothering to have the politeness to call to cancel is frankly appalling over such a busy and hectic time and on Boxing day it meant that we and some of our team forfeited being with our own families to celebrate Xmas to ensure we looked after all the guests and then x11 of them (1 whole table) simply didn’t bother to turn up…. Being an hotelier and seeing how people behave never ceases to amaze me! Thank goodness the majority of our guests are truly lovely and make it all worthwhile most of the time!

As is usual at the start of a new year, some of the team get “itchy feet” and decide to move on and we wish them all well with their new adventures and travel plans- at least postcards from around the world are guaranteed to keep us entertained throughout the year. Thus we are busily internally promoting those deserving team members and recruiting for new personalities to join the team- TerraVina is all about familiar faces and we are complimented constantly on the calibre of staff we attract, how friendly they are and how hard they work- indeed it is a very hard task to gather the right people to join us and it takes time, hard work and patience to train them into the TerraVina ethos and for them to feel part of the TerraVina “family” and despite the fact that it is always sad to see them depart, it is exciting for them, we are proud to watch their future achievements and it brings a new dynamic, energy and positivity to the team; so often, whilst challenging, it is good for the business and we must always bear that in mind when bidding those who move on “Au Revoir”

As I write this blog I am watching the birds swoop and dip busily building nests for the Spring, the sky is blue and the sun is shining… (I promise I am in the UK) and it is simply a gloriously crisp, cold and lovely February day… Spring is just around the corner and with that in mind we do hope to welcome you back to see us soon, to meet new team members and enjoy some TerraVina “magic”… we have all sorts of breaks, mid week rates and late rates and so please do keep an eye on our website and Social media pages and read the monthly newsletter which is designed to keep enticing you back for even more TerraVina style R&R

Hope to see you soon!

Warmest wishes

Nina, Gerard and the Team x

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Christmas comes but once a year (phew!) and with it a little bit of Christmas cheer here at TerraVina

We recently held one if our ever popular wine dinners and this one was a great success with the charming Michel Drappier, of Drappier Champagne as our guest speaker. His Champagnes were delicious, the food was a great accompaniment to them and the atmosphere was warm and convivial.

During the event a number of our regular guests mentioned that they had missed reading an updated blog- it is true that the regularity of the blog has diminished over recent months. This is not laziness on my part or a lack of interest in writing a blog, it is simply that to be creative I have to be positive, energised and enthusiastic about the subject and on many days I have had “writers block” and had I written an updated blog post it would have been a ranting, cross worded blog about the many challenges that as a small business, struggling in a tricky economy, with ever more powerful competitors snapping at our heels, with curved balls being thrown at us left, right and centre and some tricky guests thrown into the mix- well frankly I simply haven’t felt happy enough to write one and we have been very busy building a new wine team, a new FOH team and we are all simply just a tiny bit frazzled around the edges!

I think just for a moment I had lost my sense of perspective and my “Tracy Sunshine” positive attitude (I do have such a personality it’s just been buried in stress and frustration for so long I’ve forgotten where I left it!). I have been cowed, momentarily by life, but then I sat and took stock…. As some of you may be aware, we are Ambassadors for a local charity, The Rose Road Association. It is the most wonderful place and cares for very special children and their families and put simply it is a truly inspiring place which brings joy, love and care in abundance to those families and children that so need it. We hosted a dinner here at TerraVina and one of the parents spoke about what Rose Road means to his daughter and his family- it was heartbreaking to hear how life can sometimes be so unfair to such innocent children and it bought me up short and made me think I need to “get a grip” and start feeling more enthused and positive and count my blessings of which there are many.

So with that in mind, we have decorated the hotel for Christmas and are looking very festive, bright and sparkly. Our Christmas newsletter has just been sent out, full of festive bonhomie and fantastic offers to tempt you to visit and voila there is even a blog! In case any of you watch BBC 2 and a certain food focused show and think you may have recognised one of the faces competing, indeed you did! It’s our very own Gavin Barnes, Head Chef. We are all glued to the replays (we are all at work when the show is aired) and we wish Gavin and his fellow competitors much luck for the forthcoming weeks. Other team achievements include Alwine, our Head Sommelier passing her Sake Wine exams with distinction and Lucy, our deputy manager passing her Wine and Spirt Education Trust exam too. Well done to them all- we are very proud of you all.

With Christmas fast approaching may I take this opportunity to thank you all for reading the blog, keeping up with our news via Face Book and Twitter and of course for enjoying TerraVina enough to keep on returning. We appreciate your loyalty and enthusiasm for the team and what they do.

With warmest wishes

Nx

 

 

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Toil and Trouble during the” Boil and Bubble” season here at TerraVina

The escapades of the last week must have something to do with the fact that Halloween was recently upon us and with its arrival it bought out the worst in some people… witches, demons, ghouls and ghosts abounded and actually we had our fair share of screaming banshees and unpleasant beings too!

A very few (thankfully) bad mannered guests- (most were lovely), who were frosty faced, miserable and unsmiling throughout their stays, despite our best efforts to thaw them out and make them smile, some who were so demanding we were running around in circles after them, yet never a “Please” nor “Thank you” passed their lips, interviewees who simply did not bother to turn up for their appointment, nor have the good manners to call to cancel, an employee who went home and just never came back, giving no notice or warning, and supposed friends who thought nothing of spitting cruel words and throwing out ill judged comments and to top it all, a delivery driver who was aggressive to the team, ranted, raged and pushed a team member and all in front of guests in the middle of reception- I’m not often lost for words, and thankfully such ill-mannered people are a rarity here at TerraVina, but this past week has left me speechless and feeling very disappointed and saddened as to how uncaring, unfeeling, disinterested people are to their fellows and that it is seemingly ok to be rude, aggressive, moan belligerently at us and push us to our limits.

I am pleased Halloween is over if it brings so much bad temper, inconsideration and bad manners- roll on Guy Fawkes, goodness knows what that may bring besides from fireworks (!) and let’s hope that there may be a little more winter cheer, pleasantness and kindness in the coming weeks and a few less challenges to juggle!

For those of you who missed our newsletter or e shots, don’t miss out on our Spectacular Autumn Folly offer:

We have extended our HUGELY popular Autumn Folly Special offer for selected dates through November. We have fantastic late rates to tempt you for the very last rooms we have left:

~ Monday 9th to Thursday 12th and Thursday 19th November ~

Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th November ~
The same rate will apply for the following Sunday too:

22nd November

 

‘Til next time

Nx

 

 

 

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Ooops a daisy! Hotel TerraVina’s latest blog from Nina

Goodness me, is it really so long ago I wrote the last blog post- apologies for my silence, there has been much going on, some of which I can now hardly remember, but which at the time seemed to be of the utmost importance and other adventures, escapades and challenges which remain at the forefront of my mind, no less because they have had more of an impact on me, the business and the team.

The hotel has been busy, we have been welcoming new team members, getting to know them, training them and generally ensuring we are right for them and they for us… having had our previous “flock” of super part timers with us for many years, we watched over them and nurtured them through exams, boy/girl troubles, university choices and university years, it has been a sad, unbalancing time to watch them leave, spread their wings and venture into the world in their new and exciting “proper” jobs and it has affected me more deeply than I was expecting and I have felt very subdued at their leaving, albeit they pop in and out often, keep us updated with their news and no doubt will continue to do so for many months to come… but I do feel like an empty nester and it has bought home the fact that our own much loved son will also be spreading his wings in just a few short years and he too will be leaving home and starting on his own path of university and career and I feel bereft at the thought, but I am trying to be brave.

Thus from all of the turmoil I have been feeling, I sought solace in the gorgeous New Forest, which is looking particularly spectacular at present with its Autumnal colour and I have delighted in the antics of the pigs and piglets during the Pannage season, but whilst out and about one day  recently with our ever bouncy and boisterous Boxer dog, I “came a cropper” as they say. Our dog loves people but not other dogs and when  we are out with her we always give fair warning of this fact and ensure she is on her lead and we hope that other owners follow suit and put their dogs on leads too… on this occasion the other owner didn’t, her dog bounded up to me, my dog was having none of it and feeling ultra protective of me lunged forward only for me to be in the midst of a dog scrum- if it had been caught on camera, I am sure it would have looked very funny, but I fell heavily amongst the flying fur, tangle of dog’s legs, paws and lead – the other dog owner was as helpful as a chocolate tea pot and merely left me lying in a heap with a hurried “sorry” flung over her shoulder as she beat a hasty retreat down the hill. Not thinking I had been particularly hurt I continued on my walk and nursed my ego and cuts and bruises.. however what I didn’t bargain  for was the fact that such a fall literally knocked me for 6. I was in mild shock for a couple of days and in great pain that made it difficult to walk, move or get up and down from a chair… I felt like I had aged to ninety plus overnight, every bone hurt and there were bruises all over that just kept appearing and kept me awake at night. It made me realise how vulnerable and fragile we really are and how when an elder person takes a tumble it is no wonder it affects them so deeply and takes them a while to get over- it has taken me two weeks to recover my mojo and for the pain to ease enough for me to not be limping stiffly any longer… all for just what seemed a slight tumble.

I have now bounced back and feel ready to tackle the challenges that keep on presenting themselves, albeit it would be great if the staff could stay still for longer than a moment, the bookings could flow in without me having to constantly think up ways to tempt guests through the doors, the restaurant was full every day of the week for lunch and dinner and I was once more a size 10! However, whilst that may happen in a perfect world, I am old enough and wise enough to realise we don’t live in such a place and so we will continue to juggle too many balls in the air all at once, drop a few now and then and just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again!

Happily I am delighted to sing the praises of two of our great team members… Ana Maria, one of our lovely Assistant managers, but many will have known her first as Laura’s assistant sommelier. We all love Ana as she is so calm, kind and loyal and we are delighted to say that she has won a most prestigious competition, the Sud de France Competition for wine and she will now go on to the International competition in early 2016 and our newly appointed Head Sommelier, Alwine has just been awarded a distinction for her Sake exams via the WSET so many congrats to them both… Girl Power!!

‘Till next time

Nx

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Meeting expectations…not always easy to achieve and sometimes a challenge to get it just right!

Hoteliers are well used to being judged constantly by a whole host of varied people, including our guests, our competitors, critics, guide books and to an extent those we work with who look to us to help them learn, grow from their experiences with us and expect/hope that we will mentor and nurture them and help them on their career paths.

In life in general, to meet the expectations that others set for us is not always easy, it is a challenge to aspire to those high standards that others expect, but that is what makes the hospitality industry a challenging, exciting and inspiring one for so many of us… we don’t always get it just right, but we try our hardest to do so almost all of the time. But hospitality is not alone in trying to meet guests/customers expectations. As some of you are aware, because I wrote about it in this very blog, we had an ongoing problem with Sita, our refuse collection service company a few months ago; the impact of the problem was wide ranging and effected not only us but also our neighbours who looked to us to ensure that we were not disturbing them early in the morning, but due to a problem with Sita, we failed our neighbours and did not meet their expectations of us… so we had various meetings with differing hierarchy within Sita and thus far, to date, (fingers crossed!) the problems have been alleviated and everyone is happy with the service that a) we are receiving from Sita and b) we are meeting the neighbours expectations.

I was impressed that Sita arranged a follow up meeting with their regional business manager, Andy White this week, a few months after the original issue was sorted out to check that all was still as we expected and we were happy with the service provided by themselves…. I like that Andy “owned” the problem, dealt with it efficiently and professionally and has stayed in touch now and then to ensure Sita are still meeting our customer expectations- a good example of great customer service from a large company that has a regional business manager at the helm who realises it’s not just about refuse collection and how many bins are needed… it’s about engaging with customers, respecting their requirements, offering flexibility where possible and providing a great customer service to meet the clients expectations, value we try to instill in our own TerraVian team. I am happy with the service Sita is offering us, they are meeting my expectations and exceeding them with their follow up, ownership and communication and that’s all down to Andy’s commitment to us, his customer, and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you Andy and Sita.

Here at TerraVina we have a team of young staff. Our management team are exceptionally young- Charlotte, our GM is only 23, one of her assistant’s, Lucy is 22, another is 30, (so Ana is a veteran!) and our newest management recruit, Brooke is just 18…… Gerard and I are enjoying nurturing and mentoring them and in the year that Charlotte and Lucy have held their responsible positions, they have both flourished and completely exceeded our expectations- we are extremely proud of them and the rest of the team and they never cease to amaze us with their passion, commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to learn and rise to the challenge…… on the flip side of the coin, some of my expectations of them for me personally are that they keep me young, as enthused as they are, bring me kudos with my teenage son by keeping me up to date with what’s the latest musical trend and generally continue to inspire me to remain “in love” with hospitality, thanks to their thirst for experience, knowledge and their wish to learn from “old hands” like me and Gerard!

A guest remarked this week that the “Gerard and Nina Team Academy” at TerraVina was an incredible one… its fantastic that a guest noticed our young team, the talents they have and the fact that he thought we had created a staffing academy was a flattering compliment.

Thus please be assured that we and the team will continue to try to meet and exceed where possible expectations and on the occasion we don’t quite get it right, please take comfort that we care very much about our guests and we try our hardest to deliver on what we promise- great hospitality!

Thanks again Andy and Sita for a great example of good customer service from a situation that was frustrating, disappointing and a potential deal breaker- you turned it around with your efforts!

Till next time

Nx

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From: Nina's Blog
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