In a number of recent blog posts I have alluded to the fact that Gerard and I have had much time to reflect, re-assess and re-balance our lives in the past few months and it has often felt like a journey that we are embarking on; sometimes it is as if that journey is fraught with challenge, sometimes adventures and at other times excitement. In recent weeks it has been an emotional roller coaster of all three, as we have made a momentous decision to change the direction of the business. We have been mentally preparing for Gerard’s major op (taking place today, 2nd Feb), as well as going through a two week HR process, informing all of the team of the planned changes we have decided to make.
We have been thrilled and delighted by the positivity and excitement of the team at the news that the business is changing and whilst it is very sad that we will be losing the wine team, (all of whom will go on to new adventures and thrilling career prospects in London and beyond), as well as a couple of other evening only staff at the end of February, the rest of the team are all staying and are energised, invigorated and excited by the plans- their positive reaction has been more than we could have hoped for.
Last Sunday we hosted a wine dinner, filled with friendship and laughter as six of Gerard’s much loved protégées returned for one last wine adventure here at TerraVina, with many loyal and stalwart supporters of us and the business. Gerard was well enough to be with us and it was a fantastic evening and a fitting way to end the series of wine dinners that we have held once a month for the past ten years. We decided it was the most fitting event to start to tell our guests and friends the news of the planned changes and whilst there were tears and gasps of surprise, there was also much compassion and understanding for the difficult decision we have made.
On Monday of this week we told the news to our other loyal, lovely guests via social media, our newsletter and personal emails from me to any guests who had booked an event with us over the next 12 months and beyond. To say that the rest of this past week has been anything other than one filled with emotion, drama and exhaustion would not be over dramatizing it. Rowena and Marie have been super stars. They have worked around the clock, fielding calls, answering queries and taking bookings galore, as past guests are so keen to come back for one last stay before we re-open our doors on 5th March, (yes really that soon!) as a B&B and all day kitchen café, open 8am-5pm and thus no longer serving dinner.
I am operating on auto pilot as I am so overwhelmed by the literally thousands of messages Gerard and I have received supporting our decision, the palatable excitement around the changes announced and the kindness of so, so many people. It really has been a momentous decision for us to make, but it feels like the right one and will give me the time I need to spend with my mum and with Gerard whilst he is recovering….. his operation today, (I am writing this to keep my hand busy, to stop me chewing my nails and pacing the floor!), is 10-12 hours long and the long recovery at least 12 months or more before he will be able to eat properly again, with puréed foods the order of the day for a little while… for someone who’s career has been so food and wine focused, this is truly a lifestyle change, but Gerard is taking it all in his stride and remains as positive and upbeat as possible considering the circumstances.
Whilst “Thank you” doesn’t seem adequate – Gerard and I are truly thankful for having met so many wonderful people who have come through the door of TerraVina as guests and left as friends. It has been a pleasure to own and manage TerraVina over the past ten years, to have mentored and nurtured so many young people and help them at the start of their careers and to watch with pride as they gained their confidence, learnt new life skills, left the “nest” and have succeed on their chosen career paths, many of them to heady heights. It has been a privilege to have created TerraVina and to have had you all share the journey with us- Thank you one and all from the bottom of our hearts.
Watch this space for details and updates on the new business…. we will soon have further news of its progress, along with the new name and other snippets of news and information. We hope that many, many of you will still visit for a B&B stayover and if close by, you will pop in to sample the delights of the kitchen café, still with Gavin, Lucy and Moyra and their team at the helm, along with Marie, Rowena, Kayleigh and Ana front of house and of course Lin and Pearl still with us too, to name just a few.
Until next time
N and G x