The Hotel TerraVina Blog

From small acorns do mighty trees grow…

A number of months ago I was invited to be a judge at the Caterer Magazine, annual Acorn Awards. The Acorns recognize 30 talented hospitality industry individuals, under 30 years of age, who are currently and will continue to influence the industry as they progress through their careers. George Blogg, our very own Executive chef is a past Acorn winner and a number of our past protégés have been winners over the years. Thus it was with pleasure that I was involved in the judging process this year, which culminated in a trip to Darlington, two weeks ago, to the very smart Rockcliffe Hall Hotel, who hosted the awards lunch superbly and where the 30 happy winners received their Acorns.

It is a great event and one which many young, talented and ambitious hospitality individuals aspire to achieve. Well done to this year’s 30 winners, all of whom are impressive in their determination to succeed and their drive to improve standards for those working in the industry and for their guests alike – all of the nominees were strong candidates and the winners are an inspiration to all of us.

On the subject of talent, we hosted an event at TerraVina this week where four young students had a day cooking with George and his team. The youngest was only 10 years old and the eldest 16 years old and we were so impressed by their enthusiasm, their interest and their wholly exemplary behaviour. Well done to William, Daisy, Cornelia and Jack and huge congratulations must go to William for being such a “star” on the day. To read more about their day with us click on this link:

Whilst on the subject of achievement, I must also mention my brilliant, clever and utterly gorgeous son, Romané, who has done fantastically well in all of his end of school year exams and of whom, his Papa and I are so proud, as he has been offered a place to study and perform with the Nuffield Hampshire, Youth Theatre Company in September- well done Romané!

And my final starry mention must go to Lucy, who was our graduate trainee at TerraVina for the past (almost) year. She has taken 3 months off to prepare for her return to uni, but we won’t be letting her go so easily and she is coming back to us in September. Lucy arrived at TerraVina as a 2nd year tourism student from Bournemouth University, full of enthusiasm and smiles, but never having worked in a restaurant or hotel before.

I must admit I did inwardly groan at the prospect of having to spend weeks on end teaching her the basics and instilling in her the ethos of TerraVina, not because I don’t enjoy the training, but generally it is a hard slog and uphill struggle for both the student and us for so many weeks and they often fall by the way side- however Lucy turned out to be the “Star” of the pack, the best of the bunch, in all the 6 years we have been welcoming two graduates per year to TerraVina and so much so that we are keeping her as a part timer when uni re-starts in September and we have offered her a position to rejoin us full time once her course is finished this time next year- Lucy may well be a future Acorn Award winner so watch this space!

Well done again to all those who we have had the pleasure to judge, work with and be parents of this week and who have done so brilliantly in their achievements.

Till next week


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