The Westberry Newsletter, Issue 8, July 2017

After the Royal Cornwall show, the hotel continues to be busy with only a few quiet days (we all need these to recharge ourselves), and the restaurant is also busy most evenings.  This month we had quite a few Chinese guests and I was pleased to be able to chat to them in Chinese (Cantonese – my Mandarin is pretty rudimentary) which they appreciated.  We also had a  group of Belgian cyclists staying with us, and they were very pleased to be able to communicate with our acting Restaurant Manager Luis and our Head Chef Fabrice in French.  My own French is unfortunately non-existent, so I had to take a crash course with Fabrice in just five minutes to learn to count from 1 to 10, enough to be able to sell a few pints of beer (or bottles of wine)☺.  The French presence in our hotel is even stronger at the moment, as we have two young French students (Simon’s relatives) staying with us for a couple of months to learn English.  With the number of French speakers currently in the hotel, don't be surprised if you start hearing us speaking English with a strange French accent in the near future ☺

It’s strange that when the hotel is full, even more people seem to want to stay at the same time, while at other times we have plenty of empty rooms and no-one seems to want to book them.  A recent evening was one of those days that hoteliers both hope for and dread at the same time.  We had one last room which became available because two guests phoned to book but didn’t show, so I released it for sale at 5.30pm.  Just before 8pm, one guest enquired at Reception for a room, Sue sold it to him and took him to the room.  When she came downstairs to enter the details into the system, she saw that the room has just been booked online by someone else through Booking.com.  Before we had time to fully assess the situation, the second guest had already arrived at Reception for his room.  In a  desperate attempt to keep all guests happy, I ran to the bedroom and knocked on the door to find the first guest was about to use the shower and then go to bed.  I managed to persuade him not to use anything in the room and move out quickly so that the second guest could check in.  I then had to clean and make my own room ready in the owners’ flat so that the first guest could use it.  Fortunately for all concerned (and especially for us), the first guest was amicable with this arrangement and was happy to be offered a cheaper room rather than having nowhere to sleep.  I then slept on the sofa in the living room for that night, which was not a problem.  It was just such a relief to be able to resolve this tricky situation in a way that left all guests feeling valued.

We have suspended the Sunday Oriental Buffet service because of my imminent house move (we are selling our house in Kent so that my husband can move to Cornwall).  We have also noticed that the Oriental Buffet has not been as popular this year (perhaps the novelty is starting to wear off), so this break in service will allow our kitchen team a few weeks in which to come up with a new Sunday lunchtime theme — watch this space !  Sue has just put up a mini-survey on Facebook to ask for people’s preference between a Sunday Carvery and an Oriental Buffet.  We are grateful to those of you who have already taken part and given us your views, and if any of you have ideas or suggestions as to what we should do for Sunday lunch, please let us know by e-mail or send us a message us via Facebook.

Finally we were honoured to be approached to help raise funds for a little local boy, Joel, just ten years of age, who sadly had to have the lower part of both legs amputated after contracting meningococcal septicæmia. We have donated two Sunday lunch vouchers which will be raffled to raise funds for Joel, the idea being to raise a total of £1650 to allow the purchase of two "powerchair" mobility vehicles — one for school use and one for out-and-about — which will considerably increase his quality of life. As you will see on Joel's fundraising page, he is a remarkably happy little boy in spite of all he has been through, and it was a great privilege for us to be able to contribute to this most worthy cause.

 

Lệ Khanh & Simon


Back issues:

  1. December 2016
  2. January 2017
  3. February 2017
  4. March 2017
  5. April 2017
  6. May 2017
  7. Jun 2017

 

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