...The stunning new Mary Beale Restaurant and Terrace Bar opened on the 4th March. The restaurant is named after Britain’s first professional woman painter at the time of Charles II and the walls are adorned with fantastic original works of art by Mary Beale, Charles Beale her son, and by her contemporaries.
...In addition there are copies of diary entries in Charles Beale’s 1681 diary where he wrote a detailed log of the day to day goings on in Mary Beale’s studio. Notable features of the new space include a long bar counter with coffee and tea served from behind the bar, a built in buffet unit which is used for breakfast and conference lunches but is hidden from view the rest of the time, plastered ceilings and walls, dimmable lighting, a new sound system, and the artwork which sets off the space superbly.
...My thanks go to Jon Doubleday, Builder, Robert Malleson, Designer, Grant Cook, Estates Manager, David Seward and his team at the hotel, and most importantly to our guests who have patiently waited 9 weeks for this day.
...To Jim Lopez, Night Manager (15 years), Sharon Sims, Head office PA (10 years) [pic right] and Barry Crossley Sous Chef (5 years) [pic far right] all for their service to Beales Hotels at West Lodge Park.
...To Natalie Weiher ‘Simply the Best’ winner in December 2008 and Sarah Harrison ‘Simply the Best’ winner in January 2009.
a quick note about family businesses in the week where the banks have posted record new multi billion pound losses. Family businesses are the unsung heroes of the economy – rarely do they grow very fast, but equally in severe recessions they continue investing for the future with an eye to the long term. This business model is not trendy but just may make a comeback in these times of massive change for the economy. All around us, hotels are slashing rates, stopping refurbishments, laying off staff, and even closing down. Yet Beales Hotel had sales almost equal to last year in February, while WLP was badly hit short term by the restaurant and bar closure. And yet we continue the rather old fashioned idea of looking after our customers and our staff in equal measure. We remain positive for the future with two truly great hotels, a fantastic team of people, low bank borrowings, and a loyal customer base, and are much better placed than our competitors to take advantage of the inevitable upswing when it happens.