|Multi award-winning Peak District hotel’s staff among the best in the land|
It’s official; the welcome and level of customer service you can expect to receive at East Lodge in Rowlsley, The Peak District, is among the best in the entire country. From thousands of eligible establishments, East Lodge not only made it through to the regional finals for The Peak District and Derbyshire, winning Gold for Outstanding Customer Service; it was then put forward to the national finals in Birmingham, where at the national gala dinner in The Great Hall at Birmingham University, last night (Friday 15 April), East Lodge scooped the coveted Silver national Award. This now makes East Lodge’s Front of House team one of the top two establishments for Outstanding Customer Service in the land.
Commenting on East Lodge’s latest accolade, managing director Iain Hardman, said: “We have always known our staff are brilliant, but for it to be formally and nationally recognised in this way against such impressive competition from around the country is a truly remarkable achievement.
“Our principles and promise on customer service are simple, yet incredibly difficult to get right every time. When we walk into our own establishment we ask ourselves ‘how would we like to be treated ourselves?’, and then we apply that to everything we ask our staff to do. The standards are high and there’s little margin for error, yet it’s that constant and passionate attention to detail that ensures our regular hotel and restaurant customers come back time and time again.
“We’d like to thank all our staff for their tremendous efforts; if I told you they weren’t able to come to tonight’s ceremony because they were attending to a customer’s wedding reception, that probably tells you all you need to know about the dedication of the people working for us. So their celebrations are temporarily on ice for the time being, which will make it all the sweeter when we do all finally raise a glass together.”
The Peak District has a nationally acclaimed venue to be proud of, yet East Lodge is not known for standing still when it comes to raising the bar – both in terms of customer service and the overall guest experience. This approach and an ethos recently saw one of the finest award winning country house hotels in the UK embark on a £¼ million kitchen refurbishment, with a twist.
“This has been no ordinary kitchen facelift,” said Iain Hardman. “But rather a complete redesign - including removing several load bearing 3ft thick original walls to make room for the latest state-of-the-art equipment and the jewel in the crown – a fine dining experience like nothing for miles around.” East Lodge’s much anticipated ‘jewel in the crown’ will be unveiled in a couple of weeks’ time.
East Lodge Head Chef, Simon Bradley, said: “The new space and layout means this is one of the best kitchens I have ever seen internationally, and we now have space for all the very latest equipment, including a walk-in fridge and specialist cooking tools like a plancha.” Simon knows a good kitchen when he sees one, having enjoyed a stellar career that has seen him cook everywhere from the Paris Ritz to Raymond Blanc’s celebrated Le Manoir and has worked for the biggest names in the business, from Raymond himself to Oliver Payton of Great British Menu fame and has been instrumental in ensuring the Chef’s Table is an experience to savour.
Owned by the Hardman family, this multi-award winning venue has remained at the top by constantly improving its service and living by the motto that good enough just isn’t good enough; a drive for excellence that has led not only to the development of the new kitchen and ‘jewel in the crown’, but to this Hotel of the Year to be one of only 48 hotels in the country to be awarded a Visit England Gold Award and to be once again featuring in the national finals of the Enjoy England Excellence Awards in 2011 for Outstanding Customer Service. Bon appetit!