Multi award-winning Peak District hotel and restaurant, East Lodge, is celebrating after Brian Gammon scooped the award for Unsung Hero at the Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (VPD&D) Excel Tourism Awards, on the same night the hotel sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award for Her Grace the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.
In the presence of the Duchess, Brian pipped over 70 nominees; it was a very hotly contested award, designed to recognise the hard work and dedication of staff that may not be seen by customers, yet which remains vital to guests having a positive experience. In the words of the judges, the ultimate winner would also have to be ‘pivotal’ to the smooth running of the business.
Brian succeeds on all counts. Responsible for overseeing all refurbishment at East Lodge, including ten acres of grounds, Brian has spent the last five years ensuring that East Lodge always looks at its best. The fact that Brian has been involved in so many successful projects at East Lodge, yet is rarely recognised publicly does make him a real unsung hero and a worthy winner of the award.
“I am delighted to have won this award, particularly when up against so many talented people,” said Brian on collecting his award. “I have been with East Lodge a long time now and it is great to be recognised in this way. The constant maintenance and redesign of the grounds has been hard work, but given the number of weddings we do, it was something we had to get right and it is wonderful to hear all the positive comments from guests.”
Brian’s work has included far more than tending a few flowerbeds. He constructed the new wedding pavilion in the grounds of the hotel from scratch, built ‘Charlie’s Place’, from where guests can enjoy amazing views of the Peak District and is behind much of the unseen maintenance that everyone takes for granted. From a blown lightbulb, to coming in to work early to clear the snow, Brian’s hand can be seen in much that is right at East Lodge.
“Everyone at East Lodge is over the moon that Brian was victorious in the Unsung Hero award. In his time at East Lodge, Brian has put so much effort in behind the scenes, that it was great to see him on the stage as a worthy winner,” said East Lodge managing director Iain Hardman. “It’s hard to think of anyone who deserves it more than Brian and for him to triumph on the same night the hotel sponsored the award for the Duchess, ensured it was a night to remember for all of us at East Lodge.”
The 12th Duke and Duchess attended on the night to pay tribute to the Dowager Duchess, who as one of the famous Mitford sisters has packed an amazing amount into nearly 90 years of life. She has been the prime mover in various innovations at Chatsworth, including the Farm Shop, is the author of several books and a special exhibition at Chatsworth from March 14 to October 31 will mark the nine decades of her life and service to the Peak District.
Set in the heart of the Peak District National Park, East Lodge is the closest hotel to Chatsworth and has proved a popular pace to stay and dine for visitors to the region and the famous House and has become the first choice for couples seeking the perfect wedding venue. East Lodge is owned by the Hardman family and in addition to Brian’s triumph in the VPD&D Awards, has picked up a wide range of prestigious accolades over recent years. East Lodge has again achieved the coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” accolade with three red stars for 2010, placing it within the top 150 hotels in the UK and is one of just 48 hotels in UK presented with the Visit England Gold Award.
For further information about East Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, visit www.eastlodge.com
or call 01629 734474 to discuss your requirements.