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News at Woodlands

Greetings from the New Forest September 2014

Greetings from the New Forest!

The last 2 months have gone in a blur and I apologise for not updating sooner.

August saw us busy, busy, busy. We had a great month with lots of lovely guests and 5 gorgeous weddings too. We wish all our couples a wonderful future together. All the staff did amazingly well, as we were under pressure when we said goodbye to Gina and Sammi in the Kitchen, but happily welcomed Charlotte, who has blended superbly into the Woodlands Lodge team and is keen to keep up our values of a friendly and personable hotel. Congratulations also to Chrissie on becoming Duty Manager, you have done an excellent job since you started full time.

We had a slightly tense few weeks (slight underestimation) in the kitchen where we had to rely on the incredibly unreliable Agency chefs- Martin you are not included in that and a big thank you to you!! and so Head Chef John really showed dedication with long, long days making sure all the weddings went well and the kitchen kept running at full steam, it was appreciated.  I am pleased to say that things are now easier and we have the pleasure to now have a breakfast chef James join us and also a new Sous Chef in Sam. Welcome to you both and we are delighted with the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen – James those poached eggs are amazing and Sam the Caramel Fondant to die for… you need to try this!!!

The AA also did their mystery inspection, and I am so pleased that we received a 79% merit score and retained our AA Rosette in the Restaurant. Good work everyone!

We have had a lot of laughs too this Summer, and especially at Robert who still feels that the ponies and now the pigs are toying with him and trying to get into his garden!! In fact we even had pigs come into the reception this week…. Room for 2 little ones!

September, has been gorgeous and hot. A pleasant return as August was a little disappointing weather wise. This has had a positive effect in bringing more guests to the hotel as it is amazing to go walking at the moment- no mud!!! The boat show also took place in September and this also benefited from the great weather. We have also been lucky to host some special birthday and anniversary parties- Congratulations from the Woodlands Lodge team.

We have been forward planning too, and preparing lots of fab offers for Winter and taking bookings for Christmas parties, lunches and our 3 day package. I can’t believe we only have 1 room left for the Christmas package and 4 for NYE- so get on the phone today if you wish to join us for Woodlands Lodge Festive Fun!!!

It seems like it has been all change…. We have a new maintenance man- Gary! And so far he has been nothing short of sensational. Getting all those little jobs in hand- painting door frames, re flooring the garage and sanding down and painting some window frames- I think it is safe to say ‘ Gary we love you’. We are pleased to be getting back on the refurbishment trail now that the high season is finishing. Today we are getting a new carpet for room 1. This has always been a signature room for us, but a stain that has been too stubborn has brought this room down, so I look forward to it being back to its top form again. Also, we discovered there had been no underlay… so that can be rectified too and guests in room 12 should benefit too 🙂

We also are re doing room 16 bathroom in November and scheduling room 5 bathroom for January, another 2 great jobs to complete.

Robert has the week of this week to tidy the over flow car park and has already been busy with a bon fire and filling his skip- a great job. Gutter clearing and other fun jobs await him.

Eloise our daughter, has also started at Infant school this month, feeling like it is a really big mile stone- I can’t believe she celebrated her first birthday with a BBQ in the hotel garden and now is getting all grown up. Time does fly!

I am still loving the reception floor and stair carpets that we had done in July, it really has lifted the whole hotel. Our new restaurant tables have also added a new dimension to the restaurant offering the flexibility to create different sized tables more easily. And also mixes traditional and modern styles really well.

Next… hopefully we can start getting the bar chairs recovered.

Also, we have had a bumper crop of tomatoes, courgettes and the hugest pumpkin come out of our veggie garden so this is a great benefit to the kitchen, as well as being donated Quinces from one of our local neighbours, this is providing the basis for some gorgeous jus and chutney- thank you so much for the donation.

Well, I think that this is all from us at the moment, we hope to welcome you to the New Forest soon.

Take care,

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret


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