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Greetings from the New Forest January 2013

 

Greetings from the New Forest.

We hope that you are all having a good 2013 so far!

January has been a lot quieter than December, but we have still had a pleasing month in spite of the rain and the snow we have had!!! We have also been lucky to host some special birthday parties this month too! Congratulations to all our birthday girls 🙂

Our customer feedback forms have also generated some lovely comments this month and we have received some especially fantastic comments about the staff – Liana, Tom and Alex and as always John our head chef!!!!

We have welcomed Sammi our new Sous chef to the kitchen team as well this month! So come along and see what he can add to the restaurant!!

We have also had a good chance to start our Spring clean and sort outs. We have completed a bed audit and as a result we have ordered 8 brand new Hypnos beds. These are so comfortable- I can’t wait for them to arrive!!!! We have also been looking into getting new restaurant tables and put a schedule in place to refit room 14 and its bathroom and also room 17- it is about time that our bridal suite is given a facelift. I have to say though it is lovely to be able to plan these projects rather than the need to hurtle into a project like last year!!!

We continue on our maintenance work, with the seemingly never ending plugs and window catches to be changed and tightened up but Trefor is doing a fantastic job.

We have also had a visit from the Environmental Health Officer for our routine check and were thrilled to receive a 5 star health and safety rating- the best we can get. The new system is that you put up your sticker with your rating in an obvious place in your premises – we can’t wait for the sticker to arrive!!!!

We had some bad luck as well in January and we were unfortunately burgled for food and booze, which was so upsetting when we put so much effort into the hotel, the only saving grace was that no one was hurt and that we did not have a function the next day- so we were able to sort everything out and get more security in to stop this happening again. As an aside the police were fantastic and also the country watch team have some brilliant tools to keep out burglars- e.g. padlocks that when tampered with emit a really loud noise…. Wonderful!

In February we are looking forward to Valentine’s Day chef has prepared a wonderful 4 course menu inspired by Romance- we are open to resident s and non-residents so please come along and join us!

February half term is also coming up and the hotel is filling up fast, so give us a call and come down and visit us.

The 24th February sees us take part in the New Forest Wedding Showcase and so we have also been making the final preparations for this to ensure we have all our regular suppliers on board to create a wedding atmosphere in the hotel. Take care and keep warm!!

Imogene Anglaret Owner

Gift Vouchers now available

We have been asked several times whether we have any gift vouchers and i am happy to announce that we now have gift vouchers available! Any denomination available. Just call reception or e mail to purchase.

Tel 02380 29 22 57

email reception@woodlands-lodge.co.uk

Greetings from the New Forest January 2013

January 2013

Greetings from the New Forest!

Happy New Year, and wishing you all a healthy and happy 2013. We are feeling tired, full (in need of a New Forest Walk or two) and happy as well as a little sad that Christmas is over! We have had a very good December with lots of Christmas parties, Lunches and a wreath making workshop by Kay Murrant at Pomp & Petals.  Our Party night was a particular success with over 80 guests for a Christmas party dinner and Ella and her band did a great job, and the garden room was fit to bursting with guests dancing the night away!!!

We also had some fantastic guests over Christmas – and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting to them and enjoying a drink or two. My personal highlight was the Christmas day quiz, which almost all of our guests took part in, great competitive spirit shown by all!! The treasure hunt around the New Forest was also popular with many teams getting almost all the answers- top marks guys.

Our Christmas Day dinner was also delicious and had a fantastic atmosphere and I was so pleased to be able to get around and chat to so many of our regular customers- thank you for making it such a lovely day.

Christmas kept on giving with the Twixmas guests being good fun and in great spirits. We were slightly caught unawares on the Saturday when we had 35 dining in the Hunters Restaurant – but Tom and Alex did a terrific job as usual.

We have just about recovered from the New Year celebrations, which went very well with a delicious 7 course taster menu and live music from Eddy. I was slightly nervous that there were not many dancing by 11pm… but it all picked up and by midnight we had everyone on their feet and a classic rendition of Aud Langsyne was sung by all in classic New Year style and  the fun and dancing continued long after mid-night! Hello 2013.

We are looking forward to this year and can’t wait to get going on some of our new DIY projects. December saw a fresh lick of paint over the bar and conservatory and new plugs and sockets- yawn but essential! I think January will continue with essential maintenance and make use of this quieter period.

We have plenty of exciting Woodlands Lodge offers and deals on at the moment, so if you do fancy getting out into the New Forest and shedding the Christmas pounds (you will probably see me out there) then come down and visit us- mid week deals are not to be missed, just check out the website.

Look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Take care and Happy New Year

Best wishes

Imogene

Greetings from the New Forest December 2012

Greetings from the New Forest

We are all getting into the Christmas Spirit at the moment the decorations are up and our tree looks so good- even though I say it myself. We have gone large this year and have a 10 ft tree which almost touches the ceiling in the restaurant. We also have some beautiful over the fire place wreaths and another lovely although somewhat smaller tree in the reception. Tom and Alex are trying to put some more fairy lights in the bar and the conservatory tonight in preparation for this weekend’s party night- can’t wait- although a bit scared as we will be hosting a party for 90 guests-eeek! We have kicked off our party preceding with the lovely people from Long Down Activity farm- we hope you have a lovely evening! http://bit.ly/woodlands_xmas_tree

We have had some gorgeous crisp days over the last week and enjoyed lots of walking, although we had a near miss when one of our guests got caught out in the dark after getting lost in the forest and we could not guide them in, eventually we had to call the police! Luckily that’s where the drama ended and they turned up 10 minutes after the police arrived much to everyone’s relief.http://bit.ly/woodlands_sunnyday

The hotel this month has been good, although a lot quieter than October but again gone incredibly quickly- quick aside where has 2012 gone…. It has given us the chance to do several bits and pieces. We now have a lovely new lounge carpet, I smile every time I go into the lounge and I am sure I completely bored some of our guests with my over excitement. We also have finally re done the bathroom in room 15- we now have a shower that works well and a nice new bath, It looks a lot more spacious now the ridiculous spaceman shower has gone!! It is always good to keep moving forward in the rooms. We have also painted through the conservatories to make them fresher and the finished result looks fab. Still, as always a lot of maintenance to do, but we now have a weekly maintenance man and it has already been brilliant to see him crack on with jobs that have been niggling.

We had some frustrations though (as always) when the massive rains of November exposed some leaks in the roof- we thought we had all of these fixed so annoying we still have some roof to fix!!! Luckily nothing ruined apart from the paint on the ceiling but it did feel a little bit like 1 step forward and 2 steps back, but really I think I need to toughen up a bit and not sweat the things I can’t change and work on what we can!

Finally we also welcome Alexander on board, as our new General Assistant. He has only been with us a few weeks but already a real star and has absolutely thrown himself into all the challenges we have thrown at him!

We have a great Christmas program and NYE should be fun too, so I look forward to updating you all in the 2013!!!!

Take care and we hope to see you soon,

Merry Christmas

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest November 2012

Greetings from the New Forest!

Wow the forest is looking AMAZING! Orange, yellow and green literally we are seeing the colours changing daily and it is fantastic- despite the Halloween down pour- where did that come from???? We have had such a great month overall, it is so good to see our hotel one year on… and we have been loving our guests, weddings and of course the forest! We have had some fabulous weddings and the flowers have been amazing- burnt yellow and orange such a perfect complement to the changing autumn colours outside.

October has seen us try out a few new things too, which has been brilliant as this time last year we felt like we were treading water to stay on top so a fantastic feeling. Firstly we held our live music evening with Ella and Sonny, now Ella is our part time GA and Waitress and she was fantastic and blew us all away with her beautiful voice, we all had a great night, and I hope everyone else did too. We were busier than we expected and so frustratingly I feel we could have benefited from an extra waiter…. But next time we will be totally prepared and I guess that’s the catch when your waitress is an amazing songstress! xx

We also held a mums and kids pre-Christmas event, which was fun for me, Oscar and Eloise. Probably a little stressful for duty manager Tom who is not used to kids J but we had about 100 people turn up throughout the day. The experience included a pot painting stall, mini photo studio, Christmas stalls and jewellery stalls and to top it all off we were lucky enough to have a couple of Alpacas from Petlake Farm too and Kay Young from Sing time volunteered her services and did 2 great singing sessions for us. Lots of coffee, tea and cake as well as a kids menu too.

We have also had a surprisingly good month in hotel with room occupancy up and half term has seen us fully booked, which has been so exciting and we feel we are now so proud of our hotel and are creating a great atmosphere in the restaurant and the hotel.

Today we have just had delivered some lovely leather chairs for the bar- I love them , I love them! So comfortable!!!! We have also bought some lanterns for the window seal as with the nights drawing in it can look a little dark out there!!!

The garden is also looking good, and the last weedy patch has been dug up, all we need now is for the bulbs to be planted and wait to see how it looks in spring!

Lots to do before then though!!! We are now full over Christmas and have lots of great Christmas parties to host and not to mention 3 weddings in December as well. There is still a little bit of availability for NYE so do not delay come and celebrate with us! http://bit.ly/woodlandslodgeNYE

Sad news this month is that we say good bye to our General Manager Mark, who has given us the strength and skill to make the last year easy for us, although we wish him well in his new venture. And  we are taking on board the role of General Manager between myself and Robert and we welcome Lianna into the role of House Manager, and she will be responsible to assist in us the management of all the operational  aspects of the hotel.

Well, that’s about all for this month- I hope to update you on the refurb of room 15 next month – fingers crossed!

Come and see us soon!

Take care

Imogene

Greetings from the New Forest October 2012

Greetings from the New Forest!

Wow, September was a fantastic month at Woodlands Lodge, our last marquee wedding of the summer- you can see some of the glorious photos on our Facebook page http://bit.ly/wmqee . Of this and some of our other lovely weddings too.

It has been a busy month with the Southampton Boat show week providing our busiest ever week in the restaurant! And there is always such a buzz from a busy hotel. This is the first month we are able to do year on year comparisons and sadly Robert and I are addicted to seeing what a difference a year makes! All looking good so far 😉

We have had continued support leading on from our open day from local residents dining with us in the evening and Sunday lunch, it has been great to see this side of the business pick up, as in June we were thinking that we should give up on the Sunday Lunches and are now so pleased that we have persevered!

Continuing on the restaurant theme we have launched our new Autumn menu and I have to say it is delicious. Take a sneak peak on our website http://bit.ly/Restbar

We have also had a really positive response to our Christmas Package and only have one room left for Christmas Day. I am already getting excited about Christmas and have started to work on the Festive Quiz….. Thinking caps at the ready!

New Year is also available to book now – Robert and I are hosting a 5 course gala dinner and live music evening- It’s going to be great, although a lot less eventful than last year (for those who were not with us I went into labour!) so a double celebration- what are you waiting for!!!! If you need a smidge more information then the menu can be accessed through this link http://bit.ly/NYEWLmenu

But for now back to reality, and those niggles that do not go away!!! We are working through our to do list and are getting all the maintenance issues sorted that have arisen whilst we were dealing with the Summer madness, so once those areas are all taken care of I hope that we can get back to refurbing!!!!!! I have lots of ideas about what we can achieve with some new furniture for the public rooms- so just have to wait and take my time now- always the frustrating part!!!

Robert and I have been on a few courses this month too, with a course on Social Media and how to use it better and be more efficient, I think that I have really benefited from the course and hope that we can really give more info and value to our Facebook and twitter followers now! Also we went onto a business coaching course, which has also been great at focussing our minds into what we want to achieve and giving us a plan on how we can achieve it- much needed getting all our ideas onto a spread sheet rather than a jumble in our minds!!!

I have to say (apart from today when it has rained all day!) I think Autumn is my favourite season in the forest, as the leaves changing from green to orange is just beautiful!

We look forward to welcoming you all to the hotel soon,

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

PS-I thought I would include a picture of our AA Rosette Hunters Restaurant for you this month, as I seem to have spent most of this months’ post talking about it!!

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