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Greetings from the New Forest May 2014

Greetings from the New Forest !!

Yippee another bank holiday us upon us, and hopefully the sun will shine on us!! Well,  we had a good Easter and lots of happy guests coupled with lots of chocolate, so we need a good patch of weather to walk off those extra calories.

We have also had some beautiful weddings in April, and we wish our couples a very happy future together. The weather was amazing for them all- what are the chances!

We were lucky enough to also have a celebrity in our midst this month, with Adam Lallana Southampton Skipper and England Football player promoting the Fifa World cup game in the hotel, and having promotional interviews in the garden. The excitement continued for us into the weekend when we were super excited to see the lounge and Garden on Soccer AM and part of the garden in The Times. We can also say he was a thoroughly lovely chap and we were lucky to have him here.

We have also had some staff changes, where were sad to say goodbye to Liana, and wish her all the best in her travels. We also welcomed Gina who has turned out to be a trooper and picked up the job really quickly and has a great personality too and it turns out after our staff outing this week a kick ass bowler too!

Tom is doing a top job too training up Gina and keeping things going well at the hotel and a great support to myself and Robert.

We are also looking forward to welcoming another new young lady Lauren in 2 weeks, so I will update more next month.

The kitchen are all back from hols and they have come up with a brilliantly delicious Summer menu and this launches tonight- so what are you waiting for book a table or come and eat with us!

We have had fun and games with the New Forest Ponies and I have to say its Woodlands Lodge 1 – New Forest Ponies 1 at the moment, as 2 weeks ago they burst through our fence and so we had about 10 ponies in the garden eating our flowers and trampling bushes- and we were all out in the garden hopelessly trying to get them back into the forest…. Without a good fence impossible task. However thanks to Trefor we have a fixed fence  (strengthened) and now we are pony free. Good timing though because now the cows are out and I am not sure I would be brave enough to get a herd of cattle out.

We also have 3 new beds arrived and so a good nights sleep all round 🙂

And finally the news I am sure that everyone has been waiting for…. The stairs carpet has been ordered. Really excited and will update the fb page once it is in situ. It’s very cool, sounds a bit strange as its blue and orange but will look fantastic and also be a great photo spot for our wedding couples.

We have also had a standardisation in procedure month and we are proud to say that the cancellation policy is now 48 hrs across the board- no matter which site rooms are booked. We have also joined the New Forest book direct campaign, which means guests always get the best rates on our website or calling the hotel and we also include a free breakfast to all guests who book directly.

Lots of great deals to be had and the forest has gone from brown to green in the last week so please come and visit us soon.

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest April 2014

Greetings from the New Forest!

I am pleased to report that March was a great month for us at Woodlands Lodge.  The sun has started to shine and the gardeners are back tending our garden the ponies have re emerged in the forest and our boots are all a lot less muddy! Happy New Forest Days.

We started the month with a wedding and finished the month with one too, and not forgetting the one in the middle we have had a wedding -tastic month J we wish all our bride and grooms a wonderful happy life together and we hope to welcome you all back soon.

We also hosted our wedding showcase in conjunction with the New Forest Tourism association. The hotel looked absolutely amazing and we welcomed 30 couples through our doors and were lucky to get 4 weddings out of the day too. A huge thank you for everyone who came along and to all the staff who helped make the day such a success.

On the decorating front we were able to succeed in redoing room 14 and it looks great. I can’t  believe how big the bathroom now looks- with a simple layout alteration. Good work Daniel Robinson & Trefor Lunn. It was a close call though with the finishing touches completed 1.5 hours before the guests arrived.  As always everything takes longer than expected and so whereas we achieve a new shower and bathroom in room 8 we still need to decorate- soon very soon!!

We have also got lots of stair carpet samples at the moment and hope to book this in and make a final decision next week- eeek lots of choice what to choose!!

We had a very successful Mothering Sunday too, with 80 guests coming to have lunch with us. Thank you very much for choosing us and we hope that everyone had a delicious lunch.

We are looking forward to Easter and still have some great New Forest deals to be had and so we look forward to seeing you at Woodlands Lodge very soon

Take care

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest March 2014!

Greetings from the New Forest!

Wow, it’s March already and Spring has Sprung! Like a switch 1st March saw the horrible blustery, flood like conditions evaporate and a strange phenomenon took over—sunshine! The whole of the Forest seems lighter, brighter and less boggy already and we are HAPPY!

We have spent the last 2 months in hibernation, but now we are renovating (again/ still – not sure which is most appropriate!) Room 8 and 14 currently both do not have any bathrooms, but I am assured they will be back in soon. This is a real triumph as 2 more ancient spa baths are removed and we have chosen some lovely bright white suites and new tiled floors, giving a clean and modern feel!

We have also started moving our wood stores and hacking the bushes at the back so we can erect a new shed to house some new restaurant tables. I can’t wait to order them and also brings me to our next project the stair carpet… we have been in touch with Crestwood of Lymington to investigate gorgeous yet hard wearing carpets for us J

Our fences and roof tiles are all fixed now – yippee! So I hope we can put this horrible weather behind us. Looking like double figures for this weekend’s Weather and so looking forward to a big New Forest walk this weekend.

Wedding season has also begun . 2 weddings so far and we wish our gorgeous couples are very best wishes. We also had the New Forest Wedding showcase last weekend and had an amazing turn out with over 30 couples coming through the doors. The hotel looked gorgeous and our suppliers did us proud, with Jill the Cake maker creating a cake inspired by our restaurant wall paper and Kay Murrant from Pomp and Petals showing us that twigs and moss can be elegant and absolutely wonderful as wedding flowers. Check out our Facebook page for all the photos.

We are looking forward to Mother’s Day and Easter – we have a Special Mother’s Day lunch only £22.95 and a free bunch of daffodils for every Mum, and Easter is always a great time to visit the forest, whether it is for family walks or a trip to Paultons Park or Peppa Pig world!  We also have a Build a Buddy work shop on the 9th April- 1 – 3.30pm for over 3’s to build their own Easter teddy and decorate a  t shirt and have a drink and biscuit only £15 so great value.

Staff changes are also a foot, as we say goodbye to our General Assistant Carly, but we welcome Melanie and we think she will add a great deal of support to the rest of the team. As always are staff are the hotels biggest asset and I want to thank everyone for continuing to be outstanding and helping our guests enjoy their holidays

Take care for now and look forward to welcoming you all to the Woodlands Lodge Hotel soon

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

Greetings from the New Forest December 2013

Christmassy Greetings from the New Forest!

In a blink of an eye the seasons have turned from Autumn to Winter, and I have missed one of my updates for the first time since we started at the Hotel! Apologies and I will try and make this a full update!

The weather in the New Forest has been fantastic, lots of crisp sunny days, so the forest is not all squelchy but perfect for walks, and we have lots of ponies and pigs out at the moment, so that every walk is an experience- especially with 2 little children 🙂

We have had some great functions, a glamorous and glitzy affair with Kay’s Big Birthday bash, lots of amazing decorations, all the tables were named after gorgeous shoes and there were even flowers in the shoes as centre pieces- very different! Check out our face book page to see how great the hotel looked.

Speaking of different we also had a wedding with a red and black goth theme. Complete with scary statues and coffins in the conservatory. I have to say I was a bit sceptical at first but it was all quite tastefully done and again the hotel looked great and hopefully everyone had a fab time – pictures are again on our face book page.

Going back a bit now (the trouble when I don’t keep up to date) half term was great, with lots of Peppa pig visitors! And great occupancy throughout the whole week.

We were also part of the New Forest wedding showcase in November and it was a great day with lots of new couples coming to see the hotel, and it looked really lovely the flowers were perfect and the fire was roaring in the dining room. We also set the conservatory up with a casual table for guests and it was really well received and was great to show another option. We had a special VIP evening as well for all our existing couples and I think it worked well giving everyone a reminder of what the hotel looks like and an ability to finalise those important little details; table decorations, cake positions, top tables. When we hold our showcase again in Mach I think it would be good to do It again!

At the end of October Robert and I went to the Independent Hotel Show. It was a brilliant opportunity to see the latest hotel gadgets and also a chance to participate in some of the seminars with the industry experts. A great inspiration to us and we followed up with a trip to Crestwood in Lymington and we purchased some new wall paper and paints for the restaurant. A week later after Robert and Trefor’s best efforts we had a beautiful new restaurant, which I have to say compliments are new floor fabulously!!!

Speaking of the Restaurant (well loosely) we had a fantastic restaurant review in the Hampshire Society and we were very proud of the kind words and food compliments. You can check the full review out in this month’s magazine or come in to the restaurant and see for yourself how we have improved. We also had our hotel brochures re done and they look good showing off the hotel with the pictures that Alex’s dad took in the summer.

We have quietened down as the end of November approaches and we can start planning 2014 decoration plans- always planning! Our recent purchases, which were fundamental to the business but a tad boring are great and most importantly working well – it’s nice that the computer does not crash every 10 minutes or that the phones keep going out of order!! Small things make such a difference!

As Christmas approaches we are all decorated up! With 3 Christmas trees this year and a great floral display in the fire place. Our piece de la resistance is the big 10 ft tree in the restaurant. I decorated it myself and as I am a bit of a shorty who is afraid of heights I was pleased to get it decorated without incident on the ladder!! We are now preparing for our party nights and the big day! We are full at the moment up until Christmas but we have some availability during twixmas and also 1 room left for New Years’ Eve… come and join us for our night of dinner and dancing to see in 2014.

Our newest member of the team Carly is settling in well and the rest of the team are as excellent as ever. We are so pleased to have such a great team, as it makes all the parties possible and helps all our guests enjoy their stays with us. So a big thank you!

My next blog will be in the New Year- Insane that 2013 is almost over! I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

Take care

Best wishes

Imogene

 

 

Greetings from the New Forest September 2013

Greetings from the New Forest

Boo!!!! the weather has turned and i am not sure i can get used to grey skies after all this amazing weather!

August, has been our best month ever! We have never been so busy – just fantastic and we reached an average occupancy of 89% and so a big congratulations to all the staff who have worked so hard this Summer with a big smile on their faces even when it has been tough – thank you very much!!!

As the end of the Summer holidays approaches we have said goodbye to some of our students- which is sad as they have been with us for a good few years, although we are happy to report that they are all off to University and we look forward to catching up on their news during the holidays. We have a lovely bunch of new students and i am sure that they will make you feel very welcome when you visit us too.

We have also had several wonderful weddings and lots of great tips that we can pass on to our future brides. The pom poms created for the conservatory have been so creative that lots of brides have said they will do something similar and i will try and also recreate something similar for Christmas.

It seems so early but already our mind is firmly on Christmas and our new Christmas page is up on the website and looks brilliant. So please check it out out and see what we have on offer 🙂

Looking forward only 10 more days before the restaurant floor is re done- can hardly contain my excitement!!!

Also, the Southampton Boat show starts next week and so we will hopefully be nice and busy!

Look forward to updating more next month!

Take care and look forward to seeing you in the New Forest Soon

Imogene

 

 

 

Greetings from the New Forest August 2013

Greetings from the New Forest

Well, well well I think you have probably guessed by me writing so late into August that July has been pretty busy. We have had a brilliant month, totally helped by the fantastic weather. Have I mentioned how there is nowhere better to be than the New Forest in the Sunshine…. J

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary of owning the hotel and want to say a massive thank you to our staff for being so brilliant and hardworking and making it so enjoyable to own the Woodlands Lodge – we are very lucky to have such a great team.

We have not stopped our refurbishment plans – although not inside the hotel and have finally managed to re do our patio in room 17 and it looks a lot better than before, and much nicer to sit and relax in the private garden.

We have also re done our stable roof and It looks great, I had no idea how different it would look- and how bad it must have been before!!

We also have 5 new sets of bistro furniture to enjoy this lovely weather out in the garden.

Our epos system is also working really well, and it has made the busy period and especially our functions a lot smoother and faster behind the bar.

We also had our you tube video filmed and it looks brilliant- check it out!!!! We are so pleased to finally be able to show everyone how fabulous our hotel and location are! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPE87b0yTbw

Alex’s Dad has also been to visit and taken some amazing hotel photos and I look forward to sharing them on facebook soon.

I have been busy finalising our Christmas party packages and New Year’s packages – as you can imagine a bit of a struggle in the middle of August, but I am getting into the festive spirit- helped as well by the children who have also decided to get out the Christmas books!! Please have a look at the website and see what we have on offer this festive season- it’s never too early to plan a Christmas party!

Take care and enjoy the rest of the Summer and I will update again next month.

Best wishes

Imogene Anglaret

Owner

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