The trees dressed in glory, red, yellow and gold
The sun lying low in the sky.
Tree branches rustle as we walk by,
The breeze feels crisp as it blows in an eye.
Air filled with sound of chisel on stone
Wizards of weather foresee rain and gloom.
While indoors reviving renewing each room
Not an hour wasted as energy spent,
Preparing Hour House, for every event.
“I want to start by putting our guests’ satisfaction at the forefront of our business model. I believe in paying staff a decent wage and adopting a no-tipping policy.” Said Alice. “We will be employing these people to aid us in our adventure, they need to feel our respect and know they will be valued, a part of Hour House family.
We may not be ready for opening this week, but with the new extended area now standing, windowed and weatherproof, it will not take long before the internal work is completed. We really need to begin the process of picking our team. This time we cannot opt out and hand over the task to Mr Yates or Carolyn Ashby. Thanks to Sidney Slythe and Andrei Shuyski, we are in a position to hand pick our team, and do this properly. Valued members of staff are as important as comfortable beds!”
The most memorable aspect of any stay must be the service. Not just the door opening, bag carrying, valet parking kind of service, but the genuine willingness to make people feel at home and the awareness that it’s all about the guests, not about us. We are a relatively small property and we, the owners must be the face of the business.
Great service, for me at least, requires the ability to put yourself in your guests’ shoes and offer them the service that you yourself would appreciate. And that’s the tough bit, because each of us has a different view on what we would class as great service.
We need the guests to feel: “I would stay here again without a moment’s hesitation!”
Morgan stood up and began slowly pacing the floor. “I have interviewed many people over the years for my own staff and for some clients, but have no idea about what is required in or from a chef and his staff. I suppose he would need to be in place as the kitchen is fitted out, to ensure an efficient workstation. We need to contact an agency this week, to set the ball in motion.”
“Once we have the chef on board, he can concentrate on opening The Oratory” said Alice. It will take time to build up a regular clientele of coffee sippers, but at least put us on the map”.
“Good idea. Said Morgan. “We will need road direction signs. One at the cross roads and another at the entrance to the driveway. Mr Yates can tell us who in the local council to contact about the type, style & permission required. A small brass plaque in the entrance is more than enough, it should not take from the wonderful frontage of the building.”
“By the way, I have decided to have my morning shower in the main house for the next couple of weeks. All the en-suites are complete and dry and it will be the best way to test them while the plumbers are working in the extension. We want them all working properly when guests start arriving.”
“I’ll warn Carolyn not to arrive too early for the next few weeks, you would not want to frighten her off, now would you?” giggled Alice.
“I would be more worried about frightening you off, my dear. I would hate to be shown the door and lose my job!” he said with a wink.
“I doubt you would lose your job, as the song says: I have grown accustomed to your face, and to be truthful, without you by my side offering advice and encouragement, I doubt I would have begun any of this.” Smiled Alice. You are here for the duration so long as you do not start singing!”
“SINGING. My singing is that bad I wouldn’t inflict it on a flock of crows!” With that Morgan turned and skipped out of the room, singing:
Alice was left laughing into her notes on the desk. “That Morgan, is better than any tonic. I suppose when the beds come, he will want to sleep in a different one each night to make sure they are comfortable enough for the guests!”
A head came round the door frame. “I heard that, what a good idea.” chuckled Morgan. “Now put away that note book and come and have lunch, Lovell has been busy making a surprise for both of us, she says it is ready now, don’t keep the girl waiting!”
Lunch was a wonderful surprise. Morgan had been secretly teaching Lovell how to make a frittata, and today she wanted to make it ‘all by herself’. She had a colourful salad and sliced wheaten bread to go with it. They all enjoyed it and not a crumb was left for Crumbs.
Lovell left them to go watch a romantic soap on television, they sat over coffee chatting comfortably about the ways of the world outside Hour House.
A deep sigh told them the programme was over, they had not felt the hour go by. Lovell came into the room with a very long face, she lived every moment of the action and a broken romance between her favourite characters, was a major event.
“Lovell, real love is not based on romance, candle light dinner and walks along the beach. It is based on Respect Compromise, Care and Trust.” It was Morgan who had spoken. “The perfect guy is not the one who has the most money or the most handsome one you’ll meet . He is the one who knows how to make you smile and will take care of you each and everyday until the end of time.
“Is that the way you feel about Alice?” asked Lovell.
Alice and Morgan both looked at Lovell, open mouthed, then looked at each other.
Thoughts were running madly through Alice’s mind. ‘White Knights don’t usually have names, but suddenly Alice realised her White Knight certainly did.
When you two get married, can I be bridesmaid? Asked Lovell.
“If Alice says yes, to marrying me, than it would be an honour to have you as chief bridesmaid.”
How about it Partner? What say you to being the first Bride when Hour House officially opens!