General Manager at The Swan
in Wedmore, Somerset
My journey with Stay Original began in June 2014
when I had a job as a summer waitress at The
White Hart. Though I very much enjoyed it and
was quickly made a Team Leader, I didn’t plan to
stay, as at the end of the season, I was going to
return to my cleaning business in the French Alps.
I was unsure if I had the right skills and
experience for the hospitality industry, but the
company had spotted something in me and
thought I had the right attitude and character to
succeed. They kept in touch and asked me to apply
for a management position. I did, and I returned to
The White Hart in June 2015 to be the General
Manager. I got so much support. I was mentored
by our Operations Manager. She really encouraged
me and helped me to grow in the role. And I
learned so much from Tom Blake our Executive
Chef about seasonal, local food. In October 2016
The White Hart was named Pub of the Year in
Bath, Bristol and Somerset Tourism Awards,
fantastic recognition for all the hard-work that me
and my team had put in. In the same month I
became General Manager of the Swan, Wedmore.
Working with Stay Original is a great learning
experience. The company has really invested in
me and believed in me. My advice would be that
even if you think that you don’t have the relevant
skills or experience then still go for it! Stay
Original can teach you and train you for any role.
With the company’s encouragement I’m currently
working towards a multi-site role.
Age 27
I joined the company in August 2015 as a Junior
Assistant Manager at the Swan in Wedmore.
In January 2016 I became Assistant Manager, and
as well as helping to look after the rooms and
restaurant, I was put in charge of our Club Room
which we hire out for business meetings, parties,
weddings and events.
In April 2016 I became Deputy Manager. I had lots
of training covering so many aspects of the
business from HR and working with a team to
training on coffee, wine tasting and beer andcellar
management. I was also trained on our hotel
booking systems.
I moved to The Swan’s sister property The White
Hart in February 2017 to help their new
management team and I became deputy manager
in July 2017.
My aim is to progress in management and
training. I’ve just been made Relief Manager
across all the sites and given responsibility for
Induction Training. It’s an exciting opportunity
and a fantastic chance to pass on my customer
service knowledge.
Multi-Site Relief Manager
& Induction Trainer
Age 31
I joined Stay Original when I was 17 years old as a
kitchen porter. I’d wanted to be a chef since I was a
child and though I knew I wouldn’t be cooking at
first, I was just so excited to have the opportunity
to work in a kitchen. Tom Blake, our executive
chef, was my mentor. Tom’s famed for his network
of West Country growers and producers and his
enthusiasm and dedication is contagious. I quickly
became passionate about using local, seasonal
produce and on the company’s advice, I did the
River Cottage Apprenticeship Scheme.
In March 2015, I worked on the opening of The
White Hart’s sister pub, Timbrell’s Yard in
Bradford on Avon, as Chef de Partie, which was a
fantastic experience. I returned to The White Hart
as a Sous Chef and then became Head Chef in
September 2017. I was absolutely thrilled!
Stay Original has never seen my age as a barrier
and has encouraged me to develop my skills and
realise my ambitions. I work with a talented team
and I regularly get together with the chefs from
the other properties for training sessions, tastings
and cook-offs. Creating great food is on-going and
I’m constantly learning and developing my skills.
Head Chef at The White Hart
in Somerton, Somerset
Age 22