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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Goodbye 2010 -- Hello 2011

With the Festive Season behind us and all the decorating and refurbishment completed on time the Cloud Hotel re-opened for business on Friday January 14th after a two week break. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and were able to enjoy time with your families.Christmas at The Cloud is always a very special occasion and this year was no different with so many regular customers enjoying each other's company and re-booking for Christmas 2011 as they left. The Hotel always closes on December 27th to give the staff a break and to be-able to have the chance to decorate the rooms and do general maintenance while the hotel is empty that way we do not disturb guests while they are staying with us. This also allows the staff to spend the New Year Celebrations with their family as most of them have worked all over the Christmas period. My family come on Boxing Day [ four children, five grandchildren and partners totalling twelve] I cook our Christmas lunch and we enjoy a family day privately. I always love having all my family with me.

To reward my staff for all their hard work and loyalty during the year I always take them out to dinner and a Show while the Hotel is closed. We usually go to see a Show in London but this year we decided to go to The Mayflower Theatre Southampton to see Paul O'Grady as Widow Twanky in the Pantomime Alladin. Solent Coaches picked 21 members of staff  up from the Hotel at 4pm as we were having dinner at the Ovation Restaurant in The Mayflower before the performance. We enjoyed an excellent meal and wine with a friendly and efficient service before taking our seats to enjoy a thoroughly entertaining Pantomime. I have appeared in many Pantomimes in my previous career as a dancer and know how much fun they are to appear in so I was delighted that everyone enjoyed themselves. We even had a mention from the stage! Taking staff away from the workplace and out of uniform allows everyone to relax and enjoy each others company and creates a great team spirit.

Talking about my dancing days I enjoyed watching  'A Hundred Years of the Palladium' on TV. It brought back great memories of when I appeared on Sunday Night at The London Palladium with the Tiller Girls in the early sixties. They were great days, I loved every minute of it and worked with some very famous stars including Judy Garland. The theatre life is a fantastic training for business and hospitality, you were never late for rehearsals or the show, you worked as a team, always gave your best performance and if you were standing up and breathing you were on!

Burns Supper is always a very popular event and will be held on Saturday January 29th at The Cloud Hotel. Harry Macfadyen drives all the way from Scotland to pipe in the haggis and compere the evening. We have enjoyed his company for the past eight years and Burns Night wouldn't be the same without Harry who not only plays the bagpipes, guitar and sings but also organises the Scottish Country dancing after dinner. He appeared at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007 and was invited to play at one of our guest's wedding last year having met the couple at The Burns Supper.

The future is uncertain but we are all excited at the prospect of another busy year at The Cloud and to having the pleasure of welcoming our regular customers back as well as introducing new customers to The Cloud.

A belated Happy New Year to you all