Well what a difference a week makes!
Our staff are wonderful, they have not just coped without us here, they have firmly held the reins and Palé has gone from strength to strength.
While we were away we had an inspection from Visit Wales and were awarded their 5* accreditation with what we believe to be the highest score ever awarded by them for a hotel. When we were planning this venture I was very ambitious and set us a target: I wanted us to be the best hotel in Wales within three years. Well, we have been open eight months and now Palé holds the highest AA and Visit Wales score for a hotel in Wales, it’s all part of the ongoing journey… Are we proud of our staff? I should say!!
It was very important for us to gain this recognition, for while Alan and I are not Welsh by origin, Palé Hall is, many of our staff and suppliers are and certainly many of our guests are. We are very proud of this and what we, in our own small way, are beginning to contribute to the local economy and to further enhance the reputation of this beautiful area. Of course, we will continue to strive to improve on a daily basis; perfection is impossible, complacency not an option, but I think we are allowed a moment, just a moment mind, to be a tiny bit delighted.
On Thursday we held a beer and food pairing evening with our local supplier Stori Beers of Bala. Our Chef set the menu and then gave Stori the challenge to find suitable matches. It was a great success, definitely something we would like to do again, and marks the continuation of an already great relationship. We would like to thank them very much indeed.
Yesterday ten of us sat the level-two WSET wine tasting exam. That was a challenge! Neither Alan nor I have sat an exam since we were at University, and although we read a lot and are always increasing our knowledge base, I am afraid that we have both reached the age when learning is hard and a new piece of knowledge inevitably means something else drops off, and thus we expect to be soundly beaten by our much younger staff.
We have returned to a glorious spring, and so thoughts have turned to the garden and grounds. Seeds are being sewn, hanging baskets planned, more outside seating is due to be ordered and our new croquet, badminton and quoits sets are on their way. Stuart and James conducted their first major garden tour this week. Rather more turned up than they had expected, fifty rather than the anticipated thirty-five but I like to think that it’s a mark of both the excitement and the curiosity Palé is engendering locally; they were all very welcome. Stuart and James are a good team and took it all in their stride, making some excellent contacts in the process. This time last year I wrote of spring moving north up through the countryside at walking pace; well, she has arrived in North Wales and shrouded us in daffodils, magnolias and blossom, it’s enough to gladden the heart and soothe the soul.
Have a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends, and some of you with us here at Palé.