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Builders and plaster, cement and concrete – I'm having a face-lift

13 January 2003 by
Builders and plaster, cement and concrete – I'm having a face-lift

My face-lift has begun, at long last - or rather, the Idle Rocks's has (I'm still far too young to need surgical stretching).

We are currently closed until mid-January and the boss's crew is hard at work breaking down the old in preparation for the new. It's hard to keep track of everyone, as staff are off on holiday, or doing stages at various sister hotels, and a hard core of us are heads down and hard at it.

While the builders are doing the new, we are doing the balance of the work ourselves so waiters, barmen and receptionists have all donned overalls and are cheerfully painting bedrooms (some of us have ended up wearing more paint than we put on the wall), shifting furniture, searching for seamstresses, clearing out cupboards and cellars, et al.

In addition, we are finalising all the details of a virtually new operation, trying to ensure that we leave no stone unturned. The hardest bit is ensuring that we maintain some semblance of order among the chaos.

In a week's time, we reopen for business, with a temporary kitchen and restaurant, letting only 14 of our bedrooms for the next couple of months. We'll need all our humour as the waiting staff won't be able to go into the temporary kitchen once service begins, as there's no room for anyone other than chefs and a KP.

Luckily for us, the crew isn't carrying a lot of excess weight, so size isn't an issue - though, just in case, if we're testing new dishes we want to introduce, only the skinny ones will be allowed to tuck in (that puts me first in the queue).

I must extend my heartiest congratulations to John, my head barman, and Hannah, head receptionist, who are currently in South Africa and about to tie the knot. They are a great couple and a credit to the hotel, and we wish them oodles of happiness.

Marriage may be a theme for us this year as Amanda, our front office manager, is also due to wed her intended, Mark, head chef of our sister hotel the Fowey, in early summer. Lurking in the background are Katrina and James, Rachel and Alastair - any sign of a ring yet, guys?

I'd love to have joined Hannah and John at their nuptials. Alas, I'm stuck until the temporary food operation is in place.

Sadly, I'll just have to settle for a week's skiing in Italy at the end of the month - and please don't think "break a leg", as I'm likely to oblige.

Yvonne Scott is general manager of the Idle Rocks hotel, in St Mawes, Cornwall, a privately owned, 27-bedroom property.
Next diary from Yvonne Scott: 20 February

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