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Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Only a few more days until we celebrate Christmas and I'm sure like me you are wondering where this year has gone? They say it's a sign of age but even my children are asking what happened to last year? I hasten to add they are in their thirties and forties! 

Brockenhurst made the BBC and ITV news on Thursday due to the flooding! I have to say I get absolutely fed up with the media and the way they exaggerate everything. Have they any idea how their negative reporting affects local businesses. Parts of Brockenhurst were flooded today but they were mainly the fields and forest, most of the roads were clear and with a few diversions it was possible to access all of Brockenhurst and all of our customers arrived safely. The TV news showed a car submerged under a bridge in Brockenhurst, well that bridge is regularly flooded throughout the year and it was irresponsible of the occupants to even try to drive through it. 

Our Christmas functions have been in full swing since December 1st and the Christmas decorations created by Mike Dacombe of Inspiration New Milton have had wonderful comments from our customers.

The Wessex Women's Network raised £1020-00 at their Christmas Dinner and all proceeds went to Macmillan Cancer Support. The Highcliffe Junior Choir started the evening off with Christmas carols before we all tucked into a delicious Christmas dinner.

I had the pleasure of chairing the judges for the annual Rotary Youth Speaks competition that was held at Arnewood School in New Milton. The standard was so high that it was very difficult to choose a winner. The judges were so impressed with not only the way the young people presented their speeches but the amount of research that they had done on their various subjects.

The Hotel closes on December 27th to allow us to decorate and do general maintenance but will re-open on Sunday January 13th 2013. I hope I will have the pleasure of welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel where you can unwind and relax in a friendly atmosphere. Take advantage of our special winter breaks full details on our website or call the hotel on 01590 622165.

My staff join me in wishing you a very happy Christmas and a New Year filled with good health and happiness.

Avril 








Sunday, 18 November 2012

Pre-Christmas Breaks

Having just returned from a holiday in the sun I was amazed at the glorious Autumn colours of the trees in the New Forest this year. I think this is one of the most spectacular displays of colour I have seen for a long time, the leaves are still on the trees and it's the middle of November!

I can't believe it will soon be Christmas and the Christmas decorations go up at the Cloud Hotel next Sunday ready for the pre Christmas lunches and dinners that start on December 1st! Mike Dacombe of Inspiration, a beautiful gift shop in New Milton, designs our Christmas decorations every year and they are always spectacular. Pre Christmas dinners and lunches are very popular and you can see the menus on the website however as we have so many regular customers we also have a daily menu available in December.

I hope you will enjoy the new video on our website www.cloudhotel.co.uk. Paul Bliss of BlissMediaWorks filmed and designed it and I am very happy with the finished product I hope you like it too.

If you feel like a break before Christmas why not take advantage of our special offers and come and experience the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Cloud Hotel. Unwind in front of our roaring log fire with a glass of mulled wine after a day in the New Forest or a walk along the coast. There are some lovely shops in Brockenhurst, New Milton and Lymington where you can do your  Christmas shopping away from the crowds and you can pick up some bargains at the Lymington Saturday market. Make a week-end of it and stay 2 nights and get the 3rd night free from £180-00 per person dinner bed and breakfast and we will up-grade you if possible.

For those who feel energetic cycling in the New Forest National Park is the ideal way to see the wildlife and beautiful scenery that can often be missed if you are travelling by car. Why not leave the car at home and catch the fast train from Waterloo directly to Brockenhurst and bring your bikes, the train journey only takes one hour and thirty five minutes. We have a secure covered bike shed where you can leave your bikes overnight and to get the best deal book your train ticket with South West trains on-line.

Gift Vouchers are available from reception for either a lunch, dinner or a stay at the Cloud Hotel or just any monetary amount. Vouchers are always a welcome gift for an elderly relation or friend and solves the problem of what to give them!

For further information regarding our special offers or gift vouchers please call 01590 622165 and one of my loyal and committed staff will be happy to help you.

I look forward to hearing from you

Avril


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cloud Hotel 80 years old

I didn't realise how long it had been since I wrote my last Blog! The only excuse I have is I have been so busy at the hotel there just hasn't been time. The hotel has been fully booked for most of September and bookings are coming in thick and fast for October before the winter sets in. The New Forest is lovely in the Autumn with the trees turning a golden colour and can be quite stunning on a sunny day and there can still be warm sunny days in October. Take advantage of our special mid-week offers stay 3 nights and get 4th night free.

The Cloud Hotel is celebrating it's 80th birthday today. Lady Reid of Hyde Park Gardens in London was the first guest to sign the visitors book on September 30th 1932. All the visitors books are available to view at the hotel and guests love looking up the names of their parents or grandparents when they come to stay.

I attended the AA Hospitality Awards 2012 last week at the London Hilton Hotel Park Lane. These awards are amongst the most prestigious national awards of their kind and is the event for everyone in the hospitality industry to attend, this year 850 guests attended. The presenter for the evening was Kate Silverton probably best known for presenting the TV news and the entertainment was provided by Siren. The Sirens are graduates from the world's leading conservatoires and are very talented musicians as well as very entertaining. Hospitality is very male dominated and the winners are selected in recognition of excellence and success within their chosen category I would love to see a woman be recognised and receive an individual award one year!

The Cloud Hotel always takes part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and this year was no exception. We managed to raise £425-00 thanks to the people who came and supported us. Numbers were well down this year probably because so many people in the area hold a coffee morning now but every penny that we can raise allows the charity to provide patients and their families with the help and support they need.

Tea at The Cloud Hotel has become a popular event and is ideal for those special family occasions. More and more people are coming to enjoy our dainty sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam served in one of our cosy lounges or the conservatory. Booking is essential for our high tea menu but you can call in any time for cream tea or morning coffee. We now serve cappuccino, latte and espresso coffee, I look forward to welcoming you.

The clocks go back at the end of October and it will soon be time to light our log fire, where does the time go?

Til the next time.

Avril

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Fantastic Olympic Games

What an exciting and eventful year it has been with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations followed by the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games still to look forward to.  How brilliantly we did not only by coming 3rd in the medal tables but also the opening and closing ceremonies were fantastic. All the hard work, training and organising of the Games has to be praised and it made me proud to be British I think we did a super job. Let's hope that the winning mindset of all the competitors, the enthusiasm and determination to succeed will continue in the future and inspire and encourage our young people to work hard and reach for their goals. For two weeks the spirit of the country was exciting and fun I personally loved every minute of it so let's hope that positive attitude will continue in the future.

Which brings me on to my next point. There are some people in this country who are only happy when they are putting someone or a business down and although I like to have feedback, after all that's how we learn to improve the business, Trip Advisor allows anyone to put nasty and very often comments that are untrue about the hotel. I only wish I could put all the positive comments I have written about the hotel in my visitors book by customers, many of whom come back year after year on Trip Advisor. It would be much better if customers who are not happy with the service or product would tell us face to face so we could rectify the problem instead of leaving and putting some negative comment on Trip Advisor for the world to see! Luckily most of my customers are very happy or they wouldn't keep coming back.

I can't believe it will soon be September! Time flies when you're having fun! September is one of my favourite months, there is a calm about it and often the weather is warm and sunny. Christmas will soon be here and on a positive note the Cloud Hotel is fully booked for Christmas! Bookings are coming in thick and fast for the pre-Christmas lunches and dinners so if you have a specific date in mind don't leave it too long as some days are fully booked already and it's only August! The pre-Christmas lunch and dinner menus can be seen on our website www.cloudhotel.co.uk or if you would like us to send you a copy please call 01590 622165.

That's all for now

Avril
















Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee at the Cloud because after years of only serving filter coffee I have invested in a brand new coffee machine and you can now enjoy, latte, cappuccino, espresso or americano coffee. Meet up with family and friends and relax in one of our cosy lounges, the conservatory or secluded garden and enjoy one of our special coffees. 

We were lucky enough to have a lovely sunny day last Sunday for the Charity Cream Tea we had organised as part of Hampshire Fare. The event was very well attended and thanks to Linzi Luker of Linzi's of Lymington who donated the scones, 3663 who donated the strawberry jam and Wrights Dairies who donated the clotted cream a grand total of £800-00 was raised to be shared between Jacksplace at Naomi House Children's Hospice www.naomihouse.org.uk and The Variety Club Children's Charity www.varietyclub.org.uk. Both these charities do wonderful work for children and deserve as much support as we can give them. A number of people donated raffle prizes including Phase Eight of Lymington, Neat of Lymington and Barry Rickman of Barry Rickman Photographers Sway who also organised the successful raffle.

In spite of the gloomy weather on Saturday I went to welcome the Olympic Torch through Brockenhurst with Lucy one of my waitresses. The main road was packed with people, I didn't know  so many people lived in Brockenhurst! It was a wonderful atmosphere and well worth the wait, it lifted everyone's spirits and brought the local community together in spite of the rain.

Speaking of which, if the weather forecasters are right there is a warm sunny front on it's way for the weekend and next week! Fingers crossed because it is the New Forest and Hampshire County Show from July 24th - 26th and we really do need some warm weather to cheer us all up. The Queen and Prince Philip are visiting the Show on Wednesday 25th July and it is the Queen's last official engagement of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country, I'm sure she must be looking forward to a rest at Balmoral.

As we do not accommodate young children at the Cloud Hotel the month of August can be just as peaceful and relaxing as the rest of the year and surely there will be some sun by then!  You can benefit from our special August offers stay 3, 4 or 5 nights and get an extra night free. For more details call 01590 622165 and my receptionists will be only too happy to help you.

Macmillan Cancer Support is another charity we support at the Cloud Hotel and we will be taking part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 28th September from 10-30 - 1145am. Do come along and bring your family and friends to help raise alot of money for another excellent charity for which I am an ambassador.

I look forward to having the pleasure of your company.

Avril




Friday, 22 June 2012

Now the Diamond Jubilee celebrations are over we can look forward to the Olympics! The Olympic torch will be coming through Brockenhurst on Saturday July 14th at approximately 10-25am before there is a break at Brockenhurst College between 10-30am and 10-55am when you won't be-able to see the torch at this time. I'm sure we are all hoping for some good weather for the torch bearers and the spectators as we've just about had enough rain for this summer? Today is the longest day and the evenings begin to draw in now but we must not let all this doom and gloom get us down. There is so much to enjoy in this country particularly in the New Forest National Park and the surrounding areas. The Cloud Hotel continues to be very busy with so many customers returning every year to enjoy the peace and ambiance we offer. Children over 12 years are welcome but we do not accommodate young children enabling our customers to relax and unwind in a beautiful location nestled in the heart of the New Forest.

Talking of celebrations I attended the Women 1st Shine Awards 2012 Dinner on Tuesday June 19th at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel as I had been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award. I felt very honoured at having been recognised by Women 1st especially with 4 other very inspirational and successful women. Jill Stein received the award and she was a very deserving recipient. Jill Stein is the ex-wife of Rick Stein the famous seafood chef and between them they have built a small empire of restaurants, cookery school, a pub, shop  from what started as one seafood restaurant in Padstow.
Women 1st was launched by Cherie Blair in 2008? and empowers the women leaders of tomorrow in hospitality,leisure, travel and tourism, a subject I am quite passionate about myself.

The Cloud Hotel is also proud to announce that we have earned the prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor for consistently good reviews from customers. Praise must go to my staff who continue to work hard and are committed to providing the customers with excellent service.

As part of the Hampshire Food Festival we are holding a Charity Cream Tea at the Cloud Hotel on Sunday July 15th from 4pm. All proceeds are to be shared between Jack's Place at Naomi House Hospice and the Variety Club Children's Charity. To book your place please call 01590 622165.

The New Forest & Hampshire County Show takes place in Brockenhurst from July 24th -26th, if you buy your tickets before July11th you will get 20% off. All details of the Show can be found on www.newforestshow.co.uk It is a great day out celebrating the Best of Britain in 2012. If you would like to take advantage of our special mid-week break and visit the show we only have a couple of rooms left at the time of writing.

Would you believe due to popular demand we have our pre- christmas lunch and dinner menus available! The year is just flying by and people are booking their pre-christmas parties already to be sure they get their required date. Don't leave it too late because although I hate to say it, Christmas will soon be here again.

Look out for the new video that will be launched very soon on the website, details to follow in my next Blog.

I look forward to welcoming you to this beautiful part of the Country.

Avril

Monday, 21 May 2012

'Bring Me Sunshine'

I expect like me you were beginning to wonder if we were ever going to have a summer but the sun is shining today. In spite of the miserable weather we have had the Cloud Hotel has been very busy and the guests have been able to enjoy the area as there is so much to do within a 20 mile radius. There are many attractions such as Beaulieu Motor Museum, Exbury Gardens the Titanic Museum in Southampton, the Mary Rose in Portsmouth Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral to name just a few. If you don't want to use your car there is a regular train service to both Bournemouth and Southampton where there are really good shopping centres, cinemas and theatres.

However if you come to the New Forest you really want to be able to enjoy all the wonderful sights and sounds it has to offer. The Cloud Hotel is in the heart of the New Forest and you can walk out of the door of the Cloud, cross the road and walk for miles in open forest and woodlands. The New Forest ponies, cattle and donkeys roam free in front of the hotel, and only this week two customers saw 15 deer on the forest opposite the hotel at 1 o'clock in the morning! Unfortunately not many of us were up at that time to see them. The foals are making an appearance at last, the forest is a beautiful fresh bright green and the flowers are in bloom, it's a feel good day today.

Another way to explore the New Forest is on a bike. The Forestry Commission manages and maintains 100 miles of surfaced tracks through woodlands and open forest. Cycle maps are available at reception and we can store your bikes overnight in our secure covered bike shed.
If you just want to relax and unwind you can enjoy the peace and quiet of our secluded garden with a glass of Pimms or wine. You don't even have to move from the hotel as morning coffee, lunches and afternoon tea is available every day.

I am pleased to report that Mandie has returned to the fold after a 6 month absence and we are all delighted to welcome her back.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel and to experience the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest National Park.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Year of Celebrations

Can you believe a quarter of the year has passed by already! It only seemed like the other day we were celebrating Christmas but the good thing is the warmer weather should be on it's way, the foals will soon be appearing in the New Forest National Park and the evenings are getting lighter

It's a year of celebrations with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June and the Olympics and Paralympics taking place from July 27th to 9th September. Both these events can be watched on television at the hotel and if you want to escape to the peace and tranquillity of the New Forest why not enjoy one of our special mid-week breaks stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free from £287-00 per person dinner bed and breakfast.

Exbury Gardens are always worth a visit and from April until mid May Exbury's woodland floors are carpeted with Bluebells and they are quite a wonderful sight. To check the current flowering conditions visit the website www.exbury.co.uk as they can vary depending on the climate.

On Good Friday the 2nd Chef Pete Lovell retired after 12 years service at the Cloud Hotel, we were sorry to say goodbye to Pete but are happy to welcome Tim Slingo to join Steve Gates team of chefs. Steve has been Head Chef at the Cloud Hotel for 14 years and continues to provide our customers with delicious traditional English food with the support of Tim, David and Mel.

There has been alot of publicity in the media lately about the cost of afternoon tea at some of the larger well known hotels. Afternoon tea at the Cloud can be enjoyed in one of our cosy lounges, conservatory or in the warmer weather our secluded garden for just £15-00 or £21-00 with a glass of sparkling wine. We provide a selection of dainty sandwiches, home-made cakes and scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. This is an ideal way to celebrate a birthday or wedding anniversary in a tranquil setting overlooking the New Forest or it's just a lovely way to spend an afternoon catching up with family and friends. Booking is essential for our Set Afternoon Tea but no booking is required for our famous cream teas that are served between 3 and 5-30pm every day.

I was recently interviewed by Alex Dyke on Radio Solent about why the Americans always offer a free top up for coffee and the English very seldom do. Not to be beaten by the Americans I announced on Radio Solent that we will offer a free top up for coffee or tea in the future. I'm looking forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Now Spring is here it's a perfect time to get out on your bicycles and enjoy some fresh air in the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest. There are several bike hire establishments in Brockenhurst alternatively you can bring your own bikes with you. We can provide you with a secure covered bike shed to store your bikes overnight. If you want to avoid the traffic jams and save petrol come by train, there is a fast inter city train link from Waterloo. It takes 1hr and 35 mins and if you book with South West trains on-line you can get some good deals.

Although the New Forest Show is a few months away the hotel is getting booked up for the occasion especially as it is rumoured the Queen is going to be visiting it. Don't leave it too late to book a room if you are thinking of coming to this 3 day event that takes place July 24th - 26th 2012.

If you require any further information about the Cloud Hotel please call 01590 622165 and one of my receptionists will be more than happy to help.

Avril

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Spring is in the Air

Spring is here at last, we have had some beautiful sunny days in the New Forest and guests have been able to sit out in our secluded garden. The golden daffodils are in full bloom bringing a splash of colour to the whole area and lifting everyone's spirits knowing that the warmer days and lighter evenings are just around the corner.

If you fancy a short break in the beautiful New Forest National Park at Easter you can stay 2 nights and get the 3rd night free from £175-00 per person dinner bed and breakfast. It is an ideal area for cycling and walking, we have a secure covered bike shed to store your bikes and if you want to leave your car at home you can get a train from Waterloo direct to Brockenhurst. It only takes one hour and thirty five minutes and you would avoid the Easter traffic jams. There's even a chance you might see the first foal of the year!

However you might just prefer to sit, unwind and relax in one of our cosy lounges or if the weather is nice in our secluded garden. The choice is yours but whatever you like to do we aim to make your stay comfortable, enjoyable and relaxing away from the stresses of everyday life.

Speaking of stress I did drive to London on Thursday to be a guest on the radio with my eldest daughter Amanda. We were being interviewed by Viv Oyolu of Dream Corner on FM101.4. If it hadn't been for Amanda who knows the roads around Hammersmith I would still be driving round the roundabout, as it was I did manage to go round twice. However we arrived at the studios safely and on time. Dream Corner is a radio show and online hub of interviews inspiring women of all ages to follow their dreams or passion. Viv is a warm and bubbly person with a great sense of humour and we were enjoying ourselves so much that the hour just flew by.

It was an exciting day because Amanda was on the One Show on BBC1 that evening and we rushed back to see the programme. It had been pre recorded so Amanda was nervous about watching herself on TV as they always edit programmes but I thought she was brilliant! [Yes, I know I'm her proud Mum!] She is the course leader at Winchester University  on the Vocal and Choral course and she was speaking about how the voice can develop. She is speaking to the Wessex Women on May 22nd on presentation skills a talent many people are lacking.

Finally I wish all Mothers a very happy and relaxing Mothering Sunday

Til next time

Avril

Thursday, 16 February 2012

TripAdvisor!

Having just suffered from an invalid review on TripAdvisor I would like to share my experience of the site and how unreliable it is. A local resident of Brockenhurst applied for a job at the Cloud Hotel and was unsuccessful. He then sent me abusive emails, my staff had most unpleasant phone calls from him and eventually he put an 'Awful' as he put it review on TripAdvisor saying that I the Proprietor was only good enough to be on my knees cleaning the toilets. He has never stayed at the Cloud Hotel. I then discovered he had been employed at Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst and had been sacked and had put a 'Horrible' review on their site. Thankfully TripAdvisor have taken my complaints seriously and removed the review but it took a certain amount of effort and perseverance on my part to achieve it. TripAdvisor has experienced bad publicity recently and I think it is important for everyone to know that many of the reviews both good and bad are not genuine and they can do some businesses alot of damage.

Apart from the stress and upset this gave myself and my staff, this week has been busy and enjoyable. The Encore Restaurant was packed on Valentines day with mature couples enjoying a romantic lunch for  'The Young At Heart', proving you are never too old for romance. The Valentines candlelit dinner was also very popular and it is good to know that love is still in the air. Credit must go to my Head Chef Steve Gates and my second chef Pete Lovell who produced a delicious 4 course meal enjoyed by everyone. Champagne and canapes welcomed the guests and beautifully presented chocolates were supplied by Inspiration of New Milton.

On Monday I gave a talk to St Anne's Church Fellowship group  on my life on how a Tiller Girl became a successful Business Woman and how I discovered I didn't just have brains in my feet! I really enjoyed the evening as they were a lively group, it makes such a difference if the people you are talking to are responsive and happy.

I have been asked by Peter Czapp of The Wow Company to be on the panel and take part in Entrepreneurs' Tales at Business South at the Rose Bowl on February 23rd at 10-45-11-45pm. If you would like to book click on to entrepreneurstales@eventbrite.co.uk  there is no charge for the event and you will hear how four entrepreneurs have built up their businesses and become successful. I am the only woman on the panel!

For details of our mid-week and special winter weekend breaks click on to our website www.cloudhotel.co.uk The New Forest National Park is beautiful even in winter with wide open spaces to walk and cycle, we have a secure covered bike shed for you to store your bikes over night.

The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on Wednesday 22nd February at 6-30pm for 7pm when Susan Symes will be giving us a talk on 'Art in Miniature'.  Susan will be bringing along hundreds of buttons she has collected over the years and telling us the history of them. There are still p[laces left, these evenings are always such fun so book now to avoid disappointment.

Spring is around the corner and the evenings are getting lighter so before we know it Spring will be here and the foals will be dancing around the New Forest, it's my favourite time of the year. I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel.

Avril

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Love Is In The Air, it's February!

Well the Cloud Hotel opened it's doors on Friday 13th January after a two and a half week break when we were able to do general maintenance, decorate some of the bedrooms and generally give the hotel a spring clean ready for the coming year.

The Encore Restaurant has been busy since we re-opened with private functions and lunches and we had a very successful Burns Supper with a full house on Saturday 28th January. Harry Macfayden piped in the haggis for the eleventh year running and hosted the Scottish Country dancing after the traditional celebrations. Harry drives all the way from Scotland every year to join us for our Burns Supper.

I am always being asked about the history of the Cloud Hotel as it is an unusual building and I have at last managed to produce a leaflet with the history of the hotel with the help of Dougal Matthews of Critical Media www.criticalmedia.co.uk who designed it for me. The hotel is 80 years old this year and I still have the original visitor's book  signed by Lady Reid of Hyde Park Gardens in September 1932 who must have been the first guest to stay at the Cloud Hotel. In fact I have all the visitors books from the day the hotel opened and present day visitors love to find their names or even their parents names from when they stayed at the Cloud Hotel as children.

It's been a cold crisp day today with blue skies and glorious sunshine but the New Forest National Park is a special place to escape to in winter with lovely walks, fresh air and wide open spaces. Just step outside the Cloud Hotel and you are in the New Forest. Wrap up warm and enjoy the scenery then return to the Cloud Hotel to enjoy a mug of steaming hot chocolate or cup of tea with our delicious homemade scones by a roaring log fire in our cosy lounges.

Valentines day is just around the corner and our popular lunch for the Young at Heart is nearly fully booked so don't leave it too late to spoil that special person in your life. You can also enjoy a candlelit dinner in a romantic setting with a glass of champagne, to view both menus look up www.cloudhotel.co.uk

It will soon be Spring, the evenings are getting lighter and I even have a daffodil out in the garden! The New Forest is a special place to live and visit.

Avril

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Looking forward to a New year

With another successful Christmas at the Cloud Hotel behind us it is time to look forward to a New Year and a fresh start. I can't believe it has been over a month since I last wrote a blog but the lead up to Christmas was so busy with pre-Christmas parties and then getting ready for Christmas itself the time just flew by. It was a full house in the hotel and everyone enjoyed themselves so much so that if you are thinking of coming to the Cloud Hotel for next Christmas you will need to book soon, there are only three rooms available for Christmas 2012 as most people booked for next Christmas as they left!

The Hotel closed as usual on December 27th for two weeks to allow the staff to have a much earned holiday and to allow us to decorate the hotel, clean the carpets and generally do the annual maintenance ready for the coming season.

On December 29th I took the staff to the London Palladium to see the Wizard of Oz. Every year we go and see a show in London just after Christmas, it is my way of thanking them for all their loyalty and hard work. It was a fantastic show and the effects and scenery were amazing, unlike the days when I was in shows and the scenery came down from the ceiling or stage hands ran on and off with flats!

On Tuesday I was invited by Women 1st to a networking evening at the Dorchester Hotel Park Lane. I joined 60 other women all of whom like myself were voted one of the top 100 most inspirational women in hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism last March to hear Shaa Wasmund give an inspirational talk about her life and her success. I came home highly motivated and buzzing with new ideas. I had a wonderful evening.

I'm looking forward to attending the Innholders Conference on January 16th and 17th at the London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane. I always love listening to the speakers at this conference and never fail to come away with new ideas as well as meeting my colleagues in the industry and having the chance to exchange notes. It is very much a male dominated conference but I can handle that after all these years!

The Cloud Hotel opens tomorrow Friday 13th and we are optimistic that we will have another busy year.  We look forward to welcoming our guests to the Cloud Hotel so they can unwind and relax in the beautiful New Forest National Park.

Avril