Ben!

By Published On: September 30, 2022Comments Off on Ben!

“Good evening, Dr. Lawrence. I’m Ben, your assistant restaurant manager,” said a charming young man as we entered the Seafood and Grill restaurant at the Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh. 

We asked if we could enjoy preprandial drinks in the lounge before dining. Of course. Order taken, and a few minutes later, Ben appeared with selected beverages.

“I know you”, he said. “I’ve met you before”. Ben was relatively new at the hotel, and we looked at each other, racked our brains, and found they were blank. “But I’m sure”, he continued. So I rattled off the list of the 7 U.K. hotels where Wendy and I  stay regularly, and then started through others visited as one-offs or occasionally. “No. Let me tell you where I’ve worked”, said the bemused Ben. It was not a long list at all, as he is still a fairly young man. And when he said Caister Hall, I shouted “That’s it!” 

We had visited Caister Hall in January this year, for dinner and overnight. We enjoy dinner out locally from time to time, and staying over, means the evening is relaxed, and we can share a bottle of claret or whatever. It was memorable. We were the only people staying, there was just one other couple dining, the place was being refurbished, and the heating was not working. However, the restaurant (with fan heaters) was excellent, and our room (specially warmed) was comfortable, and with a lovely view. Ben had been enthusiastic in doing all he could to make us feel welcome, with quiet charm and friendly smiles. And here he was again. 

We look back on our short break at the Brudenell, where Ben was so obviously continuing to make people feel welcome and comfortable, and doing all possible to make their stay memorable. We think back to Caister Hall and wish Sian and her two partners, proprietors, success in their refurbishment and extension, and we wish Ben every success in his career in hospitality, and hope we meet up again.

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Barrie Lawrence

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