I’m a frequent early riser so even when I have a day off I’ll usually wake up between 5am and 6am. I have been a morning person ever since my 14-year-old son Jack was born.
As soon as I’m awake, I check and respond to my emails. As head of operations for Northern Europe at Louvre Hotels Group, I monitor and oversee the performance of around 40 hotels so I don’t like to switch off completely. The hospitality industry is a fast-paced and ever-changing environment so it is important that I keep up-to-date with what’s going on within the business and the industry, and that I am aware of any actions that need to be taken – even if I’m enjoying some time off. I would usually tune into Radio 2 first thing but, more recently, I have started to listen to the new Beats Radio station which plays new music on the scene including electronic and dance hits.
Before breakfast, I’ll go for a walk around Scammonden Reservoir, it’s just five minutes away from where I live, and its range of picturesque trails help me to focus and get ready for the day ahead. Ribblehead in North Yorkshire is also great place for cycle rides – it’s a little further away so Jack and I will often spend the day exploring the different pathways and admiring the picturesque scenery. Today, I’m back before 8am and make tomato, scrambled egg and bacon for breakfast. I really enjoy cooking and spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen. I was brought up to appreciate all types of food and believe it shouldn’t be wasted, so I’m not fussy. Jack and I will often cook a meal from scratch on a Saturday night. I think it’s important that he knows his way around the kitchen and can cook himself a decent meal – but we have had some disasters and have had to order Domino’s Pizza instead.
If it’s a nice afternoon, I’ll head into Manchester or Leeds to pick up some shopping or will meet up with friends for lunch at the pub. I’m a big fan of Dusty Miller which is situated in the Old Railway Goods Yard, in Milnsbridge. The manager has created his own micro-brewery and developed recipes for his own range of quality beers. During the football season, Jack and I will try to get to all of the Manchester United home games – we are avid fans and can’t wait for the Man Utd v Tottenham game on Saturday, August 8, which kicks off the season. We often head to the cinema if the weather looks a bit grey – Jack enjoys the action films while I’m old enough to remember the first Star Wars movie. I am really looking forward to the release of the new one in December.
When back at the apartment, which was converted from an Old Mill 10-years-ago, I will usually relax in the living room. It’s the best room in the house because of the large windows which overlook the quarry. After dinner, I settle down to read a book. About 18 months ago I switched from reading paperbacks and hardbacks to reading e-books on my Ipad which was revolutionary. I mainly read autobiographies including those by Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Alex Ferguson – I’m really interested in people who have achieved a lot in life and can share their triumphs and challenge. I also spend a lot of time looking at trends within the hospitality industry and how we can better engage with customers and be one step ahead of our competitors. I have read a lot of business books about different management styles and how these can be applied to better engage and encourage staff. This inspired me to set-up the Campanile Hotel Sales Champion programme and the Stepping 4ward scheme which both look at how we can encourage staff to step out of their comfort zone and spot innovative opportunities.
I’ll fall asleep between 11pm and midnight with a head full of ideas.
Head of Operations for Northern Europe at Louvre Hotels Group