A strong team spirit and consistent hard work have together proved to be a winning formula for one of the top hotel destinations on the stunning North Norfolk coast.
Briarfields at Titchwell walked away with the Leisure and Tourism Award at last month’s presentations of the Mayor’s Awards for Business 2013.
One of the owners of the family-run hotel, Dot Lloyd, said it was a proud occasion. “The awards recognise all the efforts of everyone who works here.”
The hotel just pipped to the winner’s post its sister hotel, The Lodge, at Old Hunstanton, also nominated for the award.
“I see this as recognition for years of hard work – it has been an ongoing process. But it’s not just about the last year, it’s about consistent dedication.
“For me the pleasure is in watching my team develop their careers and seeing how their confidence builds up,” said Dot, who bought Briarfields 14 years ago with husband, Derrick and sister, Val.
And one of her team who has progressed his career at the hotel is its general manager Bradley Williams, who joined 13 years ago and for the past three-and-a-half years has served as general manager.
He said: “Winning the award is fantastic news and it’s all down to the hard work of the team throughout the hotel who strive to deliver the best service to all the guests.
“There are several young people on the team and they are always fresh and willing to learn plus they come up with new ideas. For example, we change the menu every six weeks, and they often come up with suggestions.”
The menu offers plenty of choice. Said Dot: “We always aim to meet our customers’ needs and provide a good mixture on the menu. I would like to think that if a family came in to eat, they would each find something to their liking on the menu,” said Dot.
The 180-seat cover restaurant is designed to be spacious and has also proved to be especially popular with wedding parties, offering plenty of room for guests to relax.
The 23-bedroomed hotel has embraced its location, using fresh produce for its menu, with the emphasis being very much on seasonal food. Fresh fish and shellfish are supplied by fishermen from neighbouring villages.
And it has also responded to customers’ interests, with many enjoying the great outdoors. To that end, the hotel has negotiated with the RSPB private entry to its neighbouring bird reserve and coast beyond.
And to enhance its welcome for visitors, it has redesigned its reception area. In the past year, it has also refurbished nine bedrooms and created a a further two new ones.
“We are also improving our decking area as al fresco dining has become increasingly popular,” said Dot. New chairs and tables have been set in place and there are plans for glass windbreaks to be installed at the tables.
“One of the most frequent comments we get from guests is that they come back time and time again because they feel that Briarfields is like a home from home,” said Bradley.
The hotel has a special family ambience for Bradley, whose mother, Jacky, is the head housekeeper, his youngest brother, Dean, is junior sous chef, and his twin, Blake, is barman at The Lodge.