Kirsty Staniland on working as an Executive Host

Kirsty StanilandWhat is your role?

I’m the Executive Host at a Georgian grade II listed guest house in Derbyshire. It’s an exclusive venue for corporate hospitality and private meetings set in comfortable and discreet surroundings.

My job is to deliver an exceptional guest and hospitality experience for all customers visiting the site and I help manage two conference rooms and a house with nine double bedrooms, dining room, snooker room, lounge and bar.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

My job is very hands-on and I assist in everything from taking the bookings, reporting any building issues, setting-up the conference rooms, serving refreshments, planning the menus with the chefs, serving a Champagne reception to our evening guests and working with our waiting-on staff to serve a four course dinner. My day can start as early as 6am or finish as late as 2am and no two customers are the same.

What’s the most interesting thing about your job?

It has to be the standard of food and wine we serve. I came into the job knowing very little about food and wine apart from how to eat and drink it! I now have the chance to watch, learn and work with our head chef, who previously worked with Raymond Blanc!

The thought and detail that is put into every course, which is designed specifically to each customer, is exceptional. As for the wine… it is our job to pair the wine with food, and to help clients understand our extensive wine cellar. I’ve recently attended a course for a Level 2 qualification in wines and spirits to help develop my skills.

Have you got any interesting stories you can share?

A group of VIPs stayed with us last year and I was invited to play ‘wavy line snooker’ with them to make up the numbers. I certainly need to brush-up my skills in case that happens again!

What is your favourite part of the role?

It has to be liaising with the customers directly. The majority of our guests are VIP clients from all over the world, so I find talking to them extremely interesting. It’s great seeing them in a relaxed environment which they treat like home during their stay.

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