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Christmas 2014 - Tis the season to be jolly

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Worcester Cathedral, built on the banks of the River Severn, is an imposing structure reflecting every type of English architecture from Norman to Gothic styles.  Built between 1084 and 1504, its famous Norman crypt contains the body of King John, and if the building looks vaguely familiar to you, that is because the west façade can be seen on the back of our £20 notes alongside Sir Edward Elgar.

Worcester Cathedral is the base for the three-day Three Choirs Festival, which claims to be Europe’s oldest; suggestions are that the first festival took place in 1709!  Thousands of visitors from around the world will visit to experience some of the finest music performed at one of our greatest structures.

The renowned Philharmonic Orchestra will join The King’s Sisters, The Royal Marines Association Concert Band and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, along with other great guest artists in performing classics such as: The Spirit of England, Britten War Requiem, Mahler Symphony No. 2, and The Lark Ascending.  A truly fabulous day out.  Full details can be found at www.3choirs.org and www.worcestercathedral.co.uk.

Not far from Worcester is the stunning Vale of Evesham; the views are spectacular and can be seen from our very own Priory View Restaurant. What better way to enjoy a traditional three-course Sunday carvery lunch.  For more information take a look at our website.

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What a feast of Blues Upton has to offer from the 18th to the 20th of July.  The Upton Blues Festival increases in popularity each year.  Now in its 14th year, Upton is swamped with Jazz enthusiasts from all over the world who come to enjoy over a hundred gigs, playing music from the Best of British Blues to New Orleans acoustic, and all of it for free!

The festival has become so well known that major international acts travel from far and wide to perform alongside our favourite UK bands.  Some of the acts which will be performing include: The Larry Miller Band, Will Wilde, David Midgen and the Twisted Roots, Stomp & Holler, Rosco Levee & the Southern Slide, and Mitch Laddie, to name but a few.

As well as great music, there will be a variety of music workshops where visitors can try out different instruments and music styles from the experts. Definitely a date to put in your diary!

The Abbey Hotel, only a 20-minute drive from Upton, is the perfect base for your visit.  We offer you a superb range of accommodation and cuisine at competitive prices and whilst you are here, why not take in the unspoilt beauty of the Victorian spa village of Great Malvern?  Popular for its therapeutic water qualities, there are also many historic places of interest and theatres to visit.  For more information take a look at our website, call us on 01684 879193 or email us at abbey@sarova.com.

Musically yours

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If you love animals, then this year’s Cotswold Show at Cirencester Park is a must for your family. See the Shetland Pony National, where these miniatures of the equine world jump scaled-down steeplechase fences in the hope to be taken forward to the London International Horse Show at Olympia later this year.

Our canine friends aren’t missed out either, there are sheepdog displays, gundog training, and even a fun dog show where you can enter your own dog in to competitions such as: Most Handsome Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Waggiest Tail and “the Dog that the judges would most like to take home”! See Hawkeye Falconry’s stunning birds of prey in an incredible demonstration of their aerobatic abilities, definitely not to be missed.

Foodies will be enthralled with this year’s Food Festival with over one hundred stallholders offering sumptuous delicacies. Children will be enthralled by Big Pete’s Monster Truck display, as trucks leap 20ft into the air and vehicles are pulled apart in a ‘Tug of War’ display.

After such an exciting day, we will be waiting to welcome you back at the Abbey Hotel for a family dinner where children aged 12 and under can order from a special menu or eat a children-sized portion from the adult menu for half price. Toddlers aged four and under eat free!

For more information take a look at our website or contact us on 01684 892332 or at abbey@sarova.com

Cotswold Show ®Kevin Mullins Photography  Source: kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk
Cotswold Show
®Kevin Mullins Photography
Source: kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk
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Guests at the Abbey Hotel are never short of artistic diversions to enjoy. For example, the rhythms of New Orleans will be transported to Upton from the 27th to the 29th June, where you can enjoy over sixty concerts covering a plethora of music genres, such as Gypsy/Classical Jazz, Dance, Street, Gospel and Swing, to create a festival full of experience and atmosphere.  The New Orleans Jazz Band, Alan Barnes and Craig Milverton & his Trio are but a few of our best-loved musicians who will be performing over the three days, from midday until late.

That’s not all; festival-goers can enjoy the lively jazz parades featuring Wonderbrass and Brass Volcanoes, who make their debut this year.  There will be stalls alongside the riverside for you to peruse, and for those avid dancers amongst you, dedicated dance marquees with dance bands – don’t worry if you are a little rusty on the dance floor, as there will be dance classes for you to attend too!

More information and a full schedule of events can be found at www.uptonjazz.co.uk, and after all that soul music, why not make your way back to the Abbey Hotel where we are offering our own ‘Body & Sole’ two-day package.  From just £185 per room per night, you can set your own mood music with this hit attraction:-

  • Two nights accommodation
  • Dinner on both nights with half a bottle of wine per person on the first night
  • Full English breakfast
  • Map of the Malvern Hills
  • Comfy bathrobes and slippers
  • Your very own ‘Body & Sole’ pack to soak away the stress

For more information go to our website or contact us on 01684 892 332 or at abbey@sarova.com.

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Bon vivants and foodies alike will be in a fervour over the second Bank Holiday weekend in May, and you will find no better location to be than the Abbey Hotel, at the heart of all that is on offer on Sunday 25th & Monday 26th May.

The Malvern Munch Food Walk is a leisurely six-mile walk around the Malvern Hills with the lure of some exceptional local food and drink whilst listening to live music at stops along the way. Tickets are reasonably priced at £20 and available from the Malvern Tourist Information Centre.  The walk, which is a new addition to the Bank Holiday celebrations, is proving popular so booking early is advised.

A late Sunday lunch at our signature restaurant, the Priory View, (open daily from 6.00pm to 9.30pm) offers a lovely end to your sightseeing, with a spectacular view over the Vale of Evesham.  Fresh, seasonal British and Mediterranean cuisine are on offer from our three-course or à la carte menu.

 

Sunday Lunch in Great Malvern
Sunday Lunch Carvery at the Abbey Hotel

On Monday, the town hosts its 4th annual food festival close-by in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory Church.  The festival promises a day full of delicious events, food stalls, and a cookery demonstration featuring our very own television star, Felice Tochinni, one of the town’s highly acclaimed Chefs.

If you have ever tried your hand at bread making and been disappointed in your results, then Robert Swift, a leading bread maker, will share the secrets of baking the perfect loaf.  Vegetarian food features highly in the festival along with some mouth-watering cultural demonstrations of Egyptian and Asian cuisine.  Children will be entertained by local musicians and street entertainers.

Full information on the above events and a sample menu and wine list for the Abbey Hotel can be found at the following sites:

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Only 20 minutes from the Abbey Hotel lies Worcester Town Centre, the venue for our popular Worcester Motor Festival.  In its 8th year, the festival provides some real treats for the motor enthusiast.

Worcester Motor Festival 2013 Display Source: facebook.com/Worcmotorfest
Worcester Motor Festival 2013 Display
Source: facebook.com/Worcmotorfest

Taking place on Saturday 17th May, 30 of the latest models will be on display including the brand new Ford Kuga and the Fiat 500L, as well as more luxurious and traditional cars, which will be brought to you by the Malvern-based Morgan Motor Company.  If your passion is for a Triumph Herald or a Ford Thunderbird, there will be a fantastic range of over sixty vintage and classic cars from the 1920′s to the 1970′s displayed around the City Centre.

The Worcester Motor Festival promises a lively atmosphere with Salsa, Samba and Merengue music and many motor-themed activities taking place at local businesses.  There will be in-store raffles, quizzes, remote control tracks and a Motor Festival Trail with some great prizes.  Also on offer are 241 admissions at Greyfriars House & Garden and the Museum of Royal Worcester.  For more information visit www.worcesterbid.com/motorfestival.

Worcester Motor Festival 2011
Worcester Motor Festival 2011
Source: facebook.com/Worcmotorfest

On Sunday, why not visit the Weston Cider Mill in Ledbury.  The Abbey is currently offering a two-night Weston Cider break, which includes a visit to the Mill, guided tour, cider tasting and a two-course lunch.  This fantastic offer, which starts from £99 per room per night, includes dinner on both nights (with half a bottle of wine per person on the first night) and a full English breakfast – what a great way to enjoy all that Worcestershire has to offer.  For more information please take a look at our website, call us on 01684 892332 or email us at abbey@sarova.com.

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With its picturesque gardens, the Abbey Hotel is the ideal setting to explore the surrounding counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. There are many historical sites to visit including the close-by Malvern Museum (previously Malvern Priory and Gatehouse) which is steeped in history.

Dating back to 1480, many historical points of interest remain, including the Porters Squint, used by the porter who monitored all the daily movements of people and goods to the Priory estate.  It can still be seen in the archway today.  After Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, only Malvern’s Priory Church and Gatehouse survived. It was gifted to the Malvern Museum Society and is now a Grade II Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Finish your day of culture back at the Abbey Hotel’s Priory View Restaurant for a special treat.  Enjoy a pot of afternoon tea with a range of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam along with a slice of chef’s delicious cake.

Afternoon Tea at The Abbey
Afternoon Tea at The Abbey

Refreshed, you should be ready for an evening of sixties nostalgia! Historic Huntingdon Hall is the venue for the Counterfeit Sixties (www.visitworcestershire.org/Worcester-Counterfeit-Sixties-Show).  Re-live the sounds of the swinging sixties, with their tribute to over 25 bands including: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Dave Clark Five, The Kinks and The Monkeys.  Members of the Counterfeit Sixties have individually worked with renowned artists such as The Searchers, The Ivy League, The Fortunes and The Tremeloes, making them Britain’s number one tribute show.  It’s not just about the music though, the show takes you back in time with flashbacks of the era including television programmes, adverts, clothes and clips from the original bands, a truly entertaining evening.

Photo: Counterfeit Sixties Show  Source: liveshowentertainment.co.uk
Photo: Counterfeit Sixties Show
Source: liveshowentertainment.co.uk

After such an exciting evening, you can look forward to a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep in one of our 103 individually decorated bedrooms, a room for everyone!  We look forward to welcoming you at the Abbey Hotel; for more information take a look at our website or contact us on 01684 892332 or at abbey@sarova.com.

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“What do you do?” A question I get asked on countless occasions as my role is rather varied and I get to wear “many hats!”

As the Human Resources Administrator at the Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern, a typical day for me includes …

I’m focussing on the preparation of an induction programme for a new employee joining The Abbey next week. It’s essential to be organised and I give careful consideration, in liaison with the management team, to guarantee specific needs of individuals are met.

Our Company Induction offers a warm welcome to Sarova Hotels and The Abbey ensuring everyone understands our culture and goals from the very beginning. How we deliver our product and the exceptional customer service we expect is particularly important and is presented during Departmental Induction. New employees are introduced to an experienced colleague who will “show them the ropes” and help them integrate into their new working environment and team.

As part of our staff development, we are committed to supporting them in improving skills and expanding expertise.

I’ve been reviewing our training schedule for the next few months with the HR Manager and am organising some of the in-house and off-site training as well as e-learning.

We offer a range of opportunities for training and development all of which are important to gain skills and knowledge to support our staff in responding to the demands of their role.

Today I’ve arranged refresher food safety and first aid training for the kitchen and food and beverage teams as part of our health and safety plan. In addition, we propose that our Sales Manager will carry out “Showround” training which is an exciting opportunity for front of house staff to gain tips, techniques and confidence in meeting and building a rapport with potential clients.

Our staff party is fast approaching and I’m organising some fantastic prizes for our raffle. Decorations for our “Wild West” theme have to be ordered – there are so many things to choose from!

Of course, throughout the day I’m balancing the needs of the staff and managers (changing hats!), juggling priorities, talking, listening and learning.  I love having the opportunity to work with and meet different people every day and it’s great to know that what I do can impact on others lives in a positive way.

 

Lisa Chambers

HR Administrator at The Abbey, Great Malvern, Worcestershire

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Christmas 2014

Tis the season to be jolly
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Traditional Sunday Carvery Lunch

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Priory View Restaurant