I’ve always been a people person and when I finished school that passion for people is what lead me to Weston Technical College where I obtained a BTEC diploma in Hotel and Catering. My first work experience was at Ladbrokes Dragonara 4 star hotel where I waited on tables in the restaurant for just 10 days before being offered a receptionist role. I met Fevzi at the Dragonara and before long we were off to sea where I spent 7 sociable years managing bars on cruise liners. We bought a bar and restaurant in Norway with Fevzi’s family which we both worked at for a while I then took time off to have our three children. As the children started to grow I was keen to get back into the world of hospitality, Berwick lodge came up for sale and the rest is history.
Berwick lodge is a small, boutique hotel on the outskirts of Bristol that offers luxurious accommodation, a fine dining restaurant, cookery school and a dedicated conference centre. Set in 18 acres of gardens and woodland and located just a short distance from Bristol and the M5, the space lends itself to corporate events, team building and away days. I own the business with my husband Fevzi who is hands on with the development of the facilities and I manage the hotel on a day to day basis.
Having had the opportunity of work experience myself, I believe in offering guidance to young people to get their foot on the hospitality ladder, that’s why we work closely with City of Bristol College and employ apprentices. Like anyone who owns their own business there are many ups and downs and learning curves. The first few years were tough but thanks to the knowledge and support of my staff, in August 2014 we were awarded with 5 AA stars for guest accommodation – the first venue in Bristol to achieve this accolade! Moments like this make it all worthwhile and drive the business forward. What’s in store for Berwick this year? The return of many of our valuable customers, plans in place for a spa and hopefully 3 rosettes for the restaurant. My long term goal is that Berwick is a venue to which people aspire, similar to her personal favourite, Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford. And a Michelin star would be the icing on the cake. My favourite saying is ‘do what you love and love what you do’ and I certainly live by that!