Wednesday, 17 February 2016

In the hot seat with Celine Leslie from Gravetye Manor

We love to get to know the people behind our hotel clients and this month we have got to know Celine from Gravetye Manor in East Sussex...

Gravetye Manor is a 4 Red Star, 17 bedroom Elizabethan manor house set in 1,000 acres of rolling Sussex Countryside and surrounded by a world renowned historic garden. The gardens were created by pioneering Victorian gardener William Robinson, and can be considered amongst the most influential in English gardening history.

The gardens include a 1 acre walled kitchen garden which supplies our Michelin starred restaurant. A plate of food at Gravetye always reflects the time and place, taking home grown seasonality to a new level. We pride ourselves on the warmth of our welcome and ensuring that all our guests have an unforgettable experience whenever they are with us.

Describe your job in a nutshell Marketing, Sales, PR… and whatever else needs doing!

What sets your hotels apart from the rest?
The setting is stunning, the gardens are completely unique and the legacy/history of the property. It was one of the first country house hotels, opening in 1958, and really set the benchmark for what is now a common business model.

What are the first 3 things you do when you come to work?
Open my email, check our social media pages and get a glass of water – I’m not really a tea/coffee drinker.

If you weren’t working in the hospitality industry, what would be your dream profession?
Tricky question… sometimes I think I’d love to be a fulltime Mum, but I love my job and I think the balance is healthy – but it’s not always easy in this industry. Here’s to all the ladies out there who are trying to do the same!

What’s been your career highlight so far?
When Gravetye won AA Hotel of the Year 2013/2014. I started at Gravetye in 2010, just after the owners bought it out of administration. The hotel was not in a great shape, and we went through a lot to get it back on its feet. When we won that award, I felt like we were finally seeing the fruits of all our labour!

If money were no object what would you have at your hotel?
Suites on stilts on our lake and a swimming pool!

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Wine, chocolate and box set binges… is that too many?!

What’s your favourite thing to do in you local area?
Visiting gardens and historic houses, Gravetye is a historic house with an amazing garden, but we are fortunate to be surrounded by them in the local area. Sissinghurst, Nymans, Wakehurst Place, Hever Castle, Chartwell – just to name a few!

What’s the most embarrassing thing you have done at work?
I signed off an email to one of our sterner male club members with three kisses. Obviously by mistake. He was surprisingly good humoured about it!

If you could describe yourself as a cocktail which one would you be and why?
Vodka Martini – classic and unpretentious.

What would you do if you won the lottery this weekend?
Buy a big house in southern France with a pool and a great view.

Any special offers, insights or promotions to tempt our readers?
We have a great lunch offer running at the moment (until end of Feb) in partnership with Taittinger Champagne: £35.00, includes a glass of Taittinger on arrival, 3 courses from our Daily Lunch Menu followed by coffee ( should be £48.50).

We also have a lovely two night stay available over the Easter weekend, which includes dinner, bed and breakfast throughout plus a large chocolate egg! Prices start at £362.50 per person inclusive, based on two people sharing. Terms and conditions apply to all offers so please do contact our Reception Team for further details on 01342 810567.

We love to hear from our clients and would love to feature as many as possible. If you would like to be in the next hot seat article please send us an email


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