Customer Profile: You have heard it on the grapevine

When your hotel is off the beaten track, you have to rely on your good reputation and word of mouth to attract a constant stream of customers.

Those ‘in the know’ in Skegness head in the direction of The Vine Hotel, nestled in a quiet cul de sac away from the town’s busy thoroughfares.

“It’s in the middle of nowhere,“ says Anthony Greenland, head chef at the busy, three-star hotel for the last six years. “In fact the first time I went, I couldn’t fi nd it!”

He continues: “We’re not your typical Skegness B&B. We’re off the beaten track and an upmarket, family-run hotel which is very popular with business people.”

Prior to his arrival at The Vine, Anthony worked in a restaurant in Southport for 10 years, where he was headhunted by the hotel’s owner.

His working hours are 10am to 3pm and 4.30pm to 10/11pm fi ve days a week, and he prides himself on the standard of food on offer in the hotel’s restaurant, which he describes as “global cuisine”.

“I would be very surprised if someone came to the restaurant and couldn’t find something on the menu they liked,” he continues. “Everything is cooked from scratch. We make four different pasta dishes daily and all of the pasta is homemade.

“Our buffet breakfasts are freshly cooked and I use Country Range products in a lot of my dishes. As an own brand it’s really good quality – and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. We don’t cut corners in any way.

“I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels and rarely come across breakfasts as good as ours. We give that little bit extra. There’s nothing worse than a breakfast with cold, hard bacon. We use local sausages and bacon, homemade black pudding, fried bread, Country Range Hash Browns and Country Range Baked Beans.”

The hotel’s continental breakfast offering features Country Range Fruit Juices, fresh fruit salad, pastries and Country Range Prunes.

Visitors to the hotel can also take advantage of its outside dining pods, which feature Bluetooth speakers, indoor heaters and waitress service. They can be booked for free and are perfect for parties of up to 10 people.

Freshly made pizzas are rustled up in The Vine’s wood-burning pizza oven and topped with Country Range Grated Mozzarella and other delicious toppings.

“We’re at 80% capacity every night so we must be doing something right,” says Anthony. “It’s what I’ve done all my life so, to me, it’s normal and to do it for this long you have to love your job. I’m lucky because I’ve got good owners who let me get on with it, so the job is easy. If you’re battling with them you’re not going to enjoy it. You’ve got to find a happy balance. I’ve also got a good team of chefs around me and I look after them like brothers.”