The Whittling House in Alnmouth has appointed experienced hospitality operator Lottie Haylock as General Manager.
As the stylish boutique hotel and restaurant prepares for its much-anticipated official opening, Lottie has been busy putting together her 30-strong team, including Head Chef, Dan Duggan.
Nestled in the heart of the village, which sits on a beautiful stretch of the Northumberland coast, The Whittling House will offer a special kind of laid-back luxury making it a must-visit for those exploring the stunning surroundings.
With 10 blissful bedrooms, an elegant restaurant showcasing the very best local produce and a welcoming bar just perfect for a relaxing pint, day trippers, overnight visitors and locals alike will find it impossible to resist.
And Lottie is looking forward to offering them all the warmest of welcomes.
Joint Chair of the North East Hotels Association (NEHA), Lottie has more than 25 years of experience from across the industry, including six years with the Malhotra Group in Newcastle where she was manager of the Grey Street Hotel before becoming group-wide Accommodation and Commercial Manager.
Lottie comes to The Whittling House following a year with OYO Hotels – a fast-growing international hospitality chain, which works with independent hotels to help drive sales and improve standards – where she oversaw 40 properties across the North East.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and more than a little bit excited to have been brought in at The Whittling House right at the start of this very special journey.”
The Whittling House is a joint project between renowned North East chef and restaurant owner, Richard Sim, who runs the much-loved Potted Lobster in Bamburgh, and Kelso-based entrepreneur, Tom Leslie.
Lottie continued: “After meeting with Tom and Richard, I was buzzing and really wanting to be part of their ambitious plans. We have a very similar outlook regarding what we think is important when it comes to customer experience.
“A restructure at OYO made be rethink what it was that I really enjoyed doing – and what I was missing was working closely with a group of people.
“I’m really into building a good team and championing staff development and I wanted to get back to looking after people.”
Richard said: “It didn’t take long after meeting with Lottie to realise she was exactly who we were looking for. She has a wealth of experience and a great reputation in the North East’s hospitality sector.”
Tom added: “Lottie was immediately on board with our vision for The Whittling House and shares our enthusiasm and ambitions for the project. Add to this her strong track record in the industry and we feel very lucky to have her on board.”
Having spent the past few weeks assembling her team, one of Lottie’s first appointments was Dan Duggan as Head Chef.
Following 10 years at Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle – the last two of which were as Head Chef – Dan is moving to The Whittling House from The Northumberland Arms in Felton, Northumberland.
As Head Chef, Dan won an AA Rosette after one year on the job and is looking forward to continuing his passion for serving up expertly cooked and locally sourced food from The Whittling House kitchen.
He said: “I was really pleased to be offered the position of Head Chef and can’t wait to get started. I’m looking forward to working closely with Richard, who has been and remains a massively influential chef in Northumberland. He’s done great things at the Potted Lobster.
“Good quality, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients will be at the heart of what we’ll be doing at The Whittling House,” he continued. “Working with the very best, local produce is always the best option. That’s the kind of cooking I grew up doing and it’s the kind of cooking I always strive to do now.”
Of Dan’s appointment, Lottie said: “Dan’s passion for locally-sourced and beautifully cooked dishes shines through when you talk to him – and his experience speaks for itself. We’re thrilled to have him taking charge of the kitchen.”
The Whittling House, a stylish addition to the luxury landscape on the Northumberland coast is open for bookings, including a number of Christmas and New Year packages.