Last week, Langdon Park students were lucky enough to be shown around two high-end establishments and discuss the ins and outs of hospitality.
The first group were taken around the Royal Foundation of St Katharine. A beautiful urban oasis in the heart of the East End, neatly tucked away behind Limehouse Station... a hidden gem.
The Langdon Park group along with JET Tutor Richard Cohen, arrived at 10am into the RFSK reception and were greeted by Operations Director Jonathan Byrne. After a short talk about the potential opportunities that come with hospitality work, how the RFSK like to look after their staff and the importance of a happy workplace, everyone then walked over to the incredible Chapel which stands tall just past the courtyard. A stunning building at the centrepiece of the retreat.
Once inside, Jonathan discussed the history of the foundation with the students. Founded by Queen Matilda in 1147, the Royal Foundation of St Katharine has served as a centre for worship, hospitality and service over many centuries.
Students were also taken into one of the rooms so they could see what to expect upon a stay at the foundation but also to get an idea of what is expected of staff in terms of cleaning standards and housekeeping.
Our Job Enterprise and Training Service has always worked closely with RFSK and have had interns come through their School's Internship programme to earn full-time employment at the RFSK's Yurt Cafe. The Yurt Cafe is a Social Enterprise which first opened it's doors in 2015 which serves craft coffee, delicious homemade food, cakes, pastries, beer, wine and even cocktails!
Jonathan and his excellent staff then kindly put on tea, coffee and pastries for all the students which they enjoyed in the lounge area before having their lunch and departing.
Our second group of students travelled to Canary Wharf to have a look around the stunning Novotel; a modern and stylish 39-storey hotel, located in the capital's world-famous financial district.
Impressed on arrival, students waited in the quirky reception before being taken up to the first floor where they were spoken to by an experienced member of staff who expressed her love and commitment to the world of catering and hospitality.
They then took the lift up to one of the most prestigious suites in the hotel. Students were clearly 'wowed' by the sheer scale of the suite, a staff member explained about the quality and class of the room and why this was priced significantly higher than most rooms; with a huge TV mounting the wall, a large lounge area and enormous bed, it was clear to see why...!
They were then taken into a smaller room which had a stunning view across London. The tour then led students to the restaurant, where they were given pastries to try, followed by the stunning rooftop bar where students enjoyed spectacular 360 views of the growing London skyline.
Students were also shown the gym and swimming pool before being directed back to reception - inspired and gleaming a student enthusiastically asked whether they could start work experience immediately! This was a fantastic opportunity for the students and we hope that both groups left the establishments feeling inspired.
Images from Royal Foundation at St Katharine
Images from Novotel, Canary Wharf