- Golden Wedding celebration….. and they met at The Swan! (4/6/2017)
We were delighted to welcome Anne & Stuart to the Moat House last weekend to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary in our Colin Lewis Suite.
Their celebration was made even more special given the fact they actually first met at our sister hotel, The Swan, Stafford
Stuart & Anne’s daughter, Sam, gave us some more information:
The happily married couple met on 6th November 1965. Stuart was from Wolverhampton and worked in a TV shop pharmacy no prescription in Stafford, Anne was a hairdresser. They were in what is now the Courtyard Bar at The Swan, previously known as the George Burrows Bar, where a jazz band was playing. Stuart was introduced to Anne by her brother Jim, whom Stuart worked with.
Later that evening they went on to the Top of the World (now Couture) and the rest, as they say, is history!
The couple married at Castle Church, Stafford on 1st April 1967 and then got into a Rolls Royce to travel to their reception which was just across the road in the church hall.
Stuart and Anne honeymooned in the Lake District. Apparently, it rained, but they said they didn’t care!
- Guest Chef Night with Adam Handling – 8th May 2017 (2/17/2017)
We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be welcoming Chef Adam Handling to The Moat House on Monday 8th May 2017 for our next Guest Chef Night.
Three AA Rosette Chef Adam will be joining our kitchen team to cook alongside our Chefs to create a stunning evening of culinary delights for our restaurant diners.
Places are limited and are sure to sell out quickly so reserve your place by calling us on 01785 712217.
The cost of the evening is £55 per person and will be payable in advance.
Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking.
- Enjoy Staffs Awards 2016 (11/17/2016)
We are delighted that our Orangery Restaurant here at The Moat House was once again named as the Restaurant of the Year at the 2016 NFU Mutual Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards held at Alton Towers Resort on Tuesday 15th November.
Not only that, we also received the coveted Taste of Staffordshire Tourism Award too for the second year running!
Awards in 20 categories were handed out at the awards ceremony which was attended by more than 150 people and was compèred by BBC radio and TV presenter Joanne Malin. Entertainment came from magician and illusionist Andrew van Buren.
The awards were independently judged and verified by Service Science. Entrants were reviewed and marked on their commitment to delivering excellent customer service, training and skills for employees, sustainability and environment, along with dedication to best practice, quality of service and product.
Sarah Montgomery, chair of Enjoy Staffordshire and Managing Director at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Annual spend in Staffordshire by visitors has grown by almost 40% since 2008 and the sector employs a shade under 30000 people – 28% more people than it did eight years ago.
“It’s a tribute to the excellence celebrated here today and to the hard work, creativity and professionalism of those here today and in the wider sector.”
15 of the businesses awarded gold will now represent Staffordshire on a national level, automatically going forward to the 2017 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which will be held in Spring 2017.
For more information go to www.enjoystaffordshire.com/awards
- Moat House Wins 5* Food Hygiene Award (11/11/2016)
We are very proud to have received confirmation of our 5* Food Hygiene Rating in the post this week. This is the highest food safety standard and a testament to our hardworking kitchen team.
- Local Wine & Gin Now on the Menu! (7/15/2016)
As a company The Lewis Partnership has always been committed to the use of local produce wherever possible. Indeed the majority of our kitchen produce is sourced within a 30 mile radius, and a range of locally brewed ales is always available on our bars.
We are delighted to now able to offer a local sparkling wine and a gin.
The wine is from Halfpenny Green Vineyard in Bobbington. It’s a Bronze Medal English sparkling white wine made in the traditional or Champagne method, with elegant refined nutty flavours and a persistent length.
For our gin we headed over towards Uttoxeter and to Nelsons Gin School and Distillery and their Nelsons Gin No 7. Described as infusing fine and pleasingly original botanicals from across the globe, such as lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves from Thailand, vanilla from Madagascar and cinnamon from Sri Lanka, No 7 has a clean, fresh taste and aroma.
- Celebrating 50 years of success . . . (5/25/2016)
We are always thrilled when our guests choose The Moat House to host their special occasions. From Weddings to Christenings our events team are available to guide you through preparing for your celebrations.
Last weekend we had some rather special guests celebrating their 50 year anniversary. The England 1966 World Cup squad have joined us now for the last few years for their annual reunion. But this year was even more special as they celebrated their Golden anniversary. Can you believe it has been 50 years since they lifted the cup on July 30 1966!
As the guests starting to arrive it was clear this was going to be a weekend of reminiscing and nostalgia. They started their weekend with a light evening buffet in our Acton Suite, and of course we provided a TV showing that nights England friendly against Turkey.
Monday morning brought some welcome sunshine for the gentlemen to enjoy a game of golf at Brocton Hall Golf Club, whilst the ladies enjoyed a relaxed day at Trentham Garden. On their return they enjoyed a relaxing afternoon tea in the library before retiring for the afternoon.
For their evening celebrations the group were taken to the Colin Lewis Suite for a stunning 3 course meal with wine and prosecco. The perfect way to celebrate such a momentous occasion.
It was an absolute pleasure to welcome these sporting heroes back to the Moat House for another year, and we hope that we did them proud celebrating their 50 year anniversary.
If you are looking for a venue to host your special occasion, we look forward to hearing from you soon!
- Summer is coming . . . (honestly it is!) (5/12/2016)
Our fresh fruit suppliers InterFruit are getting ready for summer with the introduction of seasonal fruit and vegetables. We cannot wait to get some of these yummy fresh ingredients onto our plates!
Their May produce update has certainly got our taste buds tingling. Take a look for yourself –
- English Strawberries are starting to trickle into the markets, flavour is good for this time of year, just need a few more weeks.
- Lovely English Rhubarb, we have now finished with forced and moved to outdoor grown.
- English cold store Russet and Braeburn apples still available.
- It won’t be long now before we start seeing Elderflowers which are a great addition to any menu.
VEGETABLES, SALADS AND POTATOES
- Jersey mids – Indoor finished now using outdoor.
- Wye Valley asparagus – Tastes amazing!
- Salads – Hopefully in a few more weeks if the weather keeps up we should be getting great English salads coming through.
- Peppers and Iceberg – good quality.
- Wild Garlic has started to come good now, hopefully with more settled weather we should have a good season.
- Lewis Partnership Chef Becomes Chairman of The British Culinary Federation (4/25/2016)
The honour was formally bestowed on Matt at a BCF lunch on Sunday 24th April at which Matt said: “I am very proud and humbled to be elected to such a respected position and I am very much looking forward to the challenges and objectives that lie ahead in helping to promote culinary skills to keep the BCF in the forefront of the industry. The UK has a rich supply of exceptionally talented chefs and through the diligence of the Federation it is hoped that these skills will continue to improve and flourish.”
The British Culinary Federation is driven by a commitment to achievement, training and quality, with a generous portion of ambition and a passion for competition thrown into the recipe, helping make the British food industry one of the most celebrated in the world.
Matt has held his role in The Lewis Partnership for over 17 years and oversees the operation of their kitchens at their five award winning properties: The Moat House, Acton Trussell; The Swan, Stafford; The Dog & Doublet Inn, Sandon; The Red Lion, Bradley and The Bear Grill, Stafford
Before joining The Lewis Partnership, Matt started his career as a stagiaire in 1984 at the Savoy in London prior to spending eight years under the wing of Michelin starred chef, Andreas Antona.
- Supporting our Chefs of the Future – An interview with The Staff Canteen.com (3/18/2016)
Hospitality students from Staffordshire College recently spent time working with The Lewis Partnership Group Executive Chef Matt Davies as part of their Student Placement Scheme. The Staff Canteen spoke to Matt to find out more about the scheme, the chef shortage in the industry and how important it is for young chefs leaving college to shake the stigma of not being ‘classically’ trained.Kicking off at the beginning of this month, the future chairman of the British Culinary Federation has got his students working in both front and back of house.
Matt Davies, Vice Chairman of the British Culinary Federation and executive chef of The Lewis Partnership feels that the placement scheme is helping with the skill shortage in the industry. He said: “You’re only as strong as the people who work for you, so if you haven’t got an element of young blood through the doors, as everybody knows it is a shortage of skill, then your restaurant will fail.
“You need young people coming through the doors that you can train and mentor. The scheme is for Year 1, 2, and 3 Hospitality students to show them what it is really like to work in a restaurant.”
They are working with real chefs and waiters, Matt explained: “I don’t personally get them to come in and stand in the back room peeling potatoes all day long, they come into our business.”
The scheme is funded by the Savoy Trust, which pays for the students transport such as mini buses, as well as necessary uniform and knives. The scheme has been running for the past five years, and the Savoy Trust has been on board every year without fail. Matt was previously a teacher at Staffordshire College, and played an important role in devising and launching the Lewis Partnership and the Staffordshire College Hospitality Foundation. After Matt spoke to the hospitality lecturers and governors the scheme was built into the students’ curriculum.
The scheme has been a roaring success, Matt explained: “It works tremendously for us, obviously with the chef shortage; we as a business then get to know the students, understand the students. There are some students that shine, are absolutely fantastic, are really keen, and then there’s a discussion of a part-time job, then we take them on part-time.
“We support them through their curriculum as they’re at college, then when they finish college they then have a full-time position in any of our kitchens, and over the past four or five years, [we have] took 20 plus candidates into the business.”
There is belief that chefs coming out of college are not classically trained, Matt wants to overcome this stigma. He explained: “They put the skill shortage down to chefs not being shown the correct classical ways of cooking. Maybe that is an element, hence why I have developed this foundation to show them what they are doing at college, what they can be doing in the industry, so hopefully we can fill that gap.”
Throughout the student placement scheme, as the executive chef of The Lewis Partnership, Matt has fully briefed all of his head chefs. To name a few, the student chefs are working on sections such as garnish, sauce, fish, and pastry. Matt said: “They work through the week on each section to see what it actually takes to produce food, at this standard in a professional environment.”
Matt felt that the chef/skill shortage can be resolved by capturing the attention of future chefs from a young age. He explained: “You need to start with the schools; you need to start with the foundations. It’s not just about taking people at 18/19 [years old], you need to get people cooking very early and interested in the business and hospitality business, hence that’s where future chefs comes along .”
A way of getting younger people to engage with their interest in cooking can be through the British Culinary Federation. Matt explained: “It runs every quarter for eight weeks, and then from that we grab them young, and then we show them the ropes every Saturday morning, and from that, especially the 16 year olds, if they are interested in taking it any further, we then talk about apprenticeships, going to college, or coming to work.
“There are many, many outlets, many ways that you can train to be a chef, not just an apprenticeship, yes apprenticeships are very important, but there are also many different ways to get into the business.”
Matt is also an affiliated partner with The University College of Birmingham has been working on improving the chef/skill shortage for years through programmes such as the student placement scheme. It is common for many chefs to discuss the shortage on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Matt said: “I shout as much as you should do, but when you look on Facebook, there is always skill shortage this and skill shortage that, but yes, if there is, what are we doing about it? Stop shouting about it, do something.”
Matt is very passionate about his programme and wants his students to go on to do well. He explained: “I have students that have come to me for the past six years who have worked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Murano, Hibiscus, Le Manoir, I pushed people from college, and I’ve trained them.”
- Paul Fulford Reviews The Moat House (3/14/2016)
We were delighted to receive a visit from Paul Fulford this weekend. Paul is a highly respected food critic/reviewer and has been writing about food and drink for the Birmingham Mail for the past 18 years.
Paul dined with us on Saturday evening and also stayed overnight. You can read his full review here