Craig Bancroft, Managing Director of Northcote, writes about his experience of creating the new restaurant for Northcote.
Finally the building works have come to a close at Northcote. Exceptional building firm R N Wooler have left us with a building that surpasses all expectations – something we thought only possible in our dreams!
Friday and Saturday were what can only be described as a two-day emotional rollercoaster. It seemed as if there were so many parts that still needed to come together – I have to admit I panicked a bit towards the end! My fears were, however, unfounded; as the team effortlessly pulled off a flawless delivery of the new restaurant.
It’s safe to say that the eleven-month renovation project has caused quite a stir here at Northcote! It has at some stage affected every member of our the team; there have been new rooms for our housekeeping and reception teams, a new kitchen – a massive step up for the kitchen brigade, and let’s not forget the porters, our unsung heroes who have supported us throughout the project. This time, however, it was the restaurant team’s turn to move out of their temporary home in the new Louis Roederer Dining Rooms into the sumptuous setting of the new restaurant.
It was only when I was sitting on the wall on Saturday afternoon with our Head Housekeeper Paula, loyal team member of 19 years (who shed a tear with pride), when it dawned on me that we had finally transformed the old house into its newer, more modern self. I realised that without the total faith of our investors Lynda and Richard Matthewman this could never have happened. Nigel and I, along with the whole team at Northcote, have finally been given a platform from which we can achieve every dream imaginable.
So what’s changed I hear you ask? Well, we now have sweeping stairs leading up to the new, sharp and sleek entrance to the brand new garden lounge. Overlooking our gardens with beautiful doors, the lounge is simply perfect for those amazing summer days ahead.
The restaurant, with its amazing terraces looking out to the fabulous Lancashire countryside, has become the final piece to our jigsaw puzzle of change, joining the cocktail bar and lounges, both established in July.
Our long-term designers Jill Holst and Jackie Dent of Ward Robinsons have created exactly what we had in mind: a fresh, stylish, contemporary and slightly edgy environment – soon to be completed by stunning chandeliers (which are yet to arrive). It’s the perfect environment for Nigel, Lisa and the kitchen team to deliver Northcote’s exciting dishes.
Our goal was to create an oasis of food and wine excellence that provides genuine and outstanding hospitality to our guests. This was achieved by the end of Saturday night, as local loyal and supportive guests came along with new and first time visitors and our cherished residents. We strive to give people a memorable experience filled with artistry, making them want to return time and time again.
Nigel and I, along with the team, really look forward to see you all at the new Northcote, and despite the “cosmetic” changes, it’s still the same place on the inside with a thumping heartbeat and a loyal team that’s proud to welcome you as a part of the Northcote family.
Craig Bancroft arrived at the Northcote in 1983 as General Manager, one of the youngest to hold such post at this time, earning him a Caterer & Hotelkeeper Acorn award in 1987. Now Managing Director of Northcote Group, he is renowned for his food knowledge but more for his reputation for pairing Northcote’s cuisine with wines from the award-wining wine list.