Did you know that The Duke of Richmond Hotel stands on the site originally occupied by what is generally accepted to be Guernsey’s oldest hotel? In Berry’s History of Guernsey, dated 1815, there is a charming engraving of Grover’s Hotel, and this appears to be on the exact site of the present building.
Since then the hotel has gone through a variety of names, owners, various upgrades and on-going refurbishment until in 2011 it was acquired by the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, when it underwent the phenomenal refurbishment that has resulted in the hotel as we know it today.
When it reopened in May 2012 we were welcomed to a whole new world of beautiful décor. This includes a foyer which is like walking into a world similar to that of ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ where you are greeted by a chequerboard floor, an abundance of mirrors and magnificent chandeliers; it really is out of this world. Their recent refurbishment has certainly been well executed and the attention to detail is noticeable in every area of the hotel.
We met with Andrew Chantrell, General Manager of The Duke of Richmond and their sister hotel The OGH, to talk about the hotel’s fantastic food offering, stunning décor and their CSR activities, this is our GIVE issue after all.
Whilst taking us on a tour of the hotel we chatted about just a few of the amazing initiatives the team at The Duke of Richmond are involved in which vary from their ‘£1 on bills’ donation scheme, giving guests staying at the hotel the option of adding £1 to their final bill which is matched £1 for £1 by the hotel, the proceeds of which will this year go to Les Bourgs Hospice, their chosen charity. Andrew explained “The staff are encouraged to participate in a variety of different activities within the local community, whether that be entering a team in The Cheshire Home’s ‘It’s a Knockout challenge’, the bike ride for the Sarah Groves Memorial Fund or hosting a number of different charitable events in the hotel itself.”
If you haven’t done so already then book yourselves a table in the The Leopard Bar and Restaurant, although booking isn’t essential it is advisable! The modern and glamorous setting is accompanied by an enticing menu which includes a selection of hearty, homely and imaginative dishes, prepared with panache – as you will see through the wall, yes that’s right, there is a glass wall allowing you to watch the chefs at work!
The menu is the joint initiative of both the Head Chef and Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection who has a particular passion for food which can be seen throughout all of the dishes.
“Mrs Tollman has written a book called ‘A Life in Food’ and many of the dishes included on the menu are taken from this. She has a real love and passion for food. We always source the finest ingredients, local wherever possible and work with suppliers such as Fresh Guernsey Herbs. Our Specials Board always features dishes that use locally sourced fish and shellfish, which you’d expect here in Guernsey.”
The chic Leopard bar, with its mix of bold stripes and leopard skin fabrics, is a relaxing and stunning setting and the perfect place to sip on an early evening cocktail, a local beer or any liquor that takes your fancy. In fact throughout this month you can learn the best method of making Vodka based cocktails in their Cocktail Master Class. You can choose the ingredients for your own special cocktail, they’ll throw in the expertise and bar nibbles and the best one will win the prize of another cocktail, at just £15 per person, what’s not to like? Classes can be booked by emailing Orlando, he’s the man behind the flaming cocktails, firstname.lastname@example.org
The chic Leopard bar, with its mix of bold stripes and leopard skin fabrics, is a relaxing and stunning setting and the perfect place to sip on an early evening cocktail, a local beer or any liquor that takes your fancy.
Or why not take Afternoon Tea? Three sumptuous tiers of freshly baked goodies and sandwiches are accompanied by a wide range of tea and infusions. We recommend you make time in your diary for this, as it’s an experience that shouldn’t be rushed, every mouthful is an absolute delight. Throughout April you can experience the deliciously indulgent Chocolate Afternoon Tea – full of tempting treats including mini chocolate Easter eggs to satisfy those with a sweet tooth! £16.50 per person or if you’re feeling extra specially indulgent why not add a glass of Champagne, £21.50 per person.
Leading off the fabulous conservatory, an ideal place to sit and enjoy the view whatever the weather is their exceptional terrace area, which comes alive as soon as the sun shines. With views over Candie Gardens to Little Russell and Sark you’ll have plenty to entertain you whilst you’re waiting to enjoy, lunch, dinner or a sundowner. Keep an eye out for special events throughout the summer, of particular note are their BBQ’s on The Terrace!
The Leopard Bar and Restaurant really does offer something for everyone, excellent service, beautiful surroundings and fantastic food and drinks menus, whether it’s a night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two you’ll not be disappointed.
words | Sara Felton :: Photography | Chris George