Greg and Sam at one of the guest tables
Running our dream hotel
Sam and Greg Haddon first thought about buying their own hotel not long after they met. But life got in the way, and it wasn't until almost 20 years later that their dream was finally realised in Great Yarmouth.
A lifelong dream
"We decided when we got together a few years ago that this was something we’d both like to do,” said Greg Haddon.
"But it took us nearly 20 years to actually take the plunge. We got married, had two children and then when they got to a certain age we decided to take the plunge.
"We’d been coming to Great Yarmouth on and off for regularly for nine or ten years and we seriously started looking for a property four or five years ago, coming down for weekends. When we found the Winchester, we fell in love with it straight away.
"There were quite a few regular guests when we took over, and fortunately we've managed to keep them so hopefully we must be doing the right thing!"
"There are some really lovely people, really lovely people that stay with us,” said Sam Haddon.
Sam and Greg prepare the evening meal
"The day generally starts at 6 or 6.30am, depending on how early the breakfast is. We get up, have a cup of tea and start the preparation for the breakfasts and most importantly, planning for the day," said Greg.
"There’s always something to do," added Sam. "And it gets quite frantic in the kitchen an hour before the breakfast is due to be served," said Greg.
"Once that’s out the way," said Greg, "there’s the washing-up to be done!"
"Serviettes to fold and all the little bits that people don’t see,”"added Sam.
"Tom, our son, he waits on the tables in the evening. He’s fantastic really. A big hit with the guests, they all love him," said Greg.
"And Gary, our oldest, he steps in when he has to," said Sam.
"Yes, he washed up last year, but decided he doesn’t want to do it this year," joked Greg.
It’s all about the people
"The guests usually go out for the evening," said Greg. "Some of them sit upstairs in the lounge and we go and join them, don't we," said Greg.
"Yes, we take up some tea and coffee and have a chat, and find out what they’ve been doing in the daytime," said Sam.
"They tell us stories," said Greg, "And jokes! I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve been here," laughed Sam.
"Yes, and we’re quite up on medical conditions," added Greg.
"It’s a lot of domestic work really, like an extension of running a house. Instead of having two children we have 20-plus. So you’'e doing housework, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing. A collection of all bad jobs really.
They enjoy making guests feel at home
"But put them all together and it’s a really enjoyable life. We thoroughly enjoy it, don’t we,” said Greg.
"But it’s the people who make it really,” said Greg. “Without those… we wouldn’t have any money," he added mischievously.
"No," laughed Sam. "We get some really nice people to stay and they make it all worthwhile."
last updated: 05/07/07
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