Jonathan joined the WBH Family in September 2021. Born and raised in Devon, Jonathan’s hospitality career initially took him to Cheltenham, but the call of the coast never went away…
Tell us your WBH story…
I’m Devon born and bred, hailing from a cosy hamlet near Woolacombe called Darracott. So, the North Devon coast and Woolacombe’s allure have been close to my heart since childhood.
After wrapping up at Braunton School, I spent three years at North Devon College, earning two advanced NVQ certificates in Business Studies.
Post-college, I found myself at a crossroads, pondering career paths. My journey took me to Cheltenham, where I entered the hospitality industry at a five-star hotel adjacent to the racecourse, in the role of porter. It was a love-at-first-shift experience! I cherished the role for eight years, exploring different hotel departments, gathering valuable experience along the way.
Then, the world faced the seismic shock of Coronavirus, and like many, our lovely hotel temporarily closed. After some challenging months navigating lockdowns, I decided it was time for a homecoming. My parents still resided near Woolacombe, and the distance during those tough times was a compelling reason to return.
As fate would have it, I reached out to the Woolacombe Bay Hotel, and was offered a role as a waiter, and within two weeks, I began my journey here.
Two years on, I’m now the Restaurant Supervisor, and I’m still relishing every facet of my job. Woolacombe Bay Hotel is simply exceptional – I work in a splendid building with vistas that stretch to Lundy Island and a beach right at our doorstep. Moreover, we are graced with the most wonderful guests, many of whom return like cherished old friends.
It’s an experience that’s not only heartwarming but also feels like a homecoming in the truest sense.
What’s the biggest challenge in your role as Restaurant Supervisor?
What do you love about your role?
It’s definitely the guest interaction that I cherish the most. As I mentioned earlier, we have the privilege of hosting guests who return time and time again, and some have been doing so for up to 30, 40, even 50 years.
The opportunity to build these enduring connections is a special aspect of my role. I’ve come to know these returning guests, and it’s like greeting old friends.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu? And why?
What are some of your favourite things to do or visit locally?
Much like many corners of Devon, when the sun graces our skies, a treasure trove of outdoor activities opens up. Personally, I have a deep appreciation for the many splendid walks in North Devon. The trek down to Morte Point, in particular, stands as one of my favorites. The undulating hills not only keep you fit but also provide a picturesque coastal path that leads to the lighthouse, offering spectacular views. If you’re lucky, you might even spot seals basking on the rocks!
Of course, surfing is a beloved pastime in Woolacombe, drawing enthusiasts of all ages to ride the waves and chase the next big one. Surprisingly, I’ve never surfed myself – I’d rather take a refreshing swim in the sea. The colder the water, the better, in my book.
When it comes to dining, Woolacombe boasts numerous culinary gems, as well as our very own Bay Brasserie. The Beach House is a local favorite, and the nearby village of Georgeham is home to a couple of charming pubs. Nothing beats the experience of savoring dishes crafted from fresh, local produce, cooked to perfection in these establishments. It’s an indulgence that embodies the essence of our coastal haven.
Would you recommend WBH to people looking for a hospitality career?