In a compelling collaboration aimed at nurturing budding talent, Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa, a cherished establishment within The Eden Hotel Collection, is ushering students into the world of hospitality through our innovative ‘Root to Shoot’ program. Teaming up with Myton School in Warwick, this venture underscores a shared commitment to both education and sustainability.
This journey began in March when six enthusiastic students majoring in food and nutrition from Myton School visited our esteemed Leamington Spa hotel for a unique planting experience. Months later, in September, they returned to witness the fruits of their labour, while also delving deeper into the hospitality sector’s myriad career possibilities under the expert tutelage of our hotel’s seasoned professionals.
At its core, the ‘Root to Shoot’ initiative champions The Eden Hotel Collection’s sustainability drive, skillfully harnessing the culinary expertise of the Mallory Court Hotel’s kitchen garden and its team to demonstrate the multifaceted career avenues that abound in the hospitality industry.
The embrace of the students was orchestrated by the hotel’s General Manager, Josefine Blomqvist, herself a testament to the possibilities within the sector. Her journey commenced at Mallory Court Hotel in 2005, where she discovered the expansive opportunities for personal and professional growth within our team. Her path led her back to take the reins as the General Manager in 2023, marking a full-circle return to leadership.
This visionary community undertaking was conceived by The Eden Hotel Collection’s Green Champions, spearheaded by Jayne O’Malley, the Group Operations Director. It forms an integral component of our community-focused projects that lend support to our overarching sustainability strategy.
As the liaison between the school and the hotel, Fiona Paterson’s dedication and commitment were also instrumental in making this program a success. She not only facilitated the initial visit but also ensured that the students maximised their learning experience during their time at Mallory Court. Fiona’s ongoing support and engagement with the students, coupled with her alignment with the goals of The Eden Hotel Collection’s sustainability initiatives, further cemented the success and significance of this collaboration.
During their immersive visit, the students had the privilege of engaging with Chris Holdsworth, the Group Estate Manager. As they harvested the carrots they had previously planted, they gleaned valuable insights into the influence of weather, temperature, and the nuances of cultivating produce for a professional kitchen. Chris, who has been an essential part of The Eden Hotel Collection since 2006, regaled the students with his journey from gardener to the position of managing the sprawling grounds of four properties, including the prestigious Mallory Court Hotel and Spa.
The visit extended to the heart of the hotel, its bustling kitchen. Here, under the expert guidance of Mallory Court’s culinary team—including former Myton School pupil Commis Chef Sam Bennett—the students harnessed their freshly harvested produce to craft delectable soups. This interactive culinary foray allowed the students to explore the world of food hospitality and gain insight into potential career paths.
The future holds promise, as The Eden Hotel Collection is poised to expand this remarkable program in the coming year. We aim to engage with more local schools, broadening the horizons of students and connecting them with the wonders of kitchen gardens across the collection.
Jayne O’Malley, the Group Operations Director, expressed her elation about the project’s success, stating, “We are delighted to welcome back students from Myton School to Mallory Court Hotel to harvest their produce, whilst also learning about the diverse and extensive career opportunities within hospitality. This year’s scheme forms part of our wider sustainability programme which works towards building sustainable employment opportunities, protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions across the hotel collection. Our profession is so varied and it has been wonderful to showcase the opportunities available in our industry, the partnership has been a great success and we are excited to expand our programme next year, giving more students the opportunity to get a taste of the hospitality industry.”
Colette Wedgbrow, a Career Advisor at Myton School, hailed the collaboration, affirming, “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Mallory Court Hotel. Their informative Root to Shoot sessions gave our students a great opportunity to learn more sustainability, the wider hospitality sector, and experience a working hotel.”
This unique endeavor underscores the significance of bridging academia and industry, offering students a firsthand glimpse into the dynamic world of hospitality, all while championing sustainability, an ethos deeply embedded in The Eden Hotel Collection’s ideals.