New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

A Roma Bar Chat | This Time About Being CYBER Safe

The Roma Bar – It’s All About The Chit Chat!

Elinor Eaton, Development Manager for the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments shares her Roma Bar Chit Chat!

It’s a current landscape that is vastly different from the one we knew twenty years ago, when many of us were already in our professional field.

Twenty years ago, for many businesses it was all about the shop front. You would put adverts in the local paper and join networking groups nearby and hope, with all your might, that people would need what you sold. Some extended their markets by sending sales people out on the road, with samples and a notebook of prices. They would be armed with Carbon Paper at the ready for orders; then they would whisk them back to the office, pack up the items and deliver them to their customers.

Twenty years doesn’t feel like that long ago; but the change we have seen, some gradual some instantaneous, is vast. Innovations, new ways of thinking and new needs, met with the inception of the Internet has created a very new platform for business.

A business became no longer dependent on its local customer base for its survival; nor so much on an individual member of staffs knowledge of a product or service. Things were at our fingertips and very different to our old norm!

The internet quickly became a vast and beautiful entity that allowed us all unprecedented access to information, the likes of which we had never seen before, or even been able to imagine!

A FAX was a magical thing; EMAILS just blew minds!

Roll on twenty years and we have never before had as much access to knowledge as we do today, and that’s all thanks to the internet. Yet with this creation, for many of us, has come with it a huge amount of uncertainty and some fear. It empowers and enable us to work smarter; but we have to be smarter too…in areas that still sometimes feels like something from a science fiction novel!

I felt like I was at a pretty ‘ok’ level of understanding and knowledge when it came to cyber-safety. As a hotel we work with a local company called Acronyms who support us on all levels of IT, including our Wi-Fi and guests safety.  Yet last week, when I sat in on a very interesting chat in the Roma Bar, I realised that although we all use the internet now for work and in our every days, and we all have very different levels of understanding when it comes to our safety.

I was sat with a lady and  gentleman who shared similar roles; out on the road having meetings and making sales – but they had very different backgrounds.

My Meeting With Jess & Richard…

Although I was due to finish work for the day and was on my way out, for 30 minutes we spoke at length about the ‘trials and tribulations of a road warrior in 2019’.

Interestingly the gentleman, Richard, had worked his way up from warehouse to road, and Jess straight from University.

They sat sharing a drink (and our Enterprise grade Wi-Fi) whilst both tapping away,  their finger tips recording their days events onto their screens.

This is not a new scene here at the New Continental Hotel. We have an amazing collection of sensational business people who share our hotel and facilities each week; but last week what I was struck by was a unity between these two people, despite very different beginnings, thoughts and skill sets.

Cyber-Security…

As they asked me to join them, the conversation started with the Business landscape and obstacles in Plymouth. Then moved on to what I saw the future looking like both socially and economically. This then sharply moved on to a conversation that has intrigued me for some time now – cyber-security when out and about.

Our guests, be they here for leisure or business, are the most important thing to us, and their safety (in all respects) matters greatly. We are all told daily, with startling headlines and victims reports that for many ‘criminals’ – travellers and their online identities are at risk.

Your online presence is a cookie jar for those who know how to access it” and “Your lack of knowledge is a playpen for the technical criminal

Although we all know that even for the most seasoned of IT literate beings, just being present and online can provide a rich source of gratification, profit or power to someone who wishes to abuse it.

One Persons Wisdom Shared; Is Another Persons Gain…

Jess had studied at The University of Nottingham and although professed she was no expert, seemed to know a great deal about cyber defences and keeping her and her business safe.  Although not her Mastermind specialist subject; listening to her talk and seeing how intent Richard was at listening to what she had to share – I knew others may feel the same.

What was clear from our conversation was that holiday makers and business travellers were at risk just as much, if not more so than those people at home. In part because it was easier for their cyber defences to be on the back burner; off their minds as they head for a ‘jolly holiday’ or because, if they were business travellers, they had reports to write and return and tight deadlines!

Richard asked Jess a great questions:

When you are a business traveller you need to be connected, so how do you stay safe or at least SAFER when you are?

Cyber Hygiene!

‘Cyber hygiene’ as Jess put it was the first thing she mentioned; not only making sure your software is updated, but also changing your passwords before you travel. Each week she changes her passwords to complex words or phrases that are hard to guess. Jess also said she adds two-factor authentication. As this adds an extra layer of protection from hackers on her travels for work.

What was interesting was that she felt a responsibility not only to her own safety but her employers too. Quite rightly we talked about the responsibility we all have now to keep our companies safe.

We are living in an age where certain information is far more sensitive than money – and we wouldn’t carry around any amount of our companies cash without the correct security practises in place!

Social Platforms!

Richard didn’t have personal social media accounts. But another key element that came from the conversation was about the use of social media when you are on the road. As a hotel setting with love seeing people check-in and upload their photos, and we know that for many businesses they share posts, check-in and thank customers and new contacts for time and such like.  Jess said that although she does do this, she always waits until after her trip to share information through social media, that way she has the control.

Access!

Most employees now will have a VPN. This securely allow themselves to access data on a network and upload information, save and store safely. Even if you do have this; Jess also said that it’s always worth disabling your automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks – on all your devices when travelling. This prevents you accidentally joining public Wi-Fi without having a chance to check the network.

Jess said she never uses public Wi-Fi anymore, or any that doesn’t require a password.   Turning off your Bluetooth when you aren’t using it also came up.  Hackers can connect to a device and quickly download user data through this connection.  Like an open window, they can then access personal information and send messages or join infected networks.

All so scary!

Our conversations ended and we said our goodbyes. Yet the conversation left me thinking a few things – and not all about cyber safety!

Times change; things move on and we all adapt – but the constant is that strangers are just friends we haven’t made yet! No matter what our backgrounds or our journeys we all have things we can share. It was far from a one sided conversation. Richard gave Jess and I great advice that only comes with wisdom baked over time.

If you make the time to listen, even just for 30 minutes you can learn so much. And, if you take the time to switch off your Bluetooth you can be a little safer too!

These points will no doubt seem very basic to many. Yet my hope is that if just one person disables their automatic connection to Wi-Fi or turns off their Bluetooth (like Richard did!) it was well worth sharing our Roma Bar chit-chat! 

Like A Lazy Sunday Lie-In? No Need To Feel Guilty…

Summer Sunday lie-Ins At The New Continental Hotel…

We simply couldn’t wait for National Sleep In Day on the 26th October! The day the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed.

So we thought to ourselves: “How can we give our guests an extra special treat this summer?” 

We introduce to you: Our Lazy Sunday Summer Lie-Ins!

Every Sunday this summer we will be serving Breakfast until 10.30 am.

Being in bed for half an hour longer isn’t just about a quantum of sleep. It also means that there is no rush to your table. No need to hurry your enjoyment when eating your freshly cooked to order Breakfast!

“There’s nothing quite like the occasional weekend lie-in after a long week at work, but especially a lie-in when you’re on holiday!

I’m a good morning person when I have to be – with the help of coffee! But there are times when I like to enjoy the fact that I don’t have to struggle to stir when the alarm goes off!

The Lazy Sunday Lie-In is great news for people like me, people who enjoy a leisurely wake up and the occasional hit of the snooze button!”

Says Elinor Eaton, the Development Manager at the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments.

If like Elinor you like a little lie-in at the weekend; don’t feel guilty or alone!

There has been some research that suggests that people who sleep in on the weekends are actually healthier than their early bird counterparts! So, this Sunday enjoy your guilt-free lie in – remember if the experts say it’s good for you, then it must be!

What’s more, we have some amazing offers. So, not only can you have a lie-in, you can have a great nights sleep for less! 

Plymouth Half Marathon 2019 …

Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon | Sunday 19th May 2019, 08.30

Running Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon will be a host of individuals, businesses and groups who have put hours and hours into training and preparing. Primary schools who have taught that through dedication and commitment comes great things.

The Plymouth Half Marathon isn’t just about footsteps to the finish line, it’s about taking footsteps in your life that make you stronger, more focused and part of something great.

Many of our amazing staff are not only dedicated to our guests’ experiences, but also to our city; taking part in city events like the Plymouth Half Marathon.

Staff Have Their Say…

Our Wedding Coordinator talks honestly about how she felt before she took part. Here she shares some very heartening advice:

“The pit of my stomach slowly started to churn as I noticed the signs going up around the city, advising people of the road closures for the half marathon. Suddenly, suddenly it all became rather real!

After months of training and fundraising for a charity very close to my heart – race day arrived!

After checking for about the 10th time that my kit was packed, my watch charged and plenty of fluids were on board  … off we go to join the thousands of people in exactly the same boat as me!

All I need to remember is that I have done my training. Now I just need to enjoy the next 13.1 miles!!

There are so many expectations from so many different people, each of us with different reasons for doing it, but all of us having exactly the same goal – to cross that finish line. 

This is your moment and no one can take it away from you, and when you are climbing up that last hill and its hurting just keep saying; “pain is temporary – but pride is forever.”

Have Fun…

As an independent, family owned hotel, we pride ourselves on the support that we give our staff when they are passionate about things, and prepared to work hard for what they love. Be that CPD, returning to work after illness or indeed activities and events such as marathons.

We know that there can sometimes be a negative stigma associated to employees having a ‘busy’ life outside of work.  Especially hobbies or passions that involve burnout style training. But we truly believe that if our staff are happy outside of work, or training hard for something they love, it will not negatively impact their ability to do their job, put positively enable them to do it better.

We would like to wish EVERYONE taking part the very best of times.  May you enjoy the footsteps that lead you to the finishing line and the pride we are sure you will feel when you finish.

Please check the following link to find out more about the Road Closures on Sunday 19th May 2019.

Just a few pictures of some of our amazing team…

 

 

Inside & Out…

How many times, when we see someone that looks fit, thin or strong, someone who wears their clothes well and who can shop in any high street store do we stop and think WOW! Their life must be perfect..!?

But what is ‘perfect’? What kind of ‘perfection’ is it that we are striving for?

As we are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, we wanted to highlight that sometimes, just sometimes our outsides don’t always match our insides.  And sometimes, just sometimes, we are just sensitive people living in a broken world. A world by where how many likes on our profile picture or how many times we are told we look pretty or handsome or thin today can confuse us because…

…if people say our outsides look ok – why is it we don’t we feel ok on the inside?

Here at Club Continental we care about your inside as much as we do your physical appearance … your ‘outside!

You matter to us. How you feel – that matters to us.

We know that being strong with a six pack on the outside, won’t naturally mean you don’t have days, weeks or perhaps even months that you wont feel ‘weak’ on the inside.

As people we think (wrongly in most cases!) that other people will feel more comfortable, more relieved if we don’t tell them the truth! When they say ‘you look well’ or ask how you are, we say ‘OK’.  Sometimes to make them feel better; sometimes because that’s our script – the script we stick to be it true or not!

Each year, thanks to the work that many amazing organisations and individuals do around Mental Health and well-being, we are making progress as a society. Many staff and members within our Club community are talking more openly about issues that affect their mental well-being. It could be stress, addiction, bullying, relationships, health conditions, money worries…and everything else in-between.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is body image. How we think and feel about our bodies, about our outsides!

It’s a great time for everybody to show their support and take a minute to think about our mental health – but also those we work with, our friends and our families.

As an independent gym, hurtling towards our 30 year Birthday – being older and wiser we have learnt that putting in a little extra time to talk, to chat and to just be still for a moment, is just as important as working up a sweat.

We all know that working out is great for our body and mind; that exercise helps positive changes in our brains; it reduces tension and stress whilst boosting mental energy through endorphins.

But what about ‘Working Up’ a conversation with someone you know who might be strengthened by your chat?

Going to the gym is often about our outsides.  But here at Club Continental we want to highlight and support people to improve, grow and see their internal strength too.

Join us #workupaconversation as well as a work-out.  Take note of how people may feel on the inside, as well as how they look on the outside.

Thanks for listening, here’s to talking and may we always #workupaconversation!

Get Involved In Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week…

A holiday is an amazing treat; but also for some it’s critical.

Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week (20 – 26 May 2019)

In 2015, we become the first dementia friendly hotel in Plymouth. Something that we are all extremely proud of.

Many of us within the team have had our lives touched by dementia and knew that by working with Claire Puckey, Plymouth City Councils Dementia Friendly City Co-ordinator, would help us offer a better service for those needing a break away.

The UK should be so proud of the vast steps that have been made;  years ahead of most countries when it comes to offering the services required for a safe retreat for those travelling with a dementia patient.

We know that it is critically important that caregivers, family and friends, who are often either on duty or call 24 hours a day, get a break away for their own health.

For that reason we took steps to get better at offering an environment that was the best it could be. Not easy with an old listed building like ours! But for us, not being able to change everything didn’t mean we didn’t want to do what we could with what we had.

We Claire’s help, we took the steps we could to be the best we could. With Plymouth’s breathtaking scenery, history and riches, we wanted to make sure that it was a city that was accessible… to everyone.

During Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week there is so much to get involved in; from Tea Dances with twists to activity day clubs.  For more information or to see how you can get involved, click here!

shortbread with lavender

From The Kitchen:

A member of the New Continental Hotels staff shares something that helped them with a family member.

When my Nan was in the early stages, I loved to be in the kitchen with her. Where I remembered her at her happiest.  We would do simple things, I would help and we would just potter around together, mostly making a mess – sometimes making something edible!!

I was told about shortbread by a carer; that because it contains minimal ingredients and is easy to mix together, roll out and cook – it’s a tasty treat that is easy and satisfying!

For someone like me – when cooking is not my strength – this was perfect for me to take the lead on!

It made for a great afternoon activity; and the best bit was we could sit and enjoy our offerings with an afternoon cup of tea together!

 

We Are ‘Jolly Roger’ Ready!

Pirates Weekend!

It’s almost time…and we can not wait! 

There is just less than a month to go for the award-winning Pirates Weekend Plymouth! A weekend that offers a swashbuckling weekend of free fun for all the family to enjoy. What’s more; the sun always shines on Pirates!

This amazing weekend is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District. It is one of THE most amazing weekends in Plymouth and this year takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Britain’s Ocean City becomes alive with merry activities as the weekend unfolds across the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe.

Meaning you wont miss a thing!

What’s It All About?

Well! What you can be sure of is two amazing days packed full of entertainment and activities. Including a pirate trail, storytellers, puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, street entertainment, amazing food and much more!

Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said:

“Pirates Weekend Plymouth won Silver at the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year as the best family Pirates Weekend in the South West. Designed and funded by Waterfront businesses, Pirates Weekend Plymouth has activities linking the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe Park, whilst Mount Batten Pirates powerboat experiences and PDSSA pirate sailing lessons will give visitors a treat to get out onto the water too.”

“In its eighth year, Pirates Weekend Plymouth is unmissable – so get yourselves dressed up as pirates and come along for two days of brilliant fun!”

What To Wear..!

What’s not to wear! We say go crazy with those head scarfs and eye patches; fancy dress is encouraged throughout the weekend; and new for this year is a Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. Led by the The Drake Corps of Drums and the infamous Jonty Depp, all of Plymouth’s pirates will march through the streets of the Barbican together.

WHAT’S MORE…

Every young participant dressed as a pirate will be given a special gift!

Children can also follow a Pirate Trail around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, this is amazing fun for them and you get to see the sights whilst they are totally entertained! This event is sponsored by Sutton Harbour Group.

You can find maps from the Tourist Information Centre for just £2, every participant will receive a prize for completing the trail and also be entered into a draw to win a Lego Creator set.

A full programme of shanty bands will entertain the crowds between 10.30am and 3pm each day. The area will be full of action in a number of locations: along Southside Street, outside Capn’ Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship.

For more information about all the activities at this year’s Pirates Weekend Plymouth, head to visitplymouth.co.uk.

What we know for sure – you will have an amazing time!

 

Don’t Hide From Easter…

Can you have a healthy Easter..?

With miles of shelves stacked with chocolate eggs and sugar-rich sweets; hot cross bun mountains and  beer and wine displays galore; going anywhere over Easter can be an open invite to take a break from temptation and indulge in Easter and Bank Holidays treats.

Like a bully in the playground, they can taunt you until, the next think you know, you’re packing the foil-covered bunnies away in the cupboard!

BUT its so difficult to see past all the unhealthy treats when it comes to Easter and Bank Holiday…

It can be hard, and we don’t need to tell you how to replace the treats with healthy options, we all know that a carrot with hummus is much better for us than an eleven inch chocolate bunny with Haribo eggs from its cute little basket!

So we ask the question “Can you really have a healthy Easter?”

Many of us have a long weekend to look forward to, four days off with family and friends; BBQs, nights out, lazy days…and we know that time for celebration often includes some indulgence.

Taking a break from the usual routine and enjoying some relaxation time is essential for our minds and our bodies, but, if you’re anything like us, we don’t want to completely fall off the fitness train and then need to run the track to get back on!

Simply put, we know that we will indulge; you know that you will indulge too! And for some it will be just a little, for others a little more! But how do we stay on track, not undo too much of our great work, but still have a great time?

Tips we love you will already know.  But like muscles getting stronger with repetition, what you practise grows stronger. So yes, it may be things you know; but re-read, remember and realise …

You are stronger than you think and there are no bullies in the playground!

Quality over Quantity…

Don’t think you CAN’T indulge in any of your cravings this Easter. Frankly, a little of what you fancy does you no harm! We all need the odd treat – but be advocates for quality over quantity.

Rather than be pounced on by the big yellow supermarket sign: 8 eggs for £10! Opt for a single egg; one you will feel you have really worked for; treated yourself too. One you sit down to enjoy, piece by piece, moment by precious moment.

Remember: You don’t need to fill your kitchen cupboards because the supermarket tells you too! 

It doesn’t have to be all about the chocolate!

When you think of indulging and treating yourself, for many of us, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t always chocolate. Chocolate is a familiar ‘friend’ because Easter (and clever marketing) has infiltrated our minds!  If you think about it as an important time to celebrate and to reward yourself, we all need rewards!  Have something to look forward to. But that isn’t always in the chocolate form!

Seeing other people treat themselves to things reminds us that we deserve it too, and it’s all too easy to think that our ‘indulgence’ can be mirrored by theirs – or clever marketing!

I bet chocolate, for many, wouldn’t be a reward!  For some of us, 30 minutes to ourselves, in a place we love with an indulgent Magazine or a great Podcast is worth so much more  than a cream egg!

Really think about what you need, what you want to indulge in and stretch for it, make it happen and enjoy it – whatever ‘it’ is.

Enjoy the moments…

The weather’person’ says we are in for a weekend hotter than Egypt! So make the most of it! Time with the family where exercise is part of the family fun.

And if the sun really does shine like they say it will, it’s perfect timing to indulge in the great outdoors, rather than the bag of Mini Eggs!

Go for a country walk or bike ride. Visit some historical sites. Play a game of football in the park, or maybe even take yourself to your nearest beach for a spot of volleyball!

Be together, on your feet, out in the air making memories.

And let’s face it, if we are eating and drinking a little more than usual this weekend, the more we are on our feet – the better!  

Be prepared and don’t get hungry!

Meeting friends for a drink hungry, inevitably means you are more likely to over indulge in a light bite or appetiser to accompany the Gun & Tonic!

Family buffets and BBQs full of chocolate and pastries will be so much harder to decline if you haven’t fuelled yourself on nutritious goodness beforehand or gone prepared with some healthy treats that everyone can enjoy.

Make sure you have a healthy breakfast, eat a high fibre or protein snack before the goodies are in your eyeline, and you are far less likely to overindulge.

ENJOY!

You have no reason not to have THE best weekend. Don’t feel you have a mountain to climb or that you have to hibernate, blindfolded with your arms tied behind your back to get through the four-day weekend!

Know that you do have control.  You can make the right choices and you are doing an amazing job.

Here’s to you.

Here’s to a Happy Easter with everyone you love making memories that will last forever and pounds that you can work off next week!

Membership at Club Continental: where people matter 7 days a week. 

A Hotel Porter…

A tree doesn’t make a forest…

Yes, that’s true, but by golly a Hotel Porter with the personal touch will always make an impression!

Our Hotel Porter are exceptional, they perform a valuable role for us at the New Continental Hotel.  In fact, many guests would say that our Hotel Porters can make an integral first impression to their overall stay. After all, they are part of the front of house team, and will typically escort you (or just your bags!) to your room and make sure you have everything you need to fully enjoy your experience in Plymouth.

It’s an incredibly varied role, suited to fit individuals who enjoy a day of differing tasks and diverse requests! Key to all things for our Hotel Porters is providing a high level of service for all of our guests, those staying with us and those attending events.

But what is it really like, being a Hotel Porter at the New Continental Hotel..?

We ask Luke, who is one of our Full-Time Porters, to share what happens during a busy hotel day.

Hotels In Plymouth

“Welcoming guests to the hotel and to Plymouth is an amazing part of my role; especially when I am supporting the reception team and checking them in and out. It’s great feeling useful to guests; when they need to have their luggage taken to their rooms or simply providing them with some ‘local’ knowledge on the area and attraction that they may enjoy. Knowing that I have helped to make a guests stay memorable and enjoyable is certainly a great feeling.

I also love transforming our function rooms in preparation for events, working behind the bars and just supporting all the departments in the hotel when they need me. My job is so varied, every hour provides me with new tasks, challenges and opportunities.

It really isn’t a career I even thought about, I didn’t even know existed,  it was complete happenstance that I stumbled upon this job and now I look at it as a really great career path, one that really suits my personality too.” 

What does it take..?

A Hotel Porter has to have a can-do attitude. Be a team player and ultimately use his or her initiative with a pro-active approach to ensure we always give our guests unique and fabulous options; to really be able to make the most of their time and visit to Plymouth.

We are looking for a warm and welcoming porter where service comes from the heart and has a passion for working with people to ensure guests leave with lasting memories.

With a natural intuition for what creates amazing service, you will work closely with our Front of House and Housekeeping teams to ensure that our Guests have a seamless arrival and stay, and your duties will be wide and varied.

What next..?

So…are you looking for an amazing opportunity to further your hospitality career? Or perhaps make a change and try something new? Then why not send your CV now? Take one step closer to being part of our hotel family at the New Continental Hotel.

 

Contact Us

 

National Apprenticeship Week…

Before we start:

As we are now in the middle of the annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, we wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to the team at City College Plymouth, their amazing students and to our apprentices, those with us now and those who have flown the nest to amazing new careers in hospitality.

Today we take a sneaky peak at the life of an apprentice chef…

It’s always hard saying goodbye to an apprentice. But when you know you have played a part in connected them to their future and to a career that they are passionate about; it really helps with the farewells!

Growing up, our natural aptitudes and interests often lead us to pursue certain careers. Sometimes we follow our parent’s footsteps, join the family business or simply look for the best paid jobs!

Sometimes we look to the future, to see where there might be growth in a specific sector. Perhaps we look at predicted skill shortages, or staff predominately made up of a generation starting to retire, with no one snapping at their heels to replace them!

However, sometimes, you are lucky enough to know what you love to do, what you’re great at and then consider the merits of a career based on your value; turning your passions into a profession!

Now isn’t that something!

As Plymouth bounds forward with growth and regeneration, as the city centre continues to develop and as Plymouth is growing in popularity as a destination, there has never been a better time to be in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Today we specifically look at ‘Chefs Life’ and see how, over the past seven years, we have been working closely with some amazing young talent.

The kitchen is intense, fast paced and dynamic. There can be long, stressful hours. It takes bags of energy, passion and charisma and it’s anything but easy! It’s full of pressure and high expectations of you…

…we aren’t really selling it here are we!

OK! Let’s help with that!

Staff Have Their Say…

We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why he feels that hospitality, specifically the kitchens, makes such a good springboard to connect young people to a career that will grip them and keep them inspired:

“ For the past seven years, I have seen many apprentices join us and leave connected to their dream of being a chef. All a step closer to their goal. Being in the thick of the action and really empowering and enabling apprentices is a massive part of all of our responsibilities; ensuring that the future of our craft has innovative new chefs emerging, learning and growing in confidence.

Becoming a chef is a career with surprisingly broad appeal. You can travel the world with it, teach with it, care with it; you can work across all sectors and you have a skill that many are envious of.

Almost everyone cooks at some point in their life; unlike plumbing or carpentry for instance; on a fairly regular basis the majority of people will prepare and serve food. When you’re good at it, you and everyone you cook for instantly knows. It’s a natural aptitude that is unlocked. Perhaps in your own kitchen, a friends or at school; access to the tools are readily available and accessible. Let’s face it, very few people will ever say ‘I’d rather you didn’t cook for me’!   

We have an apprentice currently that knew he was an amazing ‘chef’ from a really young age, after cooking at school and home and gaining rave reviews. For me, to nurture and extend that passion and energy with additional skills,  sharing my knowledge and experience,  is one of the many pleasures of my job.

Plenty of jobs require skills that you’ll never use outside of the office. Being a chef is an amazing professional talent that can also be used and shared in our daily lives.”

Find Out More…

Would you like to fin out more about the opportunities in the New Continental Groups Kitchen for apprentices? Then please email: nikkif@newcontinental.co.uk with an introductory email.

If you are still wondering if a #chefslife is the life for you; then perhaps this may help: 5 Reasons Why A Chefs Life Is A GREAT Life! 

Family Car Journey | The Survival Guide!

Create The Perfect, Fun Family Car Journey…

As the great Easter getaways are being planned, the roads will soon be full of families making their Easter road-trips!

Q) Are your toes already tingling at the thought?!?

Many of us here at the hotel are parents. Parents of babies, toddlers, teens and proud Grandparents too.  Most of us have had (or have) regular challenges when it comes to car journeys – both long and short!

Finding your own way to make it is essential – we all have different needs and varying tolerance levels – especially when driving! 

We want you to arrive in Plymouth full of beans – not full of fury! So, we asked some of our amazing parents and grandparents who are staff here at the New Continental Hotel, if they would share some of their tips, on how to keep both children and parents happy on their car journeys!

These tips are great for either nipping down the road to swimming lessons (which can be just a gruelling sometimes!) or making the four hour motorway trip to visit family!!

We welcome many families during the Easter Holidays and sometimes, as they walk through the foyer, after their family road trip, we can feel their pain!

Parents who are wearing the signs of being road warriors; and children eager to get out of the ‘tin can’ and stretch those legs!

 

We all have our own techniques; for some it’s taking  favourite toys; making regular ‘adventure stops’ or travelling at night!

Here are some of the methods staff at the New Continental Use…

Charlie | Head Of Housekeeping | Grandchild

Charlie is a super proud Nana! And although her Grandson is now almost old enough to drive her around; Charlie is a big fan of her IPad and so we asked her to search for something that could offer some ‘techy’ aid for the travelling family!

Her tips for surviving a car journey – load your IPad with these FREE APPS!

Talking Tom Cat

Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep children engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll distract them, make them laugh and I am sure offer hours of entertainment! You may want to turn the volume down a little – he repeats what they say in a rather high pitch voice! They will love it – but the adults in the car not so much (especially after the first few times!)

Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles

This is a great traditional style game; I really liked it because it cleverly fused old with digital! The electronic jigsaw – no need to hunt the car for pieces at every pit-stop with this one! This app features Toy Story, Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options. I think it will be a winner – if only for 20 minutes or so!

Nursery Jam

Music is a winner and this is a really great, fun, creative app.   It lets you compose your own music by tapping objects. I really liked it!! It might be a bit noisy though! So, although it will keep them happy  – I might consider the option of headphones!

Claire | Events Coordinator | 6 Year Old Daughter

Claire is one of our super organised Mums. The Mum we all aspire to be like. The Mum that stays up late to bake for the PTFA and who knows her way around great Tupperware!

Being both super organised and a regular road trip maker; her tip for surviving a family road trip – plenty of snacks (and wet-wipes!)!

“We travel a great deal to visit family and friends – by both car and ferry.   So we have learnt lots of tricks to keep our little one happy!  The tried and tested favourite for us is making sure we pack lots of healthy snacks (and some treats of course!)  Some might say I pack enough to feed an army – but you can never be too prepared!”

Here are some great ideas – many that are favourites in our four wheels!

Boots also do some great Tupperware, with lids that really keep things in!

Katie | Events Coordinator | 18 Month Old Son

Katie is what we call ‘the cool Mum’ – she is fun and always busy doing fun and creative things with her little man.

Her tip is to prepare your spotify for the journey!

‘I have quickly learnt that: a) I may never listen to my own music in the car again and b) to get over the embarrassment of bobbing along to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ for a happy car journey! No more shame at traffic lights when my son and I are rocking along and laughing at each other for taking the tunes a little too seriously! Nor do we mind when we make it to the shops and we still have the soundtrack playing – just without the music as we dance down the cereal aisle!

For us, a silent car journey just doesn’t cut it! We need tunes and laughter! There are some great pre-made soundtracks – or create your own – which is fun in itself!”

Simon | Operations Manager | 7 Year Old & Baby

Simon is one of the best Dads; you know the ones, the one we all wish we had had!

He is hands on, cool and always wants only the best for his little brood!

Empowering his little ones and making sure they enjoy being educated. That’s what matters so much to him; hence his journey tips being educational but FUN!

Learning Games!

“My 7 year old loves nothing more than to be armed with her special clipboard and selection of pencils and rubbers and her fun car games. Games we can all play along with – if she lets us!”

Simon has let us in to his secrets and so we have created some templates so you too can let your little ones get bossy – we mean busy (!) – in the car!

Alphabet Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

Paul | Executive Chef | 12 & 8 years old

Paul, like Simon, is one of those amazing Dads. Amazing, but also one who might be considered a little ‘Competitive’! Often sharing his stories with us in the staff room of Monopoly battles at Christmas and Nerf Gun fights on Sunday’s!

Proving that being a great Dad is all about having fun…with a little healthy competition!

So…little surprise to any of us; his survival tricks for car journey is a game of Guess Who!

“Having fun and play times are perhaps the greatest setting for making memories, learning social skills and integration but also having fun!  With two children we all know that the back seat can be a frenzy of squabbling and ‘Dad he did this’ and ‘Dad she did that’s’!

So, I like to add a little fun for distraction,  with a dollop of healthy, family competition to the mix things up a bit!!  Guess Who is perfect!

It’s a great alternative to the ‘I Spy’ game – which has to be said, can be a bit distracting as the driver!

Guess Who! The player thinks of a person; it can be a famous fictional person, like Andy from Toy Story or Carl Fredricksen from UP! It can be a singer, like Ariana Grande or Bob Marley! Or perhaps an actor, sports person or even a member of the family!

The person who thinks of the ‘who’ then has to honestly answer up to 10 questions from the other players. With the answers they then have to try and ‘Guess Who’ that person is!

If the person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point, they then start another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can then think of another person … AND get the one point!

No cheating though!”

A BIG thanks to all our staff for taking the time to share their tried and tested trip survival tactics!

Long trips with children are always a little daunting – but they are worth it once you arrive in Plymouth. And hopefully our staff have given you some great tips to make it survivable!

All you need to do now is plan your next trip to Plymouth and thank us in person!!!

We would love to welcome you and share our city – as well as our tips – with you soon!

Safe Travels. Happy Journeys.  Family Fun Holidays.

Check Availability