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PIG People – A tale of 10 years

When we first opened the doors to the original PIG in the New Forest 10 years ago, we would have never imagined firstly how many PIG hotels we would have open today and how much our amazing teams would grow. We are lucky to work with some seriously dedicated, passionate and caring people who truly love what they do; some of whom have been with us for a whole decade!

We spoke to a handful of our 10-year PIG people, Hayley Wetherill – Housekeeping manager at THE PIG-in the South Downs, Andy Wright – Regional Head Chef and Chris Drodge – Hotel Director at THE PIG, Brockenhurst to find out a bit more about their journey over the last 10 years.

Congratulations on 10 years with THE PIG! Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at the litter?

My name is Hayley, and I am the Housekeeping Manager at the newest PIG, THE PIG-in the South Downs. I have worked in the Hospitality industry for over 25 years and held many positions over the years! I started working in a Room Attendant position, Senior Room Attendant, moving up the ladder to become a Linen Keeper, Floor Supervisor, Deputy Head Housekeeper to the position I now hold as a Housekeeping Manager.

What made you want to apply to THE PIG 10 years ago?

I was looking for a change of scenery and wanted to work in the countryside rather than in cities. I had worked for Robin in the past at Hotel Du Vin and my friend Lora (Regional Director) was looking for a Housekeeping Manager and the rest is history!

Tell us about your 10-year journey and how your role has developed? Have you ventured across the litter?

My role had stayed the same as Housekeeping Manager for a few years until I moved to THE PIG-at Bridge place where I became a Duty Manager. I started off at THE PIG, Brockenhurst for 4 years and helped open THE PIG- in the wall in Southampton, then moving on to open THE PIG-on the beach in Studland where I stayed for about 4 years. In 2019 I then moved over to open THE PIG-at Bridge Place in Kent for a couple of years and then finally ended up at our newest opening, THE PIG-in the South Downs, in 2021 which has brought me closer to my hometown of Brighton.

Have you got any career highlights?

I love having the challenges and adrenalin buzz of opening hotels! I enjoy seeing the transformation from a building site into a hotel, knowing all the little details and deadlines in which is involved to make it all happened. Seeing the final product at the end is a true highlight.

What is your favourite thing about working at THE PIG?

Being able to be yourself in a relaxed friendly environment, being a person and not a number to our directors, the whole family feeling with guests and staff.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I have not really thought about the next 10 years, but it would be nice to do a little more travelling around Asia.

If you had to be a Kitchen Garden ingredient, which one would you be and why?

I would be an onion, as I would be used in many dishes. I could either be used in a sweet or savoury dish. Filled with nutrients, low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.

Congratulations on 10 years with THE PIG! Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at the litter?

I’m Andy and I am the Regional Head Chef, currently overseeing the kitchens at THE PIG, Brockenhurst, THE PIG-on the beach and THE PIG-in the wall. I help all the chefs in each property with menu development, knowledge, organisation and make sure ‘PIG standards’ are upheld. 

What made you want to apply to THE PIG, 10 years ago?

Having left London and having spent some time travelling, I was looking for a job. When I returned from my travels my grandpa told me about a new hotel opening which had its own Kitchen Garden and animals which all sounded pretty unique at the time!

Tell us about your 10-year journey, has your role changed? Have you moved around the hotels?

There have been lots of changes over the years, I started working at the original PIG in Brockenhurst and then was asked to go and open THE PIG-on the beach in Studland as the head chef – which was an amazing opportunity! I was head chef there for around 5 years before being offered the current role I am in today.

Have you got any career highlights?

There have been so many, but I would have to say setting up a Kitchen from scratch in any PIG hotel is an amazing achievement. Also, when I won an acorn award a few years ago.

What is your favourite thing about working at THE PIG?

There’s always something new growing in the Kitchen Garden or local products popping up around the corner which means our job is never dull! Also, the fact that there is always room for personal growth within the company.

What do the next 10 years bring for you?

Who knows - ask me again in 5 years!

If you had to be a Kitchen Garden ingredient, which one would you be and why?

Summer savory- not so many people know it but it’s like thyme only better! It’s a slightly spicy version of thyme with hints of marjoram and mint. It’s was also used in love potions in ancient Roman times as it was believed to be a natural aphrodisiac! 

Congratulations on 10 years with THE PIG! Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at the litter?

My name is Chris I am 34 years old, and I grew up in Sway the neighbouring village to Brockenhurst and I am currently hotel director of THE PIG.

 What made you want to apply to THE PIG, 10 years ago?

I was previously part of the opening team at Limewood in 2009 and when I heard about an exciting project, I couldn’t possibly turn down being part of another opening!

Tell us about your 10-year journey, has your role changed? Have you moved around the hotels?

My role has certainly changed over the last 10 years! I started as Assistant Restaurant Manager for the opening of our original PIG in Brockenhurst, then became Restaurant Manager, I then moved to be part of the opening team at THE PIG–on the beach as Restaurant Manager in 2014. Moving on to Food and Beverage Manager, Deputy General Manager and finally Hotel Director, I then moved back to THE PIG as Director in January 2020.

Have you got any career highlights?

The highlight of my career would be being promoted to Hotel Director.

What is your favourite thing about working at THE PIG?

It feels very natural, you feel like part of a very close family. The hotels are beautiful and the standard of product that we deliver to our guests is incredibly high. There is a huge amount of passion in amongst the entire team and we are always looking for ways to improve, there is a great atmosphere and it’s a great place to be.

What do the next 10 years bring for you?

I hope to continue to progress in my career in hospitality in country house hotels.  

If you had to be a Kitchen Garden ingredient, which one would you be and why?

I think I would be an onion as they are versatile can be used in many ways.  

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