Meet the Team: Basil
Basil is the Senior Breakfast Chef here at the Royal Garden Hotel. He spoke to us about some memorable moments he has had in his time at the hotel and why he loves his job…
What is your role at the hotel?
Senior Breakfast Chef. I've been here for 23 years since the hotel first opened. I've got another four years left and then I'll retire.
Where were you before?
I used to work with the head chef at the Hilton in Shepherd's Bush before the opportunity to work here came up.
Did you always want to work in the hotel industry?
Since I left school, yes. I used to live in Wolverhampton and was baking and cooking there, left school and started working on a train. Then I moved to London and did some odd jobs before moving to work with the chef at the Hilton Hotel. I've worked with him for 25 years. We're a team, a partnership.
What do you like most about working here?
I get on really well with the staff and the management. If you ever need to talk to the management about anything, you can have a sit down with them in the office and just chat. They'll listen and they'll help you. If you and the staff get on well, why would you move somewhere else? Even if you do earn more money, you'll get more headaches.
What does a usual day consist of for you?
I'm in charge of breakfast. I just make sure everything goes out okay and everything is done in the morning shift. I'm up at 4 am every day. It's quite early although I'm used to it now. So I’m in the kitchen for 5:30 am, start the lights up, get the bacon and sausage cooked up in the oven, get the scrambled eggs and everything else ready, and then by 6:30 am, we should be ready to start. We tend to finish up around 2:30 in the afternoon.
Aside from the obvious culinary abilities, what are the key skills you need to be able to do your job?
You need to be able to talk to people, be happy, make sure you focus. Communicate with guests and you should be okay.
Have you ever had any interesting food requests?
We had a guest last week who asked for a warm salad! We always try our best to give our guests what they want.
What makes the Royal Garden Hotel different from others?
We're more friendly. As you walk through the front door, you'll always be greeted with a smile. We always make sure our guests enjoy themselves. If they want to find out anything, we're here to help them and advise them. Guests love the hotel. They say it's a nice, happy hotel. That's the main thing - if they're happy with the service, they'll always come back.
Is there anything, in particular, you would recommend to guests in the area?
Not one thing in particular, but I would always advise them to get a travel card as it works out cheaper for them! Other than that, I would usually direct them to the concierge to get a map so they know where to go.
Have you had any particularly memorable experiences over the years?
There's been quite a few! The best one was when Omar Sharif visited. We get quite a few singers, artists, footballers come and stay. Because they come in regularly though, we just treat them as normal guests.
What do you get up to outside of the hotel?
I like my DIY. I watch a lot of television, American wrestling, football, things like that. I support Manchester Utd! I've been to watch them play at their ground. They stopped by here once actually.
If it's a nice day, I'll usually be out in the garden. I like to spend time with my family too. I've got one son who's at university studying Gaming and Coding, and two step-daughters, one lives in Dubai and one who lives here.