What a delight it was to attend the recent Wedding Industry Awards ceremony for the South Central region – and walk away as winners on the night.
Against stiff opposition, our events team were proclaimed regional winners. Now we go on to contest the national title in January.
Nationally, more than 1000 entries were received for the high profile industry awards. Thousands of bridal couples got to have their say and vote for the entrants they thought most deserved to be honoured.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, which was held at Old Thorns Hotel and Resort at Liphook, Head of Sales, Marketing and Events, Nicole Morris, said: “It is really exciting for The Queens Hotel to receive this recognition.
“We are lucky enough to be chosen by an increasing number of brides and grooms as the place where they want to hold their wedding and celebrate their marriage – and we really enjoy making their special day a memorable one.
“It is very much a team effort involving every department of the hotel working together to create the perfect wedding day.”
General Manager, Paul Playford, said: “It is brilliant to be regional winners and we look forward to seeing how we get on at the national finals in London on Wednesday 25th January.
“Every couple that chooses to celebrate their wedding with us is special to The Queens Hotel team and we really enjoy working with them to ensure it is a day that stays in their memories forever.”
Thank you to all the brides and grooms who voted for us. You helped us to win this award. We really appreciate you taking the time to complete the feedback forms.
To see all the regional winners, please visit: TWIA (the-wedding-industry-awards.co.uk)
Head of Pastry at the Queens Hotel, Southsea Chloe Barter loves the alchemy that results from mixing simple ingredients to create mouth-watering teatime treats.
“Afternoon tea is the perfect meal. It’s fancy but not too over the top,” confided Chloe.
”It’s something you can look forward to and a great excuse to get together with friends and family.
“It’s very British and the perfect mix of sweet and savoury.”
Since she joined the team at the Queens Hotel, her afternoon tea has earned multiple plaudits and ecstatic reviews on Favourite Table and Tripadvisor. Every element of the tea is created from scratch, with only the clotted cream and jam being bought in.
“And I’m looking at making my own jam too. I love that everything is baked here and you can taste the freshness,” explained Chloe.
The Queens Hotel is sponsoring the #SouthseaFoodFestival July 16/17 and visitors to the hotel’s stand will be able to sample our ‘afternoon tea in a box’.
Chloe explained: “We wanted to give visitors to the Southsea Food Festival a taster of what our afternoon tea is all about and I’m hoping to spend some time on the stand too.”
Her passion for pastry is palpable – and when you ask her to explain, the reason becomes clear.
“I love the fact you can take simple ingredients like milk, butter and flour and depending on the way you mix them you can create so many different things – I love the variables.
“To me choux pastry is a beautiful thing – and then there’s a macaron. Simple ingredients and together they make something incredible,” she declared.
As a child growing-up she learned to love baking, largely as a result of watching her Mum create extraordinary celebration cakes for family and friends.
Skills she learned at home were further honed over three years studying at Highbury College in Portsmouth specialising in pastry, before she bagged a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on an all-expenses paid year in America.
“It was the most extraordinary year – I spent four months in Nantucket and then the next eight months in Florida working in the restaurant of a country club.
“I really learned my trade and learned everything from bread-making and confectionery to desserts and cakes.
“We even got to do sugar-sculpting which was amazing. The display I worked on had a sea theme and I got to make a rainbow parrot fish just like the ones I saw when I went snorkelling,” she said.
Her love for baking runs so strong, Chloe even boasts a cupcake tattoo as the ultimate illustration of her love for baking.
Looking to the future, Chloe has just put the finishing touches to a festive afternoon tea offering that will take Christmas to a whole other level.
And she’s working on a strawberry custard tart that promises to be a pink perfection on the plate.
“The colour is so beautiful and it tastes sublime,” she added.
Afternoon Tea Top Tips
Chloe’s favourite Victoria Sponge recipe
8oz butter or Stork margarine
8oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract or paste
8oz self-raising flour
3 splashes of milk (tablespoons)
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