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11am Preparations for lunch are well away in the kitch- ens. We make all our own pastries and cakes, so there is cooking and baking going on throughout the morning. Usually the fishermen and crab fishermen (like Sid Griffiths) wait until we are really busy then decide to come in and deliver. We never know when to expect them and they usually arrive when we are packed – but having said that it’s great to have fresh fish!


12noon Lunchtime starts – usually a busy time. All hands on deck again.


2pm I usually need a sleep in the afternoon – but I don’t always get it! I try to get my head down though, because I’m here until well into the evening most days. The bad old days of all people in the hotel trade working split shifts are now mostly a thing of the past thankfully – but I still do it because I have to be here at the beginning and end of the day. We change over the management in the middle of the


afternoon, so there is a handover when one goes home and the next takes over.


4pm People come in for tea and cakes, or to sit and read the paper before they get ready for their evening meal. Behind the scenes we are preparing the restaurants for dinner.


6pm onwards We are busy with dinner and other special events – everything from banquets to club dinners. We run a special offer in conjunction with the Flavel – a movie meal deal where cinema-goers can eat here before they see their film. That can be really busy when there is a popular film – The King’s Speech had us rushed off our feet! We also have live music regularly in the Harbour Bar and there will be events here during the Comedy Festival. Everyone is welcome and we get a real mix of people throughout the day – we maintain a high standard but we are not elitist.


10.30pm The night porter arrives and is told about any late comers who might turn up in the middle of the night and need a sandwich and cup of tea. Two porters share this job and they are here right through the night. The door that has been open from 7 o’clock in the morning finally closes at midnight, but they are here all night until the early staff comes in the following morning.


Nigel Way grew up in Sidmouth and always wanted to be an hotelier. He studied his trade at college in Torquay and “first discovered the Royal Castle when I was playing hookey in Dartmouth with the other students.” He worked in London, Windsor and Oxford before returning to his beloved South West and buying the Royal Castle. In 2006 he received an MBE from the Queen for his services to tourism in the West country.


nobody does it better


... to stay ... to eat ... to drink


The Royal Castle Hotel ★★★ ...at the heart of Dartmouth


The Quay • Dartmouth • TQ6 9PS T: 01803 833033 www.royalcastle.co.uk enquiry@royalcastle.co.uk


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