Hello, Faith here again
After completing my study period last semester in Coleraine, it was time to start my work placement. I have been here at the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast city for nearly a month now as a pastry chef alongside Marshall. The Grand central hotel is part of the hasting group and is located as the name would suggest right in the city , with another Hastings hotel, the Europa, just around the corner. The grand central is the newest Hastings hotel having been purchased in 2015 and then undergoing a 60-million-euro renovation, the new grand central hotel opened its doors in 2018. It stands at 23 stories making it the tallest commercial building in Ireland with around 300 bedrooms to offer.
Damian Tumilty is the executive head chef here; he manages the kitchen team that is spread across different levels in the hotel. Dining is offered:
- On ground floor with the grand café with sit down breakfast being served daily, then lunch and dinner being served till 10 pm. In the café there is also a deli section that offers scones, bakewell & brownie slices, cookies/biscuits, lemon meringue tarts as well as a cake special that are all prepared by the pastry team.
- On the first floor there is the seahorse restaurant and bar, at weekends the restaurant offers a buffet-style breakfast for guests and on Friday/Saturday nights operates an a la carte fine dining menu. On the first floor is also where the pastry kitchen is located right behind two function rooms.
- On the top floor in the observatory there is a small kitchen that is used to plate and serve the afternoon tea. Numbers for afternoon tea can reach into the 50s at the weekends and with Mother's Day happing this weekend we can expect it to be extra busy. At night the observatory runs as a cocktail bar till late.
As part of the pastry team, we ensure the deli counter is fully stocked, afternoon tea is already to go on time, any function/meeting have sweet treats available as well as keeping a steady stock level of breakfast muffins, cupcakes and other goods. I work five shifts a week with two days off. I work to prepare the goods during the day, and do not yet have to work any evening shifts.
Having now gotten used to the environment, the people and where everything is situated. This experience is one that I am enjoying, and I am happy I have been able to do my placement here.