Meet the Team

One of the key strengths of Rothay Garden is the professionalism and friendliness of our staff.  The hotel is not just about bricks and mortar, or fixtures and fittings, or even great food and wine.  It’s a fact that the quality and attitude of the management and staff in a hotel can make or break your holiday or short break, and we’re proud that we have some of the most dedicated people here to look after you when you visit Rothay Garden…

Trish Thomas

General Manager

Trish joined Rothay Garden in summer 2019, with over 30 years’ experience in hospitality in hotels in Cumbria and other parts of North West England, including the Wirral.  She is married with two grown-up daughters, and lives locally in Kendal.  Not only does she enjoy reading, swimming and walking her Rough Collie dog (which of course the Lake District is ideal for!) but she has recently done a sky dive with her eldest daughter, jumping from 15,000 feet and raising over £1,000 for charity including the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital!

Andrew Burton

MCGB (Master Chef of Great Britain) Joint Head Chef

Andrew joined Rothay Garden in July 1991, and has been Head Chef for the hotel ever since.  Coming from Suffolk, Andy is definitely a “country boy” at heart, which is probably why he has settled so well in Grasmere. 

Commencing his career with Maison Talbooth in Suffolk (one of the leading and innovative country house hotels of its time), he learned his trade before moving to London to gain the vital experience that the big hotels offered, with experience over the next 7 years with the Savoy, Connaught, Berkeley and Dorchester.

With experience like that and a natural flair for good honest food, a respect for rural ways and a willingness to embrace new techniques and innovations, it’s easy to appreciate that Andrew has the respect of so many of his peers.  In 1991, he was living in the Lake District and joined Rothay Garden, to begin a great professional relationship that has now spanned over two decades.

During Rothay Garden’s re-development period, Andrew spent time at the two-Michelin starred Andrew Fairley at Gleneagles and the Michelin starred Northcote Manor to refresh his skills.  With a new “state-of-the-art” kitchen installed, and a creative and dedicated team, he is now creating exciting and delicious menus here at Rothay Garden and hopefully, for many years to come.

Adrian Kneeshaw

Joint Head Chef

Adrian, from Knaresborough, joined us from Scarborough College in 1995 as a Chef de Partie and quickly proved himself to be a key member of the brigade.  Promoted to Sous Chef in 2000, Ade has been a stalwart support to Andy and is without doubt one of the “backbones” of the hotel.

Ade’s prowess in the Pastry section is recognised by regular patrons time and again and this has been his main area of responsibility.  It is also however, his ability to jump into a section that is under pressure at a moment’s notice and resolve any difficulties that has always impressed us.  In 2015 in recognition of his long service and skills and also recognising Andy’s wish to shed some of his work-load, Ade was promoted to Joint Head Chef. This is working well for all concerned. As an aside, it’s also rather nice that Ade’s old secondary school Form Tutor is a regular guest at Rothay Garden and has enjoyed watching his career progress!

Victoria Bailey

Duty Manager

Vicky, a Lancashire lass from Bolton-le-Sands, joined us originally in 1996 for the summer before returning to college but she enjoyed it so much that she decided to stay and what a great decision that turned out to be, for all of us!  Many regular guests will remember that timid diminutive girl, head down and so work focused.  But how she’s blossomed!  Always hard working, and so, so reliable.

Promoted to Deputy Manager in 2004, Vicky’s responsibilities have seen her take on a large part of the accounts and administration and her meticulous attitude has made her the ideal person to deal with the purchase ledger.

Vicky’s first child, Paige, was born in March 2011 and Charlie, her second daughter arrived soon after. Consequently, she hasn’t been in evidence quite so much in recent years and reduced her role to 3 days a week while her parents look after and spoil the girls (as all grandparents should!).  Summer 2017 saw Vicky have a third child, Cody, who is already growing up fast.

Many regular guests will know that Vicky is a huge St. Helens (rugby league) fan, however her partner Craig, is a huge Wigan fan, so what will the poor children will make of this conundrum when they grow up?

Amanda Harrison

Head Housekeeper

Mandy is an Ambleside lass (it’s always nice to have local people on the team) and joined us in 2013 as Head Housekeeper. Her efforts since then are clear for all to see, her standards are demanding and her bedrooms immaculate but she’s always got time for a friendly chat on the stairs or corridors, for interested guests. Mandy has without doubt been a great appointment and is clearly a major asset to the hotel.

Mandy’s daughter Ebony also worked for us for a while in Reception and the restaurant before moving on to progress her career.

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