The hotel division of Thwaites was founded with The Millstone at Mellor in 1980, when a room was just £11 per night. It became Shire Hotels and Inns of Character, comprising 15 hotels and spas, inns and lodges and was then brought under the Thwaites family name in 2016. The group now welcomes more than 250,000 guests per year and won the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2016-17.
In 2015, Thwaites Hotels selected Taylors of Harrogate as its exclusive tea partner, serving its teas and infusions across its portfolio. Yorkshire Tea is served for those looking for a proper brew and Taylors’ speciality teas, including Earl Grey, Peppermint and Pure Green, are particularly popular with guests looking for something special. Cream teas and the “Cuppa and cake” option served in the cafés and lounges, made with Taylors loose leaf tea, are always popular. For the health-conscious, Taylors’ range of fruit and herbal teas, created in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is served to guests to relax with after treatments in the spas.
Mike Haddow, Group Executive Chef, has worked for the company for 35 years, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience; he met with the Taylors Out of Home team and was suitably impressed to change his tea supply. Mike commented, “The British public loves tea and it is very important to serve a good brew, which is why our partnership with Taylors of Harrogate works so well. We serve about 250,000 cups of tea throughout the year at all points of our guests’ stay: at breakfast, in the rooms, in the bars, cafés and lounges, at events (business and weddings) and in the spa and we need to deliver.
“Our guests expect the highest standards from us in all areas of the business and Yorkshire Tea and Taylors fit the bill perfectly, both in terms of the products and their brand image. Small details like the excellent quality of the tea and the fact that we use fresh milk in our guest rooms make us stand out from some of the more corporate hotel chains in the UK. We try to punch hard above our weight – we are a small group that works hard to try to offer our best in all areas of the business…that’s what makes me proud!”