Students Staff

26 May 2015

Top hotels lead initiative to polish UK’s silver service skills

Colchester Campus

Edge Hotel School students serve afternoon tea at Brown's

Edge Hotel School students serve afternoon tea at Brown's

Three of London’s internationally-famous hotels are collaborating for the first time to meet soaring demand for home-grown, highly-trained staff in Britain’s thriving hospitality industry.

In a ground-breaking partnership, Brown’s Hotel, The Ritz London and The Dorchester are sharing the skills behind their afternoon tea success with undergraduates at the only school of its kind, the Edge Hotel School, University of Essex, where students take degrees in hotel management.

The pioneering link to encourage young Britons to choose hospitality as a career, comes after research has shown that more than half a million people need to be recruited into this flourishing industry by 2020. This initiative is designed to ensure the future of the UK’s global reputation for silver service and five-star quality.

The Edge Hotel School educates aspiring managers by a unique combination of academic study and practical work in their own four-star hotel, Wivenhoe House.

Stuart P. Johnson, General Manager Brown's Hotel, said: "The hospitality industry faces a skills shortage, the Edge Hotel School, as the first of its kind in the UK, is helping stem the gap, and our industry must focus on supporting training and development.

“The Wivenhoe House afternoon tea initiative is a great example of bringing students into a world class international environment working alongside an excellent pastry chef and team combined with front of house service, helping hone the skills of the stars of the future.”

General Manager at Wivenhoe House Oliver Brown said: “This is an outstanding example of the support the hospitality industry gives Wivenhoe House, as home of the Edge Hotel School.

“With a nationwide shortage of skilled staff in this vibrant sector it is vital that we can give the students the most wide-ranging experience possible and our colleagues in the hospitality industry support us wherever they can.”

As part of the initiative, from June an afternoon tea, influenced by Brown’s, will be served for three months at Wivenhoe House with The Dorchester and The Ritz London following on in rotation.

Roland Fasel, regional director UK and general manager of The Dorchester, said: “The Dorchester provides an excellent foundation for the hospitality luminaries of tomorrow and we are honoured to be part of this initiative alongside The Ritz London and Brown’s Hotel.”

Chef John Williams MBE from The Ritz London said: “It is a pleasure for The Ritz London to collaborate with the Edge Hotel School and Wivenhoe House. This collaboration fits with The Ritz London values which are to develop, train and encourage to the highest standard, the next generation of our industry leaders.”

As part of their preparation two undergraduates and one of Wivenhoe House’s expert pastry chefs spent a day at Brown’s Hotel in central London before the new afternoon tea is launched at the beginning of June.

During their visit to the top London hotel they spent time in the kitchen learning what makes Brown’s afternoon tea so special as well as talking to the front-of-house team about the high level of service that is part and parcel of the Brown’s experience.

Churchill China, who provide all the crockery used at Wivenhoe House, is also supplying new china to accompany this exciting venture. They said: ”This latest initiative demonstrates the ambitions for its students and also the benefits for the local area and the future of industry alike. We are truly excited to see the resulting interpretations of these iconic afternoon teas presented on our products.”

For further information

Heather Leathley
Media and PR Officer
The Edge Hotel School/Wivenhoe House
07791 724736

Notes for Editors

The Edge Hotel School

The Edge Hotel School is a partnership between the Edge Foundation and the University of Essex. Undergraduates enjoy a unique degree experience combining academic studies and practical work in every area of Wivenhoe House on an intensive course packed into two years, saving money and time. The Edge Hotel School benefits from tremendous support from the hospitality industry, including sponsorship, bursaries, guest lecturers and work placements at some of the most prestigious addresses in the UK.

Wivenhoe House

Built in the 18th century and made famous in a painting by John Constable, Wivenhoe House was the original home of the University of Essex in 1964. After a £10 million refurbishment in 2012, it re-opened as a luxury four-star hotel with a full team of professional staff who mentor and train the undergraduates. The hotel has already won several awards for its food and service.


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