Happy holidays everyone! Spending Christmas in Florida- which was my first Christmas completely without my family- was really difficult. I always try to be as honest as I can in my blog so I’m going to tell you my honest opinion on how I found it.
Thanksgiving I had to work so I didn’t get to celebrate it but it was nice to see so many families coming together to celebrate. Work, however, was very busy! Thanksgiving wasn’t what I’d imagined: I pictured fall colours and winter vibes but I live in Florida so it was sunshine and palm trees.
For Christmas I found it – and am still finding it – really difficult being away from all my family and friends. I miss going Christmas shopping (postage costs a fortune to send to the uk!!), wearing winter clothes and getting into the festive spirit with my family and friends. In Florida it is always hot so it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. My best friend and I decided to cook a roast chicken dinner and get as close to our traditional British dinner as we could! That really helped me to feel better as watching your friend remove giblets from a chicken whilst drinking a gin & tonic is the funniest/most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. We never done a secret Santa as we left it too late and we were all working crazy schedules but I think it’s a nice idea. I got a Christmas parcel from home which was really lovely. Inside was a Scotland tshirt, Scotland coasters and keyring and a Glasgow teddy. See a theme here? As well as clothes, jewellery and my Gran’s Christmas tree fairy all the way from Scotland which she’s had since I was a baby. The parcel made me feel closer to home and I did struggle with the home sickness but everyone’s in the same position.
It really helped me being in a team with international managers as they understand how hard it is and can offer advice. Also team banquets are my American family and the patter and daily laughs with them make work so much easier!
I first started my employment at Admirals Cove on the 7th September and there are 5 departments within F&B you can choose to work in – banquets, Blu restaurant (fine dining), Marina Cafe (casual dining and bar), The Fairway Restaurant at Golf Village (fine dining) and the Card Rooms.
Banquets is my home department and I absolutely love it. There’s a different event daily and a great chance to broaden your banquets knowledge. It is more difficult to get to know the members as you don’t serve them weekly like in the other restaurants. Pro’s: free buffet food, working with Flavio + Claudia the banquets managers who will go out of their way to help and support you (they’re both internationals so they understand how difficult things can be), free flowers which is always nice! Con’s: don’t expect holidays off and you will work late nights.
Blu restaurant is the fine dining restaurant in the main clubhouse. The operations behind service are very organised and the managers are very supportive so never be afraid to ask for help. The menu changes weekly but members will always have their favourites and special requests.
Marina cafe is the restaurant facing the pool and the Marina – hence the name – it is extremely busy and the members are very challenging!! It is a much more casual style of service.
The Fairways is the golf village restaurant. It is fine dining but with a casual family atmosphere.
The Card Rooms responsibilities consist of being the attendant and ensuring snacks are stocked up – there is no service as such. Although you’ll have the pleasure of working with Nyaka who is the manager for both the male and female card rooms.
For anyone with hospitality experience Admirals Cove can be a little more challenging – even for me when my experience is in VIP service and hotels. There are rules of speech, greetings and behaviour to be followed which does take time to get used to but it is a really valuable thing for later in your career. Americans do things a little different to home but you just need to learn to adapt! I even had to learn to change my accent and tone down the Glaswegian accent a little as no one could understand me, it’ll change slightly naturally with time due to picking up American phrases. The members are absolutely lovely and so are the managers. Just stay out of trouble and you’ll have an amazing time at Admirals Cove. It is an incredible club and is not to be taken advantage of this great opportunity at one of America’s top 2% of country clubs!!