What job do you do at NFE?
I’m ‘Director of Happiness’, aka Managing Director… which means I sort out the general day to day running of the business, all the numbers, people management, Owner communication, any fire fighting and a lot of thinking about the future.
I’ve had a long history of working in the leisure and tourism sector from a boutique luxury tour operator to a cruiseship brand, a tourist attraction company, and a Superyacht. I’ve worked my way through various roles but focused on marketing, business development and customer service. I believe the basics help you build and understand the entire process and I think that that knowledge better equips you to make better decisions, whether it be for your clients, owners or team.
My ultimate goal is for every NFE client to want to come back to us year after year because they know that by picking up the phone to us, we care and we look after them.
How long have you been local in the area?
My husband and I moved to Lymington 10 years ago before we started a family. More recently we’ve lived in Milford on Sea. We are both from villages and prefer the village vibe but still wanted to be close to the sea. Milford is a very bustling little place, there is so much going on here. The small businesses here have been super creative through COVID19 and there is a great little community website http://www.milfordonseanews.org/ which is well worth a look.
Where is your favourite place to go for friends/family in the forest?
For families, I love Hurst Spit. Come rain or shine, morning, noon or night, it’s a great place for a brisk walk with lots to look at. For family adventures in Keyhaven, I love taking the kids to the tiny Quay, either crabbing or in the water on paddleboards and kayaks. For some time out, I love to go there on my own to clear out my cobwebs!
Where is your favourite place to eat in the forest?
Verveine for the ultimate special occasion (Milford).
Britannia Thai for takeaways when you just don’t want to cook (Brockenhurst and Milford)
Coffee and Drift for simple salads and toasties on Lymington Quay.
Which places do you like to avoid?
Being in the car on the road! I tell people to get on your bike and cycle – in summer the roads can get a bit congested.
Where do you go to get away from the crowds and escape for some downtime in the National Park?
I like to get on the water.
We have a boat here and I love to paddle board. Or I head across to Yarmouth on the ferry and walk up to the Red Lion Pub along the river. It is never busy there. I don’t often head into the National Park, when I do I love it, but it’s the water for me.
Where do you go to get lovely gifts in town?
No.64 in Milford on Sea village for the ladies or The Cave – off-licence and bar for the blokes – they have a great selection for any gift.
Who does the best takeaway (during CV19)?
Rays Italian Pizza is spot on.
What do you love about your job the most?
I love developing our website so much – its ever evolving, changing, reflecting the business, our guests and our team and its exciting to see the difference it can make for our guests’ holidays. NFE is not just about the property you stay in but the experience of being in the New Forest and we want every single guest to love it and make the most of being here, just like we do.
And what exasperates you the most?
Sometimes it is hard working the most when its holiday time and everyone is enjoying themselves 😉
Jane – last and most important question – what’s your Desert Island Discs selection….?
Aretha Franklin, You Send Me.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Shallow.
Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suite No.1 in G Major.
(and then she snuck a few last ones in too…) Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Day, Basket Case.