Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

Catching up with the Culinary Team!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

The whole team at The Dragon wish Chef Sam Thomas, who’s served us well for the last 6 years, the best of luck and success with his new venture – the kitchen certainly won’t be the same without him! But there’s no fear as long suffering Chef Steve Williams is stepping up to spearhead the culinary operations with support from Chefs Kevin Wingrave and Hayley James.

Local lad Chef Steve is no stranger to life at The Dragon Hotel having been here for well over a decade masterminding thousands of Christmas Parties, Weddings and Dinner Dances. Not easily flustered, Steve takes everything in his stride and likes nothing better than to unwind with a few cans of cider over a fishing rod.

Kevin Wingrave could easily have been lost to the culinary world if he had stuck to his first career choice of carpentry. A few too many splinters made Kevlar decide to swap his wood chips for potato chips and Swansea Bay has now sampled his cooking at both Morgans Hotel and 698 prior to his arrival at The Dragon in 2005.

Chef Hayley James is by far the prettiest of The Dragon Hotel’s culinary team and has known Kevin since they attended Neath Port Talbot College together. Deserving a medal for working alongside him for so many years, Hayley is not only our Desserts and Pastry specialist but also manages to stay on top of the dreaded paperwork – a skill seldom found in chefs!

The motley crew that makes up the rest of the team includes:

James Hallett, who also worked with Kevin and Hayley at Morgans and 698, and has once been told he’s a young Heston, a fact that is often repeated…

Adam ‘Ducky’ Harris who waddles around the kitchen busy being Kev’s Golden Boy

Ben Kerward, the wittiest member of the team who knows exactly how to press Chef Steve’s buttons!

There are, of course, a few others who do not wish to be mentioned in this blog and shall therefore remain faceless: Liam, Mark, Bernard, Chris, Ashley, Roy and Liam – you know who you are!

Winter Beauty, it’s ‘Snow’ joke!!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Well this week it’s all snow, snow and more snow!! But that hasn’t bothered any of our beauty clients. Whether it’s party glamour or beauty maintenance, it is not something that the snow can get in the way of, OH NO!! It is essential and whether our clients have had to walk, hike, ski or slide their way to us, they’ve made it!!

We also know there will be some very special gifts underneath the Christmas tree. Husbands and boyfriends have done well this year buying gift vouchers for their loved ones. A real luxurious treat and perfect Christmas surprise.

Michelle’s top tip for your beauty regime in this harsh cold weather is:

Make sure you moisturise daily, use a heavier moisturiser at night and use a gentle exfoliator once a week. Also, when inside with the heating on, keep skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of hot or cold drinks!

For more information on your skin care or for FREE Dermalogica face mapping call us now to book your appointment!

Merry Christmas and a Happy & Beautiful New Year

Michelle & Harley

Team Member of the Month – November

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Tanisha Williams team member of the month for November

It gives us great pleasure to award the prestigious Team Member of the Month award for November to the lovely Tanisha, who has elf-lessly gone above and beyond to ensure that the Hotel was trimmed up to perfection ready for Christmas!

Like a shining star she tirelessly ‘Decked the Halls’ and made sure that every tree was worthy of ‘Rockin’ around’ in preparation for the seasonal festivities and with five trees to trim it was ‘snow’ mean feat!

With all the effort she has put in whilst continuing to deliver excellent customer service and high standards it’s no surprise to learn that this year Tanisha can be found on Santa’s NICE list (and we’ve checked it twice!) and her one Christmas wish this year is to find Taylor Lauter in her stocking!!

 Some interesting facts that you never knew about Tanisha:

  1. Her most favourite food is Chicken Fried Rice (Turkey for Christmas Day!)
  2. She is a big fan of the TV show Glee!
  3. Her most embarrassing moment ever was when she went to school and discovered that she was wearing odd shoes!! Talk about having two left feet or the boot being on the other foot!!
  4. She has worked at the Dragon Hotel for six and a half years and still loves her job.

 Well done Tanisha and thank you for all your hard work!

‘Tis the season to be jolly…

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

That time of year is here again!! (Too quickly may I add)…. The Reservations department tends to be quieter this time of year, but the hotel is buzzing with people for their Christmas Parties, the sound of crackers and blowers and the good old Christmas songs…(Which I love to sing badly too!) We have been very busy preparing for the descent of the Irish fans for the Rugby match of Ospreys V Munster, we will show the Irish how to have a good Welsh Christmas!! Tracey and I have managed to stay injury free during the Baltic conditions that we have all been experiencing, although we have been Dancing on Ice most mornings. We have been very good girls this year and we have asked Santa for: A British Bulldog – for me (Squire may disapprove!) and enough bling to sink the Cruise ships that she resides on every summer for Tracey!! We would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tara in 50 Questions

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

This is your opportunity to learn random things about The Dragon Health & Fitness Club Manager Tara Hammett – FAB! (As Tara would say…)

1.Coke or Pepsi?

Pepsi (Diet!!)

2.Desk: messy or organized?


3.Are you always early or terminally late?

4.Who would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
Meryl Streep

5.What is your favourite word?

Fab! (or amazing..say that a lot too)
6.What is your least favourite word?


7.What sound or noise do you love?
My Voice
8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Interior Designer
9.What profession would you not like to do?

10.If Heaven exists, what would God say to you when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
You haven’t shut up all your life, now get in and be quiet or you’re going back!!

11.On a scale of 1-5 how organized are you?

12. Do you exercise regularly?


13. Have any nick names?
TTP, Princess

14.Do you have tattoos?
Yes, one.

 15. What is/was your worst subject in school?

Worst at History and Geography

16.Do you like to dance?


17. Name your favourite colour


18. Do people tell you that you act older, younger, or your age?

Act younger

19. Ever had an imaginary friend as a child?
Still got one.

20.Do you drink?
I do drink but can’t handle it at all.

21. What annoys you?

Robert Crabtree – Mega mind!

22.Do you wear pajamas to places other than at your house?

I have standards thank you!

23. Have you ever stolen anything from a store or from someone?

I once stole a melon
24. Ever cheated on a test?
Never – I’m a complete nerd and I love studying!

25. Name 5 of the most important things in your life?

Husband, Family & Friends, Love my job, Food (lots of it), Socialising

26. How many languages can you speak and what are they?

Just English but I speak so fast you could count it as my own language
27. Are you a touchy feely person?

28. Do you have any phobias?

The Dark!


29. Are you a heavy or light sleeper?

Um, don’t really know?!? But I’m good at it!
30.Are you a morning person?
I don’t look great but I like to think I am a morning person

31. Ever broken any bones?
Yep, both wrists and my nose.

32. Do you play any instruments?
33. Have you been told you can sing well more than once?
No, I haven’t got a good talking voice, so you can imagine what my singing voice is like!

34. Name your least favourite feature?
My bum
35. Name the clothing store you shop at the most?


36. Pecs or Abs?


37. Name someone you can tell just about anything to?

My imaginary friend
38. Where were you born?
Neath General Hospital
39. Do you live in a street or in the middle of nowhere?

A street with a fab view.


40. If money were not an object, what would you do with your life?

Train people

41. What would be your last meal on earth?

Sushi followed by seriously chocolate fudge cake!!!


42. What is your favourite film?

Oceans Eleven and  ATime to Kill


43. What possession do you love the most?

My slanket!!

 44. Apart from your husband, who is your number one man?

Jason Statham


45. What is your favourite TV show?

Don’t watch TV much, bit I do like Hustle.


46. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Daniel Bevan


47. If you could have dinner with 3 people in the world, who would they be?

Rob Crabtree, Daniel Bevan and Andrew Morrissey


48. If you were an animal what would you be and why?

A cheetah, because I use to think I was Cheetara from Thundercats when I was young


49. If you were prime minister, what would you change, or impose?

Make a law that everyone had to do some form of exercise everyday


50. If you were deserted on a desert island what one item would you want with you?


Swansea Bay Tourism Awards Success

Friday, November 19th, 2010

The tag line reads ‘The Best of The Best’ and staff and management at The Dragon Hotel are indeed delighted to be included within this elite group once again. (more…)

So here it is…Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It’s the day after Beaujolais Day and already the Christmas decorations are going up!  The Conference Office is asking when will we get a break?!!  Although to be honest it’s been feeling like Christmas since September with the bookings coming in followed by deposits, full payments and menu orders.  There truly is no rest for the wicked…

Having said that though, Gethyn has still managed to find time to gallivant on his travels since we last spoke, fitting not one but two jaunts away.  He is forgiven though because he did bring us all some rock back from Minehead!  He’s also looking rather distinguished with his new spectacles. As trendy as they are though Gethyn, you can’t deny that old age is catching up with you!

We had a bit of a panic when Take That announced their impending tour since ARGH! Sian could not get them to pick up the phone to purchase her tickets.  A collective breath of relief could be heard when eventually news came through that at least someone in her circle of friends had managed to get a ticket for her – phew!

Cath’s still on her campaign to lose a stone in weight before Christmas – at 8lb loss so far it’s still on track but she can’t honestly say that its going well and that’s before there’s an advent calendar to be opened each day!

Well, we’d better sign off now as much thought and consideration must be given to the Office Secret Santa…

Have a Cool Yule!

Team Member of the Month – October 2010

Monday, November 15th, 2010


An Ode to Kasia

Cleaning this and polishing that,

 always a smile and ready to chat,

Scrubbing here and vacuuming there,

unwavering standards of customer care


Your boundless energy shining through,

in all you say and all you do.

The extra mile by far exceeded

As you strive to do what’s needed.


You never grumble, never gripe

 about the things you have to wipe,

You get stuck in and never cease

 with vigour, vim and elbow grease.


With many thanks for all you do, team member this month belongs to you!!


Well done to Kasia for being chosen as Team Member of the Month for October 2010.  Kasia originates from Poland and has worked at the Hotel for 5 years, during this time she has become a highly valued member of the House Keeping Team.  Always ready with a smile and hello to both staff and guests and consistently maintains the highest standards in all she does.


Kasia got married in May this year and is so far enjoying being a wife (give her a few years!)

She is a fan of most sports but in particular Volley ball, unfortunately she doesn’t have time to participate anymore what with making the Hotel glisten and gleam!  Her favourite food is vegetable and chicken soup and her favourite colour is white (not a recommended colour choice whilst eating soup!)


Thanks and congratulations

Kelly-Ann Bursts onto the Scene!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Well hello to all you Dragon Hotel fans out there! My name is Kelly-Ann and I have been working at the hotel since 24th August 2010 as the Administrative Manager,  a task that I have taken on with my usual gusto and enthusiasm!

Let me tell you a little bit about me; I hail from the ever expanding Broadlands Estate in Bridgend where I reside with my three beautifully behaved children (A term I use loosely).  I have been with my long suffering husband Justin for 8 years, during this time I have successfully managed to wear him down to an acceptable level of compliance and hardly ever need to resort to torturous methods to get my own way.

In my spare time I knit socks for gerbils and loiter around zebra crossings waiting to assist the frail and aged people across the road and campaigning for World Peace.  I am a self confessed Obsessive Compulsive, and seem to cause my colleagues in accounts much amusement with my constant cleaning and organising and inability to put a cup down without a coaster (this being just the tip of a very large ice berg).

 Since starting at the hotel I have been fortunate enough to meet some lovely people and share an office with Helen the Accounts Manager and Kelly the Accounts Assistant, both of which are inspirational, strong, bright women (I’m easily bribed, invoices in the post ladies).

On a more serious note I am happy to say that I have been made to feel very welcome by all of the staff here and feel like I’ve been here for years!  I am also most grateful to Helen for introducing me to the wild, wonderful, calorie laden world of Starbucks!

 I have been involved in the HR Administration for many years but had never worked in a Hotel before and I must say that I love every minute of the hustle and bustle of people coming and going.

 I must say that whilst I find having a Health spa on site a fantastic bonus it is proving to be rather detrimental to the health of my bank balance and my husbands blood pressure as I have become a huge fan of Michelle our resident Beauty Therapist, her ability to make me snore during a facial is amazing and I am now hopelessly hooked on Gel Nails and eye lash extensions (I hope my Husband doesn’t read this!)

 I am a huge animal lover and a sucker for a sob story hence the fact that I am the proud owner of six horses, nine cats, three dogs, two gerbils, a monosyllabic teenage boy, a cheeky monkey of an eight year old, a busy bee daughter and a partridge in a pear tree!

 Well that’s all about me for now, join me for the next chapter in the trilogy; “Admin v Accounts 2 – Your number’s up”.

Sarah’s Half Marathon

Monday, October 25th, 2010

team picture marathon

Half Marathon Team Picture


 I can’t believe that October has arrived so soon as it only seems like yesterday that I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon last year! With the lack of training this year I was dreading the day but on the morning of Sunday 17th October I pulled back the curtains and was met by the glorious sunshine and of course this gave me a huge incentive!
I was running as part of a team which consisted of 25 (mad) people all running and raising money for the ‘James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer’ (JW4KC).We had a team photo first then we made our way to our different time zones at the start line as we all had personal goals. My personal goal was just to complete it! Trying to spot members of the team in our matching white and grey vest tops in amongst the 15,000 other runners was proving difficult so Suz and I ran together for the first 6 miles then separated (of course she was eating my dust)!
Once I got into my stride I found I was quite enjoying the run as the route was particularly scenic and what made the scenery more spectacular was when a guy burned passed me dressed ONLY in Borat’s mankini!!! As you can imagine this was just the motivation I needed when hitting the 9 mile mark – haha.
There were a lot of sites, good & bad, but one thing that stands out in my mind was when I saw a couple doing that ‘fast walking’ and I couldn’t pass them!!!! To top things off I thought I knew where the finishing line was but to my horror they had moved it – BIG mistake when I’d already started my sprint finish and there was no going back then.
It was the last 2 miles that proved difficult for me but being as determined as I am there was no way I was giving up and to my amazement I completed the run in 2.05 which meant I managed to shave 12 minutes off my time compared to 2009 so I am over the moon.
Every member of the JW4KC completed the course despite traveling miles to the start line and experiencing falls, injuries and a torturous finish line. The money raised to date is £2337.56 with more money on the way.
If anyone would like to run with the team next year please contact Joanne Popham on it really is a fantastic experience, so I challenge you to join our team next year.