Bramall Hall reopened on the 30th July 2016 and Stables Kitchen opened along with it. Since then, as so many of us know, it has gone from strength to strength and has become the perfect companion to a stroll around the Hall.
A cold but clear Thursday November morning was our meeting time and there wasn’t a seat free in the place – all taken up by happy customers sipping on beautiful coffees with a slice of cake.
Demand for Bramall Hall was rife due to being shut for two years, so there was always going to be equally high demand for a top quality café with it. Stables have been on the ball since the very start and it has established itself as a well, known and well trusted café that everyone enjoys, all in just a few months! Secrets for that please!?
Amy Baker-Howell is the operations manager at Stables and has been since the reopening. She lives just down the road in Gatley and loves working in such a beautiful and historic place, which she found out so much more about when she applied for the job. Amy is originally from Wrexham and has worked in hospitality ever since she graduated from the University of Manchester. Whether it be a cocktail bar, a wine bar, a pub, a restaurant or a café, Amy is the girl for the management roll and she (along with us!) is so happy to be working at Stables.
Her undergraduate degree was actually in comparative religious studies and social anthropology – quite the mouthful! – which she looks back on with great fondness and claims it to be one of the best decisions of her life. She then went on to do her masters degree in sex, gender and culture, meaning her academic achievements combine with her work experience to ensure us all that Stables is in the best hands possible.
“It’s a really nice place to work, I love it here.”
One of Amy’s major benefits of working in Stables compared to other hospitality jobs is how light it is there. The fact that the building was actually a stable once upon a time has allowed there to be huge, beautiful windows to fill the café with all the light in the world – something Amy, her staff and the loyal customers are thrilled about too!
At the moment there are two chefs, a trainee chef, two KPs and then twenty front of house staff, all varying from part time to full time. All of the staff at Stables have excellent manners, working ability and most of all, customer service levels. This has all added up to some startling sales figures. On last look, Stables had done 45,000 transactions on the tills, including 33,000 hot drinks! This is all over just 115 days! Doing the math’s, you’ll work out that is just under 300 hot drinks per day! These figures are testament to the work ethic of the staff at Stables under Amy’s leadership. They are proud to source all of their products locally with the exception their coffee, it’s great that they are supporting local businesses.
‘Because it is such a lovely park, we want people to enjoy themselves with us.”
The safety of the courtyard is a big benefit for families who want to visit Stables. Parents and grandparents can sit enjoying their treats while the kids run wild on the grass – it’s a beautiful place for any day out. Stables’ policy of ‘you can teach anyone how to carry a tray, but you can’t teach anyone how to smile’ is the perfect way to see what kind of service you’re going to get on your next visit. Stables are now getting a cart (as seen on their Facebook page) which is going to be outside and serve hot drinks for everyone in take away cups – keep an eye out for that!
Spring, summer, autumn, winter – go and visit Bramall Hall. Each season gives it a different angle to view it from and all are as equal in beauty as the others. One thing you must ensure you do, however, is visit Stables Kitchen. It’s the perfect way to sit and reflect on your stroll around the park, by indulging in amazing cake and coffee served by amazing people!