Although originally a slightly reluctant TV star, Mother’s Day in March proved to Andrew Chapman of The World’s End that there were certainly benefits from his appearance on the small screen.
Andrew, who owns the Ecton hotel, and his son Chris, who is the general manager, agreed to appear on the popular Channel 4 series Four In A Bed. Each week, the programme sees four hotels or bed and breakfast establishments host one another, hearing their guests’ feedback, both positive and negative, and vying for the coveted winner’s plaque when everyone comes together to pay for their stays on the final day.
And it is the winner’s plaque that has been capturing the imagination of visitors to the restaurant ever since The World’s End’s triumphed in their week, which was aired in February.
Andrew said: “I was approached a few years ago and didn’t think it was right for us at the time, but after the pandemic and being closed for so long, I accepted the offer when it came along again. It was good fun to do and it has certainly given the place a boost, we’ve been inundated with bookings ever since. I was working front-of-house on Mother’s Day, when we did 200 covers, and I think most of those 200 wanted to know all about the show and were asking where they could see the plaque.”
Even for two people used to the long hours and never-ending smiles that go into a successful hospitality business, the filming was gruelling. Getting to see what happens behind the scenes was fascinating, but Andrew and Chris found themselves being filmed for 12 hours a day over two days, resulting in a programme that was 24 minutes long.
Due to one of the competitors having to withdraw from the competition due to a Covid outbreak, there were only three establishments taking part that particular week, leaving Andrew and Chris with trips to Bradford and Dundee to stay with their fellow hosts.
Unfortunately, due to the filming happening when social distancing rules were still being enforced, the other couples weren’t able to sample The World’s End’s dinner menu, but were treated to the hotel’s impressive breakfasts.
Since he bought The World’s End 16 years ago, Andrew has been determined to create the impression of a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel with a restaurant and the number of non-residents who choose to book a table suggests that his policy is working.
The World’s End’s a la carte menu includes traditional favourites like Tetley beer battered fish and chips and braised blade of beef and the likes of pan-seared lamb’s liver, premium wagyu beef gourmet burger and Mediterranean vegetable tart; as well as a range of sharing plates and starters, and a choice of daily specials. And, of course, there’s always room for dessert.
There’s a two-course lunch menu, Sunday lunch and a children’s menu. Away from the restaurant there’s a cosy and comfortable bar area, and plenty of outdoor seating and a space for children to play when the weather is warm.
“When our 22 rooms are full, as they are the majority of the week with business guests and visitors to the county, we are pretty much guaranteed a busy restaurant, but my philosophy has always been that the restaurant should be seen as the most important aspect of the business,” Andrew explained.
“People don’t always think to go to a hotel to eat, so we have worked hard to make the restaurant special, and the fact that we have rooms as well is an added bonus. Our residents get a great restaurant to use when they’re staying here, and guests come from all over the county to enjoy our fantastic food – it’s the best of both worlds.
“We believed our appearance on Four In A Bed would give us the impetus we needed to get back to where we were before the pandemic struck, and we were right, the response has been phenomenal.”
Find out more about The World’s End at www.theworldsend.org or call 01604 414521.