As we head in to August we thought it was time to reflect on the year so far with some key figures from the premium on-trade, to see how they see the world, their highs and lows for 2017 so far, what they hope to achieve in the rest of the year, and, what they are doing for their summer holidays. First up is Mark Andrew co-founder of Noble Rot restaurant and magazine.
He’s just back from two weeks in Greece so Mark Andrew of Noble Rot has had plenty of time to reflect on the 2017 we have already had and what’s in store for the rest of the year.
We are well in truly in to the second half of the year, so how has 2017 gone for you so far?
Very well. The magazine continues to go from strength to strength and we are significantly busier at the wine bar/restaurant than we were a year ago.
Best moments of the year so far – business wise and personally.
Winning best wine list (for the second year running) and being voted 36th best restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards was a particularly proud moment for the Noble Rot team.
On a personal level, becoming a Master of Wine in March was the culmination of a lot of hard work and very satisfying.
Most challenging moments of the year.
The main challenge we face is trying to keep Noble Rot interesting, relevant and inspiring for our customers and staff. Aside from that, the fall out from the Brexit referendum result – particularly the slide in the value of the pound – has created a raft of ongoing challenges that the whole sector will have to deal with in the next few years.
What are your big goals for the business for the rest of the year?
We’re a young business, the bar/restaurant has only open been for 18 months. So the whole team is still seeking to improve everything we do and the experience we offer our guests on a day-to-day basis. Our primary goal is always to inspire and excite ourselves with what we do first, so that we can share that with the people that come to Noble Rot or read the magazine.
What do you see as being the big trends/ influences on your part of the industry?
To be honest, we don’t pay much attention to trends, so I’m not the best person to ask. We focus on wine and food from producers that we love, rather than trying to ride the waves of fashion.
That said, our customers and readers seem to agree with us that honest and authentically made products are preferable to large scale production, big brands and glossy marketing, and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.
As far as influences go, social media continues to be really important for wine and food lovers sharing their experiences and discoveries, and we enjoy being part of that community.
What are your plans for your summer holiday?
I got back on Sunday from my annual fortnight in Greece – this time it was two beautiful islands, Milos and Kimolos, and a couple of fantastic days in Athens. Greece is my favourite country in the world and I’m already planning next year’s trip.
Did you have chance to catch up any reading?
What did you eat and drink?
Nothing beats the first grilled octopus and bottle of Santorini Assyrtiko when I get to Greece.
Favourite place for sunset drink at a bar/restaurant?
The Cyclades islands are tough to beat for sunsets. Oia in Santorini is incredible if you can go out of season to avoid the crowds, and this year on Milos at Astakas restaurant by the sea in Klima was pretty special.
- If you would like to share your thoughts on 2017 and what you have been up to this summer then please answer these questions and email them to Richard Siddle at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.