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Best Global Mind Blog: A Worthy Visit to Aunt Betsy

'I hopped into the car and arrived five minutes later with what seemed to be a 35 cover service, and to my astonishment, I was alone…'

We are excited to introduce you to the best Global Mind Blog: Charles Andrieux's  ‘A Worthy Visit to Aunt Betsy’. Part of the operational internship involves reflecting on experiences and sharing either the favorite or perhaps the most surprising aspects of the trip. Charles Andrieux shares his story about a surprise twist: having to handle an afternoon tea all by himself for the first time during his internship in Ireland. Check it out for yourself!

Charles during afternoon tea service

The Journey Begins

Drawing close to the end of my internship with just a month left, writing the first blog feels as if it were yesterday. I have found myself working within different departments at Adare Manor, settling into the rhythm of life here. Without further ado, let me take you to a funny story with the old ladies at the retirement home of Adare! Shall I set the scene first?

A New Assignment

My internship has been mostly based in the Oak Room, the Michelin star restaurant of the hotel. During my day off, to complement my work in the Oak Room, I was keen to do a shift at The Gallery, for the afternoon tea. I whipped on the uniform five minutes late for work, and was sent on my way with “Looking sharp Charles!” as David from security interjected, waving goodbye to me. I headed off to present myself to the manager who seemed rather distressed on the phone. I arrived to hear her say “I am sending him now!” in a somewhat overwrought fashion. She precedes to tell me that I will be performing an afternoon tea at the retirement home of Adare and a car is waiting for me downstairs. I needed to do a double turn on the spot. The adrenaline is rushing at this stage. 

An Afternoon of Joy

I hopped into the car and arrived five minutes later with what seemed to be a 35 cover service, and to my astonishment, I was alone… With no previous experience in serving the afternoon tea, what I originally thought was going to be a nightmare, turned out to be an unexpected success! Serving the rich, high flying and famous and being with Aunt Betsy seemed to be two different worlds, yet it felt so wonderful to give to the community, to older people who are often disregarded and forgotten in society, marginalised by their age, to give them the Christmas cheer and spirit. 

A Lesson in Warmth and Connection

As I previously mentioned in my first blog, it is now no surprise to me to absorb the friendliness and warmth I felt when serving them their afternoon tea. The chattiness and the essence of the Irish hospitality was felt in the room and it is something that is somewhat comparable to other cultures I have seen in my life, it was genuinely solacing. Several of my colleagues from the Manor eventually and thankfully came to my aid and gave a helpful hand for the service, it was the highlight of my internship, to work alongside with people who care and wanting to make that difference. 

Cultural Reflections

This striking difference in culture with regards to that welcoming and friendly attitude of the Irish when in an environment deep within a remote village, rich in Irish culture and traditions is something different you might expect when travelling to other countries within Europe. I might perhaps say, difficult to explain but something worth seeing for yourself in your own eyes, I will miss that natural embodiment of the Irish when I leave Ireland. 

The Lasting Impact of Genuine Kindness

To conclude, Irish hospitality and friendliness isn’t a stereotypical misconception and I’m grateful to have seen this throughout my internship, and most of all, during a charitable event that I was lucky enough to have experienced and participate in. 

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