Year in Review
Over the autumn, we handed a pair of disposable cameras to the team at Rochelle Canteen for them to document the everyday happenings at the restaurant during a year unlike any other.
Through curfews, lockdowns, Tier 3, closings and reopenings, the team at the restaurant (famously founded by Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson) kept going.
We caught up with General Manager Kate Towers, who led the team on the floor throughout the pandemic. Here, she shares a few of her thoughts on a rollercoaster ride of a year.
"2020 has been surreal. I'm not sure there is one word to sum the year up but this is the first one to jump to mind."
All photos by Rochelle Canteen for Resy
"The toughest part of this year has been the uncertainty of it all and the yoyo-ing from open to close for the whole industry. We were all revved up and looking forward to a busy December, and to have that cut short with no notice is frustrating to say the least."
"I've been lucky to work with a strong and dedicated team, who've all worked really hard and always with a laugh."
"To have a sense of humour in all of this is essential. And working in the beautiful walled garden of Rochelle helps too!"
"I think everyone at one point has had a struggle with their mental health, the never-ending uncertainty of it all. Many of us suppress our stress and anxiety and it can come out in peculiar ways."
"Trying to be open, checking in and supporting each other where possible has hopefully helped."
"After being closed for a few months during the first lockdown, it was great welcoming back friendly faces and our regulars."
"The customers have been incredibly supportive and that's helped hugely."
"My favourite part of each working day is seeing our regulars and being part of the team. Everyday you meet loads of different characters, it keeps things interesting for sure."
"Also, I love the noise and general buzz of working in a restaurant."
"It's been a very hard year for hospitality, but the whole industry has rallied, from suppliers, to staff members and support systems. It's been blow after blow, but everyone is coming back stronger which is really inspiring. People have been flexible and understanding, that in itself has been rewarding."
"It's an incredibly supportive industry to work in. You feel the love! For next year -- stay positive, work hard and enjoy it day by day."
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