CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Running the family business

PUBLISHED: 11:14 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:34 17 March 2015

Paul Milsom

Paul Milsom

Archant

Gina Long in conversation with Paul Milsom, owner, Milsom Hotels and Restaurant Group

I was lucky enough to meet your late father Gerald – he was an trail blazer in his day and very highly regarded. Has following in his footsteps been difficult?

No, not at all, it was a fantastic experience working with my father for 18 years. We shared an office for that length of time and I learnt so much from him. We ended up not just father and son, but best friends and business partners. He always treated me as an equal, so I never felt I had to prove myself to him.

How has your role changed over the years?

I have done every job from washing the dishes to waiting on tables, to eventually doing the job I do now. The great thing about hotels is that you can really learn the job from the bottom up – in fact it is imperative it is done this way. We’ve always had a young team, and that was the case when I started so there was no problem being the boss’s son, and they were happy to accept me. I am sure that will be the case with my own sons too. In fact Charlie, my eldest son, has already done the odd shift.

What do you like most about your profession?

Firstly, it’s the people side of it whether that is customers or the staff. Both can be challenging at times but working with a big team, meeting interesting customers and giving them a great time is always massively rewarding. It’s also been a pleasure growing the business in size which allows us the opportunity to invest in the special properties we own.

What do you like least?

Customers who get rude and aggressive, especially to the young staff we employ. Sometimes people lose their sense of perspective when complaining.

You and your wife, Geraldine, work so well together. What’s the recipe for success?

I know hotels and she understands the design side which has become so much more important in the way restaurants and hotels look and feel. So often the designer doesn’t really understand what the hotelier is trying to achieve, but because we’re married we can avoid that and create our own unique feel. Geraldine doesn’t work for anyone else so it’s very much our look.

How was your childhood?

I had a great childhood despite my parents being divorced. My mother, June, who brought my brother, sister and me up on her own, is an amazing woman, and she put all her love into us. We never moved far away from my dad so he became a greater influence as I got older, especially once I started working at the age of 15.

What happens when you’re away from work?

Its runs like clockwork. Modern technology, of course, allows you to stay in touch with everything that’s going on. However, we have a great team led by our operations director, Stas Anastasiades, and my PA, Bridget Stanley – and to be honest, they thrive on the challenge. I hope they miss me a bit when I’m not there.

You’re happiest when?

I’m in the surf at Polzeath, North Cornwall, on a sunny summer day with my two surf mad boys, Charlie and Jack. It’s fantastic that we can all be in the line up together in decent surf, although sadly those days are probably running out for me. I am just as keen being their surf coach, watching from the cliff top and taking photo. The good news is that SUP (stand up paddle) looks like being able to prolong my surf career.

The most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years is?

To continue to invest in our business, despite the banks being so unhelpful. Particularly at Kesgrave Hall, when we wanted to develop our new Hangar party venue. Fortunately the LEP [Local Enterprise Partnership] had confidence in us and lent us some money. We now have this fantastic new facility which is going great guns.

Your greatest fear is?

Having to get a real job! I still worry where the next customer it going to come from and it’s this that keeps all of us on our toes.

What does Suffolk mean to you?

Big skies, great rivers and a wonderful coastline. It’s a gentle part of England with a great combination of old and new, of high tech and traditional industry, and it’s a brilliant place to live.

www.milsomhotels.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Yesterday, 13:24

Why former EADT editor Terry Hunt believes the threatened extinction of the Suffolk accent is a catastrophe for our local heritage

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What makes the perfect Christmas? For most of us it’s good food, good drink and good company, wherever we call home. And in Suffolk we’re lucky to have some great people in the food and drink industry who ensure we always have a great time | Words: Jayne Lindill

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

From her great uncle’s First World War diary Vicky Gunnell pieced together the career of a pioneer in aerial photography at Orford Ness and Martlesham Heath

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Spirit Yachts is a Suffolk success story. After 25 years of designing and building luxury vessels sailed all over the world, it has plenty to celebrate | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Private, intimate and unforgettable: here’s why you should consider a bespoke package wedding at a stately home

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

An exclusive charity sale at Bishop & Miller gives Ed Sheeran fans the chance to own some of the singer’s personal items

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October . . . the month for the unusual and the unexplained. Pip Wright delves into Suffolk’s strange, bewildering history of witchcraft | Words: Pip Wright

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tessa Allingham sits down to dinner prepared by some of the county’s most talented chefs and their most promising protegés

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

John White has lived and worked at the tiny hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry for almost all of his 79 years | Words & Photos: Mike Trippitt

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Thinking of boarding school for your child but have concerns? There might be a flexible boarding option to suit you at Royal Hospital School, Ipswich

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search