Hotel Terravina in the heart if the idyllic New Forrest is the Vision of Gerard Basset, co-founder of Hotel Du Vin and his wife Nina. Months have been spent carefully renovating the hotel which boasts an open kitchen and extensive wine cellars, all adding to the overall experience. Nina and Gerard not only possess extensive restaurant expertise but Gerard is a well recognised wine specialist holding Master Sommelier, Master of Wine and the Wine MBA title.
What is your role at Hotel Terravina?
My role early on was to manage the whole building stage and the refurbishment, I was here every day for the seven month project overseeing what went on with the building and ensuring I was here to make decisions. Hand in hand with that I was the person who looked after the design of the hotel from the view of what it would look like when finished. We didn?t use an interior designer it was just my ideas and subsequently now we have opened I'm here every day along with Gerard Basset my husband, working side by side with the team of staff. I am very hands on and get involved with the day to day running of the hotel.
Gerard is a wine specialist, did this impact on the design hotel?
The range of wines and Gerard's wine expertise are the hotels unique selling points because at the moment he is the only person in the world to have a master?s sommelier, master of wine and the wine MBA title. Gerard has won awards at a number of international sommelier competitions. Aside from all the other aspects of the hotel we are very much trying to market ourselves as being ideal for business and ideal for people coming from anywhere in the country, a destination hotel for weekend breaks and aside from that we are most definitely a hotel for wine lovers. The wine list here is eclectic and is exceptionally good value for money plus you get Gerard thrown into the package, he will chat to customers about wine with a huge amount of knowledge and passion. We have two very visually appealing wine cellars, with some very interesting wines to be had.
How did you first come to work with Vision?
Through our architect, whom we'd worked with on previous occasions through Hotel Du Vin co- founded thirteen years ago by my husband Gerard. He recommended Vision as a really good kitchen design company who can truly deliver the goods; describing them as a fantastic company to work with and really understand where you're coming from. Vision came down for a meeting and Gerard and I just liked them from the minute we met them, they really understood what we were trying to achieve. Vision understood that there were budgetary constraints and that we wanted to do the best we possibly could with the money we had available plus we had two kitchens to equip so that made it slightly more complicated. One of them is a bold separated kitchen at the back of the hotel and the other is very much an all singing all dancing front display kitchen. Vision understood the importance of one kitchen being very practical and the other being practical whilst aesthetically stylish; we just thought this is the company that's going to really deliver what we require. After having met Vision it wasn't a hard decision to make.