Tash Whitmill talks us through her day as Design Manager at Peach in cups of tea
Tell us about the first cuppa of the day.
It depends which day! Monday, Tuesday we are talking hot water and lemon followed by a green sludgy smoothie. Towards the end of the week it goes to breakfast tea and by the weekend, it’s tea, coffee, anything with caffeine with a chocolate biscuit chaser.
Sounds about right. What does your average day involve?
It varies. When we haven’t got a refurb on, three days a week are often spent in our pubs meeting suppliers, thinking up refurb mood-boards and working out costs and budgets for maintenance. Quite a lot of time is spent fixing and replacing stuff and making sure we are looking our best in all 19 of our pubs. I try and have one office day a week to get my inbox to an acceptable level and the other day is flexible depending on what’s going on. If we have a project going, it’s all hands to deck to get the pub turned around as quick as we can and back open for our guests to enjoy.
We are a tight-knit bunch at Peach and so we all get involved in a lot of other aspects of the company too. I cross over into Corporate Social Responsibility and love it – I truly believe if we all do our bit (even a little bit) for each-other and the planet, we can make a real difference while we are here. I read a great quote the other day: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” I think it’s a great motto.
Sounds busy, can we get you something?
Yes please. I have two boys and rarely get to drink a whole hot cup of tea at home and so at work that’s a treat. I’d love a flat white coffee or a regular builder’s tea. If we are talking early evening though you can make it something stronger!
And do you have a favourite mug?
In the pubs we used to have a half-sized mug created especially for our flat white coffees and they were the perfect size but have now been discontinued and so I am in search of a new favourite. At home, it’s another smaller mug with lovely blue and white stripes handmade by a local potter which I picked up while on a bucket and spade break in Hampshire.
It must nearly be lunchtime by now. Who are you eating it with and what are you having?
I usually start thinking about lunchtime about 10 minutes after waking up and so I am always grateful when it turns midday. I often have lunch with other peachy people in or out of the pubs and again, much like my morning cuppa routine, what I have varies. My go-to is our superfood salad or seasonal soup (with or without chips) although I love our daily-changing fish specials and our steaks are second to none.
Delicious! Where are your favourite places to enjoy a cuppa and who are your favourite tea-drinking partners?
In Winter, it’s in front of one of our open fires – The Bear and Ragged Staff in Cumnor, The Thatch in Thame and the Duke of Wellington in East Horsley have great roaring fires and are the perfect places to while away a cold Winter’s afternoon. In the Summer we have some fab gardens – The Fishes in Oxford and The High Field in Edgbaston are lovely places for a drink although you may need to swap the tea for a delicious glass of Château de Galoupet or a Grand Gin and Tonic and I’ll have my girlfriends along for the ride please.
On holiday, I love sharing a flask of tea with my boys to warm up after a chilly walk or sea swim. There is nothing better than the warming feeling of a good English brew while your salty skin is still tingling.
Perfect. There’s time for one last cuppa – what do you fancy?
It has to be a herbal tea. I now associate the smell with the evening wind down and end of day switch off.