2018 has been a year all about the people for Peach, so a trip with all the General Managers, Head Chefs, Support Team and a few lucky Golden Envelope winners to Barcelona at the end of the Summer was perfect example of just that – celebrating the people.
We’ve been on a few trips together during my time in Peach now, including popping to Barcelona once before, an enlightening and beautiful trip to Prague, and a slightly less glamorous but still full of fun couple of days in Birmingham. These awesome adventures, paired with our Leaders Days that often revolve around cheese and wine, never fail to remind of what a family we are here in Peach, so I thought I’d give you a little insight into what one of our infamous Summerhouse trips are really all about.
A quick introduction- I’m Terri, I’m the General Manager at Brookmans and have been with Peach for about three and a half years now. Along with around twenty other GMs (many of whom I’ve known since my first day), all of our Head Chefs, an amazing team of behind the scenes support from accounting to all things marketing and a few lucky guys and girls in different roles throughout the group who were nominated for being truly brilliant at what they do, headed off for a little last minute sunshine and some rather incredible food and drink to celebrate all the really Peachy things we’ve achieved this year.
Myself and my partner, a fellow Peach GM, were a little sneaky and happened to fly out a day earlier than everyone else – though maybe not so sneaky as I accidentally booked the same flights as all the “bosses” who happened to be going out a day early to talk new partners and pubs. Cue hiding in the airport and choosing seats at the furthest end of the plane!
Seemingly everyone else’s super early flight the next day started exactly as I would hope and expect with the Peach gang- bottles of Champagne being popped thousands of feet in the air after several pints of Guinness in the airport. We are caterers after all; never let it be said we don’t know how to drink, even at 4am! Add in a few people forgetting passports and having to get a later flight, and you’ve got us well worked out.
First stop on a sunny Peach tour was a visit to Estrella headquarters. As this used to be the brewery for Estrella, it was cool to still see old school brewing tanks set into the floor and intriguing bottles of beers adorning the walls. A rather spectacular building, we all made our way to one of their many huge meeting spaces to drink some of their delicious beer and chat about what’s to come in Peach for the next year. Extra exciting to have two more super Peach’s made into Partners in the business- big up Goldie and Leon!
It got just a little too painful watching Ian, one of our Pod Directors, trying to pour beers for everyone with more foam than perfect golden elixir (now I see why he leaves it to the professionals in our pubs) so we broke off into our separate groups to explore different areas of Barcelona and all the gastronomy it has to offer.
When your group is made up of the Finance Director and the Financial Controller, two chefs, two GMs and one of the wildest Deputy’s in Peach, you know it’s going to be a good day! Between incredible food choices from the chefs, one of whom spent some time living in Barca, multiple beverages that kept flowing and the people in charge of all the money and clever spending, I’m pretty certain I bagged myself the dream gang.
Our lunch booking was a little walk away from Estrella Headquarters, and, you know, it’s very warm in Barcelona, so inevitably we had to stop for a quick rehydration on the way. A bottle of Champagne, seven espresso martinis, seven beers and, with our sensible hats on, seven bottles of water later and we felt suitably replenished to carry on our long and arduous fifteen minute walk to food.
We chose Santa Gula, a restaurant in the Garcia region of Barcelona city, which prides itself on being the light towards gluttony, and when we were only two courses in I could see why. Their tasting menu really did show me flavour combinations I’d never tried before, and the Squid Ink Croquettes… just wow. Pair seven delicious courses with wines to match and a food coma was incoming, so we hit the road again for a quick drink before heading back to our hostel to get ready for a night sponsored by Estrella.
Chatting to some of the other groups as they arrived back, it seemed it was a day of pure deliciousness all round! With one of the groups visiting one of the famous Carles Abellan restaurants down by the beach and another heading to El National and raving about Razor Clams, there really was some amazing food enjoyed by all – a much more sophisticated start to the trip than some of the others I’ve been on. (Don’t worry, there’s debauchery to come).
Once we’d spruced ourselves up and fitted another swift beer in, we jumped on our coaches and headed out of the city to a gorgeous Beach with adjoining mega-cool bar and restaurant. It also happened to have a gigantic climbing frame on the sand – I couldn’t help joining a couple of the others on a little scramble to the top, despite the fact that I had donned a pair of five inch heels for the night!
It has to be said that an evening sponsored by Estrella involves some of the best beers in the world. Starting with their classic Estrella Damm, it wasn’t long before we were tasting malty wonders and hoppy marvels that revealed just how extensive and varied the range Estrella has on offer really is. With Tuna Salad, Paella and a plate full of Spicy Sausages, there was plenty to nibble on as well as to drink. The beer went to a few people’s heads with some cross dressing half way though the night… ahem, Corin and Lizzie!
The night went from there with a Peach takeover of the city and Pacha. I’m afraid what happens in a nightclub stays in a nightclub, so I’m not even going to mention the magnums of Grey Goose, or their effects.
The next day is ours to do with as we please, which for some means culture and more gastronomy, but for most means beach drinking and sea swimming. A delightfully sunny walk down to the seafront to join the masses, followed by an unexpectedly warm dip in the sea was exactly what was needed after the night before. The beers and gin were flowing again and I had a Wild Boar & Caramelised Onion Burger that really was off the charts before heading off to the airport.
As fun as I know we all are, I think the other passengers might not have been so pleased
at the Peach invasion in the airport. Still buzzing from a great trip, it seemed despite very little sleep and rather a lot of beers, our energies weren’t to be depleted and we spent the whole journey home chatting about all the amazing tastes we’d experienced over the last couple of days.
Heading to Barcelona to learn about new flavours and see beautiful architecture is one of the highlights of the job, but getting to do it with so many fun and interesting colleagues… no, friends, makes working for Peach a proper dream job. I feel very lucky to be part of such a wonderful team of people, who make each other laugh and always have each other’s backs.
So thanks to Chris, Hamish, Jo, Lee and Julie, our unusually awesome bosses, for making trips like this possible year after year. We learn so much- about the country we visit andabout each other, and it’s a reminder of why Peach make it into the Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For! Because this is the Year of the People!
Keep it Peachy x