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Date added: 08 February 2013

EATING OUT: The Faces Behind The Places 

A hidden gem in the heart of Highworth, the Highworth Hotel is under new management and business is booming!
Pauline Gibson and Michael Clitheroe took over the reins of the Highworth back in November, and its already beginning to feel like home to them.

Not only did Michael and Pauline previously work together at Bowood Hotel in Calne, they are recently engaged...and expecting their first child! SwindonWeb went to have a chat with Pauline about the new and improved Highworth.
Its all changed...I dont do things by halves! laughs Pauline. Id been at Bowood for four years, so it was time to move on."
We spoke to Bob, who owns this place he loved us, we loved him and a week later we were here. And it was literally that fast. It was crazy good, but crazy!
The Highworth hotel, Highworth
New home in Highworth:
Mike, Pauline & Jazz

The Highworth underwent a million pound refurbishment two years ago, just before it was taken over by Bob.
Its really perfect for me and Michael its the cutest little hotel, says Pauline.

Since taking over, Pauline and Michael have already begun to make small changes to the Highworth the biggest change being that they now open 7 days a week as of the beginning of February.

You just have to run with things for a little while and see how it goes see what the flaws are, what works and what doesnt work and then slowly start changing things, says Pauline.

The biggest change is obviously that were opening 7 days a week, and that we are a dog friendly hotel we even have our own hotel dog!"

Michael and I are starting to put a calendar of events together. Throughout December we had live music on a Friday night that went down really well, and its a good way to showcase local talent, so were going to carry on doing that once a month.

The Highworth Restaurant, Highworth, Swindon
The restaurant room at The Highworth 

With just 10 rooms its on a completely different scale to Bowood, where Michael was the General Manager and Pauline was the Reception and Revenues Manager.

It is totally, totally different, admits Pauline, who looks on it as a good thing, you get to know all the locals, you get to know all the guests, you get to know every single aspect of the business."
7 days-a-week
While Paulines enthusiasm for the Highworth is evident, surely just two people running a whole hotel, albeit a small one, is a lot of work?

Im still working the same kind of hours as I did at Bowood, but its for me this time. I dont care how many hours I work here, because its for me and Michael, its for our future, and its appreciated by me and him."

Its essentially mine and Michaels, so if anything succeeds its down to us if anything fails its our fault bit its nice not to be on a big scale and its nice not having to report to anyone. Im not stepping on anyones toes, which is great."

The Highworth Hotel
Weve always worked together, and we work really well together. He knows what hes good at, I know what Im good at, and it all comes together.

For more information please visit The Highworth's website via the link below or call 01793 762364.
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