At the British three-star hotel the Damson Dene, viewers are invited into the lives of the owner chef Kirk and general manager. The stories of 20 other staff members, including waiters and housekeepers, play out over the course of the series.
An intriguing eight-part observational series that looks at life in the British three-star hotel the Damson Dene.
Episode 1: The Proposal
At the Damson Dene Hotel, manager Wayne is trying to train his latest recruit from Eastern Europe. Amos has come to the Lake District in England from Romania in the hope of a better life, to work as a general assistant, but he has much to learn. Folding napkins, moving chairs and serving guests are all a challenge but with Wayne’s help, Amos is determined to triumph.
Dan and Liz arrive at the hotel from Essex. They seem like a normal young couple away for a quiet break. But Liz doesn’t know that Dan has brought her here to propose. The staff all know his secret and as the day progresses he becomes more and more nervous.
The Palmers have been married for 49 years but their happiness is under threat - Mr Palmer is waiting for the results of a crucial test for bladder cancer. Although he doesn’t want to dwell on it, they both know that at the end of their break they could find out it has been their last holiday together.
Dan finds a perfect spot to propose on the bridge in the garden and he asks manager Wayne to wait in the bushes with champagne desperately hoping Liz will say "yes".
Episode 2: The Wedding
Even though he lives alone in a caravan with his dog Fly, hotel manager Wayne is a bit of a romantic. He loves to put on the perfect wedding. Owner Jonathan depends on weddings to keep the hotel afloat so both insist on giving the bride and groom their dream day.
Tom and Susanna arrive at the Damson Dene a couple of weeks before their wedding to make sure everything is in place. Susanna is five-and-a-half months pregnant and Tom’s grandmother has been very ill so time is of the essence.
When there is a wedding, most pressure falls on chef Kirk, and his Polish kitchen staff. Catering for 80 people puts everyone under stress and the added language barrier can be a problem.
When their big day comes the first signs of trouble are when the toilet in Tom and Susanna’s room stops working and Tom turns to brandy to calm his nerves. When the best man goes too far in his speech and the service from the kitchen starts to break down, disaster looms. Can Kirk get the kitchen running smoothly and can Wayne keep the wedding guests happy?
Episode 3: Kids Eat Free
It's the school holidays and the Damson Dene is full of families and young children.
With seven daughters and another baby on the way, Kate and Ian Clarke are looking forward to a few days away. They are Damson Dene regulars, as few hotels can accommodate such a large family.
Holidaying as a family is a new experience for Lesley-Ann and Brendan Cassidy, a couple in their early 20s. Before having six-month-old Connor, holidays meant lazy days and hitting the nightclubs after dark. At the Damson Dene they make do with telly and room service.
Matt and Lisa Roberts had planned a foreign holiday with Maisie, three, and George, six. But following the death of Lisa’s father the family opt for a stress-free vacation in the Lake District. However their children don’t do stress-free and Lisa sometimes struggles to cope with her lively children whilst grieving the loss of her dad.
With a hotel crammed with children, Kate the restaurant supervisor pines for her son who she has recently left in Poland on a break with his grandparents. And over a glass of wine after a long day Wayne reveals a startling truth about his own childhood
Episode 4: Bedlam and Breakfast
On one night at the Damson Dene, the lives of staff and guests change forever.Simon is madly in love with his Brazilian girlfriend, whom he met on a naval posting overseas. Undeterred by language barriers, he hopes to lure her to England to start a new life together.
Richard and Rebecca have two young babies and haven’t spent a night on their own in 14 months. They’ve decided to make their night at the Damson Dene one to remember. But after champagne, wine and a bottle of vodka, the night becomes one they’ll do well to forget.
Kitchen porter Kuba tries manager Wayne’s patience once too often, and the fall out from his drunken evening may lead to a one-way ticket back to Poland.
Episode 5: There's a Fly in My Soup
Margaret Dickie and her daughter Sasha love value for money and make a point of seeking out bargain breaks. They have driven from Bolton to take advantage of the Damson Dene’s £50 a night bed, breakfast and dinner deal. However, when they arrive at the hotel they are unimpressed.
Geordie couple Jamie, 28, and Danielle, 22, are forced in to making conversation with each other when the TV in their hotel room goes on the blink.
The hotel is under attack from guests complaining about everything from the décor and food to the housekeeping. A nasty review is posted on the Trip Advisor website and it is the staff who bear the brunt of the criticism. Paul and Lavinia in particular begin to feel unloved.
However, Mike and Clare Farmworth from Wigan love everything about the hotel – especially its dog-friendly policy. They never go anywhere without Brandy, their cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Following a stock take mouldy food is found in the fridge. Determined not to let standards slip, manager Wayne comes down hard on the kitchen staff, and clashes with Kirk the head chef. Kirk is forced to re-think how best to run his kitchen.
Episode 6: Do Not Disturb
At the Damson Dene Hotel, general assistant Amos is reaching the end of his probation period. He tries harder than anyone but is still struggling with the most basic jobs. Wayne can’t decide if he wants to adopt him or let him go back to Romania.
Salvation might have arrived with the Bells, a born-again Christian couple who come to the hotel for a relaxing weekend of walking and prayer. They are fascinated by Amos’s biblical name and think he might be a convert.
At the same time, "angel medium" Amanda has booked the function room to tell everyone that they too can be looked after by one of the angels that are all around us, if only we open our eyes.
Amos considers his future and reflects on the terrible circumstances that led him to leave his home and search for a better life in England. He is still getting things wrong but will Wayne take pity and help to secure his new life in the Lake District?
Episode 7: Pillow Talk
Following a two-month trial separation, Nadine and Christian Rooney arrive at the Damson Dene to repair their marriage. The couple have brought their two teenage children Beth, 15, and Luke, 13, and Cassie the cocker spaniel because they also want to spend quality time together as a family.
Bob and Jeanie Currie from Scotland have been together for 50 years and have lots of wisdom to bestow about the ups and downs of married life. The couple have come to the Damson Dene in search of peace and solitude.
Paul and Lavinia are the only married couple living in the hotel's staff quarters. They came to the UK from Romania three years ago and will celebrate their first wedding anniversary away from friends and family. Manager Wayne has become very close to pair, and despite his own chequered love life he remains a hopeless romantic. He is determined to make his friends’ wedding anniversary one to remember. Wayne enlists help from the other staff to prepare a surprise banquet for the couple.
Christian and Nadine's attempt to get their relationship back on track ranges from public displays of affection, which causes profound embarrassment to their teenage kids, to private moments of tension as they struggle to forgive and forget.
Episode 8: Damson in Distress
There is trouble at the top in tonight’s episode when manager Wayne clashes with his assistant. Marta was the acting manager until Wayne was hired a year ago. Their dislike for one another grows until hotel owner Jonathan is forced to get involved.
Wayne pushes him to decide whether it's he or Marta who should go if they can’t tolerate working under the same roof. Elsewhere, Jonathan hopes another of his couplings is more successful when he takes custody of a boar to sire the hotel’s resident herd of sows.
Meanwhile checking in are a singer-songwriter couple who seek creative inspiration in the Damson Dene’s surroundings. Their teenage son is in tow in an attempt to squeeze in one more family holiday before he’s gets too old.
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