Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pictures of before....and after. Scary stuff.

So the times, they have been a-changing at La Rochelle Hotel. (Just in case I am accused of saying they have been a-changing at La Rochelle itself!).

We have been busy fellows over the last few days, and the entire contents of the hotel are now in the lounge (general furniture), the dining room (cutlery, crockery, glassware, kitchen equipment - 'small'), Stateroom (sheets, pillows/cases, blankets, duvets, curtains, fire extinguishers etc) and the back of the kitchen (washing machines, fridges, freezers, ovens, and the hotel cat - Shupa)

So today is just a quick tour of La Rochelle - before..... and after. Ooooops - make that La Rochelle Hotel!

Here is the Lounge - before we started moving stuff around - laid up for a Christmas Dinner that we hosted...

And here is the same Lounge today. With 'stuff' all ready to be either sold or burned...

Here is how the kitchen looked before. This photo was taken during service of the last dinner we served - on 30th December 2013.

This is how the kitchen looks today - tonight in fact! This photo was taken from the exact same spot.


On the night of the 31st December, we hosted our usual New Years' Eve party - where folk with kids of roughly the same age as our all come to the hotel, bringing with them their drinks and food of some sort. This year we asked everyone to bring meat for a braai, and then either a salad or a pudding, and we just have a party - with no charge for the folk attending at all. It is our way of saying 'thank you and good luck' to local community every year. We had about 160 people, and had to put up a marquee because the weather was a little odd. As it turned out - we had a clear night.
So this is how the hotel verandah looked on New Years' Eve 2013/14...
and how it looks today ten days later... slightly different!

This is the dining room as it is today - with crockery, equipment and glassware scattered around...

The final picture is of the dining-room - as it was.

And this is, for me, a rather poignant picture, because it is the very last dinner served at La Rochelle Hotel, on the evening of 30th December 2013. Just as we had hosted a fantastic family group over Christmas, so too were we blessed with a fantastic group over New Year. In the fourteen Festive Seasons we have spent at La Rochelle, these two groups were the very best we have ever had the pleasure of hosting over this period.

And disturbing too, because when I told these very last guests that this was the very last dinner to be served (a 'Last Supper', sort of), and how sad and forlorn I was that it had come to this, they all seemed to find great humour at my predicament, and the laughter at my expense went on well into the night....

Not only the guests - if you look again, you will see the waiters also laughing at me.

Which is exactly the way that our time at La Rochelle should be remembered! Decent food, drinkable wine, great company, and above all, lots of laughter.

Have a great day!


  1. So sorry it has come to all this. Thinking of you at this time.

    P.S. I hope your eldest daughter looks after my youngest properly at PHG!!!!!

    1. Hi Mike - saw Amy yesterday and she looked as though she had been there all of her life! Very calm and sorted. Will ask Cara to keep an eye out for her all the same. Cheers

  2. Eager to hear about your February, Simon.

    In Maryland, we have become snow warriors. We were without power for three days at home and the College closed for two days last week. We are expecting another storm at the end of this coming week.

    Cheers to you! --Mona

  3. So very sorry for that........

    But so thankful that we had the chance to meet you all and stay at La Rochelle Hotel.

    We pray that you are all well and forging a new path successfully. Not the easiest place or time to be doing that....

    More blogging please!

    Our very best,
    Helen and Robin Barrett