Poets House Hotel says ‘we are now seeing the business thrive again’ after council raises health and unpaid parking fees issue

Poets House

Poets House - Credit: Archant

Faced with owing their local council £15,000 for renting car park spaces – and overcoming a poor health and hygiene inspection- Poets House Hotel pledged last night to get back on track.

Poets House, Ely, Dining Room Front Door Inside.

Poets House, Ely, Dining Room Front Door Inside. - Credit: Simon Peckham

The luxury hotel, one of two owned by The House Collection and placed in administration in June, says “we are now seeing the business thrive once again.

“The issues highlighted are not connected with direct food or drink contact but rather of minor construction deficiencies which have remained and not been highlighted since the previous ownership.”

But East Cambs Council is looking for improvements to its health and hygiene rating and also payment for car park spaces.

A council spokesman said: “The owners of the Poets House rent 22 car park spaces from the district council for their customers to use which they should pay in advance via two six monthly instalments.

Poets House, Ely

Poets House, Ely - Credit: Archant

“They currently owe just over £15,000 and we are in discussions with the administrators of the hotel regarding prompt payment of this outstanding debt.”

On the health front council inspectors who visited in August gave it a rating of just two out of a possible five as part of a ‘scores on the doors’ measurement which allows the public to see how well restaurants, cafes and hotels perform.

Most Read

The council spokesman said: “A score of two means improvement is necessary. If a place scores a two they will need a re-visit, which is at some time in the near future and will be unexpected.

“After the re-visit, if it has gone well, they are entitled to apply for a re-score which will happen some time from three to six months after the original visit. Again it will not be booked.”

Poets House, Ely

Poets House, Ely - Credit: Archant

The system is designed to make sure that management can maintain changes they have made.

“There’s a risk the score can go down as well as up,” the spokesman said.

Three areas looked at include confidence in management such as training, structural areas such as equipment and storage of refuse and food hygiene such as hand washing and food preparation.

The scores go from zero to five.

Michelle McDonald, operations manager of Poets House said the business was put into administration two months ago and the transition had not been an easy one.

“We are now seeing the business thrive once again. We would like to thank Environmental Health Department at the local council for highlighting some minor issues that have arisen.

“We are upset that the premises only received a two on the hygiene rating scale but the council have permitted us a revisit in four to six weeks time, it is our intention to score five and the work to achieve this is already underway.

Poets House consists of three townhouses from the early 1900s with contemporary boutique hotel rooms and a fine dining restaurant.

In June two founding directors of The House Collection that owned both Poets House at Ely and Swynford Paddocks at Six Mile Bottom near Newmarket, were made redundant the day after the group was placed in administration.

However it remained business as usual at both hotels and the administrators said they would retain 72 employees.

David Toulson-Burke, managing director and Jonathan Baker, finance director were made redundant.

A third founding director, Ian Cross, resigned, according to Companies House records, last October.

The 21-bedroom Poet’s House in the centre of Ely opened two years ago and was followed by Swynford Paddocks.