Five minutes with...
EDP Norfolk Food and Drink awards winner Aileen Mobbs
AILEEN AND Nick Mobbs won the outstanding achievement award at this year’s EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards.
Nick’s grandfather, and then his parents, ran the hotel, with Nick joining the business straight from university in 1984. He and Aileen met at the Scottish Hotel School at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, and married in 1987. Aileen, who grew up on a tea estate in Kenya, then joined the Imperial and she and Nick took over the hotel completely in 2002. The couple have two grown-up daughters and live in Ormesby, near Yarmouth, with a Labrador called Sam.
What does winning the outstanding achievement award mean to you and Nick?
Recognition of 30 years of hard work trying to help make Great Yarmouth a better place and to build a business to be proud of.
What’s so great about Great Yarmouth?
The fact we have the privilege of living by the sea, somewhere that other people pay to come to on their holidays! It is so much better here than people expect. I feel we always seem to struggle to get people to feel proud and content here and yet we should consider ourselves lucky.
What do visitors to the hotel like most about Yarmouth?
The Imperial Hotel (they say), the amazing beach and the location as a base for touring the whole area.
What do you love most about the Imperial?
The people that work with us. We see them more than our own family and they are very special people. Also the customers who have been supporting us for so long that they are now part of the Imperial family. We are third generation hoteliers so lots of these people have been part of our lives for years.
What do you love most about your job?
The variety; no two days are the same and you never know what the day will bring.
Where do you make your business decisions?
In the hot tub, no mobile phones anywhere near!
What are you most proud of?
Our business, our 30 years of marriage, our beautiful daughters, Nick’s wine success in competition (he was named UK sommelier of the year in 1993) and Aileen’s part in the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival.
What do you like doing in your spare time and where do you go on your own holidays?
We do not take much time off but the golf course always beckons Nick, and I like swimming and craft activities. Sadly my daughters have grown out of the craft era so I have no one to play with! We like a bit of a sun holiday but as I don’t like flying it is never further than the Mediterranean. And as we love our dog Sammy so much and hate leaving him we’ve spent several holidays in Scotland, visiting family and fishing.
Left: Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth
Above: Nick and Aileen Mobbs at the Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth