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Killeavy Castle Named Hotel of the Year Northern Ireland at AA Hospitality Awards 2023.
Barra Best (BBC Presenter and Host), Janice Lacey (Accommodation Supervisor), Katelyn Fullard (Accommodation Supervisor), Edward McKeever (NIHF President).
2 AA rosettes for Killeavy Castle Estate
Offical Opening of Killeavy Castle Estate

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Meet Vanessa Gillanders, Restaurant Manager

- Posted on: 29/03/2023 - $itemValue.title

1. Where are you from and a bit about your background?

My name is Vanessa Gillanders and I am the proud Restaurant Manager at Killeavy Castle Estate. I was born and bred in a little townland we often got funny looks for called 'Fedoo' County Monaghan. As a child, I spent my days adventuring in the countryside with my three siblings. From learning how to drive tractors at the age of 10 to climbing to the top of the biggest chestnut tree on my grandfather's farm in search of the biggest conkers. I love where I come from as I have many happy memories of my childhood there.


2. What exactly does your position at Killeavy Castle Estate entail? 

I am very proud to hold the Restaurant Manager position at Killeavy Castle Estate. We have very talented chefs here and some of the best local produce you can find. It is my job to ensure our guests that come here have the best memorable experience of our offerings in this wonderful magical setting. We want to step out from all the rest so I am always looking to see how we can add to this experience. As a fine dining restaurant, we hold a high level of food and service in great esteem. I am extremely lucky to have such an amazing team around me. The staff take everything on board and learn on a daily basis as there is so much entailed in a fine dining restaurant, I couldn't do it without them. 


3. What do you enjoy the most about your job? 

Ever since a stepped foot on the Estate, I felt the friendliness and charm that shines from it. I knew instantly that this was for sure where I could see myself working. I have been working in the Food and Beverage industry since I was fifteen years of age. I enjoy most being given the responsibility of excelling in the Estate in my expertise area. I love talking with our guests who appreciate all the hard work that the team here put in and get many compliments about our lovely staff. Killeavy Castle Estate impressed me every day with our adaptability and the importance of teamwork. It is a joy to work here knowing that we work as one unit. 


4. What do you love most about Killeavy Castle Estate? 

I am absolutely in love with the setting of Killeavy Castle Estate. Even the drive up is a pleasure in itself, weaving in and out over the roads of the Slieve Gullion Mountains. It's a special character that many venues withhold. I admire the freedom and faith that Mr Jason Foody GM gives to all our departments, I truly believe that this is why we all get on so well together to enhance the treasures of Killeavy. 


5. What is an interesting fact about you? 

I have completed levels 1 and 2 of Wine Spirits Educational Training. Trying out new wines is always nice (one of the perks of the job). In my childhood years, I used to save up for holidays abroad, but the aul boy always wondered how I came home with more money than I went out with (refused to spend it) if only this was as easy in adulthood.

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