An Elizabethan House & A Modern City…

It’s like you can already see the life running back through its beams…

We talk so much about Plymouth’s rich history, especially  here at Strathmore House Apartments; in part because our history plays such a major role in Plymouth’s make-up; but also because we are so very proud of our city and where we have come from.

Our heritage and historic buildings are beautiful assets that make our city by the sea so unique.

They tell the story of our past and we strongly feel that we should all do what we can to protect and cherish them. Not least because it feels so sad seeing them empty and looking unloved, but also because when you start reviving these buildings, it brings communities together to appreciate local heritage. Whats more, for our visitors, it gives the opportunity to have history brought to life.

The historic environment in any city offers people a sense of place, a sense of pride and a sense of belonging; so when we heard that the restoration and reinterpretation of Plymouth’s historic Elizabethan House was moving into a new phase – we were more than just a little excited!

 

Making it happen…

Led by Plymouth City Council, with additional funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, the Coastal Revival Fund and The Pilgrim’s Trust, it’s one of the key legacy projects for the city’s Mayflower 400 commemorations. These commemorations will create an opening, a portal, that we can all look back into to see what was; helping us both appreciate the here and now but also understand what we can strive for in the future.

Recent experience in Plymouth has demonstrated that integrating historic buildings and areas within and around our city can create popular, successful urban quarters with character. Places that people can enjoy working in, living in and of course visiting.

Taking the Royal William Yard as an example. Just a short stroll from the apartments, or perhaps a boat ride, you have the largest collection of Grade I Listed naval building in the UK. Now a thriving pocket of wonderful riches and home to restaurants, boutiques,  artists workshops, bakery’s and so much more. Here you are offered an experience that is second to none. Where the shadow of the past is very much in the present.

Such regeneration represents an opportunity for conservation and development to work together, hand in hand. To transform the built environment – the greyer of spaces and the public realm – so that the communities that live and work there, can fall back in love with the space once again.

A ‘Modern City’ doesn’t have to be a new one!

It simply has to fit with present realities, the rhythm of the city, whilst bringing charm and charisma alongside a well narrated sense of belonging.

Plymouth is a city so easy to fall in love with. A city everyone we know is proud to call home. This is partly because all sides and all sectors of Plymouth work together. They are prepared to seek pragmatic and creative solutions and make opportunities that balance new uses with the need for conservation. Plymouth so cleverly turns heritage into a positive advantage for everyone. So surely when we talk of a ‘Modern City’ – this is what we talk of?

Our collective past can ably support our futures.

Plymouth’s contribution as a city to all of our history can only be a positive thing.  So, we will make sure that we keep you updated with the exciting new developments as they happen, both with the Elizabethan House and all the other Heritage Works in Plymouth.

These treasured buildings don’t belong to Plymouth;  they form  part of all of our histories and so belong to us all. Therefore, for successful heritage-based regeneration to be achievable, we all need to support it. Be that through interest, enquiries, expertise or knowledge – then of course, when it’s open – lots of visitors!

To all the companies, individuals and collectives that are working so hard on making our history a moment of out today; we at Strathmore House Apartments, and on behalf of our guests, thank you. 

 

2020 – Looking Ahead…

pile of three books and reading glasses on a sofa with orange cushion

In hospitality, we are always looking ahead, making sure that we understand new trends and changes in the needs of our guests.

In January we are planning Christmas and in May we are looking to the summer … a year from now!

So, as 2020 edges closer in our ‘hospitality’ calendar, we take a look at how Strathmore House Apartments can align with shifts in the market and customer service.

Looking ahead to the future gives us the opportunity to prepare for any major trends and stay on point for our guests. We consider all new trends and challenges as opportunities to make experiences even better.

Here are two key areas that our guests tell us will continue to be essential for them in 2020, when choosing their holiday home away from home…

Sustainability & Environmental Impact |

We hear every day from guests that they value and expect our business choices to be as sustainable and ‘green’ as we can possibly make them; and that wont be changing.

Light sensors, recycling and up-cycling, using sustainable materials like locally sourced toiletries, and reducing single-use plastics are already outcomes of redeveloping our Environmental policy in 2017.

2020 will be much the same, and wherever and whenever possible we will ensure that our choices are as ‘green’ as they can possibly be without impacting or affecting our customer’s experiences.

Health & Well-being |

Increasingly, we know that our guests are seeking health and well-being benefits from their hospitality experiences; whether it’s through their food and catering choices or accommodation.

With our fully fitted kitchens, our guests have the ability to remain healthy and cook as they would at home. That coupled with the free use of Club Continental; a leisure complex with indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room and two air-conditioned gyms, means that looking after your health and wellbeing whilst staying with us is made easy!

We know that 2020 will bring new challenges and therefore opportunities for us to make experiences even better for our guests.

We can only anticipate so much, so we listen wholeheartedly to our guests and what they ‘need’ from Strathmore House Apartments.

If you would like to contact us about how you see the future needs of our guests evolving – we would love to hear from you.

2020 Dates For Your Diary…

Mayflower 400  | 2020 | A Year Of Celebrations

As many of our guests book to return year on year; we thought we would share some exciting news and dates for 2020.

2020, the year of the Mayflower 400 Celebrations, a year set to be an exciting one for Plymouth and all who visit.

Within the hospitality sector, we are unsure of the ‘true’ impact it will have on Plymouth Tourism and the visitors economy, it’s a once in a lifetime celebration so we have nothing to compare it to!

We therefore don’t know how busy  it will be in comparison to other years that you have visited, but what we do know is it will certainly add value to your stay with us here in Plymouth.

Many of our guests have set times of the year that they visit us; but rest assure, no matter when you come in 2020, there WILL be things happening with a Mayflower spin for you to enjoy.

With all this in mind; I thought I would give you a heads up on what we know, and what is planned for the ‘remarkable’ year of history, culture and community!

What is it?

2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage. One of the most integral journeys in global history and a defining moment in the shared history of Britain, the US and the Netherlands.

Plymouth is using this milestone as a unique opportunity to highlight Plymouth’s exceptional heritage; to promote our visitor offer to friends old and new; and to bring communities together to celebrate our city.

What will be happening?

The ‘Mayflower Programme’ will be a year of prime partnerships, of which Strathmore House Apartments will play a significant role. There will be 400 moments to explore all aspects of the Mayflower Voyage throughout the year of 2020, including: art, music, theatre, exhibitions, immersive storytelling, digital innovation, literature, crafts, sports, festivals, debates, business activities and much more.

Overview…

Major new cultural attractions will open in Plymouth for 2020, including The Box, new heritage trails and the Elizabethan House.

Although still not set in stone, the rough date for these things will be March 2020 for the launch of the trails, April 2020 for the opening of The Box and The Elizabethan House  early in the year.

The Box is a £38m project, the symbol of 2020, a high profile gallery and history centre that will hold all of the Plymouth and Devon archives; it will be a must see for anyone visiting Plymouth.

By January 2020, there will have been a huge investment in the public realm, with new signage, water taxis and literature for the years events. There is said to be almost £200m to be invested in Plymouth by 2020. For those of you that love it as it is, please don’t worry; you will not miss the old – you will simply celebrate the newly transformed Plymouth.

You may have noticed seeing Plymouth advertised in your home towns; this is due to the national and international marketing programme. The city has been working hard celebrating not only our history, but also our future.

Signature Events…

Mayflower Ocean Festival | 4th-10 May 2020

This will celebrate Plymouth’s status as Britain’s Ocean City, aimed to get people on the water (inc events such as Transat, OSTAR & TWOSTAR races and Pirates weekend)

Mayflower Week | 14th-20th September

A week of activities, including;

  • A visit from a replica 15th century tall ship
  • Daily fly-bys
  • International field gun comp
  • The Navy’s Rehabilitation Triathlon
  • PLUS – two headline events yet to be revealed!

Mayflower Ceremony – 16th September

A four nations civic ceremony. This will be a united, city event, with mass participation throughout sectors, communities, schools and all over the city.

Mayflower Muster – 19th – 20th September  

Celebration event of the world’s foremost Navel basis; there will be a host of activities that will be truly breathtaking.

Illuminate will be the book end to the events in November 2019 and November 2020

An there’s more…

Culture…

A production from the Theatre Royal Plymouth from the Wampanoag Tribe; this will be extraordinarily good as they are an amazing producing theatre,  plus Arts Council England are supporting  a series of events  throughout the year.

Culture Fund have also given investment to the city to create provoking experiences throughout the year. Settlement by The Consious Sisters and Cannupa Hanska are creating a large scale ‘radical’ installation in Central Park, it will run for 8 weeks in the summer exploring colonialism, migration and the deep effects of indigenous people.

A local favourite; Street Factory CIC will be bringing the city together with Hip Hop events. Le Navet Bete (a brilliant comedy/clowning theatre company) will be at the Barbican Theatre in August and September for a HILARIOUS production about 4 people trying to flee their past lives. They are BRILLIANT and a real must see!  There will also be three major artist events which will profile people of colour in the art sector.

In May, June and July there will be ‘Mayflower Music’ at historic venues in Plymouth, including St Andrews and The Guildhall.

There will be lots of film and video commissioned in art venues and community spaces and there will of course be Pride 2020 and lots more!

As you can see, the city that we all love will be full of vibrant and rich events and activities, many free to attend and all set to be totally inspiring.

We would love for you to join us in 2020, our apartments are listed on our website to give you time to book and plan your trip, and we will update everyone with as much information on the year as we can.

If you would like to keep in touch with the developments as they happen; follow them on Twitter and Like them on Facebook!

To a year of celebrations; to seeing you again soon!

Plymouth In 2020…

Britain’s Ocean City | Mayflower 400 

Here at Strathmore House Apartments we pride ourselves on offering a quality experience for both our leisure and business travellers, in a city we love to call home.

As the end of the first month of 2019 draws to an end and we step closer to 2020, we are having more and more conversations with our guests about the Mayflower 400 celebrations, and what it’s all about!

Strathmore House Apartments offers a great home away from home for guests visiting Britain’s Ocean City.  We welcome thousands of guests and enjoy helping them explore our city and our rich history.

We ask Elinor Eaton, our Development Manager, to give us her take on both the planned Mayflower 400 celebrations. To see what she thinks the future holds for Plymouth looking through the lens of ‘Mayflower400’.

She says:

 “I think firstly we must acknowledge Plymouth as a city. We saw a tremendous  influx of repeat leisure and business travellers in 2018. And we continue to see that in our bookings this year and next. We can’t put this purely on them finding our accommodation – as wonderful as it is – it’s as much to do with Plymouth really shining at the moment.  

The work that brilliant organisations such as Visit Plymouth, University of Plymouth, Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Real Ideas Organisation do (to name just a few of course!) is truly remarkable. It’s a privilege to have worked in a city, across all sectors, for the last 20 years and to have experienced first-hand the united sense of pride and passion; as well as the courage and confidence to continually make positive change happen for our city.

By working together as a city, across all sectors, collaborating in the truest of senses, we have passionately and skilfully placed Plymouth on the national and international map for all to see and enjoy. What we are being told by our guests more and more is that Plymouth is a ‘vibrant, inspiring and beautiful destination’.

Strathmore House Apartments offers the space, comfort and overall brilliant experience for our guests, but we are extremely grateful for the dedication of organisations that share our pride for Plymouth. Those who all work so hard to make it shine.

That is ultimately why people want to come to Plymouth to work and play in the first place.”

Here at Strathmore House we are asked on a weekly basis by guests:

‘What is Mayflower 400?’

We are also asked if it’s something they should come back for and if so ‘when’ should they plan to be in Plymouth during 2020.

Elinor explains: 

“Sometimes it’s too easy to forget that people don’t all know about Mayflower 400.

It’s so close to our hearts here in Plymouth.  Many of us are living in and around it daily. Sometimes we forget to stop, share our successes and celebrate with those outside of our everyday circles.

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts. It set sail just moments away from Strathmore House Apartments!

We have written a dedicated blog to help guests who are planning on joining us, to plan their diaries. But in brief, 2020 will be a year of amazing events and a programme that will share the values of migration, tolerance, freedom and democracy and tell the story of a ship and its passengers.

These were an incredibly brave group of people that now have more than 30 million US citizens who are their descendants!

There are still dates and events that are being planned that we don’t know about; but what we do know is it will be a spectacular year of celebration.”

A city blessed with hidden gems and wonderfully rich history, it’s easy to see why people want to explore Plymouth, but we ask Elinor:

“What impact do you think the last 400 years will have on the next?”

“Success breeds success. The harder we all work to make tomorrow better than today, the greater the springboard that will connect us to an even stronger social and economic climate.

I think that more and more people are seeing the city transform; both tangibly (with the landscape changing and developing) but also with how we as ‘locals’ see our city.

2020 has given us a moment in time in which as businesses, organisations, individuals and communities we have the ability to unite and make positive change happen.

Change is sometimes a blessing, but it’s often a conquest. 2020 is our magic moment as a city; a moment that will offer visitors an amazing lens to see Plymouth through, and create real advocates for the future. But it’s also a moment that encourages us all to realise our dreams for the future of Plymouth. What will the next 400 years look like and will we be looked back on as the Pilgrims of our time? I hope so.

All we can be certain of is that like Plymouth in the past; Plymouth in the future will be proud to welcome new friends to our city. And when we watch them leave see them  carrying with them fabulous memories of Britain’s Ocean City.”

One of 35 Million Mayflower Descendants…

box of old black and white photos

Our Development Manager, Elinor Eaton, digs up her roots and shares her story…

“Plymouth has unquestionably the finest natural location of any UK city. It’s easy to be connected and to care about our dazzling and enchanting home. The width and breadth of Plymouth’s offer takes a unique shape in comparison to other city destinations in the UK. It has a wealth of history and heritage.  Its cultural heartbeat creates a rhythm that is rich and varied and this coupled with its beautiful waterfront hook…what’s not to fall in love with?

For almost 20 years, my pride and passion for Plymouth has been evident both in my professional career and personally. Having worked for many years as a senior level fundraiser and consultant, my work took me all over the UK. But Plymouth was always home and the one place in which I wanted to make the biggest of differences.

A Big Change…

Three years ago; I had the opportunity of a new challenge in a new sector, with Plymouth very much at its heart.   I knew when entering the world of hospitality that a career here would be characterised by diversity and constant change. But I also knew that the challenge would be an exciting and rewarding one; keeping pace with upcoming industry trends and aligning the New Continental Hotel & Strathmore House Apartments with the changing rhythm of our city with the visions for 2020 and beyond.

I felt fortunate that I could see the sector through a new lens, but also see Plymouth in a new way; loving my city, sharing it with guests and ultimately telling a story about beautiful accommodation, in my favourite place to be.

There are many cities that have become cultural icons; incorporating buildings, landscapes and other features of huge cultural significance. However what Plymouth does so well is keep history alive and intact – a major challenge because it involves integrating conservation of the old in the development of the new.

Throughout my professional career, Mayflower 400 and 2020 has been more than just a date in the dairy for a city celebration. More than the Pilgrims being figures of legend and lore. It represented something of great significance to me and many of the people I worked with.  I just couldn’t pinpoint why!

Mayflower 400…

With 2020 now just a stone’s throw away, I was doing a huge amount of work  researching the historical footprint of both the New Continental Hotel and Strathmore House Apartments; learning and understanding more about the Mayflower and the seeds that were then planted helping make Plymouth what it is today.

I could not have dreamt that my very own Mayflower adventure would then begin!

The discovery of a Francis Eaton, son of John Eaton who married Sarah in 1618 on our Eaton Family Tree stored in Liverpool, shared the same information as the Francis, Sarah and Samuel Eaton who boarded the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620.

Although currently we have yet to prove our ‘Eaton’ lineage. This has started a journey of discovery that may explain so much to our Plymouth loving family! ‘Pilgrim blood’ conversations are now flooding the ‘Eaton’ table talk debates. The genealogy bug has hit the Eaton shores and we are enthralled with every new discovery that we make.

Growing up as a very large family in Plymouth, we have always been told that we must be brave, bold and curious. That we must have pride in place and respect for our past and our family. No greater platform could these morals have grown than from a brave family who took sail in the middle of July 1620 to start a new life, unsure of what may become of them but spellbound by the desire of a better tomorrow and the curiosity of the promise of a New World.

Would I be so brave – I hope so!

The idea that my family history could be so entwined with a history of a city I care so much about, and that I have been so fascinated by for the last 20 years is thrilling. A journey that is so personal and has opened topics of our families past, making us all reflect on our DNA, our culture and beliefs.

Just as Francis and his wife Sarah and “sucking child” Samuel stepped off the Mayflower to the dawn of a new adventure almost 400 years ago, so too are we!”