17th October 2018
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Canadian couple arrive to take on Maryfield

Patrick and Morgan Blanch pull their first pints at the Maryfield Hotel. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Patrick and Morgan Blanch pull their first pints at the Maryfield Hotel.

 

The Maryfield House Hotel in Bres­say is to be given a new lease of life when it changes hands at the end of July.

The new owners have lived in Shetland just a few months, but are filled with enthusiasm for the place and its potential.

Patrick and Morgan Blanch are from Canada, and together have around 28 years experience in hos­pitality and the food and drinks in­dustry. Patrick has previously owned and operated Irish pubs, hotels and nightclubs, and the chance to run a “boutique hotel” together seems to be a dream come true.

The couple came to the UK last year, with the long-term goal of finding a property to run as a bus­iness. They found themselves in Shetland almost by accident how­ever – arriving in the islands for a short holiday in March and never leaving. While visiting Bressay they saw the Maryfield and knew almost immediately they had found what they were looking for.

It was, first of all, the “aesthetic draw” of the building that hooked them, as well as “the fact that there is so much history within those bricks and mortar”; but quickly the idea of staying in Shetland – of living in a community and bringing up a family here – convinced them that this was the right place.

The couple have ambitious plans for the hotel, including upgrading it to a five star rating, and eventually extending the building to offer ten new bedrooms in addition to the six already in existence. However, guests and visitors are likely to see a few changes almost immediately, with refurbished bed­rooms, bicycles and kayaks for hire, and an improved off-sales service, with a good sel­ection of wine available. There will also be a new restaurant menu, planned by a Michelin star winning chef, which will include as much local produce as possible.

Although Patrick and Morgan have already been approached by both BP and Petrofac, who wish to book rooms for executives on a long-term basis, the pair intend to keep space available for “normal” visitors. They see the hotel as a “tremendous opportunity” for them, but they also recognise the “res­ponsibil­ity” they have “towards the community”.

Since arriving, they said, they have received a great deal of support and encouragement, not just from the current proprietors of the Maryfield, but also from the owners of the Sumburgh and Scal­loway hotels. They are extremely grateful for the help, and looking forward to the challenge ahead.

About Malachy Tallack

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6 comments

  1. martin jamieson

    From Canada to Shetland, best wishes to you both; “Lang May Your Lum Reek”!

    Reply
  2. Having had a family meal at the maryfield a couple years ago which was top drawer ( my son thought it was the best steak/beef he had eaten) it was brilliant value. I hope the new owners don’t bump up the prices to deter the local business and passing trade away. Best luck to the wood’s!

    Raymond Smith
    Kirkwall

    Reply
  3. David Spence

    I wish the new owners of the Maryfield Pub/Hotel all the best, and hope they can keep up with the Pubs reputation for serving great meals at a fairly reasonable price.

    Best Wishes

    Reply
  4. Harry Dent

    All the best, but I hope you don’t forget it’s a pub as well as an hotel :o)

    Reply
  5. Peter Sharples

    When I fell off my bike on Bressay in May it was Morgan and Patrick who came to my rescue and shared their story. Fantastic people who deserve every success.

    Reply
  6. Dhami Badhesha

    I am so happy to see these two energetic, driven and charismatic individuals taking over this hotel and adding their personal touches. I have gotten to know Patrick and Morgan over the years and know they will incorporate all the Bressay culture and utilize local markets and resources to feed their success!!! Come one, come all, tell your friends and family, and enjoy the food and ambiance, and the company of these beautiful people.

    Reply

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