Paulina – Bartender, LHR Clubhouse
Favourite cocktail to drink: Daiquiri
- 1 1/2 oz White rum
- 1/2 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Lime juice
Favourite cocktail to mix: Aperol Spritz
- Three parts Prosecco (75ml) over ice.
- Three parts Aperol (50ml) into the glass in a circular movement.
- Finish with a dash of soda (25ml)
- Garnish with a slice of orange.
The one bar tool you can’t live without: A cocktail shaker of course 😉
Best destination to travel to: My top 3 so far are Havana, Cancun and Las Vegas
Paulina moved over from Poland and had a variety of jobs from working as a waitress to training as a qualified Level 2 Beautician before joining Virgin Atlantic as a bartender 8 years ago. When she started the role she worked part time for the first 6 months and then moved to full time.
Her love of talking to people and finding out their stories lends itself to this role as she says quite often on a morning shift customers will just want to have a chat over a coffee whilst waiting for their flights.
The later shifts tend to be based more around mixing cocktails and they will then restock the bar and place any orders that might be needed for the next days shift.
It’s the people
‘It’s definitely the people that make the job. We have the best building and best location to work in but if we didn’t have the right staff working here it just wouldn’t be the same’ says Paulina. ‘I really look forward to seeing people and that makes a difference, we work super hard but then we try to do it in a fun way’.
On the job training
‘You really need to be open to people. Customers will want to talk to you so you can’t be shy, you need to be open and confident and able to engage with them. If you don’t like chatting to people then it’s not the right position for you! You can learn the cocktails like you learn the alphabet, that’s the easy part but you need to be bubbly and naturally enjoy interacting with people. You really don’t need the whole knowledge’ says Paulina, ‘I had some basic knowledge from restaurant work before joining but you get on the job training where they teach you how to mix the basic cocktails, how the bar operates, how to open and close down a bar. We also have a manual that we can refer to which makes it easier’.
Travelling the world
‘There are always competitions going on where we get a chance to put together our own cocktails and often different brands will run these and the best cocktail gets a reward, the team have won trips to Lapland and Scotland and then 2 years ago we were asked to prepare a drink with a twist on a Negroni – the iconic Italian cocktail and mine was one of the top ones so made it on to the cocktail menu. It consisted of Campari, Berry Gin, Kahlua along with a dash of Angustura bitters.
Our cocktails are so well known now that we often get customers coming back and asking for drinks that have been created by team members who don’t even work with us any more! It’s never a problem though as we keep all of the recipes in a book so we can find it for them even if it’s been a few years!’
‘I also love that I get to travel so much and with my colleagues from work. We’ve gone on some really good trips together with our concessions, what other job could you do that in? I recently came back from Brazil where we spent a week in Rio and took a 40 minute walk through the jungle to reach ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue, absolutely amazing as it had been by dream to go there since I was a little girl in Poland. We also went up Sugar Loaf Mountain’.
‘The thing that really stands out for me about working here is that everyone takes care of each other. From our team managers to colleagues, we all look out for each other. Even when Richard pops in he always takes the time to go around and speak to everyone despite his busy schedule, that’s what makes working here so special. What is it he says? Look after your staff and they will look after your customers, so true!’
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