At The Bastion Bar and Restaurant in The Shankly Hotel, over the road from The Dixie Dean Hotel, Melanie Prentice says she is “absolutely thrilled, excited and a bit nervous” about her new role as Guest Relations Director. As we start to chat, Melanie is quick to mention how elated she is to meet everyone and “put names to faces” – a characteristic that is sure to come in handy in her new role.
From her pride and excitement about her new career to her opinion on the Merseyside Derby via dinners with Shankly and pints of Guinness, here’s what our new Guest Relations Director Melanie Prentice had to say about her first day on the job.
“I loved my job as a teacher but it’s nice to have a new challenge and a fresh start; it’s just completely different, I feel like I should be doing a lesson plan.” There is the hint of a smile on Melanie’s face and a sparkle in her eyes when she speaks about the children she once taught, however, her happiness to be in her new role shines through whenever The Dixie Dean Hotel is ever mentioned.
The Dixie Dean Hotel is set to take pride and place opposite the now famous Shankly Hotel yet Melanie, when asked what she was looking forward to the most, gave us an answer none of us were expecting. Rather than reiterating just how excited she is to see the hotel open in the summer, instead Melanie said that she couldn’t wait to “meet people and hear their stories.”
On a day when Melanie started her new career as a director, our conversation inevitably turns towards her famous ancestor: Dixie Dean.
“Growing up with him was just random. Shankly, or Ken Dodd with a Diddy Man, used to just pop round for dinner while I went up and down the back yard on my space hopper” exclaimed Mel, as if it was the most mundane of days in a household which seemed so surreal.
Despite it being Melanie’s first day, we couldn’t resist asking her about Sunday’s Merseyside Derby – highlights of which are playing on the screens behind us. Like a true Evertonian, Melanie said: “I didn’t think it was windy, it wasn’t windy where I was. Loads of hot air coming out of some peoples mouths though,” clearly having a joke at Jurgen Klopp’s expense after he, not for the first time, blamed the wind for his team’s poor performance.
Keen to turn our conversation back to Dixie’s beloved Everton, we both concluded: “Some atmosphere yesterday” and moved on.
As our conversation drew to a close, Melanie was happy to reiterate how proud Dixie would have been of her, a point her mum Barbara – who Mel describes as “The Queen” – was keen to stress in our previous interview. Nevertheless, she added: “He [Dixie] would have been pleased for me, really honoured. He’d probably sit in the corner with a pint of Guinness and laugh at everyone coming in.”
How Dixie Dean could ever expect to sit in the corner of anywhere, never mind a luxurious hotel that bears his name, and not be hounded or harassed for a handshake is beyond us.
On a day of nervousness and excitement, Melanie spoke of how she cannot wait to see inside the hotel once it’s opened in the summer.
“It just feels right,” concluded our newest director as she headed outside to pose for pictures beneath the sign of the hotel she will soon manage.
The Dixie Dean Hotel is to provide Evertonian’s with an incomparable experience, ideal to watch the match, have a weekend away or bask in and enjoy unseen memorabilia. To keep up to date with the latest developments at the hotel, head over to our Facebook.
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