Henry Gravells managed pubs across London with Fuller's before becoming general manager at freehouse The Hour Glass in South Kensington, London. The traditional pub caters for a busy regular and business community and offers a range of quality pub food in its upstairs dining area. It is the first pub opened by new company South Kensington Pubs.
Plate or slate
It has to be plate, I can't stand slate. The food should speak for itself really. A few years ago it was all massive boards and paddles, which is fine in top end restaurants but in a pub the food should be the star.
Cocktails or cask ale?
Cask ale. We have three rotating and one permanent, London Pride, which is a good product. Everyone knows it and we are a London pub and real ale drinkers know what they are going to get every time. We are a small bar and we haven't really got the space for cocktails and the clientele here are quite traditional and know what they want.
Dyson Airblade or hand towels
Airblade. They work better and they are hygienic. You get dry hands rather than water over the floor. We haven't got them yet but that's the dream! I got a quote but it was a bit steep to buy outright.
Table service or order at the bar?
I like a mixture of both. Downstairs we ask people to order at the bar because that's what happens in pubs and upstairs in the dining area we offer full table service.
Wellies or heels?
I prefer wellies but in South Kensington it is definitely heels. We don't get the Made in Chelsea lot in yet, but I'm sure we will.
Karaoke or pub quiz
Karaoke. I just think it's entertaining and there's no pretence about it. Pub quizzes can get a bit competitive whereas in karaoke people are happy to make an idiot of themselves.
Cash or Apple Pay?
Apple pay. It's quick, it's easy and there's less cash on site. Contactless and Apple Pay are probably about two-thirds of the business now.
Wear what you like or uniforms for the staff?
We have wear what you like so long as it's dark colours. There's no set uniform with branding on. That's the atmosphere that we want. If staff are relaxed, I'm relaxed and the customers will be too.
Family friendly or keep the kids at home?
We are family friendly but the children have to be out by 9pm. That's our licence and I agree with that, mostly from the children's point of view. It's not fair on them being kept up that late. It's nice for the grown-ups too.