We are so fortunate to have one of “The Great Gardens of the World” on our doorstep. Tourism, hospitality, culinary and marketing students from SETU, Waterford Campus visited the Mount Congreve Gardens on 31 January, hosted by Sara Dolan, Commercial Director for Waterford Treasures, and Mount Congreve Gardens.
The marketing students also participated in the Epic Walk which showcases Waterford Treasures and the Viking Triangle, as part of a live digital marketing campaign on Waterford Treasures and Mount Congreve Gardens.
The cross disciplinary group was led by Jacinta Greene, Lecturer in Hospitality Management, Joe Griffin, Lecturer in Digital Marketing Anthony Foley, Lecturer in Marketing and Noeleen Dooley Languages Lecturer (German). A theme of the visit was ‘Green, Social and Digital’ reflecting the contemporary interlocking strands of environmental sustainability, social contribution, and digital learning and communication so embedded in Mount Congreve Gardens and Waterford Treasures.
The tourism, Culinary and Hospitality students got a warm welcome at CatoCa Fine Food and Giftware by Kevin Byrne and an honest holistic insight into the challenges and opportunities of running a sustainable but profitable hospitality business within a busy tourist attraction. According to Sara Donlon, a native of Ardmore, expects to welcome over 80,000 visitors in 2023.
Networking with real life entrepreneurs like Kevin Byrne and Commercial Director Sara Dolan offers SETU students valuable insights into their own careers in tourism, hospitality, culinary and marketing. Kevin Byrne’s passion for his career in the hospitality industry led two students to ask to complete their industrial placement at the property next summer which is part of their course. Kevin and Elizebeth Bryne champion many local artisan producers, crafts and even authors.
Dede Gold a native of Newtown whose book ‘The Creative Covered’ is right at home in the Secret Garden shop which was where SETU students met another well-known entrepreneur: Ros Walshe a Consultant Creative Director who as Kevin said is ‘responsible for the visual effects and design of shop and café’. From Earthborn breathable paint on the stunning restored walls to the positioning of pots of homemade jams and honey on the carefully designed shelves, SETU students were left in no doubt that the tiny noticeable touches collectively created a feel-good experience for the customers.
Caitlin Godfrey and Danny Kett- Curtis are part of the front of house team who are a great example of excellent customer care. The students who represent Gen Z, the future leaders of society, experienced the amazing haven of peacefulness and breathtaking beauty that is Mount Congreve. Their task is to communicate it to a wider audience digitally, to advise on product development and hospitality, and to act as brand ambassadors. The enchanting Mount Congreve Gardens will re-open on 9 February. More information can be found at mountcongreve.com
Waterford Treasures features an amazing wealth of heritage attractions in the heart of Waterford city including the Medieval Museum, Irish Silver Museum, The Irish Museum of Time, Bishop’s Palace, King of the Vikings, and Reginald’s Tower. A new attraction: “Irish Wake Museum” will be the latest exciting addition to an unprecedented portfolio of tourism, heritage and entertainment sites www.waterfordtreasures.com