The Last Word with Jane Hodgers, director at Panama Belfast
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS ROLE?
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY?
Atypical; the draw of hospitality for me is its constant change. Aside from the administrative aspect of my role, I love the development of new ideas, working with chef and colleagues; every day I’m learning. I’m always on the floor. I’m so grateful to all our guests for choosing to spend their time with us and it’s important to me that I have a connection with our customers.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
Drug runner… no really, I did the prescription deliveries for my local pharmacy on Saturday mornings, then off to Villa Italia for an evening waitressing shift.
FAVOURITE TV SHOW: Eagerly awaiting the return of Killing Eve, the clothes, the attitude, bad ass ladies.
FAVOURITE FILM: The Big Lebowski, great soundtrack and always makes me laugh.
FAVOURITE ALBUM CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Prince Purple Rain; never gets old.
FAVOURITE BAND: I have no allegiance, every day something new.
LAST BOOK READ: The Way Of Zen, Alan Watts.
FAVOURITE CELEBRITY: Joan Collins, my idol.
FAVOURITE FOOD: Cheese
FAVOURITE RESTAURANT: Noble, always the warmest welcome from Saul and the team.
LAST HOTEL YOU STAYED AT: Grand Hotel Zell am See, Austria.
LAST BAR/NIGHTCLUB YOU VISITED:
Shelbys, a gem for the drinks aficionados. I am ruined by having such great eateries on my doorstep.
FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD: North Coast, my favourite week is family surf trip every July.
INDOOR CONCERT OR FESTIVAL: My muddy unwashed days are behind me. Belfast has an incredible gig scene in beautiful venues, Nick Lowe in Willowfield Church tops them all, but regularly I’m to be found in The Empire Music Hall; so much more intimate than a field and better acoustics too.
LAST HOLIDAY: Skiing, late arrival to winter sports, now obsessed.
FAVOURITE HOT DRINK: Coffee, in its every guise.
FAVOURITE SOFT DRINK: Water.
BEER OR CIDER: With the resurgence of craft brewing in Northern Ireland, always curious to try something new.
WHITE OR RED WINE: Red Red Wine, my greatest vice.
WHISKEY OR BRANDY: Brandy, it makes me feel like a playa’.
GIN OR VODKA: Depends how it’s dressed up.
COCKTAILS OR BUBBLY: Both, in moderation.
WHAT FOUR PEOPLE WOULD YOU INVITE TO A DINNER PARTY?
Voltaire, Dali, Dolly Parton, Ru Paul.
ONE ITEM YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE?
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL JOB?
Where I am right now.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.” Maya Angelou
THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT?
Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.
INSPIRATION IN YOUR LIFE?
My friends and family, as Proust says: “They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”