The Last Word with James O’Donnell, beverage manager, Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS ROLE?
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY?
There is no real typical day in this job. But my main focus will be to make sure the main bar is ready for service and that the staff have everything that they need to be able to do their job to a five-star standard. From then on, it’s all about making sure the customer is happy and getting the full experience of the hotel.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
My first job was a kitchen porter in a golf club. I have always from that moment on had the upmost respect for kitchen porters and try to help them out whenever I can.
FAVOURITE TV SHOW: NCIS
FAVOURITE FILM: Shawshank Redemption
FAVOURITE ALBUM CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Spotify has taken away the element of just listening to certain albums nowadays, but at the moment I’m listening to a lot of Gerry Cinnamon.
FAVOURITE BAND: At the moment I have to say Coldplay; I saw them at Croke Park and I don’t think any other gig will beat it.
LAST BOOK READ: How To Be A Footballer by Peter Crouch. Funny read!
FAVOURITE CELEBRITY: David Beckham
FAVOURITE FOOD: Steak
FAVOURITE RESTAURANT: Hadskis
LAST HOTEL YOU STAYED AT: Slieve Donard Resort & Spa
LAST BAR/NIGHTCLUB YOU VISITED:
Babel. Great drinks and service every time.
FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD: London. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the City is always buzzing.
INDOOR CONCERT OR FESTIVAL: Festival
LAST HOLIDAY: El Campello, Spain. Was out there for my best mate’s wedding.
FAVOURITE HOT DRINK: Coffee
FAVOURITE SOFT DRINK:
BEER OR CIDER: Beer
WHITE OR RED WINE: Red wine.Creu Celta is my favourite at the moment.
WHISKEY OR BRANDY: Whiskey
GIN OR VODKA: No personal favourite here, either will do.
COCKTAILS OR BUBBLY: Cocktails. We’re lucky enough to have some amazing mixologists in Belfast right now, and there’s no shortage of places to be able to go and get a good cocktail, including here at the Fitzwilliam.
WHAT FOUR PEOPLE WOULD YOU INVITE TO A DINNER PARTY?
David Beckham, ex England managers Terry Venables and Bobby Robson and QPR legend Gerry Francis. Becks can bring the whiskey and we could just chat football all night!
ONE ITEM YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Unfortunately, it would have to be my phone.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE?
I reckon Tom Hardy could do a pretty good job.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL JOB?
I learnt a long time ago that I wasn’t going to make it as a professional footballer! But I’m fortunate enough to be in a job that I really do love.
Manners cost nothing in life.
THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT?
Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
INSPIRATION IN YOUR LIFE?
My parents are the ones who shaped me to be who I am today.