Five minutes with Jack Martin

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Jack Martin is the Reservations and Reception Agent at Bateaux London. He is the person you may speak to when you book your cruise or who you meet when arriving at our pier. I had some inside knowledge that Jack was a bit of a tea expert so I invited him for some Afternoon Tea on our Harmony Cruise to ask him a bit more.

Hi Jack, how long have you worked at Bateaux London?

I have worked at Bateaux for about eighteen months. I moved to London a few months before that, although I did grow up here {Jack moved away when he was two}. I now live in Woolwich Arsenal and I have the option to take the clipper to work. So yeah, I get to enjoy the River Thames in my work and in my personal life too.

Wow, eighteen months is a reasonable chunk of time to work somewhere. Do you enjoy the role?

I do. I enjoy how varied it can be. I get to be on the phones and emails when making the reservations and I get to see people as they embark on the cruise and witness the excitement beforehand! But out of them all, New Year’s Eve has to be my favourite night to work, it’s wonderful to see everyone getting dressed up and looking forward to welcoming in the New Year! I also get to take the cruises sometimes - like today - and also get to treat my family to enjoy lunch or dinner sometimes too.

So Jack, we hear you are a bit of a tea connoisseur. What is your favourite tea?

The one I’m drinking now. Assam. I enjoy full bodied teas with a kick!... It should be served with a drop of milk and it always has to be freshly drawn and freshly boiled water! It’s the best way to start a day.

When people think of Britain they think of tea. Why do you think that is?

I think it all goes back to the days of the Empire and the Clippers. There was something almost magical about the long voyages to China to bring back the precious leaves that were worth their weight in gold, if not more! It’s funny to think that the leaves of one tree have had such a large impact on such a small country. Tea was originally a preserve of the wealthy, upper classes, who would lock their tea away in a caddy due to its value. It was only when we discovered that we were able to grow tea in parts of the Empire, namely India, that it became readily available for the masses and was no longer restricted to the rich!

Well I am glad it is. Thanks Jack.

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