I have always associated the MC Café with John Thomson, the Scottish Group Corporate Director of Food & Beverage at MC Hotels, a man who has brought great food and unbeatable service to the MC Hotels Group’s many iconic restaurants and clubs.

A paragon of style and taste, John has always been present at the Marbella Club and Puento Romano Hotels’ swishest events and is responsible for helping to bring some of the world’s top talents, including Tom Jones, Sting, Simply Red and Michael Bolton, to our shores.

These days, however, he is just as likely to be in Riga as he is in Tallin or Belgravia, London; for John is a defining force in the MC Hotels Group’s rapid programme of expansion. Currently, the Group owns seven hotels and by 2016, that number will rise to 10, with the opening of five-star hot spots like the new Ibiza Bay Resort, poised to raise the bar when it comes to luxury vacationing in the island of House. El Lodge, the gorgeous wooden-decked luxury hotel in the heart of the Sierra Nevada ski resort, is also on the verge of a re-launch.

On the day of our interview at the MC Café, which John schedules at 2pm, he greets me with his characteristic charm and elegance. We sit at a windowside table for two and before we begin, he darts his gaze across the restaurant, making a couple of small but vital changes, which ensure that diners enjoy maximum comfort.

Always observing, changing, improving… John is permanently ‘on’ and as anyone in the five-star hotel industry would tell you, his is a 24/7 job. As luck would have it, he describes his greatest strength as being “a people person”.

Although he obtained degrees in Business and Marketing at a Scottish University, as a youth, John spent most of his summers in London, fascinated by the buzzing London Gastronomic scene and eager to prove his worth at Theme Restaurant group, where he put his organisational and marketing skills to good use.

So impressed were his employers that John didn’t have to hand out a single CV upon graduation; he had already been offered a job by his London employers and he jumped at the chance to hone his management skills within their flagship restaurants and hotel.

From there, he progressed to work with three-Michelin-starred Chef, Marco Pierre White, taking the post of Operation Director and overseeing such iconic restaurants as the one-Michelin starred Mirrabelle in Mayfair, The Criterian in Piccadilly and The Belvedere in Holland Park. He also set up the MPW restaurant chain for Granada Group…

Words Marisa Cutillas Photography Kevin Horn
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