I am very familiar with this hotel and aware of good reports. However, I've never attended a function here. Last weekend, I was a guest at the wedding of two friends. As another wedding was taking place on the Saturday, and my wife and I were staying overnight for our Sunday event, we were able to watch how things were managed. I promised to make a video for my friends, and I was able to look at what facilities were available and how staff dealt with the guests. The hotel appeared to manage things with ease, which left me a little relieved about our Sunday wedding.
Sadly, a Saturday evening bar snack menu was not very Coeliac friendly, as most items were Panini- or burger-based selections. Only the higher priced steak meals appeared to be gluten-free. It would be my recommendation to review the menus to cater more for people with allergies, intolerances or auto-immune diseases. Maybe jacket potatoes or even chicken salads could be added
Although our room, number 2, was spacious and modern, and had a ground-floor outlook onto an attractive gallery courtyard, it suffered from night time drinking guests chatting away outside our window. The hotel did assure me that this usually had to cease by 11pm. None-the-less, rooms 1 to 5 are likely to suffer this problem, especially on celebration nights, more so during warm weather. These rooms were classed as “superior”, but were very reasonably priced. Cigarette smoke entering through the window was also a nuisance.
Breakfast was a unique experience! Tables set for breakfast overflowed into the foyer, but it was quite nice sitting by the doors opening on to the courtyard. It would have been nice to have a pot of tea or coffee served traditionally at the table instead of taking pot-luck with a catering jug and finding the tea stewed. Serving myself breakfast, I found that fried eggs were not included on the buffet and had to be ordered separately but, having already loaded my plate with food, I had to wait until a freshly cooked egg arrived on another plate. Altogether, a new experience, yet I it found it a little haphazard, albeit satisfying, and there was ample food to eat. Experience showed for our second morning’s breakfast; I ordered my egg first!
I have never seen hotel staff work so hard or efficiently than I did that day at the Fir Grove. The events’ suite was quickly transformed into a delightful venue for the day, with staff even helping me set up the best video positions for the wedding. Flowers and ribbons adorned the tables. The courtyard gradually filled with decorated chairs as staff took advantage of improved weather conditions to take the wedding outside, and guests were quietly ushered to be seated there. Two giant, carved, wooden chairs were placed in a prominent position for the marrying couple. Meanwhile, upstairs, members of housekeeping patiently awaited the bride's preparations and discretely reordered other rooms for the night’s guests.
During and after the ceremony, staff appeared strategically to ensure that all the peripheries were catered for. The speeches and buffet were conducted under the guiding eye of the event organizer and her colleagues. Smooth as silk!
Fir Grove, you did well! Thank you for providing gluten free bread and gravy for my wife during the wedding breakfast. We have no hesitation in recommending you to friends or family.