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Foodie heaven and an escape to North Berwick

What a month June was, the wedding season was fully under way with lots and lots of happy wedding couples and guests enjoying all Glenskirlie has to offer. The chefs also launched our summertime menu in the Restaurant. The new menu in the Restaurant is simply stunning with lots of seasonal treats appearing, I just love the fact that I have to try all the dishes before we can release them…. I have to know what I’m talking about after all!


Holiday weekends, exam pressure and an unexpected trip

May was a great month with a busy wedding season, brilliant weather and two holiday weekends, so a lot to be happy about in the world of Glenskirlie. We were really busy and its great to see everyone enjoying the gardens; Bride and Grooms are happy as they get fantastic pictures in the sunshine. The wedding guests are mega happy as not only do they have fantastic surroundings and food they have the added bonus of drinking champagne and cold beers in the sunshine, so perfect all round on the wedding front.


Mothers Day, Easter and my Dads wedding all rolled into one!

What a month March was Mothers day, Easter and a not so inconsequential day in the Macaloney family history, my Dad getting married for a second time and he’s certainly no Easter spring chicken.

Mothers day rivals Christmas day as our busiest day of the year and it’s important it’s perfect as we know how important Mums are to their families and they deserve to be treated very, very well indeed! And let’s face it,  if your invited to Glenskirlie for Mothers day you want and expect a fantastic day and we certainly delivered…. it was just lovely seeing all those Mums with their families on such a fantastic day having such a great time, it’s days like that you enjoy in the restaurant trade as you can see how you’ve helped to make someones day really special.

So a good day was had by all Glenskirlie mums except perhaps one, Flories mum, however Diane knows the score, a husband in the restaurant trade there is no way I can miss working on Mothers day! However all the customers who inquired about what Diane was doing on Mothers day were horrified when I replied, ‘I don’t know she’s not my Mum !’, but don’t worry I made sure she got a treat the next day on her very own Mothers day, I put Florie in nursery and took Diane to the pictures, I’ve never seen a Mum so pleased not to see her daughter on Mothers day!

Easter as always was a family day at Glenskirlie, lots of families with children enjoying the long weekend and plenty of Easter Eggs, chocolate was the theme of the day and our chefs are always super at eggifying the day as you can see from one of our Easter desserts on the photo.easter egg

In between these two  busy dates in the Glenskirlie calendar my Dad decided to get married and add to the pressure!

Now of course there was no way he would or should get married anywhere but Glenskirlie,  however did he really have to choose March, what  about a nice quiet Sunday in February or November, not our busiest time!! Mind you he had kept Irene waiting for about 10 years!

All kidding aside we had a fantastic intimate family wedding in the Castle for 34 guests. The bride was stunning, the groom scrubbed up the best he could and the chef surpassed himself with the quality of the meal. It was the first time we reset the ceremony room for a meal after the wedding and it was absolutely stunning, a very special place indeed for a small intimate occasion.

So I wish my Dad and his new bride Irene all the best and hopefully we have a new set of baby sitters as we all know grans and papas are always babysitting…….so roll on their return from honeymoon!

Long time no post

Firstly I must apologise for not keeping you updated with all that’s  been happening over the last few months. The only excuse I can produce is that it has been super busy.

Perhaps, the best way to get everyone caught up is to do a ‘whistle stop’ catch up tour of the last few months of both my Glenskirlie life and my family life. So here we go……..;colin ski

November

Glenskirlie: Mega busy still redecorating! The restaurant was redesigned and now it was the grills turn, it is looking fabulous and the new colour scheme has really opened it up. The new lighting creates a more modern atmosphere and all the customers seem to love it, so major success there.

Personal life; Quick tour of Britain with a one year old in tow, it consisted of an educational tour of Oxford and Bath with more than a few fantastic meals thrown in! A quick dash by ferry to Ireland with a baby redecorating the back seat of my car, they really don’t travel well on a full stomach…..aaargghhh. Ireland was a lost weekend, Dublin with friends and a boys night out is a recipe for carnage and it was….. sobered up on the ferry to Wales. We met friends where we stayed in one of the most amazing villages in the world, Port Merion, if you’ve not been go! and then back via leeds, got to visit the outlaws at some point ( In lots of trouble for that comment, me thinks!) and then home to Bonny Scotland, not bad for a 12 day trip.

December

Glenskirlie: Crazy busy, just the way we like it and with the party nights in full swing and the restaurant dressed in all its festive splendour, it was a brilliant month and a fun time was had by all.

Personal: Don’t be silly, it’s December and in this trade if your out partying your ‘not worth your salt!’

Januaryflorie ski

Glenskirlie; Really busy in the Restaurant & Grill, I know most people expect us to be quiet, however, we always find that there are lots of people catching up with friends and family that they didn’t see over Christmas. We also do a little thank you voucher, 20% off all food for people who dined in December and that certainly goes down very well indeed. The other aspect to January is that Suzanne and I are run off our feet conducting Wedding appointments with all the newly engaged couples, so that’s a lovely part to our job and we always enjoy meeting everyone.

Personal; I always love January as I tend to go on a little Ski adventure, so this year it was Back country skiing in France, so a little boot hiking, some ski crampons and some fantastic ridge walks in the Alps. This is my kind of heaven, especially when there is some powder to be found on the way back down. To top it all I left the wife and kids at home……yes I am a bad boy and no there has been no pay back yet! Oh and I Forgot to mention….. It was also my 2nd wedding anniversary on the 18th of January, luckily it didn’t clash with skiing!!

Glenskirlie; Who doesn’t love a little romance and Valentines weekend is just the perfect expression of this emotion. All the tables set for two, candles lit, some soft music and food that tantalises the taste buds as well as the eye. I feel myself getting all romantic as I type…..watch out Diane, a little romance may becoming your way!

Personal; Obviously no romance for me…. too busy working, helping create all those magical moments at Glenskirlie. I’m also now wedding diane and Imarried and we have a 2 year old, so as far as romance is concerned, the games a bogey! I also sneaked in three days skiing but I did take Diane and Florie this time, (I promise), Lara was incapacitated as she snapped her cruciate ligament playing hockey, so she was abandoned at home. Luckily she understood as she is a keen skier too and as she knows ‘there’s no friends on a powder day’

March is still a work in progress but next blog, I am sure, will consist of Flories second birthday and lots of Happy mums celebrating mothers day, so watch this space.

My short lived movie career!

I had a call from the BBC last week to see if I could star in a short film for sport Scotland.

General manager of hotel and wedding venue Glenskirlie House and CastleI’m Colin Macaloney – manager at Glenskirlie

Now I know what your thinking has his football talent finally been recognised ( a very late bloomer at 45 years old) or has his  golf  swing finally sorted itself out and he has been called up for the Ryder cup. Maybe it could even be that his new lycra cycling outfit  is so streamlined he’s a shoo in for team sky at the next Tour de France!

Nope none of that, I’m afraid to say, nothing to do with me at all!

My claim to fame is based on my biggest baby……, Glenskirlie.

Glenskirlie Castle is proudly hosting the wedding of one of  Scotlands true athletic stars, Eildh Child and her lovely fiancée Brian.

BBC Scotland  required someone to show the lovely couple around for the benefit of the cameras, so I got to be on the telly.

Now I thought they may want to draft in Brad Pitt or perhaps George Clooney to play my role. However there was no need for that, as my wife often reminds me, I’m an experienced actor, when it comes to the man flu or an occasional serious injury I may get when excercising.

So with this confidence boost from the lovely Diane I threw myself into the role and I assumed I would get lots of camera time but as you will see from the link below Glenskirlie got far more airtime than me and was certainly a whole lot more impressive!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/34415227

brochure photographs 033

 

 

Interior designer extrodinare!

We are in the process throughout September and October of decorating the Restaurant and for me it seems to be taking an age, for the customers it appears, as always, perfect, it is just behind the pate fruitscenes that we are beavering away .

Due to the fact we are busy most days of the week  its difficult to fit in all the changes, however the new chairs have arrived and the table under cloths and blinds are all in, so it’s just left to paper and paint.

Choosing the wall paper and fabrics is definitely my favourite part of the whole process as I get to trawl through wall paper and fabric collections.

Being in the front line of the restaurant and hotel business means that if your a guy it helps if your in touch with your feminine side, my friends and family are constantly teasing me that I sometimes take it too far! Now that doesn’t mean dressing up on my days off……I hasten to add!,  but I probably don’t help myself by pouring through Wedding and interior  magazines looking for the latest trends and ideas.salmon starter

The other night when I was sitting watching a movie with Diane and some members of her family( big burly Yorkshiremen) I couldn’t help myself on commenting how lovely the wallpaper was in one of the scenes and the dress Kiera Knightley was wearing was stunning! Well you can imagine the comments from both Diane and her family, they didn’t miss me and hit the wall, that’s for sure.

However when it comes to redecorating all those hours spent researching ( that’s my excuse anyway) always pays off. We will by the middle of October have a fabulous new interior for the restaurant, with vibrant purple chairs, new art work, Timourous Beastie wallpaper and blinds.

Overall we will have a more simple yet classic feel to the restaurant with a modern twist. This should compliment the food as it has been  moving towards a more modern presentation for quite a while now with stunning flavours complementing the beautiful presentation of the dish on the plate.

I just can’t help getting enthusiastic about interior design and high quality food and how that combines with great service to add up to a wonderful guest experience. I reckon it’s just in my DNA, being brought up in a restaurant since I was 12 has to rub off in some way!

So get yourself booked into the main restaurant for lunch and dinner in October and enjoy the new surroundings, the food as always is as good as ever!chocolate pave

 

I’m owed a new pair of shoes and a Holiday!

archibald wedding 4We are well and truly in full wedding season swing,  with lots and lots of happy bridal couples and families celebrating their special day at Glenskirlie. It is just so lovely to watch everyone having such a great time at our venues and it’s amazing to think how many couples over the last 20 years have celebrated their wedding day at glenskirlie.

I think since we opened the original Glenskirlie House wedding venue in 1995 and the Castle in 2007 we will have held over 5,000 weddings, therefore we will have had over three quarters of a million people celebrating a wedding in some shape or form at Glenskirlie since its opening.

What an amazing figure and to think of how many happy memories will have been created over those 20 years is really quite special. The whole team at Glenskirlie over the last two decades should be really proud of their achievement in making Glenskirlie one of the premier destinations in Scotland for weddings.

Now I’m not one to want thanks and I know self praise is no praise at all, however I do think that the three quarters of a million figure qualifys me for a good rest and a wee holiday, so I informed my dad I was off to Portugal for a week for some well earned R&R and boy did I plan to make the most of it!

However Florie had different ideas!

I booked a nice quiet Hotel for Diane, Florie, Lara and myself, near the beach in a secluded Pine forests in a quiet part of the Algarve. The plan was to eat, drink, play on the beach and most of all sleep.

Florie has always been a great baby and has slept for at least 10 hours every night since she was 8 weeks old, so the plan was in place and we all thought it was very easily executed.However no one told Florie, she decided, day was day and night was florie sleepday also!

In Portugal she could easily run on 4 hours sleep a night with just another 1 hour siesta in the afternoon. I believe she was just trying to get the most out of her holiday, she was bright as a button. However Diane and I were walking around like zombies all day long as Flories rising time was 5 in the morning, every morning for a solid week!

Now we tried everything that week to get her back to sleep after she woke up but nothing ever worked, so towards the end of the week I decided to get up and push the buggy along the beach.

I saw the sun rise that morning with the use of match sticks for my eyes and as I neared the half way point of my walk I happened on an old beach café where all the fisherman had there coffee in the morning. I think they must have taken pity on me as they gestured me in gave me a coffee and gave me the most delicious portugese egg custard tart. They didn’t speak much English and I don’t speak any Portugese but I think a ridiculously early morning walk with a baby in tow is easily recognisable to any dad in the world and no words are required!

So needless to say sometimes the worst moments can easily turn into the best moments and certainly my early morning walk and coffee with the fisherman will go down as one of my fondest Florie memories!

Gardening, mucky children and a wonderful wife!

florie gardenGardening time at the Glenskirlie is all year round, as it is important we always look at our best for all those fantastic wedding photographs, however we get mega busy in June as the weather warms up and all the seasonal plants are  planted in the garden.

The main problem is getting my Dad to agree a date  to allow us to put out the hanging baskets as he is silly obsessive about a late frost, he’s like Alan Titchmarsh on a caffeine overload! But we eventually got lift off, the  first week in June and thank heavens as the gardens are starting to look fantastic with all the extra colour.

With my Dad beavering away in the garden it inspired me to get my roof top garden all planted up for the summer.In theory this was a wonderful idea but with a toddler in tow and a wife at work this was a challenge. As the first photograph shows it all started off fantastically well with a beautifully clean and happy child smelling the flowers. How quickly the situation deteriorated, muck up the nose,  flowers tangled in the hair and finger nails that would take a week to scrub the dirt out of, but a dirty child is a happy child and boy was Florie having fun! The job may have taken ten times as long but it was worth it listening to her giggles as she decided to take her shower under the garden hose. Soaking wet and dirty as a chimney sweep with a big grimey smile on her face, perfect day as far as she was concerned.florie compost

Then her Mum turned up from working all day, dirty child, no dinner on the table,  tired husband, I thought this time she might flip but not a chance Diane is the consummate professional when putting up with her obsessive husband. She simply got a glass of wine, suggested we should maybe dine in the grill that night after she washed Florie.

Boy did I marry well and I intend to keep her!

wedding diane and I

 

Weddings Galore!

house back gardenI just love when we start to hit the busy wedding season,  I think its fabulous seeing everyone all dressed up in their finery and enjoying champagne or cocktails in the gardens and  with the rhododendrons and Azaleas all starting to hit full bloom the house gardens are ablaze with colour. My Dad will hopefully start to get the hanging baskets out soon (That’s his baby and he plants them all by himself as nobody else is allowed to touch them, yes we really are a family business, we are even involved in the gardening!)  but he keeps on moaning about late frosts and mumbling ‘Never cast a cloot till May is oot’. I think that translates to the plants have to stay in the green house till it gets warmer at night but who really knows he is a law unto himself after all.

Last weekend was  the first double BBQ of the season with one in burger 1 the House and the other in the Castle. The Chefs were running about like dafties between the two venues, now I’m normally all for the chefs running about as I like to know I’m getting my monies worth. However I was a little concerned for my head chef, now he has given up smoking he spends most of his time in the pastry kitchen tasting samples! So the sight of my slightly rotund chef running between the venues is worrying ( think run fatboy run, the movie) , now he might be a temperamental devil some of the time but nobody wants to give him the kiss of life so I’ve made the chefs sign a secret pact to do all the running for him. So if you happen to be lucky enough to be attending a wedding with a BBQ at the Glenskirlie soon and you see a skinny chef with a big belly appearing to do nothing at all, whilst the young ones are running after him, don’t worry, he’s not lazy, I’m just protecting my investment…… he is a major talent after all!

Easter eggs and my marathon walking Hell!

Easters over, my wife Dianes back at work (after a year off on maternity leave) and I ate far too many chocolate Eggs. Now I know what your thinking, what has too many Easter eggs and my wife going back to work got to do with each other, well Dianes a dietitian. She works for Glasgow weight management and brings scales back home every night, it’s a nightmare as she weighs me once a week!
Due to Diane  being back at work I watch Florie once a week on my own, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and work on florie backpackmy waist line and get Florie out in the fresh air to tire her out. Now this was just going to be a small walk along the canal to the colzium park in Kilsyth, picnic with Florie and back. Until Diane got involved she wanted me to meet at her work, suddenly my small walk was all the way to Kirkintilloch as the bold Diane told me it was just the same distance and I would make it no problem!

I’m just newly married and still love struck  enough to  believe every word my wife tells me or I  did until I tried to walk to Kirkintilloch! When she suggested it, I thought ‘Boy that’s a long way with a baby on your back, sun bearing down and a daft dog expecting you to throw her ball into the canal every hundred yards or so’. However, I also thought, I must be wrong as my wifes so wonderful she knows my limitations and always has my best intrests at heart, it must be the same distance. Little did I know she was  secretly a little scared to drive the car we had borrowed for the day as ours was in getting fixed.

Now to be fair I was having a lovely time when I passed the 2 mileflorie picnic mark, just  before Kilsyth, it was a beautiful day, I had packed a fabulous picnic for Florie and I. So just after Kilsyth we sat down and had our sandwiches and treats and were perfectly content enjoying the warmth of the sun on our face.

An hour passed and I  thought I better set  off as I had the same distance to walk again. To be fair  I was enjoying myself until I hit what marathon runners refer to as the wall at Twechar. Suddenly my knees were gone, the hip was giving me jip and my shoulder was in agony from throwing that blinking ball so much. Florie however was blissfully unaware as she was quietly snoring away on my back isn’t it wonderful what a full belly and getting gently rocked in a lovely warm cocoon can do to your outlook!

Now, me being me, I wasn’t going to quit, so on I trooped and trooped and trooped until eventually I arrived at Kirkintilloch and Dianes workplace, I have never been so glad to see the end of a walk but I was not going to let on to Diane I was exhausted, pride was at stake. I told her what a lovely day I had and how wonderful the walk was and how I might do it again next week.

I later found out Diane does know me too well she had a bet on with my sister that I was too gullible to realise that walking to Kirkintilloch was much further than a round trip to Kilsyth and I wouldn’t quit the walk half way, even although it was miles and miles further.

Never mind ignorance is bliss after all!

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