Category Archives: Features

25 January is Burns Night

So where better to celebrate it than at a hotel which not only has a collection of nearly 700 whiskies, but is impossible to pronounce without sounding like you’ve just stepped off the set of Brigadoon. The Craigellachie Hotel has a Quaich Bar (recently featured in the Financial Times), a Ben Aigan restaurant, Speyside views and a nearby castle called Ballindaloch – try repeating those without lapsing into an ‘och’ here and ‘aye’ there!

quaich bar copy

Burns Night is, of course, a celebration of the life of the Scottish poet Robert Burns author of Auld Lang Syne. South of the border, most of us are familiar with his poem only to the extent of slurring through a repetition of the chorus, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind, should old acquaintance be forgot, for ooooold laaaaang zine’ as a New Year’s eve of drinking takes its toll and we tell people we’ve never met before and we’ll never see again how much we love them.

So here, just in case you should need it on 25 January, are the words to Auld Lang Syne in full. If you don’t make it to the Craigellachie, well, just fill your glass with ‘usquebaugh’ (the water of life) and sing this in your best Billy Connolly accent:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!


Haydn Fentum talks 2012/13

Haydn-Fentum-CEO-close-upHaydn Fentum, Chief Executive of Bespoke Hotels discussed the group’s success in 2012 and prospects for 2013 in this interview with Hospitality and Catering News, January 2013 edition (read the full article here) following the news that Bespoke Hotels had taken on management of the 34 hotels of Oxford Hotels and Inns. Bespoke Hotels now has a significant national presence across the UK following this expansion of the portfolio to 97 properties worldwide.

Flagship hotels that joined last year include the Carnoustie Golf Hotel and Elemis Spa, host to The Open Championship 2007; The Lugger Hotel in Port Loe, Cornwall, voted by the Sunday Times as the best new seaside hotel in the world; and the award winning Craigellachie Hotel with its AA rosette restaurant and world renowned Quaich Bar, boasting 700 different Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

The Wellesley opens with all media blazing…

wellesley 2The Wellesley – London’s latest super-luxury hotel – has opened to a blitz of media coverage. The 1920s Knightsbridge townhouse with a famous musical heritage has been restored with a modern take on art deco style and now offers contemporary luxury, traditional glamour and uncompromising service in one of London’s most prestigious locations – opposite Hyde Park at   Number 11 Knightsbridge.

wellesley 1

Conde Nast Traveler said, ‘the newest addition to the prestigious postcode is sure to stand out amongst the luxury hotels of Knightsbridge. The boutique 36-room residence has a contemporary take on its 1920s history, with interiors crafted by award-winning designers Fox Linton’.

ArtInfo – the New York based culture and arts website, said The Wellesley was ‘bringing back the Jazz Age with sumptuous finishes and art deco feel.’

‘There’s a new contender to some of London’s finest hotels – The Wellesley – petite, but perfectly formed’, said First Life, British Airways’ in-flight magazine.

Harper’s Bazaar told readers of its Trends column that ‘the new Wellesley in Knightsbridge celebrates the glamour of the jazz era with live entertainment, a cigar lounge and a bar specialising in fine cognacs’.

‘London has a new chic capital with the opening of the boutique-beauty Wellesley’, advised Hong Kong’s Jetsetter magazine, while the London Evening Standard was highlighting the ‘one of the world’s biggest cigar collections at The Wellesley’s Cigar Lounge’ in a feature entitled ’50 Ways to Party’.

wellesley 3