The festive season has officially arrived at Rufflets! For most, once Christmas has been and gone there’s an inclination to take it easy, but for the hotel team there is no time to rest as preparations get underway for our Hogmanay celebrations.
Did you know that planning for Christmas begins as early as February each year? The festive season is one of the busiest periods in the hotel’s calendar and therefore it’s never too early to begin formulating ideas for the next to make it the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.
Planning begins by identifying the days on which key dates fall and because many offices begin planning their Christmas parties in the summer our events team have to begin creating all the required elements to guarantee the best celebrations.
One of the biggest undertakings is for the kitchen brigade. We all know from experience what it’s like being in the kitchen at Christmas time. Catering for a full hotel of residential guests in addition to festive parties, lunches and dinners in the run up to Christmas and New Year cam mean serving around 850 festive lunches (not all turkey) and approximately 700 dinners. We serve in the region of 8000 Brussel sprouts and 2000 mince pies. On the day itself, David Kinnes and his team create at least 110 mouth-watering Christmas lunches.
Our cellar is stocked towards the end of November and replenished at regular intervals in December. Roughly 350 bottles of wine and 120 bottles of fizz are consumed during December. Mulled wine is popular throughout the month of December including with our festive afternoon tea and every year our Food & Beverage Manager, Gavin prepares his secret family recipe -mulled apple and pear cider.
One of the most enjoyable preparations is dressing the hotel for Christmas. It never feels like Christmas until the tree goes up, but the tree cannot be bought too early as the tree needs to stay looking fresh throughout the festiveseason. The trees go up on the first Monday of December and we take them down a few days before the hotel’s annual closure around the 3rd January. We always have a Nordman Fir in the front porch and the one in the Garden Suite is artificial (this is the venue where we hold our Christmas parties so it needs to be more robust). Both trees are around 8 feet in height. We rely on our housekeeper Heather’s incredible memory. She knows where every decoration belongs around the hotel.
Between the 4 key members of the senior team they have racked-up 75 Christmas days working at Rufflets.
Today is Save the Children (Scotland) and the team at Rufflets have all pulled on their best festive knits to support the charity. Even the hotel’s General Manager, Stephen Owen gets into the festive spirit – doesn’t own a Christmas jumper (Bah Humbug) but does don his festive socks!
If you would like to learn more about the work that Save the Children (Scotland) get involved in you can take a look here. Their programmes and campaigns aim to give every child in Scotland the support they need to fulfil their potential. You can make donations at the hotel or by texting TEAMRUFUS to 70050 to donate £2.