When I was younger, I’d stroll along Devonshire Gardens – one of Glasgow’s most exclusive addresses – and pause on the tree-lined street outside a beautiful series of townhouses-turned-hotel. ‘I’ll know I’ve made it when I stay here,’ I’d think, nose pressed against the glass.
I’m pleased to report that when Gabrielle said dreams can come true, she wasn’t lying.
My stay couldn’t have been better timed, coinciding with the completion of an extensive refurbishment.
The hotel’s new look celebrates its heritage and surroundings: flora and fauna motifs adorn the textiles, reflecting the nearby botanical gardens, while antique furniture and original features such as grand fireplaces and mosaic flooring nod to the history of the 19th-century building. Sculptural lighting and bold injections of colour ensure a modern feel.
You might think such a luxe hotel would be all about the set-in-stone wedding packages with a hefty price tag. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, the friendly staff work to each couple’s unique requirements and budget. So if you’d like to hire out the entirety of Townhouse Number 5 (including the 12 bedrooms and honeymoon suite) for an exclusive-use wedding then you can, but equally you could hire any of the private rooms, any day of the week.
It costs a lot less than you’d expect for such a high-calibre venue, with further savings to be made if you marry mid-week.
The hotel brims with character and couples are welcome to add their own personal stamp. There are loads of nooks and crannies to utilise; the outdoor terrace, strung with festoon lighting, is perfect for drinks receptions or even a barbecue in summer.
The wine cellar is an atmospheric space that makes a unique setting for photos, and if your guest list is on the small side, nothing’s stopping you from having a wine tasting as part of the day’s entertainment.
Marrying in winter? The venue transforms into a festive wonderland at this time of year. Think real Christmas trees, wreaths and roaring log fires – you really won’t find a cosier place.
Weddings of any size from two people right up to 80 (with a capacity of 120 for the evening reception) can be held in the hotel. It’s dog-friendly too, so if you want your pup as a ringbearer, that’s no problem!
Personalisation is encouraged when it comes to your meal, too. Award-winning head chef Gary Townsend (formerly of Cameron House) is a real talent and can turn his hand to anything, so you’re in for a treat if you consider yourselves foodies.
I tried his tasting menu – the highlight was Herdwick lamb saddle with smoked belly, white asparagus and wild garlic – which was seriously delicious. Gary will happily create a bespoke menu that reflects your tastes, and the sommeliers can even pair each course with matching wine. (And if you just want good old fish and chips or a roast dinner? That’s completely doable too.)
Each bedroom in the hotel has been individually designed by interior designer Anita Rosato, who drew inspiration not only from nature but from the hotel’s close association with premium wines and champagnes.
My room, named Schloss Gobelsburg, had a rich wine-inspired colour palette of burgundy and black, punctuated by a tangerine sofa and armchairs.
The Vettriano honeymoon suite (pictured above), so named because of the artwork decorating the room, is split across two levels: the bedroom, which has a fabulous roll-top bath, is upstairs, and downstairs there’s a spacious bathroom with his-and-hers sinks and a walk-in shower.
Though the rooms all have their own style, they’re all tied together by a luxurious feel. And if you can’t treat yourself to a bit of luxury on your own wedding day, when can you?