Seven weeks ago, my lovely boyfriend Angus and I decided that we should get married. A lot of work and excitement later, we tied the knot last Saturday in the Applecross Walled Garden in Wester Ross. For those unfamiliar with the geography of Scotland, Wester Ross is more or less across the water from the Isle of Skye, along the North part of the West coast of the mainland.
The wedding was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in a corset, incorporating outdoor ceilidh dancing, and an impromptu football match (girls against boys, naturally, with the bridesmaids tucking their dresses into their knickers) of which some hilarious photos will be making their way blog-wards shortly I’m sure.
The day after the wedding, Angus and I made our newlywed way to Pool House Hotel in Poolewe a little further North from Applecross for our honeymoon, and I’m very much in denial about the sad fact that I wasn’t able to stay there for ever and ever and ever!
Pool House is an absolutely breathtaking mix of pure luxury and Victorian and Edwardian kitsch, with each room boasting phenomenal views of Loch Ewe. The hotel is placed about 15 metres from the edge of the Loch, meaning that the view we had from our bedroom Opportune was officially the most fabulous view that I’ve ever seen from a set of patio doors. Apparently on a good fish day you can see seals and porpoises playing in the bay outside the hotel – I spent a lot of time floating blissfully in our chin-depth marble bath gazing out the window and keeping an eye out for them, but must have missed them during one of my regular G&T top-ups.
Now you might be wondering what a rave review of a random hotel is doing in our business blog…
The simple answer is that Angus and I had such a fantastic time there, that I just desperately wanted to share the love!
I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a hotel where I felt more at home and welcomed by the staff. In my experience, it’s the little personal touches that turn a good hotel into a great one, and this is something that Pool House evidently understands completely – making them truly exceptional. From the moment Peter (the owner) greeted me by my married name (I made the booking under my maiden name, so this impressed me massively) Angus and I were taken care of as if we were the only couple that had ever gone on honeymoon – there or anywhere else.
Over the course of our two night stay, we got to know Peter a bit and had a lot of interesting chats about the hotel’s history, the history of the surrounding area (Poolewe was big during the Second World War as an extreme environment used to toughen up young officers) and the personal branding of celebrity chefs. Peter’s truly a fountain of fascinating facts, and when my title progressed from Madam to M’Love with him I was awfully chuffed! He was even nice enough not to mock my appalling lack of skill at snooker, which I displayed shamelessly on his billiards table in the gorgeous Rowallan Room.
Working in (or at least alongside) the hospitality industry, I often find it difficult to leave my work at home when I stay in a new hotel – I’m always hyper aware of the service levels, the environment, the facilities – everything! All of my usual over-thinking simply disappeared the minute I stepped through the door of Pool House, the place is magical, romantic, exotic and utterly luxurious, and I will never forget the two nights I spent there on my wonderful honeymoon.
So let’s hear it for Pool House Hotel, flying the flag high for first-rate luxury hotels in the West of Scotland. I fully intend to start a specific savings fund so I can go back as soon as possible, as often as possible, for as long as possible.