Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Life in the Culloden Estate & Spa

So I’ve been living in the hotel for just over a month. At first I found it very strange to be living here, it took a while for me to settle in and think of it as “home” for the next couple of days. I was here on my own for a couple of days before Shannon arrived up so I took that time to get to know the area and the towns nearby. The staff here are so helpful, if you need advice or just want to know where a certain shop is, there’s always somebody on hand to point you in the right direction.
I’ve made some new friends here which is great, and there’s other staff members living on the same floor. Every night there’s someone to sit down with and have a chat after you finish work. We’re starting to become a close bunch and it’s even strange when one of us is gone home for a day or is away for whatever reason. We’ve traveled around a bit, getting to know the area, and of course we’ve sampled a few of the other restaurants near us. The chefs have been very helpful when we ask about places to eat locally.
The hotel under a blue sky

The kitchen is mainly populated by men, I thought because of this that I would find it a bit more difficult to settle in but it’s been the complete opposite. They have helped me to settle in extremely well. I feel like been here for longer because of the friendships I’ve made in work. Every kitchen shift here is full of laughter and jokes which makes the work load easier. Of course, its hard work here! After all it is a five-star hotel. Plate presentation is pretty free rein here, they like to see chefs express their creativeness through their food presentation. Everyday slates are written for the VIP’s staying in the hotel that night, it’s given me great practice with my chocolate writing which I really needed. My first slate was definitely the toughest.
My first slate attempt (they have improved)

I’m really enjoying the work here. At the minute I cover the sandwich area and afternoon tea for lunch service. During dinner I cover starters and sweets. I’m learning a lot from the chefs here, they’ve got so much experience! There hasn’t a day passed where I haven’t come out of the kitchen with a couple of tips or a good recipe. Lunch service can be a little hectic at times between lounge orders, orders from the spa and of course afternoon tea. Being well prepared for service is the only way for things to run smooth, there’s rarely time for any form of prep top of during service. The pace of dinner service is a little slower, people are coming for a fine dining experience and that is what is given. It also helps that you’re not trying to serve two or three different areas of the hotel.

After spending the past month here, I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m excited to see what the coming months bring as the hotel gets busier leading into the summer months. There’s a lot more for me to learn during my time here! Stay tuned for updates on my time at The Culloden.

Bye for now
Áine B.

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