I visited the Berkeley Hotel In Ayr with two of my younger children for dinner in December 2011.
In entering the premises you are met with the most fantastic high specification stylish decor which continues through into the upmarket and trendy bar area and also to the clean, crisp well lit dining room.
Although the children who accompanied me were age 6 and 7 respectively we were still met at the door by Donna and David, two members of staff who were immaculately turned out in waistcoats and purple ties and balck trousers.
Their greeting of " Good afternoon Sir, how are you all. Could I ask if you are dining with us today." Totally top class and so different from from the greeting you receive in most establishments nowadays. What a refreshing and professional approach and what difference it makes as a paying customer.
I was given the choice of sitting in the Aubergine Restaurant or the lounge area for our meal. As the "Aubergine" is set up with the best of cutlery and real........yes real, crisp white tablecloths I opted for what I thought would be more appropriateand to sit in the lounge with two fairly young kids.
What a surprise I got when I was led through to the table by Donna. The Lounge area is simply stunning with its ambient, high quality, trendy decor. It has black glass tables, comfortable cushioned fabric seating and lots of little touches which distinguish it from the majority of establishments I have eaten or stayed in over the years.
As my kids can be quite lively the decandence and quality of the place unsettled me a little in that I was terrified they would damage something or use the sumpteous seating as a trampoline!
I should not have feared as Donna and another staff member Eka made the kids very welcome and put me at ease.
The kids menu is farly limited but I was advised that half portions of some food on the main menu could be supplied if the kids preferred it. As it turns out my 7 year old had the half portion of macaroni with fries and devoured it in no time. My 6 year old wanted Spaghetti Bolognaise but it isnt anywhere on the menu but lo and behold the chef on the night managed to conjure some up for her! That's what I call service!
I ordered Haddock which was nothing short of "whale" size and cooked in the most beautiful light, crisp batter. I followed it up with sticky toffee pudding which was also pretty damn tasty!
It was soft drinks all round and I had a soda water and lime...........Eka even made sure there was sufficient lime in the glass as he said he was aware that some establishments sold quite weak mixers and he didnt want to disappoint! How thorough is that for customer care?
The meal overall was pretty good but I could offer a couple of suggestions for improvement regarding the overall experience.
I would suggest that the childrens menu is extended somewhat if the premises want to encourage the attendance of young families.
I would also recommend that the table we sat at initially is adjusted to ensure stability. It wobbled a little and because I was there with two young kids didn't want to increase the chance of drinks spillages so requested a move to another table..........it was carried out in the blink of an eye without question and accompanied by a huge smile from Donna one of the staff.
The owner Megan found out that there were two young children on the premises and she brought some fancy dress masks for them and allowed them to pick one each to take home with them. Another really nice touch.
The bill was very reasonable and I would suggest good value for money for under £30.00 for 3 drinks, 3 main courses and 2 desserts.
Whan settling the account the courtesy, good manners and friendliness of the staff persisted and on leaving the premises the door was held open for us.
The parting comment from Donna was " Thank you for visiting Sir, I hope you enjoyed your meal and we hope to see you again soon." Eka also wished us a nice evening as we exited the premises.
I will be back at the earliest opportunity..........maybe without the kids so I can relax a bit more the next time.
The decor, food, attentiveness and manners of the staff make it all worthwhile and vastly outweigh the minor improvements which could and I'm sure will be made as the business becomes more established.
I enquired about the bedrooms on the premise and was advised that there were only 5 at this time but expansion is planned in the future. The staff gave me a peek at one room which lived up to the decor in the rest of the premises.......very plush and luxurious! I was tipped off that room 5 was the jewel in the crown but didnt get the chance to view it as I beleive it was booked for the night.
I would urge the gents on here to take their wife or girlfriend to The Berkeley for a meal or a stayover without them knowing..............you will be in their good books for a very long time if not forever!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Berkeley is a small family owned Boutique styled hotel and is and run by a small dedicated team, and has 24 hour night porter service, 5 sumptuous bedrooms a romantic restaurant and casual lounge cocktail bar, our large terrace is due to be heated & covered so guests can use this all year round and the gardens have 2 patio areas and are large enough to offer marquee weddings and events. We offer morning coffee & home made pastries, lunch and light snacks, afternoon tea, Traditional High Teas and evening meals to suit every occasion. We are a small hotel with a passion to do the best we can and raise the bar in hospitality. Our decor is strong and quirky! Comfortable and plush bedrooms which we take pride in. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Berkeley Hotel Ayr, Scotland