The Conservatory

The posh hotel has 15 function rooms. They are hired during the week for business meetings and in the evenings and weekends for social events, birthday parties or weddings. The function rooms are always busy and you can tell a lot about people from which room they choose to hire. The one nearest the entrance is favoured by older customers, the one nearest the bar is the room of choice for sports clubs.

We have rooms designed for eight people that some companies hire and insist upon using for their twenty staff members and other rooms that can fit over a hundred hired for the weekend for a family of four ‘so the kids can run around’. The posh hotel doesn’t care about any of that, anyone that can pay is fine. The exception is the conservatory.

Professional balloon artists are hired…

The conservatory is a terrible function room

  • It is at the far end of the building, ages away from the car park and the only access is through the posh restaurant
  • The floor is tiled and uneven and the room echoes
  • There are four large pillars in the middle making it hard to see
  • The roof and two walls are glass, so it is freezing in the winter and boiling hot when the sun comes out. On the other side of the glass is a large hedge that blocks most of the light.
  • It has no service access, so the waiters have to bring every tray and all the equipment through the posh restaurant (which the diners frequently complain about).

In short, we all hate using the conservatory. To try and put people off booking it, this venue is much more expensive than the other 14 rooms.

However, there is a definite type of person that insists on booking the conservatory for their events. The show-off. These are people who want everyone to know how wealthy they are and throw money around all over the place.

Recent events in the conservatory include a birthday party for a one-year-old which featured unlimited free champagne and quail eggs for the couple’s 120 invited guests. One person not invited was the one-year-old who stayed at home with their au pair.

No matter how many times the vacuum cleaner is used, confetti still remains.

Then there was a 3rd wedding anniversary. They had sourced a magician, clown for the children, three DJs (all of whom had their own equipment) and a band. Then after less than ten minutes, the mother of the groom decided there was too much noise and sent all the entertainers home (fully paid). It was unclear if she had told the couple she would do that. The clown told me, that it took him longer to put on his make up than attend the event.

Before Christmas there was an event in the conservatory that featured three huge chocolate fountains (not ideal during a pandemic but it is what they wanted). A month later the fountains were still there, we phoned the organiser asking when they would be collected and they tried to sell them to the hotel instead. When the hotel said no, the organiser said we could keep them ‘as a present’.

Then there was the wake held in the conservatory that featured a specially commissioned 30 foot portrait of the deceased which was too large to fit through the door and was instead exhibited in the car park (at least the rain held off).

Next month there is a fundraising dinner in the conservatory with a key note speech from ‘a former cabinet member’ who is currently unidentified. I hope I am off work that day.

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