This weekend saw the wedding of my stepson to his wife and the reception took place at the MacDonald Burlington hotel.
The Burlington is perfectly located literally 15 seconds from New Street station (if you exit via the doors just beyond Joy)
I have broken this blog into two parts, reviewing the hotel as a hotel and wedding/party venue.
Our hotel experience.
We parked in the NCP car park on St. Jude’s passage, the Burlington does not have its own car park, but they do discount the car park costs. For the car park it’s just a very short walk through Grand Central in a straight line and you come out directly opposite the hotel entrance. So it is a great central location. Reception validated our car park ticket so overnight parking only cost £9 for a secure car park. It’s not a pretty car park, but it is safe and close.
We were on the forth floor, room 410 and I must admit I always sleep with the window open. Yes, there was a little street noise. If you book into a city centre hotel and expect the streets outside to be quiet then maybe you should consider booking a country retreat rather than city break. I must admit I slept very well. I heard some people outside but the hotel in itself was quiet. No banging fire doors right outside our room. Our bed was very comfortable as were the pillows, the bathroom had a bath with shower over, tea and coffee making facilities in the cupboard on which our TVs stood. (We didn’t turn the TVs on so I can not say what kind of channel options are available) the toiletries were lovely, and yes I did bring home my apothecary lavender and tea tree soap. Apparently those toiletries end up in land fill if we don’t take them and the hotels don’t have a charity to hand them on to. Anyway it was a lovely smelling little bar of lavender soap.
A menu offering room service dinners was on the desk, cosy towelling robes were in the bathroom, a spacious cupboard complete with iron and ironing board and even complimentary slippers. The slippers were an absolute blessing as I had forgotten to pack my sandals for going home in and there was no way I could wear my heels from the night before.
The reception area is pretty and the reception staff were friendly. It’s quite a large hotel and I never really did get my bearings. But the lift just beyond reception took us to our cosy, comfortable room.
Breakfast the morning following the wedding was nice. Hot food is cooked to order and cold food such as croissants, cooked meats and cheese, cereals, fruits etc are self service. I chose the smoked haddock served with two perfect poached eggs. Toast (which sadly arrived cold), rather nice fresh coffee, and finished with some Danish pastry. The food was nice, service could do with some improvement, but Mr. Red had the full English and let my try a little of his sausage, it was an impressive meaty and tasty sausage. I had sausage envy.
The dining room for breakfast is overlooking New Street which is the main artery through Birmingham city centre and pedestrianised. It really is a great location and although we didn’t use the bar in the basement there is a very nice bar called Bacchus which is worth a visit.
Part two, the wedding reception.
The wedding reception took place on the first floor in the Hooton suite. There was signage to guide the guests and we had a room outside the actual ballroom where we could get drinks, although we were greeted with a welcoming glass of fizz. Drinks were pricey, but service was friendly and swift and it was a very nice space.
The photo above shows the area outside of the ballroom and the bar, I was stood in the same place but I turned slightly to take In both ends of the room. One end was full of guests but they never quite made it to the empty end, so we did have ample space for mingling. (There was 70 guests in this room)
The Ballroom is a very lovely space with four chandeliers and a wooden dance floor. Even with the evening guests taking the numbers up well over 120 we still had lots of room for dancing and chatting. I don’t know how many people the ballroom can comfortably accommodate but it is a great venue. Our wedding breakfast included duck breast which was served perfectly pink and I really enjoyed my main meal. The evening buffet was also easily accessible as that appeared in the far corner later in the evening. Tragically I was still rather full from my meal earlier so I didn’t get to try any of the buffet but Mr. Red did have a plate of food, and it certainly went down very well.
The foodie photo above shows top left a plate of butter served with our bread rolls, top right lemon meringue dessert, bottom left my chicken roulade starter (very very nice) bottom right duck breast veg and fondant potato.
I did like the children’s menus options, we had two children (under 12) on our table, their main was a burger and their dessert was banana split. Obviously these were the options chosen buy the bride and groom as safe. But it was nice to see suitable child options, I have been to weddings where the children were served the same meals as the adults.
I managed a snap of the ballroom before the dance floor filled up and the lighting was still up high enough to get a decent picture, this is the Bride & Groom having their first dance and their friend who sang and played guitar for their first dance. I think it doesn’t really do justice to the ballroom but it gives you an idea of what a nice space is available. I did ask them if I could use this photo on my blog.
I did enjoy the wedding at the Burlington, it’s a great central location and the staff were lovely, our food was really nice and I slept very well in our comfy room.
One thing that nobody had taken into account was that there is no road access outside the front of the hotel, the main entrance is overlooking a pedestrian shopping street so the Bride and Groom had to be dropped off close by and walk up New Street. For them this was not an issue, but I think it’s something worth mentioning.
I had to finish with this final interior photo, as I think it shows what a charming old hotel the Burlington is. I loved that it still has its original old name of The Midland Hotel both carved into the stonework outside and included in an old stained glass window inside. The MacDonald Burlington is a great choice of hotel for visitors to Birmingham.