Hailing from Edinburgh, Gill Donaldson has spent her life in Scottish hospitality, a trade she followed her inspirational grandmother into, and one she has been passionate about since she first served up lumpy potatoes onto a hospital kitchen conveyor belt!
She is now settled in bonny Perthshire, and is the conference and sales manager at the wonderful Huntingtower Hotel. Quite apart from enjoying an office that overlooks the stunning grounds of this popular Perth hotel, Gill's job comes with the added bonus of variety. No two days are the same, with Gill the person in charge of weddings, christenings, corporate events and 100th birthday parties!
A woman who loves her industry, she can be found in her spare time dining in Cafe Tabou, drinking gin in The Venue - Ophir and fresh red chillis if anyone is buying - or cooking one of the marvellous sauces that granny number two taught her.
Tell us the weirdest / funniest thing that has ever happened to you at work?
Back in the 90’s there was the European Summit being held in Edinburgh, the hotel that I was working in had Helmut Kohl, who was the Chancellor of Germany at the time staying with us. All of the staff had to be vetted by the police right back to which primary school we attended, we were then given different levels of access security within the hotel whilst our special guests were with us.
Helmut Kohl arrived back at the hotel at 11.30pm at night wishing to have icecream and malt whisky. The whole of the street next to the restaurant was closed off to traffic and pedestrians with armed police on top of the building next door; I was the only person on site at that time of night with full security clearance to deal with him. I was running about like a headless chicken serving up icecream and malt whisky to Helmit Cole and his entourage
What signals the start of your days off?
A large glass of Malbec, followed by a nice dinner
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I ride a 600 cc motorbike and also go out scuba diving a couple of times each month around Scotland brrr.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
Scuba diving with sharks somewhere amazing
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I don’t think I have had a worst job, I have been lucky that I have always enjoyed what I have done. The weirdest job would be when I was 17yrs old and worked part time in a hospital kitchen on the conveyer belt serving up the patient’s meals. The tray would go up the middle on the conveyer belt and if the menu card had potatoes, you would put a dollop of lumpy potatoes on the plate, it would then move on to the next person who would add the peas..and so on, and eventually end up in the hot trolleys to go to the patients.
Who or what inspires you?
My two grandmothers are my biggest inspiration! One worked in hospitality all of her life and was always proud that I had followed into the trade, and the other taught me as a 7/8 year old how to cook and make basic sauce – I am forever grateful for that.
Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
Any of my trips to Stobo Castle – It’s so relaxing!
What’s the best part about your job?
Seeing a couple on their wedding day having taken them from the first viewing of the hotel and through all their nervous moments on the lead up, and catching up with them afterwards to hear what an amazing day they have had.
Complete this sentence; the best things in life are…
My family, followed by scuba diving and fine wine.
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