What a history this beautiful building has had. Rising from the ashes and wearing its history proudly with with the charred marks from its past featured in carefully thought out renovations, The Guildford Hotel nevertheless carries its modern touches with ease. A feast for the eyes if you love atmosphere, the Vaudeville Room, and the Hiscox Courtyard are especially oozing with the charm of yesteryear, while at the same time giving us glimpses of the domed ceiling through modern skylights with stark black steel beams, and the parties held within. A modern menu featuring all sorts of hearty food (fried pumpkin tacos, with pickled shallot, soft cheese, & spiced almonds anyone?) is sure to satisfy hungry guests and the beauty of the space is enhanced with as little or as much decor as you wish. Like the grand old lady that she is, this venue has the grace and charm of yesteryear, at the same time lifting her skirts for a gracious amble into the future. Let’s join Seiko as she shares her story.
Where is The Guildford Hotel situated?
The Guildford Hotel is located on the corner of James Street and Johnson Street in Guildford.
Guildford was one of the first original towns established in Perth in 1829.
Please give us a brief history of The Guildford Hotel.
In 1883 the first development of The Guildford Hotel took place. George Hiscox then took ownership in 1891 and established the hotel as we know it today.
On the 1st September 2008 the venue was engulfed in flames leaving only an empty shell. The venue was abandoned for 7 years before the re-opening on the 23rd May 2016.
This is said to be the third “Guildford” Hotel.
Has it been recently renovated? What was the idea/mission behind the renovation?
The venue was renovated for the re-opening in 2016.
As the original building had burnt down and was left abandoned for 7 years. The idea was to restore the venue to its closest original styling. A lot of our items in the venue have been restored from its original state such as the bar tops. They were charred during the fire and have been resealed.
Please describe the wedding spaces. How would you describe their style?
Our Vaudeville room is our only private function space located on the upper level of the venue. We use this room for our weddings.
The Vaudeville room has a romantic rustic feel to it with exposed brick walls, timber flooring and wooden furnishings. Light floods the venue with large arched windows situated on the western wall.
What is the history of the Vaudeville Room? How many guests can this room hold?
The Vaudeville room is named after the Vaudeville Theatre which was established in 1899. This venue was located adjacent to the Guildford Hotel. The building itself is still standing and can be seen through the original windows in the Vaudeville room.
We can have a maximum of 110 guests in the Vaudeville room cocktail style and 80 guests for a seated reception.
Are couples able to hold both their ceremony and their reception at the venue?
Yes, we do allow for both the ceremony and reception to be held in the venue.
Is the room a space that has to have a lot of decoration or does it lend itself to minimal decoration too?
No, not at all. The Vaudeville room is absolutely beautiful on its own. However a little bit of styling can also lift it that little bit more.
What are some lovely décor ideas you’ve seen for the space?
Lighting is a big one I love in that space. Fairy lights trickling down the exposed brick walls really gives off that rustic charm. Another is just simply including florals. Adding some greenery, whether it be small arrangements in mason jars or an intricate long and low on the bridal table. Just adding those pops of colour into your styling can liven up the venue so quickly.
What food is on offer for the Guildford Grand Feast?
Our Grand Feast menu is primarily focused on our smoked meats. Dishes are set down the centre of the table – similar to your family Sunday dinner. This gives the chance for all of your guests to try a little bit of everything. Think comfort foods like pulled pork, smoked brisket, corn bread and coleslaw.
Do you offer other wedding packages?
Yes, we offer cocktail package for wedding as well. However our canapes are a little different to what you’re used to. Our canapes are a soothing mix of your classic pub share foods with a Smokey twist. Our smoker out in the Beer Garden is constantly smoking meats which you can smell throughout the venue – lending the memory that you are in the previously burnt down venue.
Do you offer food and wine matching advice to bridal couples?
No. As we do not offer fine dining I do not offer food and wine matching. I like to advise our couples to customize their beverages to their personal preference and guest preferences.
We are happy to offer a wine tasting and advice on certain beverages.
Are they able to have a tasting of the menu before deciding on the final dishes?
Yes. We do offer menu tastings for our couples. We also have the ability to be flexible with the menu itself and cater it to our bride and groom’s preferences.
Is there a special dish on the menu that everyone raves about?
Everybody loves our Cheeseburger spring rolls. We’re kind of famous for them.
Is a wedding planner on hand to assist with the wedding day and with all the details leading up to the day?
Yes there is. I meet with the Bride and Groom 2-3 times in the lead up to their wedding to go over all of the details from menu selections, timings and suppliers. I then coordinate the set-up on their wedding day, greet them on arrival and see them through to their first course.
Do you have a list of vendors you can recommend to the bridal couple?
I do recommend vendors I have used in the past whose work I know well. At this stage we do not offer a set vendors list as I like to customize my recommendations based on the Bride and Grooms personal style.
What do bridal couples most remark on when having their weddings at The Guildford Hotel?
I would have to say the food is a big one. There are always amazing comments about our wedding menu. I’d also have to say the service they receive and how friendly the staff are.
Thank you Seiko for sharing The Guildford Hotel story. What a beautiful historic building to start your married life at together! To find out more about The Guildford Hotel visit the website.
Headshot courtesy of Seiko Humble, The Guildford Hotel.