Fairyhill fights back
If you’ve been living under a rock in Wales for the last week, you might have missed our exciting plans to transform into the exclusive wedding venue of your dreams. It’s made quite the impact on social media, and we’ve received some great support.
In fact, last week, Swansea City legend, Leon Britton came down to break ground on our exciting extension project. Leon had visited our restaurant a few times, and whilst we’re sure he’ll have a hard time scouring Swansea for a better Beef Wellington, he had nothing but support for our next chapter.
However, not everyone was as positive about the change. With any big news story, there’s always going be some keyboard warriors lurking in the comments section.
In light of some of the unfounded and irrational comments, we thought we’d address a few key points…
“Fairyhill will make more money as a wedding venue than a hotel”
Surely the premise of any successful business is to make money? A business can’t survive on memories and love alone. In order to keep Fairyhill’s doors open, we have to adapt and embrace the market whilst meeting customer demand.
Fairyhill is not publicly owned, nor is it a museum or a charity. It’s part of the ‘Oldwalls Collection’, a local family business that started from humble beginnings a decade ago. Having grown into one of the most successful wedding businesses in the country through sheer dedication and hard work, we’re confident that this is the right step to ensure that this Grade II listed venue can be enjoyed for years to come.
“You’re neglecting loyal customers who won’t be able to enjoy your venue anymore”
Ah, that old chestnut. This comment crept up quite a lot, yet we didn’t recognise any of the names as “regular” customers. Funny that. We kept Fairyhill open to the public for as long as possible, but it was no longer commercially viable. When we acquired the property, bookings were few and far between. People visiting once a year for special occasions wasn’t enough to sustain the business. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
James Powell, one of Fairyhill’s loyal employees of over 20 years, hit the nail on the head. “Having worked at Fairyhill for the last 21 years it became quieter and quieter in recent years. It couldn’t survive as it was. Something needed to change. With all the comments about family memories and future parties, not enough people were using Fairyhill regularly enough to maintain a viable restaurant business. Even by making it more accessible we just weren't busy enough to keep going. It is a shame it won't be as it was but things need to change even if it doesn't suit everyone.”
Well said, James. Well said.
“The extension plans aren’t in keeping with the style of a listed property”
You’re right. The extension plans are modern. But here’s a little news flash: when we proposed a design that was in keeping with the Georgian architecture, it was rejected. The modern extension was actually proposed by CADW and Swansea Council. So we suggest that a few people do their homework before jumping on the bandwagon to criticise the design.
“A business shouldn’t fight back against its customers”
Lastly, we want to address the reasons as to why we’re speaking out. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and we welcome feedback. But when individuals make comments without any understanding of commercial factors or circumstances, it starts to grate. Such comments can be damaging to independent businesses, so we’ve made the decision to speak out. Fortunately, the local press and most customers seem to agree that we’ve made the right choice in doing so.
Fairyhill is transforming and its legacy will live on for centuries to come. The iconic design of its time will attract thousands of guests to Gower each year and make Fairyhill one of the best places to get married in UK. This is a great opportunity to make history together; cheers to the next chapter!
Posted by Shakira Obaid on
24 November 2017 at 12:00 AM