Ferguson & Forrester
Ferguson & Forrester, Restaurateurs, Purveyors, and Confectioners, 36, Buchanan Street.ó
Beyond all doubt the largest and most important system of purveying and catering operations controlled by any firm whose headquarters are situate beyond that mighty centre, London, is that carried on by Messrs. Ferguson & Forrester, the eminent restaurateurs, purveyors, and confectioners. This distinguished and thoroughly representative house was established in 1841 at its present address and under its present title, and owes the solid laying of the foundation of its splendid prosperity to the energy, capacity, and wisely directed efforts of the two first principals, Mr. Ross Ferguson and Mr. Alexander Forrester. The subsequent strengthening of that foundation, and the continuous fortifying of the fine fabric of success and good fortune based thereon, are to be accredited to the present head of the concern ó the sole principal, Mr. William Guilford.
This able, energetic, and exceedingly popular gentleman, who is of English birth, joined Mr. Forrester as manager in 1875, and occupied that responsible position until 1878. In that year Mr. Guilford entered into negotiations with Mr .Ross Ferguson, son of the founder of that name, and these negotiations resulted in the formation of a partnership between the two, and in the taking over of the business by them from Mr. Alexander Forrester, who had succeeded to the whole business on the death of his partner in 1875. The latter is now deceased, and Mr. Ross Ferguson has also died within the last three years, leaving Mr. Guilford alone at the head of the house. His term of sole proprietorship has been productive of results which have more than ever fortified the position of the concern among the foremost British undertakings of its kind. The original title has been appropriately retained ; all old-time traditions and creditable characteristics have been duly preserved.
Messrs. Ferguson & Forrester are purveyors, restaurateurs, and caterers in the fullest and broadest sense of those significant words. Their establishment in Buchanan Street, is one of the most notable features of that fine thoroughfare, and there is not a bon vivant in Glasgow, or an epicure worthy of the name, that could not come blindfolded from well-nigh any part of the city and unhesitatingly make entrance through its inviting portals. The premises are exceedingly spacious and commodious, and extend quite through from Buchanan Street, past Princes Square, and nearly abut upon Queen Street. They are elegantly appointed in every detail, and fitted with all the conveniences and comforts that modem art can suggest.
The ground floor contains the large and handsomely furnished shop and luncheon-room, and on either side of this, and opening out from it, are the special rooms for ladies and the private rooms for small parties of diners. Farther on is the main dining-hall, a recently developed feature, to which a large addition has lately been made, by forming two ante-rooms into a vestibule. Here every point of furniture and equipment is the embodiment of comfort and commodiousness, and the decorations of the saloon are in exceptionally good taste. Mr. Guilford has also consulted the requirements of his patrons very acceptably in providing a large and well-appointed smoking and chess-room, and it should be mentioned that a valuable installation of electric lighting plant supplies advantageous artificial illumination in the dining-hall. A specialitť is a diner du jour of several courses, which is served daily in the dining-hall from 5.30 till 8 p.m.
In the basement are manifested all the working details of the establishment. Here are the large cooking departments, one for the trade conducted on the premises, the other for outside orders and contracts. Here also are the larder, the packing-room, champagne, wine, and spirit cellars, the special room for groceries, the beer-cellar, the aerated water and liquor stores, the plate-room, and the department reserved and expressly designed for the making of all kinds of ices and confectioneries. Throughout this part of the premises the care and consideration in matters of equipment, which have made the whole establishment a model of its kind, are once more prominently illustrated. Still further extensions and alterations of the premises are about to be effected in order to further enhance their commodiousness and convenience.
On the occasion of the Prince of Walesís visit to the Tyne, Mr. Guilford took two hundred assistants and fifty tons of provisions to Newcastle, and was especially complimented by his Royal Highness on the efficiency of his catering. An idea of the splendid resources and capabilities of the house may further be gleaned from the fact that at the festivities attendant upon the laying of the foundation-stone of the new municipal buildings in Glasgow, Mr. Guilford superintended the purveying of eatables and drinkables to over seven thousand festive citizens in one day. This was the largest undertaking ever entered into by the firm, and its successful issue is a lasting tribute to the seemingly infinite capacity for organisation and management characteristic of its energetic and hard-working proprietor. Messrs. Ferguson & Forrester hold the royal warrant of appointment as caterers to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.
Mr. Guilford has recently assumed control and taken possession of the Grand Hotel at Charing Cross, Glasgow, one of the most commodious and popular of the many fine modem hotels of the city. Since its first opening the hotel has undergone extensive and costly alterations and improvements, and its position to-day is among the finest hotels of the United Kingdom ó a status in the occupation of which it is fully sustained by the opinions of press and public in both the old and new worlds. There are over two hundred apartments, including a noble suite of coffee and table díhŰte rooms, with reading-room adjoining ; elegantly appointed ladiesí drawing-room ; a grand banqueting hall for large dinner parties ; suites of private apartments and suites for wedding parties, all sumptuously furnished ; a fine billiard-room, fitted with tables by Burroughs & Watt ; rooms for the meetings of literary and artistic clubs, with which the hotel is a prime favourite ; a smoke-room; an improved and handsomely equipped passenger elevator, and several bath-rooms on each floor, with hot and cold spray, douche, plunge, and shower baths, and every modern convenience in connection therewith. There are also a branch post-office and a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the building, together with a chemistís shop, open night and day, and several other places of business likely to be of convenience to guests. The Continental languages are spoken, and a night porter is always in attendance. The name of Messrs. Ferguson & Forrester is ample and sufficient guarantee for the unexceptionable excellence of the cuisine and the cellar ; and the situation of the hotel combines every good point of accessibility, attractiveness, and selectness. The Grand Hotel is particularly suitable for families, and also for ladies travelling alone, being in a fashionable part of the city, and quite free from all unpleasant noise and bustle. Finally, with moderate charges, the Grand Hotel can safely rely for a continuance of the large and distinguished patronage it has long and deservedly enjoyed. In the past achievements and present reputation of the eminent public caterer now in control of the house we have the fullest assurance that that design and purpose will not be relinquished at any point short of complete realisation and accomplishment.
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