The afternoon tea hampers have made Christmas day more special to many families with premature babies in hospital.

A total of fifty five afternoon tea hampers were given to families spending Christmas Day at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The hampers include a selection of quiches, dainty festive flavoured sandwiches, sausage rolls and pretty patisserie. Alanna McCarthy (27) pastry chef at The Chester Hotel made time on Christmas Day to produce scones, mince pies, mini Christmas cakes and gingerbread men to fill the hamper boxes that are being delivered personally to the Special Nursery by hotel owners Gillian and Graham Wood on Christmas morning.


Alanna, who was one of the hotel’s first employees when she joined the kitchen team four years ago, is happy to be giving up part of her own Christmas Day to create the tasty treats. She says, “It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and will hopefully make Christmas Day a little bit easier for the families of these special babies at such a stressful time for them.”

It’s the second year that Gillian and Graham Wood have donated Christmas Day hampers to families at the Special Nursery. Along with the sandwiches and cakes, the hampers contain a cup and saucer along with a selection of teas, a Chester teddy bear and a luxury Molton Brown Christmas Cracker.

Graham Wood says, “Even though Christmas Day is one of our busiest in the year for the hotel everyone in The Chester Hotel team is more than willing to put in extra effort to make up these special hampers.

“We understand how difficult it can be for parents who spend Christmas Day with their babies in the Special Nursery and we hope that the hampers will make Christmas Day a little easier for the families who find themselves in this position this year.”

Gillian and Graham Wood are enthusiastic supporters of The Friends of the Special Nursery Charity and run events throughout the year at The Chester Hotel to raise valuable funds for the charity’s work.


Katie Walters, Head of Fundraising for Friends of The Special Nursery says, “What a wonderful gesture from everyone at The Chester Hotel to bring a little Christmas cheer to the families of our very special babies in the neonatal unit. Although Christmas Day is a normal working day for our dedicated staff, the nurses always try to make the day special. We’re delighted to accept these hampers and would like to thank whole team at The Chester Hotel for their continued and creative support of our work.”

The Friends of the Special Nursery is the charity of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital’s neo natal unit for premature and sick babies.  Since 1984 the charity has helped hundreds of families through difficult times, with some parents spending just a few days with their baby in the unit, whilst other babies need specialist care over a longer period of time and the unit becomes their second home. More about the Friends of the Special Nursery, including how to support and donate can be found at

The Chester Hotel is the only hotel in Aberdeen to hold the AA four silver stars award, and one of only three holders in Scotland. It has 50 luxurious bedrooms and suites in the heart of Aberdeen’s fashionable west end. Complementing The Chester Hotel’s sleek, stylish accommodation is the IX Restaurant, a fine dining establishment which continues to push culinary boundaries in the north east of Scotland both in the main restaurant and in modern private dining rooms. For further information visit

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