Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Barnsley House Christmas (in a chestnut shell)

Barnsley House really is the place to be throughout December and over the Christmas period! Whether you're a member of staff, diner or residential guest, there really is a magical atmosphere throughout with our roaring log fires and garden inspired decor created by our wonderful garden team.

Over the past two years we've been very lucky to work closely with Weddings by Nicola & Geln; (a favourite recommended supplier of ours) who have kindly been visiting us in order to capture some of this Christmas cheer on camera.

As soon as December begins, we start hosting corporate and leisure guests for their parties and get-togethers. Head chef Francesco delivers a great seasonal menu including Haunch of venison, neeps, tatties, haggis and whiskey sauce followed by Christmas pudding, butterscotch sauce and clotted cream. Meanwhile over at The Village Pub, Local pheasant, bacon, bubble and squeak, buttered kale and blackberry sauce with Banoffee bread and butter pudding for dessert is on offer.

Both our Midweek and Sunday cinema events get taken over by everyone's favourite Christmas films over the festive period. From 'It's a Wonderful Life' to 'Elf' there is something for everyone!

Our annual Wreath Making class with Flowers By Passion; was a blazing success this year with an extra session added in the evening! This event is great to attend with friends or alone and includes a two course meal. The highlight of course is taking home the wreath that you have made!

The ultimate highlight of our Christmas build up has to be our Carol Concert which we hold at St Mary's church in Barnsley village. This is available as a package including an overnight stay (or without) and really does get you in the mood! Including various charity donations with raffle prizes worth £300.00, the concert provides the perfect balance of food, drink, carols and candlelight. The Wassailers lead the carols in the house and in the church whilst actors (this year included Joe Jameson, Christopher Logan, Sarah MacRoae, Thalissa Teixeira & Jacqueline Tong) perform seasonal readings during the service. 

The concert is preceded by drinks and mince pies at the house and followed by dinner in The Potager.

Whilst still enjoying Christmas cinema nights and parties, we are now preparing to welcome our Christmas guests on Christmas Eve and New Years guests on 31st.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas, from all of the team at Barnsley House.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Q&A with The New Mr & Mrs Viney!

The first time I met Lucy and Chris, we fell into an easy and natural friendship which just makes my job soooooo pleasurable. They have kindly answered a few questions to tell the story of their wedding from their point of view:

Can you share your proposal story?
It was our 4 year anniversary and we were planning to go away (to Barnsley House!!!) for the weekend to celebrate. I was on my way back from work and Chris asked if I could come to Battersea park to meet him because he'd bought a hot dog but had left his wallet at home.  This is typically quite a Chris thing to do, and his wallet was actually at home when I went back to pick up the car.  I drove to the park and when I got there Chris led me to the spot where we had had our first date and asked me to marry him!  I was genuinely so surprised!  We drove home, drunk champagne, called friends and family and then drove down to Barnsley House first thing the next morning for the best celebratory weekend imaginable!

What made Barnsley House stand out to you as a wedding venue?
We looked at a number venues all over the country.  We wanted a summer wedding which would be outside with lots of space and greenery and something that felt special and intimate.  Barnsley House couldn't be more perfect for this and, on top of that, the village pub and church both being within walking distance were huge factors for us.  We loved it that our guests could just walk back from the ceremony to the reception and we pretty much took over the entire village by renting out the pub too!  
Having stayed at Barnsley House for our engagement weekend, we knew how excellent the service was and the food and drink was never anything less than perfect.  We were so excited about the prospect of inviting our family and friends to stay with us for the night of the wedding in the most beautiful hotel and setting.  

Whats your top tip for wedding planning?
Even if you think you have lots of time to play with, do as much as you can as soon as you can!  And - work with a planner that knows the venue really well.  Rachel was a gift from the heavens above and her advice and knowledge of the venue, and what worked and didn't work at previous events, was invaluable.  

Any regrets or things you'd do differently.
Chris and I really did have the best day(s) of our lives.  We didn't want it to end and spent hours reliving every detail.  One detail which I might have done differently would have been to have even more flowers than we did because they looked amazing and you can never have too many!

Highlight of the day:


Lucy had entered the church and was coming up the aisle. I was faced towards the alter and the Vicar wouldn’t let me look round at her until she was just behind me. When he finally gave me the nod, I turned and saw Lucy and was overwhelmed by so many things at once - the music, the happiness of all my friends and family - but far more than any of that, I was overwhelmed that this stunning women was about to become my wife. It was the first and only time that I’ve experienced a moment of perfection. 

I felt so elated after the ceremony! It was the best feeling in the world.  We walked around to the back of church and met Elise who was waiting for us with two glasses of ice cold champagne which we drunk while waiting for our guests to exit the church and line up for confetti throwing (also an amazing experience!).  It was so special to have those first few moments together to take it all in.  
Our speeches were also such a highlight.  Chris, my mum and Alex (Chris's brother) all said the most beautiful things and our speech spot at the temple was sublime.  The sun was coming down and everything looked like it was glowing. 

Chris, how did Lucy's dress compare to what you'd imagined?
I did imagine something sleek and elegant. Lucy is not the sort of person that would go for a meringue. However, I was blown over by just how elegant it was. The fact that there were 3,000 hand stitched petals on the dress tells you all you need to know about the level of craftsmanship and design that went into creating it. A thing of beauty. 

Suppliers involved in this magical day: (All images used in this post are by Charley)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

We Won! - TWIA 2017

Last week, my assistant Elise and I were lucky enough to attend The Wedding Industry Awards (South West) at nearby Old Down Manor.

Having been shortlisted last month, we were in the running for 'Best Wedding Team' and it's with both shock and delight that I can tell you all that WE WON!

Once nominated, it was all down to our wonderful couples of the last year to cast their votes and leave their comments. We cannot thank you all enough!

It's not over just yet..... from here, the regional winners like us all go forward to the national awards held in January for which all winners are re-examined before the national winner is announced.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

'Quintessentially Barnsley House'

If you follow us on social media (Instagram in particular), you will know that we have been super spoilt this summer with the most amazing run of stunning weddings.

Though I don’t have the time to write about them all, I knew from the day itself that I really wanted to feature this wedding of Claire & Nick as to me, it was quintessentially Barnsley House.

With a great combination of our recommended suppliers, great taste and an amazing couple, the results were just beautiful and with the addition of the great British sunshine the house was full of smiles.

The amazing team at Flowers by Passion complimented the gorgeous Barnsley gardens perfectly with lots of greens and pastel colours - just look at those pedestals! 

As is her forte, Jennie at Curtis and Co. Cakes themed the cake perfectly in line with the flowers and decor.

Once again, with their surroundings at the forefront of their minds, Claire & Nick added seeds as their favours with a nod to Claire's Irish roots. These were accompanied by our signature place cards and rosemary (though in this case, our couple did use a professional supplier for their calligraphy).  

They also chose my personal favourite from our wedding menu; Francesco's Beef Wellington, Parsley Potato Puree, Roasted Vegetables and Port Gravy - always a crowd pleaser!

The evening continued with our beautiful temple cocktail bar, crack baby shots (!) and Fake Tan - the most energetic band I have ever seen. They guys not only look fab dressed all in white but bring so much life to the party, the dance floor was full from the first note!

Featured suppliers:
With special thanks to for the wonderful images used in today's post.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

An English country garden with a touch of Morocco!

Nina & Erik’s wedding was always going to be amazing as Nina had such a strong concept of how she wanted the day to be and to look.

With guests and families the world over, the Petersson wedding was a four day affair beginning on Thursday evening with an arrival dinner, a Moroccan evening and BBQ on Friday, the wedding itself falling on the Saturday and finally a farewell brunch for everyone on Sunday.

Both ambitious and hard-working, Nina & Erik took their wedding as the perfect opportunity to spend time with one another and their families in the wonderful setting of Barnsley House. Nina looked absolutely stunning in her beautiful dress and Erik, tall, blond and handsome in his perfectly tailored suit. Their looks as well as their personalities are the perfect combination.

For me, the Moroccan theming was a highlight as The Raj Tent Club completely transformed the Barnsley House lawns with the addition of low level seating with vases and props to enhance the look.

The lovely marquee from The Pearl Tent Company was also unique to Nina and Erik complete with a stunning hanging floral arrangement at its centre, singing bridesmaids, rapping ushers and my first introduction to ‘Swedish House Rules’ introduced to everyone at the beginning of the wedding breakfast by Erik’s sister.

I love how over the course of the weekend, the guests used every inch of the space we have to offer whether for activities, photos (captured by the very talented Thierry Joubert) or just for additional seating (not to mention the groomsmen’s wedding morning game of tennis). Barnsley House matched Nina’s vision perfectly and the house and grounds were embraced just as they are meant to be.

Suppliers featured:

Thursday, 8 September 2016

In other news...

When I am not planning and running Barnsley House Weddings, I am concentrating on other in house events; predominantly private parties and corporate events.

Recently, I have been given two fab opportunities to spend time with local suppliers recommend by us here at Barnsley in order to find out more about what they do and how their workshops can enhance my client's time at Barnsley House.

Georgie Case (Conference and Meetings Manager at Calcot Manor) and I spent an evening at the wonderful 'Foodworks' - an amazing cookery school that we recommend to groups who want an offsite activity during their stay. We had the chance to try our hand at some Moroccan cuisine and at the end of the evening all sat down together to have a glass of wine and eat what we'd made! It was a really unique experience that I would recommend not only with friends but also as a great activity to do with colleagues that you don't know that well as you do everything as a group and get to know each other in a relaxed environment.
Georgie and me getting hot at the hob!

The fruits of our labour!

My next evening out was hosted by Willcox & Tuckey, one of my favorite recommended florists. I have know Maria & Sara throughout my career in the wedding industry and apart from doing THE BEST wedding flowers, they now offer these fun, interactive workshops perfect for hen parties, corporate activities or just something a little different to do with your friends. As a bride to be, it's also a great way of gleaning inspiration from two very experienced professionals as well as thinking about what your floral wedding style is going to be.

Attending the workshop at Maria's farm meant that we were able to cut our own stems from the amazing cutting garden before learning how to arrange them into a lovely hand tied bouquet over a glass of prosecco (notice a theme here!) 

Once again, our work was not to be wasted and we each took home the flowers we had lovingly arranged.

A huge thank you to Foodworks and to Willcox & Tuckey for two fun, productive evenings. You can read more about what both do by following the links below:

And last but not least, photo credit to the very talented Laura Power:

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Waiting for Wedding Season

As the summer draws closer we cannot wait for the wedding season to really kick off. We've already had some beautiful weddings here at Barnsley House this year and have many more coming our way particularly over the next few months.

It seems that a lot of my wedding friends are feeling equally excited and nostalgic as lots of Barnsley House weddings have been appearing in blogs and on social media all week! Here are a couple of posts I have come across on my online travels.....

I look forward to updating you all with this years' weddings very soon.

Photo credit:

For information, please contact Rachel; / 01285 740000

Friday, 18 March 2016


What struck me most about Amy & Kim as soon a met them and even now, is their undying love for each other, and for Barnsley House!

Amy comes from Guernsey, Kim from Nashville and they live together in London so the middle of the Cotswolds may not have been the most obvious choice however, when you see them here enthusiastically talking about the house and of course their wedding plans, there is no other venue that would have done!

Amy & Kim played the wedding card perfectly – a glorious, traditional white wedding absolutely full of their own personalities and quirks from Amy’s stack of cheese & Kim’s stack of cookies (with milk for dipping) taking the place of a wedding cake, to the incorporation of their favourite Mexican traditions; shots of Patron & their own recipe tacos for the evening.

The girls arrived at the very beginning of their wedding week which gave us all here at Barnsley the rare opportunity to really get to know the couple and spend some quality time with them in the build up to big day. More and more family arrived day by day as Kim & Amy religiously stuck to their wedding workout program using our conference centre to exercise each day, the marquee went up and before we knew it, it was time for the Friday evening BBQ getting everyone together to begin the celebrations.

Amy & Kim introduced us to the wonderful Papakata (who have since worked here many times) and decided to erect a second marquee over the ceremony area to ward off any unwanted weather. So of course, with this in place, the sun shone brightly and it may have been one of the nicest days we had all summer!

Champagne, Nashville Sweet tea and Guernsey ‘Roquette’ Cider was enjoyed on the beautiful lawns by guests relaxing on the hay bales or in arm chairs as we ‘brought the inside out’ for brilliant photo opportunities.

Dinner was served in Papakata’s incredible Sperry Tent amongst the vegetable and ornamental gardens before we returned to the house to party collecting Kim’s Bramble or Amy’s Margarita to keep them going en route!

The guests danced the night away in the Potager restaurant as the girls changed into shorter wedding dresses for the evening festivities and I can honestly say, there wasn’t a guest in the house without a huge smile!

It won’t be long before Amy & Kim return to Barnsley House for their first anniversary and we cannot wait to welcome them back with a shot of Patron!

The wonderful suppliers involved:

For more information about weddings at Barnsley House please contact me,
Rachel: / 01285 740000