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)