Exclusive Dartmoor Wedding Venue & Devon Country House - Coombe Trenchard

Exclusive Dartmoor Wedding Venue ~ Devon Country House

Lauren & Matts Wedding Planning Blog ~ part 5

WeddingsSarah Marsh1 Comment
 A final blog post from Lauren, before this beautiful couple hold their September wedding at Coombe Trenchard.

A final blog post from Lauren, before this beautiful couple hold their September wedding at Coombe Trenchard.

Counting down the days to wedded bliss

With now less than 5 weeks to go everything is beginning to fall into place and is feeling so real! We have counted down the weekends we have left and each one is jam packed with something meaning we have no time left to do anything more, so we just have to have complete trust in our planning so far and hope that it will all come together perfectly on the day – with a huge hand from Sarah, who we know will make sure every detail is accommodated (she’s been amazing for this!).

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We are also spending time over the next few weeks wearing in shoes, practicing our first dance, and hand making all the last little bits for the day.

The 'wedding planning room' at home has spanned so far out I had to have a sit down and sort out last week to remember all the things we have got! It was so exciting going through things knowing the next time they are unpacked will be the night before the wedding.

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We have had nearly all the final appointments with our suppliers, and have settled the final balances with most of them too, which has been such a huge relief as we know now that anything we have extra can go towards the honeymoon - Yippee!

We have booked with Kuoni, and cannot wait for our amazing trip - 3 nights in Bangkok and then off to enjoy the beaches of Thailand for a week!

Our honeymoon will follow on straight after the wedding which will be fantastic as we carry the motion of the day on into the most amazing holiday of our lives!

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After our wedding and honeymoon it will be back to reality with no planning left to do – which will feel really strange! I actually don’t know how I will get on not having something to make every week or contacting people to arrange appointments - although from the amazing people we have met throughout our planning, I am pretty sure I will be in touch with them afterwards.

For example, Kimberly at Changing Faces has been brilliant - Mum and I had our trial for makeup and hair last week and it was just lovely being pampered and trying out different styles and choices. I didn’t really have a specific idea of what I wanted which I thought might make it difficult but I think if you choose a supplier who really knows their stuff, and takes the time to understand you, they can guide you easily. This is exactly what Kimberly did and I was so happy with the results. And it was so special sharing this time with my mum as well, who also looked beautiful!

Neither Matt nor I can wait now for everything that we have planned to come together. The countdown is well and truly on, and I will be sure to write a blog with lots of pictures from the day - our wedding day at Coombe Trenchard (!!) - only next time I'll be signing off as Mrs Lauren West!

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A look back at this years English Country Garden Festival

Events Coombe Trenchard, GardensSarah MarshComment
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A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone that came along and supported our much loved English Country Garden Festival on 2nd and 3rd of June this year

From the exhibitors and stall holders, to the volunteers and charities including Childrens Hospice South West, our media sponsors, Devon Life, and our hard working in-house team and family - all of whom helped us to put on a great event.

Good old fashioned community spirit was flying high throughout the weekend, and I am thrilled to share that the English Country Garden Festival 2018 was a terrific success.

Visitors numbers were up significantly this year, with over 2,500 people through the gates. 

The weather was most kind, our marketing activity made a real impact, and our exciting rebranding was very well received - everyone loved to see Jasper stealing the show on our new event logo designed by Laura of Mingo Mingo Studio.

Lorna and I continue to pay particular attention to the selection of high quality exhibitors, and our visitors remain delighted by what they find when they come along.

It is incredibly important to us that the festival provides a special, memorable, vibrant, high quality experience throughout - with a growing number of repeat visitors year on year, so we always aim to have a 30% range of new exhibitors to the Festival each year.

Our mission is to keep the Garden Festival fresh, interesting and supportive of local enterprise as the event celebrates some of the regions best independent producers, arts, crafts, and growers.

Our return visitor numbers are growing in our 7th year of the festival - and we're told how much they love the event from it's location, to the stalls, the atmosphere and the food.  Several have even declared it a calendar highlight for them, and the word is spreading, so we will continue with our quest to deliver an event that ticks the boxes and is thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The media support we enjoy from Devon Life and Cornwall Life magazines is greatly appreciated - did you see our two page editorial feature together with an exclusive 2 for 1 voucher this year? Our thanks to Andy Cooper and Catherine Courtenay particularly for the editorial and social media support they kindly provide.

This year for the first time, we introduced the ‘return for free on Sunday’ incentive, which proved a remarkable success, as not only did many visitors enjoy a second day for the price of one, but in most cases they returned with a family member of a group of friends.  We shall look to offer a similar scenario for next year, so watch this space. 

The English Country Garden Festival 2019 will be held on 1st and 2nd June 2019.

And we are already plotting and planning new ideas, recruiting new exhibitors and stall holders, as well as inviting our visitor favourites back for another year. 

Would you like to exhibit your wares and join us in 2019?

Our pitch fees are extremely reasonable, so if you or anyone you know would like to apply for an information pack, do get in touch by emailing lorna@coombetrenchard.co.uk

We couldn't create such a wonderful event without each and everyone mentioned above, and we truly appreciate and value your comments, feedback, ideas. We also love to see your images too.

Did you come along this year? 

We'd love to hear from you if you did, and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.

Kind words go a long way to help us here at Coombe Trenchard, so if you could take a moment to leave a Google review on us, we would be so very grateful. Leave a review.

Or if you'd like to share your thoughts and images with us direct, do always feel free to email us. My thanks to those who have already been in touch to say how much you enjoyed this years show, and for the comments on our facebook page too.

To learn that so many of you love Coombe Trenchard almost as much as we do, quite simply makes the hard work worth it.

Wishing you a wonderful summer, and I look forward to sharing more of what we have in store for next years festival with you soon.

Sarah x

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A Chat with Posh Nosh

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

How would you describe your business? 

Posh Nosh is a well-established and versatile business dedicated to giving outstanding levels of service and product. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of wedding cuisine and create bespoke menus from classic, elegant dining through to contemporary, rustic sharing dishes. Our team go out of their way to listen to every client’s individual needs in order to meet all of their expectations and more on their big day.

What is your favourite thing about being involved in the wedding industry? 

The exciting build up to a couples big day (particularly the lay up the day before) and seeing everything come to fruition. There’s no better feeling than looking around a room or marquee full of happy wedding guests all enjoying the food, and it’s also really lovely when we receive a thank you letter from the happy couple after the wedding to say how happy they were with the service they received.

Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words? 

Friendly, Unique and Private

What meal do you feel best fits Coombe Trenchard’s unique atmosphere? 

Elegant Dining or Rustic Table Sharing Platters.

What advice would you offer bridal couples when choosing their caterer? 

Look for experience and quality over cheap deals- there’s a reason for the saying ‘you get what you pay for’! And after hearing some stories from couples, if you receive poor or little communication from your caterers at the beginning, it tends not to bode well for the rest of the working relationship.

What is your favourite thing to cook/serve to bridal couples? 

This is difficult to answer as we have so many options and styles of dining and we are forever creating bespoke dishes to fit in with our couples requirements. But  if we had to choose one, you can’t beat a traditional, formal, plated meal as it looks so aesthetically pleasing when everyone’s dish is exactly the same on the table- we particularly love doing a trio of desserts!

How should bridal couples choose from the amazing options on your menus? 

We would advise the couple to speak directly to our team of dedicated Event Coordinators, who can then get a real feel for their wedding day and advise on specific menus to fit in with their style, theme and personalities. Our team can then look to book the couple in for a private tasting at our HQ where they can go over every element of every dish in detail with our head chef and event coordinators and tweak things to create a menu absolutely perfect for them.

Do you get involved in serving drinks at all? 

Yes, we can provide drinks service from reception drinks through to the toast, and we can provide a ‘free evening bar’ service (including bar front and bar fridge).

What size catering marquee/kitchen space to you require? 

6mx6m

Finally, what excites you most about your job? 

Sometimes we will be in the middle of a field and a challenge will arise and our team will have to think on their feet to solve it and that can really get the blood pumping! After 30 years in the industry you can imagine how many obstacles we’ve had to tackle (including the collapse of a marquee roof in a rainstorm half way through main course!) and luckily them team are excellent at solving problems on the spot and solving them well! But generally it’s just really exciting to work with couples on the build up to their big day, getting as excited as they are on the day and receiving good feedback after the event- we love to be a part of something so special and we get to see some of the most beautiful places the South West has to offer and put smiles on hundreds of faces, we are very lucky people!

You can find out more about the mouth-watering delights of Posh Nosh by browsing their website here. 

A Chat with Jaded Palates

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

We enjoyed a wonderful meeting with Ian from Jaded Palates not too long ago, and feel so happy to be able to recommend his company to our bridal couples. Ian's passion and knowledge are truly impressive and we felt a further chat would be the best way to spread the word about the wonderful things Jaded Palates are doing:

How would you describe your business?

Jaded Palates is all about having fun with fun. Whilst we do have two shops and an online store, we like to think we are more a service business than retail. We hold a lot of events, tastings, food and wine pairings, educational talks to encourage people to see wine as fun and enjoyable, and not intimidating. We get so excited when a customer says to us "oh wow, I never would have thought that. You've really opened our eyes to this whole subject!". That gives us goosebumps!

What is your favourite thing about being involved in the wedding industry?

Being a part of a couples' special day is very exciting. Let's face it, wine is one of the fun parts of any wedding. Whether that's just an easy-drinking sipper bottle of something simple with your meal, or a carefully matched series of wines for each course your caterer/chef have prepared for you, we think wine should be one of the enjoyable things you should be planning, not worrying about it.

What advise would you give to bridal couples when thinking about their wedding wine/drinks?

Make sure you try it before you buy it! And don't be afraid to consider more unusual things - I've provided off-dry white wines for a couple who wanted mostly reds with their spicy Mexican buffet they were planning. They were amazed at how much better they went once we put it to the test!

How do you feel Jaded Palates can assist bridal couples in a unique way?

Quite often wine is one of the last things people think about when planning a wedding - it's often simply left down to a relative to dash down to the supermarket or Majestic to pick something up. We can actually make that part of the process fun - we'll sit down with you and your caterer to come up with something that everyone is happy with, or even send you samples to try if you're not able to be nearby. Our pricing is very reasonable of course (our house wines start at just £5.50), and we offer full sale-or-return for anything that isn't opened on the day, but that should be standard these days. We're all about helping you and providing that personal touch which you can't get anywhere else.

What do you feel is imperative for a wedding wine?

There should be something for everyone, firstly. Quite often people will stick to offering one white and one red because that's simplest. But not everyone likes NZ Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec. Getting a couple of options needn't be more confusing or expensive. But more importantly, it should just be good! It sounds simple, and everyone's palate is different, but a well-made wine is not always that common.

How do you advise couples keep guests happy with their drinks selection?

As above really - offer a little variety (as well as perhaps a little information on each wine if they aren't sure - we can help with this, of course!), and enough of it! You're better off getting too much than too little: you can always return it and you'll only pay for what was opened.

How much wine to you allow per guest when totalling up how much is needed?

Every wedding is different of course, and it depends on the size: larger weddings are perhaps counter-intuitively a bit easier to cater for, because things average out more evenly. But on the whole, you plan for roughly 1/2 to 3/4 a bottle of wine per person in total. Some won't drink much if anything, others much more. But it usually averages out at around that.

 

Tell us about your shops and what you offer for visitors to them. 

We're based in small-ish towns in Dartmoor, and very much part of the local communities we serve. We keep our selection purposefully quite small - choice is often far too intimidating when it comes to wine in my view. Why have 25 wines from the same region and leave the choice to the customer? I see our job as partly being to pick the best and put them on display, so that no matter which bottle is picked up and taken home, it will be really good. We do a lot of tasting events in store, and in Ashburton, we have a tasting room with 16 wines in dispensers permanently for people to try. It's often a great starting point for a hen or stag night too...!

 

 

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

Seriously?! I get to talk about wine all day every day. What is not to like..?!

What our friends say about Coombe Trenchards English Country Garden Festival

Events Coombe Trenchard, GardensSarah MarshComment
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Time really does fly - and I cannot quite believe that we will be hosting our much loved English Country Garden Festival once again next weekend on the 2nd and 3rd of June.

The festival is a labour of love for us all here at Coombe Trenchard, and for our stall holders, our dear friends, supporters, and our volunteers - all of whom help us to ensure year on year, the weekend is seamless and throughly enjoyed by everyone.

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As the last 7 days leading up to our cheery festival unfold, and we crank up a gear with all the preparations this brings, I thought I'd share a few words from a loyal member of the Coombe Trenchard community, Miranda Waite.

Miranda is the wonderful step daughter of Lorna Vanier, and for those that don't know, Lorna is indeed my right hand lady when it comes getting this show on the road each year, and I am extremely grateful to both Lorna and Miranda for their support.

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Q. Tell us a little about yourself, and how you first became involved with the English Country Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard?

A. I came to visit the festival the first year it started 7 years ago, and not only did I fall in love with the setting and location, I really enjoyed the variety of stalls and the friendly happy atmosphere.

Q. The Festival is delighted to welcome visitors and stall holders from across the South West, with a great emphasis on supporting local independent businesses and the tranquil setting that Coombe Trenchard gardens lend. For those that haven’t visited the festival before – can you share some personal highlights from previous years?

A. There is so much - it’s hard to pinpoint! I really love the plants, the artwork and sculptures, and the crafts. The crafts are brilliant every year and it's great to see many small independent local businesses and their wares.

Q. What would you say is unique and extra special about the annual festival, something that you perhaps don’t see at other garden shows?

A. The setting is second to none - you can't beat having a lovely Pimms whilst watching the croquet and soaking up the atmosphere (and hopefully the sunshine!) in the beautiful gardens.

Q. Can you tell us what you are most look forward to seeing and enjoying at the Festival this year?

A. The lovely selection of stalls - many familiar faces and there are always some new gems that Sarah and Lorna have found to be part of the show. Oh, and the food - the chance to enjoy some delicious food!

Q. Do you have a favourite spot within the Gardens and grounds of Coombe Trenchard?

A. There are so many beautiful spots on the estate, but I have to say I do love walking down through the woodland walk to arrive at the festival, it's so peaceful and unspoiled.

Q. Local foodie stalls and drinks play a huge part at events like this – tell us which stalls you will be savouring this year. 

A. The tea on the lawn.. with lots of home made cakes - plenty of Gluten free too! It's a real treat!

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Q. The cream tea debate lives on – tell us, is it Clotted Cream first or Strawberry Jam?

A. Living in Cornwall now, I really ought to say jam first, which is the Cornish way....but I must confess I actually like my cream tea the Devon way, Clotted Cream first with a large splodge of jam on the top! 

Q. And finally, if you had to sum up the English Country Garden Festival in just three words, what would they be.

A. Beautiful. Delightful... and Delicious!

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Heartfelt thanks to Miranda for these kind words which are echoed by so many of our visitors. Every year I am blown away by the lovely cards and notes of thanks which are sent to me after the festival - it is one of the reasons why I will continue to look forward sharing my home with others for years to come.

See you on the 2nd & 3rd of June!

Sarah xx