Exclusive Dartmoor Weddings & Seasonal Events - Coombe Trenchard

Exclusive Limited Edition Weddings & Seasonal Events

DevonWeddings

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..?!

A Chat With Oaktree Occasions

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Hot on the heels of our newly updated suppliers list, we felt it was important to give an insight into our favourite wedding contributors. Over the cosy Winter period, we will be posting 'chats' with our favourite suppliers to better inform our bridal couples about the service offered by these fantastic companies. 

Firstly, our thoughts turned to food, and Coombe Trenchard's favoured caterer: Oaktree Occasions. We are huge fans of Oaktree Occasions here at Coombe Trenchard: they offer exacting, friendly professionalism and ensure each and every morsel of food served is a delight. Caroline and Jo are also incredibly efficient and wonderful to work with, and we do so enjoy welcoming them to Coombe Trenchard. 

How would you describe your business?

Catering Specialists for every and any event, delivering stunning, handmade locally sourced food, chosen by our clients to their exact specifications, served to you in an exceptionally professional way with a unique eye for detail in every area of our business.

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

Every week, every client, menu and location, being different!

The excitement of meeting a prospective client, especially those with a challenge or conundrum that needs solving, be that menu choices to please everyone, which style of service to have-sharing-informal-plated, resolve any timing issues and advise how to best plan your day. Generally being able to pass on all our invaluable knowledge and ability to problem solve to give our clients the best solutions and ensure a hassle free flawless day to remember, ending with an open and honest relationship between us ,which is as it should be when we are trusted to look after clients on one of the most important days of there lives!

Can you describe Coombe Trenchard in three words?

Endless    Delightful    Possibilities

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

We would always advise using the seasons to guide you and honestly we have such a wide range of menus and styles of service, with careful styling and Coombe Trenchard’s unique locations pretty much anything is a possibility!

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

Do your homework first! Professional wedding and event caterers will normally adhere to a set of standards which are clear to see.

Always try and meet face to face at their premises if you can: you should be able to gauge straight away their professionalism, and whether they are everything they proclaim to be. Have a rough idea of timings (any experienced wedding caterer should be able to assist you with this) and put some thought to your whole wedding party and the needs of the group as a whole, for example Grandma may not like your favourite spicy treat that you would love to have!

Tell your caterer everything about your special day and how you envisage it to be, your dreams, your worries and anything unique that may affect the caterers, (such as disappearing on horseback for two hours for photographs after the ceremony)

The quotation should be clear, concise and as transparent as possible based on the information given. This will ensure there are no hidden costs to you. Your caterer will be an important part of your day, we would expect to have a reasonable dialogue with any bride and groom before the day, so you also need to be comfortable with your caterer.

Tastings should always be available to help make those final decisions, remember it is also a business transaction so ask for terms and conditions, how to secure your booking (you don’t want your caterer to double book you), and payment terms...sorry.... but it is easy to get swept up in the occasion.

Finally any reputable wedding caterer of any standing should have a wealth of testimonials, Google reviews and social media reviews, these are a good way to get an insight into their business and give you peace of mind.

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

It’s not necessarily a particular dish (although the delight when guests are offered a delicious canapé with a glass of Pimms or bubbles is always a pleasure to behold) what will always be the most important is that we have executed all areas of our cuisine, drinks and food service to our exacting high standards, and that each and every one of our couples is happy with their own particular menu, executed by us to them and their guests.

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

Pretty much anything goes these days; we have to offer lots of styles of food and service which can be daunting! A lot of couples may start with their favourite dishes and we can build a menu around these. If you are having lots of photos in the fabulous gardens your guests will gratefully receive drinks and canapés on the Terrace whilst you capture your special day.

Think of the style of service you would like- is sharing your thing, or would you feel awkward and rather be served individually?

Do you like traditional English food or something a little different? Think about the time of your ceremony; will your guests have had lunch or missed lunch?

How will the food slot in and not impinge on any evening celebrations...and unfortunately, as we have already said, you do have to consider all of your guests tastes but we can always find a way of keeping everyone happy with the wealth of knowledge and experience we have, and can guide you through this process with ease.

Do you get involved in serving drinks at all?

We can serve your arrival drinks of your choice, garnished accordingly, normally on the Terrace or in the house if the weather is inclement and can provide staff to run a bar for you along with placing your choice of wine on the tables during your meal and serving your toasting drink.

What size catering marquee/kitchen space to you require?

This totally depends on the size of your wedding party, if you are an intimate group we may have access to the kitchen in the main house, however this would depend on your menu choices, number of courses, cooking facilities required etc.

If you choose the marquee site we would require a minimum of 6x6metres for 100 guests, rising to 6x9metres for over 100 guests, this can easily be supplied by your marquee company.

Finally, what excites you most about your job?

The anticipation of service on the special day, after all the months of planning and the exceptional feeling of contentment and a job well done when we quietly depart and drive off in the distance...often with the sound of laughter and music drifting after us!

Thank you so much for chatting with us Oaktree Occasions, we look forward to seeing you in December for a cosy, intimate mid-week wedding. You can find out more about the exceptional service offered by Jo & Caroline on their website

The Thinking Behind 'Boutique & Beautiful' Weddings

WeddingsSarah MarshComment

Becoming personally invested in every bridal couple that chooses to hold their special day at Coombe Trenchard means that we learn from each unique wedding journey. We take notes, we excitedly converse over tea and biscuits and we feel the ups and downs as they do. Sometimes, we hear that the logistical elements are stressful, sometimes it’s hard to ensure all preferred suppliers are available on the same day, and sometimes it’s simply finding enough hours in the day to organise the myriad of detail that goes into a wedding. So many of our bridal couples are taking advantage of our glorious part of the world, yet do not currently reside nearby and therefore find it difficult to attend trials, tastings and meetings or be on hand to meet with those all-important suppliers. 

Of course, we help as much as possible and offer a level of service that has surprised and delighted many a bride (and industry professionals!); carefully compiling our recommend suppliers list and discussing which would be a best fit for each unique couple, offering limitless visits, emails, chats on the phone and ensuring the biggest day of your life runs like clockwork. Seeing such a growing trend for mid-week celebrations and wanting to utilise our wealth of contacts, knowledge and penchant for organisation, we set about designing a day that was spectacularly stress-free.

With great enthusiasm, we discussed our projects with our favoured suppliers, knowing how much they enjoy working at Coombe Trenchard and happy to be offering a solution to time-scarce bridal couples. This seed of an idea was met with much excitement, and so, ‘Boutique & Beautiful’ was born. 

 

Here at Coombe Trenchard, we are unable to do things without a luxurious undertone (we blame our opulent yet charming Edwardian surroundings) and so the ideas for what constitutes ‘mind-blowingly special’ came thick and fast.

Possibly our favourite aspect of ‘Boutique & Beautiful’ is the pre-wedding overnight stay at Coombe Trenchard, giving couples the chance to meet with suppliers, decide on one of our 12 licenced locations in which to say ‘I do’ and indulge in some quality time together whilst nestled on the edge of Dartmoor. We can’t think of anything more romantic than wedding planning whilst exploring the gardens, woodland and sumptuous interiors of the charming country home in which you will soon be wed.

Of course, the deluxe treatment continues through to the big day itself, with vintage champagne saucers to sip from on the south facing Italian terrace, mouthwatering delights from exquisite caterers and hand-designed stationery to delight your guests. We’ve even thought of marshmallows for toasting over the fire pits adjacent to our restored Coach House, overlooking Brentor.

 

It’s been a joy to compile aspects and contributors that we know make a wedding one to remember and we are hugely proud of ‘Boutique & Beautiful’ and the luxuriously laid back new choice it presents to our bridal couples, whose happiness and wedding satisfaction mean so much to us. 

You can download our stunning new 'Boutique & Beautiful' brochure here.

Tales from the other side -

WeddingsSarah Marsh2 Comments

 A Coombe Trenchard Bride’s Top Ten Tips:

Am I basking in the glow, or still completely exhausted? This is the question I am still asking myself one month into married life. It feels the same but different; marriage is comforting presence in an otherwise familiar sea of work, Sunday food shopping and Netflix decisions. Relief is palpable; the18 months of my life spent considering, communicating, dreaming and pinterest-ing were utterly and totally worth it. Possessed of a certain surreal, dreamlike quality, our wedding day went exceptionally well; sunshine, happy smiles and our favourite people investing and involving themselves in a day that meant so much to so many.  With such a momentous build up, it is a strange sensation when the day is actually happening, but also when it has happened.  That constant stream of wedding thoughts in your head cease and allow contemplation and fresh ideas to burst in, the future suddenly opens up like the first green buds in Spring. 

In my new capacity as Wedding Co-ordinator at Coombe Trenchard, I have the honour of assisting and supporting our 2017 Brides and Grooms as they take this same journey. Wonderfully, our venue is incapable of holding the same celebration twice; it is possessed with too many unique spaces, has too much room for interpretation and allows its beauty to be channelled in so many glorious ways.  My excitement at being involved as others create their ‘Best Day Ever’ is huge, my passion and true love of everything that weddings represent ensures that this responsibility feels safe and well placed amongst my positivity and enthusiasm.  

Images by the phenomenally lovely ray of sunshine Emma @ Freckle Photography. 

It seems fitting as I transition from Bride to Wedding Co-ordinator to reflect on my own experience and attempt to support those within the whirlwind and joy of planning their Big Day. So, here are the top ten tips from the new Mrs Colwill:

  • Invest emotionally in Coombe Trenchard. This may seem obvious, but I almost see Coombe Trenchard as a being. Arranging meetings with Sarah, visits with Parents and seeing Facebook and Twitter posts gave me such warm feelings. I do believe this magnificent home is imbedded with its own character and arriving the night before the wedding felt like greeting an old friend. I highly recommended booking tastings, trials and cups of tea in the lead up to your big day; it feels like you are sharing your loved ones and memories with a place that holds a very special place in your heart. 
  • Use your time wisely. I remember the see-saw effect of wedding planning well. You go through hugely productive flurries, before focusing on normal life for a short time. Do try to book in a weekend a month or an evening a week to keep up to date though. I felt very organised but still found the fortnight beforehand hugely stressful. You do not want to be handcrafting signage or frantically buying bridesmaid’s presents in grand build up. Make lists, involve friends and family and enjoy the time spent on your day in a measured and thought out way. Discuss the day in detail with Sarah and myself and give due thought to exactly how you want the day to flow and feel from the outset. 
  • Know when to stop. This goes for the immediate lead up and the overall planning. We all know that there is no limit to how much money, time and obsessive pinteresting can be spent on your wedding, but you do have to attempt to keep a level of perspective. Make it your dream day, go for what feels right and works for the two of you, but not at a cost to your happiness, stress levels or future financial prospects. I can hold my hands up and say there are a few projects that I didn’t have the strength to complete as the wedding loomed closer and they did not have any bearing on just how incredible the day was. As I ate chocolate with my Bridesmaids the night before, feeling a mixture of excitement and pinch-me nervous bubbles, I let go of the mental to-do list and concerns over stopwatches (!). Keep the balance between creating a magical day and holding onto your sanity!
  • Feel present with no pressure. There are no rules as to how you should feel on your wedding day. It is hugely overwhelming, all kinds of wonderful and every person processes and deals with that differently. In the morning I attempted a few calm moments of breathing, then put on some music and danced around the Bridal Suite in a haze of pure, unfiltered excitement. During the speeches though, I became completely overwhelmed and unable to cry, think or form words. Dreams coming true can do that to a person. Ten minutes of walking the grounds with my new husband remedied that and I could continue enjoying every second of a day that whizzes past in smiling faces and squeezy hugs. Vow to stay present, feel the moments and the love coming your way and let the day take you with it. 
  • Go on honeymoon straight away. I’m a planner, someone who copes with stress and pressure well and was lucky enough to have a wedding day that exceeded my own expectations, but I was not prepared for the wave of exhaustion that the aftermath brings. It’s happy, elated tiredness that requires you to fall asleep whilst looking at your friends pictures from the day for the thousandth time, but its best done on a beach in a bubble of joy with your new husband. 
  • Use Coombe Trenchard’s Spaces to their full potential. So much wow-factor is contained within this magnificent venue. Sarah is incredible at seeing ways to use a space she knows and cares for. We used the minstrel’s gallery for speeches, it was fantastic. These spaces are yours to optimise, celebrate and fill with love: talk to us about how best to use them.
  • Stick to your guns and be brave. Others input and expectations can cause issues as you plan a day that carries a lot of weight to it. The road was not without bumps, differences of opinion and lacklustre comments but I’m extraordinarily glad we stuck to our guns and did it our way. Choosing to celebrate your love on your own terms and deciding how much tradition to include is personal and decisions that should be made me you and your partner alone.  
  • Understand how much the day means to your family and friends.  I found that our family and friends respected and revelled in our unique take on wedding celebrations. On that day your union and happiness takes precedent in your wonderful loved ones lives. It’s an incredibly special and moving feeling to feel that positivity and unbridled joy being aimed at you and your day. Remember it, treasure it and make time to talk to everyone after the wedding, you’ll be surprised at how much your family will want to discuss such a momentous occasion. 
  • Bask in the Bridal Suite of dreams! That bed, that bathroom. A cocoon of grandeur and peace, I still feel emotional just thinking about the time spent within that beautiful part of Coombe Trenchard. 
  • Use this new found brain space to plan wonderful things to look forward to once you are wife; after all, this is just the beginning of happy ever after. 

            Emily xx