Exclusive Dartmoor Weddings & Seasonal Events - Coombe Trenchard

Exclusive Country House Weddings & Events to Celebrate the Season

A chat with the Editor of Dartmoor Magazine

Gardens, Events Coombe TrenchardSarah MarshComment
Front cover image of the March & April issue of Dartmoor Magazine

Front cover image of the March & April issue of Dartmoor Magazine

Supporting local independant enterprise - a catch up with the Editor of Dartmoor Magazine

I’m pleased to confirm that the Dartmoor Magazine will be joining our local exhibitor panel at Coombe Trenchards English Country Garden Festival this year on the 1st and 2nd of June.

Editor Sue Viccars has kindly included a feature about our Garden Festival in the Spring issue of Dartmoor Magazine, which is out now.

Always one for returning the favour, supporting independent enterprise in this beautiful part of Devon - todays blog post shares afew questions I put to Sue about her role as Editor, and what readers of the Dartmoor Magazine can expect from this lovely local publication.

Sue Viccars - Editor of Dartmoor Magazine

Sue Viccars - Editor of Dartmoor Magazine

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be editor of Dartmoor Magazine.

A. I studied geography and archaeology at Exeter University, then took up a job with a publishing company in London for a brief spell before managing to move back to Devon (always the plan!).  After 20 years as a commissioning editor with David & Charles Publishers I went freelance in 2000, and now work as an editor (books as well as Dartmoor Magazine), author and photographer, specializing in writing walking books all over the South West, with particular reference to Dartmoor and Exmoor. I have been editor of Dartmoor Magazine since 2008, and joint owner of the business with my brother since 2013.

Q. What do you most enjoy about your role as editor?

 A. It’s really great to ‘have to’ get properly immersed in every aspect of somewhere as special as Dartmoor! I commission the magazine, and decide what should be published in each issue. I have regular meetings with my contributors, who are a great bunch of people and who all have a real interest in this remarkable part of the country.

I’m lucky to be able to work from home too, and have a genuine excuse to get out on the moor as often as I do. It’s also great that my other work – writing walking books – often doubles up with whatever I might be doing for the magazine: for example, photos I take when out and about can be used for a number of different purposes. 

Q. How long has Dartmoor Magazine been established, and what would you say is unique and special to the publication?

 A. The magazine was started in 1985, so it’s coming up to its 34th birthday! It's an unusual publication in that it’s not advertorially led, by which I mean that the articles aren’t dictated by the fact that we may or not be able to sell advertising space to support them.

It’s not a lifestyle magazine – there are not features on fashion, or cars, or interior design, for example. All the articles are about Dartmoor ‘proper’ – the photography is fantastic – and the editorial pages take pride of place (as opposed to having to wade through pages of advertising before you can get to something to read). It has a healthy and very devoted following, many of whom have bought every issue published since 1985.

Q. How many issues to you produce a year?

A. Four - spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Q. Where can our readers get hold of a copy of the magazine?

 A. Anyone interested can buy a copy of the magazine at one of our 80+ sales outlets across and around the moor, as well as at some of the major supermarkets in the vicinity.

Subscriptions and single copies can also be purchased via the website www.dartmoormagazine.co.uk or by calling us on (01647) 441174.

 Q. In this ever-changing digital age how do you feel about print?

 A. I still think there’s a place for print – curling up on the sofa with an iPad isn't quite the same as doing the same with a good quality magazine or book and having a good read!

 Q. Tell us about the spring edition of the magazine – what can readers look forward to?

 A. This spring’s issue is, as always, packed to the gunnels. We’ve got a fantastically dramatic front cover image of swaling – burning off the gorse on the moor, which is done in early spring – and an excellent article which discusses the pros and cons of the practice (it’s quite controversial).

The well-known Dartmoor photographer Chris Chapman interviews local character Tich Scott; wildlife presenter Nick Baker looks at the way Dartmoor’s hedges are treated at this time of year; and we’ve got two new series, one on Dartmoor’s village shops, and the other a beautiful photographic study of a particular hill or tor.

Then there’s a look at the local arts scene, at moorland flowers, local bunkhouses, two great walks, the latest news, and diary… there’s masses to interest everyone.

The contents page - Dartmoor Magazine - March/April 2019

The contents page - Dartmoor Magazine - March/April 2019

Q. If you had to choose a favourite time of year when it comes to the collation of the magazine and its content – what would you choose and why?

A. I don’t really have a favourite time. When you work as closely with the moor and with the changing seasons as I have to (when editing a quarterly magazine) you realise that every season has its own particular beauty. I suppose I could say that I prefer the ‘out of season’ times, when the moor is less busy – but there are always places to go, even in the height of the summer, where you will have the moor to yourself. 

Q. We are thrilled to be welcoming Dartmoor Magazine to our English Country Garden Festival on 1st and 2nd of June this year. What are you most looking forward to about the festival and fair season, and what will visitors to the festival be able to discover at your stall?

 A. It’s just the most beautiful place to spend a couple of days – especially in an English summer!

I enjoy meeting subscribers (and potential subscribers) throughout the summer show season, and it’s a good way of getting feedback about how people feel about the magazine.

On the stand we will also have a range of southwest walking books – ones I have written or edited – including my most recent, an extended and revised edition of The Two Moors Way: Devon’s Coast to Coast walk. We’ll also have Dartmoor cards and a good selection of books written by local Dartmoor authors. 

The Terrace in Summer at Coombe Trenchard

The Terrace in Summer at Coombe Trenchard

Our thanks to Sue for supporting us and for answering these questions.

If you would like to contact Sue about the Dartmoor Magazine or her other written works, do feel free to email her. editor@dartmoormagazine.co.uk

With just under 3 months to go until our English Country Garden Festival takes place for the 8th year, I shall be sharing more interviews and blog posts highlighting some of the terrific supporters and exhibitors that you can expect to find at this years event over the coming weeks.

Here’s to those warmer days, and to a great English Country Garden summer.

Sarah x

Weddings at Coombe Trenchard ~ Our pledge to couples since we began sharing our home

WeddingsSarah MarshComment
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The beginning of a new year is an incredibly exciting time for engaged couples.

From the blissfully dizzy heights of marriage proposal, to the realisation of actual wedding plans - with lots of venue hunting, idea swooning and supplier shopping all to be done in between - and all in the name of love - your most exciting union…

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It is safe to say that we absolutely adore sharing our home and our gardens with couples, their families and their chosen guests to create an idyllic day - the day of dreams.

“Our special spot in the West of Devon, lends itself so beautifully to making the very best of memories - it is one of the reasons we fell in love with Coombe Trenchard ourselves 11 years ago when it became our home.”

Since then, we’ve hosted two of our own family weddings and so many wonderfully memorable occasions here, before we opened our doors and started to share Coombe Trenchard with a selected number of seasonal booking opportunities which includes weddings, for they just work so well here.

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“Wedding bookings at Coombe Trenchard are exclusive and limited in number - as we set aside no more than a handful of dates each year for others to enjoy the happiest of times in our home.”

Our decision to take on a limited number of bookings each year assures the highest personal attention to detail, and a unique and extra special experience for each couple that falls in love with our location, and feels connected and ‘at home’ in our home.

We love to host events, and to really look after our guests, and our pledge to not ‘pile the bookings high means our product and our service will always be delivered with focus, energy, style and un-interrupted grace - giving everyone perfect peace of mind, and our couples the chance to take in every magical moment of their Coombe Trenchard wedding.

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Of course no two weddings are ever the same, and nor should they be…

Those seeking a venue for an elaborate two day weekend summer celebration - are most welcome to get in touch. And those planning their day in an entirely different fashion, with fewer guests…or even marrying mid-week - are also welcome to get in touch too!

“Our space is flexible, our experience is plentiful, nothing will be too much trouble, and you’ll be in the safest calmest of hands as we guide you through every single detail, and support you every step of the way.”

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So what’s the catch? Well there isn’t one really… except that if Coombe Trenchard is the venue for you - you have to book with us quickly before our diary of limited edition dates for each year closes!

We have just a snippet of availability left this summer, and for now our diary is still open for 2020 and 2021. But it won’t be long before our allocated dates for weddings have been secured, of that we are certain.

If you’d like to start exploring Coombe Trenchard’s opportunities for your wedding by casting your gaze over our wedding brochure and indicative wedding price guide, or by asking me any questions you may have - do get in touch by clicking here.

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My heartfelt thanks to Kelly and James who married at Coombe Trenchard last year - it is their images I have shared with you throughout this blog post, all captured beautifully by Elizabeth Armitage.

Happy happy happy new year everyone - I have a feeling it is going to be quite marvellous, especially for our 2019 couples.

Sarah x

sarah@coombetrenchard.co.uk

01566 783179



















 






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.