The Coun­try Life wed­ding di­rec­tory

Rosie Paterson presents her pick of wed­ding ex­perts, from plan­ners and cater­ers to pho­tog­ra­phers and florists

Country Life Every Week - - The Top Ten -

Venues

Babing­ton House, Somerset

(www.babing­ton­house.co.uk; 01373 812266) Peren­ni­ally pop­u­lar, Babing­ton House of­fers true seclu­sion, with 33 rooms for guests and its own 18th-cen­tury chapel set in idyl­lic grounds

Is­coyd Park, Shrop­shire

(www.is­coy­d­park.com; 01948 780785) Just five min­utes from the pic­turesque St Mary’s Church, Whitewell, Is­coyd of­fers award­win­ning ac­com­mo­da­tion and Gar­den Rooms for the af­ter-party

Wilder­ness Reserve, Suf­folk

(www.wilder­ness­re­serve.com; 020–7484 5700) Book early for ex­clu­sive ac­cess to 5,000 acres of parkland and 50 bed­rooms, spread across a Ge­or­gian manor house and the es­tate’s farm­houses, cot­tages and barns. There are sev­eral beau­ti­ful re­cep­tion spa­ces, in­clud­ing the new Or­angery

Ayn­hoe Park, Ox­ford­shire

(www.ayn­hoepark.co.uk; 01869 810636) In the place where imag­i­na­tions run wild, Ayn­hoe’s 17th-cen­tury ar­chi­tec­ture and Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown-land­scaped parkland have seen it all. There’s a Baroque church next door and an un­der­ground club be­low

Goodne­stone Park (right),

Kent (01304 840107; www. goodne­stonepark­gar­dens.co.uk) A hid­den gem, Goodne­stone now boasts newly re­fur­bished in­te­ri­ors as well as award-win- ning gar­dens, which are some of the finest in the South-east Kin­ross House, Kin­ross-shire (www.kin­rosshouse.com; 01577 865626) With ac­com­mo­da­tion for 48, 17th­cen­tury Kin­ross House sits in fine for­mal gar­dens with breath­tak­ing views across Loch Leven

St Giles House, Dorset (www.stgileshouse.com; 01725 517214) An en­chant­ing house with thrilling his­tory and four whim­si­cal wed­ding venues: the house, the park, the grotto and the church

The Gil­lyflower, Glouces­ter­shire

(01452 720293; www.elm­court. com/gil­lyflower) The al­ter­na­tive to a clas­sic, white mar­quee, The Gil­lyflower is a ‘fu­ture-rus­tic’ din­ner and danc­ing venue made from sus­tain­ably sourced lo­cal ma­te­ri­als and is en­tirely sound­proof

Ho­tel End­sleigh, Devon

(www.hote­lend­sleigh.com; 01822 870000) Ce­sar’s Coun­try House Ho­tel of the Year, End­sleigh is per­fect for a re­laxed, fam­ily wed­ding with glo­ri­ous moor­land and the Ta­mar val­ley views

Holkham Hall, Nor­folk

(www.holkham.co.uk; 01328 713108) This Pal­la­dian house is sur­rounded by a deer park, a lake, a temple and wood­land. As well as the Statue Gallery, se­cluded walled gar­den and in­ti­mate din­ing room, cou­ples can now use the brand new Lady El­iz­a­beth Wing

Plan­ners

Sarah Hay­wood (www.sarah­hay­wood.com; 020–3411 3860) There’s a fairy­tale el­e­ment to ev­ery event Sarah waves her magic wand over, whether in the UK or abroad Quintessen­tially Wed­dings (www.quintessen­tial­ly­wed­dings. com; 020–7760 2310) Call­ing on its team of mul­ti­skilled ex­pert plan­ners around the globe, Quintessen­tially ex­cels at stag­ing ex­cep­tional events that go above and beyond the brief Jessie Thom­son (www.jessi­ethom­son.co.uk; 01242 570802) Best for a fash­ion-for­ward ap­proach and guest-cen­tric focus, Jessie re­minds cou­ples to keep the mean­ing be­hind their big day at the fore­front of their minds Apollo Event Con­sul­tants (www.apollo-ec.co.uk; 01428 658624) Founder Tim Han­bury cre­ates ar­che­typal coun­try wed­dings with at­ten­tion to the minute de­tails. Pre­vi­ous clients in­clude mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily By Bruce Rus­sell (www.by­brucerus­sell.com; 020–3078 9583) One for par­ties with flair, Bruce has 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in lux­ury hos­pi­tal­ity, in­clud­ing tenures at The Plaza in New York and The Savoy in Lon­don Snap­dragon Lon­don (www.snap­drag­onpar­ties.com; 020–7416 6664)

Founder Ju­lia Dowl­ing runs a multi-dis­ci­plinary team with a rep­u­ta­tion for plan­ning large and com­plex wed­dings—one in­cluded con­struct­ing a glass ex­ten­sion to Blen­heim Palace Kas­mira (www.kasimira.co.uk; 020– 7581 8313) Ex­pert in ev­ery­thing from the en­gage­ment party to the re­cov­ery brunch, Kas­mira’s port­fo­lio of work in­cludes gut­ting and re-fab­ri­cat­ing the fuse­lage of a Boe­ing 747 and cre­at­ing an ethe­real wood­land-glade wed­ding re­cep­tion Al­bion Par­ties (www.al­bion­par­ties.com; 020– 7183 4852) Cre­at­ing be­spoke events, tailor­made to ev­ery client, Al­bion uses only the best sup­pli­ers to guar­an­tee a har­mo­nious ex­pe­ri­ence Bent­ley’s En­ter­tain­ment (www.bent­leys.net; 020–7223 7900) A Bent­ley’s wed­ding guest de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as ‘lav­ish and im­pec­ca­bly or­gan­ised’. Founder and di­rec­tor Pere­grine Arm­strong-jones is a mas­ter at mov­ing guests from one space and ex­pe­ri­ence to the next

Niemierko (above and right)

(www.niemierko.com; 020– 7580 5010) Leg­endary plan­ner Mark Niemierko is an in­sti­tu­tion. He builds—and sus­tains long af­ter the wed­ding—a close re­la­tion­ship with his clients and rec­om­mends ‘avoid­ing Pin­ter­est and peer pres­sure’ dur­ing the plan­ning process

Florist

Mc­queens (www.mc­queens.co.uk; 020– 7251 5505) Best for in­no­va­tive, con­tem­po­rary ar­range­ments, Mc­queens is the florist of choice for Clar­idge’s and The Berke­ley

Tat­tie Rose Flow­ers (right) (www.tat­tierose­flow­ers.co.uk; 07775 577069) Dorset-based Tat­tie Rose Flow­ers cre­ates wild and ro­man­tic dis­plays us­ing lots of lush fo­liage

Aesme (be­low right)

(www.aesme.co.uk; 020–8741 3543) Aesme sticks to an old­fash­ioned aes­thetic in­spired by the his­tory of the English gar­den Ver­vain (www.ver­vain­flow­ers. co.uk) Whim­si­cal de­signs with ‘bend­ing stems and curl­ing petals’ made with flow­ers grown at the Worces­ter­shire nurs­ery By Ap­point­ment Only De­sign (www.byap­point­men­tonly de­sign.com; 020–7486 7870) Known for go­ing beyond the brief, start­ing by con­sid­er­ing the look, smell and feel of any room the com­pany dec­o­rates Paula Rooney (www.paula­rooney.co.uk; 01256 769039) Paula brings more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence to her grand and lux­u­ri­ous de­signs, of­ten in­spired by her trav­els Wil­low Cross­ley (www.wil­lowcross­ley.com; 07766 006894) These free-flow­ing ar­range­ments are made with lo­cal flow­ers and fo­liage from Wil­low’s gar­den Paul Hawkins (08708 502721; www.paul hawkins­flow­ers.co.uk) Clients in­clud­ing The Queen, Vivi­enne Westwood and the Na­tional Trust have all fallen for Paul’s el­e­gant ar­range­ments Shane Con­nolly & Co (www.shanecon­nolly.co.uk; 020–8964 4398) Artis­tic di­rec­tor of flow­ers at the wed­ding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Shane strives to cre­ate mean­ing­ful dis­plays us­ing sea­sonal and sus­tain­able plants The Gar­den Gate Flower Com­pany (www.the­gar­den­gate­flower com­pany.co.uk; 07427 686558) Florists Becca and Maz use or­gan­i­cally grown flow­ers from their Cor­nish farm

Cater­ers

Ab­so­lute Taste (www.ab­so­lute­taste.com; 020– 8870 5151) Sig­na­ture canapé: fresh tuna-an­dav­o­cado rice-pa­per rolls with car­rot, basil and mint and a swee­tand-spicy dip­ping sauce Tart Lon­don (www.tart-lon­don.com) Sig­na­ture canapé: home­made br­uschet­tas and Ta­leg­gio, po­lenta and rosemary balls Sugar & Spice (www.sug­arand­spice­food.com; 020–7978 4008) Sig­na­ture canapé: chorizo cup with av­o­cado, pink grape­fruit, wa­ter­cress and Parme­san

The Cel­lar So­ci­ety (be­low) (www.cel­lar­so­ci­ety.com; 020– 8453 7141) Sig­na­ture canapé: duck and ginger­bread Top Hat Cater­ing (www.tophat­ca­ter­ing.co.uk; 020–7924 3180) Sig­na­ture canapé: chicken-liver par­fait with rhubarb, ap­ple com­pote and chicken skin Stocks Events (www.stock­sev­ents.com; 01259 230505) Sig­na­ture canapé: smoked­salmon canapé with crème fraîche and caviar on pumper­nickel bread By Christo­pher (www.by­christo­pher.com; 01494 883445) Sig­na­ture canapé: smoked-salmon and beet­root blini with beet­root horse­rad­ish, dill and zest

Ali­son Price (left)

(www.al­ison­price.co.uk; 020–7840 7640) Sig­na­ture canapé: cured sea trout with lemongrass-and­cu­cum­ber essence, sea­weed salad and wasabi may­on­naise Bub­ble (www.bub­ble­food.com; 020–7703 2653) Sig­na­ture canapé: micro fil­let of sea bass and aer­ated potato with tartare on ed­i­ble news­pa­per Kalm Kitchen (www.kalmk­itchen.co.uk; 01483 813360) Sig­na­ture canapé: pork belly on creamy ap­ple dauphi­noise and crack­ling

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