Following our recent interview with the people who provide flowers for our castle weddings, we are delighted to now share with you a similar interview, this time with Rachel from Vinehouse Catering.
Q:How long have you been involved in catering, Rachel?
A: Just about all my working life! And for the last 20 years in outside catering.
Q: How long have you worked for Eastnor Castle?
A: Oh, it must be nearly fifteen years I should think. I’d have to look it up.
Q:What do you enjoy most about wedding catering?
A:You meet lots of nice and interesting people! Contributing to the success of someone’s wedding is a never-ending source of pleasure and satisfaction for us. It’s a real buzz; we all love it.
Q: What’s the biggest job you’ve done for Eastnor Castle?
A: A sit-down dinner for five hundred people for the Chamber of Commerce. I’m glad to say it went like clockwork.
Q: What is the usual size of wedding party?
A: Somewhere between 80 and 150. The Eastnor dining room holds 80 and the Great Hall 150, so that sort of sets the parameters indoors. But we can do much bigger functions in marquees outside on the lower terrace.
Q: When is it best for couples to choose their food?
A: Well, at their convenience, really, though naturally we prefer to know their choices early, since it helps us do the best job possible. We offer a wide range of menus and discuss each choice carefully with the couple.
Q: Do you get requests for unusual or exotic foods?
A: Sometimes, not often. When we do, we make every effort to give customers exactly what they want. However, most couples choose quite traditional menus to appeal to all their guests, young and old. To me one of the most important things is to achieve a menu that the bride and groom love and their family and friends are equally happy with.
Q: What about special diets?
A: Not a problem. We offer a range of vegetarian meals, for instance, and often cater for people with allergies. We also do special menus for children.
Q: Do you get lots of requests for canapés, sorbets and cheese courses?
A: Canapés are a very popular option and we cater for these on our menus. Occasionally we are asked for sorbets and cheese courses but to be honest most people are keen to get on with the dancing and not to prolong the meal!
Q: Do you have any specialties at Vine House?
A: Not really though our Head Chef, Alex, does make the best Yorkshire pudding ever! He is also trained in patisserie, so his desserts are spectacular.
Eastnor Castle takes pride in the quality catering available for your wedding at our exclusive wedding venue.
Weddings can be such an exciting time, but there is also a tremendous amount to plan and to do. We help as much as we can to make it a really special day but we also thought that it might be a good idea to ask all the marvellous people who come to the castle to help to see what advice they could give.
Our first interview was with Charlotte Gabb from Superflowers in Chipping Camden.
This is what Charlotte said:-
Because Eastnor is such a wonderful place with so many interesting things to look at my feeling towards the flowers is that you don’t need that many but the arrangements you do have have to be big and bold.I like to use either strong colours (Autumnal Orangey red colours) or white and cream to show up best although summer pastell colours are ok. I like to use large simply flowers such as Lilies and Gerbera (although some people don’t like them) with large headed roses as these are dramatic. Using lots of small flowers tends to make the arrangements over fussy. Also it is important to fill the arrangements out with as many English seasonal flowers as possible as the effect in the Castle is essentially English!!! These arrangements look best with lots of mixed foliages with wild trailing Ivy. (other florists do trendy 1 lily in a vase stuff but I don’t think it looks right in the surroundings.. big is best!!)The places I like to decorate are ………..The marble urns at the bottom of the staircase. These look good with lots of flowers spilling over the edge of them and also look good in the winter with dark, wild foliage and thick candles.The arrangement on the table in the centre of the Octagon room has to be large, striking and arranged to be seen from all angles.The dining room – this is my most tricky room as the lighting is not so good .. (candlelight is important in here for an evening do) tall candelabra look good either with flowers amongst the arms (and above the diners heads) or more simply with a ring of flowers around the base. Or even with nothing although thats not so good for my pocket!!!! or hurricane lanterns with a circle of flowers around them or even more cheaply a ring of flowers around a thick church candle. Summer lunchtime weddings can have low vases filled with flowers.Theses are the essential places but as well as them it is nice to have a tall glass vase in the Great Hall and something a bit more elaborate on the table in the Gothic room (although they do always have one there) Candles in hurricane lanterns look lovely lining the staircase in the hallway.Allergies are normally hayfever so non scented flowers avoid that.. I would replace the scented lilies with a non scented variety although the castle is so big that it is not normally a problem. Other flowers people tend to be allegic to are things like foxgloves or Alstromeria and these are only a problem if they are touched.Every wedding is different and so I need to speak to each bride to make sure I am using the colours and flowers she likes.Bridal work is also very individual … some brides like trailing wired wedding bouquets (£££) whilst others go for simple tied posies.Little bridesmaids look cute with tied posies and coronets ( a circle of flowers on the heads)The church is lovely and looks really pretty fully decorated although most people can back here. Again the essential places are …Other places are an archway around the porch (gorgeous) and wild loose collars of flowers with trailing ivy around the pillars down the centre of the church. Silk flowers in a place like Eastnor would cost a fortune.
We hope that this conveys some of the marvellous choices the bride has to make. Also as a reminder it is worth reiterating that:-
A large arrangement spilling out of the font
2 sprays to hang on the screen
2 windows on the right of the church (medium essential!)
- The Great Hall with it’s 60 foot ceilings is where the reception is normally held.
- The Gothic room is where the civic ceremony usually takes place.
We hope that this , the first of our wedding interviews, is helpful. If there are any questions then please just call.
Eastnor Castle is the perfect, wedding venue where flowers help make your day the most romantic ever!