Pimms in the shade of the trees on the West lawn for the guests on arrival set the tone for the day. Another glorious, sunny wedding day – will the weather ever change? Let’s hope not. The Georgians knew how to build houses – cool in the heat of summer, warm in winter – and in Beatrix Potter’s words (in respect of Belmount, which Beatrix Potter owned but never inhabited) – ‘it may fall in, but will never fall down – Georgian building stone… ‘.
For Kerry and Mike’s wedding, the shade provided by the trees was more important, however. Usually, for the Champagne and Canapes Reception, it is critical that the weather is sufficiently good for the guests to be able to mingle in front of the house, with the Library windows open, and music from the Boudoir Grand Piano drifting outside… . Maybe some guests come into the Drawing Room to see the original part of the house, and have a seat for a while. On 13th July, it was too hot to stand outside the front of the house, so guests were standing in the shade to the west of the house, and Kerry’s brother Tom’s beautiful piano playing was a little lost. Never mind, we loved it, along with the practice sessions!
Unusually, for the second wedding in succession, the couple had chosen Boeuf en Croute with rich red wine sauce, to follow the ever popular starter of Asparagus wrapped in Smoked Salmon, with a light Hollandaise Sauce. We have now had a lot of practice in putting the Boeuf en Croute together – over two weekends, 170 servings from over fifty pastry parcels – although, unlike Charlotte and Ross’ wedding, the beef was carved and served by us, rather than carved by guests at the table.
Gillie had the challenge of Treacle Tart with Lime and Mascarpone Sorbet for all the eighty four guests, but in the event, it worked really well.
After the speeches, the Cake of Cheese – supplied by Chris Carr of The Cheese Larder in Kendal – was ‘presented’ to the bride and groom and placed on the table in the Indoor Marquee, alongside Lisa’s wonderful cupcakes – a first-time exercise by Lisa for her friends, Kerry and Mike. Brave but very successful, by all accounts!
Then, after the band’s first session, mini Fish and Chips were served in paper cornets, as late night snacks. Kerry’s request for this was a first for Belmount, so another challenge… . Apparently, the fish and chips were a great success, with some lovely feedback comments to our staff. Phew! Lucky we’re brave, eh? It was great fun rising to the challenge.
All in all, one of the most lovely weddings we have done. And, as far as the guests were concerned:- “What a fantastic weekend we had at Belmount Hall. You have a beautiful home, thank you for your kind hospitality.”