Jenn and Brad were married on 12th September

“To the amazing Belmount Team!

You all rock! Words can’t express how wonderful our wedding day was and we thank you all sincerely for all your hard work and for providing the perfect setting for our special day.

Love, Jenn and Brad.”

It was the most lovely ‘family wedding’. Jenn, who is a florist, provided spectacularly colourful floral arrangements, including one enormous display hanging from one of the beams in the ‘Indoor Marquee’.

That is the joy of weddings at Belmount Hall – every one is different, and with exclusive use for the weekend, wedding clients can make the West Barn Rooms their own for their weekend wedding.

Sarah and Steve were married at Belmount Hall in July 2015

Dear Chris, Gillie and the fabulous Belmount team,
Apologies for the delay in sending this note to you.  Steve and I are literally just settling back into reality 5 weeks after our wonderful wedding at Belmount Hall in July.
We wanted to get back in touch to say a big ‘thank you’ to you all for helping to make our wedding day such a beautiful, memorable occasion.
You are both so clearly devoted and passionate about your business and the house and grounds and this was clear to us in the run up to our wedding.  Chris – your meticulous attention to detail combined with your willingness to support, advise and answer the many questions that come up when planning a wedding was priceless – this was especially important to us as we were organising our wedding at a venue over 200 miles from home.  Gillie – endlessly busy but always on hand to offer help with a smile and an enthusiasm for each wedding that is held at Belmount – not to mention her famously delicious food.
Then there is your front of house team who were friendly, hard working and a really key part in making our day run so smoothly.  Here we clearly have to single out Gwyn – one of the hardest working women we have ever met and a credit to the Belmount team.  Throughout the setting up on the previous day to the final preparations the morning of the wedding, right through to the evening, Gwyn was there, ensuring every detail of our day was put in place, running smoothly and exactly as we had hoped and planned.  Thank you Gwyn!
We had an amazing day – better than we had ever imagined.  Many of our guests have told us what a fantastic day they had and what a great venue Belmount is – most of them complimenting the food and especially the pudding!  We have barely stopped talking about the day, recalling the special moments and memories that we now have and will cherish forever.  You enabled us to make our dream day a reality and you made our family and friends feel at home, in your beautiful home. I only wish we could do it all again!
Back to reality now and enjoying looking back at the photos that were perfectly captured by Steven Barber – attached are some favourites!
Kindest regards,
Sarah and Steve

Rachel and Paul, from Whitehaven, were married on Thursday 30th July

As ‘locals’ – Whitehaven is at least in Cumbria, Rachel and Paul only wanted to stay at Belmount on their wedding night, and a weekday wedding suited them better than a whole weekend.

Having been let down quite late in their wedding planning by the venue which they had originally chosen, they were delighted that we were prepared to offer to match the terms agreed with the first venue.

In the middle of a ‘run’ of seven weddings in a row, we were pleased that it was quite small – just 35 guests – and gave us a free weekend. It was a delightful wedding, once again we were blessed with a superb sunny day, with wet days either side – that usually only happens on a Saturday, like the last two weddings. Weather Santa must have been in a benevolent mood. It is really surprising how often that happens… .

Steven Porter and Sarah Warburton were married at Belmount Hall on 25th July 2015

” It was like a celebrity wedding!” was one lovely comment – I think from Steve’s granny. There was a number of generations at the wedding – from a young baby, plus Steve and Sarah’s son Jake, the always grinning Harry, who became a huge fan of our dog Jeffrey – much to Jeffrey’s delight – through to Jean, the celebrity granny.

Once again, the weather came up ‘trumps’ on Saturday, which was particularly good because, instead of canapes for the Reception, ‘The Alternative Guest’ provided ice creams from a traditional tricycle – great fun. This might well not have worked so well in the rain…. . As the weather was good, the Reception took place largely on the west lawn, with Pimms, champagne, beers etc to drink, which helped guests to enjoy croquet and loads of outdoor games. We always enjoy this – it is the best use of the grounds at Belmount, into which we put a lot of maintenance!

For the evening party, there was great music from the ‘In-Laws’, superb lighting from Typical Type.co.uk, and, as well as the usual ‘late night snack’ baguettes, and the wedding cake, there was Jumping Jenny shortbread, popcorn, loads of sweets, chocolate brownies and so on – probably why there was a small take-up on the baguettes.. .

A lovely wedding with lots of choice…. .

Good music from the

Saturday 18th July … Anthony and Leanne had their wedding weekend at Belmount Hall, with their ceremony at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hawkshead.

The weather forecast was for a bright morning, with rain starting just as Anthony and Leanne were due to arrive at the church, and getting heavier during the afternoon. Somehow, as seems to happen quite often at Belmount, it was dry all day, with the rain holding off until twelve hours later – about 1.30am on Sunday morning – as the last guests were leaving. Phew…. . I wish I knew how that was fixed.

Leanne’s message, after they had arrived at The Samling for two nights’ luxury, before departing for eight months backpacking in Africa (“I’m worried about the bus trip from Nairobi ….” ) and elsewhere, was:- “Words really can’t express our gratitude to you, Gillie and your team for everything you have helped us achieve!”.

The Belmount ‘team’ would not have been able to achieve this without the amazingly detailed organisation by Leanne, and the support of the Walsh ‘team’. Special mention for Danielle, who, as Leanne’s  friend from childhood and Chief Bridesmaid, managed to keep everybody incredibly calm, even when, due to a misunderstanding about delivery times, the flowers had not arrived when expected. Gillie’s rose garden was about to be ransacked… .

Also big thanks to Danielle, who had attended a taster meal in February, and expressed her delight that we had been able to maintain the standard of food served at the taster meal, even though we were serving 88 instead of 8. Such feedback is welcomed by all of the Belmount team. Serving complicated starters and puds perfectly, and Boeuf en Croute perfectly ‘pink’ (as specified) to over 80 guests is an exciting challenge

It was a fine menu:-

Starters:
Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham with Hollandaise sauce
Watercress mousse with smoked salmon
Roasted red pepper filled with Goats Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Pesto served with couscous (vegetarian option)
Mains:
Boeuf en Croute, with rich red wine sauce
Tarragon Chicken – in white wine, cream and tarragon sauce
Aubergine Galette (Vegetarian Option)
Desserts:
Lemon Posset (with shortbread biscuits)
Triple Chocolate meringue gateau

We give lots of credit to our wonderful meat suppliers – Lake District Farmers – http://www.lakedistrictfarmers.co.uk – “The World’s finest beef and lamb. Reared by those that care. Supplied to those that know.”. They had a devastating fire at their premises near Ulverston a couple of weeks ago, but were back up and supplying from new premises at Tebay within a couple of days… . Without that commitment and service, we could not have ‘delivered the goods’ for Anthony and Leanne’s lovely wedding. “I have never tasted beef so good” was one comment.. .

On Sunday, Anthony and Leanne had organised a garden party, with a hog roast, to say ‘Au revoir’ to friends and family before leaving for their extebnded honeymoon. Somehow, after torrential rain overnight, it was a dry day again. There was croquet and lots of other games on the West lawn, and another wonderful party.

As should happen, we were sorry to see everybody leave Belmount Hall – the perfect use for this house and its lovely grounds.

Honeymoon at Belmount Hall 1965 – Golden Wedding House Party at Belmount Hall 2015

On 20th June 1965 Ivan and Sylvia were married in Co Durham…

1965 Wedding (8)

and spent their honeymoon at Belmount Hall. In a postcard sent on 20th June 1965 to Sylvia’s parents, they said:- “Hawkshead is a sort of Lake District Polperro. Belmount Hall is National Trust property and is very comfortable and quiet. ……. The weather’s fine but could be warmer. … .” Little has changed in fifty years!

They travelled to Belmount Hall in their Lea Francis… 1965 Lake District (7)

and walked alongside Windermere, near Wray Castle…

1965 Lake District (2)

So, on 19th June 2015, after fifty years, Ivan and Sylvia returned to Belmount Hall with their family, including four grandchildren, and over four days had the most lovely house party. For us, it was a wonderful use of the house and grounds, and great fun to be able to host such a happy family celebration.

A few years ago, a Belmount bride sent us an email saying that having her wedding at Belmount was as if her favourite Uncle Chris had lent her his lovely house for the weekend, so that she could get married there. For Gillie and me, having Ivan and Sylvia to stay was like having a favourite uncle and aunt to stay with their family for the weekend. And this is work?!

Chloe and Anthony were married at Belmount on 23rd May 2015

Monday morning at 8.30am, text from Chloe:- “Good morning, Chris. Thank you so much for an incredible weekend!”. That says it all!

Glorious weather on Saturday for a marquee wedding. Chloe’s Team had everything totally under control – most impressive. Chloe showed no signs of stress, just wafted about, looking serene, whilst her (and Anthony’s, of course) day unfolded. So many lovely people, all with a task, and ‘sorting it’. Candles in jars hanging from the trees looked amazing.

Coq au vin for 110 as the main course, (aubergine galette for the vegetarians) just one choice of canape, asparagus and smoked salmon with a balsamic dressing (A&C’s idea) as the starter all worked really well.

They had a huge barbeque by the marquee on Sunday afternoon, which was all superbly cleared up by the Anthony Team. The only item not cleared up was some tomatoes. Karla and Jeffrey, the Labrador Team in charge of clearing up any food, kept appearing carrying a whole undamaged tomato in their mouths. Was it food? They weren’t sure. Was it perhaps a ball? Probably not.

It is easy to forget that weddings are about people. My abiding memories of last weekend is of so many lovely people, who clearly loved being able to share Belmount. Chloe’s dad, Steve, whose speech was open verse (I think!) inspired me, as a history ignoramus, to investigate French history. Clem and I could have spent all Sunday swapping sailing stories, but he had to prepare the barbeque. Steve and Caroline persuaded me to make them bacon butties at 3.30am on Sunday. Somehow this involved putting the world to rights. A huge quantity of drink was moved into my chill room and out again by the Team.

It was all superbly organised by lots of lovely, happy, people, who clearly felt very much at home at Belmount. We and Belmount loved it.

Getting ready for a busy season

Almost six months without our hosting a wedding.. . Where has the time gone? Largely in dealing with many enquiries and a record number of bookings.Thank you to all our clients and potential clients!

Time has also been spent in keeping the grounds in good shape for viewings, and a new, and wonderful, use for the Belmount grounds and the West Barn Rooms – a Fashion Photo Shoot, arranged by Ele Horsley for her new summer collection. Clearly, Ele has influence over the weather, because it was absolutely perfect for photos – sunny but not too bright.

So, clothing by Ele – http://www.elehorsley.com – photography by Tiree Dawson – http://www.tireedawson.co.uk – props by Emma Tebbey – http://www.tebbeyandco.com – and lighting by Megan Hawkins at http://www.typicaltype.co.uk.

That was at the west end of the house. At the east end it was business as usual – a wedding planning meeting and a business planning meeting. A great day!

Excitement now mounting for the first wedding of the season on 2nd May. Just the 90 guests, so maximum indoor capacity in the West Barn Rooms.