Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

believe the hype: brides up north visits le petit chateau

August 17th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Le Petit Chateau (c) Scott Spock

Image by Scott Spock, all others by Sean Elliott

There are wedding venues with the wow-factor and then there’s the likes of Le Petit Chateau, a brand new venue to the North East, which pushes the jaw-dropping bar even higher.

When we first learned that the award-winning Apartment Group were working on a new wedding venture following the success of their other venues, including the gorgeous Newton Hall, we were told to expect something luxurious and different – and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (8)

Situated within beautiful countryside in Otterburn, Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau started life in the form of a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel, but it has now been transformed into a first class wedding venue, complete with spectacular function rooms, boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens.

As we heard more about the venue during its development stages the excitement grew, we were intrigued by its South of France influences and talk of a breath-taking ceremony room, and then as images of the venue started to emerge, we became desperate to see for ourselves if Le Petit Chateau lived up to the hype.

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as the wonderful Apartment Group team invited us for an overnight stay at Le Petit Chateau, not long after opening its doors. As Julia had not long welcomed her beautiful second daughter Lili, I took one for the team (it’s a hard life) and snapped up the invitation, taking my mum along with me for a girly weekend away (much to my boyfriend’s disappointment).

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (1)

On the weekend that we visited the venue was hosting no less than three weddings, one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which proves its instant popularity. As an exclusive use venue Le Petit Chateau only ever hold one wedding per day and the building has been cleverly designed so that brides, grooms and guests don’t clash with previous wedding parties, or members of the public.

Upon arrival we enjoyed a drink in the William de Percy, Coaching Inn and Creperie, which sits on the site of the old Percy Arms. Its warm atmosphere and chic rustic décor give us a slight taste of what’s to come. It’s not long before we are shown to our room and the real opulence and extravagance of Le Petit Chateau is revealed. Passing through reception we climb to our first floor twin room, which causes us to gasp as we enter. Looking like a bedroom that one would expect to find in a luxurious French manor, the décor and furnishings were nothing short of stunning. Known for their incredible attention to detail the Apartment Group have thought of everything to make guests’ stay both a unique and unforgettable, with each of the 29 bedrooms individually designed for to create that certain je ne sais quois.

Le Petit Chateau (c) Sean Elliott (4)

After the incredible detail, the next thing to hit you about Le Petit Chateau is the hospitality. All the staff are friendly and attentive, creating a warm and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages people to instantly relax and have fun. During our visit we were incredibly well looked after by the General Manager Dale, while the wonderful Master of Ceremonies Tim took time out to give us a tour of the function side and the venue and head of housekeeping was proud to show off the rooms that she and her team lovingly look after. Beyond that, all the bar, waiter and events staff also go about their work in a happy and enthusiastic manner, which all in all says to me that couples marrying at the venue would be incredibly well looked after!

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dream venue: north star club

July 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime

North Star Club (6)

If you’re looking for a wedding venue with a difference, this post might just bring an end to your search as we introduce another of our famous Dream Venues to the blog.

Located around half-an-hour away from the historic city of York, the North Star Club is somewhat of a hidden gem, nestled away in secluded countryside for a woodland wedding like no other.

Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps, everything about this place is seriously cool and unique. From its welcoming Woodshed to its cosy and contemporary woodland suites, the North Club provides an ideal setting for those that have a rustic chic theme in mind.

There’s also the open woodland to make use of and tipis can be hired for those looking at larger celebrations. Add into the mix creative owners, attentive staff and first-class caterers and you’ve got yourself what qualifies as a Dream Venue here at Brides Up North.

Here to tell us more about this super special setting is North Star Club owner Carolyn Van Outersterp…

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Where is the North Star Club located?

carolyn says: The new North Star Club is nestled within 500 acres of native English woodland in the peaceful Yorkshire Wolds. Inspired by the legendary American Great Camps and suffused with Yorkshire country style, it blends beautifully into the untamed forest setting.

Tell us about the venue and how it has been developed…

Myself and partner Christian, who foundered the company, are multi-award winning designers, with Christian a former landscape architect and I previously trained in fashion.

We are best known for having revolutionized the contemporary fireplace market, (our iconic Firebowl was exhibited at the V&A) and creating CVO Firevault in central London. This unique restaurant bar gained a cult following and was described by Time Out as “one of London’s 10 best kept secrets”.

Six years ago Christian and I put urban life behind us and started Jollydays Glamping, changing the face of British Glamping forever. This unique, woodland camp put four-poster beds and roll-top baths into safari style vintage tents, it won a host of accolades and a loyal fan base, as well as spawning a host of imitators. With Jollydays firmly on the map we turned our attention to developing a new venture and the North Star Club is the culmination of our 15-year dream to create the quintessential woodland retreat.

The Club is inspired by Christian’s North American heritage and his Canadian grandmother’s tales of the American Great Camps – rustic, wilderness retreats, more akin to woodland hotels, they built for wealthy industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We were keen to recreate the magic of these camps, in a rugged Yorkshire setting and the result is a serene and indulgent escape from the pressures of 21st century life.

Since escaping urban life, Christian and I have become passionate advocates of country life – we live on the edge of the North York Moors with our four children, two dozen hens and Binny the Border Terrier.

What facilities does North Star Club have? 

The Club has only five private and well-spaced woodland suites, decorated in modern rustic style. These each have a large veranda with gas fired barbecue, cosy sitting room, large bedroom and indulgent spa style bathroom. Close by is The Woodshed, a communal chill out area with an outdoor fire pit and oodles of natural woodland beyond. There is a pizza oven on side ready for guests to use and our Star Suite has the gorgeous Copper Bath and Infra-Red sauna.

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Tell us about the space that is available for weddings…

Woodland Weddings at The North Star Club blend sophisticated style with rustic chic. Whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony or huge theatrical affair, the enchanted woodland is the perfect venue.

The cosy Woodshed can host up to 40 guests for an intimate wedding blessing ceremony and then sit down dinner, or the wider woodland area can be used for a blessing ceremony area and Papkata tipis can provide tepees for up to 120 guests on the lawns at North Star Club.

Hire the woodland and our ruggedly cosy woodland suites for the whole weekend and enjoy a relaxed and unique experience.

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rustic romance. phase eight for a relaxed wedding at east riddlesden hall – emma & dan

July 20th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (59)

The bride from this morning’s real wedding has lots of words of wisdom for you ladies in the planning stages, so have a sit down with a comforting cuppa and prepare to take note.

Organising their big day in just six months, bride and groom Emma and Dan, decided on a relaxed occasion for their family and friends that would also be pretty and fun. Finding tuned-in suppliers to help their vision become reality, Emma described the rustic feel she wanted to create and left it to the experts, who well and truly delivered.

This left Emma and Dan time to concentrate on nailing the other key areas, such as catering and entertainment, plus their attire. Can you believe Emma’s stunningly detailed dress is from the high street?! Us neither!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (54)

emma says: We got engaged in November2015 in New York. I had bought a trip to New York for Dan’s 30thBirthday in July. Dan had decided this was where he was going to propose and in the months leading up he had sourced and designed my engagement ring through a family friend – Barnard’s Jewellers. We had decided to spend the day exploring central park and thought it would be fun to hire a rowing boat on Central Park lake. Whilst out on the boat Dan proposed. It was very lovely and a total surprise! We celebrated with a bottle of Prosecco in the boat house.

Once we had got engaged we knew we wanted to get married the next year. We started to look at some venues in the north as Dan is from Yorkshire and I am from the North West. We were really flexible and although I had a rustic theme in my head we were open to what that looked like.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (19)

In the end we chose to marry at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire, which is a National Trust site. I had wanted a rustic feel to our wedding so we had looked at both barns and marquees but when we looked at East Riddlesden we loved the set up and the grounds, having some outdoor open space was important to us. The barn itself was also really pretty, I loved the lights and rustic feel. Although we went to view the venue on a cold wet day in December I could see that it was the perfect location. When we met the wedding team and East Riddlesden, not only were they lovely and full of enthusiasm but we couldn’t believe how much support we would have from them, not only the day, but the run up too.

Our wedding date was Friday 13thMay 2016. East Riddlesden said they had a cancellation and had availability for that date so we just decided to go for it. Some people may have been a bit suspicious of Friday 13th but it didn’t really bother us.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (45)

We didn’t have a specific wedding theme, but I’d say our style was rustic and relaxed. I didn’t want a wedding were I would feel uncomfortable, I just wanted it to be a fun day that was an extension of us. We knew we wanted everyone to have fun and that played a part in choosing aspects of our day. We didn’t want anything too formal for the wedding party and so the colours and style for suits and dresses happened quite organically as did the decoration and flowers. The venue really spoke for itself and so all we had to really do was enjoy it.

I really wanted to keep the wedding very soft and romantic, so we went for a neutral colour palette, picking soft blush pinks and creams.

A Rustic Wedding at East Riddlesden Hall (c) James Tracey Photography (33)

I really didn’t have an idea of what dress I wanted and so was really open to the style. I wanted it to be in keeping with the venue so I knew it wouldn’t be too traditional. I had seen the Jenny Packham Esme and fell in love with the style but couldn’t really justify the price tag. I tried similar styles and found the Phase Eight Hope dress. When I tried the dress I knew this was the one. To make it feel a little more personal had the back altered, lowering the internal panel, the straps shortened and a bustle fitted.

To keep with the vintage feel of the dress I opted for a Juliet cap veil, which I felt suited the dress perfectly. I had the veil made and loved the fact that I could take it off later in the evening but still have the head band in place. I wore Jenny Packham No1 shoes and decided to go with a blush colour to match the bridesmaids.

My make up was done by Lauren Sally Make Up.

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dream venue: lartington hall

July 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Lartington Hall (7)

If you’re currently in the early stages of wedding planning, sit up and take note, as this afternoon we’re introducing another of our Brides Up North Dream Venues.

Set within 75 acres of peaceful parkland in Teesdale, Lartington Hall is a venue that is equally stunning on the outside as it is within.

Having visited the venue ourselves on several occasions we can tell you first hand that this place is super special. From its luxurious reception rooms to its boutique bedrooms, everything about Lartington says elegance and class.

As an exclusive use venue, brides need not worry about sharing their moment in the limelight with others, and they won’t have to lift a finger during their stay either, with guests are assigned their own house butler.

Intrigued? You should be. To tell us more about Lartington’s impressive wedding offering we’re going to hand over the blogging reins to owner Shona Harper-Wilkes this afternoon – and if you like what you hear, be sure to join us at our Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Lartington Hall on Sunday 6th November to view this outstanding venue for yourselves!

Images by Lee Scullion.

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Where is Lartington Hall located? 

shona says: The Hall is situated two miles from Barnard Castle, a vibrant market town with gorgeous shops in Teesdale.

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Tell Brides Up North a little about the history of Lartington Hall and what the venue is like today…

Lartington Hall has a rich history dating from 1635 when the first Hall was a small Manor House. Over the years Lartington Hall changed hands and grew in size as it was developed, though it always remained a hub of activity and a welcoming place – home to families, maids, chauffeurs, gardeners and grounds men, butlers, priests, cooks and many more up until it fell into serious disrepair in the mid-1970s. It was nearly demolished, but since served as a squash and racquet club before the major restoration that my husband and I undertook to reinstate it as a beautiful country home.

Today Lartington Hall is a uniquely beautiful wedding venue, impossibly glamorous and perfectly tasteful.

With our gorgeous Grand Ballroom, private Chapel, and many sumptuous reception rooms, we can give our couples so much freedom to plan their special day – they can choose where they marry, where they eat, where they relax and of course where they party!  Despite the grandeur and size of the Hall, it really has been designed to feel like home from home – nobody ever wants to leave!  Our style is authentic, tasteful and welcoming, having chosen everything of the best quality means our couples feel completely spoilt during their stay – cosseted by designer silks, one off pieces and luxury brands.

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What facilities does it have? 

We have amazing reception rooms, flooded by light which together with hand painted ceilings and the best designer furnishings, makes Lartington the perfect place to relax, be pampered and of course, tie the knot! Our licensed spaces include our Chapel, Grand Ballroom and Grand Corridor.

We have a BOSE music system zoned in each of the ground floor rooms so different music plays in different rooms/areas, including the loos, from your play lists.

Upstairs there are 12 double ensuite bathrooms which are each individually styled and include antique shabby chic hand painted ceilings, freestanding baths, Mulberry wallpapers and the most amazing views.

Set amongst 75 acres of romantic rolling parkland, Lartington boasts the most beautifully landscaped gardens for guests to take a stroll, throw a penny in the fountain or just admire the view. We can also conduct licensed ceremonies outside in the gorgeous gardens.

Best of all, Lartington is completely private and exclusive – no sharing other than with invited guests!  It’s your very own stately for the weekend with a house butler included for the duration of the guest’s stay (really)!

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Tell us about the spaces available for weddings at Lartington Hall…

The Hall has an exceptionally large and beautiful ground floor space, which means you have lots of choice and flexible options for your ceremony, dining, dancing, relaxing and milling time! Downstairs comprises of:

Private Chapel – This amazing space is licensed and can cater for civil ceremonies of up to 140 people.

The Grand Ballroom – another licensed space catering for civil ceremonies and formal dining of up to150 people and evening receptions of up to 220 people.

The Grand Corridor and Bar – Tastefully restored with gold gilt paint to the plaster work above and reclaimed venetian marble floor this area is contemporary Victorian grandeur at its best! Civil ceremonies for up to 40 people can be held here.

Large Dining Room – Gorgeous embroidered silks from Colefax and Fowler adorn the seven Georgian windows overlooking the beautiful gardens in this room. Civil Ceremony for up to140 people and formal dining for up to100 people can be held in this area.

Drawing Room – As well as a gorgeous place to relax and watch TV or sit by the fire, surrounded by sumptuous Nina Campbell fabrics, this is also a room available for ceremonies of up to 50 people.

Georgian Hall – Connecting the drawing room and dining room and leading to the stone terrace and east lawns and Park, the Georgian Hall – still with it original 18 Century stone floor, is another room licensed for modest ceremonies of up to 40 people.

Staircase – With beautiful pre-Raphaelite stained glass window and 19 Century sky lights, the impressive stone cantilever stair case is not only the place to make a striking entrance and take unforgettable photos, but it’s also licensed for small ceremonies of up to 30 people.

Reception Rooms 4 and 5, Jacobean wing – More rooms! To make your stay even more comfortable, in our 17 Century wing leading to the South door and lawns, we have a gorgeous lounge snug (again with open fire and club furniture) and a snooker room.

As of May 2016, civil ceremonies can also be held in the stunning gardens that surround Lartington Hall.

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dream venue: le petit chateau, northumberland – plus a massive 50% off venue hire in 2016

July 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Prepare to fall in love ladies, for this afternoon we’re introducing another of our Dream Venues, and this one is both beautiful and brand new!

The fabulous Le Petit Chateau, brings French charm and style to the Northumberland countryside, providing an individual and impressive setting in which to say those all-important ‘I dos’.

From its spectacular function rooms to its boutique bedrooms and perfectly manicured Mediterranean Gardens, this venue is sure to tick your dream wedding boxes.

Better still, Le Petit Chateau is celebrating opening its doors with a super special wedding offer – 50% off all venue hire in 2016! Plus according to those behind the venue – the award winning Apartment Group – there are lots more amazing freebies that you won’t want to miss out on! We’ll let the Apartment Group take the blogging reigns now to tell us more about this fabulous French fancy…

Images by Sean Elliott Photography.

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Tell Brides Up North a little about the venue and its history…

apartment group say: Le Petit Chateau is a unique North East wedding venue in the beautiful country side, Otterburn, Northumberland. Hospitality at Le Petit Chateau started in the 17th century Coaching Inn, in its previous incarnation as The Percy Arms Hotel and has welcomed visitors across the decades – but never quite in the spectacular style it is today.

What facilities does the venue have? 

It houses a bar, function rooms and 29 beautiful boutique bedrooms indoors, while outside there are stunning Mediterranean Gardens and a fabulous outdoor terrace. We also have a second phase of development planned with a spectacular riverside terrace coming soon!

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Is Le Petit Chateau licensed for civil ceremonies and is there a choice of ceremony rooms/spaces?

Yes, Le Petit Chateau is an exclusive wedding venue with purposely built ceremony space. We have both indoor and outdoor spaces to suite all different shapes and size weddings. Our beautiful Belle Époque room is perfect setting for your vows, or if an outdoor wedding is more your style, our Mediterranean gardens full of tropical palm trees create a stunning backdrop for a garden ceremony. We can cater for up to 160 guests throughout the day and 220 on the evening.

What makes Le Petit Chateau a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

Le Petit Chateau is a fabulous new, unique wedding venue from the people who brought you the fabulous Newton Hall and the North East’s award winning premier leisure operator Apartment Group. Bringing the South of France to Northumberland, Le Petit Chateau’s décor is absolutely breath-taking and certainly offers the wow factor. Our exclusivity allows the wedding day to run exactly how our couples desire.

Is there a certain room or feature of the venue that instantly impresses couples? 

The stunning Belle Époque room beautifully designed as the perfect ceremony setting is definitely a hit with brides and grooms. Outdoors meanwhile couples are impressed with the garden’s Mediterranean palms, fire pits and the spectacular fire on water fountain. All in all it creates a one of a kind venue, like no other!

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spring romance – lemon & grey for a rustic wedding at healey barn – kay & neal

July 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Rustic Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (29)

Well hello there readers, after a small blogging break we’re back, fired up and ready to go! To get things started we’re sharing this stunning rustic wedding, which took place at one of our Dream Venues, the gorgeous Healey Barn.

Letting the gorgeous building speak for itself, today’s bride and groom kept the décor simple with subtle nods to the season in their colour palette and flower choices. All in all a very pretty day featuring tears, smiles, kisses and laughter!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Paul Liddement Wedding Stories.

A Rustic Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (13)

kay says: We got engaged in summer 2014, when we were on our ‘babymoon’ in Murcia. We went for a lovely romantic meal and half way through Neal got down on one knee and popped the question with the most beautiful ring – of course, I said yes. As we have always wanted a spring wedding we set the date for 18th March 2016.

Our chosen venue was Healey Barn in Riding Mill, Northumberland. As soon as we saw it we fell in love with the place. It is beautiful and was the perfect size for the wedding we wanted.

A Rustic Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (28)

As the barn is so beautiful as it is there was no real need for us to ‘style’ or ‘theme’ the wedding and so our aim was purely to create a relaxed atmosphere for everyone. For the colour scheme we chose ‘happy’ spring colours as a nod to the season.

A Rustic Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Paul Liddement Wedding Stories (35)

I wore a lovely fishtail style dress by Mori Lee, which I bought from a boutique called Brides Dream. I added a belt, for just a touch of sparkle, and wore cobalt blue heels as my something blue. Diva Dust then took care of mine and the bridesmaids’ makeup on the day of the wedding. Everyone looked beautiful.

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