Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

glorious food: introducing belle epoque bespoke

November 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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As couples become more creative with their big day plans, the wedding menu is one element of the proceedings which is being given somewhat of a shake-up, with options beyond the traditional sit-down meal growing in popularity. So whether you want a menu to reflect the theme or season of your wedding, or you simply want to serve up your very favourite dishes, you’re going to need some experts who can produce food that tastes as good as it looks.

Fortunately, we have news of a new catering service in the North West, that can do just that…

For the first time in its 43-year history, Knutsford’s The Belle Époque, is to offer fine dining outside of its historic walls, providing event catering to external functions and events in the form of “Belle Époque Bespoke”. As one of the North West’s leading culinary beacons and wedding venues, The Belle Époque has attracted discerning diners, sporting stars and celebrity guests for more than four decades, securing its place within the top 5% of UK restaurants. Having just sampled this foodie gem’s delicious cuisine (and plenty of bubbly!) last night at a North West wedding industry dinner, we can certainly see why (we’re still dreaming of the dessert now).

Whether for events at home, in a marquee or in an external venue, and whether for 20 or 500 guests, The Belle Époque fine dining team will be bringing the same attention-to-detail that has helped maintain its place within the Michelin Guide for a staggering 38 consecutive years.

So for all you foodies out there, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to Kelly Angus, wedding and events manager at The Belle Époque, to give us more details about the delicious new venture.

Images by Jonny Draper.

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Why has The Belle Époque decided to extend its services to outside catering via Belle Époque Bespoke?

kelly says: After providing award-winning food and dining in-house for more than 40 years, we now feel the time is right to extend our offering to people in their own setting. We have a highly experienced outside catering team who can offer exceptional food, service and planning, so it really is the perfect time for us to expand what we do.

What types of dining will Belle Époque Bespoke offer for weddings?

We can offer formal dining, canapes parties, sharing platers, barbecues, afternoon teas, and in fact, we pride ourselves on offering a totally bespoke service, so if you have a wild and wonderful idea we would love the challenge of creating it to our very high standards for you.

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Can you tell us a little about the Belle Époque Bespoke team and their experience?

Our team of fine dining chefs is headed up by Paul Wright. As a former protégée of Simon Radley, Paul trained at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor restaurant. He’s cooked for members of the royal family, along with many of the North West’s most discerning diners. Paul is incredibly excited about The Belle Époque’s expansion into outside catering, and has set his sights on creating one of the finest catering businesses in the North West. Paul and his team have crafted outstanding event and wedding menus for you to choose from.

What would you advise brides and grooms to look for in a catering company for their big day?

Flexibility to create the menu you want, quick response times to your queries and a willingness to take time to understand what you want with a clear plan on each stage of the planning until the day arrives.

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What sets Belle Époque Bespoke apart from other wedding catering companies?

At The Belle Époque, we hold our outside catering services to the same high standards as our fine dining restaurant. We’re proud to have been awarded two AA rosettes, placing us amongst the top 5% of restaurants in the UK. Our numerous awards and accolades give you the assurance that your event management is in good hands.

Beyond the food what other services does Belle Époque Bespoke offer?

As a popular wedding venue, we know how to make sure that events run smoothly. Event management is what we do, so we’ll ensure the process is as easy and stress-free for you as possible. We want you to enjoy your big day, not be worrying about the canapes.

Whether you’re planning your wedding, or event managing a team away day, you want to know that you can trust your caterers to deliver outstanding food for each and every guest. We’re a family business and are proud of our reputation for excellent, friendly customer service. Over the last forty years, we’ve built up a solid reputation for fine dining and event management and have been recognised by the Michelin Guide for more than 35 years in a row.

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undoubtedly delicious. a pistachio & lavender themed wedding at beeston manor – laura & stephen

July 6th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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Foodies Laura and Stephen incorporated their love of fine dining into every element of their wedding, from the romantic restaurant proposal, to menu and theming choices for the big day, and even planned some top nosh in swanky London town to kick start their honeymoon.

We just love the pretty pistachio and lavender colour scheme, which fits in with the theming beautifully, plus all those special homemade touches that were loving crafted by Laura, with the help of her leading ladies.

So pull up a chair, tuck in your napkin and feast your eyes on the delicious big day…

With images and video by H2 Photography.

laura says: We got engaged in April 2012. Stephen and I often save up and treat ourselves to meals at top restaurants as we really enjoy eating out and sampling fine cuisine. Due to our love of food, Stephen planned a whole holiday around eating. On the final night of our trip, we treated ourselves and booked a table at the 3 Michelin star restaurant called Akelare. We sat admiring the view of the Bay of Biscay whilst enjoying our 12 course tasting menu. The final dish arrived and to my surprise under the silver cloche there was a dazzling engagement ring. Stephen got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Without a doubt I said “yes” and the rest is history.

We set the date for 16th August 2014 as I’m a teacher and so wanted to book it in the summer holidays to allow time for me to complete my preparations.

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We married in our local village church and had a beautiful service with our close friends and family. When it came to finding the reception venue we visited many options, but instantly fell in love with Beeston Manor in Hoghton, Lancashire. We loved the venue due to its intimacy and homeliness. The owners were fabulous and extremely accommodating. Being situated within the countryside and close to where we live, it was a perfect venue for us.

The overall style was of our wedding was traditional English country garden. This theme fit perfectly with the venue.

Our colour theme was ‘pistachio and lavender’. I adore the scent of lavender so I grew my own within the garden. I then dried it out and this was used to decorate the church pews and the reception tables. I even got my florist to incorporate some within my bouquet. Stephen found an unusual pistachio coloured suit that he really liked and the added bonus was that we are both very fond of eating pistachios!

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I wanted a big dress that was covered in lace and had intricate detail. I was keen to find one that was fitting of a traditional wedding. I would only wear a dress of this splendour once so I wanted to make a statement. The best thing about my dress was that it had a bolero piece that I could detach. This transformed the look of the dress and made it extra special. I purchased the dress from The Bridal Lounge in Accrington.

Stephen hired his suits from Dan Kerr in Preston. He wore a pistachio coloured suit with a cream cravat and handkerchief. The groomsmen wore the same as the groom. The only difference was that Stephen had a different buttonhole.

The bridesmaids wore a lavender Grecian style dress. I ordered these from a website called, www.DIYdress.com. The quality of the dresses were amazing and I purchased all three of them at a reasonable price. Our little flower girl wore a beautiful dress from BHS.

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We hired a traditional car from a local supplier. We only lived around the corner from our church so the chauffer ran the bridesmaids up to the church first and then came back for me and my dad.

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We visited a few photographers before we found Chris at H2 photography. We were really interested in getting a good quality videographer to capture our special day. We first found H2 Photography online. We watched one of Chris’ cinematic films he had featured on his website and we just knew that the quality of his films were above any other we had seen. The bonus was that when we met Chris in person he was a really approachable, friendly guy. Both Stephen and I knew that that we wouldn’t be disappointed if we picked Chris to be our photographer/videographer. We were right to trust our instincts. He was great!

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To save money, I attended our church’s flower arranging classes. With the help of Hazel (the chief flower arranger at church) we created some fabulous floral creations. This was an enjoyable experience and the church looked beautiful due to our personal touch.

The bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, button holes and corsages were created by Eden florist in Chorley. Again, I couldn’t fault their service. They did any amazing job.

I designed and created all the table centre pieces myself. Each one was unique and quaint. I purchased a variety of discounted items from places such as The Range, B&M and Country Baskets wholesalers. I was also assisted by a brigade of close friends who helped me to decorate empty jam jars. This was a fun experience and my friends really enjoyed contributing to the wedding preparations. Each table had a bespoke, homemade feel to it. To complete the setting, Creative Covers in Preston, supplied our chair covers.

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As favours the male guests received a bag of pistachio nuts and a tag that read ‘Nuts about each other’. The female guests meanwhile received a bar of lavender soap and an envelope of seeds. The seed label read, ‘Plant these seeds and watch them bloom, just like the love of the bride and groom’. We bought our flower girl a beautiful Build a Bear which was dressed in a gorgeous wedding dress. She loved her present.

We decided to have a cake made of cheese. The cheese was supplied by Pat’s Cheeses on Chorley market. This was one of the highlights for our guests. The cake looked beautiful and tasted great too.

As a sweet option we also ordered a three-tier iced sponge cake from Marks & Spencer. We picked up some lace from the Chorley market and pinned it around each tier. I then ordered an extra button hole for my cake topper. A simple look, but it was extremely effective.

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We chose Alex Birtwell an acoustic vocalist to perform at our wedding. He is an excellent wedding entertainer. He was extremely versatile, professional and friendly. All our wedding guests commented on how good he was.

In addition to the traditional wedding guest book I created ‘messages in a bottle’. The guests inserted a ‘best wishes note’ into the following labelled bottles: 1 year, 5 year, 10 year and 25 years. On each anniversary we will smash the relevant bottle and read our wonderful messages.

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To collect images from our day we used a free app called Wedpics.com. This was an amazing free website where guests could login and upload their wedding snaps for us to view. This is a modern take on putting cameras on each table. We accumulated about 300 amateur extra weddings snaps, which was great.

We would definitely recommend our wedding venue to others. This family run business can’t do enough for you. They made our day run smoothly and perfectly. A gorgeous venue, great staff and scrumptious food.

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After the wedding we started our honeymoon by nipping down to London on the train to visit Le Gavroche, which is the restaurant belonging to Michel Roux Jr. We then flew to Corsica and spent a whole week in a gorgeous, peaceful, secluded villa. It was bliss!

My top tips to other Brides Up North would be – get yourself a wedding planning booklet to keep yourself organised, delegate jobs as much as possible to friends and family and don’t be scared to DIY and add personal touches.

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She’s A Star! A Real Wedding In Yorkshire – Steph & Nathan

May 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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For me, Friday has always been a day of celebration – the end of the working week, the start of the weekend, a few cheeky drinks, a long lunch and a sneaky Crunchie.  Totally floats my boat.

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What better way to get the Friday feelings flowing than with a simply stunning real wedding sent to me by real bride Steph and Matt of Agan Photography.  This wedding has it all – fashion, fun and food. 

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And oh!  The fashion and the food… swoon.

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Over to Steph: We got engaged on 10th August 2009 at Center Parcs Elvedon and were married on 10th September 2011 at The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire.  The venue is filled with a quirky, rustic charm – and made an impression on us as soon as we walked in. The village setting is also lovely – and we already knew the food would be fantastic too, so it was a very easy choice!

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We tried to keep everything simple, local and handmade if possible. All the food cooked at The Star is locally sourced and our evening menu was all from local suppliers in our home village (including a homemade wedding cake). The table decorations and favours were all handmade and the confetti was hand-dried petals donated from different friend’s and family’s gardens

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I chose to wear Maxime in Azure by Ian Stuart Belle Epoque Collection from Blush in Uppermill. My head dress was by Vivien Sheriff and dyed to match.  I carried a bouquet of roses, calla lilies, gladioli, heather, elderberries, bear grass and lavender by Gerts Flowers in Honley. 

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My bridesmaids wore eggplant gowns by Jim Hjelm from Limelight Occasions in Lepton. 

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The boys wore suits from Marks and Spencer.

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The most memorable part of the whole day was definitely the wedding ceremony itself, walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. The speeches were also a lot of fun.

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To add a special touch to the day we hosted an after dinner quiz with homemade chilli vodka as the grand prize. We also invested in some fun outdoor garden games (quoits, petanque and swing ball).  We created our own disco on the laptop with handpicked songs playing inside and outdoors!

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Dessert was a feast in itself – cheese cake (actual cheese of various kinds), pork pie cake and Mum’s fruitcake. 

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After a brilliant wedding, we honeymooned in Las Vegas and Mexico.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take time making all your decisions and give yourself plenty of time to make them. Try not to worry about small details on the day – nobody else will notice tiny things that might not be quite right in your eyes.

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Congratulations Steph & Nathan!

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Contact me to share your Real Wedding memories with Brides Up North. 

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  – Images © 2012 Agan Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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