Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: matfen hall, northumberland

January 19th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Matfen Hall (7)

And just when you thought we couldn’t provide you with anymore inspiration for your big day setting on the blog this week, we come along with another dreamy venue for you to consider.

This time it’s one for all the North East brides-to-be out there, as we’re sharing details of our Sponsor venue, Matfen Hall, which has a lot to shout about in 2018.

Having undergone a first-class refurbishment during the winter months, the team at this award-winning Northumbrian venue are set to reveal the spectacular results of the transformation during a Luxury Wedding Show with none other than Brides Up North and, luxury bridal magazine for the north, UNVEILED.

And the best bit? You’re all invited and it’s FREE ENTRY! So, be sure to block out 11am to 2pm on Sunday 4th March when we’ll be opening the Hall’s doors so you can view this stunning venue, while meeting its super team and a special collection of suppliers from the surrounding area.

In order to give you a glimpse of what’s to come and build the suspense further, we’re getting all the details from the Matfen team on what makes the Hall such a stunning venue, and hearing how the refurb will boost its glowing reputation even further…

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Where is Matfen Hall located? 

matfen hall say: Set in 300 acres of beautiful Northumbrian countryside, Matfen Hall is located in a picturesque village only 17 miles from Newcastle city centre. The stunning Northumberland countryside Matfen Hall is set within offers so many options for your wedding imagery – from stunning golden corn fields to manicured gardens to wild woodland. The benefit of such dramatic interiors mean that even if the weather is not with you on your big day, your opportunity for photographs with amazing backdrops is still available!

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Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Matfen Hall and its surrounding estate has been in the Blackett family for more than 250 years.  The Hall was built on the site of an earlier Jacobean house in 1832 by Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet. Following a massive programme of work to the fabric of the building Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett opened the doors as in 1999. We have so many original features in the Hall, including a fireplace in our Terrace Room that was originally intended for Buckingham Palace.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Matfen Hall is a unique and historic venue set in stunning Northumberland surroundings; it boasts a luxurious and traditional atmosphere for a wedding. We offer exclusivity of the East Wing, so that our couples can relax in the knowledge that they will be the only wedding taking place that day and have the utmost dedicated team to take care of them with more than 35 years’ experience between us!

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Matfen Hall is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment that will transform several of its main reception rooms for weddings. Please can you tell us more about this?

We are delighted with the refurbishment work to the Hall’s East Wing, which has been underway for several months, and that will be completed by the end of February. This investment will transform the Great Hall, Terrace Room and Sir Edwards Bar. We are working with the talented interior designers Space ID, who are Newcastle based, though they have completed some incredible projects across the UK.

Entering the theatrical space that is the Great Hall, eyes will be drawn to the spectacular original oak ceiling, sensitively highlighted with led lights and suspended contemporary orbs of light creating a virtual firework display overhead. A dance of coloured light will spill over the bespoke gold ring seats from the original rose window, across the sweeping oak staircase with teal carpet runner, and will reflect in the antique mirror arches.

Leading from the Great Hall to the left, guests will be entertained within the sumptuous cocktail lounge with crystal lights, enveloping wingback chairs and relaxing music. Sir Edward’s Bar provides a relaxing space, with textured wall finishes, in rich blues and greens accented with artisan brass metalwork on the bar counter.

Leaving Sir Edward’s Bar, guests will be guided to the pièce de résistance, The Terrace Room. The original Jacobean windows with centuries old timber panelling frame the spectacular backdrop of Matfen Hall gardens and golf course. The high ceilings adorned with decorative plasterwork, sympathetically picked out in muted colours to match the panelled walls inset with crystal cut antique mirror panels.

We are really looking forward to revealing the East Wing once the work is complete and can’t wait to host many weddings in the new space.

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Can you tell us how couples can use the various areas of Matfen Hall on their wedding day?

The Great Hall is the ultimate setting for the most romantic and intimate part of your day, make your entrance down the magnificent Great Hall staircase before taking your vows in front of the large feature fireplace. This room can cater for up to 120 guests for a seated ceremony.

We also have our Dutch garden and cloister courtyard, for a more unique outdoor ceremony! Our private south facing Dutch Garden also makes a beautiful area for a cocktail drinks reception, then venture off into the surrounding woodland and estate, or, on a winter’s day, take your drinks reception in front of the roaring log burning fire in the Great Hall.

For those who would like a church ceremony, our neighbouring village only a short walk away from the East Wing hosts the cosy Holy Trinity Church, originally built by our current owner’s great-grandfather, Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet who also built Matfen Hall.

The choice of rooms for your wedding breakfast makes Matfen a truly special venue, the high ceilings and garden views out of the bay windows are just breath-taking.

Your evening celebration takes you to the Vault Bar and Cloister, historically the cellars of the original stately home. The décor creates a stylish and unique space for you and your guests to dance the night away! The Cloister courtyard can be used throughout various parts of your wedding day – the magical festoon lit area is perfect for outdoor ceremonies, alfresco dining or your sparkler send off at midnight!

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diary date: the biscuit factory wedding open day

November 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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If you’re searching for a cool city wedding venue that offers a blank canvas with character, exceptional service and amazing food, then we might just be able to help. For our fabulous Sponsor,  The Biscuit Factory, is opening its doors to brides and grooms-to-be this month for its bi-annual wedding open day.

Located in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, the unique gallery, which has been shortlisted for “Best City Venue” in this year’s UK Wedding Awards, will be hosting its open day on Saturday 26th November, between 12pm and 4pm.

Images by Sean Elliott Photography.

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The event is an opportunity to see the gallery’s dedicated events space, The Biscuit Room, laid out for a ceremony and reception.

Throughout the afternoon, The Biscuit Factory’s events team will be on hand to talk to guests, one-to-one, about the venue’s unique portfolio of services, The Wedding Collection. Guests can also enjoy a selection of handpicked canapés as a little taster of the in-house catering, accompanied by a complimentary glass of fizz.

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Speaking about the event, Tom Gostling, events manager at The Biscuit Factory comments as follows.

tom says: We’re holding our open day on a weekend for the very first time and hope that this new format will enable even more couples to come along and see our beautiful venue first-hand. We love meeting with couples face-to-face, to discuss how we can help make their dream wedding become a reality.

Located within the Ouseburn valley, The Biscuit Factory is housed within a former Victorian warehouse, providing weddings with an inspiring, culturally-infused backdrop that’s characterised by contemporary art collections, wooden beams and original brickwork. Its purpose-built Biscuit Room is one of the largest in the city, accommodating up to 150 guests for a ceremony and 250 seated guests for a meal and party.

For more information about the wedding open day, visit The Biscuit Factory events website at www.biscuitfactoryevents.com/our-news. To book your free space, RSVP to events@thebiscuitfactory.com

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doing things your way: the biscuit factory

October 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

© jamie penfold photography 2015 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

This afternoon we’re catching up with the fabulous team at one of our Dream Venues in the wonderful North East, The Biscuit Factory.

An individual and quirky art, craft and design gallery in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter, this place is perfect for those of you on the hunt for a big day venue that provides a blank canvas with character, exceptional service and amazing food!

The friendly team encourage its brides and grooms to do things their own way and get a buzz out of making couples’ dream days become reality.

Intrigued? We thought you might be, and so we’re going to hand you over to the guys at the venue to tell us more about The Biscuit Factory’s unique offering…

Images by Jamie Penfold and Sean Elliott.

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Can you give us a brief overview of The Biscuit Factory?

the biscuit factory say: The venue is a contemporary art, craft and design gallery – the largest of its kind in the UK – located in the Ouseburn Valley, dubbed the cultural quarter of Newcastle. The gallery is housed in a beautiful Victorian warehouse (think wooden beams and exposed brickwork) – and yes, biscuits were manufactured on-site back in the 1800s!

Adjoining the main gallery is our purpose-built function space, The Biscuit Room, which is one of the largest venues in Newcastle.

The Biscuit Factory prides itself on being a unique and quality venue. Can you tell us what sets the venue a part from others and how it provides good quality service to its brides and grooms?

Earlier this year, we were shortlisted for ‘Best City Venue’ in the UK Wedding Awards – and we were the only venue in the North East listed in our category. This was a huge achievement for us, highlighting what makes us unique as a wedding venue, not just here in Newcastle, but on a regional and national scale, too.

We say to all our clients, “Do it your way”, offering couples a stylish and cultural backdrop to host their big day, set within an unconventional urban location. As for our service – our team are highly experienced and every couple is assigned their very own wedding coordinator to ensure a seamless and personalised service from the outset right through to their wedding day.

© jamie penfold photography 2015 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The venue also puts an emphasis on individuality – in what ways does The Biscuit Factory tick boxes for those looking for something a bit different?

We don’t offer any standard packages at The Biscuit Factory – we work with every couple to create something that’s unique to them. And when it comes to our food, devised by our award-winning chefs, we can create a menu to fit any theme, whether it’s a traditional roast, Latin American street food or laid-back barbecue you’re after.

And how can couples make the space their own?

We often describe The Biscuit Room as a blank canvas because essentially, that’s what it is – a large, versatile space which can be completely transformed to bring a couple’s dream wedding to life. The backdrop is minimalist and understated, which means it can accommodate all types of themes, props and tables settings – the space is whatever you make of it!

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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: 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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