Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: the black swan, helmsley

June 15th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

The Black Swan Helmsley (23)

Today on the wedding blog we’re incredibly excited to introduce you to our dream venue, The Black Swan, located in the picturesque town of Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

If you’re looking for a wedding venue that’s brimming with character, charm and luxury, this boutique hotel has it all. Couples will not only fall in love with The Black Swan’s unique and historic building, but also its incredibly helpful team of staff who ensure every couple’s wedding is perfect, from beginning to end. In fact, the venue won the prestigious accolade of ‘Hotel of the Year’ at Visit York’s Annual Tourism Awards 2015.

Oh and did we mention the food? The Black Swan is renowned for taking the very best Yorkshire ingredients and using them to create exciting and undoubtedly delicious dishes that are guaranteed to wow your guests. It’s also famous for its afternoon tea experiences and so we highly recommend those interested in viewing the hotel for themselves take a trip to Yorkshire, if not for the dainty sandwiches, cute cakes and fabulous scones alone.

In the meantime we’ve quizzed those who know the venue best on what it has to offer to brides and grooms…

The Black Swan Helmsley (4)

Tell us about the location of the Black Swan?

the black swan say: Located in the picturesque market town of Helmsley in North Yorkshire, we are surrounded by the breath-taking landscapes of the county’s famous moors that add to the charming English aura, which forms part of the special experience we provide here. Offering a warming invitation of snug armchairs and big open log fires during colder climes, alongside the romantic charm of the quintessentially English walled gardens that glisten in the sunshine come summer, at The Black Swan we offer beauty and tranquillity all year round.

The Black Swan Helmsley (1)

Can you describe the Black Swan as a venue?

The Black Swan offers the perfect retreat from the rest of the world. Providing boundless hospitality, home from home country comfort, roaring fires, exceptional cuisine and the lure of a traditional Yorkshire tea room.

In terms of weddings, bespoke, elegant and romantic are all words that sum up the perfect big day here at The Black Swan – a truly unique venue. Our name alone unmasks a picture of rare beauty that is characterised in the classic style and historical architecture of our distinctive four star boutique hotel.

How does the Black Swan cater for weddings?

Our beautifully designed rooms and restaurant mirror both style and comfort, creating the perfect environment for a variety of different wedding styles.

The bespoke wedding packages we offer have been specially designed to cater for couples’ specific requirements, whereby the smallest attention to detail never goes unnoticed. With carefully crafted wedding menus showcasing sumptuous plates of food from breakfast through to the evening, and with drinks that have been specially paired to match the flavours of each dish, we invite brides and grooms and their guests to indulge in a truly memorable experience.

We offer two different rooms which can be used for both civil ceremonies/partnerships and for wedding breakfasts. These are the main restaurant and the Garden Room. The main restaurant can accommodate up to 90 guests for a wedding breakfast and up to 90 guests for a civil ceremony, and the Garden Room can accommodate up to 50 guests for a wedding breakfast and 70 guests for a civil ceremony.

Whichever wedding package couples opt for, the Tudor Lounge will also be included for the drinks reception and also for wedding photography throughout the day, plus during the drinks reception wedding parties will also have use of our gardens.

The Black Swan Helmsley (14)

The Black Swan Helmsley (20)

What type of bride would be a Black Swan bride?

Those looking for a county wedding, in relaxed, homely, historic surroundings.

What sets the Black Swan apart from other wedding venues?

Each wedding at The Black Swan is exclusive on that day ensuring that each wedding party has the highest degree of attention and service and are made to feel very special.

Size doesn’t matter to us – from an intimate tea party celebration for 12, to a house party for 90 guests taking over the whole hotel for an ‘exclusive use’, all are equally welcome.

Our friendly, small team of wedding co-ordinators pride themselves on their positivity, listening skills, knowledge and can-do attitude as they carefully tailor each wedding day to individual couples’ delight.

When it comes to wedding photography, there are a fabulous array of backdrops to capture the individual spirit of a wedding day, both in and around the hotel. These include the eclectic and iconic exterior of the hotel located on the picturesque market place, the English country house style walled gardens at the rear of the hotel and the romantic ruins of the Helmsley Castle.

The Black Swan Helmsley (2)

How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

With our weddings, we ensure that each couple’s needs are considered individually – we spend time talking and listening and advising to ascertain what they are seeking from their special day, so that we can guide them through the planning process and work together to deliver their dream wedding day. We also look for clues as to any individual touches we can add to make their day extra special.

Can guests stay over at your venue? 

Yes, we can offer wedding guests a preferential bed and breakfast rate if they would like to stay at the hotel. Alternatively we can offer recommendations of other accommodation providers in Helmsley for wedding guests.

The Black Swan Helmsley (5)

The Black Swan Helmsley (18)

Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special?

Our wedding menus have been carefully designed to complement varying peoples’ tastes and needs. We understand that choosing the menu can be a difficult decision to make, however from our many years of experience we offer a selection of popular dishes to tickle even the most discerning taste buds!

Our wedding packages offer a selection of menus for the wedding breakfast, canapés, drinks reception, and for the wine to accompany the meal. We also offer a selection of buffet menus if couples choose to have an evening buffet. We do ask that couples choose a set menu for their wedding breakfast, however alternative menus are available for guests with special dietary requirements and for children requiring alternative menus.

The Black Swan Helmsley (16)

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our wedding packages are priced from £95 per person. It’s also worthwhile visiting our website as we often have late availability deals for couples looking to get married in the next 12 months.

Do you have any open days coming up that our readers might be interested in?

Our next wedding open days will take place on Sunday 28th June 2015 and Sunday 1st November 2015. We hope to see you there!

To find out more about the Black Swan and its facilities contact 01439 770466 and ask to speak to the Wedding Co-ordinator. Alternatively, visit www.blackswan-helmsley.co.uk

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Food Glorious Food. Wedding Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…

June 4th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

When it comes to your first meal as husband and wife, meat and veg in its simplest form will no longer suffice.  And quite rightly so: wedding breakfasts are not school dinners!  Brides Up North, it’s time to go gourmet!

Food is a very important part of the wedding day. Done right, it’s a celebrational centrepiece and a real treat for your nearest and dearest.  Think flavour, theatre and surprise to excite the senses and taste buds and get your guests talking.  Practically speaking, keeping them fed keeps them happy too – whilst hugely enjoyable, weddings can be long affairs so feeding guests a good meal or at regular intervals throughout the day is advisable. This way guests should remain alert through the ceremony, welcome drinks and speeches and still have enough energy to burn up the dance floor in the evening.

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

For couples who are thinking creatively, shunning the traditional soup – followed by chicken – followed by brandy snap basket and mixing up the menu with some more personal food choices will either evoke warm childhood memories or provide a truly memorable meal for guests.  Ask your chosen caterer or venue for their suggestions for an extraordinary wedding breakfast. 

So what’s top of the menu for couples currently planning their weddings?

With images kindly supplied by our friends at Dine, award winning outside caterers, wedding specialists, venue and event managers, who will be more than happy to discuss your culinary requirements for your big day.  Visit their website to see how they can make your event special.

(c) 2014 - Barnaby Aldrick For Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

Brilliant Bowl Food

Canapés just got cool. Try creative concoctions served off iPad trays or yummy combinations of flavours that combine in a portable portion for more informal celebrations. 

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

Afternoon Tea

In true British fashion UK wedding couples are picking dainty finger sandwiches, scrummy scones and a wonderful array of cakes to serve their guests, whether as a stand alone meal or as part of a longer series of dining elements.  This is a particular popular option for those having summer ceremonies, outdoor weddings or vintage themed celebrations. It can also add a fun, personal touch as couples can invite guests to bring their own sweet treat recipes to the table in a Great British Bake Off style. Interesting savoury options can be served along with the sandwiches while the sweets that follow can include anything from macaroons and cupcakes to fruit tartlets and mini meringues.

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

Nostalgic Nosh

Whether it be bangers and mash or steak and kidney pie, comfort foods and dishes that bring back fond childhood memories are whetting couples’ appetites. This laid-back dining option brings a warm and informal atmosphere to the dining table that will help your guests relax. With the wedding breakfast rule book thrown well and truly out of the window, pretty much anything goes – stew and dumplings, cottage pie, posh fish and chips – although there’ll always be a place for a really good roast in our hearts. 

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

Banquet Barbecues

I’m pretty sure that after the Aussies it’s us Brits who love to fire up the barbie. Predominately an option for those tying the knot in spring and summer, a gourmet barbecue wedding breakfast offers so much more than chicken legs and hot dogs. Think locally sourced meat used to create marinated lamb and tiger prawn kebabs or unusual flavoured sausages and burgers such as caramelised onion, chilli, apple or sundried tomato and herbs. You could treat your guests to a succulent cut of steak or perhaps, for a lighter option, some delicious Rainbow trout, or walk on the wild side with Ostrich meat! On the side serve summery and imaginative salad, coleslaw and cous cous dishes.

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

Wedding Brunch

As it’s cheaper to get married in the morning, those getting hitched before lunch time can literally make their first meal as a married couple breakfast. A growing trend, which started in America, serving your guests breakfast is certainly one way to make your wedding meal memorable. But it’s not a case of laying out some Special K, toast and crumpets – instead think fun options such as pancakes, omelettes and waffles that allow guests to interact by picking their own toppings and fillings. Alternatively, for those wanting a posh brekkie, why not serve up scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or Eggs Benedict, accompanied by a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary.

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

And to drink?

Champagne will always be in fashion, but locally brewed beers, ales and ciders served straight from the keg are becoming increasingly popular and work particularly well for summer fete or festival style weddings. Cocktails remain popular, of course, but to shake things up a little couples are encouraged serve a signature cocktail created purely for their wedding, or hire a pop-up bar where professional mixologists entertain guests by rattling up drinks on request.

I’ll drink to that!

(c) 2014 - Dine - Wedding & Event Caterers

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 supplied by Dine

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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

May 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography  A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography    MattAgan-S&N-035

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography   A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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

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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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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A Real Wedding In Yorkshire by Agan Photography

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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

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Star Quality: Supplier Showcase: Figs Catering Co

May 23rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Wedding dieters beware!  This interview with Brides Up North Featured Supplier will whet your taste buds.  Introducing Figs Catering Co, for a wedding breakfast with starry credentials…

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Figs Catering 1

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How did Figs Catering Co begin? 

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I worked in the music industry for 20 years cooking for bands and artists like of Michael Jackson (I served Elizabeth Taylor Sunday dinner in Singapore while on Tour), Prince, The Spice Girls (I went on to be Melanie C’s personal chef and travelled all over the world with her), Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Pavrarotti, REM, Morrissey and The Beautiful South.   I also cooked at the Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th Birthday at Windsor Castle,  the Queen’s Golden Jubilee at Buckingham Palace, the Thomas Cook Awards at Clivedon at which Princess Diana was in attendance, to name few!  I was based in London when I met my now husband, fell pregnant and was told by a very good friend to move as close to my parents as possible

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What catering services do you provide?

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Anything and everything.

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FIGS Catering Co specialises in tailored menus to suit your individual needs and tastes. We take the elements that the customer describes and turn it into a special occasion: whether a business luncheon, wedding for 300 or a celebration. We cater for all events small or large. 

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We can also provide:

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Celebration cakes: Wedding, Birthday, Retirement, you name it.
Silver cake stand hire and cake knife
Crockery and cutlery hire
Vintage china hire
Glass hire
Linen hire
Bar staff and drinks
Waitressing staff
Master of ceremonies
Flowers
Entertainment   

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I hear you provide event planning services too? 

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If you are having a party and need anything organising from design to drapery, catering to booze, garden party or soiree, venue or marquee, we do it all.  Weddings, product launches, award ceremonies. corporate parties – we can sort it out!

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What size of events can you cater for?

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We cater for an intimate dinner hamper for 4 to a wedding/ corporate event for 300. 

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What sort of food can you provide? 

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You name it, we can do it.  We try to source as locally as possible.  We use our local farm shop and our meat, fruit and vegetables are as local as they can be in season.  Rapeseed oil, flavoured vinegars, flours, cheeses and chutneys are as local as they can be – we have a wealth of local produce on our doorstep.     

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 Figs Catering Co    Figs Catering Co

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Figs Catering Co   Figs Catering Co

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What are the most popular wedding breakfast choices?  

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This changes from year to year but this year afternoon tea on our vintage china is very popular as well as a selection of handmade canapes, locally sourced meat and fish and a platter of mini desserts

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What canapés prove most popular with wedding guests?

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Mini beef wellingtons with a mustard dip;
Scallops with ginger and sherry vinegar; or
Figs wrapped in parma ham with goats cheese. 

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Can you provide bar services too?

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We have fully trained bar staff

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Where is Figs Catering Co based and how far can you travel?

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We are based Nr Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and will travel an hour from our base or further if the job pays. 

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Figs Catering Co   Figs Catering Co

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Figs Catering Co   Figs Catering Co

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Our wedding breakfast prices are negotiable but for:

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3 course meal £36 per head
BBQ wedding breakfast from £24 per head
Afternoon tea wedding from £18 per head.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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If a reader quotes Brides Up North we would offer favours at the end of the meal or a cheese board to a certain value.

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I hear you run cookery courses – can you tell Brides Up North a bit about them?

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We do: Italian Pasta, Entertaining,  Desserts, Canapes, Men in the Kitchen, Thai…

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Ask and if we can we can!

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Any really memorable weddings that you have catered for?

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We have had weddings where the bride and groom arrive by helicopter and a wedding where the horse and carriage has run off with the bridal party…

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Why choose Figs Catering Co over other suppliers?

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We are very friendly and our aim is to please from the beginning. We offer more than most competitors and you only have to ask.  We love food and enjoy helping people whether they have a large or small budget.

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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Visit our web site at  www.figscatering.co.uk

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Figs Catering Co

Figs Catering Co is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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