Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: howsham hall

January 10th, 2018 | Julia Braime

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Here at Brides Up North we pride ourselves on keeping you, our wonderful readers, informed on all the latest developments, trends and announcements in the wedding industry, and in particular, the fabulous offering of venues and suppliers in the North of the country.

We’re therefore delighted to be introducing you to another spectacular venue located in the top half of the UK that has just recently opened its doors to brides and grooms, providing a brand-new celebration setting that hasn’t been seen before.

Located in Malton, near York, Howsham Hall is a Grade I Jacobean stately home, which has been transformed into one of the most impressive wedding venues we’ve had the pleasure of visiting, with the most incredible interiors that have to be seen to be believed!

Adding to its already fabulous portfolio of venues, award-winning hospitality specialists Dine will provide couples marrying at Howsham with a full event management service and first-class catering to complete their dream day.

Images by Jane Beadnell Photography for UNVEILED Magazine (styled by yours truly no less!) and DJB Photography.

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Can you tell us a little about the history of Howsham Hall?

dine say: The Grade I listed Howsham Hall lies to the north east of York in a quiet, secluded valley. Originally part of a large traditional estate stretching to 11,000 acres and having been a family home for 350 years. Howsham Hall has been transformed into a luxurious North Yorkshire countryside retreat, located 14 miles from York.

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

A beautiful blend of heritage and modern luxe. Far from the traditional, tired country house – this Jacobean treasure has been restored to an exceptionally high standard. Accentuating stunning original features with a splash of modern interior design, creating a truly stunning space for private hire.

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Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?

There are five formal reception rooms – 250 guests can be accommodated in a marquee in the grounds or 160 for a seated meal in the house. Each room is unique and in particular, the Great Hall and Drawing Room lend themselves beautifully to wedding ceremonies and celebrations.

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What makes Howsham Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The stunning building has never been used for weddings before, so you won’t be copying any of your friends or family with your venue choice. Those marrying at Howsham are also given exclusive use of the venue, so couples and their guests can enjoy total privacy during your stay at the Hall.

What sort of bride would be a Howsham Hall bride?

A bride who wants something totally unique, with a little luxury and grandeur. For a blushing bride that wants total privacy on her day with the most incredible food and service to match the breath-taking setting.

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

We will make sure that the finer details are taken care of; your dedicated event manager will run through your requirements and will work with you to create your perfect day – they will be there with you on the day to make sure everything is delivered and exceeds expectations. Our team understand that every wedding is unique and will ensure that your day is truly special.

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dream venue: principal york

May 24th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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We’ve been out on the road again discovering some of the north’s finest wedding venues to help inspire and inform you on the wonderful choices of settings that are out there for your big day celebrations.

For our latest research, I travelled to one of my very favourite UK cities, York – and more specifically its beautiful Principal York hotel.

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You may well have walked past this stunning venue numerous times not realising the beauty that lays within its grand walls – I know I’m certainly guilty of doing so! For the hotel is ideally located next to York Train Station, putting a big tick in the guest accessibility box, but in turn this means I’ve previously been concentrating too much on navigating my way into the city centre and so have overlooked this gem of a wedding venue that’s laid right before my eyes!

But an overnight stay there just before Easter has put this venue well and truly on the map for me. During our visit, myself and my boyfriend Andy got to experience its wonderful hospitality, accommodation and food and drink as well as viewing its desirable function spaces, which are perfect for an uber chic city wedding.

Catering for up to 250 wedding guests and fully licensed for civil ceremonies, The Principal can host weddings of all sizes and preferences with helpful and experienced staff, amazing food and drink and truly stunning spaces as standard!

And even if you’ve already sorted your wedding venue, I urge you to read on – as this is certainly an ideal retreat for a relaxing and indulgent city break, pre-or post-wedding!

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Arriving at the Grade II listed hotel for our stay, the first thing to strike me was the hotel’s perfectly manicured gardens and views out over to the York Minster – though in the bustle of the historic city, a feeling of calm instantly washed over me as we stepped into the lobby.

The interior of the hotel is nothing short of wow-worthy too, with late-Victorian features including beautifully decorative high ceilings, ornate wood panelling and towering pillars, complemented by elegant and modern furnishings, such as opulent mirrors, chandeliers and soft furnishings. Seriously this place is like Pinterest interior heaven!

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Following a warm welcome, we were directed to our Deluxe Room with gorgeous views of the gardens. The high-level of interior design continues into the accommodation with the hotel’s 155 bedrooms beautifully refurbished as part of a multi-million pound investment in The Principal, resulting in a classic and comfortable stay. As an added extra we’d been left a little hamper of Yorkshire treats in our room including tea bags, chutney, sweet delights and even a quirky tea towel and bottle of wine!

As we’re in the process of moving house we were keen to enjoying being away from boxes and packing tape, and so headed straight to the bar for a prosecco and pint (bubbles were for me, of course).

The hotel’s Chapter House bar has also benefitted from the investment refurb and has a warm speakeasy vibe about it, decorated in sumptuous deep tones with high tables, leather booths and waiters donning braces and bowties. Next time you’re in York call be sure to call in for one of their signature cocktails.

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After watching the world go by and inhaling several drinks (we blame the moving stress) we were shown through to the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace for our evening meal. The dining area has a lovely light and airy feel about it, with exposed brick walls, glass ceiling and botanical details.

We ordered bread, olives and a smooth bottle of Italian red while we browsed the menu and tried to narrow down the delicious-sounding options from ‘Rectory Favourites’ to those ‘From the Grill’ and seasonal dishes too.

I decided on the spiced Yorkshire lamp rump served with sweet and sour relish, capers, potato fondant and a red wine sauce, while Andy went for an 8oz sirloin steak with all the trimmings. Both dishes were presented beautifully, portions were ample without being over-facing and both meats were cooked to perfection. The different tastes and flavours on my plate were A* standard and the triple cooked chips served up with the steak may just have stolen the show!

Though rather full from the richness of the food and wine, we couldn’t resist a dessert to share and so asked the waiter for a recommendation – “the pannacotta is something else” – and he wasn’t wrong! The silky buttermilk pannacotta was accompanied by raspberry jelly and mini doughnuts (yes, doughnuts!) – all together it felt like a high-class take on ice cream and jelly, and who wouldn’t like that?!

Full almost to the brim, we moved into the serene lounge area to finish our wine before retiring for the evening to one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in.

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dream venue: hornington manor

June 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime


Brides Up North dream venue Hornington Manor can be found in the village of Bolton Percy, situated in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside near to the historic city of York. Their motto is your day your way so a Hornington Manor bride would be one that has her own idea of how her special day should be (sound like anyone you know?!). The flexibility of the venue, combined with the exclusive use of the Manor, allows a Hornington Manor bride to put her own personal touch to every detail of her special day.

We like the sound of that. Let’s find out more.


Tell Brides Up North about Hornington Manor, what is its history?

Built in 1770, Hornington Manor is a Grade II listed farmhouse, which has been beautifully restored to an extremely high quality to provide luxury self-catering accommodation. The Manor is situated in 300 acres of countryside and formal gardens, and is home to a working farm. This farm has its own flock of sheep, and grows its own crops, which are used to produce natural fillings for the luxurious Harrison Spinks mattresses.

What facilities does it have? 

Hornington Manor is a converted farmhouse, offering a total of 16 bedrooms across four separate areas of the property: The Manor House, The West Wing, The Servants’ Quarters and The Lodge. There is secure on-site parking, flat screen TVs in all the bedrooms, and Wi-Fi throughout. Hornington Manor is an extremely flexible venue, whether you are a seeking out a quiet weekend away in the countryside, or the perfect backdrop for a unique wedding celebration.


Does Hornington Manor cater for weddings? 

The beauty of a Hornington Manor wedding is that we are able to offer something for everyone. Hornington Barn is the latest addition to the venue. This rustic wedding barn is full of charming features such as original oak doors that open out onto the Manor Courtyard, and exposed beams. It boasts a huge amount of space, seating up to 150 guests and has a mezzanine level overlooking the entire barn, which could be a soft-seating ‘chill out’ area to give your feet a break from the dancefloor, or could be the perfect place to host your entertainment for your special day.

Alternatively, the Manor Lawn is a popular setting for a marquee, yurt or tipi, with spectacular views across the rolling Yorkshire countryside. A lawn wedding can easily accommodate large parties of up to 150 guests.

For smaller occasions, the Hornington Gallery could be the perfect choice, seating between 70-80 guests. This converted eco barn has wonderful floor-to-ceiling views across the Yorkshire fields.

Is Hornington Manor licensed for civil ceremonies?

Hornington Manor is in the process of gaining a license for civil ceremonies, and hopes to be officially licensed by the start of the summer 2015.

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What makes Hornington Manor a special wedding venue and sets you apart from others?

Hornington Manor is a truly magical wedding venue, and the exclusivity that comes with a Hornington Manor wedding really sets us apart from others. We are delighted to offer exclusive use of the whole of the Manor and gardens to the bride and groom for a three day long weekend of wedding celebrations with their family and friends.

The Manor is also an extremely flexible venue, which allows for bespoke and unique celebrations to be created, providing each couple with their perfect wedding.

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

Each bride and groom has their own dedicated wedding coordinator, who will be with them every step of the way to offer guidance and support throughout the whole process. We work with a number of trusted, local suppliers, but we also give couples the flexibility to source their own suppliers if they wish.

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Can guests stay over at the venue?  

When choosing a Hornington Manor wedding, the wedding party has exclusive access to the whole of the Manor where up to 38 family and friends are able to have a long weekend of wedding celebrations within The Manor House, The West Wing, The Servants’ Quarters and The Lodge. If additional accommodation is required, we are able to recommend a number of nearby hotels.

Tell us about your catering services. 

We work with a number of highly recommended and trusted caterers, who provide a bespoke service, liaising closely with our couples to make sure the menus are just how they want for their special day.


Where can we get more information or contact the venue?

For more information, please see the Hornington Manor website. You can also contact us directly on 01132 055204, or by email at

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Any really memorable weddings at the venue? 

The first ever tipi wedding we held on the Manor Lawn, was a pretty spectacular and memorable occasion. The whole landscape was completely transformed with the Manor as a backdrop and three large peaks on the front lawn.

The day began extremely dreary and raining, but luckily by the afternoon, the sun started to poke its way through. This created a wonderful mist that rolled in across the fields, which is what the bride and groom had their photos against, with spectacular results!

To be honest, the people that we meet really help make all the weddings so special. We have had the pleasure in working with so many lovely couples and their families, who often become friends, keeping in touch via email and Facebook, and often tweeting nice memories of their special day at Hornington Manor.


Any funny stories to share?

One of our most recent weddings were a couple from Los Angeles – Emma is an actress and Mark is a film producer. They had a beautiful wedding party on the Manor Lawn, and as the guests were enjoying drinks on the patio and watching the sheep grazing in the nearby field over the Ha-Ha wall, some of the American guests started becoming concerned that one sheep was going into labour (it was lambing season at the time)!  The farmer chased across to the sheep in question, and found it was a false alarm and it was actually our spoilt pet sheep Harrison, who had been hand-reared three years ago. He thinks himself as quite the celebrity, and is always nearby whenever he thinks he can muscle in on a photo so must have been trying to draw attention to himself in the field. The guests absolutely adored him, and ended up having lots of photos with him, and feeding the new born lambs in all their wedding finery.

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