Devon Wedding – Vanessa and James’s perfectly styled day at Rockbeare Manor.

Devon Wedding - order of the day

Saturday 1st April was the day that friends and family came together from far and wide, many travelling to Devon from the United States to be there for Vanessa’s and James’s wedding day.  It’s a day that had been planned to perfection by Vanessa in particular, a Bride with a fabulous eye for style, and determined to make their Devon wedding day one that was very individual to them, and memorable for all who attended.

 Devon Wedding - flowers Wedding Venues Devon - ceremony hall

The wedding at Rockbeare Manor had an elegant vintage style theme, with a blush pink and pastel colour palette, mixed with sage green tones which were enhanced by the wonderful eucalyptus and foliage garlands, used firstly to frame the aisle, and then moved onto the tables for the wedding breakfast. In all, the venue, style and theme made for a beautiful Devon wedding.

 Devon Wedding - place settings Devon Wedding - decoration

We were fortunate to work with some very talented and professional South West based suppliers for this wedding, and all no doubt had been a great support to the Bride and Groom before hand, as well as coordinating the styling on the wedding day itself. Kirsten from The Little Wedding Helper was instrumental in the whole day, and supplied many of the accessories that contributed to the overall style of the wedding, and that was only enhanced by the unbelievably elegant flowers by Foxy Buds and Emma Hewlett.

Devon Wedding - menu

De Winton Paper Co is one of our favourite stationers, located nearby, just outside of Exeter. Harriet creates classic, classy designs and did an amazing job on the place cards, table plan and not forgetting the menu display – a pale grey watercolour wash with a combination of calligraphy and typeface, mounted on a rustic barn door and decked out with fresh green foliage.

Wedding Venues Devon - Rockbeare Manor

The Ballroom at Rockbeare Manor looked so stunning for this wedding. With banquet style seating, dark grey table linen, and contrasting white linen napkins tied with grey velvet ribbon, scented candles, tall silver candleabra, delicate flowers and a mass of foliage; it was impressive to say the least.

Wedding Venues Devon - Wedding Reception

Devon Wedding - Wedding Breakfast

At the happy couple’s request, the menu was entirely Gluten Free, starting with Grilled Capricorn Goats’ Cheese on a Beetroot Biscuit, Fig Jam and Rainbow Chard, followed by Carved Organic Beef Sirloin, Roasted Shallot, Gratin Dauphinoise with Green Peppercorn Sauce, and for dessert an English afternoon tea cake display of Miniature Carrot Cake, Lemon Drizzle and Tiny Raspberry Pavlovas.

Wedding Venues Devon - Evening Do

After the meal it was time to transform the Ballroom for the evening party. It’s amazing how different the space can feel later on in the evening – it’s just so versatile and it’s safe to say all the guests had a brilliant night, kept on the dancefloor by Retro Disco Exeter.
Wedding Venues Devon - Wedding Party

Congratulations James and Vanessa. We wish you all the best in the future as Mr & Mrs!

Devon Wedding - the happy couple

For more information about weddings or other special events at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon, please contact us – we’d love to chat and help you create your perfect wedding day.

Telephone: 01392 797 444  www.rockbearemanor.co.uk

What to ask potential wedding suppliers?

So the question has been ‘popped’, you’ve started making plans and are beginning to get a feel for how you’d like your wedding to be.

Now may be the time to consider going to a wedding fair. Here at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter in Devon, we’ve exhibited at a couple of fairs recently, and it made us think about some of the questions that visitors often ask us. There are so many great companies, from venues to florists, bands to cake makers, providing services for weddings in Devon, it can be hard to choose. We think a wedding fair is a great place to find out what’s on offer.

Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

Here’s our guide to some of the best questions to ask potential suppliers before ‘doing the deal’.

  1. Are they likely to be available on your proposed date?

It might seem obvious, but there is no point in taking this any further if the venue, band, caterer or florist isn’t free on the date that you’d like to get married. If you’re happy to be flexible, they may well have a discount available for out of season, or mid-week weddings so it’s worth asking this early on.

  1. Do they have examples of other weddings they’ve done?

If it’s a venue that you’re talking to, ask them to show you images and talk through examples of other weddings they’ve done in the past. At Rockbeare Manor, we’re always very happy to show you photographs of the venue when it’s set up for a event to help you visualise how the rooms transform. We love talking about ‘all things wedding’ and can share ideas of the various styles and themes that have taken place in our venue too.

Rockbeare Manor at Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

  1. How much will they charge?

You may feel that having a discussion about final costs can wait until further down the line, however we think it’s vital to get this information early on. If the estimate that the supplier provides for you is vastly different to your budget, you may well need to be prepared to walk away.  Don’t feel despondent – there is great choice out there, and something for everyone.

An honest guideline of costs is imperative and it is something that every supplier should give you willingly. If you feel like there may be hidden extras or if it’s difficult pinning down a final cost it might be best looking elsewhere.

  1. Are you able to ‘try before you buy?’

Especially in the case of cake providers and caterers! At wedding fairs it’s quite usual for there to be samples for you to try so make the most of it.  You’ll also often find photo booths to hop in and have a go, live music to listen to, and food stalls to explore and it’s here that you can get first-hand experience of the product. In the case of a DJ or a band, if you can’t attend one of their gigs (which is the best way to be sure that you like them) they should be prepared to send an example playlist and video links to previous performances that they have done.

Wedding cake at wedding fair in Exeter, Devon

  1. Are they able to recommend any other suppliers?

Most wedding suppliers will have worked closely with other companies from the local area and will no doubt have some great suggestions of those that they feel offer a fantastic service. At Rockbeare Manor, we are happy to chat to you about the companies that have worked reliably and professionally at weddings and special events that we have held.

Remember, planning your wedding should be fun and enjoyable! We love helping couples bring their vision into a reality and if you choose Rockbeare Manor as your venue, our experienced team are here to help in whichever way we can throughout the wedding planning process.

Photos courtesy of the wonderful Mel at http://www.maxiphotography.com/

Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

 

Introducing Ben Upton – Head Chef at Rockbeare Manor

Meet Ben – Head Chef at Rockbeare Manor – Rugby, Fishing and Camping fan and all-round lovely guy!

Ben Upton - Head Chef

 

Where did it all start?

I was 14 and did some work experience in a bakery in Thame. I really enjoyed creating the produce and would have really liked to become a baker, but I received some sound advice from my boss at the time who said that it might be best to develop a wider range of skills.

As soon as I started my formal training at college I knew that I wanted to become a Chef – something just clicked, I loved it.  I have worked at lots of different outside events over the years; Twickenham, Wentworth, Woburn and I was also lucky enough to spend some time at the Savoy.  It was there that I really got to experience a fine dining environment, which really inspired me to progress my career in this industry.    

I have very fond memories of Combe House Hotel in Devon where I worked for over 15 years, culminating in a role as a Sous Chef. I enjoyed every moment. The atmosphere that was created by serving exceptional food in such a grand country house drew people from far and wide.  I was really excited though when the opportunity arose at Rockbeare Manor near Exeter; it’s great to be part of the team in this new phase of it’s life, turning from family home to a wedding and special events venue.  The refurbishment has been completed to such a high standard and in a sensitive way. The house works perfectly as a venue – there are bright spacious areas to chat, dance and chill. I’m really glad to be a part of such a great project.

What do you love most about what you do?

Experimenting and creating food that people find pleasurable to eat which encourages them to go away talking about their experience. Food is always changing and that makes the job so interesting. You are always learning something new and there are always different ideas to explore.

What is your favourite thing to cook?

I still have a passion for cooking bread with lots of different flavours, and if not at work I’ll do this with my children at home, teaching them about where food comes from and how it is made. However, you cannot beat pan-fried trout especially if you’ve caught it yourself. I do enjoy cooking most types of seafood and fish…linguine packed full of local seafood or sea bass fillets with sauce vierge. Alternatively, you can’t beat a rare fillet steak served with a rich red wine reduction and wild mushroom beignet.

Who are your inspirations?

Tom Kerridge cooks my kind of food, and I also think that Phil Howard at The Square is fantastic – the attention to detail his dishes have is second to none and his cookbook is one that I use at home a lot. 

And of course my gran who was a fantastic cook – eating was an event and she made the best treacle tart!

How do you spend your down-time?

My favourite day out is spent on the beach with family – normally involving a spot of sea fishing for mackerel which I’ll then barbecue on the beach. I also love course fishing, and more recently I’ve been trying fly fishing too. I love visiting the amazing coastlines that Devon and the South West has to offer – so I’ll often go camping with friends and family where we enjoy lots of outdoor eating, long dog walks and relaxed evenings.

Where would you go for dinner?

I have been to many of the great restaurants over the years, Pied à Terre was one of the best, but the restaurant that I would recommend to anyone is Rick Steins seafood restaurant in Padstow.  The whole experience was superb – the ambience, the service, the food – it was a complete package whilst feeling relaxed and welcoming.  Locally, we’ll visit the Otter pub and sit by the river while the kids have a paddle and we have a bite to eat. It’s really family friendly.

What trends do you see?

Eating out is becoming much more relaxed and sociable.  There has been a big shift in our clients choosing sharing foods and platters instead of more formal three course meals and I think this is going to continue for a while still. I’ve noticed people taking more of an interest in where their food is sourced as well – they care about how ethically produced the menu is and that’s really important.  It’s something that I feel really strongly about and so at Rockbeare Manor our focus isn’t on the cost of our produce, it’s on the quality, where it comes from (the more local the better) and the flavours we can create with it.  We cook from scratch – everything that we possibly can, to make sure that the guest experience is the best it can possibly be.

 

 

Introducing Aimée: Director at Rockbeare Manor, Devon Wedding and Events Venue

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Andrew Carveth and Aimée Spencer. Co-Directors at Rockbeare Manor.

 

Hi, my name is Andrew Carveth and I head up the company which is proud to have brought Rockbeare Manor to life as a venue for weddings and special events in Devon.

Over the coming weeks I would like to personally introduce the dedicated team that work with me, all of whom do a fantastic job ensuring that our guests have an unforgettable experience here at Rockbeare Manor, whether it be a wedding, charity event or formal dinner.

One very key member of our team is a bit shy about introducing herself…her name is Aimée Spencer, a Co-Director of the company, who joined us to develop the business and lead the team at Rockbeare Manor.

Aimée was introduced to me just over two years ago by a mutual friend, who knew we were looking to establish an events business in Devon. Aimée has lived in Devon for five years, but for the last 15 years has gained great experience in hospitality and events, culminating in a role as an Account Director for a London-based events company, responsible for their venues in Surrey and west London, where she organised many weddings and corporate events.

Aimée joined us originally in Somerset, working with me at our other venues Coombe Lodge (www.coombelodge.co.uk ) and Priston Mill (www.pristonmill.co.uk ). She impressed us all with her hard work, determination and sense of style and very quickly established herself as a valued and trusted manager with strong values and integrity, equally with clients as well as our own team.

 At Rockbeare Manor, she has been involved with the designs and plans for the development of the venue, and was tasked with the creation of the website and brochure, as well as continually working with our clients, and looking after the marketing of the venue.  She is also the voice behind all our social media and blog posts (apart from this one!).

Aimée has extremely high standards, and naturally goes the extra mile to look after guests as individuals. She goes above and beyond for all her clients, and will demonstrate the same care for each and every one of their chosen guests too, while they relax and have fun!

Aimée loves meeting new people, and showing them around the house, of which she is very proud. She really likes to find out how potential clients would like things to be, and has a great talent in bringing these requests to life, always happy to explain how it could look and why it will be  a success.

She loves flowers and chocolate – the sweeter the better! – as well as her husband Simon, her girls, aged five and two, and her springer spaniel Charlie. She also likes shopping, and an occasional glass (or two) of wine!

Rockbeare Manor is looking great, and it is loved by those that visit us here. I know that is in no small way down to the dedication of Aimée and her team, and I feel very lucky to be a part of its ongoing success.

Andrew Carveth. Director – PM Hospitality Limited.