Your Big Day, Your Food and Drink Choices

Here at Rockbeare Manor, one of the most picturesque wedding venues in Devon, we know all too well the difficult decisions that couples face when planning their wedding. Canapés or no canapés? Champagne or prosecco? Disco or band?

We often find the part that many enjoy the most is choosing the food and drink for the day, although if you or your guests have any particular dietary requirements, this process can be more difficult, as you try to ensure that the needs of all of your guests are met.

Fortunately, our experienced Events Team, not to mention our brilliant Head Chef, Ben Upton, are here to help and advise you with your food and drink conundrums, to ensure that you get the best possible outcome when it comes to your choices.

We want you to really enjoy this element of the wedding planning process and so we have put together some helpful tips for you.

1.Vegetarian or vegan?

If you and your partner are either vegetarian, or vegan, there is no reason why your menu couldn’t be predominantly this way too, and we love nothing more than the challenge of making vegetarian or vegan choices just as inventive and delicious!  We are really proud of the variety in the menus that we offer and our aim is always to help you select a menu based around what you think your guests will also enjoy but most importantly, what you and your partner will love! Head Chef Ben Upton has picked some of his favourite dishes as ideas for those that are considering a fully vegetarian or vegan menu.

Starters

Somerset Brie, Thyme infused pear with walnut bread and an apple salad (vegetarian)

Bruschetta of chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables with basil oil (vegan)

Main Course

Wild rice risotto, roasted cauliflower, cep mushrooms with hazelnuts and salsa verde (vegetarian and vegan)

Desserts

White chocolate parfait in a dark chocolate shell, with honeycomb, raspberry crystals and passion fruit coulis (vegetarian)

Layered summer fruit pudding with berries, fruit coulis and speciality ice cream (vegan)

Devon wedding venue food - Rockbeare Manor

2. You’re teetotal

It might be that both yourself and your partner are teetotal, or you have lots of guests attending that don’t drink alcohol.  If so you can still make an impression with our selection of Reception Drinks.  Aimée, Director at Rockbeare Manor, suggests the fresh fruit and elderflower cooler as a lovely non-alcoholic alternative. Visually it’s impressive, served in a wine glass with a mint garnish, and it’s really refreshing too. Another option is to do a mix of two drinks so that you have an alcoholic and non-alcoholic option.  Prosecco is always popular, accompanied by Elderflower Pressé served in Champagne flutes to create that sense of occasion.

We would always recommend making sure that wine is available for your guests during the meal, but in addition, you could choose some of our locally sourced soft drinks as well, such as cloudy lemonade or perhaps apple juice, which comes from Four Elms Farm in Sidmouth, Devon.

Devon wedding venues drinks - Rockbeare Manor

3. For those with a sweet tooth…

At Rockbeare Manor we LOVE food and drink!!  The team here have put many hours into refining our menus, constantly improving them and seeking out those quirky ideas that will make weddings here stand out.  If you have a sweet tooth, why not consider our mini-afternoon tea stands for your canapé reception? Or, our Ice Cream Tricycle which serves luxury Salcombe Dairy ice cream.  Both these options can be amended to suit guests with dietary requirements or intolerances if required.

Devon wedding venues - Rockbeare Manor

4. Is it gluten free?

This is a question we get asked very frequently as many people are now choosing to go gluten free as a lifestyle choice.  Most weddings that we host here at Rockbeare Manor have at least one guest who is gluten intolerant or Coeliac and so our Chefs are used to amending our menus to suit.

The below menu is entirely gluten free and would make for an incredibly impressive wedding breakfast menu for all guests.

Starter

Poached salmon and crayfish with seared scallop and saffron crème fraiche

Main Course

Roast rack of lamb with a herb crust, grilled artichoke, gratin dauphinoise, pea puree and rosemary jus

Dessert

Summer fruit and elderflower Champagne jelly with clotted cream ice cream and nougatine crisp

As all of our food is made from scratch, our Chefs just amend the recipes where necessary, using gluten free flour in our cakes and desserts for example. And, if you ever want proof of how yummy they are, you must visit and try some of our famous gluten free chocolate brownie!

Devon weddings

5. Is it local?

Devon and the West Country is a beautiful part of the country and we are so lucky to be able to host weddings here.  Our delicious menus are made with only the finest ingredients from suppliers who we know and trust, and we use the local influences in our menus wherever possible. Our ‘West Country Platter’ is served as a sharing board on our Barouche menu. It incorporates all kinds of lovely things such as Quickes Vintage Cheddar, Cornish Brie, Devon glazed ham and local belly pork served with cider chutney to name but a few.

For your evening food you could select our homemade pasties. As well as Traditional pasties, our vegetarian version is to die for….Butternut squash, spinach, with ricotta and toasted pecans!

Whatever you decide to serve your guests, with Rockbeare Manor as the venue for your wedding, you can’t go far wrong, but our biggest piece of advice is that it’s your day! Don’t feel that you need to play safe – embrace the sense of occasion and choose something that will WOW your guests!

We’d love to help you to plan your picturesque Devon wedding at Rockbeare Manor. If you’d like to discuss your requirements, call Event Manager Stephanie on 01392 797444.

Diplomatic Table Planning

Your wedding day is around the corner, you’ve had all of the RSVPs back, and hopefully you’re looking forward to an amazing celebration at Rockbeare Manor in Devon. You are naturally going to be very excited about what your wedding day has in store for you, your beloved, and your friends and families. There is just one small challenge to overcome – the table plan!

At Rockbeare Manor, our very special wedding venue in Devon, we see all the time how families come together for a wedding, but we also know how tricky it can be for the happy couple to ensure that nobody is offended when it comes to the table plan. After all, if your parents are divorced and haven’t spoken in some time, or if a parent or close relative is no longer with you, it can be challenging to manage the seating plan and to keep everybody happy.

Our experienced events team are full of ideas and help, and so read on to hear what our top suggestions would be when putting together your wedding table plan.

Ask those closest to you to ‘head up’ a table

This works especially well in circumstances where you may not be asking parents, the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid to join you on the top table. Some couples choose to have a ‘sweetheart table’ for just the two of them, and if that is the case you could ask those closest to you to each host a table. Perhaps you have separated, or step-parents, or a mum or dad who don’t get on. You quite understandably wouldn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable on the day and so don’t feel that you have to conform to a ‘traditional’ top table of 8 (which would include the Bride, Groom, both sets of parents, Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid).   

If you did ask some of your nearest and dearest to host a table you could then get them involved by asking them who they’d like on their table which is a great way of making them feel an important part of the day.   

Table shape and configuration

The Ballroom at Rockbeare Manor is a really versatile, light and airy space, with a neutral colour pallet so you really can choose any style or wedding theme. It is also spacious, and so you have the flexibility to consider round tables of between 7 and 12 guests, meaning you can group guests together according to friendship/family groups. The total number of guests that you have will have some bearing on how many smaller/larger tables that you have space for, but any one of the friendly events team at Rockbeare Manor will be able to advise you on this. Another option is not to use round tables at all.  A banquet style set up, which involves one or two long rectangular tables, can have a real impact and avoids the need for a top table at all.   

Have a top table that includes all of your closest friends

A top table comes in many guises! At Rockbeare Manor we have a number of options – long and straight, oval, sweetheart as mentioned above, or a large circular table. For couples that are planning a fun and informal wedding, a table that includes their close friends, bridesmaids, ushers and siblings can make the day feel even more personal. Friends are often so involved in the pre wedding preparations, and enjoying your wedding breakfast with them will no doubt make it memorable. Don’t forget to let your parents know that this is what you’re planning beforehand!

Mix it up a bit!

A wedding is all about families and friends coming together and having a great time. During the drinks reception people will have chance to settle in, catch up and relax in the wonderful surroundings, but for the wedding breakfast why not seat guests in more varied groups? It is always nice to make sure that each guest knows at least a couple of people on the table so that they feel at ease, but it’s also great meeting new people too. Think about which of your guests may have common interests or mutual friends and go from there.  Our Barouche menu is a brilliant icebreaker. All the food comes delivered to the table as a feast on wooden boards, which all of your guests can pass around. It’s interactive, and a definite talking point!

Don’t specify who should sit next to who

If it’s proving tricky to establish who should sit next to who on each table, don’t worry! You could save yourself time and effort by leaving it to your guests to decide. You would still need to prepare a table plan which indicates which table each guest needs to go to, but you won’t need to have place cards made up to put on each setting.

Whilst it can be tempting not to have a table plan at all, it can be useful to ensure that we know where anyone who has a particular dietary requirement is seated. You may also have some guests attending the wedding that you know would feel more comfortable if seated with people they know.

Above all, the most important thing to remember about all of this, is that it’s your day and that people are there for you. They all want to be there, and they all want to help you to celebrate!

We’d love to help you to plan your wedding at Rockbeare Manor. If you would like to discuss your special day, call Kate or Stephanie on 01392 797444.

Twelve new and beautifully appointed bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter – Part 1

From the moment that we first looked around Rockbeare Manor with a view to turning it from erstwhile family home, to an exceptional exclusive wedding and events venue, it was clear to see how well this Devon Manor could be transformed to include a collection of stylish guest bedrooms. The Georgian proportions, high ceilings, intricate cornicing, period features, and not forgetting the unbelievable views to the South West, were all features that have added to the overall feel of the twelve beautifully designed bedrooms that have now been created.

c  

Making each room feel special has been important to us from the start.  The existing features of the house have of course contributed to that.  Huge sash cord windows create such wonderful light throughout and original fireplaces can be found at every turn, showing the character of this 18th Century Devon Manor.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

The design and furnishing of the individual rooms however, has been down to Bristol based Alexandra Cork who has been behind the overall look of the interiors project.  She has worked assiduously to make sure that the quality of the finish and attention to detail has been to the highest standard.

Alexandra’s vision for Rockbeare Manor, which is only 10 minutes from Exeter, was to create elegant luxury; chic, stylish and with a finish that speaks for itself. This has certainly been achieved, and it is befitting of a building that has so much grace.  The furnishings, soft tones and lighting have all been chosen to reflect the charm of the building, but with a luxurious and contemporary edge.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon   Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Next to our Bridal Drawing Room on the first floor, is Room One, a principle room in the house.  It is incredibly spacious, with classic Louis Phillipe style sleigh bed, and a striking feature wall. From the windows, you can see the steeples of Rockbeare and Broadclyst churches, as well as Devon’s largest single-trunk oak tree.  Whilst from the twin sinks in the bathroom there are views of the impressive fountain, South Lawns and private listed parkland.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

One of our two family suites was previously known as the ‘Blue John’ room due to the purple-striped stone used in the feature fireplace, a gem which was beloved by the Romans and sought after in the 18th Century. The views from this first floor room are among the best in the house – almost panoramic.

Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Every bedroom has a modern, wet room style shower with accompanying bath – some of which are freestanding in the bedroom itself, giving a lavish feel.

Bathroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon  

The windows have been dressed in made to measure fabrics from the Grand Palais range using a soft colour palette with a botanical feel, really complimenting the Regency inspired scheme used on the feature walls.  They also frame the views perfectly – which reach up to Haldon Belvedere, Dartmoor and the Cadbury Hills.

  Bedroom at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

We really are over the moon with the overall result and know that these twelve bedrooms will prove a popular addition to every wedding and special event that we host here at Rockbeare Manor.  We welcome the first of our overnight guests today when they attend the wedding of Sarah and Fergus, and will of course be making them very welcome.
The rooms at Rockbeare Manor are reserved for the guests of those hosting a wedding or event at our special Devon venue. For more information please contact the events team on 01392 797 444.

With great thanks to Jess at Perspectives Photography for the beautiful images http://www.perspectivesphotography.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

 

The History of Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

Photography by www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk

Here at Rockbeare Manor, our exclusive wedding venue near Exeter in Devon, we know a thing or two about weddings! Our team have been planning weddings for quite a number of years at our other two wedding venues which are in North Somerset, Coombe Lodge and Priston Mill, and so now we are so excited to bring our expertise to Devon, where at Rockbeare Manor where we will continue to create memorable weddings for all of our lovely clients.

Weddings go back a long, long time in history; they have been a core part of society for thousands of years, bringing people together in celebration of the unity of two people, but do you know where the most common wedding traditions and superstitions come from?

Stag Parties:

The history of stag parties goes all the way back to the 5th century.  The first record of such a party was made by the Spartans where the men would gather together with the groom, the night before his wedding, to drink and celebrate his last single night. Things haven’t really changed since, although bachelor parties rarely happen the night before the wedding anymore, for obvious reasons!

Fun Fact: Stag parties or Bachelor parties are known as ‘Bucks’ parties in Australia and ‘enterrement de vie de garcon’ in France which means ‘the burial of the life as a boy’.

Hen Parties:

Although stag parties have been around for centuries, the same cannot be said for bachelorette parties or ‘hen’ parties, as they are known in the UK. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that hen parties were established. Before then, bridal showers were the only time that the bride had to celebrate her wedding with her friends. However, hen parties have grown immensely since they were established; and are now a very popular event for bride-to-be’s.

Fun Fact: Hen parties are known as ‘stagettes’ in Canada.

Flowers:

The tradition of having flowers at your wedding has been around for centuries; although the kind of flowers which brides use have changed dramatically! In the Middle Ages, brides would carry bouquets made of fragrant herbs and garlic bulbs, which was believed to ward off any evil spirits that may be lingering around the ceremony. Thankfully, we have left this tradition in the past, and today brides have a vast amount of choice when it comes to the flowers in their bouquets which also have a more pleasant fragrance.

White wedding dress:

This tradition has been accredited to Queen Victoria; although some brides did wear white dresses to their weddings before Queen Victoria did, she is said to have started the trend. Before this, brides would wear their best dress on their wedding day, unless they could afford to buy a new dress especially for the big day.

Fun Fact: It used to be custom for brides and their bridesmaids to wear the same dresses on the wedding day; this was to confuse any evil spirits, so that they would not know who the real bride was and could not disrupt the wedding ceremony.

Day of the week:

There is an old folk rhyme which said that getting married on different days of the week meant different things:

Monday for health,

Tuesday for wealth,

Wednesday best of all,

Thursday for losses,

Friday for crosses,

Saturday for no luck at all.

It seems that Saturday was not a very popular choice for getting married in the Middle Ages, something which has definitely changed today – a large proportion of weddings now take place on a Saturday.

Something old, something new…:

Everybody knows the old wedding rhyme which states the different things which a bride should wear on her wedding day to bring her marriage luck. All of these things had different symbolism behind them:

Something old represents continuity with the past

Something new denotes optimism for the future

Something borrowed signifies community

Something blue symbolizes purity, fidelity and love.

This is mainly a British custom and comes from an Old English Rhyme. It is still incorporated into weddings today, with brides ensuring that they have one of each of these items to help bring luck to their wedding day.

Fun Fact: In the Hindu tradition, it is considered good luck if it rains on your wedding day.  Good news for brides here in the UK!

If you would like to discuss having your perfect wedding here at Rockbeare Manor, then contact us today. We’d love to hear from you and chat through your ideas. www.rockbearemanor.co.uk Telephone: 01392 797444.

Top 5 Tips for Success at Wedding Fairs

bride and bridesmaids

Wedding: Bride and Bridesmaids

We are very excited to be attending The Wedding Show at Westpoint Arena on the 8-9 October. As Devon’s newest wedding venue, we can’t wait to be able to talk to future bride and grooms, and show them what we can do here at Rockbeare Manor to make their day special.

Wedding fairs are a great resource for all engaged couples; they are a fantastic place to go where you can see lots of different wedding suppliers in your area and to get amazing ideas for your special day.

The Wedding Show is no exception; there are going to be over 170 different regional wedding suppliers, from photographers and cake makers to venues (like us!) and entertainers. It is the biggest wedding fair in Devon, and is not to be missed. As well as the best selection of wedding suppliers in the South West, there will also be live music and entertainment, a champagne bar and a choreographed catwalk show with all the latest bridal fashions.

Although wedding fairs are a great place to go in preparation for your wedding, they can also be overwhelming. There are so many suppliers there that it can seem impossible to see them all, which means that you may miss out on something which you would love for your wedding. But fear not, we have a list of things to think about when attending a wedding fair which will ensure that you get the most out of it.

Top 5 Tips for attending a wedding fair:

  1. Research: have a look at the different suppliers that are going to be at the wedding fair, then make a list of the ones which you really want to speak to. When you get there, head to those suppliers first and then afterwards you can spend the rest of the day going around the other suppliers without worrying about missing your favourites.
  2. Talk: when you go to the different stands, it is a good idea to stay for a while and chat to the vendor about their product/service. You could get some valuable tips from them or some great ideas which you hadn’t thought of.
  3. Don’t feel pressured: It may be tempting to commit to a variety of suppliers, especially if they are offering a discount or special offer. Always remember that you are not obligated to purchase anything, and don’t feel pressured into it. Take your time and get their contact details so that if you go away and decide that you would like to purchase from them, you can contact them later.
  4. Take your time: Make sure that you take your time whilst at the wedding fair. Don’t feel like you have to see every supplier. Wedding fairs are meant to be a fun way to explore the different options for your wedding, so take your time whilst you are there and enjoy it.
  5. Try before you potentially buy: Some suppliers will have samples of their work, don’t be afraid to try them out. Especially when it comes to cake samples! If there is a makeup demonstration you are interested in, then try it out. You have nothing to lose, and you could find the perfect look for your wedding.

If you would like to find out any more information about The Wedding Show at Westpoint Arena, then you can find it here. Tickets are £5 per person, or £15 for 4 people, alternatively if you would like to wait until the day then tickets on the door are £7.50.

National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

We had such fun last weekend. Not only did we welcome 100 guests to Rockbeare Manor for the wedding of Nick and Marie on Saturday 10th, we also opened our doors to the public for the first time since the completion of our renovations.  Sunday 11th September is National Heritage Day and as part of this UK-wide event we welcomed the opportunity to throw open the gates to members of the surrounding villages, Exeter, and the South West for family fun, tours of the house, nature trails and garden games.

Rockbeare Manor National Heritage Day

Up until last September Rockbeare Manor had been a family home and so this was the first time in it’s 250 year history that it was open to the general pubic and the interest was such that we had nearly 600 guests attend during the afternoon.  We were one of 5,000 locations taking part in the National Heritage Open Days scheme which is a celebration of our fantastic history, architecture and culture. It’s a chance for people to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

 Children enjoying National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, part of East Devon District Council, had a fabulous team that put together the nature trails which included making stick-men and clay faces on trees, mini-beast hunting and lots more.

Children making clay faces on trees at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Mini-beast hunting by the lake at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Every guest was greeted by a yummy selection of our Chef’s homemade carrot cake, lemon drizzle cake and scones with jam and Devonshire clotted cream, as well as our local Four Elms Farm Apple Juice (who are also based in Devon), some Elderflower, and Prosecco too!

 We were absolutely thrilled that so many people came to join us for such a vibrant day, and it was brilliant to meet them all and to see them enjoying the house and gardens.  Rockbeare Manor has been through a real transformation in the last year of which we are very proud, and so this seemed like the ideal opportunity for people to come and have a look, and spend the afternoon in such a fun and relaxed way.

 Family fun on National Heritage Day at Rockbeare Manor

New Devon Venue Hosts It’s First Wedding

Julian Harris and Claire Bowler are the first couple to get married at Rockbeare Manor

Julian Harris and Claire Bowler

Here at Rockbeare Manor we are getting excited about our first wedding which takes place this Saturday. We talked to Julian Harris and Claire Bowler from Exeter who are putting the finishing touches to a very personal ceremony. They are the first couple to marry at Rockbeare Manor in its 250-year history.

Tell us about the proposal:

 Claire: ‘It was a complete surprise. We had been on a beach holiday in Cornwall and on the last day we were at Bantham when Julian got down on one knee and proposed and I said yes! Beaches have been a theme through our relationship, our first date was at Dawlish, and because of this they are featuring in our wedding. We have named tables after our favourite beaches and created natural centrepieces featuring sand and shells.’

You have really put your own stamp on this wedding haven’t you:

Julian: ‘Claire is very creative and we wanted to try and do as much of it as we could, although I’m not sure where she has found the time. The thing about Rockbeare Manor is you can make it your own and that is what we have done.’

Claire: ‘It has been great fun planning it, we are doing lots ourselves and we have really been able to put our stamp on the whole wedding.’

Tell us about why you chose Rockbeare Manor:

 Claire: ‘We heard about Rockbeare Manor through a friend, at that time it was right in the middle of being refurbished, and even though the work wasn’t done, we could see what an amazing place it was and knew it was right for us. We didn’t look at any other Devon wedding venues – we just knew. I said we have to get married there, it’s beautiful – I just fell in love with it.’

What were your first impressions?

 Julian: ‘As Claire said, the house was mid-refurbishment, but from the minute you drive through the entranceway, with the huge pillars, you know there is something special ahead. We thought it was absolutely beautiful and such a special place for our wedding.’

What do you think of the house now it is finished?

 Claire: ‘It is amazing, even better than we could have imagined. We are so excited to be sharing our special day at this beautiful house with all our friends and family.’

The History of Rockbeare Manor – Devon’s most exciting wedding venue

Rockbeare Manor

Rockbeare Manor is the true essence of a family home. This wonderful property, which was built in 1760 and later sold to the Nation family in 1855 has remained with that family ever since, passing from generation to generation – until its new lease of life this year when it reopened as an exclusive wedding and events venue following a meticulous refurbishment.

The property’s long and rich history can be traced back to the 14th century when it was under the ownership of Matilda, Countess of Gloucester. Although at that time it was less of a manor house and resembled more of an agricultural property. Since then it’s passed through many different families who all made alterations to the grounds, including the introduction of a manor house in the middle of the 18th century.

The most significant alterations made to Rockbeare Manor came from Thomas Porter who bought the house in 1815. He built the upper story of the manor and also built the walled garden. Little remains of the historical features of the house before its update in the early 19th century, however it has retained its Regency period features which create a timeless elegance to its façade and inner reception rooms.

It is this elegance that makes Rockbeare Manor one of the most exciting, exclusive wedding venues in Devon.

The property has now been acquired from the family and undergone a sensitive refurbishment, restoring it to its former glory.  The new  ‘custodians’ PM Hospitality, have fulfilled their vision of creating a beautiful space where weddings and celebrations could take place within a spectacular setting reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel. The setting of the manor could not be more perfect; surrounded by the beautiful Devon countryside with acres of parkland the romantic aspects of the house are plain to see. It truly is the perfect place to have your wedding ceremony or a private party.

After sensitively restoring the house, accentuating its Regency features, the manor is now officially open and taking bookings for weddings and celebrations.

Alternative Ideas For Your Hen or Stag Do

When it comes to getting married, the hen and stag do is something that the vast majority of brides and grooms look forward to. The trends for these events have changed enormously over recent years, with people looking for more alternative things to do rather than simply going to the local. With this in mind, we’ve done some digging and found some really exciting, alternative ideas perfect for either the hen or stag do before the big “I do”.

As Rockbeare Manor is a wedding venue near Exeter in Devon, we’ve tried to keep our suggestions local, as here in the South West there is a multitude of different things that are available for you.  Somehow we’ve managed to whittle it down to a list of just 10 of the best:

1. West Country Games 

West Country Games is an activity specialist in the South West. It offers a variety of different and interesting events including a ‘cider run’, ‘pitch fork duel’ and ‘mangold dangling’. If these sound like your cup of tea then check out the website for more information.

2. Rail Ale Trails 

If you want a twist on the regular pub-crawl then The Rail Ale Trail which is run by Great Scenic Railways, is worth looking into. There are 7 trails to choose from in Devon and Cornwall. The trail involves getting the train to various stops, dependant on which trail you choose, and visiting various rural pubs where you can enjoy some traditional ales. There is also a chance to win a t-shirt by collecting 10 stamps from the different pubs.

3. Escape Surf School 

More of a beach-bum than a bar-run? Why not head on down to Newquay for your hen or stag do and do some surfing? The Escape Surf School offers surfing lessons for complete beginners to advanced learners. It’s a great excuse to top up your tan before the big day.

4. Ultimate Adventure Centre

The Ultimate Adventure Centre in Bideford has an Ultimate Assault Course with a mixture of land and water based obstacles as well as several other courses, which can catapult your hen or stag do into a day of epic proportions.

5. Skirmish Paintball 

What better way to spend your do than to play a game of paintball? Skirmish Paintball, located in Stoke Woods near Exeter, is a 120-acre paintball site and promises to be a day full of tactical fun and paint!

6. Pampering weekend

Pampering weekends are a great way to relax before the big day. There are lots of different places in the UK where you can go for a weekend pampering session and Spabreaks.com is a great place to look for a spa near to you. And yes, spa breaks are these days appealing to men more and more as they look for an alternative to the traditional stag do.

7. Devon Leisure

For motorised events, such as go-karting and quad biking, Devon Leisure has it all. It is the largest off-road activity centre in the South West and with over 12 miles of woodland quad trails is sure to provide hours of fun for your party!

8. Treasure Trails 

If nature is your thing, then the Treasure Trails could be the perfect day for you! Treasuretrails.co.uk has over 1,200 self-guided trails all over the UK which help you to discover new cities, towns and villages. They have walking, cycling and driving trails meaning that no matter what the weather you can have a great day.

9. Go Ape 

Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure park, there are 29 parks across the country and the one in the South West can be found in Haldon near Exeter. The park is home to a whole world of fun and adventure, including zip-lines, segways and swings. This is sure to be a fantastic way to spend your hen or stag party.

10. Cocktail Making Classes 

Cocktail making classes are the perfect way to start a night out for your stag/hen do. My Cocktail Master Class is a great place to start looking for a class near to you. They hold events in Exeter at Oddfellows most days of the week. Check out the website for more information.