Mini-moons

It is well known that weddings can be quite expensive, and with the added cost of having your honeymoon immediately after your wedding, it is no wonder that many newlyweds are now postponing their honeymoons for a while after their wedding. However, a break is surely needed (and well deserved!) after the hard work of planning a wedding, so some newly-married couples are now favouring a short break or weekend away, duly dubbed a ‘mini-moon’. A mini-moon allows the couple to enjoy their first days of married life together away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, whilst also enabling them to save their money to spend on a belated honeymoon, or put towards a new house or whatever they need or want.

Here are some suggestions of places to go for your mini-moon (or to just treat yourself for a short break!) that I have either visited myself or have been recommended to me: 

 

Apsley House Hotel, Bath

Apsley House Hotel is a beautiful Georgian country house, originally built for The Duke of Wellington. Each room has been elegantly decorated in individual ways, and the hotel has a luxurious but very homely feel to it.

There is free parking onsite, with a bus stop out on the main road to take you straight into the city. Alternatively, you can walk into the city in about half an hour. A session in the Thermae Bath Spa is a must if you want to relax, and the Roman Baths are well worth a visit to explore the history of this old city. Architecture lovers will appreciate The Crescent, The Circle and Bath Abbey, whilst Jane Austen fans will enjoy retracing her steps around the city and visiting the Jane Austen Centre on Gay Street.

 

Hever Castle B&B,  Kent

The 5* rooms at Hever Castle are situated in the Astor Wing and Anne Boleyn Wing in the Tudor-style buildings behind the main Castle. They are all en-suite, and offer different features, such as four-poster beds or roll-top baths. All B&B guests have complimentary access to the Castle and gardens during normal opening hours.

The village of Hever is well-situated for guests to be within half an hour’s drive of the spa town of Tunbridge Wells, National Trust properties Ightham Mote and Knole House, and the surrounding market towns of Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.

 

Langley Castle, Northumberland

There are a variety of 4* rooms at Langley Castle, such as the Feature Rooms and Deluxe Castle Rooms within the Castle itself, as well as the Castle View Rooms in converted listed buildings in the Castle grounds. The rooms are individually decorated and some feature four-poster beds and window seats.

From Langley Castle, guests are within a half an hour drive of Hadrian’s Wall, the historical Roman site of Vindolanda, and the vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

 

The Cavendish Hotel, Derbyshire

This sumptuous hotel has two main suites, The Redesdale Suite and the Hartington Junior Suite, as well as Standard, Inn and Superior Rooms. The hotel is within the Chatsworth Estate, which you can explore at your leisure, and the main house is a fifteen minute walk across the grounds in front of the hotel.

The Cavendish Hotel is also well-placed to explore the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales, and is within a half hour’s drive of the buzzing city of Sheffield and picturesque market town of Chesterfield.

 

The Royal Duchy Hotel, Cornwall

The Royal Duchy Hotel is situated by the sea, and has 45 smartly-decorated rooms, some with views across Falmouth Bay or of Pendennis Castle inland. Turndown service is available, and some rooms offer luxury bathrobes and slippers.

There are two beaches within walking distance of the hotel, and it is ideally located for guests to explore Pendennis Castle and the National Maritime Museum, in Falmouth. Cornwall is famous for water sports, and the beaches in the Falmouth area offer a variety of sports, including sailing, kayaking and surfing. The Eden Project, which is a must-see, is within an hour’s drive of the hotel. 

Ideas for your own Beauty and the Beast-themed event

As promised in my last blog-post, here are some suggestions for your own Beauty and the Beast-themed event, be it an afternoon tea, a party or even a wedding! 

The invitations from Etsy-based shop Gorgeous Invites are perfect for setting a luxurious tone for your event.

There are plenty of menu ideas on the Taste of Home website, including a three-cheese soufflé, jellied champagne dessert and a hazelnut chocolate mousse.

A cake is the perfect feature at any event… the first stunning cake is from Sweetie Darling Cakes and the second beautiful one from All Shapes and Slices Cake Co.

You could have your own Mrs Potts and Chip teapot and cup, which you can get from numerous eBay shops, although it will set you back around £40.00 for the pair.

There are some decorated glasses from Etsy-based shop JJ Glamour Glasses, if you fancied a tipple.

And, of course, you would need some themed decorations…

These candle/tea-light holders can be purchased from Jar Of Stars Magic on Etsy.

Simple bunting adorning the walls can be a simple and yet effective way of decorating any venue, and the silhouette bunting from Alice Ann London is perfect.

And finally, a decorative rose is a must-have for this theme! This one is available from Illuminated Glasswork on Etsy.

I hope these suggestions help you to start planning your own special event. What other themes would you like me to explore in the future?

Be Our Guest? Ooh, yes please!

This week I was treated to the very special (and fully-booked until the end of November!) Beauty and the Beast-themed Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea at The Kensington Hotel in London, and I wanted to share my experience with you.

Upon our arrival at this luxurious hotel, we were shown through to the Townhouse Restaurant and sat at a table by a roaring open fire. Now, with it being April, the open fire might have been a bit much, but it was a dark, damp day outside, so the sight of a warm fire was a rather welcome one!

We chose our tea (Jasmine Silver Tip Tea and Genmaicha) and the savoury entrees of ‘Bite size venison pie’, ‘Beef ragu and saffron arancini’ and a ‘Cheese souffle’ were brought straight out to us; they were full of flavour of certainly whet our appetites for the rest of the food to come. The tiered cake stand full of brioche buns (in homage to the baker in the Disney movie), sandwiches and sweet treats then arrived, accompanied by our own Mrs Potts (full of cream) and glowing Lumière! The layout and display was charming, and included scattered rose petals. The food was nicely tied in to the Beauty and the Beast theme, with ‘Vanilla & gold jelly’ (with an edible rose petal set in the middle), ‘Try the grey stuff’ (white chocolate mousse), ‘Chocolate clock tart’ (a Cogsworth-shaped chocolate ganache with marzipan), ‘Spiced snowball macaron’ (made of coconut and chocolate – and links back to the famous snow-scene in the movie), plus a ‘Speculoos dress’ (a ginger biscuit, with a marzipan topping in the shape of Belle’s yellow dress). As always with the best part of a meal, I saved the ‘Try the grey stuff’ until last, and it did not disappoint; it really was delicious! It was served in the small china Chip cup, which was just adorable, and I have since bought myself a Mrs Potts and Chip porcelain set!

My only disappointment was that there were not enough Lumière candlesticks to go around, so ours was relocated to another table halfway through our tea.

Overall, the afternoon tea was thoroughly enjoyable (even my husband said he enjoyed it and I’m sure he felt like he was there under duress!). It’s not a cheap afternoon out, at £35.00 each (or £45.00 with a glass of champagne), plus travel into and across London, but it is comparable price-wise to other afternoon teas in the city. You can also make the most of being in that part of London, by going to one of the free attractions nearby, including the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Natural History Museum.

 As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this afternoon tea is now sold out, so if you were unable to get tickets, then why not hold your own themed event? Or you could always hire me to plan it for you!

I will post some suggestions for a Beauty and the Beast-themed event over the next few days.

Why should I hire an event planner?

You may wonder why people hire event planners for their weddings and parties; surely, it’s something you can just do yourself?

Many people can, have and do plan their own events, but why make things difficult for yourself? Life can be complicated and busy enough without having the potential stress of planning your special event. You want to be able to enjoy your event from start to finish, and that’s where I come in.

As your event planner, I can help you plan your event to make it fulfil (and ideally exceed!) your expectations. I can source and liaise with all the suppliers, saving you valuable time and energy in finding a variety of options, haggling a reasonable price and confirming details. Also, because of my knowledge of the industry and the contacts I have in different fields, I could help you find the best quality suppliers; I firmly believe that just because something is expensive, it does not automatically mean it is the best, but then the cheapest option is not necessarily a good idea either. A bride I worked with a while ago was adamant that she wanted to save money on the price of their wedding cake by getting it from a high-end supermarket, against my advice. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these cakes, I particularly like being able to show my client’s personalities through their events, and these cakes tend to be quite plain and generic (she only wanted a simple cake topper to decorate it). Upon collecting the cake, the bride confessed that she wished she had at least met with the cake makers I had recommended to see what they could offer. Of course, my clients are welcome to (and sometimes do) disagree with me, but I only make suggestions based on what I think they would like and would work with the event, within their budget.

Event planners often think of things that you have not even considered. Through their experience, they know what works and what doesn’t, and they can draw on their knowledge to improve various aspects of your event, from room layouts to how your menu can be tailored to suit your theme.

Finally, having an event planner there on the day can automatically make you relax, and so enjoy your event more, because you know that if anything, be it big or small, goes wrong, then someone is on hand to deal with it immediately. I would always recommend that your event planner is there for at least the set up and beginning of the event, just to ensure that it starts well and that you are happy. For parties this often works well, but for a wedding, it is useful to have your event planner there from the set up to first dance, as they can be on-hand to make sure the event runs to schedule and handle any glitches.

As a bride, groom, guest of honour or host, you should spend the event with your family and friends, enjoying yourself, and not worrying about anything. So, even if it’s just for the sake of your sanity (!) hiring an event planner is always worth considering.

Here we go...!

Hello everyone…

Well, here it is; my first blog! I figured I should probably do this properly and introduce myself – hi, I’m Lucy... I’ve been working in the event industry for several years now, but due to a change in circumstance and then the opportunity presenting itself, I decided to take the plunge and start my own business. For those of you who have done that, you know what a daunting prospect it can be! I’m now up and running with Caro Events UK and work is slowly starting to trickle through.

I have worked on a variety of events, from private parties and weddings, to public ticketed events, dinners and talks. Personally, I prefer working on private social events, such as parties, weddings, children’s birthdays and social corporate events (e.g.: Christmas parties) as opposed to public ticketed events. I think it’s because with the private events, you can show so much of the client’s personality through all the little details and I think this makes them more special (and more fun for me to work on!).

I’m planning on using this blog to share my experiences (both good and bad!), to talk about events I’m currently working on, as well as sharing a variety of ideas that may help you if you’re planning your own event. Of course, you could just employ me to do that all for you! (Shameless plug, I know!)

I hope you find what I have to say interesting, maybe even entertaining, but we’ll see how it goes! Please do get in touch if there’s a particular area you would like me to cover, or if you need any assistance at all in planning your special event.

Thanks for reading! x