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Tips for the perfect small Yorkshire wedding

Here at Grassfield Hall, we are firm believers that bigger doesn’t mean better. In fact, we happen to think that the best things are bespoke and bijoux – especially when it comes to wedding days.   

After all, the day of your marriage should be about the love you two share and celebrating that with the people who you absolutely love the most. We definitely don’t think you should be spending the day worried about whether all your guests will get on together or whether you have spent enough time going around everyone checking that they are okay.

As well as the obvious budget implications a smaller wedding solves, it also creates a much more relaxed and intimate setting. It means you can spend more time with your close friends and family, and enjoy a more personal and unforgettable experience overall.

If you think an intimate wedding sounds like the perfect choice for you and your partner, then here we offer some tips to make your day all the more special.

Choose your venue carefully

If a guest list featuring hundreds of people doesn’t interest you, then it’s likely you are going to be looking for a Yorkshire venue that specialises in smaller weddings. Big hotels in Harrogate, York or Leeds can be great for those who want to invite lots of guests but can often feel too spacious or soul-less for smaller groups. Also, if your guest list is small, often hotels will try to fit more than one wedding on the same day, and do you really want to share the limelight with another wedding party?

Luxury private venues in Yorkshire, like Grassfield Hall, specialise in holding only small, intimate weddings so we know exactly how to make the most of your guest list. Here, we seat a maximum of 32 guests for your wedding breakfast, with the possibility of a further 25 guests joining for your evening celebrations. You will have exclusive use of the hall and its beautiful grounds during your stay and be totally looked after by our small family team.

Take time over your guest list

When your invite-list is small, you need to be very selective and your guests will understand this. You are perfectly entitled to say no to plus ones if you haven’t yet met the person, and many modern couples don’t invite children so that they don’t have to provide entertainment for them (and also so that the kid’s parents can relax a little more on the day too!)

Every single person you invite to a wedding this size should be someone that is close to you and you can’t imagine marrying without them there. A good question to ask is ‘Would we want to go for an intimate dinner date with this person/couple next week? If the answer is no, then they just don’t make the cut.

Go with local, recommended suppliers

Your wedding suppliers can make a big impact on the smooth running of your day. And, if you’re not living in the area you are getting married in, or are not used to planning events, then it can be pretty overwhelming when it comes to choosing your A team for the day. 

You really can’t beat the assurance from another bride or groom that the supplier you are considering provided and excellent service at their wedding. Although everyone has varying views on quality and style – it will help to know that your supplier has experience and rates highly with others.

Caterers, florists, photographers, and entertainers all rely on reviews and recommendations for future bookings, so don’t be embarrassed to ask them for recent reviews, images, and videos, or to be put in touch with a couple of previous clients that you can get in touch with.

We recommend choosing local suppliers, not only to offset your wedding’s carbon footprint but also to get the most out of the beauty of the local area. North Yorkshire is home to amazing caterers who specialise in seasonal, Yorkshire produce, as well as florists who get their plants and blooms from local growers.

Focus on your favourite things

A big benefit to having a small wedding is that you will be spending less money on the number of guests coming and can therefore put more budget towards all the things that matter to you as a couple.

Together, write down a list of what your priority items are: it could be having Michelin star food, a special type of champagne that you love, beautiful floral displays in every corner of the venue, an open bar for the whole day, a live music act that you’ve heard before or going all out on your clothes and accessories for the day.

Try to focus on two to three priorities and then make those the stars of the show when it comes to designing the look of your reception.

Personalise it all

When you have only a few select guests invited, the nano-details matter, and personalising certain things can make everyone feel so much more special and appreciated.

Why not get creative with your place cards: you could write guests’ names on small potted orchids; personalise mini bottles of champagne; use crystal birthstones for everyone coming, or even ice their names onto pretty biscuits.

With your saved budget, you could hire a calligrapher or illustrator to handwrite each order of service, menu, and place setting with your guest’s name and maybe even a sketch of the guest – just imagine how beautiful they will look on the seats as your guest arrive. 

Take the stress out of it

We know that planning a wedding can be exhausting, no matter how big or small they are. With so many things to consider and remember, it’s nice to share the load with someone who you both trust and can rely on.

Our small, family team at Grassfield Hall wants to be the one to take the stress away from you. We work extremely closely with our couples so that we get to know them personally. Unlike many other venues, we will liaise with your suppliers directly in the run-up to the event, to ensure everything is planned to perfection, meaning that you can really enjoy the days leading up to your big day with the safe knowledge that everything is under control.

Every small wedding is so special and important for us too. And, we will do everything in our power to make things even more magical than you imagined.

 

Considering a wedding in 2022 or beyond? Contact Lisa today to talk about your plans and arrange a date to come and view the hall.

Ingredients for a perfect New Year’s Eve

In the current climate, many of us are opting for scaled-back celebrations with a few special people. And although the group might be smaller, it doesn’t mean that you need to lack on fun! Small New Year’s Eve gatherings can be even more enjoyable as you get to enjoy each other’s company more and really spend quality time together.

Intimate dinners and cocktail parties are definitely the way forward this year, so here are some key ingredients to ensure you let 2022 in with style.

A great venue

Many of us like entertaining at home in our own comfort zone, however, if you love hosting but want a change of scenery, then why not hire a private venue to accommodate your group?

Private hire venues are great at NYE as you can enjoy dinner and fun during the evening, as well as sleeping over and having breakfast together on New Year’s Day (sore head or not!).

Here at Grassfield Hall, we can sleep up to 16 people for a private hire, with a dedicated dining area, bar area and lots of cosy places to relax and catch up with those you love.

Delicious food

Nothing makes a great party like amazing food and drink. The nice thing about hosting in a private venue is that you can either choose to cook yourself or hire local caterers to take the hassle away.

North Yorkshire is home to some fantastic caterers, so you really are spoilt for choice. You can also choose whether to have caterers prepare food at the venue and serve you and your guests at the table. Or, another option would be for your caterer to prepare you a big sharing dish, for example, a curry, casserole or paella, so you can just pop it in the oven before everyone arrives, and then dish out later.

As it’s going to be a long night – try to space out the food as much as possible. Start with canapes or nibbles when people arrive about 7.30 pm, serve the main course around 9 pm and consider saving desert until around 10.30 pm so people aren’t starving as the clock strikes midnight! You could always have some bacon sarnies or toasties to serve in the early hours if it’s going to be a late one!

Fun & entertainment

Eating and drinking will take up a lot of the night, but it’s nice to have some other things up your sleeve to entertain your friends and family.

Perhaps you fancy a games night with poker, roulette or a darts championship? Or maybe Cherades, Pictionary or Jenga are more your thing? Either way, a few games can help people relax and get into the swing of the evening.

A great playlist can also make your evening more enjoyable, especially if you have space to dance. Choose some uplifting but softer music for dinner, and then crank up the volume and the beat later on when everyone has kicked their shoes off!

Thoughtful details

Memorable events are all about the small details – the flowers, the name cards, the candles, the treats.

Think of a theme that you want to have for the night and make everything consistent. For example, if you are having a casino theme, then you could give everyone a wad of play money next to their dinner plate, as well as Bond-inspired music on the playlist.

Gold and silver are popular colours for New Year’s Eve – so you could use sparkling confetti on the dinner table, as well as golden party poppers and crackers in these colours.

However you choose to spend NYE this year, we hope you have a fantastic time! And, remember, if you are looking to plan a party or event in 2022, then Grassfield Hall could just be the perfect place to host it!!

Ideas for the perfect Harrogate winter getaway

North Yorkshire is the perfect place to take a mini-break and winter is a time when this area really comes into its own.

With cosy luxury accommodation, festive events, and feel-good food, Harrogate is a great stay for a girlie retreat, a family jaunt or a romantic weekend.

To give you inspiration when booking your next trip here, we’ve noted down some ideas to make your getaway even more special…

Pick the perfect accommodation

When it comes to choosing where to stay, the 5-star accommodation near Harrogate offers many different options.

Harrogate town centre itself is home to many wonderful places to check-in, or you can venture a little further out of town, giving you access to stunning scenery and idyllic vistas of the Yorkshire Dales.

You can pick from lovely big hotels with spas, small & quirky B&Bs with character, or choose to stay in an exclusive private hire venue if you are travelling with a larger group. Here at Grassfield Hall, we offer both B&B weekday stays, as well as full venue hire over weekends for up to 16 people, so you can select what suits you best.

Eat, drink and be merry

Winter food is all about comfort and warmth, and when you visit Harrogate, you can be sure that your tastebuds are in for a real treat!

In town, you will find a host of restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, and the most wonderful thing is that the majority of them are independent. FISK is great for sustainably sourced seafood with Asian inspiration, while William & Victoria is Harrogate’s longest-running wine bar and perfect for a cosy meal with friends. There are lots of quaint little pubs to pop into including The Montpellier, The Old Bell Tavern, and The Fat Badger, and no visit to Harrogate would be complete without a Fat Rascal from Betty’s Tea Rooms!

Further out into the Dales, our favourite local country eats are Olleys Italian in Pateley Bridge, The Sportsman’s Arms at Wath and Grassington House in Grassington.

Walking and cycling

When you’ve indulged in the best food and drink, you might fancy a little hike or a cycle to burn some of it off!

Luckily, you are spoilt with great walks and cycle routes in Harrogate and its surrounding areas. In fact, Harrogate is a melting pot for keen cyclists, who flock here to spend the day cycling around Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, and Brimham Rocks, before popping into one of the cycling cafés in town when they are finished.

The Nidderdale Way is also a very popular hike for many of our guests here at Grassfield Hall, and a great achievement to complete. The 53-mile roundtrip is usually spread over four days and offers incredible scenery and a great chance to explore the delightful villages of Middlesmoor and Ripley too.

Check out the festive events

This year, Harrogate is putting on a real festive show. Already, kids (and big kids) are enjoying the carousel, helter-skelter, and Ferris wheel that are dotted around the town. And, this Friday, the Christmas Fayre arrives in town with over 50 festive traders and independent foodie stalls.

There will also be a festive market in the gorgeous Valley Garden from 4th-5th December, and a free festive train will be travelling around the town until the 12th December to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Out of town, you can see a stunning display of Christmas illuminations at the Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park or visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal for a winter walk followed by a big mug of hot chocolate!

 

We hope we’ve tempted you enough to book a last-minute winter break to Harrogate or the surrounding areas! And, if you want to find out our availability for B&Bs or venue private hire over the next few weeks or months, then please get in touch via info@grassfield-hall.co.uk and we will get back to you asap.

 

 

 

How to create a stylish Christmas dinner table décor

With just over six weeks to go until the big day, chances are you will have already decided how you are going to spend it this year.

For those of you who are hosting friends and family at your home, we know it can be a pretty stressful time – deciding who to invite, what to cook, where to seat everyone and how you are going to decorate your space!

Here at Grassfield Hall, we are great lovers of beautiful table décor, and the festive season gives us the chance to be really fun and creative with our displays. Therefore, in order to make things a little easier for you, we have put together a little list of tips and ideas to help you make this year’s Christmas dinner table sparkle like never before…

Choose your colour palette

Deciding on your colour scheme is a good starting point. There are many ideas available to consider – whether you want to stick to a traditional colourway or choose something a little more contemporary.

You could give your dining table some Nordic charm using crisp shades of white and silver. In this theme, you can add homely highlights with ceramics and candles and bring it all together with the gleam of clear glass, silver cutlery and natural wood serving utensils.

If you are a fan of the traditional red and white, then you could use striped ribbon to tie decorations to guests’ chairs and dress the table with a red and white striped cloth. Red placemats with gingham check napkins give a nod to the festive trend, and team with white tableware with green and red decoration and cranberry-coloured glassware.

For something a little more modern, you could opt for a blue-base colour scheme this year. Mix in some rose gold metallics and soft velvet in midnight jewel tones for an effortless yet luxurious Christmas table setting to impress your guests. Inky indigo tableware also contrasts perfectly with warm copper, so you could choose this metal type for your cutlery set, candle bases and coasters to complete the look.

Welcome the outside in

Wintertime offers us a selection of beautiful, natural foliage that can help you to connect with nature as well as create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere at your dinner table.

Bring gathered greenery to your table made into simple arrangements such as string-clustered bundles of holly, mistletoe or sweetly scented winter herbs and foliage tied with garden twine. Alternatively, you could use small potted plants or succulents around the table, or thoughtfully placed sprigs on place settings to tie in further elements of nature at the table.

To further embrace the beauty of nature, you could opt for seasonal fruits to help add a touch of colour to place settings. Try pairing the soft green tones of your foliage with dark berries, burnt orange clementines or deep red cranberries arranged at the side of plates or glasses.

Create a centrepiece

If you want your Christmas table to have a real impact, then a centrepiece is always a good idea.

Begin with a table runner as a base, and then layer up your look by adding various levels to your table setting. For a more traditional centrepiece add holly, baubles, ribbons, pine cones and tea lights to your central garland. Or, for a more modern look, use fresh flowers, teamed with battery-powered tea lights inside clear glass baubles, and perhaps some sprinkles of metallic confetti.

Take your centrepiece to new festive heights with candles of varying sizes and lengths, and also perhaps glass jars of various sizes filled with tempting sweet treats such as candy canes, homemade gingerbread and macaroons.

Add personal touches

A little goes a long way when it comes to personalising your Christmas table.

So, this year why not make your own crackers? Not only will you save on budget and waste, but you can personalise your crackers to each individual guest – selecting them a gift that you know they will love or that will make them laugh! Simply place a treat inside a cardboard roll, wrap crepe paper or even fabric scraps around, then tie the ends with pretty ribbon. You could even write your own jokes inside, neatly jotted in a metallic pen.

Other personal touches could include hand-written name place cards, individual wine glass stem markers or balloons hung on the back of everyone’s chair with their initials on.

We hope you found this guide helpful and now feel more confident about creating your Christmas dining table decor. Remember, here at Grassfield Hall, we have a stunning dining room – The Hanley Room – which is available to hire for private dinners and events. We can also provide chefs, locally-sourced food and staff to look after you and your guests – ensuring you achieve the perfect dinner party atmosphere. Give us a call to check availability for your next dinner party date.

 

 

Wise words from a 2020 Grassfield Hall Bride

Its been a rollercoaster ride for couples planning their wedding this year. The ups and downs, and will it won’t it happen has been enough to test any relationship, but our beautiful bride Melissa from a wedding we hosted in September here at Grassfield Hall, sums up what is really important….All you need is love! https://www.theaisle.online/blog/really-an-intimate-wedding

A little bit more history

The Collins Family

In 1896 the Collins family took up residence at Grassfield House. The head of the household, Major Collins was a Royal surgeon, and met his wife, Olympie Amelie, whilst travelling to Mauritius with the Army. Their seven children were all adults by the time they moved to Grassfield, we are not entirely sure which children lived here in permanent residence, but we know that if they didn’t all live here they were here often, as their second daughter Amy was a keen photographer and took many photographs of her family with the Yorke family socializing together as they were known to be good friends.

Frank the eldest of the seven children was a headmaster at a school in Dulwich. William and James were both in the army  along with Earnest Collins who would become Major E R Collins, commander of East Lancashire Regimental Depot, and later returned to Pateley Bridge to become mayor! James a solicitor in Kensington was married to Dolly, and you can see them pictured together in many of the photographs. Henry, the youngest child born in 1877,  was also a solicitor in Surrey until, like his brothers,  he joined the army in 1914.  Louisa Amelie was the first daughter and sadly died in 1916 after they moved from Grassfield. Amy,  the 2nd daughter was not found in many photographs as she was behind the lens. Her photographs are proudly displayed all around Pateley Bridge and here at Grassfield Hall. I think she would be extremely impressed to know that people valued her work over 100 years later.

Like the Hutchinson family, we felt that the Collin’s were a huge part of the history here at Grassfield, and so have their photographs proudly displayed and have even named several rooms after them.

After the Collins family moved out, the Yorke’s sold Grassfield Hall in 1925 when the Bewerley Estate was broken down for death duties. We are lucky to have found and purchased the sale brochure from when the of the Bewerley Estates were sold.

The history of Grassfield Hall

The Hutchinson Family

Grassfield house as it was known in 1810, was built by entrepreneur Teasdale Hanley Hutchinson, who, while the house was being constructed, lived across the river at Harefield Hall. The Hutchinson family leased and managed local lead mines in the area, and previously  had been involved with lead mining in Alston, where one of their mines was said to be called ‘’The Grassfield Mine’. Teesdale started construction of the house in 1801 and built it to stand proud on the edge of Pateley Bridge with spectacular scenery surrounding it.

Teasdale lived in the house with his wife Elizabeth, and their first son Hanley was born at Grassfield House in 1811. Teesdale and Elizabeth lived in the house until they passed away. Elizabeth died in 1837 at the age of 61, and Teasdale lived until the age of 77.  After this in 1845 the house  passed to their firstborn son Hanley. The 1851 census tells us that living at the house at this time was lead merchant Hanley Hutchinson, his wife Charlotte, their two sons Teasdale aged two and Charles age 2 months,  plus four servants

In 1883 after his wife had passed away, Hanley moved out of the house to Whitfield Lodge in Ripon, as he said the house was too big and lonely for him! He spent the remaining few years of his life in Ripon. It is at this time that the Grassfield Estate was sold to John Yorke of the Bewerley Estate.

In 1888 John Hawkridge Metcalfe and his wife Adeline move in as tenants.

1895 the first Pateley Bridge Agricultural Show was held on the Grassfield Estate. After this first year it was moved to its current location on what was the Bewerley Estate, now the Pateley Bridge Show ground.

Where will you go on holiday this year?

Staycations at Grassfield Hall
Around 18 months ago we launched our first house rental here at Grassfield Hall,  Renting the entire house and gardens to one group of people for a family get together.  It worked like a dream, in fact it seemed like the house was made for this purpose, people coming together to celebrate their Special occasion and filling the house with fun and laughter.
During the past year we have mixed our house rentals with bed and breakfast nights and small weddings which has worked perfectly.
The recent pandemic has changed how every business operates and also how we all live our lives, so going forward for the next few months we will be focusing on our house rentals. Getting families together after they have been apart for so many months feels like a perfect way to use the house.
We love helping our guests plan their perfect stay here at Grassfield, and to assist you we have written a guide, including information about private dining experiences in the house with some of the most talented chefs In in the region. We can also recommend suppliers to make your stay memorable, what about having a murder mystery night, or a magician to entertain you after dinner or splash the weekend away in a hot tub.
Locally the area has so much to offer, waking with llamas, trekking the Nidderdale Way or having an adventure at How Steam Gorge, one thing is for sure, you will have a fabulous time.
We have some incredible special offers for rentals which are more than 2 nights long, our brochure has all the information.

 

 

Your Wedding at Grassfield Hall

Small is beautiful – Isn’t that what they say?
We agree and love hosting our intimate Weddings at Grassfield Hall
So many couples are now thinking about having a small wedding. The idea of an intimate ceremony with your loved ones with you as you say your vows is incredibly special.  At Grassfield Hall we help you plan every detail so that on the day you can just relax and enjoy every second knowing you are in the safest of hands.
We can offer a one or two night wedding weekend, hosting 38 daytime guests, with our team coordinating the day. 16 of your guests will stay with us and have a champagne breakfast to start the celebrations. Your beauty team will pamper your bridal party before the ceremony and reception begins. Extra evening guests may join you after the wedding breakfast and you can dance the night away with our fabulous resident DJ.
Our brochure has details of prices and what is included.
It’s so important to us that your wedding is unique and it’s exactly the way that you dreamed it would be.

the details are so important at Grassfield Hall

The minute we walked into Grassfield Hall we fell in love with it!
It has now been ten years since that day and after spending a decade restoring the house we can think of nothing more wonderful than sharing it with you.
For so long the house looked so sad and unloved and now It’s just wonderful to see people in the house having fun, and using it as it should be used. All the hard work is made worthwhile when we hear the appreciation that people have for the decor, they understand that every detail has been added with love and a great deal of thought. Everything in the house is a reflection of how we feel about it. The small details make such a huge difference and the finishing touches make a house into a home.