The Big Pivot

Written by Emma Hla
‘The Big Pivot’ is a feature celebrating our brilliant wedding venue collection.

2020 has been a difficult year, I really don’t need to state the obvious of course. We’ve all had our own personal challenges over the last few months and as always, I’m sending all the love and good energy to everyone reading this right now.

If you’re here it’s no doubt because you are either planning a wedding or you work in weddings, so with this in mind I want you to get comfy, grab a drink (coffee, wine, whiskey – whatever you fancy) and browse this rather jam-packed article and perhaps think about supporting the wonderful people featured.

With the majority of couples choosing to postpone their wedding and the government seemingly unwilling to recognise that this vital sector needs support, our beloved venues have had to get their creative thinking-caps on.

We have a stunning collection of properties listed with us and many of them have diversified during these difficult times. These passionate, innovative people are now offering day trips, getaways, Christmas-infused activities, delicious foodie experiences and of course the micro wedding.

We’re very conscious that at the time of publishing this (Friday 23rd October) the situation around the UK is changing daily, so please do keep an eye on the latest government advice for each area when considering plans.



The Shop at Fforest

When you stay at fforest, you’ll absolutely fall in love with all the beautiful homewares. In fact I dare you not to come home with one of their Welsh blankets.

Browse through their shop, take a peek at their upcoming autumn/winter weekends of slow food, fresh air and freedom at Restaurant Hydref and if you fancy seeing what kind of weddings they host then visit their listing here. The 200 acres of fforest farm are part of an area of unspoilt natural beauty, wrapped in woods, wildlife and wonder. A perfect location for a relaxed, informal, weekend-long celebration.


Yoga on a Shoestring at Pauntley Court

Yoga on a Shoestring has been holding retreats for over 15 years in unique and special locations in the UK and all around the world. They specialise in luxury and affordable retreats in stunning locations.

Pauntley Court will host two weekend yoga retreats this Autumn giving guests a chance to relax, unwind, nourish and rejuvenate. They have carefully mapped out the ballroom for the classes so that everybody will be 2 metres apart and all breakfasts, lunches and suppers are also carefully coordinated and planned.

Guests will enjoy a beautiful bedroom and bathroom of their own and here will be lots of space for everyone to sit quietly and enjoy a book in one of the sitting rooms, or stroll around the glorious gardens which are full of autumn colour at this time of year, or go off on many of the footpaths straight from the front door.

Sounds delicious after the year we’ve all had.


The Great British Drive-In at Sandon Hall

Sandon Hall, in Staffordshire, have  been lucky enough to host ‘The Great British Drive In‘ this year, which never would have happened prior to the pandemic. This venue would usually have been a hive of wedding activity, but instead this summer they opened their grounds to this film festival… and the good news? They’re staying open!

The concept allows people to enjoy movies from the comfort of their own car, fully social distanced. If you wanted to have a little look at the website you can find all the latest films to book – just in time for Halloween specials!


Brickhouse Vineyard

This isn’t technically a ‘pivot’ but I couldn’t not mention the delicious wine that’s produced by Brickhouse Vineyard, a gorgeous venue that also specialises in intimate weddings.

This Devon vineyard is situated between the Eastern slopes of Haldon Hill and the River Exe estuary, making the most of the English climate and fertile red soil in a simply stunning location.

The estate includes 20 acres of fields, woodlands, ponds and organic gardens with its own microclimate which is just perfect for growing a range of grapes including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, which are the principle grape varieties used in production of their white and rosé wines.


Winter Wreath Workshop

28 November 2020 – Winter Wreath Workshop (1.30pm to 4.30pm)

Swanton Morley House & Gardens will be playing host to aWinter Wreath Workshop in partnership with Katy of Bracken and Twine Flowers. This workshop is perfect for those who are looking to get ahead this Christmas or anyone who would like to try something a little different this year.

A beautiful mixture of natural and unusual materials, dried flowers, and foliage including delicate fronds, seedpods, dried umbels will be selected and twisted to fashion a dynamic and non-traditional “everlasting wreath”. Beautifully stylish, this long-lasting wreath design will decorate your home for the festive season and beyond.

Their workshop will start with a demonstration covering the techniques needed to create an eco-friendly winter wreath and with lots of inspiration and guidance, you will then make your own unique piece to take home. Includes all flowers, materials, equipment, expert tuition, delicious festive refreshments and all designs made can be taken home. Suitable for all levels including complete beginners.

Price: £80 per person (10% discount on all bookings by 31 October 2020)


Food Experiences

Iscoyd at Home

Iscoyd Park is a stunning wedding venue on the Shropshire/Wales border and they have an incredible team of talented Michelin trained chefs, headed up by David Cox.

Food is big part of the Iscoyd experience and now, whilst their doors are closed for large events and weddings, you can still enjoy the delights of Iscoyd food from the comfort of your own home with their new Iscoyd takeaway.

You can choose your dishes from their menu and each box will be packed with individual pre-cooked elements allowing you to finish the dish off at home. Collection is between Thursday – Sunday between 12pm – 5pm.


Dining Experiences at Southend Barns