Sep 30, 2009

A Happy Coincidence - Thanks To The BBC

In the same week that I published my post "Castle Ice Cream's Smiling Faces" - a feature about the popular ice cream parlour at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire - I found myself watching a fascinating BBC TV programme entitled "Saving Britain's Past - The Country House". Focusing on how English country houses, castles and their estates have changed in the last century, the producers had selected one particular castle as the pivotal point for their programme and it just so happened to be .... Eastnor Castle! What a marvellous coincidence.

What's more, thanks to the BBC iplayer there is an online version of the programme for anyone who didn't get to see it. The opening shots of the castle are simply breathtaking and it's worth following the link for those alone. View it here: Eastnor Castle in Saving Britain's Past

One of the most interesting parts of the programme was the story of how the owners of so many of Britain's country houses and castles have had to change the way in which they fund the often, ongoing, specialised and very expensive repair work that these properties demand. Many have opened their doors to the general public as well as for corporate and private entertaining. Eastnor Castle is amongst those and its romantic lake setting has turned it into a popular 'exclusive use' wedding venue.

Reading the Eastnor Castle Blog gives a great insight into this unique country estate, more especially because its owner James Hervey-Bathurst (President of Britain's Historic Houses Association for the last 6 years) actually takes the time to write posts personally and about all manner of things - from features on the castle cat Nutkin to the story of the old 1962 estate works lorry, what the annual Spring cleaning at the castle involves to what it was like giving a keynote address entitled "The Restoration and Redecoration of Eastnor Castle, a Regency Mansion in the Welsh Borders" at the Charleston Art & Antiques Forum in the USA earlier this year. Incredibly varied and interesting posts and testimony to a man's love for his ancestral home. All that AND he encourages his visitors to enjoy quality, local made ice cream served in his own ice cream parlour. Now that's what I call style!

Labels: , , ,

Apr 1, 2009

A Spring Wedding Venue - With Ice Cream!

Spring is here and many couples in love will 'tie the knot' and get married in the coming weeks and months. From a recent report I read, April to August is the key time for weddings. Not surprising then that on many wedding menus you will find ice cream. Why is that?

Well, apart from being a refreshing dessert in warm weather, ice cream is one of the most popular dishes for both children and adults alike and with many weddings needing to entertain guests with families, choosing ice cream as part of the wedding celebration meal is a safe bet.

I was privileged to be able to visit a super wedding venue in England called Eastnor Castle. Just two and a half hours' drive from London, it is a magnificent and quite unique piece of archictecture nestled in thousands of acres of stunning countryside close to the Malvern Hills (Edward Elgar country). Its setting is truly romantic - for anyone lucky enough to get married here it must feel something like fairytale.

I was intrigued to discover whilst there that when the castle and its beautifual gardens are open to the public, they have an ice cream kiosk in operation close to the castle's own shop.

It seems that no matter where I go there's always an ice cream connection. Long may that be the case!

PS. If you don't get the chance to visit Eastnor Castle they have a super little online store with some wonderful, exclusive gifts.

Labels: , ,