Tony 2AA rosettes 2018

Into the frying pan with head chef Tony

Weddings from a chef’s point of view

Our head chef Tony has been in his current position at The Falcondale since October 2017 and has over 20 years’ experience within hotels / restaurants and event catering. We thought we’d fire some questions at him and share his experience of the industry with you – especially when it comes to catering for weddings.

Weddings at The Falcondale

Your advice to brides and grooms when choosing their menus?

Prioritise your desires. If the food element of your wedding is high up on your list, then allocate your wedding budget accordingly. It could be that you’d prefer to spend more on “the dress” and that 8-piece band you absolutely love. Let us know, as we can alter dishes and presentation to suit your day and budget. This does not mean that the quality of the food or service will be compromised, only the realism that an Oyster bar will more expensive than standard canapes.

Choose a menu for you, what you like to eat, and let your guests know your reasonings for your choices. They are far more likely to get on board your train of thought and accept that the day is about you, and not them.

 

Canapes

 

What are your biggest likes and dislikes when it comes to catering for a wedding?

The most amazing feeling is receiving feedback from the bride and groom after the event is over. By the time we get to the wedding day itself we would have spent hours fine tuning and preparing – including taster sessions / pictures of the dishes / reading and re-reading the menu etc. etc. To hear that the effort was worthwhile is amazing.

My biggest dislike (which I’m sure many other chefs would agree with me), is guests not telling the bride and groom or even the venue about their dietary requirements. There are many situations involving people’s health that require a specific diet and I have no problem in accommodating these requests. However, trying to conjure a vegan dairy free dessert at the 11th hour whilst feeding 120 guests is quite a tall order. I kindly request that we are made aware of these dietary requirements in advance (at least a week in advance – please).

 

What are your thoughts on the latest trends of Grazing or Feasting tables?

For me it’s just fancy words for a buffet, would you agree? Maybe I’m being a little harsh on this point.

With a buffet you’ll have a selection of options from a buffet table which include carved meats, bowls of salads, dressings, dips, coleslaw, maybe some hot options and a bread roll – all individual elements which when brought together makes a complete plate of food.

A grazing table would be a large display table full of dishes, such as mini fish & chip cones with tartare sauce, mini brioche buns filled with a Welsh beef patty and red onion marmalade, softly poached quail egg with an asparagus sprig, falafel and cous cous food bowls. Portions that are a little bigger than canapes and be picked up by the guests haphazardly over a longer period of time.

A feasting table is what you’d expect to see at Harry Potter, all the food in the middle of the table where the guests are sat with platters of food to share in the middle. Kind of like a private buffet for each individual table, which gets people talking and mingling with each other naturally.

What I like to do (especially for the evening part of the weddings), are food platters. Such as Welsh cheese with oatcakes, chutneys, apples, celery and grapes. Alongside this serve a charcuterie platter of salami’s, pepperoni, bresaola with olives, gherkins, roasted nuts and artisan breads.

Afternoon tea wedding

 

What is your food philosophy?

Local & seasonal – whenever and wherever possible.

No matter your budget or what dishes you choose I try and source these locally to The Falcondale. There is such a vast array of producers within the county of Ceredigion and its neighbour’s in Carmarthenshire / Pembrokeshire and Powys that we would be amiss to ignore them.

There is an expectation to provide menus within a wedding brochure, which is quite ridiculous really when at that stage you don’t even know what time of year the wedding will take place. This results in generic menus that sounds the same as any other venue. When I have the opportunity, I would prefer to offer specific seasonal options to brides and grooms that could also strengthen their vibe and hopes for their day.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Come up for a tasting of your dishes before you make your final decisions on a menu. I make a judgement call on what I think would look good dependant on your choice. This may not always match with your expectations and so please be honest about your feedback. Do you want it to look differently? Maybe it wasn’t what you thought? Do you want a different garnish on the side?

Once you are happy and you’ve made your decision we will put the wheels in motion and start planning the ordering of produce.

Wedding tables

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

 

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

 

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Chloe and Huw at The Falcondale

Happy Couples – Chloe and Huw

Your Wedding Story

Huw and I met 8 years ago at our family home as he was friends with my brother. Immediately I knew we would be together! During my pregnancy with our first son he proposed one evening over dinner, I was ecstatic!

VENUE

I have always said from a young age I would want to hold our wedding reception at The Falcondale so after meeting Caroline for the first time at The Falcondale, we booked. We did have a browse at other local venues but nothing beat The Falcondale for us.

WEDDING RECEPTION

We decided on a vintage theme and wanted to be different so decided on an afternoon tea for the afternoon followed with an ox roast when the evening guests arrived. The afternoon tea was amazing, all the guests commented on the great variety and everything being homemade. The ox roast was also a big hit along with wedges and sauces.

 

THE DRESS

Finding my dress was the highlight of all the wedding planning. After visiting one shop I was left disheartened, there was nothing I liked enough to buy for the biggest day of our lives! Immediately after visiting the second shop I fell in love with a beautiful lace dress, it was exactly what I had in mind – and on the day I had endless compliments!

THE DECORATING

We had a bouncy castle for the children to enjoy and a sparkly dance floor from Pretty Seats and Bows in the evening, it looked amazing!

 

THE FLOWERS

Cadi and Grace sorted all of our flowers and I can’t thank them enough! The flowers were outstanding and exactly what I was looking for with our pastel/vintage theme. They suited all of our hessian/lace decor.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Susanne Ryder was our photographer, again we couldn’t fault her. She has been our photographer since having children and I wouldn’t have anyone else. She knows exactly what we like, taking the most natural photos, especially of the children.

We thank The Falcondale so much, nothing was ever too much and we wouldn’t have changed a thing! The day went so fast but we had the best day ever.

Chloe and Huw x

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Wedding sparklers

Wedding After Party

After Party

You’ve done the official ceremony and had the formal wedding reception of your dreams. It is then time to blow-out with friends and family!

But, how do you take the late-night fun to the next level…

bride and groom first dance

 

EVENING RECEPTION

Shake up your evening reception by having an informal contrast to the days event. Any day guests that want to hang around for the evening revelry can do so. Invite your party animal friends from University and any friends who are important to you.

 

Food

It is probably best to provide food for your evening reception, especially if alcohol is involved. It’ll be a way of thanking your guests for joining you. Think about timings carefully, if you’ve eaten your wedding reception around 2pm your guests will probably need something around 7 or 8pm. If you ate at around 5pm, then maybe you arrange snacks at 11pm.

  • Food bar
  • Buffet
  • Burgers
  • Pizzas
  • Cheese and biscuits

Or how about some midnight snack boxes, complete with a drink, something sweet (maybe a piece of your wedding cake), and something salty (pistachios, salt & pepper popcorn). These can be placed on a side table for guests to help themselves.

Canapes  Food boxes

Setting the scene

You could alter the decorations (with help from the venue, or maybe some friends) to create an evening atmosphere. Think about using fairy lights, tealights and candles to add a bit of sparkle. Your new theme could be the start of your honeymoon. Jam jars filled with sand and shells, hessian table runners and rope knots for those going to a beach destination. Maybe crystal jewels, snowflake lanterns and fern cones for a skiing or Winter destination.

As the evening tends to be darker fireworks or/and sparklers could be organised. Have a picture-perfect moment with your friends holding sparklers as a guard of honour for you and your spouse.

Wedding sparklers

 

Entertainment

What kind of entertainment do you and your spouse like? Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about the kind of entertainment that is possible: –

  • Live band
  • Casino with roulette and black jack tables
  • Cocktail bar
  • Mariachi band
  • Karaoke
  • Photo booth

Should your official photographer not be available for the after party, arm your guests with polaroid cameras. Informal photos for a fun night.

Casino hire at The Falcondale

 

ENDING THE AFTER PARTY

Celebrate the end of a perfect night with hangover kits to those who made it to the end. Include items such as: –

  • Gum
  • Tic tacs
  • Paracetamol
  • Coffee sachet
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Lip balm
Hangover kit

 

OUR ADVICE

Whatever you choose to do for your after party be sure that it is authentic to you as newlyweds. It is the sentimental details that matter.

Evening reception

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Wedding receptions

Alternative Wedding breakfast ideas

Wedding dining with a difference

Are you trying to avoid the same dining experience that you get from most weddings you’ve been to, and are looking to do something a little bit different? There are alternatives available, whether it be a more casual dining experience or go all out with extra courses and a refined menu.

Whatever you choose it is important to express your personality as a couple and include your favourite food. Don’t get too worried as to whether everyone else would like the food, since it’s your day. Your guests will be more than happy to go along with your choices.

Wedding room layout

STREET FOOD

There are many markets and food festivals around that have now popularised “street food”. Many different stalls specialising in one specific food product, i.e. pizzas, panini’s, burgers, sushi etc. etc. Should you be booking your wedding in a location such as The Falcondale, you could emulate this by having food stations. Rather than a traditional buffet table, food stations would be in various locations and offer a specific type of food or dish. Here are a few ideas: –

  • Cheese and biscuits. This could be represented with a tower of different cheeses, decorated with apples, celery and grapes. Various crackers, oatcakes and water biscuits could be arranged in baskets with butter scrolls, honey and olives available as accompaniments.
  • Burger bar. Provide quality homemade burgers with the best quality extras. Guests can add whatever they would like to make their own unique burger. Include beef tomatoes, local cheese, crisp lettuce, streaky Welsh bacon, gherkins and caramelised red onions. Of course, you would need the ultimate sauces, so why not try mushroom ketchup or scotch bonnet chilli jam.
  • Croque-en-bouche. Having made recent fame in the Great British Bake Off the croque-en-bouche is a stack of profiteroles filled with crème patissiere and drizzled with caramel. Imagine having 5 of these stacked on a table with jugs of warm chocolate sauce and pouring cream for guests to help themselves.
  • Pimp your cupcake. An effective way to keep any children at your party entertained and fed at the same time. Provide plain cupcakes with the various hundreds & thousands, chocolate strands, silver balls and buttercream icing that you can find topped with miniature bride and grooms.
Pimp your Prosecco

VINTAGE AFTERNOON TEA

An afternoon tea with vintage crockery and cake stands set out on crisp white linen on a warm summer’s day. What could be more than British?

Should you be replacing your main wedding breakfast with an afternoon tea you would need to provide more sandwiches and savoury options for hungry guests. Our experience shows that its best to serve the sandwiches first and then follow these with the cakes.

As an alternative to alcoholic arrival drinks, or alongside, tea and coffee could be served within vintage crockery.

Vintage wedding tea

DRINKS

Pimp your Prosecco – this is not a new fad but can be quite effective in adding a little pizzazz to your day. Your guests will be provided with a glass of bubbly which they can add to from a selection of options. This could include elderflower cordial, strawberries, citrus fruits, rose blush etc. etc.

A barrow of beers – An old wheelbarrow from your shed could be dusted off and filled with ice before placing your chosen beers in there to keep cool. Attach a bottle opened to the barrow handles and let guests help themselves. Simple yet effective.

Wheelbarrow

Costs

Be aware that the “alternative” does not mean it will be cheaper, in fact its likely to be more expensive. This is because the venue may need to hire specialist equipment, more staff members may be required to undertake your request, or possibly there could be a minimum spend put in place. You may need to ask these questions before booking anywhere.

Wedding receptions

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Welsh Weekend Weddings

Weekend Weddings: Getting the most out of your Welsh wedding venue

Why have one day for your wedding when you can have a whole weekend!

It’s the happiest day of your life, so why not prolong it with an entire weekend.

 

Imagine rocking-up at The Falcondale on Friday for dinner with your closest friends and family. On Saturday morning your bedroom suite will be transformed into your very own hairdressing and beauty salon – perfect for you and your bridesmaids. Get hitched with various ceremony options available at the venue (including an outdoor option), followed by your wedding breakfast and night event. A restful Sunday can be had before heading off home.

The idea of a “Weekend Wedding” is popular with those not wishing to spend their time travelling; and it also allows you time to catch-up with your guests without feeling rushed.

Fun Welsh weddings at The Falcondale

THE BENEFITS OF A WEEKEND WEDDING

  • Prolong your wedding celebrations
  • Give guests travelling a long way more to look forward to
  • Give yourselves a chance to celebrate with everyone
  • Host different events throughout the weekend
  • Enjoy the luxury of staying in one place

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR WEEKEND WEDDING

  1. BUDGET – ensure that you can afford to increase your wedding day to a wedding weekend. Will your guests be happy to pay for their own rooms? Who will be paying for any additional dining or/and activities that you would like to plan? Think about these costs before going ahead and planning your dream weekend wedding.
  2. FAMILY & FRIENDS – check that your nearest and dearest can attend a full weekend event. Some may need to plan time off work, save the date cards could be useful for those you want to invite to stay at your venue.
  3. TIME OF YEAR – planning a weekend wedding is hugely exciting for you but consider your guests. They may have other commitments around Christmas / summer holidays / Easter etc. Be sure to plan well in advance.
Outdoor wedding ceremonies

PLANNING IDEAS FOR YOUR WEEKEND WEDDING

As you’ll be at the same venue for the whole weekend, it may be an idea to plan your day with activities and dining. This way your guests will feel involved and part of your wedding.

A possible schedule could be as follows: –

  • Arrive Friday afternoon at your leisure.
  • Dinner has been arranged within the restaurant at 7pm, followed by an activity.
  • Saturday morning breakfast.
  • Whilst the bridal party get ready an activity has been arranged on the Falcondale lawns.
  • Saturday afternoon and evening will be your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening event.
  • Sunday morning brunch with an activity prior to your departure.

 

Friday night dining

The night before your wedding can be quite stressful and your head swims with things that you think you may have forgotten. Instead of worrying, we suggest that you catch-up with your friends and family. We’ll provide the catering, and even do the washing-up for you.

Dining options could include a hot & cold buffet, a 3-course menu, BBQ (in the summer), fish & chips, cheese and meat platters – just let us now what you would prefer 😊

Activities

Consider your guests and who you’ve invited. If there are lots of children you may decide to have a children’s entertainment space with dedicated staff to entertain and look after the little ones with books, toys, tablets and a napping area (inside); or how about bouncy castles outside.

Activities could include lawn games, archery or a countryside walk. Indoor activities may include a quiz, board games, cards or the higher of a casino!

Have a discussion with your wedding co-ordinator to plan appropriate areas and timeslots for any planned activities

Post-wedding celebrations

Say thank you to your guests for joining your day with a Champagne brunch, BBQ or a relaxed luncheon before saying your goodbyes.

Casino hire at The Falcondale

WE RECOMMEND

  • Insure your wedding before you start paying deposits on any venue, facility or service.
  • Send out save the date cards to your nearest friends and family that you absolutely want to be there.
  • Think about your accommodation. The Falcondale has 17 rooms, we have a list of local B&B’s, Guest houses and self-catering options found locally. You may need to decide who you’d like to invite to stay at the venue and who to send a list of alternative accommodation.
  • Discuss your food requirements. It is far better and easier to pre-organise dining for the whole weekend – and not rely on “the majority” deciding on the day. In our experience this causes chaos and uncertainty at a time when you need to be relaxing. Pre-planning is the way to go.
Evening receptions at The Falcondale

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

WEDDINGS