February’s Venue of the Month – Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim LogoSteven Pellier, your London Wedding Planner & Event planner takes you on a month by month journey, of some of the UK’s venues he adores and considers to be among his favourite.  As a London wedding planner & event planner Steven Pellier and his team are based in central London and work throughout the UK and internationally, where they get to visit a great number of amazing hotels and venues, which can become the foundations and backdrops of unique, individual and bespoke weddings and events.  We invite you to discover February’s venue of the month, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

 

The historical Oxfordshire palace and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, Blenheim Palace.  The Marlborough family seat, commands centre stage in 2000 acres of Capability Brown landscaped parkland, and has been their home for over 300 years.  Queen Anne and the grateful nation bestowed the land, ruin of an original house and £240,000 to build a magnificent new house, to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, the military Commander who led the Allied forces in the battle of Blenheim, on 13th August 1704.

 

Queen Anne bestowed the gift to the 1st Duke, in honour of his victory over the French in the war of the Spanish succession and the house was built to celebrate the occasion.  Today Blenheim Palace is the only non-royal, non episcopal country house in England, to hold the title of palace and eclipses in splendour and magnitude any of the British Royal family’s residences, with its 187 rooms, 1000 windows when first built and seven acres under one roof, its easy to see why.

 

Famously known as the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill on 30th November 1874 to parents Lord Randolph Churchill and Jennie Jerome and also where he proposed to his wife to be Clementine Hozier in the temple of Diana, on the Blenheim Estate.  The palace played an incredibly important role during WWI, as a convalescence hospital for wounded soldiers and again in WWII, when over 400 Malvern College boys were evacuated to the palace.  In 1950, Blenheim Palace opened its doors to the general public for the very first time, it was later designated a Grade 1 listed building in 1957 and thirty years later, in 1987 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

So the only non-royal residence with the title palace in the UK, and arguably the largest and most splendid house in England, eclipsing even those of the royal family and built as a celebration to mark a very important event in British history, there really is no better venue to mark your very own celebration than the majesty of Blenheim Palace.  With no less than 5 glorious rooms within the palace or the South Lawn, to erect a grand marquee for much larger events – you really are spoilt for choice.

 

The event spaces on offer at Blenheim palace:
The Great Hall – With a height of 67ft from floor to ceiling, which was painted by James Thornhill, The Great hall is the perfect space for a grand dinner for up to 150 guests, or a reception for 250 guests.

 

The Saloon – designated the State dining room and still used each year for Christmas dinner, by the Duke of Marlborough and his family, with walls and ceilings painted by the French decorative artist Louis Laguerre, you can enjoy this splendid room with 80 guests for dinner or 150 guests for a reception.

State Dining Room


The Long Library
– One of the longest rooms of any British stately home and home to 10,000 books, as well as the magnificent Willis organ built and positioned in 1891. With commanding views over the Water Terraces, acres of Capability Brown parkland and the lake, The Long Library makes for a perfect location, to entertain up to 300 of your guests for dinner, or 500 for a drinks reception.Long Library

 

The Orangery – the truly elegant Orangery, with its high arched windows and glass panelled roof allowing for plenty of natural light, gives an immense sense of space.  Once used as the Marlborough family theatre, you can now enjoy the wonderful room with 200 guests for dinner or 250 guests for a reception.

 

The Water Terraces – built fairly recently in comparison to the palace between 1925 – 1930, this venue is ideal for live music and dancing for up to 300 guests.  The Water Terraces are exclusively available for a reception following drinks and dinner in the Great Hall, Saloon and Long Library.

 

The South Lawn – if your guest numbers eclipse those that can be accommodated in the palace, why not erect a marquee on the South Lawn, with the possibility of enjoying the splendour of the palace for a drinks reception, or using the Palace as a backdrop when installing a clear span marquee for hundreds of your guests.South Lawn

 

 

To learn more about hosting your meeting or event at Blenheim Palace, why not contact the Blenheim Palace team on +44 (0)1993 813874 or emailing sales@blenheimpalace.com

 

For more information or to discuss your wedding or event with Steven Pellier Weddings or Steven Pellier Events, or to see how we can help plan your wedding or event at Blenheim Palace, or experience wedding or event planning with Steven Pellier in London, throughout the UK or internationally please call the Steven Pellier team on +44 (0)207 760 7553 or send us on email hello@stevenpellier.co.uk

Photo Credits: Blenheim Palace, Steven Pellier & Unknown

Wedding planner

Day in the life of a London Event Planner

London Event Planners don’t all lead the glamorous lives that movies and TV shows have us believe. Sadly it isn’t all about scoping out venues and tasting champagne every day. That said, it can be a very rewarding job for the right sort of person. The entire creative process for one single event can take an amazing amount of work, from guest lists and location to catering and theme and all of the finer details and logistics as well.READ MORE

Celebration Cake

Scrumdiddlyumptious….

Now those of you that know me, will confirm that I love weddings & that I talk about weddings non stop – however, my blog today is related to a special cake… there we go, you are all thinking – we are going to discuss wedding cakes – but oh no my friends we are not!

 

I wanted to tell you all about a particular BIRTHDAY cake that I recently ordered, (& helped to devourer) for my partners birthday at the beginning of August. The cake that I ordered was incredibly upbeat, fun & really, really cool – (a word I do not use often).

 

This particular cake was aptly called the ‘Doughnut Cookie Monster Cake’ which as the name suggests, came complete with doughnuts, but also consisted of chocolate sponge, smooth & silky Oreo Swiss Meringue Buttercream, heaps of Oreo cookie crumble, Cookies & Cream chocolate bar shards with several doughnuts sitting nice & proud on top.  Where was this SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUS cake from, I hear you ask?  Well it is from a gorgeous bijou boutique called Anges de Sucre, in Kensington.  The Anges de Sucre website says that the cake I was ordering was ‘literally the BEST cake to party with’ & they were not wrong.

 

So the cake looked amazing, but most importantly, for my taste buds, how did it taste?  Did the taste stand up to the look? – I can quite honestly say that the taste was incredible, a gastronomic party of delights, tickling your taste buds & it was thoroughly enjoyed by all who had a slice…..or 2..ok 3..OKAY 5!!!

 

Putting the cake aside for a moment (not that there is any left), it is important to also mention the whole ordering process.  I ordered the fantabulous cake online from www.angesdesucre.com – as soon as my order had been processed, I received a brilliantly written email, to confirm that ‘the cheeky cherubs at Anges, are just too excited & getting pumped to bake & prepare my recent order’, I continued to receive these emails that made me smile, right up until the day after I collected the cake.  As these little emails made me chuckle to myself, I feel that they really added an extra & welcomed dimension & a different element of customer service.

 

There was however, one final element that made the cake taste that bit more sweet & yummy & that was the warm, welcome reception I received at the pretty Anges de Sucre boutique in Kensington, when I arrived to collect the cake.  Not only were the team in the shop incredibly friendly & the epitome of customer service, but Reshmi Bennett, the owner who trained in classical French cuisine in Paris, at Ecole Gregoire Ferrandi, was also present to hand over her wonderful creation to me with the biggest, warmest & most genuine smile.  She offered me some fantastic advice, on how to look after the cake until it was presented & eaten, as well as taking the time to ensure that I was happy with the product.

 

Now just to make it real for Steven Pellier, I am going to take it back to weddings just for a moment.  Anges de Sucre also create show stopping macaroon towers, drop dead gorgeous wedding cakes, gifts, unique favours & sweet treats – I couldn’t keep it away from weddings for too long now, could I!!

 

Whether you need advice on cakes, or are looking for a wedding planner in London, throughout the UK or in the Algarve, please do not hesitate to contact Steven Pellier and his team, to see how we can help.

MO London Concierge

World Photography Day

Did you know that today, the 19th August is World Photography Day? Did you also know, that Steven Pellier is an absolute photography novice?

Well last week I had the great honour & pleasure, to be invited to a photography workshop at the Mandarin Oriental London, hosted by the fabulous, internationally acclaimed reportage photographer & Olympus Ambassador John Nassari.

So just a few days before World Photography Day, I arrived at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel excited and ready to start Johns photography workshop, where we were going to learn a different side to photography, in a fabulous setting with some exciting exercises.

The day started with a very interesting and intriguing slide show, of some amazing photos that John is compiling, for a very special event next year.  A set of stunning photos were revealed, a mix between reportage and posed portraits.  But, how on earth does this man take such amazing photos – in fact how does any professional photographer take these wonderful pieces of art, a snapshot of a moment in time, of memories set to last a lifetime?

A steady hand? – maybe, Skill and a good eye? Absolutely! Science? – no I don’t think so …. What! Science is an important part of taking a photo – indeed it is, it plays a very important role, mixed with semiotics the science of aperture and shutter speed is pivotal to the outcome of any photo.

After we spent time, learning all about the background of how to take a photo and what we need to do, it was time to play with the cameras!!!!

We paired up with a partner and we were off, taking photos of each other with varying apertures and shutter speeds.  After a few initial shaky (& blurry) photos, I actually got it and the results were absolutely fabulous.  We changed our lenses and I discovered the flowers in the flower arrangements, focusing on a single rose, whilst the surrounding arrangement blurred into the background – stunning!

John then had a little surprise / challenge for us.  We were allowed to go to the front of the hotel, to take some real life photos of the concierge team in action, with the best photographer in training selected to win a prize – very exciting!

We had to take the most imaginative and striking photo of the concierge team in action, whilst they went about their everyday work, welcoming arriving guests and wishing farewell to departing guests. Their whole job revolving 360 degrees around ensuring that all of the guests received an outstanding first impression and an ever lasting superb memory, of how fabulous their stay was at the hotel when they leave.

6 sets of two people, mixed with professional cameras, a top 5 star London hotel and taking photos of cars arriving as well as the main entrance, on a very busy road in central London attracts one thing – excitement from passers by, jumping to the conclusions that we were press and paparazzi, poised and ready to take photos of a celebrity or dignitary, arriving or leaving the hotel! Unfortunately not – just a bunch of wedding and event planners playing with cameras.

We returned inside the hotel, to review all of our photos and we all did jolly well – surprisingly so for me, a complete novice who would have struggled before today, to tell whether the camera was the right way up, actually took some pretty good photos – (modest!).

The day was superb, incredibly informative and thoroughly enjoyable. I have learnt so much and have a huge amount of respect and appreciation, to all of the brilliant & professional photographers that we work with at Steven Pellier Weddings, whether we are your London wedding planner or are helping to plan your wedding throughout the UK, in the Algarve or another destination around the world, you can be assured that we can recommend the most sought after and acclaimed photographers for your wedding.

Thank you John Nassari, a truly wonderful and educating day, I’m no longer just a wedding planner in London, throughout the UK & the Algarve but I’m now a photography pro too – well almost maybe?!?!

Venues in London

Exciting Venue Visit…

In July, I was invited to join the team at One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, by the fabulous Melissa Goldberg in association with Louise Perry Weddings.

 

Having not visited the hotel or adjoining event space at One Whitehall Place before, I was excited & intrigued, so quickly accepted the invitation & couldn’t wait to have a good nose around.

 

As I arrived at the hotel, I was taken through to a gorgeous terrace, an oasis of calm by the river Thames in London however, you really could have been in the middle of the countryside as it was so very peaceful.  Comfortable outside furniture and champagne greeted us, as the three piece band played gently in the background – absolutely idyllic!

 

The events team then took us on a little tour of all of the event spaces, explaining the relationship between the two venues and wowing us with the buildings astonishing history, including the remarkable survival of the building, after slight bomb damage to the staircase only, during the Second World War.

 

The event spaces are located across a couple of floors & are reached by a magnificent oval shaped sweeping marble staircase. Each of the event spaces vary in size, up to a capacity of 300 people in The Gladstone Library, named after the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.  One Whitehall Place was original built & is still used to this day, by the Liberals from all over the UK when they are in London and is decorated in a very traditional way, which gives you the sense that you are in one of the countries great country houses or stately homes.  The different rooms flow beautifully together, so really do lend themselves to all being used for your wedding or event, in a way that could tell your story throughout the day in a logical way, equally however, each of the rooms work just as brilliantly on their own, if that’s how you wish to use the space.

 

We were taken back through to The Royal Horseguards Hotel, via the adjoining foyer.  As we walked across the reception space, you can immediately see that the hotel has been sympathetically and carefully refurbished back to its former Victorian splendour, all the way down to the original floor tiles.  Whilst walking through the hotel, you can really immerse yourself in the history of the building, which used to be the HQ of the Secret Service during the First World War.  The hotel boasts gorgeously appointed bedrooms and suites, a selection of fine dining restaurants, a comfortable lounge & a new cocktail bar, as well as the previously mentioned idyllic terrace, which backs onto Whitehall Park and the River Thames beyond.

 

Our tour concluded on the terrace, where we enjoyed a delectable selection of food & relaxed to the sounds of the band before departing for the evening, excited for the next opportunity we would have to visit again.

 

If you would like to arrange a visit to One Whitehall Place & The Royal Horseguards Hotel, or to discuss wedding planning with Steven Pellier, your wedding planner in London, throughout the UK or in the Algarve, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

Weddings

New identity and website for Steven Pellier Weddings

Events company AIP Events has changed its name to Steven Pellier Weddings, signalling a shift in direction, and the company is celebrating the sea change with the launch of an appealing new website and a fresh identity.

When Steven decided to leave his job as an assistant purser in the cruise industry, he knew that one of the aspects of the role he’d loved most was helping to organise weddings at sea.

It was something he’d been heavily involved in during his life on board, as well as his time in luxurious 5 star hotels on land. Steven worked as part of a team at sea, who introduced the concept of marriages afloat to his UK based cruise line, so that couples could legally tie the knot in an elegant ceremony officiated at by the vessel’s captain.

new websiteAt the same time, even though Steven knew his passion was for memorable and fun weddings, he wanted to create a wider events company handling other kinds of family celebrations alongside sophisticated corporate gatherings, with elegance and glamour as the watchwords.

Now, having been very successful with running both types of event, weddings and corporate, since 2010, Steven feels the time is right for a rebrand, complete with a new name and website.

 

Why the change of name?

The self-confessed perfectionist said: “The company name of AIP Events sounds quite corporate, and while this has meant we have been able to attract some great clients, I’d like it to be a bit more personal and really focus on the wedding market.

“So I am now shifting direction a little so that we focus more on exquisite and tasteful weddings rather than the corporate side of things. I hope that by changing the company’s name to my own, I can create a more personal image.

“I also wished to get across the fact that I am a male wedding planner in a female-dominated industry in the name.”

The new organisation will still offer effortlessly debonair social and business events, with each request for these occasions considered individually.

Steven Pellier Weddings also has a new website to mark the fresh identity, which is currently being finalised. It will be available at 1087468514.n1442912.test.prositehosting.co.uk from Friday 30th January 2015

We hope that you adore the new website and company name, as much as we do. For any advice or a consultation about wedding planning in London, throughout the UK and abroad, please do not hesitate to contact us.