In January 2020 we closed our doors to start work on a refurbishment project that had been years in the planning. We have been hosting weddings here on our family farm for fast approaching 20 years now (since 2002) and it was time to give the venue some serious love and attention to ensure that we were providing our couples with the best venue and service possible hopefully for the next twenty years and beyond. Our focus for this project was to upgrade the bar area, create a dedicated breakfast room and to install underfloor heating and attractive, neutral flooring throughout.
In the bar, we wanted to create a rustic but contemporary look that would compliment the original stone farm buildings, particularly the adjoining ceremony barn which has hosted so many beautiful wedding ceremonies over the years. The bar now features old grain store boarding alongside chunky oak trusses and the exposed original stone. We have installed a sleek gas fireplace creating a cosy space for guests to sit and chat. The bar connects the stone vaulted barn and main dining area, the starlit marquee. Also accessible through a large rolling timber door in the bar is our new breakfast room.
The breakfast room is a stylish long banqueting room with capacity to seat up to 26 guests. Breakfasts are a big part of the Crockwell wedding experience; through our nine on site bedrooms we can accommodate the core wedding party and having exclusive use of the venue over three days means that our couples can really kick back and enjoy the process. On both the morning of and morning after the wedding, overnight guests are treated to an extensive breakfast of fresh fruit, homemade granola and toast followed by local free range sausages, bacon and eggs and organic mushrooms from our neighbouring village.
In the starlit marquee we have again installed underfloor heating and new flooring. We have also added contemporary lighting as well as two huge metal hoops which can be used for larger hanging flower arrangements.
Our first wedding this year was due to take place in May. Of course no one foresaw the arrival of Covid in the UK and the devastation it would wreak on couples who have been diligently planning their 2020 weddings for years, and on the wedding industry as a whole. In March, work here slowed as our various builders and tradesmen worked out how to continue while keeping everyone safe. In the office, we worked hard to make contingency plans for our couples and postpone weddings that were unable to take place. We limited the number of people on site each day but thankfully, due in great part to our amazing builders who are all very local to Crockwell, work carried on and by the beginning of June, the majority of the refurbishments planned for this year were complete.
Now, in mid June, we still have no idea when weddings will be able to resume. It has been a stressful and incredibly difficult time for everyone but most notably our 2020 couples who have all been incredibly resilient and flexible during a period that should have been one of the happiest in their lives. Because we now have this enforced prolonged closure, and because we feel it imperative to make sure that these couples and those marrying here in 2021 and beyond should have the best experience possible, we are now working hard to complete further projects which would otherwise have waited until 2021. These include an extension to our accessible bedroom, newly refurbished ladies and gents loos and a dedicated hair and make up room. Watch this space!