The lovely Lil and Jamie had a stunning outdoor wedding on a beautifully sunny Saturday in June. They wanted a big celebration and really made the most of the large gardens here at Pennard. Every little space was adorned with lanterns, fairy lights and flowers! With family arriving from all over the world, an emotional outdoor ceremony with the talented Buzztones singing Lil down the aisle and back ,was followed by a joyous reception in the sun. There was even a full doughnut wall filled with bright and beautiful sweet treats! These bright and fun images by the great Howell Jones Photography were featured on Rock my Wedding blog, have a look here for more pictures of the quirky day!

 

Wow we loved Emma and Conor’s cool and quirky fiesta style wedding last September. They tied the knot in the village church, with a ceremony filled with laughter and excitement, followed by a colourful reception on the lawn complete with an amazing Mariachi band. The Coach House was decorated with pompoms, vintage hankies and a kitsch trolley bar – with most of the décor handmade by the couple themselves. This fantastic fiesta was captured by the brilliant Oxi Photography and featured on the inspiring Whimsical Wonderland Weddings blog site.

 

We love it when our couples are featured on the beautiful Rock My Wedding blog, and so we were so happy to see these amazing images of Tony and Lee’s dreamy wedding from last year. We loved these two, along with their lovely daughter Evie, and it was such a joy to be involved in their special day. Tonya and Lee were looking for a mix of country house and rustic barn setting to get married, and so Pennard provided all the elements for them to create a wonderful relaxed country wedding with a vintage vibe. Have a look at the full blog post here and see more amazing images as always by the brilliant John Barwood .

Emma and Saket’s Indian inspired wedding took place at Pennard House in September 2017 and will be particularly loved by flower lovers. Emma’s mum is a florist and supported by two further florists the wedding was a wonderful frenzy of autumnal floral colours. We particularly loved the incredible autumn hedgerow inspired installation on the staircase.  The roses in the gardens at Pennard were also still in full bloom, making everything look colourful and beautiful.

I’m passionate about flowers and I knew from the outset that flowers had to feature in a big way at our wedding. I’m very fortunate that my Mum is a florist and flower grower and we spent many hours together coming up with ideas. We designed a spectacular installation for the staircase, inspired by a countryside hedgerow.”

The sun shone, creating a perfect setting for Emma and Saket’s outdoor ceremony. Guests were then treated to a specially designed feast of authentic Indian dishes, breads and chutneys. Emma styled and planned everything herself, and has now gone on to offer her planning services to other couples – click here for more info.

It was such a pleasure to host such a lovely relaxed wedding.  To see more photos, have a look at the post on the gorgeous Rock My Wedding blog. Images by www.helenliskphotography.co.uk

The gorgeous couple Emily and Kyle were married in the garden at Pennard in August 2017. Emily, the beautiful bride in her exquisite Temperley Obelia dress stole the show in every way, so much so, she caught the attention of the team at Love My Dress.

“I fell in love with my Temperley dress instantly. It’s so unique with gold and white embroidery and is bohemian but with a glamorous twist. A touch vintage with modern geometric patterns, it felt romantic, floaty and utterly unique! Alice Temperley is a local Somerset designer, so it felt like it was meant to be.”

Creating the perfect Somerset wedding, using local designers and suppliers, we at Pennard couldn’t have asked for more in a wedding couple. Emily says,

“I wanted to get married close to my family home and use all local suppliers. It had exactly the right feeling we wanted. A pretty English country house with a festival boho vibe complete with tepees and Glastonbury connections.”

And we’re so glad we were able to work with them both to make their wedding dreams come to life.

Without further ado, fill your soul with warmth and love, and take a look at these stunning photos shared on Love My Dress.

 

During a week of balmy summer weather in June, Pennard House welcomed back Chris Difford and his cohort of budding musical artists for the Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat.

It is a week where Pennard comes alive with music. Sponsored once again by the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, this year there were a total of 40 artists from around the world, both successful and up-and-coming songwriters and artists spanning all music styles.

Every day they broke up in to groups to write songs, using any available space in the house, gardens and even the village hall. The songs they wrote that day were performed in the evenings in the Coach House, which local villagers came to listen to. One evening we were lucky enough to have some incredible acoustic performances outside the Coach House.

The final evenings performances saw the best songs of the week played in a concert in East Pennard village church. It was packed full of almost 150 spectators who got to see incredible performances by Kimmie Rhodes, Robert Vincent, Louise Goffin, Beth Neilson-Chapman, Judith Owen, Grace Pettis, Julia Fordham to name a few. All presented by Chris Difford (Squeeze) and ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris.

Below we share a photo round-up of the week at Pennard.

 

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If you haven’t heard The Pennard House Song – an example of the sounds and songs created at this songwriting retreat, have a listen here.

And if you missed the article in the Telegraph Property about Pennard House, published at the time of this songwriting retreat, you can read it here.

Should you like what you read, and are interested in hosting A Retreat of Your Own with us, please get in touch.

 

Pennard House has its own song! This song was written during the Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat 2016 at Pennard House.

A wonderful week of creative songwriting sponsored by the Buddy Holly Foundation, that sees some incredible artists and songwriters get together to write new music.

This song was written and recorded by Kimmie Rhodes and Robert Vincent during their week at Pennard.

 

The Pennard House Song

On the hillside in a magic, ancient land,
Loyal, noble manor stately stands.
Made of bricks and mortar but its fathers, mothers, sons and daughters,
People in the house make a home.

[Chorus] The roses in the garden climb the wall,
Through the trees they watch the seasons rise and fall.
Hands wind clocks, the time keeps spinning round,
within the walls of the Pennard House.

Pillars hold the roof beneath the sky,
Sun shines through the windows open wide
Footsteps on the gravel lead to weddings in the chapel,
May the circle be unbroken by the light.

The roses in the garden climb the wall,
Through the trees they watch the seasons rise and fall.
Hands wind clocks, the time keeps spinning round,
within the walls of the Pennard House.

Tables where the welcome’s always warm,
Knows the tales of those who’ve come and gone before.
People in the picture frames watch the children run and play
and dream of what their future has in store.

The roses in the garden climb the wall,
Through the trees they watch the seasons rise and fall.
Hands wind clocks, the time keeps spinning round,
within the walls of the Pennard House.

 

The songwriting retreat 2017 takes place in June this year.

Look out for more details and photos from the week via Pennard House’s Facebook or Instagram.

Your colleagues deserve something better than an afternoon of strategic games to aid lateral thinking and a “trust fall” exercise before lunch time sandwiches. It’s 2017 and your team away day should be interesting, challenging and educational, as well as fun.

But before you start to think about what you could do, here are four key points to consider first:

  1. Your team away day really does need to be away: An afternoon activity in the private room in a local pub is ok, but is it memorable enough to stick in people’s minds (for good reasons) a year later? Take them away from their comfort zone, stay the night, out of their county into an environment they’d never normally be in. There you’ll find you’ve got their attention.
  2. It should be NEW: As soon as you organise something people have been to or done before, you’ve lost 50% of their focus and motivation.
  3. Go beyond their expectations. It’s your chance to make them feel special as a group. Choosing something that’s better than anything they’ve anticipated will make them excited and you nothing short of amazing!
  4. Plan well. You can manage the whole occasion on your own but when does that leave time for you to get the most out of it as well. A successful team away day is based on a well composed plan, personalised to the team and with as much engaging activity as there is time to relax. So plan all the details in advance, and pull in support to help you coordinate the day so it all goes to plan.

So what type of team away day to go for?

This is totally dependent on the dynamic of the group, how well they get along and what you want to get out of your time away from the office. If you are looking to do some work related activities, how can you make these more interesting, how can you use your environment or venue, in order for it not to feel like work yet still achieve your goals? Think of unique ways to design your day – perhaps have breakout sessions on the terrace, experience sharing on a walk or brain storming an idea whilst playing lawn bowls. Teams often respect the fact that at some stage they’ll need to do some work, but if you can lighten the mood and make the most of the new surroundings to help make work seem like play, you’re half way to success.

 

Team Away Day Ideas

 

Party time.

If your team away day is a chance for staff to let their hair down and party then you really want to facilitate fun and opportunities for people to enjoy themselves. For large groups something like a festival style away day, with food stalls, fire pits, tipis and a music stage, can be great for new experiences and having a good time together. Once you are all on site, organising activities for large groups can be quite stressful especially when people are there to have a party too, so don’t try and schedule too much into the day. However, if you need to cover a few work related items, schedule them in the timetable (shared with everyone beforehand) for the pre-lunch slot so that you give them enough time to themselves.

Festival style away days are not going to be for everyone, so do think of the personalities in your team first. For the more home comfort loving members of the group you can reassure them there are showers, loos, real beds and chargers for your phones. You’ll find that as long as people are well informed beforehand, they might approach it with trepidation, but by the end of it they have fully embraced life under canvas and wholeheartedly agree that getting out of their comfort zone is actually great to do once in a while.

Family sized fun.

For smaller groups, you may have more budget to include activities. Dependent on the time of year, you might want to plan a trip out for the day. The venue you choose to stay in will have stacks of ideas about places to visit to suit all tastes. You don’t have to do something hugely elaborate for people to get a sense of a place: organise guided walks, orienteering, foraging or things that get you under the skin of the local culture a bit before heading back home. If the venue you are staying in has all sorts of games and space to entertain you, don’t feel you have to escape for the day either. People will appreciate the time to be still, with no agenda and to admire a beautiful view.

 

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Soaking up the culture.

For away days at Pennard House for example, one particular activity we offer are tastings of Somerset’s great selection of ciders. One of the reasons guests choose Pennard is to enjoy the idyllic, rural countryside and with cider apple orchards of our own, cider is a huge part of the local identity, so it’s nice to give them a greater sense of it’s character and learn some history too. We can arrange trips to cider producing farms or have the experts come to our orchards. We try and be as flexible as possible when it comes to scheduling activities to make things work around your time schedule. We’re always open to new ideas and any activity that we haven’t yet thought of, we of course will work with you to make it possible.

A competitive spirit.

For those with a little more energy and who like to keep active, you might want to include some challenging games into the schedule. We’ve had teams at Pennard try and build the best tipi in the garden or if raining, build wicker sculptures indoors. The length of time you give to these activities depends on your group, but go with shorter over longer, and you won’t find you’ve lost their attention. As much as we don’t like rain to stop play, a wet weather contingency plan is always sensible. 🙁

In summary:

There is certainly a balance between work and play, organised activities and free time that you want to get right for away days. Working with the venue to make the most of what’s locally available, will make the trip more unique than if you apply some ideas taken off the internet. Pick an away day that best suits the majority of the group, their enthusiasm will be infectious and the heel draggers will not be able to resist enjoying themselves too. And always have a back up plan, agreed with the venue, to change at any moment the weather isn’t doing what you’d asked!! Be brave and your efforts will be rewarded!


For more information on team away days at Pennard and how your group, large or small, can make the most of their time with us, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’re getting married this year and looking for some different ideas for your wedding, look no further. Here we share a few wedding trends we’re really looking forward to seeing this year.

 

Self styled and self created, whimsical weddings

Planning your own wedding provides a great opportunity to bring your own style and personality to your day. From small details like name-embroidered shoes, or handwritten invites or amazingly unique wedding favours, we’re looking forward to more of the whimsical and the handmade coming to weddings this year. In the past at Pennard, we’ve seen couples have so much fun with this idea, hand-making some really unique and crafty creations – see amazing dinosaurs below. You may feel like these things are only small gestures, but a few fun, arty and frivolous props can relax and liven the atmosphere and help make everyone feel at ease. We loved the copper flamingos placed around the garden at one wedding last year. We only wish we could have them with us all year around.

Wedding Trends 2017

 

Rustic, wild, seasonal flowers

There is something beautifully romantic about wild flowers. Whether it’s the idea that they have been spontaneously picked or if it’s their natural, relaxed demeanour, we want more of them. Seasonal flowers of all shapes and colours for bride’s bouquets, and lots of greenery, ivy, ferns, moss, eucalyptus leaf for centrepieces, arches or aisle seats. Beautiful.

Rustic wedding flowers

 

A little pizza with your champagne? 

There have been plenty of new food ideas turning up, quite literally, at Pennard weddings recently. Better than your average too. They entertain, light up, feed and humour guests just at that hour of need. Food trucks like La Taqueria taco van (below) can park up outside to serve late night food. Or if you want something extra inside the venue, individual food stations serving delicious, help-yourself-style canapés also work really well. Both ideas bring people together, require minimal scheduling as guests can help themselves at whatever hour they give in to temptation and are perfect additions for adding a bit of colour to your surroundings. Just make sure, whatever happens, the bride has a plate. And an apron! 

Food Van Somerset

 

Wedding photo booths 2017

Whether it’s Grandma in a giant pair of shades or all the women dressed like Elvis, wedding photo booths create instant fun for the whole party and great mementos of the day. We’re loving their evolution from Post Office photo booth, to what they are today. You now have so many options to choose from. Perhaps you’d like to create a staged scene with an impressive backdrop and props? Or if not maybe a slow motion film of you and your gang pulling all sorts of silly, bendy moves sounds more like you. The result is always totally unpredictable which is what makes them so great. Whatever format you choose, photo booth creators have certainly upped the tempo, creating even more innocent fun for your guests to laugh about all the way home. 

Photo booth wedding somerset

 

Less staged, more natural photography

Gone are the days of most wedding photographs being formal, staged shots of family members sitting in chairs. (Raucous cheers from the photographers!) Spending large parts of the wedding trying to herd guests into position is not fun for you nor the photographer. And the result is stressful and often a very unnatural shot, which is why wedding photographers often lean towards the more relaxed style of photojournalistic wedding photography. They capture events from a distance, documenting the whole day as it naturally takes place. We’ve seen photographers from recent weddings at Pennard capture much more of the complete picture rather than staged shots, even of the wedding couples themselves. You get more natural images and much more of a sense of the atmosphere too.

wedding photographer Somerset


The location of choice for Vogue, Marie Claire and The English Home magazine, Pennard House is a beautiful, family-owned country estate, just waiting to host your perfect wedding, exclusive business conference, private party, film or photo shoot. A hidden gem in the rolling Somerset countryside, our Georgian home is the epitome of dreamy English elegance. Contact the team today about planning your next event with us.

Pennard House is one of Somerset's hidden treasures. A Grade II listed family home surrounded by breathtaking Somerset countryside, this is one of those places that makes you feel at home the moment you arrive. behind the scenes to save you any stress or strain.
The location of choice for Vogue, Marie Claire and The English Home magazine, Pennard House is a beautiful, family-owned country estate, just waiting to host your perfect event. But don't just take our word for it, see what others have said about our exclusive venue.