Review: The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

Today we have a wonderful review of the beautiful Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.

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Awarded AA Hotel of the Year in Wales, The Angel Hotel is something very special. I was invited to come along to view their wedding showcase a while ago and experience an overnight stay. Our boobless Bride Dawn also joined me for the evening. And what a great night we had too!

There is literally something for everyone to enjoy here. Their award winning Afternoon teas for one are legendary (great for treating mum or your bridesmaids!). But today, we’re focusing on weddings and what they can provide for you on your big day!

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If you’ve yet to book your wedding venue, then I honestly think you should take a closer look at The Angel. They have a variety of packages to suit all budgets and if you are looking to get married this year… they have a great offer running too!

When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by friendly staff, all very warm and welcoming. I was then shown around the different locations they offer for weddings.

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The Hotel

Inside the hotel itself, you have the Ballroom or Brecon Suite to choose from for the ceremony. Two very different and unique spaces.8788a62158f657378425a5c0a9d74941

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Private Dining
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I felt they have all the bases covered. Even with being situated on the high street, once inside, you felt like you were miles away. And if you were worried about where you can have your wedding photographs taken…don’t.  The beautiful Abergavenny Castle is a two minute walk away!

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So, if you are thinking of taking a closer look, do it… we did and loved our stay!

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Review: An evening at the Celtic Manor

Is ‘DATE NIGHT’ coming up soon? Do you need somewhere to entertain the future in-laws? or maybe you’d just like to treat your mum to a lovely meal on Friday night?  If so, did you know that the Celtic Manor have recently opened three new restaurants at the resort? Yes, THREE! They can even cater for intimate weddings too!

Steak on Six, The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies and Cen.

I was lucky enough to be invited to an event called #nightatthemanor a few weeks ago. Alongside some of Wales & Bristols’ leading bloggers, I was treated to a tour of each restaurant, served divine cocktails and sampled a selection of lavish food from each of the restaurants (I was one lucky and very FULL girl afterwards haha).

All images in this post by me: Maria Farrelly Photography

 

Signature Lounge

 The evening started with cocktails and canapés in the recently opened Signature Lounge.

Diners at Steak on Six can enjoy drinks before lunch or dinner here which boasts spectacular, elevated views across Coldra Woods.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-166Maria_Farrelly_Photography-161I was pretty fascinated with this hand carved cured ham, it tasted incredible.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-164 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-165Maria_Farrelly_Photography-158Each of these canapés were a delight and i think if you were considering hosting a small intimate wedding here, the food would certainly wow your guests. I just don’t think one of each canapé would be enough for my friends… they’d LOVE all of this and i’m pretty sure they’d happily of taken the tray off the waiter.

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Steak on Six

In a spectacular elevated setting on the sixth floor of the Resort Hotel, this recent addition serves succulent steaks from around the British Isles and has already earned the coveted accolade of two AA Rosettes!

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Most of the tables in this restaurant were laid out for two which instantly made me feel this was an intimate couples restaurant rather than somewhere a family/large group would dine. I really liked that. Their website does state they will accommodate a maximum of 6 per table. Its also worth noting there is a dress code. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave your flip-flops where they firmly belong (at the beach). 

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-168Alongside signature cuts of the finest steaks from around the British Isles, diners can also take their pick from an array of other fine meats and fresh fish, all grilled to perfection.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-171This unique setting with its spectacular views over Coldra Woods and breathtaking combination of stunning surroundings and exciting, creative culinary concept, are fast making The Signature dining destination a popular choice.Maria_Farrelly_Photography-169

The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies

The Epicure Experience by Richard Davies promises a memorable and exciting, modern restaurant experience sure to impress the most discerning of gourmets.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-173 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-177Formerly of Gordon Ramsay London, Sawyards in West Sussex and the Manor House at Castle Combe, award-winning chef Richard Davies returns to The Celtic Manor Resort.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-174 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-176Richard’s intricate menus reflect seasonality with a strong emphasis on the use of locally sourced ingredients, producing fresh, intense flavours for an unforgettable dining experience.

Maria_Farrelly_Photography-179It was such a pleasure to meet Richard, he was lovely and clearly passionate about his craft. He welcomed us with an introduction to his food as well as sharing a few trade secrets (my lips are sealed Richard) but all I will say is that I now have another use for my crinkle cutter! 

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CEN

At Cen, you can discover fresh, unique and truly inspired Asian fusion cuisine by Larkin Cen, 2013 finalist of BBC’s MasterChef UK.

Offering a deliciously different dining concept, this striking new restaurant features an exciting menu of fresh, contemporary Asian cuisine created by one of the UK’s most up-and-coming talents.

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Before we dined at Cen, we were treated to an exclusive masterclass from Larkin himself where he showed us how he creates his mouth-watering Duck dish. Maria_Farrelly_Photography-192 Maria_Farrelly_Photography-193Maria_Farrelly_Photography-194

From delicious fluffy steamed bao buns to slow cooked oriental pork belly and succulent sharing platters of Cantonese duck, savour this sociable dining experience bursting with authentic pan-Asian flavours.

And there we have it! I bet I’ve made you all hungry now! ~ Maria x 

Cupcake Heaven – The Deck

 We have a very sweet post today. If you love cupcakes and thinking of having them for your wedding… keep reading… you are going to love this. WARNING though, you may craze one afterwards!

For the first time ever, I have a student on Work experience with me this week. The lovely Liv has an interest in photography and social media. so, needless to say…I put her to work :)

The following post was written and photographed by her. I’m seriously impressed with the detail in her photographs, considering she is only 14, I think she has a bright future ahead of her!

So, without further a do, I’m going to hand you over to Liv with her very first post for Cwtch The Bride.

Hello! My name is Olivia and I am a cupcake addict. So, it’s a good job that I live at the best cupcake place in town. The Deck Coffee House and Cakery is what others call, ‘a hidden gem’ based in Cardiff Bay. My mother, Debra Brown, makes the award winning cupcakes fresh everyday and they are to die for. So I thought that I would express my love for them through a blog post.

Honeycomb Cupcake

 

honeycombonplate2The Honeycomb Cupcake is a vanilla sponge topped with velvety vanilla buttercream to make your mouth water. The cupcake is finished with crushed honeycomb for a signature taste.

HoneycombfullMalteser Cupcake

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The Malteser Cupcake is a simple chocolate sponge coated with a smooth chocolate buttercream. Malteser’s are then placed lightly on top to give it an effortless look.

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Fudge Cappuccino

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The Fudge Cappuccino cupcake is a homemade vanilla sponge iced with cappuccino-flavoured buttercream. Small fudge pieces are then placed on top of the cake and sprinkled with classic cocoa.fudgecloseup

Nutella Cupcake

nutellafullThe Nutella Cupcake is a personal favourite of mine with a chocolate-based sponge and a dollop of silky Nutella spread in the centre. It is then finished with a rich chocolate buttercream and two dairy milk chocolate buttons.

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Other flavours include Salted Caramel with a core of caramel sauce and Strawberry Cheesecake with a vanilla base topped with strawberry infused buttercream, biscuit crumbs and strawberry chocolate. All cupcakes can be pre-ordered for birthdays, weddings, or can just be for treating yourself.

 

Not bad hey! Well Done Liv, its been a pleasure to have you working with me this week. And thanks to Debs from The Deck for supplying the cupcakes, they were insanely delicious as always.

We have one more post coming up from Liv next week. If you have teenagers and need some inspiration on clothing for weddings, you’ll love that post! lots of inspiration from a fashion conscious teenager! Maria x 

 

 

THE LUSH LIST

Shhh…..Today I wanted to let you in on a secret. Its something very special we’re planning to launch later this month. Its called, The LUSH LIST.LUSH LIST MAP

Since our lovely Welsh Wedding blog started back in 2013, we regularly receive lots of emails from engaged couples asking us to recommend venues & suppliers throughout Wales.

This got us thinking… Why don’t we create a super cool directory for you all?  A new section to the blog that features all the cool suppliers we love PLUS the ones that you (past Brides & Grooms) also recommend!

Good idea hey?! (We think so too)

We want to help make finding suppliers easy for you. We want to save you hours of scouring the internet. Our LUSH LIST will point you in the direction of some of Wales’ finest wedding professionals. Companies that we have all used for our own weddings, suppliers we have worked with professionally at weddings, experts we’ve already featured on our blog as well as new and upcoming businesses that we feel offer something truly unique.

 So… as we continue beavering away behind the blog, putting together this kick ass directory. We want to let you know how you can get involved to help make this really special!

How To Get Involved

It is important to us that our LUSH LIST only contains top quality, professional suppliers in Wales. Each and every venue and supplier featured in this directory will have been invited to join by us or recommended by you.

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For Brides

We really want to know who your favourite wedding suppliers are and why. Simply fill out the form below and we’ll take a look.

[contact-form to=’info@cwtchthebride.com’ subject=’LUSH LIST RECOMMENDATION’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Wedding Date’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’My 3 favourite wedding suppliers are’ type=’textarea’/][contact-field label=’What do you love most about them?’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

For Businesses

If you run a cool wedding business in Wales and you’d like us to consider you for our Lush List, then get in touch here. If invited to join, you will receive lots of benefits to help your business including features, events, collaborating on styled shoots as well as being given our Approved vendor badge to use

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We’re looking forward to hearing from you all xxx

Review: Brides The Show, London

Hands up who went to a wedding fayre on Sunday? Did it inspire you? Did you find what you were looking for?

Cwtch the Bride was set up to inspire welsh couples planning their wedding. Whether it be in Wales or not. As a team, we love discovering new and established Welsh talent and introducing them to you via this blog. However, every now and then we do like to look further a field (dare I say it, outside Wales). And when most of these English, Irish, Scottish and international wedding professionals LOVE coming to Wales, it’s a bit rude not to include them occasionally.

So, you can imagine my delight when a few weeks ago, an invitation drops through my letterbox from the UK’s no.1 bridal magazine Brides, inviting me to visit the wedding industry’s most luxurious event ‘Brides The Show’ in London. I couldn’t resist.

Brides the Show

Brides the ShowNow, before I go any further. Brides the Show is not…I repeat…NOT a wedding fayre. There were no 6ft tressel tables with white table cloths in sight. This event featured some of the UK’s leading wedding professionals as well as an inspirational area for all those budding DIY brides.

So take a look around the show with me as I highlight some of the suppliers that really caught my eye! All images featured were taken by myself, Maria Farrelly Photography 

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The show was buzzing with so many brides, bridesmaids and mother of the bride/groom. It has to be said, there wasn’t a great deal of grooms-to-be or children present. But I guess if you plan to visit such an event in London, many of the women were on a shopping weekend and lets face it, not many men and kids enjoy that.

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Check out the £5,000 Ian Stuart wedding dress the nation’s men told Brides Magazine they’d love you to wear. I’d wear it! Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly152

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Art with a Heart

This was a live auction that was taking place (up until 6th April) where you could bid on a one-off sketch by celebrities depicting their ultimate wedding dress. All in aid of the British Heart foundation.

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Wales’ very own Julian McDonald was taking part too! Check out his sketch below.

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This was one of my favourites. It was by Lulu Guinness and just the type of dress I love!

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The Imagination Room

I loved this area and spent a lot of time checking out all the cool DIY ideas and watching the presentations. They ranged from making hair accessories, creating your own centrepieces, cookie Save The Dates…yes COOKIES! Plus LOADS more! I did join in with Always Andri Wedding design‘s workshop where I made some pretty cool paper flowers.

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How cool would this floral frame be for a DIY photo booth? You could make one with paper flowers!

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Or how about all these paper & floral decorations hanging from trees? Simple but so effective. You, your bridesmaids & friends could organise a cocktail and DIY afternoon. Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly032Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly033Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly034Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly035Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly037

Interviews

There were many interviews taking place in the sofa area. This gave brides-to-be the opportunity to pick up great tips and tricks from some of the industry’s leading professionals.

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My Favourite Exhibitors!

The effort that had gone into all these exhibition stands truly blew me away.  I couldn’t help but stare at times. I loved the amount of detail each had put in. It proved to me this show was truly showcasing some of the BEST in the industry. It was an absolute pleasure to have spent time chatting with theses professionals. So next, I wanted to share with you those lovely suppliers I got to meet that completely wowed me.

By Appointment Only Design 

This was the first stand I saw as I walked in. NEVER have I seen a table centre as extravagant as this (and I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings over the years). I probably spent a good 20 minutes taking in all the details. Simply beautiful.

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Ideas Box

Most of us would have seen the ice-cream cart at many wedding fayres. But I love how Ideas Box pushes this concept to another level. I am fond of a Pimms and although I hate cheese I was really impressed with the Cheese Tricycle. Both of these are perfect for any outdoor summer wedding.

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Lila

I fell in love. As soon as I saw Lila’s stand, I couldn’t help myself. The detail in her work was incredible.

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The Meringue Girls

Speechless! I’d never seen a wedding cake like that before. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colours, the design, the whole damn thing.

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They had an awesome selection of wedding favours available too. Why oh Why are these ladies not based in Wales?

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Mary Jane Vaughan

This was my personal favourite! Mary Jane Vaughan oozed style, elegance and simplicity. My kind of professional!

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Peach Blossom

This company offers some really pretty and stylish wedding products that can all be purchased online. Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly074 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly075 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly076Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly078 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly079 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly080

Platinum Raspberry

When it comes to styling a wedding, many brides have an idea of a theme but don’t always know how to visualise it. Imagine finding a company that not only understood your vision but took it to the next level. let me introduce you to Platinum Raspberry. As a wedding photographer, part of my job on a wedding day is documenting all the details of the day. This includes the tables, favours etc.. When I saw this display I LOVED it! I could imagine how thrilled guests would be sitting down either table display. The creativity and effort was superb.

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Bobbi Brown

A great make up demo. You can see from the shot just how popular this was. Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly095 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly096 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly097

The Wedding Tree

This was a really interesting alternative to a guest book. Guests would write a message onto a wooden heart and slot it into the frame (from the top). By the end of the wedding, the frame would be filled and ready to hang on your wall. How fabulous! Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly099 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly100

Raj Tent Club

Raj Tent Club is a company specialising primarily in the sale and rental of exquisite decorative Indian tents. They also offer a comprehensive range of furniture, lighting and accessories inspired by nomadic traditions from around the world.
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Little Bevan

If you are planning an authentic vintage style wedding you will LOVE Little Bevan.  This award winning boutique designs mini luxe childrenswear for every special occasion: weddings,
christenings, birthdays…  Little Bevan Couture is designed exclusively and individually made at their Pimlico boutiqueLittle Bevan Star is their ready-to-wear collection, available in store and at our online shop. How cute is the outfit for the dog?! Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly118Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly120 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly121

Mega Booth

This company take the photo-booth idea to a whole new level. And yes…They will drive their Mini to Wales too :)

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Bombus

From unique, bespoke wedding table numbers to cute wedding favours, Bombus have some lovely accessories to complement your special day.Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly134 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly135Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly139 Brides_The_Show_Maria_Farrelly140

The Photo Emporium

Check out this amazing Airstream Photobooth by the photo emporium.

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Ladurée

If you love macaroons then you will have heard of Ladurée.  If you haven’t, pop over to the website at least. Its super cute.

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Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium

Here it is…The upside down wedding cake! Hand on heart I can honestly say I’ve NEVER seen anything like this before! This four tiered beauty is real! It’s suspended and moves. My first question was…’How do you cut it for the traditional ‘cutting the cake’ photograph? ‘Carefully’ I recall was the most appropriate answer. It was certainly an inspiring show stopping piece.

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The floral petals on these cupcakes were stunning. All edible too. Its seems wrong eat them haha but I bet they tasted incredible!

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The catwalk show

So many beautiful and unusual gowns graced this catwalk. I’ve included some that really caught my eye and some that left me a little confused. Its fair to say we all have our own opinions on what makes a great wedding dress and here are some of the industries most inspiring designers. You be the judge. After all, as a bride to be, your the one that will be wearing one :)

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Galia Lahav at Serendipity

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Temperley London

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Emma Hunt

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Sheila Harding at Boa Boutique

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Terry Fox at Boa Boutique

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Ian Stuart

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Maids to Measure

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Zaeem Jamal

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Berta Bridal at The Wedding Club

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Temperley London

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Katya Katya Shehurina

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Ian Stuart

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Ritva Westenius

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Suzanne Neville

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Elie by Elie Saab at The Wedding Club

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Maids to Measure

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Temperley London

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Federica Bruno

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Berta Bridal at The Wedding Club

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Zaeem Jamal

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Quintana Couture

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Ian Stuart

Wow, so there you go! A pretty epic show wasn’t it! I hope you enjoyed it as much as i did and that its helped inspire you in some way. x