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Rachel Horner

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Rachel Horner

CAKES Tiers of joy for truly beautiful creations It’s a fabulous time to be a bride (or a wedding cake designer for that matter). Wedding cake no longer means dried out cake in rock-hard royal icing. With the arrival of new icings and techniques, cakes are soaring to new levels of gorgeousness – and The Kennet House Cake Company, Kintbury, is leading the way in creating breathtaking cakes. With Great Taste Gold awards to show for its efforts, the company has developed delicious sponge cakes, fruit cakes and cupcakes to delight the most discerning wedding guests; but the real wow-factor is the beauty of these cakes. As Anna Adams says, brides can choose a cake as unique as they are – show-stopping cascades of sugar flowers to complement their bouquet, or the lace from their dress delicately ‘embroidered’ on to their cake. The Kennet House Cake Company is also, proudly, one of the few companies retaining the skills of traditional Lambeth overpiping, for exceptional gravitas and beauty. So, something traditional? Something modern? Or perhaps traditional with a twist, this company has it iced. www. thekennethousecakecompany.co.uk Purples, antique pinks and citrus shades - hot cake trends Delicious Dial a Cake predicts rich purples, antique pinks and citrus shades as the hot trends for 2014, with cakes taller and thinner than ever before. Owner Dawn Saunders is also taking many orders for birdcage wedding cakes, vintage-style with lace and large open roses, pearls and piping. She says: “Couples want their cakes with height. Naked wedding cakes decorated with fresh fruit and flowers are still popular, and carrot cake, chocolate marble and rainbow cakes can double up as your dessert.” Delicious Dial a Cake doesn't just make cakes for special occasions, it also hires cake stands and tins and sells boards, boxes, ribbons, icing and cake decorations for the home cake decorator. Call Dawn on 01635 826320 or log on to www.deliciousdialacake.com. DRESSES Try on top designs in a beautiful boutique Mrs Jones Bridal Boutique is situated in the heart of Newbury, in Weavers Walk. It offers a range of beautiful wedding dresses and accessories with a very personal service, all from its stunning boutique. It sells dresses from Charlotte Balbier to Suzanne Neville and even has its own local offering, Caroline Parkes; an exclusive range of made- to-measure dresses all designed and made here in Newbury. As well as dresses, the boutique stocks a range of hair pieces, veils and shoes to complement the look. Pop in to take a look for yourself. Visit www.mrsjones bridal.co.uk for more details or visit owner Laura Jones at 4 Weavers Walk, Newbury. (01635) 35113. - Miss Bridal gowns of hungerford, Bridge Street, Hungerford. For more information, log on to www.missbridalgownsofhungerford.com - Blades Bridal, Ashford Hill Road, Headley – bespoke wedding gowns, evening dresses and mother-of-thebride outfits. www.bladesbridal.co.uk. FLOWERS Creative elegance Willow & Blooms is a beautiful and creative flower shop nestled in Bartholomew Street, in the historic market town of Newbury. Every wedding is special no matter how big or small, and Willow & Blooms offers a free, out-of-hours consultation in the shop to ensure each bride-to-be gets the attention she deserves. Consultations are from 2pm on Saturday afternoons. Please telephone (01635) 528900 to book your appointment. www.willowandbloomsflowersnewbury.co.uk STATIONERY asdas W VENUES A venue for lovers of  the finer things in life Donnington Valley, Newbury, is a family-owned property that shares its love of great food, fantastic wines and art with its owners.This shared passion is evident as you move through the property, with original paintings and sculpture creating stunning spaces both inside and out, meaning that the one thing you can’t pre-order for your big day, the weather, is no longer a problem. Chef Kelvin Johnson and his team  use only the freshest locally-sourced ingredients to design a wedding breakfast menu created around you. Pair that with wines from an inspired list and you are on to a winning formula. At Donnington, you have everything at your fingertips, with a spa onsite for any last-minute pampering, or a round of golf before the big day. The 111 bedrooms, designed with comfort in mind, provide a relaxing retreat at the end of your big day. If your family and friends also choose to stay, you can reflect on the day over a post wedding breakfast. For your personal tour of the hotel, please call Beth on (01635) 568106. www.donningtonvalley.co.uk Charity benefits from mansion weddings Set within 29 acres of stunning grounds, Mill Hall, Greenham, Newbury, is a Grade II-listed mansion, providing exclusive weekend access for weddings and other special occasions. From the initial enquiry right through to the big day, the dedicated wedding co-ordinator is on hand to help, whilst the experienced catering team will prepare your choice of food from the wide-ranging menus, complemented by a well-stocked wine cellar and fully-licensed bar. The magnificent great hall, with its carved oak panelling, stained-glass windows, and ornate Victorian fireplace, is the perfect setting for civil ceremonies and wedding breakfasts, whilst the elegant garden room, overlooking the grounds and lake, is the ideal location for reception drinks and evening entertainment. What really sets Mill Hall apart is that the money raised from all the weddings and events goes directly to Mary Hare, the national charity for deaf children and young people. For more information,visit www.millhallweddings.co.uk or contact the wedding co-ordinator, Faye Oliver, on 07824 665119 or email info@millhallweddings.co.uk Classic Georgian hotel in riverside setting Newbury Manor Hotel is a Grade II-listed Georgian manor house, sympathetically restored and bought back to life with classic glass hanging chandeliers and regal carpets. It is an undiscovered treasure, located on the banks of the rivers Kennet and Lambourn. Travelling along the driveway, guests are welcomed by enchanting grounds that spread as far as the eye can see. The tranquil surroundings and beautiful secluded parkland provides a photographer’s delight, capturing that memory making moment. The venue boasts a total of 34 en suite bedrooms, including hot tub rooms and a romantic retreat within the original manor house for the bride and bridegroom. The river bar restaurant well known for its AA-standard cuisine is accessed via a footbridge to the tranquil location across the grounds. There is a choice of four ceremony suites, each one different in style and setting, for small, intimate gathering or a grand affair. Each offers authentic charm providing direct access to the manicured lawns. A perfect venue offering charming suites, luxurious accommodation and enchanting grounds awaits you. www.heritagehotels.org.uk/newburymanor Riverside setting with a conservatory ceremony room The Old Mill at Aldermaston is one of the most popular and romantic settings in the country for weddings, ceremonies, blessings and receptions. Steeped in traditional charm with its original oak beams, sluices and water wheel, The Old Mill has a tranquil riverside setting in 20 acres of countryside, making it one of the most picturesque location in the royal county of Berkshire. Surrounded by the River Kennet and centrally located between Basingstoke, Reading and Newbury, the venue has earned its reputation as a top wedding venue, not only for the setting, but also for its excellent food and service. A new licence means ceremonies can be held in the conservatory, with beautiful panoramic views of the river and grounds, as well as the stable and mill rooms. Privately-run for the past 75 years, the staff’s personal and professional approach will give you unforgettable memories of your special day. www.theoldmillinn.co.uk 500 acres of Berkshire's finest views Donnington Grove is no ordinary country club – the secluded location, elegant architecture and picturesque surroundings make this a delightful place to tie the knot. Following the civil ceremony in one of the hotel’s three licensed rooms (which can accommodated up to 100 guests in the largest), the bridal party and their guests can enjoy the  500-acres of Berkshire’s finest  countryside and the beautiful views to the River Lambourn as they sip champagne – and, of course, it looks great in the photographs. Food is an important part of the day, as one of the things guests remember the most, so the chef organises a complimentary taster evening, with wine, for the bride and bridegroom, to make sure everything is to their taste. Call (01635) 581000, email enquiries@donnington-grove.com,or visit www.donnington-grove.com. Small enough to offer a personal service, big enough to have a professional team The imposing Mecure Newbury Elcot Park Hotel is four-star country house, with fabulous views over the Kennet Valley, and a picture-perfect venue, with a reputation for staging memorable weddings. It is small enough to have a flexible approach, yet large enough to benefit from a professional operations management team. Sitting in 16 acres of glorious gardens, the hotel is situated halfway between Hungerford and Newbury, off the A4.  It is licensed for civil weddings  and has 73 bedrooms, a leisure club, and substantial free parking, and the Windsor suite comes complete with private patio and gardens. www.mercure.com

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