Cote How

Is Cote How a public hotel

Cote How is a small family business which offers its home as a private hire venue. We live onsite and welcome you to our home where we host your special occasion. We are not a hotel which offers services to non residents, or the general public. You will benefit from hiring a bespoke venue which specialises in intimate and exclusive celebrations and can be completely flexible (within reason). There is no set formula and other than booking the registrar at a particular time and date, we can build whatever type of event you choose.

Are you open for us to come and take a look at the venue?

We can arrange a show round of Cote How by appointment only. If you wish to bring any friends or relatives with you then can we suggest that you limit your visits to 6 people. Weekends are an extremely busy time for us particularly in wedding season and we cannot offer show rounds when the venue is in use as each couple have sole exclusivity for the duration of their stay.

Can our guests use the whole of the house?

There are certain areas of the house that are marked as private as this is our living accommodation. Access to the main staircase that leads to the bedrooms is strictly limited to residents only. Therefore on the wedding day we ask that any additional members of the bridal party that are not residents arrive ready and wait in the downstairs reception areas of the house and not in the bedrooms.

Are you onsite to make sure everything we plan is carried out?

Yes, Caroline agrees all of your arrangements with you during your planning stages and it is her the family team that serves you and your guests on your special day ensuring that every detail of your day is carried out to perfection. We do not change shifts or leave site.

Venue Hire 

Do you offer exclusivity (are we the only wedding that day)?

Yes. Unlike other venues, we offer total exclusivity for every wedding on-site, whether a 2 hour ceremony only for 2 people, or a full weekend package for 80 people.

Can we use the house and barn?

Yes you can hire either the house, lawn and house terrace only or the house and barn which includes barn courtyard. Some parts of the venue are closed after use to suit the flow of oyur event. For example the house ceremony room and guest lounge are closed in the evening once the party has moved to the barn. If your wedding is in the house only then all rooms will remain in use.

Do you offer any discounts to your prices?

Yes. We have midweek and seasonal discounts. If you are on a budget and need to make saving please ask Caroline for details of special offers and discounts that may apply.

Can we walk to the lake on the day for photographs?

Yes. You can access the lake and river directly from our back gate. We own the field adjacent although there is a public footpath running through it, you can get some wonderful shots near Rydal Water and the surrounding area.

Is the bar in the main evening party room itself, or separate?

We have two cash bars which are open throughout the day. The house bar is situated off the main reception room, and the barn bar serves local real ale and chilled lager on draft. 
Do note that on occasions, the house bar will be closed if your main reception is in the barn.



The house capacities:

50 people in the Fairfield ceremony room for the wedding ceremony
50 for an informal buffet or 24 for a formal wedding breakfast (3 tables of 8 people) 40 for an Afternoon Tea (4 tables of 10 people)
Up to 16 for fine dining in the main reception room

Barn capacity:

80 people in the barn for the ceremony
80 seated in the barn for a hog roast
80 for an informal buffet
60 for a seated formal wedding breakfast

Can we have an evening reception?

In order to have an evening reception after your ceremony (full day wedding) you will need a minimum of 24 people in the house and 40 in the barn

Do you allow marquees or teepees in the grounds?

We do not allow marquees on the lawn but if you wish to provide an open marquee in hte barn courtyard the nthis is not a problem. We specialise in smaller more intimate weddings, and have limited capacities based on the number of guests that we can seat indoors at any one time, therefrore additional capacity is not really required. If you are looking for a larger wedding then we feel that larger venues can accommodate this much easier.



Wedding Arrangements

Do you offer a wedding planning service?

Yes. We offer a full wedding planning service which is free of charge.

What do we do to book the wedding?

Once you have decided that you want Cote How as your venue of choice, you will need to check with Kendal Registry office for their availability at the time and date of choice agreed with Caroline. Once this is booked, you may proceed with your booking with Cote How. 
A booking is not confirmed until a full deposit has been paid and your wedding contract signed and returned to us.

Can you supply details of local registrar so we can contact them?

The local registrar’s office is in Kendal:
County Offices
Busher Walk
Tel:0300 303 2472 (select South Lakes area)
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Show rounds and pre-visits

Can we come to visit the venue?
We can arrange private or group viewings with our wedding planner Caroline, once you have completed some preliminary questionnaires. 
As you will no doubt understand, time is limited, as we have many couples wishing to make appointments each year. Mid-week is less time constrained and we can usually arrange private viewings then. Weekends are very busy and so a group show around might be the best available option. Where possible, these visits also need to be limited to one hour, in order to try and accommodate everybody!
To arrange a viewing, please make an enquiry by completing this Simple Wedding Enquiry Form.

Can we come again closer to the wedding date to show friends, family and professionals?

Once you have booked your wedding you may find that your chosen suppliers such as photographers and venue stylists may wish to visit the venue. As we are often asked for time to view, we must limit your second visit to just one visit for all suppliers you intend showing around. This is purely due to the time that we are holding weddings, when visiting is impossible, the remaining time being limited.


Car Parking

Do you allow parking on-site?

We can only allow up to 3 cars on-site, which are for the overnight guests only. We try not to fill the space around the house, so as not to limit your photographic opportunities. We will also need to accommodate your wedding suppliers such as the photographer, caterer, entertainer etc.

Are there any local car parks nearby?

Yes, the nearest is called Pelter Bridge Car Park just 30m before us on the lane. This is a pay and Display Car Park patrolled by the National Park. Other options are to find spaces along the lane near Rydal Church, or to park in Ambleside's long stay car parks and walk/bus (555 or 599) to us.



Do you offer flexibility for catering (us using external suppliers)?

We have our own on-site chefs and source our food locally. All food is freshly prepared on the premises and therefore, we have control over the quality of what we offer, in addition to the provinence of the food we serve. We offer a wide and varied selection of food options for all of your wedding needs, but if you have any special requests outside our normal menu selections, we will do our very best to accommodate them. 
Menu options are available here 

Can you cater for special diets?

Yes! Executive chef, Karen Healy, has had many years' experience and has built a fine reputation for her attention to detail and fexibility, so whether vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, or raw diet only, we can cater for you!

Can we bring in any of our own food to help keep the costs down?

The only food permitted to be brought in is your wedding cake. We will supply a table and cloth and a knife for your cake cutting photos. If you wish to have a particular type of cake stand, you will need to hire this in, although we can offer a traditional 10” glass stand or a wooden tree ring free of charge.

After we have cut the cake for photos, can you cut in into slices and serve it?

Yes. We can offer this service and can cut your cake into portion sizes and supply plates, forks and napkins for a buffet or served o your table. There is an additional charge of £1.00 or £2.50 respectively for this service.


Can we bring in our own wines and champagnes?

As a fully licensed premise we do not offer any from of corkage.

What kind of wines and sparkling drinks do you offer?

We have a comprehensive list of wines, including our standard ranges, premium, ethical and organic options. We also offer local real ales and Peroni on draft in the fully stocked bar nbar. 

Can we put an amount behind the bar instead of specifying a particular round of drinks, as some people would prefer beers, rather than Prosecco or Mulled Wine?

Yes. We often manage a tab behind the bar to accommodate a varied list of drinks. This only works from the barn bar, where there is plenty of space for guests to be served quickly. If a round is needed for a toast, it is advisable to pre-order the same round, as it can be ready all at the same time and served quickly to the tables. Likewise, we advise wine with a formal meal, as we can leave equivalent bottles to the glasses per person, pre-ordered on the tables to save walking to and queuing at the bar during food service.  Any pre-paid drinks are then left on the side tables for distribution throughout the meal.
We allow 6 glasses per bottle, so bottle equivalents are allocated to each wedding. Any further drinks required can be purchased from the bar or, if authorised, added to the wedding tab.



Do you offer flexibility for entertainment (us using external suppliers)?

Yes. We encourage this as we do not have any internal entertainment.
We recommend an accoustic set up/small 3 piece band

Do you have any in-house equipment (lighting, speakers etc.)?

No. We do not have anything for entertainment, so you will need to arrange this via your entertainment provider.

Do you have an in-house stage and dance floor?

The barn has space for a band and dancefloor which is cleared after any food has been served and packed away.

Background music - how is this catered for?

We have a CD/Ipod player in house. Do bring a playlist for your ceremony and we can operate it for you. You are then welcome to use this for any background music you may wish to play!



What are the payment plan, deposit and cancellation charges?

To complete your wedding booking we require a £1,000 holding fee to save the date. This is retained for a maximum period of 7 days whilst your contract is agreed, signed and returned. After this time your holding fee and any payments made on account are non-refundable. In addition to your holding fee, full payment of the wedding is required as quoted to you. Any extra costs incurred on your weddings day not already paid for in advance e.g.: Bar Tab, extra guests added at late notice, damage or loss (see below), is then deducted from the £1,000, the balance of which is refunded to you within 7 days of your wedding. We therefore strongly advise that you take out wedding insurance to insure against any unforeseen circumstances. 

The balance payment is due 6 months prior to the wedding date. If you book your wedding within 6 months of your wedding date, then full payment will be required on booking plus your £1,000 holding fee. 
You can make payments towards your wedding at any time or on a monthly payment plan, provided that the full amount is paid in advance of your balance due date as quoted on oyur invoice and contract.  
If you cancel your wedding and have paid more than the £1,000 deposit, the monies can be refunded on a sliding scale – Please refer to our website for our full terms and conditions for details.



Do you allow dogs to the weddings?

We are dog friendly at Cote How and can allow 1 well behaved dog to all or part of the wedding if you so wish. However, they are not permitted upstairs and therefore overnight stays are not possible. Some of our local accommodation providers do take dogs. During the meal we do ask that your dog is put into a cage or tethered outside when we are serving food.
You must ensure that your dog is taken out of the grounds for toilet breaks!



Can we invite children to the wedding?

Yes! We do allow children at the venue, provided that they are supervised at all times. This includes not being out of sight from their guardians at any time. Children are not allowed to run around the venue, and are not allowed around the grounds without adult supervision. We cannot be held responsible for any children whilst on the premises.

Do you offer children’s meals?

We do not offer a child’s menu, but a smaller plate of the adult choices!

What age do you class as children?

Children are all those aged 2 to 12 years of age. 
Children aged over 12 are classed as adults for catering purposes.

Do you have high chairs?

We have one high chair which is free to use. Children under the age of 2 are counted as they take space at the tables, but we do not charge for children under 2, as we do not cater for them, unless otherwise requested.



Do you have on-site accommodation for the wedding party?

Yes. We have three rooms on-site which are reserved for the bridal party only. This includes the Bridal Suite and two other family sized rooms which sleep up to 4 people in each room. These rooms are inclusive of all day wedding packages for one night minimum, or two nights for weekend weddings.

Do you have additional on-site accommodation for the guests?

No. We do not have any accommodation on-site other than that reserved for the main bridal party. There is information here for additional off site accommodation.

Bridal Suite and checking in times

Can we access the accommodation early to get ready for the wedding?
If you have booked a one day wedding, then you can access the venue at 12 noon, as we may have had a wedding still checking out from the night before, and the rooms will need cleaning. If the rooms are ready, then we can allow earlier access. 
If you are travelling a distance, then we advise that you book the venue for a 2 night wedding. This allows access from 16:00 the day before the wedding, and also allows for any venue styling that you may wish to attend to ahead of the wedding. The barn is available from 17:00 – 19:00 the night before the wedding, provided that you have booked the venue for that evening too.

Check out procedure

If there are any adjustments to the bill can we pay the balance on check out?
Yes. Any remaining extras, accommodation, and bar tabs can be paid in full before check out.

What time is check out?

Check out is 10:00am, as we may have another wedding that day who will be arriving at 12 noon. If we have no wedding checking in, then we can be a little more flexible on the day!


Venue styling


Do you offer flexibility for decorations (us using external suppliers)?

Venue Styling is usually done by us for convenience. We offer competitive rates for chair covers, sashes, table centres, mirrors, candelabras etc. 
You can bring in your own suppliers or DIY but do remember that the barn tables are not decorated until the morning of the wedding, as they can get dirty overnight from the ceiling (especially if windy).
If you are having your ceremony in the same room as your food, then we need to do a fast turn-around whilst you are busy having your photographs taken. 

Do you allow us to layout the room(s) to our tastes and needs?

It would depend on the numbers involved, but we will advise on best layouts for each wedding. For example, any more than 40 for a sit down meal will have to be accommodated in a horseshoe layout rather than round tables due to size restrictions.

How many tables and chairs do you have?

We have 5 x 8ft round tables which each seat 8 people comfortably.
We also have 10 rectangle and 10 square dark oak tables with black legs.
We have 50 gold chairs with green velvet seat pads used in the house Fairfield ceremony room. The style is called Cheltenham. We also have 80 white chairs for use outside or in the barn. These are slightly larger than the indoor chairs and do not take a chair cover. Sashes are sometimes used on these as added decoration, but not essential.

Are tablecloths and napkins included?

Yes. We now include white linen tablecloths and napkins in all wedding packages and this is calculated into your quote from Jan 2015.
Any additional styling such as chair covers and sashes we hire in at an additional charge.

Access for decorating Access/Setting up the night before

Can we access the barn and venue the night before to decorate it ourselves?
Access to the barn and whole venue depends on the package you have booked. To access the barn the night before, you will need to book the venue for the night before the wedding, in addition to the wedding night. Weekend packages include a check in from 4pm on the Friday night. the barn is then available from 4-7pm for decorating.

How much bunting will I need to bring?

The barn measures approximately 10m long and 5.5m wide. It has two ‘A’ framed beams in the centre which are 5.5m wide. Most people add bunting in a cross formation and/or under the two beams. We have added cup hooks to the ends and centre of the beams to make this easy to put up.
Barn Measurements for bunting (remember to add plenty extra to these measurements to allow spare and for the drape of the bunting):
The main beams or 'A' frames in the ceiling form a corner to corner for criss cross - From corner to corner measures 8m taught. You will need two lengths.
Bar measures 3m and has 3 cup hooks - 1 each side and 1 in the centre. 
Window Ledge measures 2.7m x 45cm deep. There is a cup hook on each side.



Can we pre-book transport to shuttle guests to and from the venue to Ambleside and Grasmere accommodation?

Yes! You can organise this and there are a few companies that will offer a private booking such as:
Mountain Goat – 015394 45161 (they offer day time Lake District tours, so please explain that it is for a private hire for a wedding)
Airport Services Ltd, Kendal: 015397 24658

Do you have any local taxi numbers?

Taxis are sometimes reluctant to take advance bookings, but it is worth enquiring now, then confirming any booking closer to the date:
John’s Mini bus – Ambleside  (up to 8 people) 07759 143423 
Ambleside Taxis – 015394 33842
Larger coaches must off load on the main A591 outside Rydal Lodge (opposite Rydal Church) then guests walk across the wooden footbridge over the River Rothay and into our field. The house is on the left hand side. Wellies advisable if wet weather!


Didn't find your answer?

Please refer to this list and if you cannot find your answer please feel free to email us your query using the contact page



Cote How added the WOW factor to our wedding - Such an amazing time. Love it here!  John and Jo Coppock 

Thank you Caroline for hosting our wedding! You and your team pulled out all the stops to make it absolutely perfect! Such a gorgeous location with you as a brilliant wedding planner who organised pretty much everything for us! Could not have wished for a better day! We would highly recommend!! Xxx   Kerry Gibbons

Lovely, peaceful place, fantastic host in Caroline!   Claire Chapman

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Cote How
LA22 9LW

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