Behind the Scenes of a Small Wedding Venue – February 2020

Behind the Scenes of a Small Wedding Venue February 2020

Steve Rhodes


Behind the Scenes - February 2020

So here we are again. Another month over and its blog time once again. I’m sitting at my new workstation, a bit punch drunk after a long Lake District Wedding this weekend. The guests left about 2 hours ago, and we’ve just had a frantic couple of hours finishing off the post wedding clean and tidy. Mrs. C is already doing show rounds, I can’t face any more washing up and so here I am. It’s tootling down outside, again, and so I can’t escape. Blog it is then!

February already! In the words of Shaggy, ‘Yikes’, another Lake District Wedding season will soon be upon us. What a winter its been! Rain, rain and more rain. Not a sniff of snow and only a couple of frosts to mention. Don’t the seasons get harder to predict every year?

2019 was a great year for us, the most weddings delivered in any season; we get smarter and so are able to maintain the attention to detail in which we pride ourselves,  while still enjoying every single wedding; local and national recognition for the wedding service we provide via the Bridebook and Cumbria Tourism awards; a good winter break; record bookings for 2020 and a lots of plans formed to continually improve what we offer our couples.

2020 is going to be another bumper year, with almost all dates now sold. If you’re still looking for a 2020 Lake District Wedding date then you’ll need to be quick. Caroline has just posted a last-minute deal on a great date in May of this year. Check it out here, it won’t be there for long.

Cote How – Nestled in the Mountains
Cote How – Nestled in the Mountains

Around the Wedding Venue

Personally, its been a bit of a grim winter. I picked up a mild cold on a holiday to Florida at the beginning of November, ignored it, as you do, and five weeks later found myself in an ambulance on my way to Barrow hospital suffering from pneumonia. I’ve never been in an ambulance before but its not an experience I want to repeat. Here we are at the beginning of February and I’m still trying to shake it off, despite blitzing my system with endless anti-biotics. 

Consequently, changes around the venue have been a bit delayed, though Mrs. C has kept things going and done a cracking job of refreshing some of the guest areas with fresh paint and a bit of restyling. Tomorrow brings me a load of timber so hopefully I’ll get a couple of other things ticked off this week.

Later in the month our Tudor barn will get a refresh, which we’re excited about as it hasn’t changed much in the last 5 years. As a listed building we have to treat it sympathetically and so we’ll be improving the internal lime parging to retain its character and ensure that the weather is kept out for another hundred years or so. As part of this work we’ll strip out all the old decorations and put a fresh set back in. Watch this space, I’ve no doubt that Caroline will introduce yet more twinkly lights 😊.

Cote How Barn
Cote How Barn

Continuing the theme of the barn, we’ve invested in more new outdoor furniture to replace some of the old wooden furniture that’s served us well but has now started to show signs of age. This will bring extra comfort and relaxation for our guests in the barn courtyard. I’m looking forward to seeing this in action during those long summer evenings. It’ll be a great place to watch the sunset over Silver How.

Over the winter we’ve had a number of garden visitors. The red squirrels continue to visit the garden food stores, we’ve also had a few grey squirrels, which is less good news for the reds. Our nightime badger continues to give me the runaround, digging holes anywhere and everywhere.  A surprise visitor was a fox, though the photo makes it look more like a wolf and makes a much better story. Foxes are not something we see very frequently, I hope our cat keeps out of its way.


In the Wedding Garden

Meanwhile, in the garden I’ve cleared away a mountain of leaves that were covering the flower beds. Underneath this year’s bloom of bulbs are starting to appear and should provide a carpet of spring colour around the garden. The snow drops have arrived and are doing a great job of brightening up the grey days we’re having at the moment. The leaves from the many trees in and around Cote How provide a great source of fertiliser for the garden. They’re excellent for making leaf mold but their sheer quantity means that their storage and processing becomes a bit of a challenge. Still, its free fertiliser for next year and it keeps the garden looking tidy ready for those fantastic and soon to arrive Lake District Weddings this spring .

Snow drops at Cote How
Snow drops at Cote How
Red Squirrel at Cote How
Red Squirrel at Cote How
Fox or Wolf at Cote How
Fox or Wolf at Cote How - Wildlife Camera

Away from Cote How

As mentioned, back in November me and Caroline took a holiday to visit family in Florida. This was a fairly laid-back affair and a good chance to recharge batteries after a busy season. We had a great time and though we didn’t do too many touristy things, we did have an amazing time tracking alligaitors in an air boat. I also got to fulfill a boyhood dream of watching one of the Space X rockets being launched from Cape Canaveral, as well as seeing all the old Apollo rockets at the Kennedy Space Centre. What an amazing sight and we didn’t even have to leave the beach to see it!

Tracking Gaitors on Lake Tohopekaliga - Kissimmee FL
Tracking Gaitors on Lake Tohopekaliga - Kissimmee FL
Kennedy Space Centre - Florida
Kennedy Space Centre - Florida

See you next month.

Steve aka Mr. Cote How

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