Archive for January, 2017

The Perfect Naming Day

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The birth of a child is a momentous occasion for all families, and a wonderful excuse to gather friends and family together for a Naming Day. If you’re not religious, this ceremony is a lovely way to celebrate the arrival of your newborn.


Our venue is a wonderful location for a special family celebration, so read on for top tips from Manor By The Lake and how to plan the perfect day for you and your little one.

Planning Your Guestlist

A naming day ceremony is a great opportunity to gather together your nearest and dearest to celebrate your newly extended family. Make sure you invite the people who are special to you and your partner, rather than the people you feel obliged to invite.


Naming ceremonies should bring together the people who will be actively involved in your child’s life. You may want to choose particular people to play a special role in your child’s upbringing, rather like a godparent.

If you’ve become close to other new mums and their children, this is also an opportunity to bring together other families who are important to you. Above all, surround yourself with people who are active in your life and joyful about your new arrival.


There are no set rules for naming ceremonies and they carry no legal status, which means you are free to structure the day to suit you and your personal preferences.


The ceremonies are normally conducted by a celebrant, but if you wish, a close friend or family member can do the honours. As a suggestion, the ceremony will begin with an introduction, then there will be a reading, the celebrant will then announce the baby’s name, after which the parents and godparents will make a promise to do their best for the child. The ceremony normally ends with another reading and maybe some music.

It’s a good choice to select poems or readings that hold personal significance to you and your family. Perhaps a reading from a favourite book, or a childhood poem or story that holds special meaning.

Memorable Gestures

Symbolic gestures can also be a lovely way to mark the moment – maybe with the lighting of a candle, or commitment to plant a tree in honour of the new arrival.


Some families use the opportunity to create a time capsule or box of treasures that can be given to the child when they reach adulthood. Ask guests to write a personal message, and add a gift into the box rather than bring a present. CDs, a newspaper of the day, commemorative coins or stamps are all great reminders of a moment in time.

For more symbolic gifts, consider a horseshoe for good luck, crystals for peace and harmony, or an empty notebook to be filled with personal hopes and dreams.

Family Fun

A naming day ceremony is all about celebrating family life so make sure you plan an event where guests of all ages can relax and enjoy themselves. Dispense with formality and encourage children to run around together. Older guests will appreciate somewhere quiet where they can sit for a moment and observe proceedings from the sidelines!

Choose food and drink that’s crowd-pleasing such as hot or cold grazing stations with plenty of child-friendly options, icecream carts and special treats, or take the food experience outdoors with live cooking or a hog roast. If you’re opting for a celebration cake, choose a filling that appeals to the majority. With traditional fruit cake unpopular with many younger guests, consider a flavoured sponge decorated in a creative style, or maybe opt for individual cupcakes in a wide range of flavours to please everyone. Instagram has many creative cake ideas or ask our team for details of our suppliers who could do something extra special for the day.

Whatever your plans for your naming day ceremony, our Manor By The Lake events planners can help you create the perfect event. We are full of wonderful ideas to make your day truly memorable for you and your guests, so give our talented team a call on 01242 245 071 to find out more about Manor By The Lake.


Our Celebrity Wedding Predictions for 2017

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As 2017 gets under way, we’re looking forward to a bumper year of celebrity weddings. If any of these famous couples are looking for a unique, country Manor House venue, the team at Manor By The Lake would love to offer up their services!


Here are the nuptials we’re hoping to see this year.

Pippa Middleton & James Matthews

Rumour has it that these two have already set the date and will wed in a traditional country church wedding in Bucklebury, Berkshire close to the bride’s parents’ home. No doubt the gorgeous Prince George and his younger sister Princess Charlotte will have starring roles as page boy and flower girl. Our only question…how on earth will Pippa find a wedding dress that creates more of an impact than the Alexander McQueen number she wore to her older sister Kate’s wedding in 2011?

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham

Stunning model Rosie and all action hero Jason got engaged early last year having dated for five years, so we’re hoping that 2017 is the year that this genetically blessed couple say ‘I do’. The pair live a glamorous existence in Beverly Hills, so we expect an A-list affair when they tie the knot. Their inner circle of friends includes Gigi Hadid, the Kardashians, Poppy Delevigne, Guy Ritchie and Sly Stallone!

Miranda Kerr & Evan Spiegel

Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel naturally used his app to announce his engagement to his supermodel girlfriend Miranda in July last year. Previously married to the rather gorgeous Orlando Bloom, this is Miranda’s second trip down the aisle. With her style credentials and his entrepreneurial flair, we think this is going to be one of the most glamorous celebrity weddings of 2017.

Kylie Minogue & Joshua Sasse

The pint-sized pop star said ‘I will’ to her dashing fiance in February last year but has said the pair won’t wed until same-sex marriage is legal in her native Australia. We’re hoping that Australian law is changed pretty soon as this pair make the cutest couple. The actor met Kylie when she made a guest appearance in Galavant in which Joshua stars. Hitting it off immediately, the pair were together for just six months before getting engaged on a skiing holiday… aaahhh.


If you’re planning a 2017 wedding and still looking for the perfect venue, our planners would love to hear from you (even if Hello! won’t be covering your big day!).
We can throw some celebrity style magic over your preparations so give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email to arrange a private tour.

The Two-Day Wedding

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Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life -you spend weeks, months, and in some cases, years preparing for it, and then, boom… in one day, it’s all over! So here at Manor By The Lake, we’ve got the perfect option for everyone who wants their wedding day to last that little bit longer – the two-day wedding collection!


Why opt for a two-day wedding?

In our opinion, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Your wedding day brings together the people you love most in your life – your dear friends and your close family. So why not extend the time you spend together with a two-day wedding?

In many cases, people are traveling a considerable distance in order to join you for your wedding, so make their journey worthwhile, by spreading the celebrations over two nights. Invite your closest friends and family to join you at our beautiful Manor from lunchtime the day before the big ‘I Do’ and enjoy a decadent afternoon tea in one of our gorgeous lounges. It’s the perfect opportunity to forget about any last minute nerves, and for everyone to get together and start to enjoy the occasion.

With many couples arranging a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we’ve got the ideal venue ready and waiting. Let the wedding party and guests check into our 12 luxury bedrooms, and then once final run-throughs and preparations are completed, join together for celebratory fizz and dinner for 24. Then you can head to the bar for a cheeky cocktail, or maybe some games?

After a hearty Cotswolds breakfast on the morning of the wedding, the parties can go their separate ways with the men heading off for a relaxing round of golf, or clay pigeon shoot, while the girls get pampered and preened with beauty treatments, hair, and makeup in the comfort of our stunning suites.

With exclusive use of our beautiful manor, the estate and gardens are yours to enjoy and explore all day long. Take some pre-wedding photographs, or enjoy a contemplative walk through the formal gardens to get those last minute nerves under control!

Whether you’ve decided to get married indoors or outside, once the rest of your guests arrive, you’ll be carried away in your magical day, enjoying your serene surroundings, and taking your vows in front of your nearest and dearest.

You’ll enjoy a drinks reception straight after the ceremony giving you chance to greet your guests and mingle. Then there’s a 3-course wedding breakfast to enjoy, and with evening food laid on for everyone, your guests will be truly spoilt. You’ll have use of our bar following your evening reception and when the night draws to a close, you can retire to your beautiful suite.

Your glorious wedding will be capped with a full Cotswolds breakfast for all your resident guests where you can recount your special day, and take a sneak peek at everyone’s photos before bidding a fond farewell and setting off on your journey as a married couple.

At Manor By The Lake we offer two-day weddings in January, February, March and October so give us a call to discuss available dates. For more information and to arrange a private tour give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email

Create a Memorable Celebration of Life Event

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A wake is the one event that none of us ever wants to have to organise, but the reality of life means that at some point, you’ll almost certainly have to plan the funeral of someone close to you.

At Manor By The Lake, our beautiful venue is the perfect place to say your final farewells and with our help, you can avoid an unhappy gathering and instead, plan a positive celebration of life event.


Personal Touches

shutterstock_346554632Don’t be afraid to break with tradition and refer to the wake in more positive terms. Hosting ‘Mike’s Farewell Party’ or ‘Celebration of Life’, that encourages people to party in someone’s memory, rather than mourn their absence, is a lovely way to mark someone’s passing.

If your gran was an afternoon tea lover, why not serve afternoon tea at her wake in her honour, knowing full well that you’d have her blessing for your choice of catering.

Comfort Food

While we’re on the subject of food, now is not the moment for fussy, fancy food. No matter how hard you try, it’s going to be a difficult day for many, and actually what most people crave is comfort food and plenty of tea. Our grazing stations are ideal as people can enjoy as much or as little as they wish when they feel like it. Now is not the time to worry about complex dishes when your head will be full of complicated thoughts as you manage your personal grief.

Whatever you choose, make sure there’s plenty of cake. There are few situations that can’t be improved by a generous slice of Victoria sponge.


For many, a drink will help take the edge off a painful and difficult experience. Make a toast to absent friends, and have something ready to steady your nerves if you’re going to say a few words. There’s nothing wrong with a glass or two of fizz either – toast happy memories and good times.

Quiet Spaces and privacy

It’s good to have a venue that offers a choice of areas where people can take a moment for quiet reflection. Manor By The Lake can offer a number of different rooms where people can gather together, or find some quiet private space if they need to. Talk to the team who are helping you with your day to discuss options – it’s important that you have somewhere private to go if the day is overwhelming, a bedroom suite makes a beautiful place to relax in private if you need some time out.

Comfortable Surroundings

shutterstock_116164459-smEveryone will naturally be feeling a little on edge so need somewhere to relax and feel at home. Plenty of comfortable seating for guests, space to mingle, and gardens to catch a breath of fresh air and take a moment to themselves.


Book a musician or group, or create a playlist and play your own music. This helps create an atmosphere and avoids uncomfortable silences. If your loved one had a particular favourite group or act, why not choose their music as a tribute.


With lots on your mind, you need to be sure that the venue can offer support in terms of planning the event so that you don’t have to worry about the details. Timings, seating, catering and so on can be someone else’s responsibility – most of all, don’t feel the need to take on everything yourself.

We truly believe that it is possible to throw a memorable, extraordinary and joyful celebration of life event at Manor By The Lake. Our sensitive team can help you at this difficult time. For more information, just call 01242 245 071 or visit our Celebration of Life page.

Wedding Cake Trends for 2017

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Hands up if you like Wedding Cake? Well here’s the good news. For couples busy planning their big day, this is one of the most fun parts of organising your wedding! Get into the spirit of the Great British Bake Off and learn how to tell your fondant from your royal icing, and why you should be going naked!

Here are Manor By The Lake’s personal favourites to help you choose a classy wedding cake for your special day.

Naked Wedding Cakes 

shutterstock_374464453Yes, that’s right – we’re suggesting a naked wedding cake. Fear not though, nothing to see here, other than a beautifully paired-back cake that exposes the sponge and filling without being covered in icing. These look wonderful dressed simply with summer berries or in winter, choose late seasonal fruits such as apples, pears and cranberries.

Painted / Illustrated Wedding Cakes

Get creative with an artistic wedding cake featuring a hand painted design. Go for abstract colours that tie in with your theme, or choose a design that has special significance to you – maybe the design of your wedding invitations, or the flowers in your bouquet. If you’re feeling really bold, why not commission painted representations of the bride and groom!

Lace Wedding Cakes

A popular current trend is for lace effect cakes. With these, icing is applied to mimic the intricacies of a lace pattern, perhaps taking inspiration from your wedding dress. Delicate fondant flowers and patterns are wrapped around each tier. To create intrigue, choose a delicate coloured icing for the smooth layer, and apply the white icing lace as a layer over the top. Stunning.

shutterstock_428302459Colour Drip Wedding Cakes

These cakes are quite a new trend, but are proving extremely popular as they look dramatic, and taste wonderful. Cakes are iced in fondant or buttercream and then a rich chocolate, caramel or fruit ganache is dripped down the sides in decadent, sweet trickles of yumminess.

Ombre Wedding Cakes

First we had ombre dresses, then ombre hair colouring and now, ombre wedding cakes. Here, the colour of the icing is graduated from top to bottom and the technique can be applied to any colour scheme. Transition from a deep, rich colour to a paler hue, or simply graduate from a barely there tint to a pure white. These cakes can look as subtle or as dramatic as you choose.

Rosette Wedding Cakes

Rosette wedding cakes have been popular for a while but show no sign of disappearing from top tables everywhere. Sugar roses are individually created by hand to cover the entire cake with dozens or even hundreds of intricate flowers creating a stunning effect. Stay classy by sticking to ivory or white roses for an elegant look.

Cheese Wedding Cakes

shutterstock_477716125And finally to our favourite option. The cheese wedding cake. Simply select your favourite cheeses and create a tiered tower of dairy delight! Choose well and you’ll have a perfectly balanced cheeseboard to feed your evening guests – just add crackers, artisan breads and plenty of tangy chutney.

Cheese wedding cakes are perfect for couples who don’t have a sweet tooth but still want to make a nod to tradition by cutting a cake and making a wish.

So which is your favourite? We hope we’ve given you some food for thought, and helped you in the planning of your special day.

For more wedding hints and tips, talk to our fabulous wedding planners. At Manor By The Lake we help our couples every step of the way so give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email and we’ll look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful wedding venue.