TNWC South West Roadtrip Day 1: Huntstile Organic Farm and Clavelshay Barn
Wow – what a start to my trip! I’m writing this on Sunday evening, so I’ll be sharing with you this morning what I got up to on the first day of my TNWC South West Roadtrip yesterday. Hope that makes sense!
I set off from home at lunchtime with a three hour drive ahead of me to Somerset. My first stop on the TNWC South West Roadtrip was Huntstile Organic Farm – a beautiful wedding venue set in the rolling Somerset countryside. This wasn’t my first visit to Huntstile, so I’m mainly just going to share with you some pictures I took today – if you’d like to read more about what I think of Huntstile check out my previous visit.
This was Huntstile yesterday, looking super pretty in the sunshine, flowers blooming everywhere, and buzzing with people.
A few weeks ago when I booked my night’s stay here at Huntstile, I didn’t know that I would actually be arriving on Open Farm Sunday. Speaking to Lizzie they welcomed around 600 (!!) people to the farm and copious amounts of tea was drunk and scones with cream devoured. After my long journey I sipped an elderflower fizz on the lawn and munched on a piece of clementine cake.
Shortly after I headed off to my second stop of the day – Clavelshay Barn – another beautiful wedding venue just a few miles away. One thing I noticed about both Clavelshay Barn and Huntstile Organic Farm is that even before your guests arrive at the venue, they will be enchanted by the drive here along narrow country lanes.
Like Huntstile, Clavelshay Barn is also on a working farm – Sue who I met runs the restaurant and hosts the weddings, and her husband and sons run the farm. Set off the road and down past the farm, you come across what is hard to describe it’s so lovely – it’s like a peaceful oasis.
Clavelshay Barn is set in a small valley, surrounded by unspoilt views of rolling hills, buttercup meadows, bluebell woods, and a lake below. Sue who runs Clavelshay Barn met me and showed me around – I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on a bench just soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the view.
Sue clearly loves this beautiful place that she calls home – and it’s not hard to see why – and she welcomes everyone here so warmly, inviting people to share in the special spot.
In terms of having your wedding at Clavelshay Barn, there are lots of different options and Sue seems genuinely open to all ideas from brides and grooms. Set on a gentle hillside, there are various terraced areas: one large space acts as the perfect location for a marquee, tipi or yurt, backed by a charming walled garden and pretty views.
Another garden below it, reached via a flowered walkway, is the place where most couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony. When I visited the grass had been mown but around the edge the meadow left, creating this lovely wild border. The views are just stunning – I couldn’t quite believe such a beautiful place existed.
You also have the option of a wedding meal in the restaurant, which is at the top of the barn and seats approximately 50 people. Below it is a bar area and toilets, providing you with all the luxuries whilst having that outdoors, rustic setting that so many of us are looking for in a wedding venue.
I’ve heard that the food at Clavelshay Barn is pretty fab too. Sue employs a full-time chef who not only cooks for the restaurant, but also the weddings – Sue is clearly passionate about where the ingredients come from and buy local produce for the menus. Excellent, locally sourced food can only be another bonus for couples considering this idyllic wedding venue.
Through running The Natural Wedding Company directory I have come to discover that there are many independent wedding businesses, such as Huntstile Organic Farm and Clavelshay Barn, that really do go above and beyond in meeting each couple’s individual desires for their wedding.
Both Sue who runs Clavelshay Barn, and Lizzie who runs Huntstile Organic Farm, are warm and inviting, they are flexible and accommodating and generally open to discussing your dreams for your wedding. Whilst I want to say these kinds of places are rare, and they are, I think you’ll find a lot of them listed on The Natural Wedding Company directory, and I’m sure that this TNWC South West Roadtrip will only serve to convince me of that more.
Where I’m Going Today…
Today I’m off to visit JW Blooms, then Cowparsley Weddings, and finally Bespoke Confetti. I’ll also be joined by TNWC photographer Jennie Hill (who I did this fab winter wedding shoot with at the beginning of the year) – can’t wait! Remember you can follow along during the day via Twitter and Instagram, I’m using the hashtag #TNWCRoadtrip, and I hope to post a few pictures on Facebook at the end of the day.
Images: The Natural Wedding Company
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