Tag Archives: Jessica Charleston

Signed, Sealed & Well & Truly Delivered!

Smiles & Confetti, Rocking Dog

Smiles & Confetti

I was hoping that on Sunday i’d be compos mentis enough to construct some sort of blog post. Monday came with a day of washing up and putting away (just what do you do with 3ft high lanterns!?). I finally sat down at 9pm to watch The Great British Sewing Bee. There was little chance of me stringing a sentence together, even less stringing together a fitted stretch lace bra!! Tuesday, I am numb with tiredness but determined to write a blog to reflect the truly wonderful day we all enjoyed celebrating Alex & Kylie’s wedding day.

Cooking right up to the line, the girls and I made canape size arancini (saffron and mozzarella risotto balls), baby buttermilk scones and we chopped components for salads. There was bread to collect from Harts (thanks Pete) and a trip to the tipi 35 minutes away before we could get back to the kennel and put our glad rags and war paint on!

Finally, there really was no time left but to get ourselves to the darling little church at Bathampton. The church was full of friends and family, flowers, and a sense of anticipation. Finally it was time for Kylie to walk down the aisle and she looked stunning in a gorgeous Jessica Charleston dress with beautiful lace edged veil. Alex looked pretty dapper too in a Scottish sort of way, with Ancient Ferguson kilt and bespoke tweed jacket and waistcoat. The service was meaningful, and whilst the register was signed good friend Laura sang Etta James’s “At Last”. There were a few damp eyes in the house.

Bells were rung joyously as the couple left the church and then Kylie and guests were given the surprise of 20 or so pipers and drummers spilling into the churchyard playing “Highland Cathedral”. Rose petal confetti rained down on the couple together with happy greetings as they left the church. A short walk over the canal followed to where the Tipi awaited them.

Pimms was served in tiny milk bottles whilst guests enjoyed basking in the late May sunshine. Arancini, baby scones complete with strawberries and clotted cream, and dinky Melton Mowbray pies delighted the guests. Entertaining alfresco speeches followed. There was a lovely melt your heart speech from Kylie’s dad, heartfelt one from Alex and then one from each of the best men. Andyman based his speech on Alex’s injuries over the years and he presented Kylie with a comprehensive First Aid Kit and a baton, saying he was handing over the baton of responsibility to her now! Phil, a school friend of Alex’s completed the quartet of speeches, and I have to say it was remarkably clean!

Food followed – Italy meets England.

Starter: tree trunk boards with a selection of salami’s and Lonza from Italy, Pecorino, Fresh pesto, aged balsamic, “our” olive oil, sun blush tomatoes, olives and buffalo mozzarella. Hart’s sourdough with olives, and raisins & fennel.

Main: Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter’s Chicken), Farro salad with roast Mediterranean veg and fresh herbs, Panzanella (Tuscan tomato & bread salad), Jersey Royal baby potato salad with fresh asparagus and peas with creme fraiche and fried shallots.

Woodland dessert table: Black Forest Gateaux, Salted caramel and chocolate ganache mini kilner jars, Baroque meringues with gold leaf and crystallised violets, Lime and ginger cheesecakes, vanilla panna cotta’s in porcelain cups, white & dark chocolate brownie, Billionaire bars, British strawberries, rhubarb in dessert wine.

Coffee: Coffee & Tea table with soft sour cherry amaretti, Italian nougat and ricciarelli

The lovely Commonwealth long jumper medallist Jazmin Sawyers sang and played guitar whilst we ate. That girl is truly multi talented!

Food eaten, evening guests arrived, cake cut (Fruit tier, Carrot cake tier and Lime and Pistachio all encased in a zingy lemon buttercream) it was now time to dance the night away! The motown band (whose name currently eludes me!) were amazing and I am so pleased that Lionel didn’t turn up. However, I cannot believe that Gary Barlow did a “pop up” in Bristol’s Cabot Circus at the weekend…. I should have asked Gary!!!

The free bar and dancing continued until midnight in the atmospheric fairylit tipi. It was all very magical… but over all too quickly!

It really was a Perfect Day. Now that it is signed, sealed and truly delivered it’s time to say Enough, enough now!

Oscar Style Thank you’s.
A million thanks to all those who helped in any way before, during and after the big day. Thank you to retired vicar Canon Richard Hunt who led the marriage service and made Alex and Kylie “Mr and Mrs”. Rob, thank you for reading 1 Corinthians 13 so eloquently. Thanks to Ushers, Best Men and Bridesmaids together with Jovan, the cutest of kilted page boys who carried out their roles so beautifully. Further thanks to all those who sang, played or did both so brilliantly at the service, in the churchyard, and in the tipi. Music really does help to make wedding memories, together with wearing out shoe leather on the dance floor!

Special thanks to Dom, Jess and Lorraine, you were all simply amazing. More thanks go to the gorgeous waiting and bar staff, and all those folk who helped set up, and more depressingly clear up. Steve’s special recipe burgers certainly helped with the “final push”!

Thank you to suppliers who dealt with Kylie and Alex. Buffalo Tipis were brilliant – friendly, flexible and accommodating as were the staff at The King Edward’s Pavilion. Thank you. Prestige, Alex particularly appreciated the cutlery… the cutlery-phobe that he is! Hart’s, all the individual Umbrian producers, Bristol Fruit and Vegetable market and the lovely Keith at Costco thank you for your delicious produce. Thanks for the fig and vine leaves reaped from your walled garden Graeme and Scott- those little details made all the difference!

My girls Sorrel and Liv’, were culinary mega-stars, as was my lovely friend Sian. How civilised Sian to encourage us to take regular tea breaks and a proper lunch break! We whipped, whisked, chopped, roasted, simmered and planned the food for the 120 guests. It was quite a feat.

There are more who helped with the gorgeous table plan, invitations and a range of other wedding paraphernalia, thank you so much for your creativity. The florist who traded flower power for hair do’s did a great job, getting up in amongst those tipi posts must have been somewhat ladder teetering! Thank you to my friend Steph who lent me her dressmakers dummy, I felt you at my shoulder willing me on with the baffling task of coat making. I love you. Talking of creativity, thank you to Paige Courtney who took over 2,000 photo’s so unobtrusively throughout the wedding day and evening. How lovely not to have had a two hour photo session before muscling in on the canapes! You were great!

Thank you to guests who came to celebrate the nuptials and enjoy the after party. Weddings are expensive to attend, especially where long journeys, hen and stag do’s (!) and accommodation (together with a pair of Manolo’s) are involved. We appreciate your being there for Kylie and Alex.

Big thanks go to Debi and Steve who really moved heaven and earth to realise the couples vision for their wedding and post ceremony party. Enjoy your well deserved holiday in the knowledge that we all did good!!

As all those teary Oscar style thank you’s go, i’m sorry if i’ve left anyone out… it’s certainly not intentional. Lastly, the final thank you has got to go to the sun….you were truly warm and amazing… your glowing brilliant outfit was definitely the red carpet showstopper! X

Flower Boys! The Ushers, Rocking Dog

Flower Boys! The Ushers

Bridal Party, Rocking Dog

Bridal Party

Cute Kilted Page, Rocking Dog

Cute Kilted Page

Surprise Pipes & Drums, Rocking Dog

Surprise Pipes & Drums

The Speeches, Rocking Dog

The Speeches

Antipasti, Rocking Dog

Antipasti

Woodland Cake Table, Rocking Dog

Woodland Cake Table

Happy Times, Rocking Dog

Happy Times

On The Dance Floor, Rocking Dog

On The Dance Floor

Fine Cheese- Home & Away

Cheese At Home, Rocking Dog

Cheese At Home

I nipped into Bath for supplies of Calligraphy nibs at Meticulous Ink on Walcot Street yesterday. I couldn’t resist taking refuge from the rain and dipped into The Fine Cheese Company for coffee and a cheese plate. Delicious!

With the sun beckoning I left the cafe for the array of cheeses and delicious deli’ goodies next door. Black olives the size of small pebbles, biscuits, a slither of Wyfe of Bath and round of St Marcellin packaged, I took my leave.

I love Walcot Street it still retains an aura of scruffiness and realness. There are picture framers, charity shops, junk shops and cafe’s. Farrow & Ball, a wedding couturier (Jessica Charleston), Meticulous Ink and The Fine Cheese Company also sit comfortably on the street. The Saturday flea market also adds to the ambience of this long quirky street.

How appropriate to dig out a French plate at home with the Saint Marcellin goat. The twelve plates were found in a Normandy brocante over a decade ago. Each feature different French cheese varieties with ewe, cow and goat illustrations. My home cheese plate features my daughter Sorrel’s Jewelled Membrillo (quince paste)

The cheese wedding cake was one I put together for a friend in 2012. It fed the guests resplendently in between the evenings’ dancing and frivolity!

Pit Stop, Bath, Rocking Dog

Pit Stop, Bath

Fine Cheese Plate, Rocking Dog

Fine Cheese Plate

Enticing Sign, Rocking Dog

Enticing Sign

Appropriate Tableware, Rocking Dog

Appropriate Tableware

Cheese & ......, Rocking Dog

Cheese & ……

Cheesy Wedding Cake, Rocking Dog

Cheesy Wedding Cake