After late spring, summer is the most popular time to get married in the UK with its much welcomed warmer weather and sultry light-filled evenings offering prospective couples the opportunity to tie the knot while nature is in full bloom. Attending local wedding fayres in advance can offer you much inspiration for your summer colour theme & wedding dress, not forgetting the great benefits of being able to view your dream venue, all set up and ready as if it were the big day of the wedding.

Location

High on the agenda of must have locations is a place that has extensive grounds with features that will not only occupy & provide talking points for your guests but also act as a backdrop for your wedding album. If possible try and source a venue that can provide accommodation for yourself and your guests that will be staying overnight. In fact if you’re considering booking an all inclusive wedding package at the Abbey Hotel in Malvern, you won’t want to miss the complimentary overnight accommodation offer for the bride and groom.

Indoors & backup plan

No matter what time of year it is in Britain the weather can at any time dampen even the best-planned event, which is why you must have a plan B on hand should the wind whip up, or a thunderstorm role in to ‘try’ and spoil your perfect day.

Ideally, a well researched  photographer will have done their homework in selecting where the wedding pictures will be taken but it’s a good idea to have an indoor backup in place just in case inclement weather comes into play.

Even with the best wedding planning and preparation, no one can predict what the weather is going to be like on the day you decide to get married which is why selecting a reputable venue that is prepared for every eventuality is so important.

The Abbey hotel offers a wide variety of rooms to choose from with seven different suites available and can accommodate large numbers of guests or assist you with a more intimate gathering.

Your specific ideas can be brought to life with a tailormade wedding package, with every detail taken care of from the stunning room decoration to the three course meal, leaving you to enjoy your special day to the full

Reception drinks in the gardens

Outdoors

More than likely your guests will want to spend the majority of the time outdoors during the summer, so be sure to have plenty of attractions on hand to keep your guests occupied, such as beautiful grounds to explore or even games such as boules, croquet, badminton or lawn darts.

As the sun starts to set you can add sparkle to the occasion with candles on the tables and Japanese paper lanterns hanging from the trees to provide a warm, friendly ambience as you celebrate well into the night.

Wedding breakfast in the Elgar Suite

Photos or happy memories captured?

Carefully choose a good  location with your wedding photographs in mind. A venue that has naturally photogenic gardens and surroundings will never be a wasted investment, but will help capture wonderful memories of your special day in a way that you will cherish forever.

Photographs are of course a big part of wedding celebrations and not just the formal ones that were taken by a professional photographer. In today’s digital age everyone has a decent camera embedded in their smartphone capable of taking great photos and video.

Why not send your guests a link to a free app such as WedPics.com and encourage them to upload their photos to your special album on the site or failing that ask them to share with you on social media. Sometimes the best photographs are captured by family or friends in the natural setting.

Refreshments

When holding a summer wedding be sure to have plenty of ice-cold drinks on hand and not just the alcoholic variety. Bottled water is perfect as it allows your guests to keep hydrated both during the ceremony and at the reception.

Champagne, cava and prosecco are all welcoming reception cocktails that will always go down well, and if you want to be a little different perhaps serve a refreshing Pimm’s cup, mint julep or your own favourite summer cocktail to get your guests in the mood to party.

Menu

Use the warm summer weather to your advantage by building a menu around locally sourced produce that is in season.

For appetizers, you cannot fail to be a success by serving chilled shellfish with a lemon mayonnaise, while cold summer soups like Spanish gazpacho can be called upon to help cool your guests down while also refreshing their palates.

Although people often suggest lighter meals to satisfy their appetites during the summer, your guests will still want to be ‘wooed’ by tempting dishes. Instead of a hearty meat-filled mains option, why not choose a less filling alternative such as panfried supreme of chicken served with a wild mushroom and honeyed silver skin onion with a forestiere sauce? Or how does pan-seared fillet of salmon served with sautéed potatoes and sauce vierge cassoulet of butter sound?

Also, do not forget to have a vegetarian selection available for non-meat eaters with a mixed grill of summer veggies which are sure to be a hit.

For side dishes consider grilled vegetables such as corn on the cob or asparagus, together with a chilled mayonnaise based macaroni or potato salad.

Add to this a salad selection with green leafy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion and a variety of dressings and you know you are onto a winner that will satisfy all your friends and family.

As an accompaniment to the wedding cake why not serve a refreshing frozen dessert of ice cream, sorbet or granita. Overall, ensure that you carefully select a venue that will try hard to cater to everyone’s dietary requirements.

Why consider the Abbey Hotel Malvern?

With Manicured lawns and landscape gardens, you and your guests will enjoy a spot of paradise sipping champagne and tasting canapés in the Herb Garden whilst admiring the outstanding views of the Evesham Vales. This luxury four star wedding venue ticks all of the boxes when it comes to satisfying the desires of every dream fairy-tale wedding. To find out more about the Abbey Hotel as a wedding venue, visit their wedding pages or call 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

For top tips on planning a Winter wedding click here to see our last article

 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and step into the serene county of Worcestershire this Mother’s Day. Explore the beautiful countryside, enjoy the great outdoors and discover the history and heritage of the West Midlands county with mum this March.

Walk the Malvern Hills. If mum is more of an adventure seeker, an energetic ramble on the top of the Malvern Hills will allow you to witness stunning views across the Severn Valley, Herefordshire and across to the Black Mountains. Discover picturesque views from the Malvern Hills with our two night walking break.  Complete with accommodation, dinner, packed lunch and walking maps, it could be the perfect get-together with mum!

Spoil mum to a relaxing day afloat with boat hire. Equipped with cutlery, crockery, kettle and other picnic essentials, it’s a unique way to spend quality time with mum whilst enjoying the wonders of the waterways. With a choice of departure locations available around Worcestershire, it is the perfect occasion to test out your narrow boating skills.

If mum has a penchant for all things history, head over to Blists Hill Victorian Town to discover more about life 100 years ago in this recreated town. An open-air museum located an hour’s drive away from Worcestershire, it will give you a fascinating insight whilst letting you play dress up in a Victorian costume and trying your hand at traditional skills such as candle making.

To end a long day of sightseeing, indulge mum with a traditional 3-course carvery lunch at the Priory View Restaurant. Relax and savour perfectly cooked roasted meat and vegetables whilst gazing over stunning views and landscaped gardens. Why not enjoy the British custom of high tea, complete with delicate cakes, finger sandwiches and fluffy scones with real cream and jam? Served in our Priory View Lounge Bar, the indulgent treat will surely leave mum feeling like a queen! For enquiries or to reserve a table, call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

Flock away from the hustle and bustle of the city this winter and explore the magnificent three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. From excelling in rural crafts and real ale to offering the best of British food and farming, the counties are truly the best of English countryside.

One of the country’s most picturesque areas, Gloucestershire boasts lush rolling hills and stunning historic architecture. Our top picks to add to your list when visiting the area include a visit to the fascinating Gloucester Cathedral or the informative Jet Age Museum. If you are up for a bit of an adventure, the interactive Prinknash Bird and Deer Park or Robinswood Hill Country Park might just fit the bill.

For all the walkers out there, Herefordshire’s breath-taking countryside should definitely be on your bucket list, besides exploring its rock faces and River Wye rapids. If you are planning to visit the captivating county, we recommend you pay a visit to Goodrich Castle, a hidden treasure tucked away in the Wye valley or Hereford Cathedral, known for its stained glass work and stunning architecture. For a garden with a quirky twist, Westonbury Mill Water Gardens makes for a lovely visit on a sunny day or why not head over to Newbridge Farm Park? With large sand pits to play in, tractor rides and lots of great outdoor activities, it’s a great way to keep the little ones occupied.

Worcestershire, besides being known for its part in the English Civil War is also home to a steam railway and an array of historic houses to explore. Must-visit places of interest include the majestic and medieval, Worcester Cathedral, drenched in English history and the Worcester Woods Country Park on the outskirts of Worcester, featuring woodland paths and picnic areas. To witness beautiful panoramic views, Kinver Edge is easily accessible and also features cave houses that have been restored by the Natural Trust.

An ideal base for exploring England’s three counties, why not stay at The Abbey during your visit? Stay in one of our 103 individually decorated rooms, enjoy a Traditional Sunday Carvery Lunch at the Priory View Restaurant while you are there or indulge in the British custom of Traditional Afternoon Tea! For enquiries or to make a booking, contact our team on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

If you are amongst the flurry of couples wanting to tie the knot in winter, here are our top tips on making your celebration magical.

  1. The festive season may be over but there’s no reason you cannot incorporate your favourite bits into a winter wedding. Indulge with some creative tablescaping using frosty pinecones, cinnamon sticks, log slices and other woodland details for a rustic and simple ambience.
  2. When it comes to décor, there’s no need to stick to the obligatory icy, winter wonderland theme. Experiment with white and peach with accents of rose gold to add some warmth to the crisp white scenes.
  3. Lanterns, twinkling backdrops and tea lights incorporated into your theme will help add that enchanting feel to a winter wedding.
  4. Be mindful of your guests whilst you have your pictures taken outside. Invite them to stay warm and cosy with a pretty basket stacked with blankets and gloves for guests to snuggle up whilst they are outdoors – a gesture that will surely be well received! Why not come up your very own recipe for a warm winter cocktail?
  5. And finally, when hunting for an ideal venue, look for places that will allow you host the ceremony, reception and offer accommodation. Having everything under one roof will be convenient for you as well as the guests, especially in freezing temperatures so you don’t have to brave the cold after dancing the night away.

From intimate suites to make your vows in and a stunning space for a pre-wedding dinner to spacious accommodation of 103 bedrooms, The Abbey is an all-inclusive wedding venue. Want everything from your dress to your details covered? Get in touch with Alison, our Weddings and Events Manager at The Abbey, who will be more than happy to plan a bespoke winter wedding for you.

Whether it’s champagne on the lawn you desire or a candlelit breakfast, we have a wedding package to meet your needs. For bookings made before the end of June, we are giving away £300 bar tab to spend on your special day! To find out more about discounts available for selected dates in 2017, contact our wedding team on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

 

If you are on the hunt for last minute festive inspiration, you’re at the right place! We’ve cobbled together a list of must-visit Christmas activities and events in Worcestershire this year.

Late night Christmas shopping in Broadway is not to be missed. There will be music, street entertainers, mulled wine and festive food to keep you going while you shop. Reindeer Court and New Street will also be given a festive makeover. Keep the little ones entertained and let them discover an eco-friendly Father Christmas in his woodland home in Clent Hills! Taking place at Nimmings Wood, the multi-sensory, interactive experience is sure to be a hit amidst kids.

A National Trust venue and an hour’s drive away from Malvern Hills, Croome Park, usually known for its airbase museum, will also be dressed for the festive season. From admiring Georgian inspired Christmas trees and listening to festive stories to exploring an outdoor Christmas trail and joining in a family carol concert, there is something unique to do for all ages. This year, Christmas trees in the Long Gallery at Croome Park have been designed by Art and Design students at UAL.

If you are looking to indulge in something traditional yet fun for the family, the Swan Theatre in Worcestershire is hosting pantomime performances such as the Cinderella and A Victorian Christmas Celebration throughout December.

Once you have Christmas shopping sorted and have shortlisted events you would like to visit in the run-up to the 25th, it’s time to think about New Year’s Eve! Welcome 2017 in style with a lavish 4-course Gala Dinner in the Elgar Suite at The Abbey followed by entertainment from our live band and Resident DJ. With 10% OFF on bookings, don’t forget to check out our Gala Dinner Flash Sale.

For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

It’s that time of the year again when festive coffee cups start making an appearance and you spot areas of the city adorned with Christmas lights.  The switch-on dates have been announced and the quest for seasonal recipes and Christmas presents has begun. One of the best places to browse through unique gift ideas is the Worcester Christmas Fayre. It is the most popular market in the West Midlands and has a Victorian theme to it. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the fayre. A street market with hundreds of stalls lined up and thousands coming to visit them, it’s a great way to kick-start your Christmas shopping.

Taking place at the Worcester City Centre from 24th to 27th November, the fayre has no admission cost. Each day has a different opening time as follows:

November 24th: 12:00-21:00

November 25th: 11:00-21:00

November 26th: 10:00-20:00

November 27th: 11:00-17:00

An opening ceremony also takes place each year at 4.30pm on the 24th of November during which the Mayor officially declares the fayre open! Aside from the fantastic costumes you will witness as you shop, expect to explore a plethora of quirky stalls while you sip on some mulled wine to keep you going. There will be a Victorian carousel going around to music of the time, and carollers filling the streets to add to that festive feeling. That’s not all as traditional Victorian entertainers will also be present to cheer the crowd. If you are driving to the event, then a list of city car parks can be found on the city councils website.

If you find yourself a little too chilly, why not join us for a traditional Afternoon Tea with family and friends in the Priory View Lounge Bar where you can catch up on emails with free WiFi. Looking to dine with a spectacular view while you rest your feet? Stop by for the chef’s specials at the Priory View Restaurant. The Abbey is less than a 30 minute drive away from Worcester City Centre. For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

Held at the Avon and Wye Halls, Three Counties Showground on October 9th between 10am and 3pm, the Malvern Classic Car Show 2016 is an event for car enthusiasts looking to witness an extensive collection of the finest classic cars. Started 27 years ago, with a handful of collectors coming together to display their automobiles, it was and still is a great event to connect with likeminded people, collect information on the best places to buy a classic car as well as get detailed insights into the history of a particular model. The show has grown in size and popularity over the years, with more than 500 cars expected to be on display this year, enough to keep visitors engrossed throughout the day.

Ticket prices for adults are £9, and £3 for children. For children under the age of seven, admission is free.  If you are planning on attending with a classic car, it is advised that you contact the organiser of the show directly for information on how much entry will cost.

Here’s a little taster for a few of the clubs and the cars you can expect to see at the show:

  • MK1 Golf OC
  • Mercia Mini Club
  • MKIII Cortina OC
  • Austin Cambridge OC
  • Austin A30/A35 OC
  • West Midland Ford OC
  • Marches Car Club

Unlike usual car shows, the Classic Car Show at Malvern has a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you are attending the show for the first time or are a regular visitor, clubs and car owners are happy to help, talk you through the vehicle specifications and indulge you in its history. A family friendly event, children are welcome and there are adequate food and beverage stands to refuel during the day.

In 2013, it rained generously on the day of the event, and the show still had a strong turnout of 3,000 visitors. Although an event the weather cannot spoil, here’s hoping Malvern sees pleasant, autumnal weather on the day. In case of unexpected showers, escape the open ground event with a trip to the Abbey Hotel, less than 10-minutes away from the venue. Grab a cosy spot for lunch or a pint of real ale at the Priory View Lounge Bar as you rest your feet. Whilst you are there, find out how you can be a part of our Ultimate Black Tie New Year’s Eve Ball or book friends, family or colleagues for a traditional festive Christmas Lunch. For more information or to make a booking, call us on 01684 879193 or email us at abbey@sarova.com.

At the end of September, one of the last Royal Horticultural Society shows of the season will descend upon the Three Counties Showground. The RHS Malvern Autumn Show will be a celebration of food, countryside and nostalgia, and is set to be a great weekend for all the family. Every year, the show is a one-stop destination for avid gardeners looking for advice and guidance on preparing and restocking their gardens ready for the winter months ahead.

With loads of exciting events lined up for Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. The World of Animals is the perfect place for little ones, where for the first time at the Malvern Show, the British Pig Association is hosting the Young Pig of the Year Championships. This year’s show is also expecting to see some of the biggest vegetables ever at the UK National Giant Vegetables Championship. 2016 has already seen a bumper crop in record break veggies, including the world’s longest beetroot and the world’s heaviest cucumber.

If it’s a blast from the past you are looking for then you can head to the Vintage Village for all things retro, here you will also find Anton du Beke hosting workshops on grasping the best moves from the 40’s and 50’s. Over at the Orchard Pavilion & Hop Yard you can purchase some of the very best produce, and get some expert guidance on caring for an orchard and the best uses for its harvest. School children from across the three counties will be showcasing their own vegetable sculptures and home-grown produce in the Discover Harvest area, perfect for budding young gardeners.

The lovely folk at the local Weston Cider Mill will once again be attending the show, with their very own pop-up beer garden, which is always a very big hit with the crowds. If you are going for the food and drink then look out for the Food Hall, which will see an exciting line up of local chefs take to the live kitchen.

Whatever aspect of the RHS Malvern Show you are excited for, make sure you make the most of the weekend and book in at the Abbey Hotel. Less than 10 minutes from the Three Counties Showground, it is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a long day. Why not treat yourself to a long weekend with our Love A Monday Again special offer? You can extend your weekend into Monday and indulge with Champagne, complimentary room upgrade, three course dinner, full English breakfast and a late checkout, all for just £149! Book your Sunday night stay online here.

For more information, call us on 01684 879193 or email us at abbey@sarova.com.

Cinema trips are traditionally known as a great way to spend a rainy day, but this Summer Malvern Council have teamed up with Salvage Cinema and the Malvern Theatres, to allow locals to watch their favourite flicks under the stars. The Malvern Outdoor Cinema Season was started after the great success of last year’s Jaws screening in Priory Park, which saw over 300 people attend to watch the Spielberg classic.

This Sunday will see 80’s comedy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, hit the big screen in Priory Park, followed by The Blue’s Brothers starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd on Sunday 18th September. With the final showing on Sunday 2nd October of Sci-Fi hit Blade Runner. Tickets for all the moonlit movie nights are available from Malvern Theatres Box Office and can be purchased online here.

Be sure not to miss out on this unique experience of watching some classic films under the stars. The alfresco cinema is a great way to spend a warm Summer evening with friends and family, so grab a blanket and arrive early to find the perfect spot to settle down for an open air movie. Refreshments will be available from The Little Retro Kitchen, as no movie night is complete without snacks and popcorn.

If you are heading to Priory Park for one of the screenings this Summer, be sure to pop in to The Abbey for a quick drink in the Lounge Bar. Just a 3 minute walk from Priory Park, it’s the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat before the films. Join us for a Traditional Carvery Lunch served every Sunday, and enjoy 3 delicious courses for just £15.95. For more information call us on 01684 879193 or email abbey@sarova.com.

In the next two weeks thousands of live music fans will flock to the streets of Upton upon Severn to attend the Upton Blues Festival for the 16th year running. Featuring 2 main stages and over 100 performances over 3 days, it is no wonder the event won the Blues Festival of the Year Award in 2015. Set in the heart of Worcestershire in the beautiful riverside town of Upton, the festival ensures that everyone can join in the festivities as all gigs are completely free to attend, making it Britain’s biggest free blues festival.

The festival aims to bring a mix of all styles of blues music together, by showcasing a range of well known artists as well as up and coming bands. This year features The Producers 25th Anniversary Tour, the Aynsley Lister Band, and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band who are travelling over from the US to perform. New for 2016 is the introduction of the Blues Festival’s very own FM radio station, which will air all the best acts across the weekend so even if you can’t attend all the events you don’t have to miss out.

Highlights of the weekend will include BBC’s introducing session in conjunction with BBC Hereford & Worcester. The session will be on Saturday 16th June 5-8pm and will feature 4 young local bands that have never played the festival before. Festival goers will also have the opportunity to attend workshops including a singing workshop with Lauren Dove, a Blues Chicago workshop with Steve Steinhaus, and a Downhome Blues Workshop with Alan White.

The Upton Blues Festival starts on 15th July and will see the streets fill with live music, people and festivities. If festival campsites aren’t really your thing, then why not book in at the Abbey Hotel for a more luxurious weekend. Put your feet up after a long day at the festival in one of our 103 comfortable bedrooms, and enjoy a delicious full English breakfast in the morning. To make a booking or find out more call us on 01684 879193, email abbey@sarova.com or book online now.

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