Brigit Sapstead’s second guest blog on the trials of planning her wedding…
The bedraggled bride-to-be pitched up in Wells for an appointment with Sarah Duthie and Helen Garrett who run the show at the Bishops Palace. They stepped into the breach when the caterers pulled out. Aagh!
From the moment you enter the Palace ground via the drawbridge and gatehouse, you are transported into a different world. I was the mediaeval princess floating along the ramparts, attended to by my serfs in the in the vaulted Undercroft. Who would have thought that the most romantic place for a wedding could exist in England’s smallest city?
Back to reality, these two chicks know how to pull a wedding together and I am reassured that there will be plenty of good food, buckets of champagne, and sunshine Our only issue is the starter – not so sure that soup is a good idea for 80 odd guests, no doubt there will be many slurpers. Sarah and Helen presented me with the Bishop’s tipple, a bottle of Merlot and something else – read on to find out what happened!
The Bishops of Bath & Wells have lived in this Palace for over a thousand years. How cool is that? It’s a short walk from the main entrance and West Front of Wells Cathedral, and I can imagine the bridal party ambling through Penniless Porch, across the ancient Market Place and into the Palace grounds. Definitely no stilettos! If any of my guests are reading this, be warned, lots of cobblestones. Definitely bring your cameras!
Now you have got the picture, let me tell you about the next ‘wow’. Ali, my wedding planner and I headed to the Swan Hotel which faces the Cathedral’s West Front. I had always viewed this charming little hostelry as a bit fuddy duddy and traditional, but it’s recently been acquired by my old chum Kevin Newton, who has brought it back into the 21st century with a series of improvements including the refurbishment of the Cathedral Suite. OMG, this is sumptuous – fiance and I are definitely spending our wedding night in here. Pure, unadulterated luxury with exquisite touches to make any girl feel like royalty. I wonder if they will let me bring the puppy?
The bath is gold! The bed is vast … I suppose it has to be, you can sit in bed and look out of the picture window at the magnificent cathedral opposite.
Got home late having negotiated the M27 and rush hour, and promptly dropped the plastic bag holding the Bishop’s wine. Fortunately the Merlot stayed intact, just as well, fiance’s humour wasn’t … the puppy had hung on too long, and my foray into the M&S superstore at Hedge End was too much for his canine bladder!
Oh, woe. My long awaited chilled white is now fertiliser to the daffs; fiance savoured the red, and declared it good, no, more than good. Phew, that’s one more decision cracked! Back in Wells on Saturday, so would be lovely if there was a chilled bouteille de Bishops Plonk in my dad’s chiller … any chance?”