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o you remember where you were as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 2013? I do. I was being proposed to. Of course I

accepted – that would have been a cruel introduction otherwise – but starting the new year as an engaged couple has brought with it new adventures for my fiancé, for my rumbling tum and for me. (Oh such delicious adventures!) But forget the dress, the flowers, the rings or the ‘something blue’ – I’m planning everything around the grub. So whatever budget, style or appetite you lovebirds are working with, it’s time to dig in.

STON EASTON PARK Perfect for a really big guest list Love comes in many shapes and sizes. How about the shape of a 1739 Grade-I Palladian mansion? Ston Easton Park sits just 11 miles south west of Bath, and guests can sip their Elderlini (that’s an elderflower cordial and Champers, darling) overlooking the River Norr while they toast the happy couple. Choose your menu from a mouthwatering selection by head chef Daniel Moon, including Creevy Carver duck terrine to start, pink Champagne sorbet to cleanse and a roast rump of Mendip lamb with Parmesan polenta and rosemary jus for main. The 36 acres of romantic parkland are the perfect spot for a marquee holding up to 200 guests, if you’re thinking big, or any of the six public rooms can be hired for a more intimate setting. There’re also 22 lavishly furnished bedrooms, some with original Chippendale four-poster beds – surely perfect for... dessert! ✱

PRISTON MILL Perfect for keeping it local I’m not the only loved-up Crumb in the office! Kyle, our dashing sales hound, popped the question late last year too – and that means two foodie weddings! The majestic Tythe Barn is his venue of choice and, with its ancient stone, vaulted roof and striking 140-seat table plan we can see why. Local producers they use include Valley Smoke House, Bath Soft Cheese Company, Bartletts of Bath, Bath Ales and Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, and options to quench, nibble, feast, dine, graze, munch and barbecue have been created, making sure that no matter how you want your guests to tuck in, there’s the perfect menu to be had here. ✱

LUCKNAM PARK Perfect for the fairytale Found your prince charming? In need of the magical setting? Built in 1720, Lucknam Park may look the stuff of dreams – but the reality is one heck of a wedding venue. Florist Jill Jeffries and Michelin-starred

executive chef Hywel Jones, along with his brigade, will ensure that the table settings and catering live up to the splendour of the 500 acres of pristine grounds (just think of those wedding snaps!) and antique furnishings. With organic Devon duck, Scottish

diver scallops and grilled red mullet on the menu, we’d be more than happy to fill in if Great-Aunt Gertrude can’t make it. There’s even a series of wellbeing retreats worth looking at – so you can start the ‘Operation Slim Bride/Groom’ with a little push in the right direction. ✱

OLD DOWN MANOR Perfect for secluded charm If you want the exclusivity without the lottery-winning price tag (midweek packages start from £5,000), take a look at Old Down Manor and its picturesque setting between the River Severn and Black Mountains. Recent renovations to the Orangery have inspired head chef Manuel Perez Monzon to pull out all the stops for his new spring menu. So how does crab chowder, slow-cooked beef with oxtail and truffle jus and peanut butter parfait with salted caramel ice cream sound? Thankfully no one will notice you drooling over your ivory gown – because they’ll be too busy gossiping about how fabulous your wedding venue choice is. ✱

COMBE GROVE MANOR Perfect for putting on the glitz Planning a wedding can be a daunting task, with 101 details to consider. So if you’re happy to let someone else be the organised one, turn to the wedding co-ordinators at Combe Grove Manor. A wedding package here includes Champagne on arrival for the bride and groom, a Master of Ceremonies, white table linen, use of cake stand and a knife (which you get to keep as a souvenir!), wedding night accommodation with breakfast in bed the next day and 40% off your first anniversary stay. Choose between the Georgian Restaurant, Orangery or Garden Suite, depending on your party size, then decide which sit-down menu you love – and whether you’re hungry enough for a gourmet buffet for the evening celebrations. ✱

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