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A Cultural Haven: Somerset Manor, Horsington

Somerset Manor Horsington

Exploring the charm of Somerset Manor and its surroundings

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Horsington, Templecombe in Somerset, Somerset Manor emerges as a beacon of historical elegance and cultural allure. This grand holiday home, originally built as a rectory in 1686, remained under the stewardship of a single family who continued to provide the village with rectors until 1897. It now offers a luxurious retreat that seamlessly blends historical richness with modern comfort.

The Manor’s architectural grace is accentuated by its listing as a Grade II building, underscoring its historical significance and the meticulous preservation of its character [1]. The estate comprises an array of features designed to cater to every imaginable need of its guests, from leisurely pursuits in the form of a tennis court, a games room and an outdoor swimming pool, to a hot tub and sauna.

Glastonbury TorThe cultural fabric of Horsington and the broader Somerset area is a rich tapestry woven with the threads of history, nature, and the arts. Somerset Manor positions itself as a perfect base from which to explore this vibrant cultural landscape. It lies in proximity to renowned attractions such as the historic city of Bath, the mystic ruins of Glastonbury, and the ancient stones of Stonehenge. The local area brims with opportunities for exploration, including the majestic Longleat Estate, the educational Haynes Motor Museum, and the picturesque gardens of Stourhead.

The surrounding countryside offers a gateway to the heart of Somerset’s rural and historical charm. Horsington itself, part of the South Somerset district, encapsulates the essence of English village life, with its 15th century parish church of St John the Baptist which was beautifully rebuilt in the late 19th century, standing as a testament to the area’s deep-rooted connection to its past[2].

For those enthralled by the prospect of understanding and experiencing English culture at its most authentic, Somerset Manor and its environs offer a unique blend of history, nature, and tranquillity. This area not only provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life but also serves as a living museum, where every lane, building, and landscape tells a story, inviting visitors to step into a world where the past and present coexist in perfect balance.

In summary, Somerset Manor isn’t just a holiday home; it’s a cultural immersion, offering its visitors a chance to live within the pages of English history, surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of Somerset. It’s a place where every stay is more than just a visit; it’s an experience, weaving together the threads of relaxation, exploration, and cultural enrichment into a tapestry of unforgettable memories.

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Culturally Curious Traveller – Haygrass House

Spotlight on Haygrass House

Large party house sleeping up to 26 friends and family

Haygrass House – Large party house sleeping up to 26 friends and family

For the culturally curious traveller, a stay in one of Somerset’s large holiday homes with local flavour is an opportunity to step beyond the typical tourist experience. It’s a chance to immerse oneself in the area’s history, engage with its culture, and live momentarily within its stories. This property offers not just a place to sleep, but a door to the heart of Somerset, inviting guests to create their own connections and memories in this enchanting part of England.

Haygrass House, nestled in the ancient village of Pitminster, just four miles from Taunton in Somerset, offers a unique blend of historical elegance and modern luxury. This Grade II listed property, overlooking the picturesque Blackdown Hills, serves as a perfect base for exploring the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Somerset,  [1]

Constructed around the early 19th century and characterised by its ashlar Ham stone, Haygrass House is a quintessential example of Georgian architecture. Its design features include a hipped slate roof, overhanging eaves supported by brackets, and a striking pedimented centre bay that slightly projects forward. [2]

Over its two centuries of history, Haygrass House has been home to a diverse array of notable occupants, including a Reverend, a Brigadier, a Baron, wealthy Somerset factory owners, a Mayor, and a Justice of the Peace. The house has witnessed the advent of the motor vehicle, hosted lavish cheese and wine parties, and even been the scene of a tragic accident, making it a property steeped in stories and history. [3 & 5]

The cultural benefits of staying at Haygrass House extend beyond its walls to the surrounding area of Somerset, a region known for its stunning landscapes, historic sites, and vibrant local culture. Guests at Haygrass House can enjoy a range of on-site activities such as clay pigeon shooting, archery, massage treatments, and even a murder mystery evening. Moreover, the house offers a unique setting for themed dance classes, bouncy castle hire, tennis coaching, karaoke, and more, ensuring entertainment for all ages. [4]

The area around Taunton and Pitminster is rich in historical and natural attractions. From the serene beauty of the Blackdown Hills to the architectural splendour of local historic buildings, guests can immerse themselves in the area’s heritage. Furthermore, Somerset is renowned for its festivals, local produce, and arts and crafts, offering visitors a taste of authentic English countryside culture.

In conclusion, Haygrass House in Taunton, Somerset, is more than just a holiday home; it’s a gateway to experiencing the historical and cultural richness of one of England’s most beautiful counties. Its blend of historical significance, luxurious amenities, and a plethora of activities make it an ideal destination for those seeking a culturally enriching retreat.

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Fancy a Christmas break at this wonderful house?



Christmas 2024

New Year 2024

Christmas 2025

New Year 2025

Sleeps 20 in 9 bedrooms, extra available

7 nights £11,650

6/7 nights £10,995

Up to 7 nights £12,250

Up to 7 nights £12,250







Perfect Family Getaway

Family holiday

Welcome to Your Perfect Family Getaway in Our Spacious Holiday Homes!

Planning the perfect family holiday getaway is fraught with potential disasters. At the Big House Company we have thought long and hard about what a perfect family holiday home would look like, how it should feel to young and old alike and why people want to create this experience. Here are some of our thoughts…

Room for Everyone!

Imagine a holiday where the kids have oodles of space to play and you have your own serene corner to relax. We have! Our big holiday homes offer just that – roomy bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, and expansive living areas for everyone’s comfort and joy!

Endless Fun for the Little Ones

Children in a swimming pool

Our homes are kiddie paradises with play areas, shimmering swimming pools, and games rooms galore! We understand how important it is for children to enjoy their surroundings and have all the facilities to entertain them. And we know that you need your space too! Keep the young ones thrilled and bustling with activities while you sit back and soak in the tranquillity – we have got you covered!

Family Time, Quality Time

Quality family time is crucial for memory making. Bond over a family barbecue in the garden, share stories in our grand dining rooms, or have a picnic on the lawn. Our communal spaces are perfect for creating those precious family memories.

Your Money Goes Further

Wave goodbye to the hassle of booking multiple hotel rooms and juggling bed space. Our holiday homes are not just spacious but also wallet-friendly! Plus, with fully equipped kitchens, you can whip up family feasts and save on dining out, expensive takeaways and in finding child friendly menus!

Feels Just Like Home

Our holiday homes offer that cozy, homely vibe that hotels just can’t. Enjoy the convenience of home with our kitchens, laundry facilities, and comfy lounges – especially perfect for families with little munchkins or babies.

Choose Your Adventure

children having an adventure

Pick your family’s ideal setting for an unforgettable adventure. You can choose the type of adventure your family would most love – there is so much to offer and our website gives you ideas and activities that are close by so you don’t have to do that work.

Privacy & Peace of Mind

Enjoy the peace of a private home, nestled in serene locations. Ideal for families, our homes offer a secure and controlled environment for a stress-free holiday.

Your Holiday, Your Rules

Forget about rigid hotel schedules! In our holiday homes, you’re the boss. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re sleepy – create a holiday rhythm that suits your family to a T.

Ready for a Magical Family Holiday?

Our big holiday homes are not just places to stay; they’re havens for family fun, relaxation and unforgettable memories.

Book your dream family holiday today and experience the magic!

Creating Your Own Christmas in a Holiday Home

Tailoring Christmas Traditions in a Holiday Home

Tone Dale House Christmas









Create and follow your own holiday traditions, without the constraints of a hotel or resort setting in spaces that can make it truly special.

Welcome to the world of opportunities that your own big house for Christmas gives you. No structure, no strangers, oodles of space – you can make your festivities exactly as you want them to be.

First things first, the Christmas decorations, no corporate style here! Decorated as a home, not a hotel. Twinkling lights on the Christmas trees and the flexibility to add your own favourite ornaments, perhaps craft some decorations with the children, while you’re at it. Cut a little holy and ivy from the garden, to add your own personal touches.

The kitchens in our houses are fully equipped for self catering. Your whole group can enjoy cooking family favourites, or exploring new Christmas delights together. The kitchen is at the heart of your own house and certainly that’s the case for the Christmas holidays in all our homes away from home.

Christmas in your home from home becomes a very personal affair. No need to open presents squeezed into a hotel room, everyone can gather round the tree, or wherever feels special to you. The experience becomes unique, full of meaning and connections – memories to last a lifetime.

New family traditions can emerge. Cozy afternoons watching Christmas movies, games nights full of fun and friendly rivalry, bracing walks wrapped up in winter coats, hats and scarfs. Inside, children will find special corners to make their own, dens and secret hiding places. Parents gratefully, relaxing beside a roaring fire in the living room.

One of the beauties of a holiday home for Christmas is the lack of an imposed timetable. You can make the schedule, or just go with the flow. Leisurely mornings, breakfast in pyjamas at noon, it’s all up to you.

Hiring your own big house is far from an ordinary way to celebrate Christmas – it’s an extraordinary, unique experience to create your own flexible, memorable and highly personal happy holiday.

If you want to spend time away with your family this is a way to make it truly memorable. Shared spaces, but enough privacy. Well-equipped rooms you can feel at home in. Space you can call your own during your stay. None of the restrictions of a hotel, with set mealtimes, limited spaces and sharing with strangers. Our spacious self-catering holiday homes will envelope you from the moment you arrive to the moment you regretfully say farewell.

Make next year an unforgettable Christmas and reserve your special holiday retreat now!


25 Years Of House Parties At Tone Dale House

25 Years Of House Parties At Tone Dale House

Easter weekend 1997, Tone Dale House welcomed its first group of house party guests. Fresh from a 4 month renovation and refurbishment, it was ready for 18 guests to enjoy for the long weekend. Fast forwarding to Easter 2022, we decided to celebrate the 25th anniversary by filling the house with our own family for a house party.


How did we plan our house party?


We didn’t have to deliberate on a date, which made things easy and we’d booked a year in advance, so everyone was primed and ready. We did have some family members joining us later in the weekend. Who can resist a uni ski trip, after all?

Planning a weekend away for a group of 30 people does involve a lot of emails! You just have to lean in. Always good to have a deadline on the “Need to Knows”. Some of your group will change their minds, maybe time and time again. Remember, just love them for their quirks.

Ask and you will receive. Help usually only needs to be asked for and your family & friends will deliver in bucket loads. Having so much help with food, made the weekend much easier for us, not to feel responsible for feeding the five thousand.

Bedroom allocation can be a tricky one. We decided, based on seniority – who got the ensuite rooms. Couples with young children had rooms in the main house, for when the kids went to bed early. Energetic youngsters went in the attic bedrooms and anyone we thought would want a bit of peace and quiet had rooms in the Stables.

Having a rough plan for the weekend is good, so there is some focus and you’re making the most of being together. But don’t be too rigid about it. It’s useful for everyone to know roughly when mealtimes will be and if there is an activity for everyone to join in. But chances are, your group won’t want their weekend mapped out minute by minute.


What did we do during the weekend?


We spent most of our time at the house. There’s plenty to do and we wanted to make the most of our time together, rather than spend it driving anywhere. The weather was great and we were in the garden a lot of the time. Our nephew brought a set of Spike ball, great game and it was very popular.

If your budget’s tight, you don’t need to spend money on activity providers. We had a lot of fun with some silly outdoor games we found on Pinterest. They were a big hit with all ages and I have a feeling that the water games will get repeated at a lot at various family occasions in the future. There’s croquet, badminton and the hot tub too.

As the weather was good, we didn’t use the games room much. But in poor weather, it would have been the hub of the party, I’m sure.

Saturday morning we went for a walk from the house, first to the Basins, (ponds) that used to feed water to the mill when it was a working woollen and worsted textile mill and then through the beautiful Somerset countryside, circling back to the house.

After dinner, particularly as our lovely chef did all the clearing up, it meant we could then move straight into the party room for some dancing, plugging in the laptop and our playlist was going. The Laundry bedroom is overhead, so don’t allocate it to an early to bed person. Whoops! We did.


How did we cater for our big group?


Friday lunchtime we had a late lunch at Brazier – a cafe in the old part of the mill, adjacent to the house. It’s an all day brunch menu and vegetarian, vegan and gluten free requirements are catered for too. It’s a relaxed, casual atmosphere – they roast and sell their own coffee, so an ideal place to stock up with some unique blends.

Friday night, we brought various food dishes that everyone had made at home. Curry works well, especially if some of your group are arriving later. We had some lasagna too, garlic bread and salad. All easy stuff to transport, heat up, serve and enjoy. Having 2 dishwashers definitely helps with the clearing up.

Saturday breakfast, everyone brought their own. With a lot of different tastes and preferences for breakfast, this seemed most sensible – so if strawberry smoothie is your thing, then you know you’ve brought everything for it. We also didn’t end up with a lot of perishable food (like croissants) that didn’t get eaten.

Saturday night, we had a catered meal and we were very happy we did. It meant everyone could relax for the evening. Sue, the chef arrived about 6 o’clock and by 8, we had a buffet style meal, chosen to keep it simple and casual. We had fish pie, chicken and fennel traybake, stuffed mushrooms for the vegetarians & vegans, roasted vegetables and rosemary potatoes. Pudding was a vegan crumble, which made no difference to anyone at all and meant we only needed one dish.
Sue also left some quiches for Sunday, when we made ourselves a brunch and ate up some of the other leftovers.

Other catering options can be as formal as you like – particularly if it’s a big celebration. For something a little bit different we can recommend pizza vans, bbq chefs, ice cream vendors or fish and chip sellers.


And then it’s all over


We stayed 2 nights and had a late check-out at 4pm. This was well worth doing to make the most of the last day. A relaxed brunch in the garden, a few more games, another dip in the hot tub, no rush to leave. And it is surprising how long it takes to pack up, even with many willing hands. We did massively over-cater on lasagna, so one tip would be to bring some containers to take food home in – supper for when you get there.

Inevitably things get left behind. We have more chargers that have never been reunited with their owners, than you would believe possible. We’ll get in touch with your group leader though and hopefully yours will be some of the lost property that makes it home.

For more information about Tone Dale House and availability, please contact us.

10 Best Family Days Out In Somerset

Places for the whole family to explore during school holidays.

There are a wide range of choices for days out in Somerset. So if you’re struggling to find things to do for kids in Somerset, whether you’re staying in the area or looking for new ideas surrounding where you live, particularly during a half term or the school holidays, when soft play is busy and you’d rather explore all the iconic attractions that Somerset has to offer in the surrounding area including; taking in the dramatic views of the awe inspiring cliffs at Cheddar Gorge, trekking across the Somerset Levels, a simple trip to the park to tire out little legs, or a family day at Burnham-On-Sea these are some of our favourite locations to visit for the whole day to keep kids engaged in a family day out in Somerset.

Wookey Hole Caves

Wookey Hole Caves

There’s a lot to do at Wookey Hole Caves, making it the ideal day out in Somerset for both younger and older children and is a great destination for education during the school holidays. The opening hours are 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday/ 10am- 4pm Sat/ Sun and the stunning caves are the largest and the most spectacular show caves in England. Families can get a guided tour and details many fascinating secrets for you and the kids to enjoy.

Within the caves, the Witches Kitchen houses the largest stalagmite in the world, where legend has it that a witch was turned to stone. The Great Hall is over 70 feet tall and is one of the tallest chambers, there are more stalactites to marvel at in here. In areas of the caves, you’ll find yourself over 200 ft underground with more than 11,000 tonnes of rock overhead!

After touring the caves, there is no shortage of entertainment as there are animatronic dinosaurs, 30 ft high King Kong, crazy golf and indoor soft play areas. Having the indoor soft play area, as opposed to an outdoor play area, makes soft play the ideal place for families with kids in Somerset on a rainy day.

Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills

The poet Coleridge wrote about the beautiful Somerset countryside, specifically of the Quantock Hills and its beauty is still evident today. The Quantock Hills are home to some of the most stunning views that reach as far as Wales on a clear day. There are miles of open moorland to explore and wooded valleys with streams that cascade down the slopes. Beside the rivers are many lovely spots for shady picnics and open spaces for games.

For those walkers who don’t want anything too challenging, the top ridge is equally pleasant. Tread quietly and you may see some deer or if not, you’ll certainly see the tracks they use as they pass through this magnificent landscape.

The Quantocks is an ideal place for mountain biking too. Tours can be booked and the routes vary depending on skill level. Cycling from one end of the rolling hills to another is a whole day’s activity, if you want it to be.

The Roman Baths Museum

Bath spa

With opening hours from 9am – 5pm every day, this historic museum provides detailed insight for families into part of the lifestyle of the ancient Roman Britons making it a great family day out. As well as their rituals of bathing in the water of the natural thermal springs, this museum was the site of worship to goddesses and the bathing ritual involved moving gradually through heated rooms to conclude with a cold plunge!

It’s a beautifully preserved museum and you can wander among the columns of those from hundreds of years ago. The museum is full of fascinating artefacts and offers an audio tour for people of all ages. so that the kids in Somerset can compare the history to the present day.


Glastonbury tor

This town isn’t just about the festival, it’s been a top place for lovers of spirituality for a long time. It’s worth a visit during school holidays or half term as you can visit the Rural Life Museum year round and find lots of independent shops/ cafes.

Glastonbury Abbey, is closely linked to King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea. There is a belief that followers of Christ settled here in the 1st century CE and built the first church on this site. Now that only ancient ruins remain, it’s hard to believe it was one of the most powerful monasteries in England. It is also hosts special events including ‘A Night At The Abbey’ featuring live music.

Glastonbury Tor is a National Trust site and the legendary burial ground of King Arthur and also known as the mythical Isle of Avalon. It’s a steep hike to the top, but worth it for the views, it’s approximately a 15 minute walk along the Western side, and about an hours walk from the town. Glastonbury is only a short distance away from Wells which is home to Bishop’s Palace; just a short walk from the Cathedral green, are some of the South West’s award winning gardens. Alternatively, you can visit another Somerset monument by going to visit Ham Hill Park, during your visit your family can enjoy the beautiful Somerset views and stop in the pub for lunch.

Hestercombe Gardens

Hestercombe Gardens

At these gardens near Taunton there are 50 acres to explore, spanning 3 centuries of garden design. The formal gardens around the house are divided into rooms, all wonderfully different and inspiring.

The gravel path meanders away from the house into more informal woodland areas. There’s a charming rill beside the path, fed from the impressive man-made cascade waterfall further up the hill. This area in particular is a children’s delight as the path snakes higher and higher to a viewpoint looking out over land that would have formed part of this grand estate.

Remember to check out their “What’s On” events for Easter egg hunts, fungi forays in October and the bluebell walk in April. The art gallery is worth a visit to view its latest exhibition of contemporary paintings and then relax at one of two eateries for either brunch, lunch or afternoon tea.

Weston Super Mare

Weston super mare

366 metres of fun on the pier! It originally opened in 1904 and has been updated to be a modern day indoor theme park. There’s a free fall, a robo-coaster and a sidewinder for thrills, or scare yourself silly with the House of Horrors. For more gentle activities there’s soft play and arcade games.

Below the pier on the beach is one of the UK’s longest natural beaches and it’s sandy too! Ideal for a traditional bucket and spade experience, with cafes and takeaways for good old fish and chips. There’s a multitude of water sports available to try and plenty of unusual events taking place during the year, such as sand sculpting, beach racing and an air festival.

West Somerset Steam Railway

West Somerset Railway

A steam railway is usually a winner with all ages, taking you on a 20 mile line ride from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on the North Coast back through time and across scenic countryside. The carriages are mainly 1950/60’s style and the steam trains have a buffet and toilets.

The line runs from Bishops Lydeard all the way to Minehead on the north coast of Somerset. There are 9 charming stations along the way all with a variety of interesting things to do. The line takes you through gently rolling fields beside the Quantock Hills, beside charming villages to the open landscape of the coast and views of the Bristol Channel. Blue Anchor is a quiet seaside town with a long sandy beach and Minehead a lively seaside town with plenty of shops, and access to the South West Coastal Path.

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle

Set on top of Dunster hill in Somerset, it’s a picture perfect castle – easy to imagine it defending against invaders. Today you can approach more gently, even by steam train if you feel like adding to your adventure. The Castle is worth exploring to discover more about it’s 1000 year history, dating back to William the Conqueror. In the winter months, the Castle is open for behind the scenes tours of areas and aspects of its upkeep that visitors don’t often get to peek into!

For a summer visit, the subtropical gardens are ideal for children to roam in and there is a rare working watermill in the grounds dating from prehistoric times. Since an extensive restoration, the mill has been producing wholemeal flour that is available to buy from the shop.

Plus you can visit by taking the Somerset Steam Railway we mentioned above!



Bristol is a bustling, vibrant and eclectic small city that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit in Somerset.

“We the Curious” is an interactive science museum that’s all about seeing, doing and questioning. The “What If” space is a new £3 million project to engage visitors in more questions about life.

Visit the harbour to see the SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner. See what life was like for passengers at sea during a long passage. Visit the engine room and see the basic/ tiny living conditions in steerage class, in comparison to first class.

Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth is a world class contemporary art gallery set in delightful Somerset countryside with a rolling programme of exciting, innovative exhibitions. Situated within a working farm that provides produce for the restaurant, the buildings are a work of art in themselves, the new and renovated elements blending stylishly.

Piet Oudolf, the internationally renowned landscape gardener created the landscaping scheme for the entire site, with his trademark swathes of soft planting, creating an enchanting outdoor area and meadow with all year round appeal. The restaurant is definitely worth stopping in, (booking essential), decorated with quirky works of art, it has an eclectic vibe and delicious food!

Cheddar Gorge and Caves

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is one of England’s most spectacular natural landmarks, full of dramatic pinnacles and crags and holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors. It is 3 miles long and 400 ft deep. It first started forming during the Ice Age, over a million years ago, where water erosion carved into the soft limestone rock, creating the steep cliffs we see today. If you choose to drive through the gorge, you could be mistaken for thinking you’re in the Swiss Alps!

The nearby Cheddar Caves were also carved out during this period of the Ice age, by the river finding its way underground. The caves, which are home to the largest underground river system in Britain, are open for visitors to explore. Above ground, there is a stunning circular hike which is challenging but worthwhile.

Fleet Air Arm Museum


There’s a fabulous array of aircraft of all types here in 4 large exhibition halls. It’s well laid out and imaginative in its use of display, with lots of facts and play areas. The first British Concorde to fly is housed here, as well as very early planes, Hawker Jump jets and the largest collection of Royal Navy aircraft in Europe.

The Aircraft Carrier experience is very engaging as you go down corridors which are created from the interiors of 3 carriers, to see the control rooms and flight Ops. There’s a simulated helicopter ride that takes you onto the flight deck itself, which is recreated with a number of exhibits and big screens showing a landing and take-off.

There’s an indoor and outdoor picnic area, a café and a play area based on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm


We particularly love the zoo keeper experiences here. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of looking after giraffes, big cats, bears or elephants, this is a really fun treat that can be arranged on a one to one basis with a keeper. For a more general look around the zoo, you can enjoy over 100 species of animals, both large and small. Within the farm animal section there are animals to pet, feed and cuddle, and depending on the time of year, cute chicks or other babies to admire.

If you are visiting Somerset for a holiday or weekend getaway with friends or family and haven’t yet booked your large holiday house to rent – give us a ring on 01823 662673, or email and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Our Big Houses, Ideal For Family Fun in Somerset:

They are ideal for big group accommodation with plentiful entertaining spaces, delightful bedrooms and plenty of on site entertainment too:

Tonedale House

Widcombe Grange

Tatham house

Somerset Manor

Haygrass House

Holiday Homes With Hot Tubs – The Ultimate Staycation

Holiday Homes With Hot Tubs

A great staycation has many different strands to it – the most requested feature on our website is for holiday homes with hot tubs. So let’s look into that a bit more. Why is a hot tub so popular when staycationers go on holiday?


It is the most social of features that we can think of, as an entertainment for a group, at a holiday home. You’re together, maybe not all of you in it at once! It’s a very informal atmosphere and naturally leads to chatting, laughing, and playing music. It’s also easy to come and go from the hub of the tub, perhaps to join something else that’s going on around the holiday home.

Relaxing and peaceful

It’s super relaxing to soak in a hot tub and sometimes that’s what you want from your holiday – peaceful, quiet times on your own for relaxation and reflection. It is after all a holiday from the stresses and strain of everyday life.

Day or evening

Time is no barrier to using the hot tub. First thing in the morning, a sneaky solo soak before the rest of your group has got up, or last thing at night, after dinner to continue the wind down or maybe it’s a calm down, after some competitive games with your family!

Not weather dependant

The UK can be a little unpredictable for staycation holidays. Maybe that’s a down side, but with a hot tub at your vacation rental it doesn’t need to be. It’s the perfect space to be, deliciously warm, especially when it snows. When you’re choosing a house it’s worth bearing in mind what else the rental offers in poor weather. It’s often worth paying a bit more to have all your bases covered. A cinema room can be the perfect antidote to a drizzly, cold afternoon, with everyone cuddled up together with a movie and popcorn.


Age is not much of a barrier to enjoying the hot tub. From the young (make sure you read the rules on age and health restrictions) to the older adults, sitting in the hot tub can really get the conversation going. It allows everyone to re-connect, perhaps after months apart, especially during the pandemic. A big dining room table is the ultimate re-connecting tool you need in the ideal holiday home. Make sure everyone can sit round comfortably together, not be split into different tables in different rooms.

We see more and more groups renting big houses for several generations of the family to be together, particularly because we often live far apart from our parents, grandparents and siblings.

No need to leave your holiday home

What a plus point to have facilities onsite. You can don your swimmers and robe and pad across to the hot tub whenever you please. It’s not the logistical challenge of organising everyone to be ready on time for an outing. More and more holiday makers are asking for extra facilities, pools,
tennis courts etc, so that the entertainment is on hand and accessible to all at any time of day. Parents with children really appreciate being able to relax and watch the children playing or swimming, without having to be involved. We all need some downtime.

A holiday home with a hot tub is a brilliant feature to have, whether it’s for a short break or a longer holiday. It’s not the only thing that makes for a great Staycation and we hope we’ve added a few tips here.

Our Houses with Hot Tubs:

Tone Dale House – Somerset
Widcombe Grange – Somerset
Tatham House – Somerset
Cheltenham House – Cheltenham
Somerset Manor – Somerset
Cotswold Manor – Worcestershire
Midlands House – Sutton Coldfield
Norfolk Barns – King’s Lynn
Dorset Lodge – Dorset

Holiday home or hotel?


A holiday for a large family in the summer.

When it’s holiday planning time of year, we start to ponder what we’re wanting to do, where we want to go and what type of accommodation we want to book. This year it’s the staycation that’s the big winner – but how do you decide between a holiday home or a hotel? These are 4 of the big reasons we think a holiday home trumps a hotel.

Blissful privacy for your group

The place is yours, exclusively. Once you’ve shut the front door, you say goodbye to the outside world. How blissful is that? There are no other guests – no overheard conversations in the hotel bar about work stress that guilt you into sneaking a peek at your work email and then….you know the rest. 

With your own holiday home you can stay in your pyjamas all day if you want. Or all week if you really, really want. Or, if you’re the dressing up type, wear your ball gown to make the early morning tea. We’re not saying this is an excuse for eccentricity, but your holiday home is your own space. 

Even having no staff is a plus point. You can be as relaxed as you want to and let your hair down whenever you want. Silly games, hide and seek – you can’t do that in a hotel. 

The timetable is yours

It bugs us when we’re at a hotel, even the most casual, that we have to fit into a time table to a certain extent. When you rent a holiday house, you create your own schedule – or you wing it, perhaps a bit of both. When you are just with your loved ones, you can take life at your pace – there’s no breakfast service that you’ll miss. You choose when the croissants go in the oven, or if you’re going to have dinner at midnight. 

You can do what you want when you want, there’s no one to tell you what to do.


A hotel complex can give you lots of activities to do. That’s true. But those kind of experiences can merge into one that have little differentiation and you feel that you could be in Newton Abbot or Newcastle. When you stay in a holiday home you’ll naturally be far more eager to explore the local area. 

This is your homeowners local turf after all and they will undoubtedly give you plenty of ideas for seeing the best of the region. If you’re holidaying in the countryside, it might be hills and mountains, rivers and lakes, the best riding, mountain biking, fishing. If you’re at the coast it could be secret beaches, best boat trips, wet suit and board hire. If you’re vacationing in a city, those suggestions could include unknown view points, best times to visit the museums, quirky shops your teenagers will adore, charming parks to rest your weary feet. 

These times when you’re out and about will be some of the best memories of your holiday, far more individual and long lasting. 

Living like a local

It’s a real delight to experience a new area and live like a local. You don’t get that feeling when you step out of the hotel and return there at the end of the day.

When you pop to the markets or the local shops and sample all the local produce, it’s an exciting feeling. Returning to your holiday home with goodies to share with your group. 

Flexibility, privacy, great memories and a sense of togetherness are at the heart of a great vacation. This you get in spades from a holiday home. We’d vote for that any day over a hotel and after all it’s in the name – holiday “home” – that’s where the heart is.

Great outdoor places to visit in the Cotswolds

Cycling in the Cotswolds countryside

If you are on holiday or having a weekend break in the Cotswolds you will find it’s a delightful region for a range of activities – sailing, walking, horse riding, canoeing, cycling.

The beautiful countryside is criss crossed with footpaths and the quieter lanes are worth exploring by bicycle to enjoy the stunning views. There may be a few undulating hills to contend with, but the effort is worth it for the cream tea you might enjoy afterwards, or the relaxing pint in the pub garden as feel a sense of satisfaction for your efforts.

There are woodlands to explore and rivers to follow – shady places for picnics and lakes for boating too.

Walking in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is often described as the walking capital of England and it certainly rates up there in our book. Stunning views, not too hilly and with plenty of interesting places to incorporate into your route. We particularly like the idea of the self guided walk – where a local expert has done all the hard work for you in planning the route. All you have to do is follow the instructions. 

We particularly like Stow on the Wold, the highest of the Cotswold town, with a famous antiques trade and a fantastic market square. There are plenty of circular walks from here and afterwards you can relax in Englands oldest Inn. 

Cotswold Park Farm

Adam Henson’s (from Countryfile fame) outdoor farm is a wonderful family day out and a special place to interact with the animals and learn about farming – past and present. It’s a centre for rare breed conservation including Gloucester Old Spot Pigs and Highland Cattle. Don’t forget to explore the farms safari route and the maze. For the adults there is beer brewed on site, to take home as a treat. 

Gardens to visit in the Cotswolds

Have you own space and take your time sauntering around some of the most beautiful and inspiring gardens in England. 

One of the must see gardens in the Cotswolds is Highgrove House, the home of HRH the Prince of Wales. An inspiring place that has been carefully designed and developed over the years with environmental considerations in mind and now even includes its own filtered sewage system. There are charming touches of family life too, such as the tree house that the young princes used to play in. 

Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is an impressive sight to behold and has featured in many films and TV shows. You may wish to enjoy a tour of the grand interiors, but if you prefer to stick to the great outdoors you won’t be disappointed. The Palace is central to a grand undulating parkland with 2 lakes and the Grand Bridge, created by Capability Brown. As well as the parklands, there are formal gardens of clipped hedges and statues.

Cotswold Water Park

Set in an area of 40 square miles and containing 150 lakes, it even has it’s own inland beach for paddling and swimming. With no tides or currents to concern you, the water park is an ideal place for trying your hand at a water sport for the first time. Lessons are available or you can hire only. 

There’s sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding and paddle boarding. You could spend days here and not get bored.

If you want a break from the water sports, there’s miles of tracks for walking and cycling – or if you want other sports, there’s archery, golf, fishing, shooting, paint balling and rally driving. The 40 acres of water park are a haven for wildlife and a bird watchers paradise with up to 20,000 water birds feeding here over the seasons. 

The Cotswolds is an ideal base for a self catering holiday in the UK. It has plenty of the great outdoors, wonderful scenery and plenty of opportunities for exploring it, charming villages to pass through and majestic cities to wander through. If you want to share all of this with family or friends and rent a big house, have a look at our property in the Cotswolds …..


Big holiday cottages for the best Staycation ever

We’ve always been big fans of UK staycations – seeing a different part of our beautiful country for a weekend or a family holiday. Not being stuck at the airport, waiting in queues, frustrated by flight cancellations and delays – just hit the road, or travel by rail and you leave all those hassles behind.

Staying in the UK also makes it easy to combine your vacation with another family. A large holiday home gives everyone plenty of space to enjoy under one roof. Lots of bedrooms to chose from, plenty of bathrooms and large grounds to roam in. Stay near the coast and enjoy the beach or stay inland and explore rivers and valleys – book a house with a swimming pool, perhaps.

A UK staycation also allows you to stop en-route to your destination too – if you’re heading for Somerset or Devon, we’d always recommend the brilliant Hauser & Wirth at Bruton, enjoy the ever changing contemporary art gallery, the garden designed by Piet Oudorf and feast in the fabulous Roth Bar & Grill.

Whether you’re looking for party houses to celebrate in, or an escape for a large family holiday, have a look at these 4 properties that come highly recommended by our past guests. All of these houses are exclusive hire, you’ll never share with another group – we don’t operate like a holiday cottage complex.

Tone Dale House – brilliant party house in Somerset

This is a big, big house with lots of fun in-house. There’s a party room with wide screen TV, ideal for dancing one day and watching movies the next. Two sitting rooms, 2 dining rooms and 2 areas of kitchen! The Long Room gets its name because at one end there’s table tennis and the other a pool table. It’s next to the large sitting room – so you can mix and match your entertainment, or wander out to the 4 acre garden to enjoy the hot-tub, croquet and badminton – maybe play hide and seek behind the ancient plane tree.

Tone Dale House is a big house to rent in Somerset, available through The Big House Company Big holiday cottages

There are 10 bedrooms or 15 (depending on whether you want to hire the Stables too), but you’ll never share with another group whatever you choose.

Widcombe Grange – top spot for a big house holiday

This is a lovely house for a summer break in particular. The enormous grounds are stunning and just draw you outdoors to wander around the 2 lakes (the larger of which has a rowing boat), the woodlands and the orchard. There is plenty of space for a game of rounders or football, or if you wanted to have a really big party there are some stunning locations for a marquee, if you’re celebrating something special.

Aerial view of this big house in Somerset with outdoor pool and spacious grounds.

The pool in the walled garden is often the focal point of sunny summer days. Sun loungers and a barbecue for the adults and a large heated pool for everyone. Then there’s the coach house, with large doors to fling open, it’s the place to be for table football, table tennis and a pool table.

The house and cottage combined have 12 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

Tatham House – luxury holiday house in Somerset with an indoor pool

When you’re looking for a house that has all you could wish for – this could be the one. Every one of the 10 bedrooms has a luxurious en-suite – the bedrooms themselves, are beautifully furnished with thick curtains and incredibly comfortable beds. Downstairs, your group can spread out in the 2 sitting rooms, cook in the stylish kitchen and dine at the large oak table overlooking the garden.

Tatham House has an indoor pool, tennis court and 10 en-suite bedrooms.

If you don’t want to leave the grounds, Tatham House is ideal – it has an indoor pool with bi-fold doors out to the walled garden and all-weather tennis court beyond. The hot tub sits beside the sun loungers on the terrace and looks towards the pretty orchard. Summer meals outside are at must at this house, the built-in barbecue and outdoor dining furniture all make the most of the distant hills.

For those who want to get out and about, Tatham House is close to the Quantocks, for biking, riding and walking. Or, hop on the steam train from the village and travel back in time, all the way to the beach on the north coast, maybe stop off in Dunster and explore the castle.

Berry House – perfect for North Devon summer surfing fun

The remoteness of Berry House makes a dramatic setting for this big house. Its Wuthering Heights location gives it views over the surrounding countryside to the distant cliffs and coastal path. It has a very homely feel, carefully looked after by its team of housekeepers. The dining room is grand and spacious – it just puts you in the mood for a celebration dinner and the kitchen is an ideal place for preparing it, all the mod cons with a carefully preserved country vibe.

Berry House in North Devon, is in a stunning countryside setting and has 10 bedrooms.

For your entertainment head upstairs to the games area for petit-football, the pool table and a large screen tv. Outside, the large games barn has table tennis, basketball and 5-a-side footie and if you want something more relaxing, head to the walled garden for a soak in the hot tub.

North Devon is famous for its surfing beaches. Some are best left to the experienced surfers, but there are plenty of sandy beaches with surf suitable for all ages and abilities. There are plenty of lessons available and kit to hire.

Read our blog to the best beaches in North Devon here

Berry House has 10 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms and is a rare find, in that during the summer months, it can be booked for a 2 night weekend break or a 7 night summer holiday.

If you’re thinking of staycationing at a big house in the UK and want some help or further information, either email our friendly team at or click here for our contact form.

Luxury Hen Party Weekends to remember


Hire a hen party house and enjoy a memorable weekend

Hire a hen party house and enjoy a memorable weekend

With summer weddings on the horizon our attention has turned to one of our favourite girly events, a get together with our besties for a hen party.

Make it a Hen Party Weekend

Fun, laughter and good times, not just confined to a single evening. but spread out over an entire weekend. Bliss. Here are some of our ideas to make it a memorable hen party weekend.

Book a Hen Party House

It’s so special, spending time with your group, privately in your own hen do house. Hotels are great, but hiring your own hen party house gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the space to yourselves, operate your own timetable, have complete privacy – wander down and make a cup of tea in your pajamas, or spend all day in your pajamas, if that’s what you fancy! Our hen party venues with hot tubs go down a storm – whatever the weather, at any time of day, it’s a facility to enjoy for a relaxing chill out.

A Hen Party with lots of entertainment

A hen party weekend that’s action packed might be just perfect for the bride to be. So pick your hen party house with that in mind. Some have loads of onsite entertainment already – like Tatham House, a luxury hen party house in Somerset. Whether you’ve got a swimming pool, tennis court, hot tub or cinema room, it gives you lots of options for what you do during your stay and crucially, when you do it – we love flexibility! Lounge by the pool in the sunshine, or grab a movie afternoon if it rains.

Alternatively, arrange some activities away from the house – mountain biking, clay shooting, fishing, learn how to be a barista pro or try your hand at ax throwing. There’s so much choice and fun to be had. Once you’re back at hen party home base, something relaxing might be in order – booking a beautician could be the start of your pre-wedding prep and it’s always a good chance for a natter.

A hen party with great foodie options

Cooking together can be great fun, especially if your big house has a well equipped kitchen. The cooks can do their things and the non cooks can watch on and keep the glasses topped up – when it’s ready to eat, set the scene, get the music on, light some candles and enjoy a feast. If you’re keen on a bit of after dinner dancing, Tone Dale House has a separate party room just perfect for this, with lighting, speakers and air con you’ll be dancing the night away.

A little indulgence is also called for at times and hiring a chef to cook a special dinner can be a lovely way to celebrate your hen party weekend. It also means no washing up! Or perhaps you’d sooner put your budget towards a casino night, some gin tasting or a murder mystery – both memorable and great fun.

If this sounds like your sort of weekend, get in touch and we can help you find the right hen party house, in a location that works for you. Either email us, on, call 01823 662673 or fill in the contact page. We’d love to help.






What to do with my Big House?

Tone Dale House is a big house to rent in Somerset, available through The Big House Company

Tone Dale House – is a successful big house rental, marketed through The Big House Company.

At the Big House Co, we are finding an increasing number of people are considering the possibility of joining the holiday rental market and with the rise of the ‘staycation’ the market is thriving. Maybe you’re rattling around in a big house and want to earn an income from it, or converting an old Barn, or maybe you’ve inherited a large pile somewhere.

We have helped several of our current Home Owners all the way through this process, advising them on the type of rooms and facilities they should have if they want to maximise the earning potential of their property. Knowing the large, luxury house rental market the way we do, we know exactly what guests are looking for and the more boxes your house ticks, the better.

Of course, not all houses will suit all people, and not all people will suit all houses! We’re fairly picky about who we entrust your house to – we wouldn’t take a booking for your house that we wouldn’t take for one of our own.

Flexibility though, is good. For example, we are a nation of dog lovers and many families want to bring their pooch on holiday with them. We do charge for this, to cover any possible additional cleaning, and we advise customers that Fido must adhere to the rules!

The Big House Company worked with Tatham House for 18 months prior to launching this big holiday house.

The Big House Company worked with Tatham House for 18 months, prior to launching this big holiday house.

Think about providing as many additional luxuries as possible, a hot tub, swimming pool, tennis court and barbeque for example. Ideally you would have a good safe garden or outdoor area for children to play in.

Widcombe Grange is a popular big house to rent through The Big House Company.

Widcombe Grange is a popular big house to rent with an outdoor pool, hot tub & games barn.

The advantages of having us help you are many – even if your house isn’t ready yet we can start marketing as soon as we have some images and descriptions to put on our website and you can hit the ground running once you launch.

Why choose a smaller Agency?

We are not a large Agency, we are dedicated to the properties we represent and want to keep small enough to give our personal service to all our Home Owners, offering a concierge service as well if you want to keep as hands off as possible. When potential customers look on our site they can find what they want easily, rather than ploughing through hundreds of houses and losing track of what they have seen. Read our blog, on why we think choosing to be represented by a small agency benefits our homeowners and guests.

Our customers and our Home Owners regularly tell us that our response times are faster than some of the bigger agencies, so why not start a conversation with us and see if we are right for each other?

Cheltenham gold cup festival – what a party!

Race horses jumping over fences

It won’t be long until this great racing festival at Cheltenham is underway. It’s one of the highlights of the National Hunt season and crowds of 250,000 converge to enjoy the buzz. You don’t have to be a seasoned race goer to take part in the fun and tickets are still available (at a discounted price until 31st January).

With 4 days of great racing from 10th – 13th March 2020 it will bring together some of the best horses and jockeys of the jump racing season.  The prize money runs to an eye watering £4.5m for owners and jockeys to battle over.

Set in the beautiful Cotswolds, Cheltenham racecourse lies in a scenic amphitheatre below the Cotswold Hills and makes a fabulous backdrop to some great racing.

The course has a wide range of facilities and tickets are still available for most of the enclosures.  Dining in one of the course side restaurants makes it a very special day, but needs to be booked in advance. New for 2020 is “The Park”, set in The Club and Tatersalls enclosure, with live music, entertainment and bars showing live racing all day.

Enjoy the Shopping Village too, particularly if you’ve had some luck on the horses. It has a large variety of trade stands to suit most tastes.


The Hall of Fame is definitely worth a visit, with winners’ silks and trophies from years gone by, fascinating information about the history of Cheltenham and a hologram of the great horse Desert Orchid.

Champion Day

The first day of the meeting and features the Stan James Champion Hurdle, with prize money of £450,000.

Ladies Day

A great excuse for the ladies to dress up and have a good time with your friends.  There’s even a best dressed ladies competition! With 7 races to watch, there’s never a dull moment.

St Patrick’s Day

Celebrate the day with plenty of Guiness on tap and live music flowing.  Maybe watch some Irish winners too.

Gold Cup Day

This is the famous Grade 1 National Hunt horse race run over 3 miles 2.5 furlongs, with 22 jumps and is the most prestigious of the calendar. In 2020 the total prize money for the race will be £625,000.

Scene of Arkle’s historic 3 consecutive wins in the 60’s, this race is the highlight of the fixture list.

Make a break of it and stay in one of our big houses to hire

Why not make an occasion of it, get all your friends together and stay locally for the whole of the racing week. Staying a week would enable you to explore some of the beautiful countryside and wonderful towns of the Cotswolds.

Cheltenham House is a 12 minute drive (5 miles) away from the course. It’s an elegant party house that’s got character, plus all the mod cons of super stylish kitchen and high spec bathrooms. A lovely dining room to celebrate together at the end of the race day and a hot tub for relaxing and chatting over the highlights of the festival.

Cotswold Manor is only 30 minutes away from the course.  It’s a wonderful, quintessential country manor house, a superb retreat to enjoy after a day at the races. Full of character and a very popular party house with our guests.

Somerset Manor – a wonderful large holiday house to hire in Somerset

Somerset Manor is a large Georgian house available to rent through The Big House Company

Recently, we had a field trip away from The Big House Company office, to visit Somerset Manor and meet Jenny, the new house manager. Somerset Manor is one of our most popular party houses in Somerset and feedback from guests is always glowing! So, it was great to be going to have a look around.

It was a former rectory, so this gives you an idea of the fine Georgian proportions that greet you as you approach up the tree lined driveway. This felt very much like, to the manor born. The house is on the edge of the village and the local pub is just a stone’s throw away – ideal for a pre-dinner drink or when you want to have supper out and about.

Elegant group accommodation in Somerset

The hallway is laid with flagstones, made smooth by the passage of time, giving an air of something rather special lying beyond. From here, we walked through the sitting rooms with large floor length sash windows, letting in beautiful south light and overlooking the splendidly tended herbaceous borders. We felt that these rooms would be wonderful in the winter too, with a log fire to enjoy, original shutters to close and a cosy atmosphere for your group.

The dining room with its handsome grandfather clock, has a long, antique table – perfect for candlelit, birthday celebration dinner parties. Jenny, the house manager, can recommend excellent local chefs, should you wish to make an evening into an extra special event and enjoy the best of locally sourced fare.

One of our favourite rooms was the Orangery. A large open and airy space with great views over the garden and very versatile for either sitting or dining in – with twinkling fairy lights in the evening, it is a magical space. From here, the stairs go down to the entertainment zone, with a cinema room and table tennis. For a family group, this could be your teenagers favourite spot.

A party house to rent in Somerset with 10 bedrooms

“Boutique hotel” is what came to mind as we wandered around the bedrooms. Calm colours, beautiful furniture and high-quality bedding, textiles and cushions. The interior design and fit out of Somerset Manor is stylish and tasteful – there’s a skilled eye watching over this lovely large party house.

The bedrooms were spacious and elegant on the first floor – with a very special en-suite for the master bedroom, with its large clawfoot bath. We loved the bedrooms on the second floor too, again spacious, comfortable and very tasteful. It was hard to say which was our favourite – we’ll leave that up to you!

Over in the Dovecote, just across the courtyard are 2 bedrooms, with its own very stylish kitchen, sitting and dining area. This could ideally be used for a family suite, or perhaps, for elderly relatives, who want a little peace and quiet on the odd occasion. All the accommodation in the Dovecote is on the first floor, so bear that in mind for your room allocation.

A large holiday home with plenty of outdoor entertainment

When renting a large holiday home for a big family group, it’s ideal to have a property that’s got onsite fun and we think Somerset Manor has this in spades. The gardens are superb and extend to 15 acres – a gardener’s delight. Within this well-tended oasis, the outdoor heated pool is sure to be a summer focal point for enjoyment (open May – October), there are sun loungers around it, or the lawns to spread onto.

Next to the pool is the hot tub and sauna – which are open year-round. Children will love the trampoline on the far side of the garden. There are new garden games of Jenga to enjoy, 13 bicycles for pedalling peacefully around the lanes and a football pitch & tennis court – probably not so peaceful, if you’re the competitive types.

It was a pleasure to visit Somerset Manor. It’s a beautiful, big house to rent for all sorts of occasions that is cared for by a dedicated team and Jenny, the house manager, was extremely welcoming and knowledgeable about the area.

Somerset Manor, our big party house to hire

How to plan your wedding reception for a stress-free day

wedding reception in Somerset

Wedding venues Somerset

Your big day has finally arrived and you’re looking forward to all the fun and great times about to happen – and that’s how it should be. You can pretty much guarantee yourself a stress-free wedding day if you have thought about and planned in advance the time line of your wedding reception and communicated that to everyone involved. It’s definitely worth the effort and can be part of the fun in the build up to your wedding day. It gives you the opportunity to think in detail about what you really want to happen and when, plus highlighting any areas that might have been forgotten.

Here are a few pointers to consider when you making your plans:-

Cocktail time

The ceremony is over and you’ve exchanged your vows, this is the moment the emphasis switches from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception. If you’ve chosen an unusual wedding venue in Somerset, you may like to consider having drinks outside, making the most of your quirky venue or enjoying the wonderful countryside views. Discuss with the venue organiser when you would like the drinks served and how, for example, by waiting staff mingling or from serving tables. Have a time limit for your guests to chat and then your MC will invite everyone into the main reception area.

Making an entrance

Once all your guests have found their seats, this is the moment you can make your entrance. Perhaps you’ll be sweeping down a grand staircase at a wedding venue in Somerset, or entering the marquee in the beloved garden of your family home –  your entrance can be as personalised as your choice of venue. Maybe have a favourite song playing, some instrumental music, or even a fanfare! On the other hand, be casual and simply stroll in.

The wedding meal

You’ve probably spent a great deal of time thinking about the menu, so enjoy it and the company of your guests at the top table – there will be plenty of opportunity to spend time with your other family and friends later. If you would like more tips on choosing your wedding food and caterer, please click here.


This is often a much anticipated moment at a wedding. But, if for you, it’s nerve wrecking, perhaps consider having the speeches earlier in the day, or part way through the meal. Traditionally the father of the bride speaks first, followed by the groom, the bride and then the best man. It’s good for everyone speaking to have a time allocation, particularly if this is during the meal – the quality of the food may suffer if there is a long over-run. Ideally, the speeches should be held, while your guests are sitting down. They will enjoy them to the max, if they are comfortable and relaxed.

Cut the cake

And make a wish! Ask your MC to announce this if you’d like an audience, but it’s ok too, to make it a private moment and don’t forget to add this to the photographer’s list, if you want a special keep sake. Ensure you have enlisted someone’s help to look after any cake not eaten at the wedding, especially if you are hoping to celebrate your first anniversary with the top layer.

Let’s dance

Once you’ve had a chance to circulate among your guests it’s time to have your first dance as a married couple. With the music selected, just get someone to give you the nod at a chosen time and then strut your stuff. Thereafter, it’s party time on the dance floor and all ages will be having a great time together. Give the band a list of all your favourites and spare a thought for making sure they have some food and drink provided for them, you will gain enormous goodwill.

And finally….

Don’t forget to consider when you are going to throw your bouquet. This usually happens towards the end of the reception and if you’d rather not be parted from your bouquet, a fake one provides the fun while you can still keep the original! Let your MC know the time for last orders at the bar and he can announce this to your guests. So with glasses refreshed it’s time for the last dance to be declared – one last opportunity for grooving and then your departure. Organise a trusted friend to ensure that all the keep sakes from the reception are put somewhere safe for you.

If you are still in the early stages of your planning and are looking for wedding venues in Somerset, then do have a look at our 2 wedding venues in Somerset, that offer huge flexibility and are great for a house party weekend wedding where your celebrations carry on for the whole weekend.