Despite the festive feel to Eastfield Lodge last weekend, decked out in garlands, wreaths and a laden Christmas tree, it was a house full of wedding guests who were welcomed by Henry and Penny on a cool crisp Friday evening. As cars were unloaded with suit covers and hat boxes, the three generations of family settled in front of the fire for a much needed get together. There was clearly an air of excitement and anticipation as this grand wedding in the nearby Bolton Castle was eagerly awaited.
Following a substantial Yorkshire breakfast to see them through to the wedding feast, half clad guests ran from room to room comparing dresses, borrowing cufflinks and hair straighteners. Laughter filled the landings and by midday a glowing and happy group stood being photographed in the hall by the tree. The men were dressed in kilts, sporrans and thick wool socks while the ladies stunned us in a variety of dresses and hats. A local minibus was able to collect the party for the short drive and we had to wait until the following morning to hear how it had all gone.
Bolton Castle is only 6 miles away and dates back to the 14th Century. It’s imposing facade looks down into Wensleydale and it lends itself so ideally to a fairytale wedding. The bride had planned everything down to the finest detail. A local busker sung to the guests on arrival, an eagle swooped into the Grand Hall of the castle over the heads of the stunned guests to deliver the ring, an Irish band entertained in the lower stables and 150 guests witnessed the day. The weather was kind for a December afternoon and there was little wind permitting photographs outside in the castle gardens and vineyard.
Sunday breakfast provided some welcome recovery from the celebrations and for the sharing of stories, pictures and memories. The family are already planning their next visit to the lodge, next time with dogs in tow who will inevitably be keen to explore the Dales. This is truly the lodge at it’s best; full of people, slippers, noise, fun and warmth.