Chefs Dish of the Month

Pan roasted fillet of North Sea hake served with a light curry and mussel broth and chargrilled purple sprouting broccoli


Prep Time: 40 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins


Ingredients: (Serves 4)     

4 x 220g hake fillet portions

500g purple sprouting broccoli

200g diced root vegetables

1kg fresh local mussels

2 x teaspoons of curry powder

1 x garlic clove

200ml white wine

100ml coconut cream

Pinch of saffron

Fresh coriander

Salt and pepper  



  1. Pan fry the root vegetables, garlic and curry powder in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add cleaned mussels, white wine and cover with a lid until all mussels open.
  3. Stir in saffron, coconut milk and fresh coriander then bring to the boil and set aside and keep warm.
  4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and place hake skin side down. Fry until the fillet is cooked half way (approx. 4-5 mins), then turn over and continue to cook until the fillet is tender to touch.
  5. Season the purple sprouting broccoli with salt, pepper and butter then place on a char grill or hot grill for about 4 to 5 mins until coloured.
  6. Pour the mussel broth into a bowl then place fish on the top and place broccoli around the fish to serve. 

Community at our Heart


We like to make sure that we do everything possible to improve the lives of anyone who has contact with Ellingham Hall.

And while that’s a very clear foundation within our core values for visitors, guests, wedding couples and corporate clients, it also extends to the wider community in which we are situated.

Being well known within the county of Northumberland, we believe it is important that as part of our corporate governance we are instrumental in protecting and improving the beautiful, historic rural community we are proud to be part of.

There are several key issues in which we have taken a key role in helping our neighbourhood.


Water Improvement

When Ellingham Hall’s owners bought the Hall, the village’s sewerage system was an outdated septic tank that overflowed and flushed sewage down the stream within the Hall’s grounds. This not only affected villagers, but it also had an adverse effect on wildlife.

A meeting was arranged by our owner Aidan Ruff with local residents, water and river authorities, council representatives and environmental health departments to drive forward an urgent update of the system.

After two hours, a plan was made, and it took only 12 months to find the funding. As a result, the new system not only produces clean water that meets current standards, but wildlife has now returned to the stream and grounds.


Our Environment

As well as looking after the water for our village, the work we carried out has enabled us to offer fresh water direct from the local spring which was part of the old Ellingham Estate and now run by Northumbrian Water to be bottled for visitors to enjoy. Being a sustainable source, it also means we do not have to rely on buying in bottled water, which means a reduction in plastics and vehicles coming into the village as well as their emissions.

Guests are also treated to tasting our own homegrown herbs and fruit when they come to Ellingham Hall. We recently introduced a herb garden as part of plans to grow our own produce, which is currently being upgraded. As well as garlic, rosemary, mint and thyme, we also grow our own rhubarb and have many fruit trees, including apple, plum and pear. All of this produce is used by our award-winning Head Chef for his culinary creations and helps reduce our need to transport ingredients, which are also fresher so better tasting!

Ellingham Hall also provides its central heating and hot water through a biomass system. Although this was a considerable investment, we believe this is better for our local and the wider environment because it is a low-carbon option and reduces our emissions. We also use fuel from local suppliers saving on carbon output.

We also have a conservation project that includes continual investment in the grounds to preserve nature and wildlife. In particular, our tree planting programme will be further extended into our next phase of development at our sister venue Lemmington Hall.

We have a recycling point for cardboard, glass and plastics and we’ve banned plastic straw use.

Low energy lighting is also used throughout the entire site and has been since CFL and then LED bulbs became available.


High Speed Broadband

As a rural business, we enjoy many benefits, but one area that is an issue for any business or resident within the UK’s countryside is connectivity. Whilst we were able to access the Internet, it was painfully slow via six aged lines.

As the village’s cables run through our grounds, our owners Aidan and Helen negotiated with BT/Openreach to install a high-speed cabinet within the estate to allow Open Reach and Alncom to install two high speed broadband lines. We also provided the power and helped with the legal work to speed up the process, which has allowed villagers to enjoy fast broadband.

The second phase of this work was the installation of a roof antenna to allow local farms and anyone in nearby villages of up to 5 miles away to access high speed broadband.

As a ‘thank you’ for the ease in which the upgrade was carried out, Open Reach has offered to put in high speed lines to our new sister venue, Lemmington Hall.

See recent press article about the work via link below


Better Connectivity

Rural Northumberland is a beautiful, unspoiled county, but road connections are now very outdated and in need of modernisation. Having better connectivity will not only make it easier to travel, but opens the county to further inward investment, which will create more jobs.

Our owner, Aidan, has worked closely with local MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and a campaign to dual the A1 north of Morpeth to Ellingham. Consultations are now taking place after the money for the project was allocated by the Department of Transport. There is a continuing campaign to dual the A1 right to the Scottish Border, and this will help broaden the appeal of venues such as Ellingham to a wider customer base, which will protect and create jobs as well as improve potential future investment.

The work we have carried out so far shows that our business focus is far wider than providing a venue for guests, but we are part of our community. As well as providing employment in a rural area, we are also keen to protect the interests of our community and the environment both now and in the future.


Two Heads are Better than One!

It’s only the second month of the year, but we’re starting 2019 on a high!

We’re delighted to officially welcome two new members to our growing team – and we’ve also recently scooped another award.

Firstly, we are delighted that Lynn Sanderson and Rachel Barlow have joined our team in two posts that we have created to help boost our future growth.

Lynn has joined our team as Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager and is looking forward to arranging events for businesses and private parties.

Whether it is for a product launch, conference, team-building or special meetings and events, Lynn will be going out across the region to explain just why Ellingham Hall is the perfect venue.
She says, “Unlike a hotel, if you arrange business events at Ellingham Hall you won’t have to share the venue with other delegates. The exclusivity and flexibility are what differentiate Ellingham from other venues.

“I’m looking forward to meeting businesses across the region and I’m sure they will be excited by what we have to offer.”

Lynn has worked in the events industry for seven years and has been involved in sales and marketing roles in various sectors for 18.

As well as the corporate market, Lynn will be arranging a calendar of events at the Hall to provide opportunities for people to come and enjoy the Hall and its wonderful surroundings, as well as the amazing food from our award-winning chef.

In the past, the only way to enjoy the Hall was to be invited as part of a wedding party, but with events including Sunday Lunch for Mother’s Day, an Easter family fun day and a Father’s Day laser clay experience, we’re looking forward to welcoming even more guests throughout the year.

In January Rachel was appointed as Wedding Marketing and Communications Manager to raise further awareness for Ellingham’s first-class wedding service, in the North East and beyond.

Rachel has been working in the marketing and events sector for almost 10 years now and over the last two years has worked exclusively in the wedding industry.

She says, “It’s so great to be starting at a venue which boasts so many gorgeous spaces and with a multi-award winning and experienced team alongside me.

“Ellingham Hall is such a beautiful venue both inside and out. From rooftop terraces and cascading waterfalls, to our spacious reception rooms and historic Chapel, it’s a joy to be part of something really special.”

It’s going to be an exciting year, and we can’t wait to welcome you.

On a final note, we were officially named Northumberland’s Most Outstanding Luxury Wedding Venue in the Global Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards 2019, which is organised by exclusive magazine Lux Life.

Lynn, Anthony & Rachel


Ellingham Hall crowned Northumberland’s Most Outstanding Luxury Wedding Venue

Northumberland’s Ellingham Hall has been voted the county’s Most Outstanding Luxury Wedding Venue by a select panel of judges.

It was given the title in the 2019 Global Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards – and it comes just months after the exclusive-use venue’s wedding co-ordinator picked up an accolade as being the North East’s best co-ordinator.
Award organisers say they were created to recognise companies, brands and individuals who are “excelling in the ever-growing industry of luxury hospitality – those who go above and beyond to exemplify experiences clients are seeking when looking for their latest getaway or luxury venue”.

Rachel Barlow, Ellingham Hall’s new Weddings Marketing and Communications Manager, said she was delighted that the venue had scooped the award.
“The judges make the decision based on venues across the county. There isn’t a nomination procedure, they judge all venues, so it was a really pleasant surprise to be given this award,” she said.

General Manager Anthony Hunter added: “We were delighted when our Wedding Co-ordinator, Wendy, was named the North East’s best co-ordinator last autumn, and this is a testament to what a great team we have here. We’ve made a substantial investment in the venue, refurbishing bedrooms, the drawing room, and adding even more luxury touches.”

The news comes just as the hall’s owners are focusing on new business from the corporate and events sector, which Anthony said would help increase job opportunities and further grow the business.


Our General Manager Anthony celebrates 10th year in the post!

Our General Manager Anthony has celebrated his 10th year in the post. So, we thought we’d catch up with him and find out more about his past decade.


What have been the highlights of 2018 for Ellingham Hall?

There are three things that stand out: we’ve had our busiest ever summer with weddings! Our Head of Weddings, Wendy, was named Wedding Co-ordinator of the Year in the North of England Wedding Awards. And we officially launched the venue for corporate events. It has been very eventful, but I’ve enjoyed it.


What has been your biggest challenge this year?

As this has been the busiest summer, the biggest challenge has been on logistics. It was essential to ensure our guests’ expectations were met or exceeded, but it was equally important to look after and support our team.


What has been your proudest moment?

It was when Wendy, our Head of Weddings won her award! As well as being proud of her, I was also proud of the fact the whole team had been recognised for the service we deliver. We pride ourselves on our service, and this award highlighted that effort.


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on an exciting new venture! We will be launching our sister venue Lemmington Hall, as an exclusive-use event space next year, so I’ll be very busy with that. We are also arranging a calendar of events to enable the public to experience Ellingham Hall. As an exclusive-use venue, there isn’t the same chance to visit like you can with a hotel. If you’ve been a guest or a client in the past, we want to welcome you back. It will give you the chance to relive some great memories! We’re also working on building on the success of the corporate launch.


Tell us about your team?

I’m fortunate to have in place strong Heads of Departments, all of whom have been with me for between four and nine years. I appreciate it’s quite unusual in this industry to work with people for so long, and I hope that length of service shows how well we get on, and that we are a genuine team. I also think the key is mutual respect and listening to them. Their opinions and work are valued, and that’s what has helped make Ellingham Hall what it is today.
As we plan for further growth in 2019 and 2020, I recognised that we needed additional experience in marketing and sales and have made two new appointments in Lynn Sanderson and Rachel Barlow. I’m looking forward to working with them for many years to come!


How do you keep ahead of the competition in such a competitive sector?

We were one of the first exclusive-use wedding venues in Northumberland, and in that time, we’ve focused on customer experience, retained our exclusivity, and our attention to detail hasn’t wavered. It’s important to move with demand and offer a high-quality service at a good price. We listen to our customer feedback to help us improve where we can.


What services do you offer?

Exclusive weddings, corporate and special events; private parties; private dining and holiday cottage breaks.


Where do you see the business in 12 months’ time?

We should have experienced the planned growth and launched our second venue, Lemmington Hall, ready for trading in 2020.

Photo by Phil Smith Photography

Lynn, Anthony & Rachel


The perfect place to build your team!

If you think we’re all about formal events, then think again!

We opened our doors to welcome the team from Everything Different a leading marketing services group just before Christmas – and they had a fun-filled time here.

We were chosen for their staff Christmas party because we’re not only different, we’re just a 45-minute drive from Newcastle, where the agency’s office is based.

The guys were here for a full afternoon and evening to celebrate the festive season and to take part in team building activities – and they packed a lot into their time!

There was clearly a bit of a competitive edge as the team was split into three groups that took part in laser clay pigeon shooting, crazy golf and treasure hunting.

Out on the front lawn, there was laughter (and a bit of frustration for some) as the laser clay pigeon shooting took place.

Our dining room was transformed into a small one-hole crazy golf course, and there was some high jinx and loud cheers as one or two people managed to achieve the illusive hole in one!

As well as experiencing new activities or honing skills, the team also tested their mettle and observation as part of a treasure hunt, which took part in our extensive grounds and rooms of our beautiful mansion.

Each activity was interspersed with teas, coffees and food in the kitchen before the evening activities began.

After the fresh air and activities of the day, the evening started with a quiz in the chapel before dinner which, despite it being a chilly December day, was a barbecue! The Everything Different team also chose a Gatsby theme, which blended perfectly with the setting here at Ellingham Hall.

According to Everything Different Group Chief Executive Ben Quigley, we were the perfect venue for the event. He said: “We like to do something different, and Ellingham Hall is certainly out of the ordinary. We had a fantastic time here.

“The activities were fantastic and enabled us to get our teams mixed up and get everybody bonding and having a good time together in an amazing environment.”

Mark James, who is Managing Director of the company’s Differentology – specialist research and insight division, added Ellingham Hall was a great place for business.

“It’s not too far from Newcastle and it’s lovely to get somewhere a little different and out of the hustle and bustle of the city,” he said.

If you are looking to build your team or are looking for an unusual place for business events, come and speak to us about what you want to do and we’ll help you achieve your goals.

Images provided by India Jackson Photography


Warm welcome to business owners at corporate showcase

It was a pleasure to welcome over 30 business owners when we relaunched the Hall as a destination for corporate events.

As well as a number of North East Chamber of Commerce members from across the North East, we also welcomed specially invited local guests to sample the rooms and some food. There was also a chance to be entertained by a troupe of dancers!

The fact we were more than happy to let our specially invited guests explore the Hall and its rooms left many in awe. Many commented that hotels don’t allow you full access, but that’s what we’re about. Whether it’s a corporate event or a wedding, you should feel relaxed and at home.

Our open house policy was what many visitors said they enjoyed. Lindsay Benton runs her own business, Northumberland Nutrition, and also arranges events for another business.

She said: “Ellingham Hall is amazing. I’d never been before, but after being able to look around at the all the rooms, including the kitchen, I’d say it is one of the best events venues in the region.

“The facilities are amazing and it’s a beautiful place. I have to say, the food was very good!”

Clare McCabe, from the North East Chamber of Commerce, said the Hall had been a perfect venue for its members’ event.

“The Hall has such a lovely feeling and having our meeting at the same time as the corporate launch was perfect because there was music and entertainment too, which gave a very different feel to what we usually have,” she commented.

“It’s somewhere we’d certainly come back to.”

Like so many others who visited, David Kirkland, from North East Times magazine, had never been to Ellingham Hall before.

He explained: “I have heard of the hall before and knew about it hosting weddings, but I’d never been. We arrange events across the region and it would be a perfect place for events.

“We like to get away from the office for some production meetings, and it’s a place that would be perfect for those meetings.

“It is a very surprising place, particularly how big it is. I was very impressed. I have to also say I was also impressed with the members of staff. They were all very polite.”

We couldn’t have put on such an amazing launch without our supporters, who were: Instore Radio, The Whole Shc-Bang, Paul Slattery Caricatures, Corporate Illusion, Clear & Loud AV, Pure Entertainment Group, Prime Entertainment, Phil Smith Photography and North East Chamber of Commerce. 

If you haven’t been to explore Ellingham Hall, or haven’t thought about us as a corporate venue, why not arrange to come and have a look. The kettle’s on!

Images provided by Phil Smith Photography

Please click to enlarge images


Northumberland wedding venue shortlisted in regional heats of top industry awards

A wedding venue in Northumberland has been shortlisted in the regional heats of a prestigious industry award.

Ellingham Hall has been chosen as a Yorkshire and North East finalist in The Wedding Industry Awards for the best countryside wedding venue of the year.

The shortlisting from dozens of venues comes just weeks after the Hall’s Wedding Co-ordinator, Wendy Sproul, was crowned North East Wedding Co-ordinator of the Year by The Wedding Guide UK in September.

General Manager Anthony Hunter said he was delighted that the Hall had been shortlisted for such a distinguished award.

“When we were told Ellingham Hall had been shortlisted, we were thrilled. The region includes the whole of Yorkshire as well as the North East, so there are lots of countryside venues to compete against. So to be shortlisted is very exciting for us.”

Ellingham Hall is an elegant country house that is set in its own eight-acre estate. Wedding parties can book the entire grounds of the Hall as well as seven luxury cottages for their guests, making it a unique experience.

Anthony added: “We always get amazing feedback from our couples about the Hall and grounds as well as for our hardworking staff. The fact Wendy won an award just last month and we are now shortlisted for this accolade is testament to the effort the entire team puts in to make wedding days special for our couples and their guests.”

The winner of the award will be announced on November 6 at a special awards ceremony in Yorkshire.


Every Venue needs a Wendy!

Welcome to our first Blog post and we thought we would start off on a high!

We were delighted when Wendy, our Head of Weddings and Events, was recently announced as this year’s North East Wedding Co-ordinator of the Year. It is much deserved recognition for Wendy, whose heart and passion is in providing our couples with the very best experience on such a special day.

Ellingham Hall is a very special place, and you’re probably thinking that we’re bound to say that. But we feel that because we’re not like other venues, where you have to share your big day with other people and, sometimes, even other weddings, it makes it all so much more personal.

For your entire stay, the Hall and its grounds become yours – and our staff are completely at your disposal to make your wedding at Ellingham Hall an amazing memory.

It’s this attitude that, we believe, helped us and Wendy be noticed by the judges of The North of England Wedding Awards. Our couples were very keen to tell them about how Wendy had made them feel very special and put their needs first.

For example, Karen Parois faced a problem when the entertainment they had arranged let them down. They needn’t worry, because Wendy was on hand to help. Karen told the judges: “Wendy ensured that our day went well and helped to organise a DJ on the day as our entertainment let us down.”

One even said that every venue “needed a Wendy”, which was lovely, but only we have our Wendy and we’re very proud of that!

There were lots of comments that we loved reading because it showed just how Wendy’s tireless work for our couples made such a big difference. Please read on because we will feature a few of those comments below.

We are so proud of Wendy and her achievements. She loves working here and we love working with her. Congratulations Wendy! On October 7th, you can meet Wendy in person at our Wedding Open Day and speak to her about your ideas and plans between 12pm-4pm. She’d love to hear about them.

If you can’t make that day, then you can always contact us by email or phone. Wendy and her team will be happy to meet and speak to you.

So, now those comments about the service our Wendy gave. We had pages full of them, so here’s a small selection of some of the ones we enjoyed reading…

Therase Neve Nugent: “Absolute perfect from start to finish. Wendy and the team at Ellingham Hall went out of their way to provide the best standards for our wedding weekend. Nothing was a trouble for them and everything ran like clockwork. All our guests commented on how seamlessly everything fell into place and how stunning the venue was. I can’t recommend Wendy and her team at Ellingham enough and feel extremely grateful.”

Peyton James: “Wendy was truly the most amazing wedding co-ordinator! So thoughtful and kind! I could ring her at any time whether she was at work or not to ask her anything. She is an amazing, hardworking woman! She even looked after our son who was asleep so that our parents could enjoy our ceremony. I can’t recommend her enough and she is an absolute dream. Nobody is more deserving.”

Sam and Rebecca Dempster: “Not only is the venue absolutely beautiful but Wendy was unquestionably first class. She wasn’t pushy and never gave a hard sell; she gave us all the options and let us make our own mind up. Nothing was a problem and she literally bent over backwards to make sure we had the best day of our lives. We were torn between two venues when we were finalising our decision and Wendy alone swayed it for us. Every wedding venue needs a Wendy.”

Luke Mclauchlin: “Wendy always went above and beyond. Our day ran perfectly with no hiccups thanks to her. She’s always one step ahead of you in making your day perfect. Wendy was always fair from the off and we couldn’t have wished for a better coordinator, not only is the venue stunning it is greatly complemented by Wendy.”