Special Baby News

We are delighted to share some special baby news with you this January.

Our Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager, Lynn Sanderson and partner Paul, have welcomed their second child, a beautiful baby boy called George Thomas Layton into the world.

Born on Sunday 5th January, we’re pleased to say both mum and baby are doing great and big brother Harrison is looking after him very well.

The team can’t wait to see them both!


Rachel celebrates one year since joining our Family

It feels like only a few weeks ago, but it’s one year since we welcomed Rachel Barlow to the Ellingham Hall family.

Rachel joined us as Weddings Marketing and Communications Manager and her role is to help us promote the Hall and highlight why it’s such a great place for a wedding celebration. So, what has her first 12 months been like? We decided to find out…

What has your first year at Ellingham Hall been like?

It has been extremely busy! The first three months of the year are the peak season for the weddings industry, so I hit the ground running straight away when I arrived. It has been great reviewing and implementing our strategy for the year and we’ve also just gone through our busiest months successfully, so it has been very exciting for me.

Has there been a moment you won’t forget?

There have been a few stand out moments this year! We’ve celebrated lots of achievements including winning multiple awards such as the LTG weddings awards for ‘Best Historic Venue’ and receiving Highly Commended at the National Weddings Awards in the ‘UK Countryside Wedding Venue of the Year’ category. We also hosted a wedding open day back in August which was organised at very short notice. As it was not planned as far ahead as usual, we didn’t know what to expect, but it ended up our best one yet! We didn’t anticipate the volume of couples that would come through the door and  I remember a couple saying it was the nicest open day of any venue they’d been to, because it wasn’t pressurized, and it made them feel very relaxed.

What’s it like to work with the Ellingham Hall team?

It’s like working with your family and that’s why it’s different to anywhere else I’ve worked. You all get excited over new ideas that will further improve our clients experience. It’s not like a 9-5 job, I will quite often get a call at night from a team member to let me know when a new couple has booked because we all get so excited by our work.

What have you learned this year?

I can’t do everything I want to do at once! There is lots that I want to do with our venue, such as looking after couples more than just on the wedding day. But to do it all right it all takes time and planning, that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?

The next 12 months are going to be very exciting for us. We are planning a potential rebrand for venue which I’m looking forward to working on with the senior team, as well as some new internal interior design alterations which is always great to communicate to our new and existing bridal couples.  


Chefs Dish of the Month – December

Pan Fried King Scallops, Crispy Parma Ham and Quince Jelly

Prep time: 15 mins

Serves: 6 persons



18 x king scallops

12 x slices of Parma ham

1 x jar of quince jelly

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

50g x butter

2 x punnets pea shoots



  1. Place the Parma ham on a baking tray and cook in oven on 160°C for 10 minutes until crispy
  2. Meanwhile heat a large non-stick frying pan until smoking hot
  3. Pour in some olive oil and place the scallops into the pan
  4. Season with salt and pepper and fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown
  5. Turn scallops over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, add butter and take off the heat to rest
  6. Place 3 teaspoons of quince jelly onto a plate
  7. Place scallops on top of the jelly and then place the crispy Parma ham on top of each of the scallops
  8. Dress the pea shoots with olive oil and place on the plate around the scallops to garnish

Connect Health choose Ellingham Hall for away days

When managers from Newcastle-based Connect Health were looking for a venue in the North East to host their annual 2-day management retreat, they had no problem in making a decision.

That’s because they chose Ellingham Hall last year and enjoyed our welcome, facilities and location so much they decided to return.

As well as the serious side of the business, which includes discussing strategy and planning for the year ahead, the team always make time during their stay for fun and celebrations too.

The event saw senior managers from Connect Health also enjoy a Christmas party on the evening before staying on overnight to enjoy fun team-building activities the following morning.

Chief People Officer Lisa Davidson explains: “We use Ellingham as it’s the perfect, exclusive setting for strategy planning for our senior team and it’s a lovely relaxed environment to host our Christmas party too. On the second day we organised a murder mystery fun day before departure.”

“We were working in teams and had two ‘deaths’ to investigate. There were lots of clues to work out whodunnit! It’s a great team-building activity across functions so it means you’re working with people on the mystery that you may not normally work with closely on a day-to-day basis.”

Lisa said that the rural, private location and warm hospitality from everyone here at Ellingham was a big deciding factor in returning for the second year.

“We were so well looked after the first time. The team here catered for our needs and the food and hospitality is great. The location is also perfect as we’re based in the North East so it’s not far to travel and need to get everyone together in one venue with suitable high-quality accommodation. We’ve had the same warm welcome and efficiency this time and we’re delighted with this year’s event.”

The thorough planning that takes place between Connect Health’s team and Ellingham Hall, helped managers decide to return for the second time.

And it was such a success, it looks like the senior management team from Connect Health will be heading our way again for Christmas 2020!


Anthony Crowned North East Employee of the Year 2019

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that our General Manager, Anthony Hunter, has been given much deserved recognition after being named North East Employee of the Year!

Anthony has been quietly working away here at Ellingham Hall for the past 10 years.

He was chosen to lead the way in turning the Hall into an ad-hoc place for weddings at the age of just 23.

Our owners, Aidan and Helen, told judges they spotted something special about Anthony when they first met him working for an outside catering company.

Helen overheard him talking to a fellow, older employee about the importance of his appearance. It was this attention to detail that helped them decide to offer Anthony the job as General Manager.

In the past decade, Anthony has led the Ellingham Hall family and helped turn us into a destination that has become renowned for its weddings and, in the past 12 months, one that is becoming known as a first-class corporate events venue.

It’s all part of his vision to help Ellingham Hall become a real beacon in the Northumberland community and in his time, we’ve grown from a team of three to a family of 40.

But it’s for a very personal reason that Helen and Aidan decided to put Anthony forward for the Outstanding Service category of the awards.

Just over a year after taking the reins, owners Aidan and Helen suffered a personal loss when their daughter tragically passed. Just 12 hours later, they were told that the Chapel at the Hall was on fire. The blaze ripped through that historic part of the building and meant weddings that were booked that summer were at risk.

But Anthony stepped up and took control, ordering a marquee that was placed on the lawn so that couples who were booked here would not have to find last-minute alternatives if they didn’t want to. He also went the extra mile to help those couples and their families and it became a wedding season to remember.

After picking up the Outstanding Service accolade, Anthony along with the other category winners, was put forward to the overall category of North East Employee of the Year and he won it unanimously.

We know Anthony is a great boss as well as a fantastic employee, but for his work to be recognised around the region is much deserved.

Anthony is very humbled by his award and says he didn’t expect to win his category let alone the top honour.

For us, he’s always been a winner and we all congratulate him and look forward to him leading us on to bigger things with plans for future builds in 2022!


Chefs Dish of the Month – November

Sweet Potato & Aubergine Green Thai Curry with Saffron Sticky Rice and Coriander Salsa


Cook/Prep Time: 20-30 mins

Serves: 6 persons



3 x sweet potatoes

1 x aubergine

2 x tablespoons green Thai curry paste

2 x tins coconut milk

4 x lime leaves

2 x shallots

1 x bunch coriander

2 x cups of basmati rice

1 x skinned tomato




  1. Peel and chop the onions and fry until soft
  2. Peel and dice the sweet potato and add to the onions
  3. Dice the aubergine and add to the rest of the vegetables along with the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and add the lime leaves, then simmer for a further 10 minutes
  5. Meanwhile wash the rice and simmer until cooked
  6. Place in a small ramekin or pot and set aside
  7. Make the salsa by dicing the tomato, coriander and shallot then add a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper
  8. Place the ramekin upside down on the plate to place the rice, serve the curry next to the rice and spoon the salsa on top
  9. Garnish the dish with coriander

New appointment as Wendy is promoted

We’re looking forward to another year of growth in 2020 and have made some changes to the Ellingham Hall family to help make that happen.

First of all, we have promoted our award-winning Head of Weddings and Events, Wendy Sproul.

Wendy has been with us for almost 5 years and last year she was crowned North East Wedding Planner of the Year at the North of England Wedding Awards.

The judges noted that Wendy’s work with couples in the run-up to their big day was outstanding, especially the way she delivered the best experience in customer service.

As part of the growth of Ellingham Hall, and particularly our team, Wendy has been appointed Head of Operations.

It means she will now oversee the day to day operations of the business as well as supporting the events operations.

We’re sure she’ll also be able to pass on her vast experience in working with our guests to others in the Ellingham Hall family.

As a result of Wendy’s promotion, we are delighted to welcome a new Head of Weddings and Events.

Rebecca Graham has spent 10 years as a wedding coordinator at a variety of venues across the region. We were also lucky enough to host Rebecca’s wedding in April 2015 and couldn’t be more thrilled that she has now joined our award-winning team.

We’re sure that her wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry will mean our couples will be given a first-class service that helps us stand apart.

Rebecca will work alongside Wendy and the events team as we continue to offer an unrivalled and outstanding experience here at Ellingham Hall.


Events team shortlisted for top award

This year we’ve been thrilled to receive several awards at the venue for outstanding beauty and for the opportunities the venue provides, not just to couples looking to book their dream wedding, but to corporate clients looking at venue facilities with a difference. Now, it’s our wonderful team who host all of our fantastic events who have hit the headlines.

Shortlisted as Regional Finalists at The Wedding Industry Awards 2020, our team has successfully made it through to the regional finals for Events Team of the Year.

Whether it’s starting from the very early planning stages of a wedding, to forming skeleton ideas for corporate away days, it’s our passionate team who turns these outline plans into reality, sharing experience, creative flare and always ensuring the highest levels of customer service.

Incredibly proud of every member of our Ellingham Hall family, we will find out on 11th November if our team lifts the regional title at a glittering awards ceremony in Newcastle’s Vermont Hotel and whether the Team will go on to the very grand National final.

The Team would like to extend a big thank you to every couple who took the time to nominate them during the voting stages and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the results.


Venue Shortlisted as Venue of the Year and Most Romantic in England

Over the past 18 months, Ellingham Hall has picked up a host of awards for the stunning venue, as well as the services provided by our team.

It seems wedding award season is in full swing as we are delighted to announce, the Hall has made the shortlist for not one, but two categories in the 2019 English Wedding Awards

Following a string of nominations from couples who’ve married with us over the years, we were thrilled to see the Hall being listed as Venue of the Year for the North of England. It wasn’t until we received the confirmation email form their Awards Team, that confirmed we had also made the finals as Most Romantic Wedding Venue too.

The awards aim to reward those within the eclectic wedding industry that make one of the most special days of our lives one to remember.

A spokesman for the English Wedding Awards said: “These awards are an exclusive celebration dedicated to those who work tirelessly to make our dream day as perfect as possible. They also seek to recognise everyone in this sector that has shown excellence, commitment and have the customer satisfaction as top priority in their business.”

We will find out next month whether we will be crowned at a glittering black-tie ceremony, taking place on Tuesday 19th November, at Manchester’s Mercure Piccadilly Hotel. Keep watching to see how we get on.


Anthony shortlisted for North East Employee Award

Our General Manager, Anthony Hunter, isn’t one to boast! So, we’ll do that for him – because he has been shortlisted for a very special award.

Anthony has been named as one of only five to make the finals for Outstanding Service in the North East Employee of the Year Awards.

The annual awards aim to recognise and value the contribution employees make to businesses in the region by celebrating their achievements.

Among the categories is the award for Outstanding Service. The award will be presented to the employee who has consistently demonstrated excellent service, to fellow employees and clients alike, but who has also gone that extra mile.

The judges will be looking for:

  • Evidence of excellent customer service and going above and beyond.
  • Examples of how value has been added.
  • Feedback from customers regarding service given.
  • The impact the candidate has had on customer service in the business.

Anthony has been an integral part of Ellingham Hall for 10 years now, and we know he is always giving outstanding service – whether that’s towards the rest of his team or to our clients.

We will find out if Anthony is successful at a glittering ceremony on Friday 29th November at Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

We wish him the best of luck, but we know that whatever the outcome, Anthony is a star in all our eyes.