Meet our new apprentice!

We recently welcomed an apprentice to our catering team thanks to an exciting new partnership with Northumberland College.

Our Head Chef, Chris, was instrumental in recruiting Andrew Edwards to his team. His 15-month apprenticeship programme means he will work as a Commis Chef and will shadow Chris, who has many years of experience working to the highest standards within the industry.

Chris said: “I am really keen to help young people in the local area to progress. It’s great to have a new member of the team to train up and by providing live, hands-on experience in the hospitality sector it gives a great foot in the door for those wanting to progress.”

Andrew will learn about all areas of the industry, including catering for a variety of events, menu design and how to work with local fresh produce, something Chris strongly advocates. Andrew will also attend college one day per week to supplement his learning.

Andrew is delighted and said: “I’m much more hands on when it comes to studying and learning, so an apprenticeship was by far the best path for me to take. The team here are being very supportive and I’m really enjoying it.” 

Andrew will also have the opportunity to participate in the North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA) Awards, a competition for the Hospitality & Catering Industry, in which Northumberland College takes part annually. This year the college won seven gold, five silver, five bronze awards as well as two Merit Awards, winning the overall competitions and College Champions for 2019.

Alan Oliver, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for Andrew and we are thrilled to be working with Ellingham Hall.

“Ellingham Hall is a fantastic local business and it’s wonderful to give our students the chance to learn from talented professionals to gain top-quality experiences. I am looking forward to collaborating with Andrew throughout his exciting apprenticeship and to further develop our links with Ellingham Hall.”

Our General Manager Anthony said: “It is vital that employers provide opportunities like this to the next generation and we’re fully committed to give young people like Andrew a chance to prove themselves.”


A Very Special Naming Day

At Ellingham Hall, we always like to think of our team as a family. So, we were delighted when we welcomed a new addition to our General Manager’s family late last year.

Anthony and his wife, Jane, decided to host their special naming ceremony at the Hall for their beautiful daughter, Theodora.

For everyone here, it was like welcoming a new member of our extended family and we had a wonderful day.

A stunning carousel at the front of the Hall greeted guests as they made their way to the Entrance Hall, where welcome drinks were available, before they headed to their seats for the ceremony.

One of Anthony’s family friends carried out the naming service for ‘Teddy’ who was the star of the show.

There was something for everyone during the day of celebration: children enjoyed the carousel, a bouncy castle, rustic tree houses and explored the grounds. An acoustic singer, magician and photo booth stand offered entertainment for the adults.

The Chapel was decorated by the Whole Sch-Bang event stylists in ivory and pale pink with bunting, silk tablecloths and stunning blossom trees and balloons. Imagery from the day couldn’t have been more perfectly captured by Phil Smith Photography.

Our Head Chef, Chris, and his team cooked and served a tremendous barbecue, while the sweet-toothed adults (and children, of course) were offered treats from the candy cart along with popcorn and candy floss.

Anthony said: “We had a great afternoon with friends and family, and I want to thank all of the suppliers who helped us to create this very special day.”

We can’t wait to welcome you and your family to Ellingham Hall. So, if you have a new addition, we’d be happy to make your day as special as Teddy’s!

Catering for celebrations for up to 140 guests, we offer a wide range of tailored catering and drinks packages to suit your occasion, from champagne, canapés, right through to buffets and fine dining.

Our Naming Day Sunday Afternoon Packages run from 2-5pm and are based on a minimum spend of £450 on food and beverages. No venue hire charges apply and dates are subject to availability.

To request our private hire enquiry pack, please call the team on 01665 568118 or email info@ellingham-hall.co.uk


Chefs Dish of the Month – July

Roasted Red Pepper and Plum Tomato Soup with Crispy Mozzarella Bon Bons and Pesto


Prep time – 20 mins

Serves – 8 persons



10 x red peppers

10 x plum tomatoes on the vine

2 x shallots

1 x carrot

2 x cloves of garlic

200ml vegetable stock

16 x mini mozzarella

100g x panko breadcrumbs

10 x basil leaves

1 x clove garlic

25g x shaved parmesan

25g x toasted pine nuts

100ml x olive oil




  1. Roast pepper and tomatoes in a oven at 200°C until golden brown, then set aside to cool
  2. Fry carrot, garlic and shallot until soft, add vegetable stock and bring to the boil
  3. Mix in the roasted vegetables to the cooked vegetables and blend until smooth
  4. Dip the mini mozzarella in milk then into breadcrumbs and place in the fridge
  5. To make the pesto blend basil,garlic,parmesan and pine nuts together, then add a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper
  6. To serve bring the soup to the boil, deep fry the mozzarella balls until golden brown and drain on kitchen roll
  7. Place the balls on top of the soup then top with the pesto



Chefs Dish of the Month – May

Bramley Apple and Blackberry Crumble with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

Prep time – 20 mins. 

Cooking time 40 mins.   


8 x Bramley apples

4 x punnets of blackberries

1 x clove

1 x tsp mixed spice

1 x tsp cinnamon spice

1 x tsp ground ginger

100ml x water

1 x vanilla pod

50g x brown sugar

100g unsalted butter

100g castor sugar

200g plain flour   



  1. Peel and core the apples
  2. Place apples in a saucepan with all the spices, water and vanilla and bring to a simmer – cook until tender
  3. Take off the heat and add the blackberries so they slowly bleed into the apple mixture
  4. Meanwhile crumb the butter, sugar and flour together
  5. Place on a baking tray and bake the mixture in an oven for 15 mins at 160°C (until it looks like a large biscuit)
  6. Set aside to cool, then break up into small pieces for the crumble topping
  7. Take 8 large ramekins (or 1 large cake tin) and fill ¾ of the way up with apple and blackberry mixture
  8. Top with crumble, and place in an oven for 10 mins at 180°C
  9. Serve with either clotted cream or vanilla ice cream or both!  

We’re shortlisted in top national awards

We’re shortlisted in top national awards

We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of awards we’ve picked up over the past year. And now we’re being shortlisted for one of the UK’s top titles.

This week, we were told that Ellingham Hall will be vying for a coveted award in this year’s Conference & Hospitality Show (CHS) Awards.

We have been shortlisted as one of finalists in the Best Independent Hotel/Venue category which we have been advised was the busiest category.

The venue re-launched its Corporate offering last summer and received some fantastic feedback at their VIP Corporate Showcase in November.

Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager, Lynn Sanderson, said she was delighted to find out about the shortlisting at this week’s CHS expo in Leeds.

“We are the only North East venue shortlisted for this award,” she said. “We are delighted. There are only 11 venues who made the shortlist, so to be considered one of the best in the entire country is fantastic. We have developed some great relationships with corporate clients since our re-launch and their support with our award submission was greatly appreciated”

We’ll find out if we pick up the title at a glittering awards ceremony in Leeds on June 6, we are very excited to find out the result!”


Chefs Dish of the Month

Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée and Pine Nut Shortbread

Prep Time – 30 mins

Cook Time – 20 mins


Ingredients: (Serves 6)

1 pint double cream

8 x egg yolk

50g caster sugar

2 x vanilla pods

2 x teaspoons of sugar

2 x passion fruit (seeds only)

125g butter

55g caster sugar

180g plain flour

50g chopped pine nuts



  1. Heat the oven to 120°C
  2. Bring the cream and scraped vanilla pods to the boil
  3. Whisk eggs yolk with sugar until pale
  4. Slowly add the warmed cream to egg mixture, return to the pan and slowly bring to the boil
  5. Add passion fruit seeds and pour into 6 ramekins
  6. Place in a bain-marie and bake for 30 minutes until the cream and egg mixture has a slight wobble
  7. For the shortbread, cream the butter and sugar together
  8. Add the flour and rest for 10 minutes
  9. Cut out into finger shapes, prick with a fork and bake for 15 minutes
  10. Sprinkle sugar on the top of set Crème Brûlée and blow torch until sugar bubbles and turns brown

Ben appointed as Head of Maintenance

We are delighted to announce that we’ve appointed Ben Larson as Head of Maintenance! Ben has been with us for four years and helps look after the grounds and Hall.

Ben was given the promotion from his job as Maintenance Engineer after our previous Head of Maintenance moved to new pastures.
We were very pleased when Ben said he would take the step up.

Ben, a local resident his whole life, has had a varied career including working as a ground worker, delivery driver and farmhand before coming to work at Ellingham Hall. Not only does he look after the Hall and grounds but also looks after its sister venue Lemmington Hall too.

We caught up with Ben to find out how he is finding his new role. He said: “I really enjoy working at Ellingham Hall. I love the fact every day is different. At the moment I’m fitting new door locks, but last week I was decorating three bedrooms and fitting new windows.
“It’s a lovely place to work, in fact it’s the best place I’ve worked. I fix most things along with the maintenance team, including plumbing. As well as the fabric of the building, we’re responsible for the security and safety of guests and staff here.”

As an essential part of the team that works behind the scenes, we were delighted when Ben agreed to be promoted. Like the rest of our family, he’s a hard worker and we are thrilled that he enjoys his work.


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. 

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