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.


Special Baby News

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

Our Receptionist Charlotte and husband Ben have welcomed their first child.

A beautiful baby girl named Jemima Annetta, born Saturday 12th October, weighing 7lb 8oz.

Both mum and baby are doing great and the team can’t wait to meet her!


Making the ‘Hall of Fame’

This past year has been one to remember thanks to the number of awards and nominations we’ve received.
It’s always amazing when our peers recommend or choose us for an award, especially when we’re up against some of the UK’s finest venues.

We’ve not only seen new awards from the wedding industry, but we’ve also enjoyed accolades for our corporate hospitality within a year from launch.

While we enjoy receiving those awards, there’s always something a little bit special when our guests regard us in such high esteem. And that’s what happened when we recently received a much-coveted Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. It was an even bigger delight to be included in their ‘Hall of Fame’ for consistently receiving the certificate over the last 5 years.

As you may know, Trip Advisor is a community of people who are usually very forthright about their experiences in hospitality and catering!

Trip Advisor only awards top-rated businesses its Certificate of Excellence, annually to those that consistently receive ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’ reviews. To be awarded a certificate, venues must maintain reviews of at least 4 out of 5 stars, receive a minimum number of reviews and should be part of Trip Advisor for at least 12 months.

You know when a venue has been awarded the certificate when you see one of the famous green stickers displayed there.

Our General Manager, Anthony Hunter, said he was delighted with the achievement. He added: “To receive the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth year in a row, gives me the reassurance that our team are not only meeting but exceeding the expectations of our guests.

“We were delighted when we received the certificate in the post, and it gives us even more reason to celebrate about our high customer service standards.”


Chef’s Dish of the Month – September

Seared Cajun Tuna Steak with soft boiled Eggs, grilled Tenderstem Broccoli, shaved Parmesan, Gherkins and Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Cook/Prep Time – 20 mins

Serves – 4 persons




4 x 6oz fresh Tuna steaks

1 x tablespoon Cajun mixed spice

8 x free range eggs

500g x Tenderstem broccoli

100g x shaved parmesan

4 x gherkins

50ml x extra virgin olive oil




  1. Place eggs in boiling water for 9 minutes
  2. Take out, set aside and leave to cool
  3. Heat a frying pan adding a splash of oil, dust the Tuna steaks with Cajun spice and place them in the pan
  4. Cook steaks for 1 minute then turn over and cook for a further minute
  5. Take Tuna out of the pan and set aside to rest
  6. Keep the frying pan on the heat and add the broccoli, tossing in pan until tender
  7. Place broccoli on a serving plate
  8. Place Tuna on top of broccoli, then add sliced gherkins, halved eggs, shaved parmesan and place around the dish
  9. Add a splash of olive oil and season with smoked sea salt and black pepper
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Chef’s Dish of the month – August

Plum Clafoutis and Clotted Cream

Cook Time – 20-30 mins

Serves – 8 persons



900g x British ripe plums

4 x free range eggs

1 x teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 x heaped tablespoons of plain flour

100g x whole milk

150g x double cream

50g x caster sugar

50g x flaked almonds

20g x clotted cream



  1. Pre heat oven to 160°C
  2. Grease the inside of the ramekins with butter then roll sugar around and coat well
  3. Cut each plum into 8 pieces and remove the stones
  4. Share the plum pieces out between all 8 ramekins or small pots
  5. Whisk eggs until fluffy, then add all the other ingredients and mix into a smooth batter
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking tray and fill them ¾ full with batter mixture
  7. Top with flaked almonds and place in an oven for 20-30 mins until they are cooked in the middle
  8. Take out of oven, cool then serve with clotted cream


January Wedding Open Afternoon

Join us for our Open Day on Sunday 12th January from 11am till 3pm and explore the multi-award winning, elegant and entirely exclusive Ellingham Hall.

open day registration