Ellingham welcomes a new General Manager

This month, we’re pleased to share the appointment of David Fordham-Scott as Ellingham Hall’s new General Manager.

David’s extensive hospitality experience spans over 23 years and it’s his knowledge, ambition, and commitment to the enhancing the customer experience which makes him the perfect fit for Ellingham Hall.

David is no stranger to the venue, as a small boy he often visited his Great Grandmother who lived in the village. David’s family also have strong connections with Ellingham, his uncle attended the Hall when it was formerly a Prep School and it wasn’t until his recent appointment with us that David learned his Nana and Grandad were actually married in the Chapel 62 years ago – talk about a small wedding world!

David explained; “Ellingham Hall is well-known in the industry as an unforgettable two-night wedding experience – a one I’ve always greatly admired. That combined with my family connections, love for the venue and value for customer service, means I’m thrilled to be part of such a dedicated and hard-working team.”

“I have a real passion for delivering first class customer service and providing couples with the most magical day of their lives; It’s so encouraging to know I’m joining a team who share my vision. Having only just started working at the venue this month, I’ve already been made to feel so welcome. It’s been a great few weeks and I already feel like part of the Ellingham Hall family.”

Anthony Hunter, said; “David couldn’t be more suited to working at Ellingham Hall. He prides himself on being customer focused and on delivering an award-winning wedding experience – all the things Team Ellingham continuously strive for.

Anthony had previously held the role of General Manager at the Hall for over 10 years. This month, Anthony has handed over the baton to David as he takes on a directorship role for the company. His new role is to further the growth, development and future direction of the business at Ellingham, alongside beginning work on our second wedding venue, launching in 2021.

David added; “I have known and respected Anthony for a long time and l am looking forward to combining our knowledge and experience to further develop the offering at the Hall, as well as working closely together on a number of upcoming exciting new projects.”


Ellingham Hall hosts it’s first socially distanced two-night wedding experience.

When Keith and Elizabeth booked to marry at Ellingham Hall back in April 2019, they never imagined their day would coincide with the worldwide COVID pandemic.

Throughout all the announcements and daily press briefings from Downing Street, Keith and Elizabeth held firm and kept the faith in holding onto their original wedding date, even if it did mean they needed to stick within the government guidelines. 

Rebecca Graham, Head of Weddings and Events, said; “Working with the couple week by week was a real honour. On top of all the original stress planning a wedding can typically throw up, throughout it all, we’ll always remember Keith and Elizabeth asking us ‘how we were?’ and if ‘all the team were holding up?’ – it was us who were lucky they choose to marry at our venue!”

“We can’t thank Ellingham Hall enough for being flexible & helping us to come up with solutions which meant our special day could go ahead. This has been a tough year, but your creative support has been invaluable. A venue and a team not just about the wedding, but about the couple. We can’t thank you enough.” – Keith and Elizabeth.

A huge thank you to Rosie Davison Photography for sharing images of the couples day with us.


New look for our Ceremony Room

Following on from the popular refurbishment to our Drawing Room last year, we were pleased to start work on our Ceremony Room in January. Opened officially at our open day event last month, the room has been given a contemporary makeover injecting light and warmth into the space with freshly painted paneling giving it a modern twist on the traditional country house. Combined with luxury stylings, including crushed velvet curtains and brushed gold touches, we’ve been inundated with great feedback by our couples over the past few weeks.

The Ceremony Room is one of two indoor spaces at Ellingham where couples can host their wedding ceremonies, event organisers can host private dining sessions and corporate clients can run a series of activities with exclusive access to the Hall for the duration of their event.

Take a look at a picture of our newly refurbished space shot by Dan Clark Photography at a recent wedding with us.

News, Weddings

Wendy is named UK Wedding Coordinator of the Year for 2020.

If you’ve ever been up to the Hall, or organised an event with us, we’re pretty certain you’ll be familiar with the name Wendy Sproul. Wendy was our Head of Weddings and Events at the Hall for over four years, until she was recently promoted to Operations Manager and it looks like the good news doesn’t just stop there. Last week Wendy was crowned UK Wedding Coordinator of the year in the LUXlife 2020 Global Wedding Awards – this comes just 18 months after she was named North East Wedding Co-ordinator in the North of England Wedding Awards.

Wendy said, “I am thrilled and honoured, but also moved by being named the UK’s best Wedding Co-ordinator.

“When I got the news I just burst into tears. I really can’t quite believe it. It’s fantastic and such an honour to be part of so many couples’ special wedding celebrations.”

Wendy’s attention to detail, calmness under pressure and ability to lead during her time as Wedding Co-ordinator, were some of the reasons why she was promoted six months ago.

General Manager Anthony Hunter explained: “I am absolutely thrilled that Wendy has been given this award. She deserves it. Everyone in our team looks up to Wendy as she is diligent when it comes to our guests’ requests and unwavering in delivering a fantastic service. It is her commitment to the venue and the hospitality sector which makes her a real asset to the business.

“The team at Ellingham Hall know there’s something truly special about Wendy – and this award proves just how wonderful she is. I am proud and honoured to have Wendy as one of the Ellingham Hall family.”

News, Weddings

Ellingham successfully shortlisted second year running for National Title

Following on from being Highly Commended as Countryside Wedding Venue of the Year at the 2019 National Wedding Awards, we were delighted to be informed last month that we’d again been shortlisted from thousands of venues across the UK to be named among 8 finalists for 2020.

Rachel Barlow, Marketing and Communications Manager said; “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for the award again this year. Since being so close to winning last year, we’ve worked hard at the venue on improving our experience for couples and also on the venue itself investing substantially in a number of areas at the Hall, many of them highlighting the wonderful Northumbrian countryside.”

It’s now down to public vote and the Team are calling on your support to help them lift the national title. To vote, click here – https://natweddingawards.co.uk/nominate/vote

It’s the support from couples, their family, friends and general followers of the venue which has allowed Ellingham to be crowded winners in a number of awards ceremonies recently and it looks like there’s no sign of them slowing down.

Anthony Hunter, General Manager said; “The support we’ve received over the last 18 months has been overwhelming. We have received back to award back nominations, have excelled in both the wedding and corporate sectors and we can’t thank everyone enough.

“We always knew Ellingham was a special place, but to be recognised on such a national scale is brilliant for the venue and all the Team working hard behind the scenes.”

The awards will be held later this year at a glittering awards ceremony in Leicester and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with news following the event.

News, Weddings

Venue Named among the Best in the UK by Evening Standard

Ellingham Hall has started the year with a bang, having been listed in the ‘top 50 best wedding venues in the UK’ as shared by the Evening Standard.

Created by industry heavyweight Bridebook, the wedding planning platform directory listed Ellingham fifth in the UK above well established names including The Ritz London and Fulham Palace.

Hamish Shepard Founder and CEO of Bridebook said; “ Our team have searched high and low to find the absolute crème de la crème of venues – and these are the best we believe Blighty has to offer for 2020.”
The publication comes as a great start to the year following the success of the venue in 2019 with multiple award wins both on a regional and national scale.

Rachel Barlow, Marketing Manager at Ellingham said; “What a start to the year! Over the last 12 months we’ve worked hard on building the Ellingham brand and showcasing how truly special the venue is when it comes to offering two-night fully exclusive weddings. To be highlighted on a national level so early on in 2020 is a testament to the entire team and their efforts over the last 12 months.“

To see the full article by the Evening Standard please >click here< 


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

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!