There are many things that are great about running The Vino Van, meeting exceptional professionals at events is definitely one of them. Last month we attended the Salonista Wedding Fair and was lucky enough to meet photographer and Polaroid film photographer Jeni Smith.
Jeni is hugely talented and offers bespoke packages for weddings, couples sessions or simply any event or moment you’d like commemorating. She’s been shooting Polaroid film for some time now too and has recently added it into sessions to complement her still photography, believing that unedited it adds a real, un-staged touch to the occasion, another level to the session.
Jeni’s unique approach is to capture moments as they happen – she’s not the type of photographer who’ll jump in and arrange the setting and scene. Believing that letting the situation unfold and capturing the outcome is how beautiful, natural images are created. With this style you can expect relaxed, fun images that truly capture the sitter’s personality.
It’s always a pleasure to meet people who love their job, Jeni is no exception. Her enthusiasm is infectious, “I love photographing wedding day details. Not just the dress or the cake, but all the little things that make the day amazing.”
Jeni’s work does not just involve weddings and social events, her Purple Heart Sessions is photography for families and couples who lead lives that are not easy and often very challenging. The sessions offer families and individuals the chance for some fun, time out and a break from the routine, not to mention beautiful images to keep forever. Anyone who knows an extraordinary family who could use a little pampering and fun can nominate them via Jeni’s website.
One of the highest endorsements for anyone who provides a service is repeat custom. That Jeni’s past clients very often return for updates to their family albums, anniversary memento sessions and to photograph new arrivals to the family is testament to the quality of her work and the customer experience she offers. She counts many of her past customers as friends and has been lucky enough to photograph her clients all over the world. “Photographs are all about stories. My job is to capture and create the images that tell a unique and wonderful story.”
To see more of Jeni’s work and to get in touch visit www.jenismith.com
Guest blog from Rob Gower – Dragonfly Traveller
A honeymoon is your first experience of living as a married couple. It should be fun, relaxing and romantic and a chance to kick back and reflect on your wedding.
So, how can you ensure that you plan the perfect honeymoon as well as the perfect wedding?
- Communicate with each other
Start as you mean to go on and open up to each other. Which places are on your bucket lists? Is there anywhere you have been in the past that you would love to introduce to your new husband or wife after the wedding? Do you want a relaxing beach holiday or extended city break of sightseeing? Or a combination of both? Find out what you both want and work out a destination you would both be happy with.
- How are you going to pay for it?
Once you have agreed on a type of holiday and location, start researching prices. You can then either factor the cost into your overall wedding budget or consider asking for holiday vouchers or money towards it as a wedding present. Most travel operators like ourselves accept payments for a honeymoon from multiple sources.
- Timing is everything
Think carefully about when you book your honeymoon and your flights. Try to coincide your booking with January sales or go for flights that depart and return midweek as these will be cheaper and save you money. Also, despite what many say, always book flights early. With scheduled flights, these are published 11 months in advance, so this is the time to book to get the cheapest flights.
- Make sure your Honeymoon is ATOL protected.
Travel with an ATOL protected travel agent or consultant and take out a comprehensive travel insurance. There are so many external factors that can affect holiday bookings from terror attacks to storms and strikes. Make sure you are covered for all eventualities, so you don’t lose your money or end up having to pay extra if something goes wrong.
- Make it unique to you
Nobody wants a mediocre honeymoon and they also don’t want to be swapping honeymoon tales years down the line and find out that lots of other couples had a carbon copy of their dream holiday.
The littlest details can turn an ordinary activity into something extraordinary and memorable. Consider booking a candlelit dinner on the beach or a helicopter ride. How about the VIP lounge at the airport to start your dream holiday with a glass of champagne together?
Myself and my wife Lisa are travel PAs, operating under the company name Dragonfly Traveller, in Northampton. We work with our clients to create trips and experiences bespoke to them. We work with them and help to research, plan and arrange every part of their holidays from the more regular requests like booking accommodation and flights or upgrades like extra leg room, to a city break added on to the end of a cruise or the more unusual requests like hiring Harley Davidsons for road trips or visiting elephant sanctuaries.
If you would like to find out more about how working with a travel PA can help you to create your dream honeymoon, get in touch with us on 01604 661 100 or visit https://dragonflytraveller.co.uk/.
We’re always excited to visit wedding reception venues; some are new to us, some are old favourites and some are just getting up and running, opening their doors, or in this case gates, to local couples. One such venue is Home Close Field in the pretty Northamptonshire village of Brigstock.
Niki Newbery has over 20 years of experience in the wedding industry and saw a gap in the local market for a relaxed country venue. We met up with Niki to discuss her new venture, who describes Home Close Field as “rustic meets vintage”.
The field, which is also home to three llamas, is set in 10 acres of land adjacent to a working farm, right on the edge of the village. Receptions are held in a beautiful Raj style marquee with capacity for up to 120 people, which we’re sure is going to make it one of the most popular venues in the area. There are plans to add a luxurious shepherd’s hut to the field to offer accommodation for glamping. Niki will be offering a completely bespoke service, with couples in charge of the style of décor they’d like the venue to have, “with this service we can offer a unique experience that’s totally personal to each couple”. The marquee will also be available for hire within a 25 mile radius of Brigstock.
Packages start at £3,000 which includes the use of the field, marquee, power, lighting and toilets. Facilities are available for horses and dogs on the big day too.
Home Close Field launch date is 20th May between 11am – 3pm. Come along and meet Niki along with her suppliers of choice including, florist Foxtail Lily, décor by Beau Bright, The Vino Van and DJ One Vision, for a glass of prosecco, tea and scones and a full tour of the venue.
For more information visit:
Weddings can be one of the most stressful events to organize – particularly if you’re arranging your own, there’s so much to think about and do! It’s a day where planning has to be nothing short of perfect, with no room for mishap. There are, of course, plenty of ways to ensure the big day goes as smoothly as it possibly can – one of those is making sure the professionals you hire have all the bases covered.
How We Can Help
We love a good wedding and we’ve worked hard to provide everything necessary to make the day a breeze. Here’s how we can help you.
- We may be experts on bubbles but we also offer beer, cider, wines and soft drinks to make everyone happy
- For large events we use biodegradable plastic glasses but for weddings and other special occasions we can provide glassware
- The Vino Van can be personalised to fit in with any theme of an event or to incorporate the names of the happy couple. You name it, we’ll do our best to incorporate it
- We can be at the wedding for whatever time you need us and we don’t require you to be there when we arrive to set up. Weddings are incredibly busy affairs so we encourage you to relax and let us get on with what we do best – pouring the fizz
- Should we need a licence (a Temporary Events Notice) to serve alcohol on the big day we’ll make sure it’s all covered. Naturally, the same goes for relevant insurance
- We offer a number of set packages to help make planning a special day easier, we can of course provide a more bespoke service to make the day as personal and perfect as possible.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can add some fizz to your wedding day.
It’s Time to Plan Your Summer Event
It’s snowing right now and January seems like it’s never, ever going to end. Hibernation is not an option for most of us, so that leaves only one other option – planning in advance for the warmer months approaching.
Now is the time to start thinking ahead to the summer events that you can plan to boost your business. It may seem a little early but there are great benefits for getting the wheels in motion sooner, rather than later.
Choosing Your Suppliers
With time on your side you can do your homework and compare and contrast potential suppliers. Take the time to read reviews from previous customers on all the relevant platforms to get the measure of their service. A great deal can be learned about a business from their past customers’ experiences.
Check the Small Print
It may not be particularly exciting but ensuring that a potential supplier ticks all the relevant legality boxes will make all the difference to your event. Making sure that your chosen supplier has the correct and up to date insurance cover naturally offers peace of mind but it’s a legal requirement and it could avert an extremely expensive disaster! Other things to check include licensing; does your supplier have the right licenses to provide you with a service?
If you’re in any doubt just ask! A phone call outlying all the relevant questions will help you make your decision much easier.
Once you’ve found the supplier that you’d like at your event get moving quickly! Getting in touch earlier means you’ve got more chance of securing a booking. Events can be planned months, sometimes years, in advance, so it makes sense to shake a leg and get in there quick.
Shake off those winter blues and look ahead to summer and the events that will help grow your business.
We’re taking bookings now for the season ahead. Get in touch today to see how we can bring your event to life.
Introducing: Foodie Street Food Night Market
Street food has become hugely popular in the last five years, it’s always been there of course; a cheap and fast alternative to commercial takeaways and restaurants, but it’s gained popularity year on year and shows no sign of slowing down.
A good food or drink truck offers a fast, high quality alternative to our high street takeaways and a more casual and laid-back experience than a standard restaurant. Without the overheads of a traditional restaurant or café there’s scope for a wide and exciting array of traders to operate and bring their own brand of food and drink to a wider audience.
The Vino Van has been present at some fantastic food and drink events in the last year and it’s been hugely rewarding working alongside such innovative and talented people. After attending a couple of events we realized there was nothing similar available in or around Corby. We know there are plenty of good food lovers in the area so a gap in the market was identified. Fast forward a couple of months, a lot of research and lots of food tasting (a tough job, but someone’s got to do it…) and say hello to Foodie, our first street food and drink festival.
The first event will be held at Corby’s S&L Football Club on Friday 30th March and we’re happy to announce a line-up of traders that we’re really excited to be working alongside. We think you will be happy to be in their company too. Confirmed so far are:
Midlands based Texas style barbecue Little Urban BBQ
Authentic pizza served from a converted original Fiat 500 by Stony’s Pizza
Flavoured vodkas and vodka based cocktails from Jelleys Distilleries
Posh pork and lamb from Farmer Lou
Cocktails and a range of drinks served from repurposed airliner trolleys by Fly by Bars
Hand pressed, locally sourced steak burgers from Sizzlers Burger Shack
Gourmet Mexican street food including tacos, quesadillas and nachos from Sonora Taco Truck
Gourmet macaroni cheese from MAC OG
Twice cooked Belgian speciality fries from Real Belgian Fries
Ice creams and desserts from Mr Whippy ice cream van
Locally sourced real ale, ciders and spirits served from a converted vintage caravan by the Little Big Ale Company
The Vino Van will be open too, of course, adding some fizz to the festivities. We’ll see you there, just bring your appetite and your dancing shoes as there’ll be a DJ to add to the mix too.
Foodie Street Food Night Market
Friday 30th March 6pm -12am
S&L Football Club, Occupation Road, Corby, NN17 1EG
Check out our Facebook Page
Watch this space for more exciting events…
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and as it’s us, drink plenty of fizz too, of course! As Prosecco is officially the nation’s favourite drink of choice for celebrating, be a little creative and you can spread the fizzy, bubbly love throughout the whole day, and why wouldn’t you? It is Christmas after all.
Breakfast of champions
What better way to kick off the Christmas Day festivities than with a Buck’s Fizz at breakfast? Substitute the traditional Champagne for Prosecco, top up with fresh orange juice and you’re ready to see what the big guy in red has left under the tree.
Christmas is no time for watching your calorie intake, so a bowl of Prosecco infused truffles close to hand is perfectly acceptable for munching while you’re busy watching the Call The Midwife Christmas special. Treat yourself to Prestat’s collection of dark, milk and pink chocolate truffles that are ‘enlivened’ with Prosecco. Available from John Lewis
They are a thing, we promise! And do you know what? They’re actually not bad at all! We recommend Tesco Finest’s Prosecco and elderberry and M&S’s classic winter berries and Prosecco – with a sprinkling of little gold stars, what’s not to love?
Liven things up after Christmas dinner and make sure that nobody’s asleep in the armchair with a game of Prosecco Pong. Exactly the same rules as good old Beer Pong but with your favourite fizz instead. We love the one from Lakeland.
If you need a break from all the eating and drinking find a quiet corner and relax with a Prosecco candle. Made with natural soy wax and fragranced using the tasting notes from wine, this candle, from Vineyard Candles infuses white grapes with grapefruit and rose and is poured into a repurposed wine bottle.
The Queen’s Speech
OK, we know that we shouldn’t but let’s instigate a drinking game for the duration of the Queen’s Speech. Glasses topped up with fizz at the ready… Take a swig every time Her Majesty says ‘one’, take a drink when she looks serious, take two drinks when she smiles. Take three drinks when she mentions the Duke of Edinburgh and hop on one leg and finish the glass if she discusses Harry and Megan!
We haven’t thought of a way of infusing the turkey with Prosecco yet, we’ll work on that one for next year folks. Merry Christmas one and all. Cheers!
Prosecco and gin, two of life’s greatest pleasures on their own, but put them together and you’ve got something very special indeed.
Gin has long been a seminal British drink, a pre-dinner gin and tonic being something of an institution. Once the preserve of the equestrian set and the over 60s, this classic spirit has done a complete about turn. The renaissance – or gin-aissance, that the drink has enjoyed in the last 5-10 years, has created a surge in popularity that’s seen a great number of small batch distilleries cropping up all over the British Isles. Much to the delight of gin lovers, new and old.
One of our favourite gins is Warner Edwards, (https://www.warneredwards.com/) who are based in Harrington, Northamptonshire, local to us. Their fabulous German copper still, Curiosity (named in honour of the farm cat who made a path of paw prints across the still wet concrete floor while checking out the impressive still) creating award-winning gins made with local ingredients, including sloe berries and elderflowers.
Prosecco and gin are both extremely versatile drinks and together can create the most incredible cocktails. Work with the botanics that are the most prevalent in the gin to get the best results.
If you’d like to learn more about gin, then join us at The Glass House in Corby for a special gin tasting event with Warner Edwards (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/warner-edwards-gin-tasting-evening-tickets-40074107735?aff=eac2)
If you’d like to have a go at making your own gin and fizz cocktails here are a couple of our current favourites.
Mint Gin Fizz
Refreshing and easy to make – our kind of cocktail!
1 measure of gin, Hendrick’s works well here
Cucumber slices to garnish
- Add the gin and elderflower cordial to a champagne flute
- Tear the mint leaves and muddle them in to the glass
- Top with prosecco and garnish with cucumber slices
Rhubarb and Ginger Fizz
1 measure Warner Edwards’ rhubarb gin
Small piece of fresh, peeled or stem ginger
- Add the ginger to a champagne flute, if using stem ginger add a little of the syrup too
- Pour in the gin
- Top with Prosecco