It’s no secret that, along with much of the country, the South West was hit by the recent snow. Devon took a battering as the Beast from the East swept towards us, while from the south came Storm Emma.
With a wedding on Saturday, we watched the forecast with some trepidation.
When the snow hit on Thursday afternoon, it came down in veritable buckets. There was no getting in or out, and the police kept asking people not to travel unless absolutely necessary. We take ‘absolutely necessary’ to refer to emergencies, such as medical crises, or going into labour (and one woman did have her baby on the side of the road – all well with mum and baby). Devon went on ‘red alert for snow’ – the first time this has ever happened.
At Escot, wedding catering is cooked from scratch, using fresh ingredients. The delivery vehicles due to bring many of the supplies just couldn’t get through as scheduled. Fortunately, any wedding venue worth its salt has a Plan B. The intended starters and desserts were altered to reflect the supplies available in the kitchens. When the snow began to thaw and it was safe to drive, Sir John Michael Kennaway himself leapt into his Land Rover in search of potatoes. He sourced them from a local farmer, fresh as they come!
On Friday, many villages in East Devon were hit by a power cut. Fortunately, Escot escaped. There were many tales of people helping neighbours out in icy conditions with no heating. One man in nearby Feniton village opened the football clubhouse for locals needing to be somewhere warm. They may or may not have imbibed a pint or two as well! We received several messages on social media asking if the house could be reached for the wedding. Our staff were in working, so our advice was yes, but please take it carefully and watch travel news updates before setting off.
On Saturday, everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the temperature rose and the snow and ice began to melt. Many roads became completely passable again, and we cried ‘hallelujah’ as a food delivery van made its way along the drive. The waiting staff arrived, and the wedding went ahead as planned, albeit with one or two minor alterations.
Our log fires were much appreciated by guests, and there was enough snow left to make this a wedding day to remember.
We’re not set up in this country for such major snowfall – in Devon the last time we had something similar was in December 2010. It only ever lasts for a couple of days, so mostly we can all batten down the hatches and sit it out.
But as a wedding venue with a couple booked to celebrate their nuptials with their family and friends, we are so glad we were prepared!
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