Thursday, 11 February 2016

Strong winds causes damage to Auberge du Lac Wine Cellar

The first two weeks in January are typically very quiet at Auberge du Lac, considering we annually shut for two weeks after the hectic Christmas period. Due to what can only be described as a freak disaster, the January lull was anything but!

In the middle of a hectic Friday night service, gale force winds and torrential rain led to one of Brocket Hall’s largest oak trees being unearthed, subsequently crushing the Auberge du Lac wine cellar. Aside from the total destruction of the building and a high proportion of the wine stock being lost, Marjorie, our restaurant Sommelier was very fortunate, having been in the cellar a few minutes previously.

In another stroke of luck, all of Marjorie’s fine wines were somehow spared.

Since then, Marjorie, with the support of the team, has worked tirelessly to replace the wines that were lost, curating an updated wine list of over 300 wines that is now better than ever. It is also a testament to the level of service provided at Auberge du Lac that the customer experience was not impacted in any way as Marjorie ensured the tastes and preferences of our guests were met.

As a result, we now have two new buildings to store our fabulous selection of wines and lots of different shades of red and white to accompany it.  

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Attached Professionals in European Tour qualifying action

Brocket Hall’s attached professionals were in action over the past week in the second European Tour qualifying stage as they battled to earn their tour card for the forthcoming season.
There was mixed success for our three professionals, who all competed on different courses throughout Europe.

The pick of the three was undoubtedly Mark Laskey who qualified in 9th position at Lumine Golf and Beach Club, sending him through to the final qualifying stage on the 14th November at PGA Cataluyna Resort, Spain. Laskey finished on -12, 7 shots off the leader, with the highlight of his week being a stunning 63 in the second round, setting him up perfectly for the rest of the week. Laskey completed the job without any issues, recording two consecutive 69’s ensuring he booked his place in the final qualifying event.

Our two other attached pro’s unfortunately were not quite as successful, with Tomasz Anderson finishing three shots outside of the qualifying places on -8, with -11 the lowest qualifying score. Anderson had a very solid week on the Panoramica Golf and Sport Resort, but unfortunately he could not shoot low enough to force himself up the leaderboard.

Tom Shadbolt sadly had a disappointing week on the golf course, shooting +5 for the week on the Campo de Golf El Saler in Valencia. This meant he was sadly unable to progress to the final stage.

All eyes will be on Cataluyna next week as we eagerly anticipate Mark’s quest for his European Tour card, we will be sure to keep you updated!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A glamorous wedding

Brocket Hall played host to Kristie and Ben’s perfect wedding in 2014, with their passion for film (Kristie is a movie makeup artist and Ben is a movie editor), the theme for their big day. This is a perfect example of how the splendour and tradition of Brocket Hall can be incorporated into a couple’s dream, no matter what it may be.

David Craik (David Craik Photography) did an amazing job photographing the glitz and the glamour of Kristie and Ben’s wedding, for more photos of the wedding please have a look at our Facebook page, or take a look at Be Wedding Wise, for more of a look at what went on behind the scenes!

Friday, 5 June 2015

How to play Brocket Hall (Part One)

Playing the 1st of the Melbourne - Elizabeth I


YARDS: 318

TEE: Yellow

CONDITIONS: Warm, sunny - hopefully!


The first on the Melbourne is a beautiful hole to view from both the Clubhouse and the first tee. With Brocket Hall atop the left hand side of this dog-leg right fairway, and the Broadwater Lake glistening to the right of the hole, the first drive is an intimidating one to say the least! We've got tips from Simon Garner, Head PGA Professional, to talk you through how to play - with all your pristine golf balls safely tucked away in your bag!

Off the yellow tees, you don't want a massive drive off the first or you will run out of room and may find yourself tucked away in the rough on the left hand side of the fairway; this makes your second shot an interesting one! With its drastically slanted fairway and an intimidating tree located on the right hand side, the perfect line is slightly left of the middle and with a long iron or 3-wood - let the hill bring the ball back round the dog-leg. With any luck you will roll right down to the foot of the hill and you'll land on a flat lie. But don't bank on it!

Looking up towards the green you will again face the Broadwater Lake alongside the hole. It is considered better to go left rather than right, so don't be afraid to roll the wrist a little and draw the ball to the left, using the greenside slope to bring you back towards the green. If you don't manage to hit the green you may find yourself inside the greenside bunker to the right of the putting surface. In this case, don't be afraid to open up the club face and 'splash' the ball out confidently - with the knowledge that you have the slope at the back of the green to fall back on if technique goes a little sideways!

Putting on the first is fairly straightforward, look for a solid two putt and move on to the second. With the first out of the way you can now face going over the lake at the par 3 second, running alongside the iconic Paine Bridge.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wedding Photoshoot - 2nd March 2015

Here at Brocket Hall, we take pride in our beautiful wedding venues and love an opportunity to show them off. The wonderful Expression Photography had a great day with us earlier this month, trying out their new equipment. Brett Harkness joined them to style the shoot and I hope you agree the results are stunning!

For the full gallery, visit our Facebook page - or follow this link:

Thank you also to Sam at Beautiful You, and Anna Rose for the make-up and hair (respectively), Elegant Stems for the flowers and a massive thank you to Ray & Chelsey; the lovely models for the day!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Wild Garlic Risotto - with Marcus McGuinness

I love this time of year. Spring is in the air, and I can finally break out of my kitchen and head for the great outdoors in search of wild and wonderful ingredients.

Winter is not a great time for foraging, you see - what with the cold, rain and snow, you’d be hard pushed to find anything edible - let alone tasty - growing amongst the bushes.  But now the sun is starting to creep through, it’s my sign that I’m about to get my hands on all sorts of deliciously wild ingredients from as close to home as the Brocket Hall Estate grounds where my restaurant, Auberge du Lac, is situated.

Despite my passion for foraging, I have to admit that I’m rather hesitant about encouraging people to forage. Not to sound boring, but picking mushrooms, for example, is not something that anyone should take on lightly – believe it or not, there’s a lot of skill involved in identifying the types of mushrooms, and getting it wrong can have very serious consequences.

However, there are some wild ingredients that I’m not quite so strict about – my favourite being the one that you can probably smell right now if you try hard enough… Wild Garlic! Foraging for wild garlic is a whole different ball game to mushrooms and the like – yes, you still need to be careful, but if you let your nose lead the way, you can’t go too far wrong. 

Wild garlic is usually found in woodlands, near or among the bluebells. Once you’ve spotted it, you’ll probably notice just how much of it there is – some describe it as a carpet of wild garlic! It is identifiable by its lush leaves, and more importantly, its smell.  Before collecting it, rub and crush some of the leaves in your hand to ensure the familiar scent of the garlic is released.

Unlike domestic garlic, wild garlic is championed for its leaves, rather than its bulbs – although everything is edible, from the bulb to the flowers. The leaves start appearing from early March and they only really last until late May. Late May is when the flowers arrive, though, so all is not lost, although they are much smaller in quantity than the leaves. In early autumn you can actually dig up the bulb itself and use it as you would a domestic garlic bulb – but be warned, you won’t find it split into handy cloves, and it would spell the end of your garlic plant.

Wild garlic has a very similar taste to domestic garlic, but it is slightly milder, and you may be pleased to hear that it doesn’t take hold of your breath in the same powerful way either! The leaves are absolutely delicious raw or cooked, and work very well in salads and soups. I personally love stirring them in to pastas and risottos too – here is one of my favourite risotto recipes:

Wild Garlic Risotto


  • Splash of olive oil
  • 50g goat's butter
  • 4 shallots - diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 100g parmesan cheese
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 200g wild garlic leaves - washed and chopped
  • Lemon juice - optional


  • Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt to a pan with the olive oil and butter
  • Sweat down for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent
  • Add the risotto rice and sweat down for a further 4-5 minutes, or until translucent
  • Add the white wine
  • Add the chicken stock 100ml at a time - stirring all the time. Wait until each 100ml of chicken stock has been absorbed before adding the next. This will take approximately 18-20 minutes
  • Take the rice off the heat
  • Stir in the parmesan and mascarpone, and check if it needs seasoning
  • Pop a lid on and let it rest for 4-5 minutes
  • Stir in the chopped wild garlic leaves
  • If desired, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice

Monday, 12 January 2015

January Golf Tip: Club Path and Face Angle

with Simon Garner, Head Professional

Previously we've looked at the importance of centre striking on your driver by setting the correct tee peg height. This all related to the fundamentals of ANGLE OF ATTACK - golf jargon for which way the club hits the ball; UP, DOWN, or LEVEL.

This month we look at club path and club face. Often confusing but when you get it, your game can change. Recent surveys revealed 66% of all golfers believe the swing path dictates the initial direction of the ball.

TRUE OR FALSE? "If your ball starts right of your target line, this means that your club path is inside out."


If, at impact, the club face is pointing to the right by more than 2:1 to the club path, the ball can start right. You could have a swing path left (and possibly a divot) but the ball could start straight away to the right and in some instances turn left in flight!

We now know, thankfully, through TrackMan Launch Monitors, what is happening. Real improvement is taking place through proper feedback and as a result, improved confidence with knowledge and good practice.

In the case of an iron:

  • 85% of ball direction is determined by the face angle at impact.
  • 15% of ball direction is determined by the path direction at impact
Next time you hit a wayward shot, think: CLUB FACE FIRST. This will improve your feel and make you aware of alignment and grip, as well as hand action in the swing.

Simon Garner
Head Professional