Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Brocket Hall predicts who will the 145th Open

This Thursday the 145th Open will begin at Royal Troon, and once again promises to be a stern test for golfers of the highest ability.  Here are our tips for the week!

Ben Talbot

Dustin Johnson is my pick for the week. It might seem an obvious choice on the back of his recent U.S Open victory last month at Oakmont but the form book points very strongly in his favour. Golfers have to adapt their game in testing links conditions which is why The Open asks so much of players to go all the way. With this in mind, some golfers are able to adapt better to the conditions.

Back in 2012, Dustin Johnson came 2nd at Royal St. Georges and should have won. He has the form; length and accuracy off the tee and a dominant golf game that can overcome Royal Troon this week.

Sam Flannery

The ranking might not say it, but Dustin Johnson is probably the best player in the world right now. He has won the last two tournaments he has played in which don’t come much bigger than the U.S Open and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. There’s no such thing as a sure thing in golf, but I expect Dustin Johnson to be there or thereabouts come Sunday evening…

Scott Cove

There are so many players who you wouldn’t be surprised to see win this week, just one look at the top 10 and you can see a whole list of possible winners in a really competitive Open. My choice is slightly outside of the box; I think Louis Oosthuizen will have a strong week. Although not in the greatest of form, he is a former Claret Jug holder and can clearly adapt to the conditions. He is also very solid under pressure and very little does his swing fail him; I think the fact that he is out of the spotlight this week can help him fly under the radar to challenge for a second Open victory.

George Ackerman

I called the winner of the U.S Open last month in Dustin Johnson but this time around I’m predicting Branden Grace to successfully battle the testing conditions. He hasn’t got fantastic Open form (his highest finish is T20th) but he has proven he can contend with the wind so I’m optimistic.

Tom Phillpotts

On the back of his victory at the Scottish Open which is ideal preparation for the coming week, Alex Noren is clearly in great form and has given everyone a very recent reminder of his ability to play links golf. Matthew Fitzpatrick is also someone who I think will perform well this week. He hits it straight which will be vital with the rough and wind he and the rest of the golfers will have to contend with.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Top tips to help you plan your perfect summer wedding

If you dream of a summer wedding you may already have your own idea of how the day will look; perfect sunny weather, warm evenings with friends and family and a beautiful outdoor setting that will create memories to last a lifetime. However, if you are looking for some inspiration we have come up with a few tips to help you plan your wedding.

1) Provide plenty of food and drink for your guests

We recommend that your drinks reception does not last more than two hours before you feed your guests; they will be hungry and drinking a lot on an empty stomach! Our team of chefs will always create a selection of canap├ęs for each guest to help fill the gap before you sit down to eat. A balance between alcoholic and non alcoholic drink is also vital, especially on a hot day!

2) Transform your venue 

We’re extremely fortunate that our wedding reception venues across the Estate are complemented by a stunning backdrop. The Estate comes alive in summer and this is one of the major draws when our brides decide to spend their special day here.

However, there is so much you can do to transform a plain outdoor space into something spectacular. Evening lighting is really important; hang some fairy lights and lanterns so when the sun sets, your outdoor space comes alive in a really intimate and fun way.

3) Choose an outdoor/indoor venue 

We all know that English weather can be very unpredictable, so it is important to have a contingency plan if the heavens open. Importantly, this can also have multiple uses- equally it can provide an area for guests to shelter from the sun if they need to cool down.

4) Plan when to eat carefully 

You don’t want to keep your guests hungry all day, but you also need to think about pests such as wasps that will disturb you when you eat. Eating later in the day will help to avoid this issue; it will also be much more comfortable sitting down to eat in the slightly cooler temperatures!

 5) Anyone for a cocktail?
Everyone loves a cocktail in summer, so why not have a drinks station manned by a mixologist who can serve a host of refreshing creations? Set out different stations so that everyone isn’t queuing at once.  Pimm’s is also a really popular drink with everyone on a warm summer’s day because it is refreshing and light.

6) Outdoor Entertainment

This can be done in so many ways such as a live band, DJ, or even more alternative ideas such as magicians, photo booths for guests, singing waiters and Marryoke. Get creative and do something fun and different- it will help to make lasting memories of the day.

   7) Comfortable seating

Spare a thought for those that don’t want to dance the night away, and for those who do- but want a break from it! Comfortable seating is so important because it provides a place for people to rest and it is also a great way for people to socialise later on in the evening.

8) Citronella Candles  

Set up Citronella candles in the evening; not only do candles add to the setting and atmosphere, but it will help to deter any unwanted insects in the evening.



9) Keep your guests cool

Provide umbrellas so your guests have access to shade if they wish. For those guests that are dancing, they will want to be kept as cool as possible if it’s hot. Ask the staff to serve small, iced towels so that they can cool off- this way your guests have one less excuse to enjoy join you on the dance floor!

10) Choose flowers that will hold up in the heat

It’s something so simple, but we find it’s really important to decorate your outdoor space with flowers, not just indoors. It makes everything more vibrant and helps create a positive atmosphere for you and your guests.

Talk to your florist about choosing flowers that won’t wilt in high temperatures; they will be able to put together an amazing arrangement and give you peace of mind that they will look perfect for the whole day.

Have an amazing day!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Essential tips for your summer party!

With a host of sporting events throughout the summer, family occasions and socialising with friends, a summer party is often a highlight point for many. That being said, the key to hosting a successful outdoor party is all in the preparation. At Brocket Hall, we often host summer parties where our guests get to enjoy the surrounding estate as much as the Hall itself, so we came up with some key points that can help you with your own summer party this summer!


Stay hydrated

Pimm's is often a popular choice in warmer weather because it’s refreshing and light. However, make sure you also have enough non-alcoholic drink available too; jugs of water and ice and other soft drinks are vital. That way you’ll ensure everyone will enjoy themselves for longer!

Provide enough food

Take into account the time of your party- does it start at lunch time? When does it finish? Guests will need food, or they will get hungry and drink too much on an empty stomach! A BBQ is simple and easy and allows you to cater to different dietary requirements, whilst light bites in the evening are always popular in our experience! 


Every party is different, but one thing they all have in common is the need for entertainment. This can come in various forms, depending on the type of guests that you tend to invite. Lawn games are a particular favourite of ours because they are perfect for early arrivals, and the post-lunch lull. Importantly, they also require little skill which encourages everyone to join in. Games such as Croquet, Giant Jenga and Twister are often a popular choice for our guests, and keep children occupied for hours on end.

Picking the right music is also really important. Live bands are common at our parties here at Brocket Hall, but if you want something a little more simple then we suggest you create a varied and upbeat playlist. Remember, you can always change it; if everyone starts dancing later on in the evening then you may have a few song requests!

Summer decoration
It may seem a minor point to some, but we place a huge amount of importance on ensuring that our summer parties look fantastic. Use bright and vibrant colours to help create a summer feeling- flower decorations are always a good way to do this. It is something so simple, but it really helps to make a positive party atmosphere.

Keep your guests cool

Make sure you have umbrellas giving your guests protection from the shade. An additional bonus for guests would be providing small fans that they can use to relieve themselves from the sun. Sun cream is also another helpful extra that your guests will appreciate.

Have a contingency plan

Unfortunately an English summer can be very unpredictable, so it is vital that you have an alternative space that can be used if the weather isn’t on your side. This might be indoors or you may have a gazebo for shelter it’s up to you, but your guests will be very appreciative. We suggest that you also look at the weather forecast on the day to make sure you aren’t taken by surprise and you can take this into account when planning your day. For example, does your food need a BBQ or can it be cooked inside?

Finally, enjoy yourself! Hosting a party can be stressful but with enough planning it doesn’t have to be. That way you can spend time with guests, rather than worrying about what else needs to be done. 

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

It's Royal Ascot week! The history of racing on the Brocket Hall Estate.

Melbourne Lodge, our Georgian coach house conversion
Like many this week, Brocket Hall is eagerly anticipating the glitz and the glamour of the Royal Ascot meeting; importantly for us, it also means that summer is upon us!  

Whether you are attending Royal Ascot or perhaps visiting Auberge du Lac for our own version of Ladies Ascot Day, everyone can get involved in their own way. We thought we would delve into the archives and revisit our own history of horse racing on the Estate.

For those that have visited the Estate previously, you may have stayed in our Melbourne lodge or driven through the Estate on our long winding road. What many do not know however, is that the road through the Estate was in fact a horse racing track that hosted many race days for the Hall’s residents. You can in fact see a glimpse of the Estate in a former life at the Hall; a painting by William Tomkins from 1768 hangs proudly in the front hall as you enter the stately home.

This is not all that remains of Brocket Hall’s history of horse racing. What is widely referred to as Melbourne Lodge, is in fact a renovated stable barn that sits in the tranquil grounds of the Brocket Hall Estate with beautiful views of the Hall, Broadwater Lake and the Melbourne golf course. Used as a place for our guests to stay in luxurious accommodation overnight, our elegant Georgian coach house conversion previously sheltered the tireless steeds that not only took the Hall’s residents hunting, but also provided the main point of interest on race days proudly held on the private race course that circled the Estate during the 18th Century. In keeping with tradition, each of our rooms are named after a famous race horse.

Despite the Estate changing considerably through time, there are many references to the past ensuring that the tradition and history that makes Brocket Hall so intriguing and unique, is not forgotten. 

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!