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Exclusive In Cottage Catering Services-Make Your Stay Extra Special!

Whatever your reason for getting together in a Wooden Star Cottages property we can offer In Cottage Catering Services to help make your stay extra special!

Exclusive In Cottage Catering Services!

From birthday lunches to wedding breakfasts, hot drop brunches and full evening meals with waiter service! We work with speciality trusted partners to help make the most of your celebration, tailored exactly to your needs!

Deliver, Heat and Eat!

Our highly respected and well-known local producer and outside caterers Vallum Farm are able to offer a selection of dishes to suits all tastes and budgets that can be delivered to our properties, to be heated and served with all the accompaniments!

 

 

Sample menus for 10 guests

Italian  

Herby artisan garlic bread
Slow-cooked Ragu Lasagne made with fresh pasta
Hearty green salad, toasted seeds, zingy dressing
Award winning Belgian Chocolate Brownie and Vallum ice cream

£180

Northumbrian  

House hot smoked salmon, blinis, crème fraiche, citrus
Northumbrian Steak and Ale pie
Rosemary & garlic roasted baby potatoes, fresh garden greens
Sticky Toffee Pudding, Sticky Toffee Sauce

£210

The Full Winter Menu 2018 can be found here.

 

Hot Drop Brunch!

Perfect for the morning of a wedding or before you head out for a day’s walking!

Take delivery of a hot “Shakshuka” brunch to your door at a time to suit you between 8am and 11am.

Shakshuka is a  Middle Eastern one pot wonder making it a great brunch option which we can deliver hot to your door just in time to eat. We have added a British twist of bacon and sausages to dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, spiced with cumin.  With warm sourdough bread too!

We regularly work with Wooden Star Cottages, so you just wash our dishes and put them in the allocated bag, ready for us to collect next time! Priced at £150 for 10 guests.

If this is not to your taste, we can look at further options for hot drop brunch just get in touch!

Click here for further information or please email vicky@vallumfarm.co.uk

The Wooden Star Chef!

Celebrate in style and take the weight out of mass catering (and clearing up!) and have The Wooden Star Chef come in a cook for you all!

The Vallum team of chef’s love getting out of the kitchen and into the field, so to speak!  If you would like them to come to one of our cottages  and cook for you then a menu can be worked out to suit your budget and taste. Chefs walk away with all the dirty dishes so there is no washing up!

The Luxury of Waiting Staff!

If Vallum are supplying lunch or dinner or even breakfast, you may like an extra pair of hands to help serve and clear away! Their team local staff are well known in Northumberland and completely reliable. They are paid direct by you, have a minimum call out time of 5 hours and are used to setting up drinks, laying up the table, serving and clearing then take care of all the washing up. The waiting staff charge £12 per hour, minimum 5 hours.

The Vallum Chefs cater to a very high standard and are able to completely tailor a menu to your taste and budget.

For further information on any of these services please email vicky@vallumfarm.co.uk

 

Alternative Weekends Away!

Going away for the weekend doesn’t have to just be about you and your significant other, (although we have the perfect spot for that too with our Studio at Shellbraes!) Getting the girls together is always a treat too, here at Wooden Star Cottages, we’ve come up with some alternative weekends away.

Have a read and let us know what you think and if you could add anything to our list!

Family Reunion

Use the Shellbraes Farmhouse a base for catching up on all the gossip. It saves cramming everyone in and getting out the spare shed chairs, we’ve all got them haven’t we? You don’t have to do a big tidy and wonder where everyone is going to sleep!? Taking this stress away and gathering on neutral ground provides more chance to make incredible memories.

 

Craft Weekend

What could be better than getting all your friends around and creating some craft items, get your WIP’s completed and have a natter at the same time? All you need is your weekend bag and your haberdashery stash. If you’ve forgotten anything, there is a little treasure trove in the form of Denize Designs in Hexham who will no doubt have something to take your fancy.

 

 

Artist Inspiration Retreats 

The idyllic surroundings can inspire your blank canvas. Whether it’s the beautiful scenery or animals that are roaming the fields. Sometimes getting fresh air and a remote spot can completely regenerate those creative vibes that are often hiding away.

Writing Retreats

Create characters and synopsis with peaceful surroundings. Use the comfy chairs, the roaring fire and copious amount of tea to go with the flow and let your words take shape.

Staff Weekend Away

When you’re working, you don’t often get the chance to catch up ad have a good old gossip. Well here is the perfect opportunity, few bottles of vino or local gin and you’ve got yourselves the ultimate get-away from work. Peace and quiet, luxury surroundings. If you don’t want to cook get the catering team in from Vallum Farm to provide anything from a hot drop brekkie to a three course meal with waiter service!

Baby shower

Get the girls together for a relaxing weekend away, create some mocktails and some fun games and let the cottage be the base for your journey into motherhood.

 

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Northumberland Wedding Accommodation? Wooden Star Cottages Can Help!

Hadrian’s Wall this October? Perfect Wall Walking Weather!

The short term forecast the weather in Northumberland is looking fantastic! Sunny, mild and clear skies- Perfect Wall Walking Weather!  We have late availability on Seal Cottage in Hexham and  Shellbraes Farmhouse and Studio in Great Whittington ideal for larger walking groups or two in the studio! Both perfect bases to explore the wall from!

Perfect Wall Walking from Seal Cottage

It’s a short but stunning drive from Hexham to The Sill Discovery Centre. Here you can park and use the amenities. You can have look at the exhibitions, displays and local arts and crafts. Take in the view from the grass roof terrace and have one of the best bacon butties ever before you set off!

Route – Once Brewed, Roman Vindolanda and Housesteads. Circular route of 7.5 miles/4.5 hours. Harder walk with several steep slopes.

  • Leave The Sill, crossing the B6318 signposted Steel Rigg.
  • Join the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail via the gate before you reach Steel Rigg car park. This route signposted Housesteads. Travel Eastwards towards Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum.
  • After a visit to the highly recommended Housesteads Fort and Museum, follow the tarmac road down to the B6318 Military Road, you will see an old farmhouse. Turn right and in only a few yards cross the road over a ladder stile with a sign for Crindledykes.
  • In just under a mile turn right onto a road.
  • Look out for a second road on the right marked Roman Vindolanda. Another attraction highly recommended. Continue on the single track road around the back of the site and back onto the Stanegate.
  • Turn right signed posted back to The Sill.

You have probably worked up a great appetite for lunch or afternoon tea back at the The Sill. Alternatively head along to the affectionally named “Twicey”. The Twice Brewed Pub for refreshments!

Perfect Wall Walking from Shellbraes Farmhouse and Shellbraes Studio

Another short but beautiful drive from Shellbraes Farm to Chesters Roman Fort where you can start this walk.

Route – Chesters and Humshaugh. Circular route of 2.5 miles/1-1.5 hours. Easy route.

  • Start at Chesters Roman Fort walking up a quiet lane turning to the right onto Lincoln Hill.
  • At crossroads turn right signposted “Cycle Byway”
  • After 1/2mile cross the main road towards Humshaugh.
  • Amazing views can be seen here from the war memorial then walk on through the village.
  • From the village follow the road back to Chollerford and Chesters Roman Fort.

From here a you can take short drive to very special Walwick Hall. Although they have a formal restaurant the bar is informal and they have lovely terrace serving a range of meals, snacks and drinks. Afternoon tea is wonderful be must be booked ahead.

Further walking routes and guides to difficulty level and times can be found on www.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk

Cottage late availability and prices can be found here!

Happy walking!

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Schools Out…Our North East Survival Guide!

When we think about summer school holidays we imagine families playing on a sandy beach. We hear the laughter of kids enjoying days out with their parents and the smell of barbeques and suntan lotion. Fast forward to the end of the second week in (or sometimes the first!) and the reality is, things have often deteriorated into endless rounds of “what are we going to do next?” or the inevitable “I’m bored!” It can feel exhausting, but with just a little planning ahead and scheduled “grown-up person time out” I think we could all survive the 6-8 weeks, just, maybe!

I think children should learn the art of being bored, initiating activities themselves and learning to rub along with their siblings with a reasonable amount of amiability, however for everyone’s sanity planned trips and structured activities can help to make the summer holidays that bit more interesting.

There are some great websites out there filled with loads of ideas whether it’s a holiday, day trip or the 2 hour let’s get out of the house scenario, these include;

www.northeastfamilyfun.co.uk

www.visitnorthumberland.com

www.daysoutwithkids.co.uk

www.letsgowiththechildren.co.uk

Looking through these websites for inspiration and experience from holidays gone by, I recommend a few that look perfect for occupying everyone, without breaking the bank.

Wheelbirks Ice-cream Parlour – Stocksfield

Firstly, my most favourite place to have ice cream, Wheelbirks Ice Cream Parlour, the owner Lucinda has created a perfect on the farm experience, the staff are always so friendly. The food is excellent, the ice cream is made with the milk from their herd of Jersey cows and there are extra activities including “Kickgolf” for when they get bored with letting off steam round the apple orchard!

Gibside

Gibside is an estate in the Derwent Valley. It is between Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear and Burnopfield, County Durham. Gibside was previously owned by the Bowes-Lyon family. It is now a National Trust property. The grounds have lots of areas to explore with various activities for children to get involved with, almost like a natural gym with surprises around every corner. There are lots of opportunities to observe wildlife around the estate and it is also dog friendly. The estate is open from 0600 to 2100 in the summer months.

Beamish Open-Air Museum Co Durham

A little further afield but definitely not to be missed is the amazing Beamish Open-Air Museum. It’s a living, working museum and tells the story of everyday life in the North East of England between 1820 – 1940. You could easily spend a whole day here, there are several places to eat including a traditional Fish & Chip shop and Victorian sweet shop. Prices per adult are £19 and children £11 (a family pass for 2adults 2 children is £49.50 and is unlimited for a year, dogs are allowed.

Treasure Trails

Treasure Trails are a printed trail that allow you to explore towns and villages on a self-guided tour. There are several available for the Northumberland area including Hexham, Corbridge and even one entitled “The Wicked Wizard of Alnwick”.

The easy to follow route will enable you to crack clues whist taking in the gorgeous surroundings of the county, ideal for all the family.

By solving the fiendish clues on the Trail, you’ll be discovering whodunit, finding the location of the buried treasure, or completing the mission like a true secret agent.

Trials can be downloaded or ordered online www.treasuretrails.co.uk Priced at 6.99 (plus any P&P), you only need one Trail booklet per family/group of up to 4-5 people.

And Finally, a Rainy-Day Idea…

 Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle

If this glorious weather fails to continue, there are places you can visit “indoors”, check out the websites for ideas, I can recommend Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books is a museum and visitor centre dedicated to children’s literature and based in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, close to the city’s newly regenerated quayside. It has various exhibitions and visits from children’s authors as well as plenty of sensory activities and of course story telling!! There is a café, so you can plan a short or longer trip out.

www.sevenstories.org.uk

 

Happy, stress free holidays everyone!! x