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An evening of classical music in a stately setting…

An evening of classical music in a stately setting…

Fans of classical music, opera and musical theatre are in for a treat next month as Sandon Hall plays host to two talented artists in one evening, in the form of young classical crossover artist Faith Tucker, and acclaimed concert pianist Allan Schiller. The evening of divine music will take place on Friday, 20th July with the hall’s stately saloon offering an elegant backdrop to this intimate concert.

When it comes to the performers, Faith Tucker is a star on the rise. A junior student at the renowned Birmingham Conservatoire, her strong Soprano voice and natural stage presence belie her years, and have seen her conquer major concert halls and venues throughout the UK, performing both classical arias in their original languages and musical theatre.
Faith’s repertoire covers a broad range of musical styles, and during the evening the audience can expect a diverse programme – including arias such as Pavarotti’s ‘Nessun Dorma’, George Bizet’s ‘Habanera’ from the opera Carmen, la donna e mobile from Rigoletto, Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Arms of an Angel’ and Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ – to name but a few.
Sharing the bill with Faith is Allan Schiller; one of the most accomplished concert performers in the United Kingdom who has performed everything from sonatas to concertos with some of the world’s finest orchestras.

From a child prodigy making his debut in Leeds Town Hall at the tender age of ten, Allan performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and gave concerts throughout his teens before, in 1961, becoming the first British pianist to win a scholarship to study at the Moscow Conservatoire. On his return to England in 1965, Allan’s career flourished and was in demand for many concerts including many regional recital tours and concerto engagements with leading British orchestras and famous conductors including Solti, Haitink and Fruhbeck de Burgos, together with playing for numerous BBC broadcasts.
With a lifetime of international tours under his belt, Allan has earned a reputation as a world-class performer and has played at the commemorations of the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death in Salzburg and Capetown; and for HM the Queen and HRH Price Phillip at Balmoral Castle.
The chance to see a world-class performer of this calibre alongside a young lady set for stardom on the same evening and in such an exclusive venue is rare, and tickets are on sale now priced at just £20. Due to limited numbers, the evening is strictly ticket only and licenced bar will operate throughout. Tickets and further details click here.

June 21, 2018

    Cast your vote in our ‘Win a Wedding Reception’ competition

    Cast your vote in our ‘Win a Wedding Reception’ competition

    Three Staffordshire couples facing the public vote as our competition to win a wedding reception at the hall enters its final stage.

    Earlier this month, the finalists joined us to enjoy a tour of the venue and take part in a short video interview that will help members of the public decide how to cast their vote.

    Those who made the final cut are Tom Savage and Amber Griffiths of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Lisa McCandliss & Stacey Hulse of Stone and Stafford-based Cameron Howard-Wight and Charlotte Hughes. The couple who accrue the most public votes between Saturday 16th June and Saturday 30th June will win exclusive use of the hall and gardens on Saturday, 27th April 2019 for a wedding reception party.

    The prize package, worth in excess of £12,000 will see award-winning caterer Vanilla in Allseasons provide arrival canapés, a three-course wedding breakfast for up to 40 guests and evening sausage and bacon baps for up to 80 guests. The Estate Boys will offer a drinks package including arrival drink, a third of a bottle of wine per guest during the wedding breakfast, Cava or Prosecco for toasts and a paid bar service throughout, in addition to a 5-hour DJ set with music tailored to the couple’s favourite genre. Photography by New Road Photography, toasts led by The Staffordshire Toastmaster and venue dressing service courtesy of Vintage Venue Dressing complete the comprehensive prize.

    Details of each of the three couples, including their proposal stories and video interviews available here, where you can also cast your vote Voting will close on Saturday 30th June at midnight.

    June 16, 2018



      FLOWER POWER FAIRS will be making a welcome return to Sandon Hall, Sandon near Stafford on Sunday 10 June from 11am-4pm.
      The plant fair is held within the gardens and offers gardeners a choice of thousands of plants from some of the most respected Northern and Midland plant specialists and growers. Plants on sale will range from herbaceous perennials to peonies, alpines, shrubs and ornamental trees, grasses and summer bulbs to heuchera and hardy fuchsia.

      Where else could you come and wander through delightful gardens and buy quality plants directly from the growers at sensible prices? All the nurseries offer British grown plants, grown by themselves and definitely suitable for your gardens. All shapes, sizes and prices to suit all pockets.

      Refreshments are served all day in the Orangery and parking is free. Dogs welcome in the park but not in the gardens. The gardens will be looking particularly resplendent with their magnificent collections of azaleas, rhododendrons and other unusual trees and shrubs.

      Entry to the plant fair is included in the REDUCED gardens admission price of £3.00 and children are free. Visitors are most welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the gardens.

      No advance booking required simply pay on the gate!

      June 6, 2018

        Sparkling Afternoon Tea with Lola Lamour

        Sparkling Afternoon Tea with Lola Lamour

        In aid of Staffordshire Breast Cancer Now

        Sunday 19th August 2018 @ 3.00pm

        Staffordshire Breast Cancer Now invite you to enjoy an afternoon tea with added sparkle in the stately surroundings of Sandon Hall.

        In addition to indulging your tastebuds in traditional English style, you’ll enjoy the dulcet tones of Staffordshire-based authentic 1940s singer, Lola Lamour, who will provide entertainment throughout. What better way to while away a summer Sunday afternoon, all whilst raising funds for a worthy cause?

        (Tables of 6, 8 or 10 with smaller parties by prior arrangement)


        Download booking form here

        Sandon-Hall-afternoon-tea-Invite-Booking-Form.docx (15 downloads)

        May 23, 2018

          Win a wedding reception competition – the shortlist!

          Win a wedding reception competition – the shortlist!

          We are delighted to say that we had a fantastic response to our competition to win a wedding reception at Sandon Hall – our inbox was flooded with lovely proposal stories from couples wanting to be in with the chance of winning this prize of a lifetime!

          There were stories that made us chuckle, that brought tears to our eyes and others that were just mind-blowingly romantic. It made our job of picking just fourteen couples to go through to the shortlist very difficult – but here the couples who made the cut and will now be put through the judging panel made up of representatives from the Hall, The Estate Boys bar service and Vanilla in Allseasons caterers – who are both supplying major elements of the prize package – click here to find out more about the competition prizes.

          From these fourteen just three final couples will go through to the public vote on social media – watch this space for news!


          Good luck to all our couples – watch this space for the final three!

          May 17, 2018

            Sandon Hall’s Win A Wedding Competition – ENTRIES NOW CLOSED!

            Sandon Hall’s Win A Wedding Competition – ENTRIES NOW CLOSED!

            Win your wedding reception at Sandon Hall…

            We are offering one lucky couple the chance to win the prize of a lifetime!

            Sandon Hall has joined forces with award-winning caterer Vanilla in Allseasons and The Estate Boys bar service to offer this fantastic prize – worth in excess of £12000 – catering for up to 40 guests in the daytime and 80 in the evening. The wedding will take place on Saturday 27th April 2019 and the winning couple won’t pay a penny for venue hire, catering or DJ*.

            The Prize:

            The Venue:

            A neo-Jacobean mansion set amid rolling Staffordshire countryside, Sandon Hall is the country house wedding venue dreams are made of.

            Still the private family home of the Earls of Harrowby, Sandon combines elegant country house interiors with 50 acres of formal garden and breathtaking views. The entire house is exclusively yours for your big day and, in addition to holding a licence for civil ceremonies in the Library, Victorian Conservatory or outside in the Temple Garden, the estate’s own Grade II listed church is just a short drive – or carriage ride – from the hall’s imposing entrance gates for those who want a traditional church wedding. The prize package includes:

            • Exclusive use of Sandon Hall for wedding reception on Saturday 27th April 2019
            • Use of house and grounds for photography
            • Use of conservatory for arrival drinks and canapés
            • Use of Saloon for wedding breakfast and evening party until Midnight

            Value: £6,750

            The Food:

            The Vanilla in Allseasons team takes great pride in providing beautiful food, genuine hospitality and exceptional service. The prize package will include:

            • Exceptional service courtesy of a multi award-winning team
            • Arrival canapés
            • Delicious three-course set meal for up to 40 guests
            • Cutlery, crockery and table linens
            • Bacon and sausage baps for up to 80 guests at evening reception

            Value: £2,650

            The Drinks:

            The Estate Boys have earned a reputation for providing a five-star service – from reception drinks through to their extensive wine list and paid bar service. The prize package will include:

            • Arrival drink for every guest – choice of Pimms and Lemonade (Garnished with Strawberry and Mint), Gin and Elderflower cooler (Garnished cucumber and Mint) or House Prosecco/Cava
            • A third of a bottle of house red or white wine per person served with the wedding breakfast
            • A toasting drink of house Prosecco or Cava per guest
            • Waitered service for paid drinks and extensive wine list during wedding breakfast
            • Full evening paid bar service with a range of stunning cocktails on offer

            Value: £1,000

            The DJ:


            The Estate Boys take entertaining your guests as seriously as anything else they do. Their passion for great parties ensures all musical genres are catered for and most importantly everybody has fun!

            Whether you’re after a classic wedding disco, the best 70’s funk and soul or you happen to be a Bride who wants to celebrate with an Ibiza twist, we can give you the perfect fusion of atmosphere and iconic music.

            Utilising the latest Dennon Prime Series and Pioneer Nexus mixing equipment (Laid-back Luke, DJ Tiesto) alongside industry leading RCF and Avolites sound and lighting technology. With the Estate Boys at the helm the sky really is the limit on your wedding day! The prize package includes:

            • Tailored play list from The Estate Boys to encompass your favourite musical genres
            • 5 hours of live DJ (e.g. 7pm until midnight)
            • Industry-leading DJ booth – choice of white L.E.D look with lighting effects or rustic wooden effect
            • 2 x Evox8 pro (12in subs) Speakers & Pioneer XDJ sound equipment
            • Range of sound to light lighting effects
            • Mood up lighting around DJ booth
            • Smoke Machine (if required)

            Value: £500

            The Extra Touches:


            • Toasts led by The Staffordshire Toastmaster
            • Photography package courtesy of New Road Photography
            • Venue dressing service by Vintage Venue Dressing


            To enter…

            Tell us the story of your proposal – in no more than 500 words! Submit via email to [email protected] along with any photos or video footage of the occasion to support your entry. Postal entries to Wedding Competition, Sandon Hall, Sandon, Stafford ST18 0BZ

            Entries close at noon on Friday 4th May 2018 and the shortlisted couples will be announced on Saturday 5th May 2018 during Sandon Spring Fair at the hall.

            By submitting your entry you consent to Sandon Hall using any images and detail in press and social media announcements should you be shortlisted.

            *Please note prize does not include ceremony, Bridal party clothing, room decoration, flowers or entertainment beyond the DJ package. The winning couple must arrange all of these elements at their own expense. Drinks over and above the allocated package will be available via a paid bar service.

            **Amends and upgrades to the prize packages may be negotiated with the supplier independently at additional cost to the winning couple.


            Click here for competition Terms & Conditions

            March 23, 2018
            • competition

            • free wedding

            • stately home

            • stunning venue

            • Wedding

            • Win a Wedding

            Sandon Hall prepares for the wedding season ahead

            Sandon Hall prepares for the wedding season ahead

            The Gardens at Sandon Hall, the much-loved stately home of the Earls of Harrowby for almost 250 years, are being prepared for the wedding season.  With our first of the season happening at the end of March and our Wedding Showcase on 8th April our Head Gardner Grant and his team have been busy at work in the 50 acres of ornamental gardens.

            The promise of spring is beginning to show in the garden. The snowdrops, hellebores & cyclamen are in full bloom, the first daffodils are opening into flower, the tulips are just starting to push through the soil & the buds are swelling on the trees & shrubs. We are busy mulching the flower beds & shrub borders with compost ready for the growing season. Our regular Oak tree farm volunteers have been in twice this week raking up the remaining autumn leaves which will eventually turn into leaf mound to be reused back in the garden.

            Our plans for 2018 is to create a potager (ornamental fruit & vegetable garden) within the Temple Garden. Work started on this in January, by clearing the overgrown rhododendron’s, buddleia & brambles from inside the orangery & around the whole perimeter.  Next, the team tackled the overgrown yew hedge bringing it back into shape. Then scraped off all the grass which covered the entire upper planting beds revelling a symmetrical layout made from paving slabs.

            Into February, Grant and his team turned their attention to the middle section tackling stubborn weeds, removing overgrown hydrangeas & a tired looking Virginia creeper from the 100-year-old pergola & changing the square planting beds into circular beds.

            After weeks of looking through seed catalogues & tweaking the plan we now have the final design for this year. With a mixture of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers & edible flowers some of which will be permanent & some that’s are annuals changing seasonally. The greenhouse is already packed full of Ammi & sweet peas & we are just about the start sowing the vegetable seeds.

            The next stage is to dig over the planting beds & add lots of compost to give the plants the best start in life. It will be an ever-changing scene & will add a different dimension to the garden.

            Once completed this will be ideal for our outdoor civil ceremonies held in the fully licenced Temple Garden, which was first created 200 years ago. Why not come along and see how the team are getting along, either at our Wedding Showcase on 8th April or the Spring Fair in May, or have a special guided tour by Grant and his team at our next open day on 15th July; details of all our events can be found on our “What’s on” pages.

            February 26, 2018
            • Civil Ceremonies

            • Garden tour

            • gardens

            • open house

            • Staffordshire

            • stately home

            • wedding venue

            Wedding Traditions with surprising origins

            Wedding Traditions with surprising origins

            Many classic wedding traditions have, through the years, changed dramatically from their original meaning or purpose. Bouquets used to be garlic, tin cans on cars were pots and pans and veils kept the bride safe from the devil!

            At Sandon Hall we love seeing what traditions the couples choose for their special day. It’s also interesting to wonder where they came from.



            Once upon a time, the bridesmaids’ dresses would have been identical to the bride’s. But if they all looked similar, couldn’t you risk a terrible incident of mistaken identity with the groom kissing very much the wrong bride?

            Unlikely. However, this mistaken identity masquerade was actually the purpose of the outfits. Bridesmaids were put in similar dresses to the bride to act as decoys meant to fool any meddling spirits that were keen on making mischief.

            Over the years however, superstition waned and the bridesmaid’s veils got shorter as the bride’s grew longer. Eventually the common placed brightly coloured bridesmaids dresses came to life with the invention of new dyes, to some bridesmaid’s dismay!



            The same troublesome spirits that caused the bridesmaids to dress in the same outfits as the bride were also the reason for the veil. The Romans used fiery looking veils to give the ghouls a real fright.

            The veil also symbolised humility but eventually became an emblem of status in the Victorian era. The Victorians thought that the bigger the veil, the higher the status. This still applies to some extent today. The long, dramatic veil makes an impact and can look aristocratic. A shorter veil looks demure, symbolising the “blushing bride”.



            The clamouring of tins attached to a car’s bumper, bouncing along the road as the newlyweds drive away, swoons with classic movie romance. It, began as a French tradition of standing under a groom’s window, making a ruckus.

            It was called a charivari. When an out of town groom had taken a wife from a village, thus taking them away from the local boys, the villagers would shout outside his window at midnight until he gave them some compensation – a meal.

            This tradition was brought over to America in the 1600s and became the norm in some places regardless of whether or not the groom was from out of town. Eventually though, it seems that brides and grooms lost patience with having their wedding night interrupted and the pots and pans became tins and cans on car bumpers as an announcement to everyone around of a happy union.



            Have you even wondered how the tradition of carrying a bouquet started? Well, this is how. At a time when diseases like the black plague were around, people would carry garlic and rosemary bunches hoping the pungent smells would protect them from illness.

            This in turn became a symbol of good luck and thus, because of the well wishing that comes with celebrating the union between two people, it found its way into weddings.

            Over time people started adding other fragrant smells and appealing looking flowers to the bouquet.the garlic, dill or rosemary fading out of fashion. Different herbs have varying symbolic meanings and thus the idea of a lucky bouquet gained a firm foothold in weddings.

            January 26, 2017
            • Weddings

            Sandon Hall’s Guide to Styling Your Wedding

            Sandon Hall’s Guide to Styling Your Wedding

            With your spring wedding just around the corner, you’ll no doubt be looking to finalise. But even if you’re made lots of the big location and dining decisions, there’s still time to make the most of what is best about spring.

            Sandon Hall are here to help you tie up those loose ends and place those finishing touches with a guide to styling your spring wedding, including flowers, colour co-ordinating and watching out for wetter weather.




            Spring means rejuvenation and rebirth. As the ground thaws towards the end of January, the first spring flowers begin to appear. Daffodils are one of the first to emerge, sprouting it seems earlier each year. Inspired by their bright yellow petals, they marry beautifully with a spring country wedding.


            Daffodils can be featured in a couple of unconventional ways such as in wellington boots or tied in bunches with twine to be held by bridesmaids. More conventionally, they can be the table decorations or simply feature in photos in the country setting.


            Sandon Hall’s in-house florist Breige says that “cherry blossom for spring weddings that are later in the season are great for high impact displays. Alternatively, tulips with their many beautiful varieties make for lovely bouquets, especially when paired with scented narcissi”.




            Nature’s dominant colour is green – from leaves on trees and bushes to lily pads and wild grasses. But, while the darkness of evergreens and verdant new grass suggests life, they aren’t the ideal colours for your wedding.


            Instead, look for accents in teal or chartreuse. This can come in ribbons for the flower girls or in the bowties for the groomsmen. Various shades of green that also match well with greens are gold, ivory and lemony yellows.




            For the new year’s revival of life must come the key ingredients for growth, namely water and sunshine. Plenty of rain will come in the spring, especially in the country parts of England, nurturing the plants and flora.


            If you’re hoping to enjoy a spring wedding outdoors, perhaps to make the most of your venue with some memorable photos or the backdrop of luscious gardens, then you need a rainy day contingency plan.


            This means umbrellas.


            Obvious but simple, having enough umbrellas for your guests is a necessity if the forecast suggests even a spatter of rain. However, boring black umbrellas could look a bit corporate. Instead choose colourful umbrellas, matching your wedding theme or spring surroundings.


            If the rain does come down then you can make umbrellas a fun feature of your wedding, such as with an umbrella canopy.




            Sandon Hall, for example, with its ivory stone walls and period building is the perfect rustic setting to make the most of quintessential British flowers in its grounds and gardens. The period, neutral tones of the building allow it to pair with any colour theme you select.


            Additionally, a country wedding is the ideal spot to embrace the ever popular trend of revived vintage. From flower crowns to lace wedding gowns, Sandon Hall’s historical setting perfectly complements these spring time touches that also suit a spring wedding.


            With flowers in bloom and the sun (hopefully) shining, your wedding will truly feel like the celebratory start of a new beginning.

            January 26, 2017
            • Spring

            • Wedding

            • Wedding Styling

            The Wedding Speech: How to make it memorable

            The Wedding Speech: How to make it memorable

            Speeches are imperative at weddings. Whether you are a guest of honor, father of the bride, best man or bridesmaid, its a ceremonial must to make a toast for the newlyweds.

            The purpose of wedding speeches is to wish the married couple good luck for their future together. But delivering a toast for hundreds of wedding guests can be nerve racking. Public speaking is a common fear and the pressure to deliver a hilarious or emotionally heart-wrenching successful speech is high. Really high.

            To help ease your nerves and hit all the right notes, here are seven tips for making a memorable wedding speech – for all the right reasons.



            Preparing your speech, writing and practicing it ahead of time, is a must. Especially if you get nervous, practicing and knowing your lines will help you to feel more confident.

            Write flash cards with notes or a word by word script to help you deliver a coherent speech and follow your original line of thought if you get lost.



            A good toast entails balancing a suitable amount of jokes with more personal and sentimental details, while engaging the audience and keeping them interested.

            But time is also a crucial factor to keep in mind. No one wants to hear someone talk for more than ten minutes, much less over an hour long. A wedding is still a party and people want to have fun and celebrate, not sit in their chairs listening to a rambling speech.

            A 5-8 minute length is sufficient to convey any message and keep the momentum of the day going.



            Start your speech by introducing yourself and describing your relationship to the bride or groom. Weddings have hundreds of guests, so some attendees may not know who you are.

            Thank everyone who played a part in the ceremony, the bride and groom’s parents particularly. You should also comment on how lovely the bride looks, how lucky the groom is and how proud the parents must be, for example.



            Taking into consideration your audience, tell some funny details or stories about the bride, groom or couple. How they first met, humorous characteristics about their personalities or brief references to their childhood.

            Bear in mind, a wedding reception is not the place for inappropriate jokes or foul language. Keep the humour suitable for all guests and do not offend the bride or groom with embarrassing or crude material.



            Giving a speech is almost like telling a story. It should have a beginning, middle and end. Each line should be connected to the previous one to give your speech a good flow. This will also keep the guests focused on what you are saying, following your thought process.


            BE CREATIVE

            Try not to copy or use examples of wedding speeches found online. Even though they are great for inspiration, using your own material is preferable. It is always better to speak from the heart and express yourself in your own words.

            If you have good songwriting skills, replace the lyrics to same famous tunes and sing your wedding speech. It takes a bit more dedication and work but the result is extremely entertaining.



            Finish your speech by proposing a toast to the new couple and wishing them all the best for their journey together. Ask everyone to raise their glasses and drink to the groom and bride’s happiness.

            December 7, 2016
            • Speech

            • Wedding

            Any questions?

            Tel. 01889 508 004 | Email. [email protected]