Thursday, 31 March 2011

Simply Charity! The Big Choc Tea Party

Simply Bows and Chair Covers is very proud to support this chocolatey charity event at Slaley Hall Hotel on  April 23rd at in aid of The Sick Children's Trust!

(Registered charity number: 284416).

The Sick Children's Trust runs seven 'Homes from Home' where families can stay free of charge, for as long as they need, whilst their child is undergoing treatment. There is a growing demand for these Homes from Home as children increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need.

We will be providing a whole host of chocolate cakes, cookies and treats washed down with a lovely cuppa or chocolate milk for the kids.  There is also a fabulous raffle to win some FAB prizes including Metro Radio Arena tickets for the whole family to Disney Live, free meals at local restaurants, gift vouchers, easter eggs, handmade gifts, a signed Newcastle United FC football shirt and of course plenty more chocolate prizes!

A kid’s corner will be in action with Easter crafts and games.

Simply Bows and Chair Covers will see you there!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Simply Pleased to Meet You: Joanne Smith, Franchisee

Hello, I'm Joanne Smith, franchisee for Simply Bows and Chair Covers, Lancashire.

At University I studied Law & Business but somehow ended up in the hotel & catering field!  Since leaving university I have worked as the Food & Beverage Manager at a prestigious venue in the Ribble Valley and more recently, as the Duty Manager of a Restaurant and Hotel.  When the Simply Bows and Chair Covers opportunity came along I jumped at the chance to run my own business.

Having organised many a wedding and event in my former roles, I decided I wanted to work 'behind the scenes' of a wedding and focus my skills on one area.  Simply Bows and Chair Covers seemed perfect!  And of course, I eventually got to use my degree!  Even from my initial research, I heard nothing but praise for the Simply Bows & Chairs Covers team and I knew it was something I wanted to be part of.

The main reason I enjoy working for myself is the freedom and independence.  I am not tied down to set working hours.  If a client wants to meet up during the day, evening or weekend I am free to do so.  I have also made some great contacts and friends, and continue to do so every day.  From a selfish perspective, I get to spend more time at home with my dog!

Apart from the main benefits of investing into a franchise, e.g. the proven business model and package, the major pluspoint is the support that is given from Sarah and the other franchisees.  As one of the more recent franchisees, I have found their help and support to be endless.  Everybody is in the same position and is more than happy to help you out.

I also love the nature of the work.  It allows me to be participate in the industry I know and love, whilst bringing out my creative side. We encourage our clients to decide on a theme for their event, this then allows me to work towards creating something that they will love.

Whilst classic looks using black and ivory will always look elegant and tend to suit most venues decor, it can also be vamped up to give a look the wow factor!  At the moment, I adore the vintage look, which is very on trend and easily put together using gold, ivory and black or mixed with hues of baby blue or dusky pink.

If I could dress a celebritys wedding, I would like to work with somebody who has lots of imagination, such as an author or writer.  Imagine what fun you could have working with somebody who makes up stories for a living!  Alternatively, celebrities like Victoria Beckham or Rihanna, who are known for their stylish and chic outfits would make great clients.

Contact Joanne at or on 07584 026981

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Simply Unique: The Rheged Centre, Penrith, Cumbria

Simply Bows and Chair Covers is proud to work with Rheged Centre located in Penrith, Cumbria.

They have 9 function rooms for all kind of events from meetings for 2 - 300 delegates to exhibitions and fayres (such as antiques, bead, arts and crafts, nostalgia and wedding - you name it) which attract thousands of visitors.  They do car launches, prestigious awards ceremonies, fashion shows, food summits, and even hosted Children in Need back in 2007 for the area.

Rheged can hold civil ceremonies and wedding breakfasts for up to 130 guests in their Pennine Gallery.  For the evening reception the centre is exclusively yours with facilities which host up to 400 guests (although their average weddding has around 200 guests for the evening.)

Rheged is a non residential venue, however they have their sister hotel "The Westmorland"  just 15 minutes away.  Rates start from £87 inc VAT BB per person

The company ethos is centered around using and promoting local produce wherever possible throughout their range of menus which include 3 separate café menus, conference buffets and 3 course wedding and evening functions.  They even have their own farm at Orton which provides beef and lamb for their menus!

Rheged boasts a 3d cinema, 9 speciality food and gift shops, a pottery painting workshop and a childrens' indoor and outdoor play area.

The Centre is the largest grass covered building in Europe and truly is a very unique venue from its architecture through to the attractions that it offers.  Rheged was the Winner of Enjoy England National Awards for Excellence in Business Tourism 2009.

For more details please visit their website or call us on 01768 868000

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Simply Lucky!

Simply Bows and Chair Covers are extremely excited to be taking part in a fabulous competiton with The Journal Live and Close House Hotel.  One very lucky couple will win an entire wedding worth £25,000!

The dream venue will be styled using beautiful chair covers from Simply Bows and Chair Covers.  What more could a bride to be want...

Ballroom for wedding and wedding breakfast
Guidance from wedding planner
Custom made wedding gown worth £1,200
Suits hire for groom and best man
Wedding rings worth £3,000
Full day wedding photography
Wedding flowers
Hair and beauty for bride, two bridesmaids and mother of the bride
Four course wedding breakfast
Two glasses of wine with the meal
One glass of sparkling wine for the Toast
Wedding cake
Club house for evening reception
Evening buffet
Evening Reception DJ
Overnight stay in Bridal suite with breakfast
18 rooms for overnight accommodation for your guests
An in addition: hen pamper party plus champagne afternoon tea; stag party including round of golf and spa treatments; red carpet arrival for guests; arrival drinks and canapés; chair covers and sashes; pianist/singer to play throughout the day; bridal dressing room; use of silver cake stand and cake knife; master of ceremonies; ivory table cloths and napkins; coffee, tea and chocolates; glass of sparkling wine for the toast and Sunday lunch for the bride and groom.

Click here to visit The Journal Live website to find out more about the competition and how to enter.

Simply Pleased to Meet You, Charlotte Harris, Franchisee


My name is Charlotte and I run the Newcastle office of Simply Bows and Chair Covers from my flat on the River Tyne.  My Mum, Jo Harris, also has a franchise being North Northumberland and we run both of these offices together as part of the family business.

I cover the Newcastle & North Tyneside area of the North East working with all the top venues from As You Like it, Jesmond Dene House and Newcastle Racecourse to name but a few.

I graduated from Loughborough University in 2006 having studied there for three years for my degree in Multi Media Textile Design.  After graduating I moved back to the North East working for Audi and then The Prince’s Trust as Event Manager.

My mum & I had used Simply Bows and Chair Covers for events that we had separately organized in our previous roles. The opportunity came up to buy the North Northumberland franchise and shortly after so did the Newcastle franchise. So we grabbed the opportunity to do something different incorporating our experience in the events industry as well as my design experience.

Loving it...

Being self-employed is fantastic and I have never looked back. It gives you the freedom to set your own goals & challenges and also the flexibility to choose your working pattern.

I also love how I can experiment with new fabrics and designs choosing what I think will sell to my clients. Simply Bows and Chair Covers has allowed me to go back to my creative side, which I love deeply but didn’t seem to have time to explore before. 

With the nature of our clients being predominately brides, I only ever get to deal with happy excited people who are a pleasure to work with.  Each client has a different idea and it is an honour to put all of these ideas together for them creating what a lot of brides have been dreaming about since they were a little girl!

Being part of a franchise means each Area Director has a support network around them and we all use each other’s strengths to build our businesses into a success.

My favourite!

I really love the flock-patterned fabric at the moment, I knew as soon as Mum & I saw the fabric in a warehouse, full of amazing designs that this was going to be popular. We have just increased our flock range so that we now have 5 different styles to choose from.

My favourite is the duck egg blue & antique gold flock runners, teamed up with a gold pin tuck taffeta runner underneath and the buttermilk linen. The textures work really well and give such an opulent look to any room.

 I wish...

This is going back many years but I would have loved to style the wedding reception of the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainer of Monaco. They met when she was the same age as me, but with the slight difference that she was and a movie star.  Their wedding took place on two ceremonies one on the 18th April 1956 & the other more religious ceremony-taking place the day after, as is tradition in Monaco.  Her wedding dress was a gift from the MGM Studio designed by Helen Rose. The chef hair stylist at MGM Studios, Sydney Guilaroff, also styled her hair for her wedding.  St Nicholas Cathedral was decorated in white lilacs, hydrangeas, lilies and snapdragons and was called the wedding of the century. The wedding literally sounds like a fairy tale from a movie, which in some respects it was! With vintage being a key trend at the moment it would be fabulous to go back in time and work with the look that we now class as ‘vintage’, when it wasn’t so ‘vintage’! I wonder if she ever thought about chair covers?!


All weddings are memorable in their own way, but often when you have had a lot to do with the look you feel very proud of how the bride’s ideas have become a reality and make already fabulous venues breath taking. 

One wedding that will stay in my memory was last summer and not long after I started with Simply Bows and Chair Covers. It was at the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth and the theme was orange which looked stunning.  When the bride stepped back into the  room she burst into tears over how amazing the room looked and because she didn’t realize it was going to be so perfect.  Moments like that really make you proud and show the hard work and attention to details really does pay off.

Party time!

We have dressed many charity balls such as the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund’s Sunflower Ball, and well established NE events such as Newcastle Racecourse’s Ladies Day & Northumberland Plate Day.  These are always fun and different to weddings. Often the clients want to theme the event around their corporate colours, which we have great fun in doing, making sure it matches just right and fits in with the company.

Simply the Best!

Simply Bows and Chair Covers provide a high quality service & products at affordable prices. We all dedicate our time and knowledge to ensure our clients always have the best & different products to choose from. We design and manufacture all of our linen in house so the client gets the best quality we can offer.

Although we are a franchise company, each area is lovingly run & owned by like-minded individuals, meaning you get the personal service as expected from a small business but the vast amount of choice expected from a large company.

Get in touch...

I am always contactable by either email or phone 07595034990.

If you are getting married, organizing a party or corporate event in the Newcastle area & would like to make an appointment please do get in touch.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Simply Different: As You Like It, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Simply Bows and Chair Covers’ Newcastle Franchise is proud to work with As You Like It, Eating House, Bar & Terrace in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

As You Like It is set over 3 sprawling floors featuring 4 stunning bars, an elegant garden terrace, Jesmond’s most beautiful restaurant, the city’s best food & drinks menu, “The Supper Club” (open ‘til 2am every Friday & Saturday) and last but not least “Frangipani” their extraordinary chintz free function room. The jewel in their crown, Frangipani is officially the largest function room in Jesmond & its glamour has earned it the award of 7th sexiest venue in the world by the Observer 2010.

As one of the most striking venues in the country, As You Like It is the perfect choice for a Wedding Day. They are fully licensed for civil ceremonies and whether it’s an intimate affair for 20 people or a lavishly large celebration for 250, their experienced team deliver a 5 start treatment every time.

They can tailor their packages to suit your individual needs and can also recommend some great places nearby if you and your guests want to stay the night in town.

They also cater for events both large and small from gatherings for 14 people in their beautiful private dining room, to full venue fashion shows for up to 500 people.

They have the finest wines, ales and scrumptious cocktail menu available plus a fabulously delicious Bar and Restaurant menu available which comprises locally sourced food -nothing but the best for As You Like It's customers.

Do You Like It?

- Award winning food
-Chintz free function room
-Late License (2.00am)
-4 bars set over 3 floors
-Garden Terrace
-Fully licensed for civil ceremonies

As You Like It!

For more information visit their website, or to arrange a viewing please contact them on 0191 281 2277.
As You Like It are also holding two  "Anything but Typical"  Wedding Fayres on Saturday 9th April or Saturday 2nd July. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Simply Pleased to Meet You: Kristy Giblin, Simply Bows Franchisee

I am Kristy Giblin, 26, and run the West Northumberland and Cumbria area of Simply Bows and Chair Covers. I'm bubbly blonde (now!) and a perfectionist.

I studied hotel and business management with wedding and event management at Sheffield Hallam University and went on to work in event and wedding management in some of the best hotels in the North of England including Rudding Park Hotel and Langley Castle Hotel.

When planning my own wedding I could not find a supplier in the whole of the North of England who could provide me with something that ‘little bit different’ until I met Sarah the MD of Simply Bows and Chair Covers! Not only did I immediately hire Simply Bows and Chair Covers for my wedding but I enquired into this exciting business and was delighted to discover that I could become part of it! Two months later I had joined the team and bought my own franchise.
I love having the freedom to decide what I do each day but most of all I love having the scope to let my creativity run wild and create some spectacular designs.
I love the vintage village fete style weddings that are very popular this year… pastel colours, embroidered overlays and bunting.

We are currently organising a Big Chocolate Tea Party in aid of the Sick Childrens Trust and are creating an enchanting design! Think ‘Lark Rise to Candelford meets Alice in Wonderland’!

I love designing and dressing weddings that have a unique theme such as Marie who married at North Lakes Hotel in Penrith. Her and her now hubby are groupies who follow around a band all over the world and who are also attending the wedding. Their love of music doesn’t stop there as their love of the band Deep Purple was the theme for their wedding… we dressed the tables with gorgeous deep purple pin tuck taffeta overlays with a black flock runner over each. The chairs were then dressed with a double bow of black and deep purple and finished off with a ‘rock butterfly’ in black and silver and silver charger plates completed this rock theme perfectly!
I think customers should choose Simply Bows and Chair Covers because we don’t just provide linen or tie bows. We provide a bespoke creative service and offer a vast range of colours and fabrics with some fantactic accessories to accentuate the look.

Twitter: SimplyBowsNE_NW
Facebook: Kristy SimplyBows
Mob: 07704790490

Monday, 14 March 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Simply Luxury: Rockliffe Hall, County Durham

Simply Bows and Chair Covers is proud to be associated with Rockliffe Hall, located in Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington, County Durham.  This is a venue that thoroughly deserves its 5 Star AA rating!

Set in 375 acres of countryside with a World class Spa, 18 Hole Championship Golf Course (the longest in the UK) and luxurious rooms and suites, Rockliffe is home to Michelin starred Chef Kenny Atkinson and boasts a choice of three dining experiences.

Rockliffe for Love

Rockliffe Hall believes that every wedding should be different. At Rockliffe (fully licensed for civil ceremonies), their unique setting, relaxed atmosphere, understated grandeur and choice of venues, together with a dedicated team to look after you, ensure your wedding day is truly individual. It could be an intimate ceremony for half a dozen friends in the elegant Morning Room, or a grand occasion for 200 guests in the Rockliffe Suite. For a dramatic backdrop, you could choose the marble-pillared entrance hall or, for sheer romance, make your vows under the ivy-covered Garden Arch. Rockliffe have a choice of private dining rooms whether you want a formal banquet or a simple buffet. The hotel can arrange all the extras, too. And, because no two weddings are held on the same day, it truly is your wedding day.

In addition to their standard packages outlined below, they offer a bespoke service to help you create a unique celebration especially for you.

Access to the fabulous gardens and grounds for photographs
A dedicated Wedding Planner
Bridal party changing room
Complimentary overnight stay for the bride and groom on their wedding night
Personalised menus, place cards and a table plan
Red carpet reception
Wedding menu tasting for yourselves and four guests
Use of their cake stand and knife
White linen, napkins and chair covers
Room hire for your wedding breakfast providing there are a minimum of 60 adult guests. In cases where this number is not met, there will be a room hire charge applicable
Complimentary parking for your wedding guests. 

The Speilman from £108 pp
A glass of champagne cocktail, tray served on arrival
Three course wedding breakfast
Tea, coffee and petit fours
Two glasses of house wine served with your wedding breakfast
A half bottle of mineral water for each guest
A glass of sparkling wine to toast the Bride and Groom

The Pilmore from £118 pp
A glass of champagne cocktail and canapés, tray served on arrival
Three course wedding breakfast
Tea, coffee and petit fours
Two glasses of house wine served with your wedding breakfast
A half bottle of mineral water for each guest
A glass of champagne to toast the Bride and Groom

The Waterhouse from £128 pp
A glass of champagne and canapés, tray served on arrival
Four course wedding breakfast
Tea, coffee and petit fours
Two glasses of house wine served with your wedding breakfast
A half bottle of mineral water for each guest
A glass of champagne to toast the Bride and Groom

Rockliffe for Work

Rockliffe Hall doesn't just do weddings well! Business at Rockliffe means having the peace to concentrate and time to think that busy lives often lack. Throw in 21st-century communications technology, easy parking, guaranteed privacy - plus a round of golf when the going gets tough - and what’s not to like? Rockliffe has eight meeting rooms, from the Old Hall’s Board Room, with space for 10 people, to the Rockliffe Suite seating 250 delegates. Many have an outdoor terrace, views over the grounds and a private entrance; all are wired for smooth business presentations. Refreshments, meals and free secretarial facilities are all part of their service.

And how about a spot of fishing, shooting, even white water rafting or car racing at Croft International Circuit, to add an extra dimension to your business plans? Rockliffe's grounds also offer an ideal setting for team-building exercises.

Rockliffe for Dining

What do you fancy? A four-course dinner or a steak sandwich; stone-baked pizza or a smoked haddock salad? Or maybe a glass of champagne and a cream tea? Rockliffe Hall's guests are individuals so their three restaurants cater for all tastes.

Kenny Atkinson brings his Michelin-star style to The Orangery with seasonal, locally-sourced dishes and a daily-changing Market Menu.

The Waterhouse Bistro is bright and buzzy with a light and modern touch to its food; and the Clubhouse fills the hunger gap with British classics, from bacon butties to chargrilled ribeye steak - and does a terrific Sunday lunch.

The Morning Room is a pretty space for afternoon tea - the terrace, too, when the weather is warm - while the dramatic colours of the Cocktail Lounge make the perfect spot for pre- and after-dinner drinks.

Rockliffe for Play

With one of Europe’s longest, and most challenging, golf courses – designed by Marc Westenborg; Golf Course Architect for the world renowned Golf Course Architecture firm, Hawtree Ltd. – golfing at Rockliffe is an exhilarating day out. And with five different tee positions, beginners to hardened tour professionals can enjoy the test. Set on the banks of the River Tees, the 350-acre course features lakes, wetland and woodland to add to the experience.

Rockliffe's golf concierges take care of the details, parking your car, cleaning your shoes and clubs, thus ensuring you can concentrate on your game - and, at the 18th hole, walk straight off the course into the Spike Bar for a well-earned drink.

“Rockliffe can host a Ryder Cup in the future, I’ve no doubts about that. It is one of the finest courses in the UK” Graeme Storm European Tour Professional

Rockliffe for Rest

Rockliffe Hall features 61 beautifully appointed guest bedrooms, each designed to offer your guests the ultimate in luxury and comfort set in a stunning location overlooking its beautiful golf course and surrounding countryside overlooking the River Tees.

Rockliffe the Best

Rockliffe Hall is the only 5 star hotel, golf and spa resort in the North East of England.  It’s their facilities, service and staff that set them apart from others.

Within 14 months of opening:

AA 5 Star Status
3 AA Rosettes
Gold winner of the North East Business Tourism Awards
Silver winner of TASTE, North East Tourism
Silver winner of Customer Excellence, North East Tourism Awards
Golf winner of Conde Nast Johansens MICE Awards (Europe)
Finalist for the Professional Beauty Awards
5 Bubbles with the Good Spa Guide
Finalist for the Meet England Awards in April  

You can read more about the venue on their website or by contacting a member of the Sales Team on (01325) 729999 or visit Rockliffe Hall, Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington, County Durham DL2 2DU.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Simply Pleased to Meet You: Lucinda, Simply Bows Franchisee for Sunderland & Teeside

Hello, I'm Lucinda Thompson, and I am Area Director of Sunderland and Teesside. 

Lucinda - Franchisee

My friends would describe me as, loyal, gobby and energetic!

After graduating from Northumbria University with a BA (hons) in Business Management, I worked in events and marketing organising many charity events.

I took on the franchise as I saw it as a great opportunity for me to showcase my creative flare and I have always wanted to work in the wedding industry. My father has always been self employed and I have seen at first hand the benefits or working for yourself. I am also a keen horse rider and being self employed has enabled me to manage my time so that I can spend more time enjoying my hobbies.

Being a Simply Bows franchisee is great. I have learnt so much in the last year and we have a great support network. I am proud of the brand, what we do and have achieved, and I am very happy to be a part of it.

My favourite style of what we do is the new Gold Flock Organza as seen in picture attached. The flock organza is great when trying to create a ‘vintage’ theme.

Gold Flock Organza

I think the one celebrity wedding that would be fabulous to dress is The Royal Wedding. To dress a wedding of that size and status would be incredible.

The most memorable wedding that I have dressed was for Caroline Mcmann who got married on New Years Eve at Crathorne Hall. Caroline chose white chair covers with a double organza sash in Willow Green tied with ivory, Adam Prest created a stunning centre piece with white amaryllis flowers in a cubed glass vase filled with acorns. The room looked beautiful!

Double organza sash in willow green with ivory

I am not married but can not wait until I get the chance to dress my own wedding. I would choose our ivory jacquard chair covers and have matching table linen. My centrepiece would be tall vase with white flowers and vintage tea light holders surrounding the bottom of the vase.

Other than dressing weddings I have also dressed Wynyard’s Hall New Years Eve Ball. We did black chair covers with a gunmetal silver sash, Wynyard used their own table linen. It looked lovely.

Black chair covers with silver grey gunmetal sash

I think you should choose Simply Bows as we provide high quality linen which no other chair cover company provide. Our attention to detail is what makes us different to our competitors and providing a fantastic customer service.

Simply Bows and Chair Covers blog readers can get in touch with me via email or via phone on 07909 920 527.

Lucinda covers:

Seaham Hall
Roker Hotel
Sunderland Marriott
National Glass Centre
Lumley Castle
Durham County Cricket Ground
Wynyard Hall
Hardwick Hall
Wynyard Rooms
Crathorne Hall
Rushpool Hall
Gisborough Hall
Thistle Hotel
Middlesborough Football Club
Sedgefield Race Course
Redcar Racecourse
Grinkle Park
Staincliffe Hotel
Judges Hotel
Treebridge Hotel
Grand Hotel Hartlepool
Sporting Lodge
Shotten Hall
Pullman Lodge

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Simply By Invitation: Close House Wedding Open Day

Close House Hotel is a privately owned, elegant and beautiful 18th century mansion set in stunning Northumberland countryside.

Located within 10 minutes’ drive from Newcastle international airport and the city centre, this is an exceptional place to escape for business and pleasure.

Whether it is a weekend break, a celebration with family or friends; a few relaxing days of golf, or maybe a business event that needs a professional and productive venue; Close House can offer all the facilities you need.

Throughout the hotel you will find the finest comforts – from the elegant Champagne Lounge and Bar to the luxurious guests bedrooms, to the gastronomic heart of Close House Bewickes Restaurant.

On Sunday 6th March 2011 Close House are having a wedding open day, by invitation only.  Simply Bows and Chair Covers will have a number of tables on display along with flowers from

Please contact the venue for further information.