Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Simply Popcake Crazy!

As 2011 is nearing it its end we have been looking back over a year of our blog. We hope we have brought you some interesting, creative, inspiring and exciting blog posts over the last 12 months and you have enjoyed joining us on our journey through our events, venues and supplier interviews.

We have discovered through our analytics and through your feedback that one of our most popular blog posts in 2011 was featuring the fabulous Popcake Kitchen... if you missed it check it out here: Popcake Kitchen. Due to the popularity of this particular article and indeed the popularity of Popcake's in the UK over the last 12 months we thought we would revisit the lovely Helen and Abby from Popcake Kitchen and take things one step further by taking part in one of their Popcake Workshops!

Popcakes make a fabulous addition to a wedding or event for special favours, place settings or even table centres... here are a few ideas....

And here is a sneak peek into Popcake Kitchen's Xmas Workshop! For more information on their workshops visit their facebook page. A fabulous day was had by all! Beautiful photography by Karen McGowran....

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Simply Celebrate: Simply Bows and Chair Covers celebrate 3 years of fabulous event dressing!

We cannot believe that Simply Bows and Chair Covers is celebrating it's 3rd birthday.... so much has happened in these three years and so much is yet still to come we're sure! Lets take a little look back over this exciting three year journey......

In January 2009 Sarah Pittnedrigh, MD of Simply Bows and Chair Covers set up the business from her home in Durham after organising her brothers wedding and being incredibly disappointed with the level of quality and service given when arranging the Chair Covers. Sarah quickly realised that with her previous experience and skills combined with sourcing great quality fabrics and colour ranges and providing the utmost in reliability and professionalism she could indeed fill a gap in the market for brides who simply wanted more from their Chair Cover supplier.

Sarah Pittendrigh
Within the early months of trading we were thrilled to be asked to supply many of the premier wedding venues and given preferred supplier status in the North east of England.

Through continued growth and interest in the brand nationally Sarah decided to franchise the company as this was an ideal way to supply demand, maintaining quality and consistency as only individuals with vast wedding and event experience were considered in order to ensure only industry professionals joined the brand enhancing the company's experience and expertise further and breathing new life and ideas in to our exciting company. In November 2009 Simply Bows and Chair Covers became Simply Bows and Chair Covers Franchised Ltd. and the first franchisee joined the company; Lucinda Thompson, Sunderland and Teeside Area Director. Offices that followed were West Northumberland and Cumbria, South Northumberland and County Durham, North Northumberland, Newcastle, North Yorkshire, Harrogate, Lancashire.  We now have 10 offices stretching from Aberdeen to Devon with plans to open in London Mayfair within the next month.

Over the last three years we are honoured to have been nominated and shortlisted for some fabulous awards. Some we have been finalists for and some we have won, both regionally and nationally. It is a privalidge to be nominated for these awards as they are largely voted for by our wedding industry peers and our brides.

We are thrilled with our achievements over the past three years and have gained some amazing testimonials from our clients (which can be viewed on our website). Our website and blog are nationally renowned (our website came 2nd to McDonalds in the Franchise Marketing Awards) and attract visitors and therefore enquiries from all over the world. So after an exciting three years, who knows what the next three years will bring. All we can say is.... watch..!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Simply Panoramic: Breathtaking views at the charming Heather Glen Country House Hotel

With beautiful views over the Eden Valley and set within its own 2.5 acre countryside grounds, Heather Glen Country House Hotel can offer you a fabulous location to celebrate your special day.

Located in the quiet village of Ainstable (just 20 mins from Carlisle), you will find this beautiful and traditional Country House, along with their new 120 seater Eden View restaurant and function room.

What ever the size of your celebration they provide a personal, dedicated service and can tailor the packages to suit you.

Offering brides exclusive use of the venue, Heather Glen allows couples to relax and enjoy their special day with family and friends in elegant surroundings including the country house bar, lounge area, Eden View restaurant, function room and dance/disco areas, the venue is also licensed for Civil Ceremonies.

Why not come along and see this fabulous venue and lots more fabulous suppliers including Simply Bows and Chair Covers Cumbria at their forthcoming wedding fayre?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Simply Unique: Fab vintage supplier showcase: Daisy The Vintage Ice Cream Van

At Simply Bows and Chair Covers we love to work with imaginative brides to create a truly unique wedding for them. Through us working closely with our brides and grooms we are often introduced to some fabulous and unique suppliers and we thought we would interview one of our favourites to share with you today....

What is company name? 

Daisy The Vintage Ice Cream Van
Tara in Daisy The Vintage Ice Cream Van

What is your line of business?

Daisy and I are hired for private events, parties, festivals, fetes and fayres stocked up with delicious luxury ice cream, sorbets, ice lollies, hot chocolate, Champagne or Hot Toddys, dressed in bunting and fresh flowers we cater and entertain in the best possible way.

How and why the company begin? 

The company grew out of a love for vintage and entertainment coupled with a having a chocolate company that suffered with an Easter heatwave.

Are you married? 
No still searching!

Why do brides come to you? 
Brides come to me for something a little bit different for their wedding which will be fun and memorable for them and their guests and adds to the feel of their special, personal day.
What is your favourite design and why?
I would have say 1950s designs and styles are my favourite.

What is the most popular item you supply and why? 
Ice cream cornets are my most popular Daisy treat and no matter what type of event or what area I am in the banoffee ice cream always comes out at the no1 choice, male and female, children and adults.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
From books and magazines and music but mainly from my customers who have the best ideas and suggestions.  I love that as a small company I can adapt and personalise the service and products I offer to suit different people.

What is in store for you in 2012

This year has been all about getting Daisy up and running, renovating the bodywork and working on the mechanics so she is able to take bookings further afield.  I am currently renovating her interior, installing a generator, new electrics, freezer, chiller, water system, lighting and sound system. I’m also taking licensing exam so I can apply for an alcohol licence for her and she can be a Champagne and cocktail bar too.  Next year will be all about weddings, parties, events and festivals, she’s booking so incredibly fast it’s looking like 2012 will be a very exciting year.

Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them? 

I love that all my clients are different they all bring their own stamp to their day and their Daisy booking, they are all dream clients.

 What would be your top tips for brides when searching for a supplier in your industry?   

Look around at lots of different suppliers to start with and then start narrowing it down, ask for quotes and samples if possible, ask as many questions as possible and go with your gut instinct, if a supplier is off hand or difficult to contact strike them off and move on.  You need to feel you can trust your suppliers and be sure they will deliver, you don’t need the stress of chasing them up or the disappointment if they do a sloppy job.  Always remember you are the client.
Where are you based and where can you supply?

I am based in Berkshire, Daisy can get to events up to 100 miles away under her own steam, further afield she has to hop on a trailer.

How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order? 

You can contact me through the website the Booking Enquiry page asks for a few details that enable me to put a costing together for your event.  Or you can email me at or give me a call to discuss your requirements on Tel: 01344 005410

Why do you like to work with Simply Bows and Chair Covers

I think Simply Bows and Chair Covers' use of design and colour is well thought out and quality is second to none. I really enjoy seeing pictures of all of their different events and all of the fabulous ideas and original designs that are available from the Simply Team.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Simply Royal: Pippa Middleton Replica Bridesmaid Dress!

Pippa Middleton stole the show and made headlines of her own after the Royal Wedding with 'that dress' and for the male population 'that bottom'!

The Original Pippa Dress

Brides all over the world began to not look for a replica of Kate's wedding dress but searched for a replica of Pippa's to be worn not as a bridesmaid dress but as a bride's dress. Well bride's need look no further as high street department store Debenhams has launched a replica of the £20,000 Alexander McQueen gown. The £170 cowl neck gown with cap sleeves and a long column of buttons running down the length of the back of the gown is a fabulous replica of the famous dress and is set to be a hit with bride's and bridemaids alike.

Debenhams recreate the Pippa Dress

Well done Debenhams for making it so affordable too!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Simply Special: Ribby Hall

Located in the heart of the Lancashire in more than 100 acres of countryside the delightful Ribby Hall is a venue we are thrilled to work so closely with. Their idyllic location is just 10 minutes drive from the beaches of Blackpool and Lytham St. Annes and only a short drive away from the city of Preston. Located in fabulous landscaped grounds they are licensed for civil ceremonies and can cater for receptions for up to 300 people. In addition to three wedding suites and a Summer House for outdoor ceremonies they also have luxury cottages, pine lodges and a new adult-only Spa Hotel.

   We decided to interview Ribby Hall's events team to bring to you lots of great information, inspiration and some great images to really give you a feel for what this exciting venue and its sparkling new spa have to offer..

What facilities does your venue boast?
-We are a village covering 106 acres and boast the following facilities:
-Conference & Banqueting centre with 3 large suites and 12 small conference suites
-Unique Tree House facility for meetings 
-Wide range of accommodation, detailed below
-9 hole golf course
-Mini golf
-Sports & Leisure Centre – swimming pool, badminton, tennis, squash, over 70 fitness classes and gym. 
-Equestrian Centre 
-Entertainment venues – Bar & Grill, Harrisons Bar
-Dining facilities – The Restaurant, Bar & Grill, Starbucks, The Bistro and Papa Johns

Does your hotel cater for weddings?  If so, what numbers can you accommodate and what packages do you offer?
Our Banqueting Centre is perfect for weddings, we have 3 suites – The Garden Room, The Rowan Suite & the Woodland Suite. We also have the facility for outdoor ceremonies in the Summer House. We have a range of wedding packages available, depending on time of year and guest numbers. We can accommodate up to 350 guests.
What about events, both large and small, what numbers can you accommodate?
We can accommodate events with numbers from 50 – 360.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  What accommodation is on offer?
Yes guests can stay on the village we have the following available:
-New 5* Spa Hotel, adult only with 42 bedrooms
-174 cottages accommodating up to 6 guests per cottage
-6 Scandinavian pine lodges accommodating up to 6 guests, including outdoor hot tub
-The Motel, including 8 suites accommodating 2 people. 
-The White House – luxury House accommodating up to 14 guests, including outdoor hot tub
-The Coach House – Luxury House accommodating up to 12 guests

     Tell us about your food/ menus/ wines...
All our menus are created using locally sourced, fresh produce. We also grow our own fruit & vegetables in the Ribby Garden. We can accommodate any dietary requirements and can work with any customer to build their own perfect menu. We have an array of wine, specifically tasted and chosen by our food & beverage managers to ensure that all customers have lots of fine wines to choose from.

Do you have any sporting/ spa/ golf facilities on site?
Yes we have a 9 hole golf course, mini golf and a New 5* Spa Hotel.

What sets your venue apart from others?
We are a unique venue with lots to offer, Guests don’t just come here for the day; they stay for the whole weekend and enjoy the whole village experience.

Anything special that we should know about the venue?

-New multi million pound Spa Hotel
-3 amazing suites that suit different styles & tastes
-Civil ceremonies, including outdoor in our Summer House
-We grow our own fruit & vegetables in the Ribby Garden
-Locally sourced produce for all menus
-Male & female orientated activities on site, perfect for pre & post wedding get togethers      
-Heavy social calendar- see website for more details

Where can we get more information/ read more/ contact the venue? (web address and contact details)
01772 685858

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Simply Exciting: Finalist in The 2012 Wedding Industry Awards

The Wedding Industry Awards recognise and reward excellence in wedding suppliers across 19 categories, both regionally and nationally and Simply Bows and Chair Covers are thrilled to be announced as finalists in the Northern Region Category for Special Touches.


We would like to say a BIG thanks to all our brides who voted for us! Not only are we thrilled that we excelled your expectations on your big day but are also very grateful that you took the time to go online and vote for us too... it is very much appreciated.

Now we just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed until the end of the month when the winners will be announced!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Simply Supplier Spotlight: The FABULOUS Peggy Porschen Cakes.. Yuuuummmm

This week Simply Bows and Chair Covers are delighted to give you a sneek peek into the fabulous cake-tastic world of Peggy Porschen Cakes where taste and breathtakingly gorgeous design go hand-in-hand with impeccable service. From the most exquisite wedding cakes to tailor-made celebration confections, Peggy creates irresistible works of art suited to every special occasion....

Peggy Porschen- London

In a nutshell- what do Peggy Porschen do? 

We make Cakes and Confectionary and offer Baking and Decorating Master Classes

  How and why did the company begin?

Fascinated by baking and cake decorating from childhood, I (Peggy) moved from my home in Germany to London in 1998 to study at the internationally renowned cookery school Le Cordon Bleu. After successfully completing ‘The Grand Diploma of Cuisine & Patisserie’, I worked as a pastry chef at London's Lanesborough Hotel and celebrated caterer Rhubarb Food Design, followed by a position as cake decorator for German master-baker Gerhard Jenne, proprietor of Konditor & Cook.
Quickly developing my own style, I set up my own business in 2003 and founded Peggy Porschen Cakes, a bespoke design company that not only reflected my life-long love of baking but also celebrates beautiful craftsmanship, inspired by romance, fashion and femininity. Delightedly I have since become one of the most prominent and pioneering names in contemporary cake design renowned among my peers for my romanticism through my work.

Are you married?

Yes to my Business partner Bryn.

  Why do brides come to you?

Renowned for irresistibly pretty and elegant designs that are not only visually stunning but also taste delicious, we have acquired an enviable client list including many celebrities, Royals and members of high society. Our cookies and cakes have graced many A-list events such as Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball, Stella McCartney’s wedding, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ 70th birthday, Damien Hirst’s auction at Sotheby’s and parties for Sting & Trudie Styler, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, all of which make her us a sought after supplier on the party-planning circuit. 

Peggy’s cakes are highly recommended by London’s foremost venues including the Savoy, Claridge’s, The Ritz, The Dorchester and The Mandarin Oriental. She is also consistently chosen by the UK's leading wedding planners, florists and event designers.

What is your favourite design and why?

My cravings change with the seasons but at the moment I am obsessing over my sticky toffee cupcakes which are sold in the Parlour, they are incredibly comforting, with a gooey toffee centre and nutty sponge - I just can’t resist. My all-time favourite design is easily my own wedding cake which was perfect. It was absolutely beautiful, elegant and incredibly pretty, intricate without being over the top, the classic and traditional was softened with a satin bow. I designed it and one of my team made it for me. It tied in perfectly with the wedding and was actually inspired by my laser cut wedding stationary and flowers.

What is your most popular item an why?
Our wedding cakes, because they taste delicious and look beautifully elegant


Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m a really typical girl! I love anything pretty, dainty or feminine. Anything can inspire me from fashion to vintage tea cups or stationary – just whatever catches my eye.

 What is in store for you in 2012?
At the moment life is pretty hectic, the Peggy Porschen Parlour has opened in London’s Belgravia, it’s going really well but certainly keeping me and the team busy. It was always a dream to have my own shop and offer my cakes to people on an everyday basis, I have also created my own home wares & cake accouterments range and a collection of jams and loose leaf teas – all inspired by the ingredients used in my kitchen. I also opened the Peggy Porschen Academy this year just across the road from the parlour, I am looking forward to teaching all year round and offering a range of different classes and courses, to suit every proficiency level. Meanwhile the bespoke design side of the business continues to thrive, especially with the recent addition of our bridal boutique – a space dedicated to one-on-one consultation and tasting for those wishing to commission a bespoke Peggy Porschen design. I will have a new book out early next year in time for Spring which I am really excited about!
Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?

We have actually just had the dream bride – Kate Moss. Effortlessly stylish and she knew exactly what she wanted which made it much easier for me! The cake was a perfect reflection of her Great Gatsby theme and was intricately detailed and yet very understated. A beautiful cake for a beautiful woman.

What would be your top tips for brides when searching for a supplier in your industry? 

I would look at the Chef's training and experience as well as examples of past work and customer testimonies. I would be sure to look at actual examples of work rather than just images as these can often hide a cake's short comings. Also very importantly I would ask for tasting samples, any decent cake maker will offer these without hesitation.

Where are you based and where can you supply?

London, we can deliver to London and surrounding areas, further afield is decided on a case by case basis.

How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?

116 Ebury Street
Tel: 0207 7301 316
 Huge thanks to the lovely ladies at Peggy Porschen for sharing these beautiful images and stories with us.