Q&A with Newstead Priory’s Head Chef Marina Kent

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

1. What do you love about being a chef?

 I like making people happy so cooking is a nice way to achieve this.

2. If you weren't a chef what would you want to be?

When I was young I always wanted to be a jockey but that was never going to happen!

3. What is your favourite thing to cook?

There are so many but I really enjoy doing puddings. Also I love cooking Christmas dinner for the family but by the time we get to the pudding someone else has to take over!
 4. Do you have a particular chef you look to for inspiration or admire?

The Roux brothers, Michel Roux and Marcus Wearing.

5. Were you brought up around passionate cooks? Did it influence the way you cook?

My grandmother was a wonderful baker; I can still smell the mouth watering aromas as I watched her making bread and scones. She would give me a scone still hot from the oven, butter melting down the sides, simply delicious! When I left school I worked as a nanny for a few years and the lady of the house opened my eyes to classic French cooking, I didn’t realise at the time but she had a big influence on me. Also my sister Caroline, who was a chef in the royal navy, helped me a lot with her knowledge of catering for large numbers for special occasions.

6. What advice would you give to new starters to the industry?

Don’t expect it to be easy! Get lots of practical experience by working weekends and holidays in restaurants, then you will either get the adrenalin going or not as the case may be.

7. What has been your biggest culinary challenge to date?

It wasn’t exactly a culinary challenge as such but we were doing a wedding at the height of a very hot summer and the main attraction on the food side was an ice sculpture with lots of lobsters, crabs and langoustines etc. Getting that timed right without the ice sculpture melting was certainly challenging!

8. What is your favourite meal?

One that someone else has cooked for me!

For further information about Newstead Priory please phone (01652) 653283 or visit www.newsteadpriory.co.uk. You can also find ‘Newstead Priory Weddings Lincolnshire’ on Facebook.



How to Pick Your Wedding Venue

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Wedding Planner Lucy Kent has been turning dreams in to reality for more than 15 years at Newstead Priory, one of Lincolnshire’s most stunning and historical wedding venues. Here Lucy shares her top tips for finding the perfect venue...

Deciding together...
It might sound obvious but before the excitement takes over it is important you sit down as a couple and make the basic decisions about your day. Would you like a civil ceremony or a church wedding? Would you like a venue in your local area or further afield? Now is the time to compromise and consider the various options so that you are both happy and have the same day in mind.

Budget & Guests...

Perhaps the two most influential factors: budget and guest numbers. Sit down together and draw up a draft list of guests to you can look for appropriately sized venues. You will also need a budget in mind so that when you visit venues they can discuss viable options with you. For the right venue be prepared to review guest numbers!

Do your homework...
Whilst visiting venues is fun, you can soon tire and feel over whelmed if you don’t compile a suitable list. Visit venue websites and make sure they meet your requirements before booking a viewing. If there is something you are not sure about don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask. Often venues can be flexible so don’t automatically rule one out without further research.

Setting the date...
Deciding on the time of year you wish to marry may influence your venue choice. Once you have decided on spring, summer, autumn or winter, keep this firmly in mind when looking around venues. If you have an exact date set, check availability before you visit to avoid disappointment. That said, for your dream venue you might want to consider changing the date!

The two P’s...
Your wedding day should be exclusive for only you, your partner and your guests to enjoy without interruptions. Think carefully about privacy and choose a venue which has ample parking for your guests, this is an important consideration your guests will appreciate, especially those that require easy access.

Visualizing the day...
When you visit potential venues run through your wedding day in your mind and trust your gut instinct. Most of our couples say that they knew they had found the right venue for them as they felt excited and could picture their big day whilst looking round. Take your time to soak up the atmosphere and if you are still unsure plan another visit.

Weather Options & Expert Advice...
Choose a venue with plenty of indoor and outdoor space so whatever the weather you can enjoy the whole day. Make the most of resident wedding planners and ask plenty of questions, they will have the knowledge of what can and can’t be done at the venue and can offer lots of help and advice if needed.

Don’t be Pressured... 
Everyone is different when it comes to making decisions. If you have your heart set on a venue and are happy with availability go for it. But, if you need more time and don’t feel 100%, never feel pressured in to booking. Choosing your venue is the biggest decision you both make about your special day so take your time and enjoy it!

For further information about Newstead Priory please phone (01652) 653283. You can also find ‘Newstead Priory Weddings Lincolnshire’ on Facebook.