W is for Wedding at the romantic Tankardstown House in Co. Meath.
It had been a while since I was at a wedding with all the traditional trimmings. It was also my first wedding at Christmas time. It was therefore a discovery to learn that weddings really do suit any month of the year. Yes, June weddings with an abundance of flowers is hard to beat but a wedding between the two big days of Christmas and the New Year is really pretty special; full of twinkling candle lights and brightly sparkling Christmas trees which gives a really special atmosphere, particularly as the daylight hours are so short.
Having tried and failed to steal the wedding car at the Church, due to it being already booked by the beautiful Bride dressed in cream with a long veil, I made my own way to the Reception venue of Tankardstown House with my eyes peeled to see what would make this place special for a wedding.
On arrival at Tankardstown in the dusk I was delighted to hear the sounds of music wafting from the magnificent old beech trees as we crunched our way to the main door of the House. Inside it was room after room twinkling with night lights and real turf and wood fires – the best scent in the world. There are three very stylish Reception Rooms along with a spacious Hall and front Lobby where guests enjoyed Prosecco and Mulled Wine and some delicious canapés. Each of the Reception Rooms had soft inviting sofas. One gorgeous little touch was family photographs that the Bride and Groom had placed on various tables. It really felt as if I was a guest in a small version of Downton Abbey. Tankardstown House is an historic 18th century Country House and Demesne with an interesting past. Even something as mundane as the Ladies room is lovely with proper wallpaper (rarely seen) depicting old fashioned cups and saucers.
it is, however, the Orangery, which leans towards the spectacular. A new addition but tastefully done so that it fits seamlessly with the original house. The Orangery was decorated with everything that a Bride could wish for to make her day special; chandeliers; round tables with crushed cream linens and chiavari chairs. They do make you sit up straight so great for your posture. The attention to detail was wonderful to behold with some things standing out and others that you almost take for granted. I loved the wine glasses and the starched linen napkins. Why oh why do hotels insist in removing the napkins before a meal is finished? It is a pet hate of mine. Here at Tankardstown they were left on the table so full marks to them. The staff were extremely efficient and nothing was left to chance.
The meal was excellent; the speeches were not boring (a plus!) and the noise level acceptable considering some of the floor was stone. As with any good Irish wedding one can only guess what time it finished up at as the younger folk looked set for the long haul.
My thanks to Siobhan and Brendan for inviting us to their special day. No doubt they are honeymooning in warmer climes by now.
For details on booking a wedding at Tankardstown House visited their website