Some say that music is the food of love - but for me the way to my heart is definitely through my stomach. So it was with some excitement that we headed back to the glorious Oxfordshire countryside for our first meeting with our caterers last weekend.
With this opportunity to kill a whole flock of wedmin birds with one fell swoop, I also booked us in a night at the gorgeous Cotswolds country house Barnsley House (dropping huge grenade-style hints at the boy for our first night - 'Isn't this so perfect, oh and only half an hour from our venue.' 'Oh isn't the countryside/fires/room/gardens so gorgeous - I can't believe we're getting married so close by...' etc etc) and arranged a meeting with our marquee man. Power wedding weekend was GO.
First up: Barnsley House was every bit as idyllic as I had imagined. As we crunched up the drive to the manor house I closed my eyes and transplanted myself into my wedding dress in the back of some beautiful vintage car (which the Boy was in the process of organising, wasn't he?!) sweeping in as Mrs Brice.
Back to reality and our slightly battered Clio, we still checked in to roaring fires and huge freestanding baths. Could you say more 'made for first nighters' - I mean our bathroom was on its own floor suspended over our cushiony bed and the famed gardens hid plenty of corners made for romantic moments. Just make sure your dear new hubby books in a trip to the spa and an afternoon tea by the fire before you check out for honeymoon. Or if you plan to linger a few days why not arrange a surprise champagne screening of her favourite film in the private cinema hidden in the gardens? Boy, take note.
The next morning after one more 'But why can't we just live here?', we checked out and headed to a nearby village to meet with our caterers to talk food. And the pure luxury of devising our own bespoke wedding menu. But like ever other wedding planning tasks thus far I completely underestimated the number of decisions that were required: 'What meat do you want to serve?' 'How do you like your potatoes?' 'What's your favourite dessert' 'What kind of cuisine do you love?'.
It was like we had the world's master menu and all we had to do was pick. Lucky Paul at Sadlers (www.sadlerscatering.co.uk) was pretty helpful at guiding us and soon got us chatting away about our favourite meals ever, what the Boy liked to cook and what was a big no-no (for me: er, not much; for the Boy: cheesecake). But our biggest dilemma as food lovers was whether to go a bit adventurous and make it memorable (I mean I'm sure I could convince my grandmother to eat ostrich, couldn't I?) or play it safe... the tastebud-tempting debate continues... what do you think?