Ten years ago, our eldest daughter Caroline married her lovely husband Paul in our beautiful parish Church of St Swithun in Shobrooke. They held their reception in one of the barns on the farm, but in spite of a warm spell of weather the week beforehand, on the day itself, it was pretty chilly to say the least; not that it stopped us from having a fabulous day!
So when we were looking for a way to diversify the farm business, the idea of creating a purpose built Barn for weddings and events began to grow. Not only would we be able to design it to be suitable for use any time of the year, but it made us look afresh at our beautiful corner of Devon and thought how great it would be to share that with couples and their friends and families.
We wanted to create a space filled with light, to make the most of the spectacular views and allow a real inside/outside feel whatever the English weather was doing, enjoying the outside space when possible, but with the ability to be warm and cosy when necessary too! I was a Registrar at the time, so was able to bring all that experience to bear, understanding how important it was for everything to look beautiful, but work in a practical way too. Needless to say, the brakes had to be put on for some of my more outlandish ideas, but the finished result is not much of a compromise!
For all sorts of reasons, it was five years later, in 2019, before we saw our first full season of weddings, and we’ll gloss over 2020 as we’ve all had quite enough of that! After a mammoth compressed summer in 2021 catching up with postponed weddings, we now find ourselves in full swing during what we feel is really only our second ‘normal’ season – and what fun it is!
Offering an extended hire period, we want to make sure every couple who chooses Harefield Barn has plenty of time to relax and enjoy their day without lots of last minute pressures, and this means a limited number of dates available. Our diary is filling up quickly, and we have new enquiries coming in thick and fast, so don’t leave it too late if you’re thinking of coming to see this rather beautiful corner of Devon as a potential venue for your special day next year or in 2025.
Caroline and Paul have been pretty busy too! With three gorgeous children and their own business to run, not to mention the dog, the cat and three recently acquired chickens to look after, life is always hectic in their house. Today is a rather special birthday for Paul – but to mention a number would be telling tales! We can’t thank him enough for agreeing to project manage the build of Harefield Barn; after all – working for your parents-in-law can’t be easy! We always wanted Harefield Barn to be a real family affair, designed and built with care and pride, and with Paul in charge and our son Sam on the building team as well, that’s exactly what happened, and it obviously shows, as so many people compliment us on the quality of the build.
Happy Birthday to a wonderful son-in-law. Have a fabulous mini-break away – and I hope you’ve switched off that phone!