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Vanilla Catering & Events

Sopley Mill Weddings

We are well into the year now and although the weather is not hotting up things here at Vanilla HQ are. 

We are excited to announce we will be catering at a new venue this year, Sopley Mill This beautiful 18th Century watermill, surrounded on both sides by the Millstream of the river Avon closed as a restaurant in 2011.  The owners of the Mill, which has been in the same family for over 150 years, have taken this wonderful building back in hand from the tenants for a complete renovation.  Once finished it will be opened as a stunning wedding venue with incredible views over the Avon Water-meadows.  The restoration project is estimated to be finished by July this year.  This includes uncovering the original architecture inside the mill and restoring the gardens and outbuildings.

Sopley Mill will be a blank canvas for you to create your own perfect wedding.  It provides stunning views, beautiful historic building and the privacy that is hard to find in other local wedding venues.  The venue allows you to bring in your own drink, without corkage charges, so you can have a glass of champagne without having to pay the earth for it.

The Mill has a top floor which is ideal for your wedding breakfast and can fit 100 people seated.  The 2nd floor will be licensed for weddings (can fit 100 people) and can be turned into a dance floor for the evening.  The ground floor and bar is the perfect place for drinks when your guests arrive and for those who want to chill out in the evening.

In the summer months your guests can enjoy the garden with stunning views across the unspoilt Water-meadows.

Of course don’t forget we have other wonderful venues we cater at from The Tithe Barn, Farbridge Barn, Hill Place, Old Arelsford House, The Historic Winchester Guildhall to name just a few and of course your own marquee venue, Wellies are at the ready for this year’s summer!

Talking of Winchester Guildhall  we will be at the wedding Fare on Sunday 3 March, so if you are thinking of booking this venue then do come along and have a chat with our other Sally, Sally Elcoate, who will be on hand to answer any questions.

Thinking ahead it’s Hampshire Fare food month again in July and this year we will be running a Fantastic fish course, so if you Don’t know your Hake from your Haddock, whether to cook Cod or Coley?  Our fantastic fish course could be the answer.  The course is run by our dynamic chef Joe Baker, who trained with that well known celebrity chef (and chalky!)…

The course will be held on 10th & 17th July from 5.30 to 7.30pm.  Booking is essential, as we are limited to 8 participants on each date, call the office to book yourself on this course.

On the 9th March there will be a cake sale in Winchester in aid of Help for Heroes, we will be donating lots of yummy cakes to raise money for this charity, so dig deep and support this event.  We will also be donating a prize hamper full of Vanilla bespoke goodies including Lee’s famous chutney. 


Back at HQ we have been busy with tastings.  Every client who books with us is entitled to a free complimentary tasting.

We had our EHO inspection and we gained top marks of a score of 5.  We take our Health & Safety very seriously here and it’s good for you the customer to know you can trust Vanilla and all our food is traceable from origin.  As a member of Hampshire Fare we use as much local produce as possible, we can tell you which farm your meat comes from so no worrying about you know what with Vanilla.

Jane continues to keep us all under control, well as much as she can,  Emily lost her phone down the loo!, Kit had a haircut, Sally E went on a Hen night, Lee had a week off, Matty got a new kitchen at home – induction hobs and all the rest, Joe joined the great fish fight with Hugh, Ben got a new car and I continue to train for my great North swim … all very exhausting.

Don’t forget, If you book your wedding or banquet with us you are helping our Charity for 2012/3.  Facing the world ( Every wedding or party you book with us for a three course sit down we will donate 20p to our charity. Have a look at their website, everyone deserves the right to smile on their wedding day and Facing the World carry out amazing work helping children with severe disfigurements so that one day they too can do just that. Or you can sponsor me for the Great North swim, No walls, no chlorine just the great outdoors.  I am swimming this in aid of Frank water, check out my fundraising page and many thanks to my very generous anonymous donor!

For latest news, gossip and information follow us on twitter or face book, we have some great photos on face book of our new creations 

More soon

Sally P and the team

Wednesday 27th February 2013

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