Cheshire wedding venue for £2500 – including food and drink

 

Aware that there’s a big market for spending £2500 per head on a Cheshire wedding, we know we aren’t catering for everyone with this opportunity. In a world of Range Rovers being given as wedding presents, diamond-encrusted wedding thrones and personal appearances from singers with a £10,000 an hour hire charge, we know we are way off track with some of the market. But there remain many people who want a modest local wedding that is still packed with good food and atmosphere, but without breaking the bank, or absorbing what could otherwise be a decent house-deposit.

We’ve held two wedding receptions recently at Briscola – one was the meal and speeches before our usual first restaurant-sitting on a Saturday night – which worked nicely, before the wedding party headed off to another evening venue.  The other wedding was an all-nighter, which saw the meal, (complete with a singing Waiter), followed by the bar being turned into a dance floor and Bollington having its own nightclub scene revived. It’s not every day you have the Prodigy blaring from an Italian restaurant, especially not in the countryside, but it was a total joy.

The food option we offer is anything you fancy from our menus – offered with no increase of the usual price. We had choices selected and guests being served an array of fresh starters, seabass or rump steak mains, and having pick of our infamous deserts, made in-house. Pinot Grigio and Chilean Merlot flowed for hours – these two wines off our new wine list are dangerously easy to drink, both should be available by drip; they followed Prosecco and were teamed with Limoncello shots.

The singing waiter was a legend – and we would recommend him like a shot. He grafted as part of the team – so well that we forgot that he wasn’t an actual Waiter, just disguised as one – and part-way through the night he burst into song and performed mid-air heel clicks that saw the entire wedding party up cheering and dancing, before the Tiramisu even made its appearance. If restaurants did festivals then this would have been the up there; love, togetherness, live music, a late-night club scene, spoken word, food and booze. It was bloody marvellous.

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One huge selling point is the sound barrier between the bar and the restaurant; it’s extremely effective, regardless of how loud the music is. Even with Craig David and the Artful Dodger booming out at volumes that Tim Peake probably heard, those in the restaurant were well-sheltered and able to enjoy a coffee without having to bellow to the people sitting with them.

The other positive was that we absolutely loved working at these functions – both were a superb atmosphere and a joy to be part of. And the singer Waiter enjoyed his time so much that he was back the next day for a meal.

We were delighted with the feedback from the happy couples – not least for the price. We were informed that we churned out some of the nicest food and wines that people had ever had. And so we are looking to promote Briscola as a venue, as well as a local family restaurant. We do not charge anything for hiring the restaurant and we don’t increase the food prices. We can quote for smaller hires, as we did with the meal-only option, but for a full night of taking over the restaurant, we ask that your restaurant and bar bill combined meets a minimum spend of £2500. This is with free-run to party from 3pm into sunrise.

In line with the success of our wedding parties, we are currently looking at re-decorating the restaurant, to make it smarter and a more relaxing setting. As with our Pollo Alla Cacciatore, we aren’t outsourcing for this – we are mucking in as staff to get the job done.

So, along with local Bollington residents providing great value flower-arranging and baking, we are excited by local businesses potentially coming together to make Bollington a great option for local weddings at an affordable price. We can just see a big Italian BBQ wedding reception next summer, or even one in the winter – mulled wine in the garden, topped with sounds of the river and handfuls of hot steamy meat.

We embrace ‘love at first bite’ and we look forward to the next wedding party.

Bollington’s hidden secret…

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Having been knee-deep in pizza deliveries, private party bookings and a new wine menu, we’ve neglected a hidden treasure that needs to be polished and shared with the Happy Valley.

Behind Briscola is a decent-sized plot with a stone wall boundary, and a soundtrack of the river below and ongoing bird gossip from the surrounding trees. And it doesn’t end there… look up and there’s a gorgeous view of White Nancy.

The hesitation to renovate this garden has been partly on the basis that the current outdoor seating is rarely used; but recent market research evidenced that this is due to a lack of awareness about the outside space we have. We have outdoor lighting, music, an undercover decked area and some pending outdoor heaters. Again, the river and bird acoustics are there as a backing track.

This weekend saw several customers eating out in the sunshine, with large deli sharing platters and bottles of wine dominating the orders. A house white and an Antipasto Supremo for two will cost £29 – not a bad deal for a romantic date or a social outing with a friend.

So we’re donning our gardening gloves, finding a new home for the bins and beer barrels, and getting stuck into the project. We look forward to bringing you a new outdoor seating area with beautiful views off white Nancy. Any contacts for patio heaters or volunteers for clearing the project are much appreciated…!

Bring on summer Italian BBQs and mulled wine and Christmas fairy lights in the Winter.

Half full or half empty restaurant?

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You walk into a restaurant at 5.30pm on a Saturday, with an eye for a garlic bread, a Diavola pizza and a double helping of profiteroles, all washed down with a pint of Peroni, a bottle of Chianti and a Jamaican coffee. And hey presto, there’s only one table of four people in there – bingo! Dinner is on!

Not necessarily so…

At 6pm there may be tables booked, further tables booked at 6.30pm and then again at 7pm. If you are seated at 5.30pm, you therefore take the table of someone who has pre-booked a table within the next 90 mins. And even if the tables were all vacant until 7pm, a 90 minute window is less than most people take for a three course meal, with wine and coffee (especially if they make a special couples’ visit to the toilets between courses – but that’s a whole new blog post…).

So why are we making this point?

A recent Saturday teatime saw a group of customers arrive, without a booking, and sit themselves down; napkins on lap and beaming at the fillet steak on the menu. Unfortunately, it’s rarely we have a Saturday night that isn’t booked up in advance – which we explained. The response was along the lines of “it doesn’t look very full to us” – which is a fair comment – it was empty.

We therefore realise that the logistics of restaurant bookings aren’t quite as transparent as we have taken for granted. We hope this helps explain why we aren’t being difficult intentionally, and avoids a repeat of staff being deemed arseholes if we turn customers away, which we try not to do.

Logistics is also the reason why you’ll more often than not get a long pause when you ring up and ask if we have space – as the cogs turn and we work out who, what, where and when. The author of this post is particularly guilty of this…

Bookings in advance is required for all days. This isn’t just due to being full, but also so that we can serve you more quickly by the restaurant having the appropriate food preparation and waiting staff in place. It’s a fine balance of juggling staff provision with expected customer numbers. Sundays is a real culprit of this – it’s very variable. It can go from a table of one, sitting without food and drowning their sorrows into a cup of warm milk, to eight tables of four all rocking up at once, just as we’ve sent a waitress home.

So please book in advance. We hope we’ve helped give an understanding of why this is helpful and that you will forgive any Sunday where you’ve had to wait a little longer to be served, due to one waitress holding fort: pouring pints whilst decorating a cheesecake, answering the phone whilst serving food, and taking your order whilst throwing a parmesan shower over the meals on the neighbouring table.

Routes to book: 01625 573898 or via www.briscola.co.uk

Footnote: we appreciate that there is a Christmas tree in the photo – but today it has snowed like Lapland in December, so it felt quite fitting…

Embracing the Gluten-free Carbs

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The Gluten-free traffic is increasing through Briscola, with honks of “I wish I’d known earlier”. And so, our gut-friendly gluten-free blog is born.

Regardless of intolerance, allergy, weight-watching or stomachs that inflate like gym balls at the mere whiff of gluten, we are happy to provide ‘free-from’ dishes. So where do we hide these dishes on our menu? We don’t: take anything you’d like from any of our menus, and we’ll do our best to muster up a gluten-free version. Lasagne and cannelloni requests are best made in advance, but we have gluten-free pasta, pizza bases and breads at the ready for the other options on the menu. And this goes for take-out and buffets too – you can enjoy the food on you sofa in the company of such TV gems as Tattoo Fixers, or to comfort you at your desk whilst you attempt to survive a 17 page Excel spreadsheet creation in a 20 minute time slot. No one needs bowel irritation amidst such activities.

The feedback is good – our pizza base rivals the one that is gluten-friendly and we have had new customers on the back of its recommendation. We have also considered those who are solely wheat-intolerant, and recently added a barley risotto to our specials board – which has been well-received.

Dairy-free diners, do not feel neglected – we can whip up an almond and coconut latte no problem. And we have vegan cheese and soya cream braced for your arrival (we can adapt sauces as well as drinks with this). So carb-lovers, do not feel you have to leave your vegan or celiac friends or partners behind or sneak crafty take-outs on the quiet. Come as a party of mixed dietary requirements and fill your table with an array of dishes to feed your gluten-loving or gluten-intolerant palettes.

Any more requests – let us know, we always welcome a gap in the unmet market and are keen to make everyone feel welcome.

Written by Millionaire Waitress

Please see more details about our restaurant or book via www.briscola.co.uk 

 

Grinder

For those expecting an article on anything other than freshly ground coffee, we confirm this is a purely a coffee-bean-grinding-themed post.

A recent conversation held in the Happy Valley was around the popularity that a coffee house might attract – for walkers, parents off work, and those wanting a take-out caffeine boost. This triggered another realisation that we have another area of Briscola that we need to promote: not only do we do take-out coffees, but we are happy for the bar area to be used as a lunchtime/afternoon coffee bar, and we have a mean coffee grinder to deliver really good coffees.

We have coffees to suit all: decaf, soya milk lattes, almond milk cappuccinos, rocket-fuel espressos, Irish, Gaelic, Jamaican Blast, Napoleon, Calypso, Italian and Russian. These can be served in-house with an accompanying Nutella cheesecake, after a fresh salad lunch or we can whip up a liqueur coffee to take up White Nancy – now we’re talking.

If we can drum up the ‘coffee-bar’ trade then we can certainly look at opening early one day a week to deliver a morning service to those who would like it. We can see a ‘cosy Café Del Mar’ set-up working nicely, with some chill out music and a few rustic candles. This could be an ‘instant’ success (sorry…).

Our grinder is too much of an unknown treasure – so please go forth and spill the beans. Everyone is welcome in for a coffee, and there’s no obligation to buy a meal.

With best wishes and a large serving of Affogato,

Briscola

Written by Millionaire Waitress

 

 

Italian Stallion

12834688_10154683794631632_462076196_n2016 has seen us give our online presence a kick up the backside and welcome new events and customers. Back in 2007 Briscola was ranked by The Times as one of the top ten pasta restaurants in the UK, and also, in the same year, we landed in their top ten restaurants for kids – and this is the standard we strive to maintain. It’s time to start chasing awards again…

March 7th saw the launch of the Good Food Guide Local Restaurant awards – which we are hungry to do well in. The Stallion is ready to race.

So why should you bother to vote for us? At this point we could choose to adopt a reality TV competition-style approach and reel off multiple tales of woe about staff members, customers and local incidents; elaborating on the truth of minor events such as lost pets and hip strains, and claiming lives have been touch and go. However, we are confident that our genuine passion for high quality food and the care for our customers can carry us.

Aside from the excellent service and food, here are some of the things that we believe make us extra special:

– We host jazz nights, kid’s teatime events, parties and have a pending Turkish night. We’re not afraid to think outside the box and try something new (if trade increases we have ideas to invest in a novelty delivery vehicle…).

– We serve artichoke liqueur. This is a drink of kings – and you are unlikely to stumble across another top shelf like ours.

– We post online giveaways, donate to raffles and reward online bookings. This year so far there have been over £100 worth of prizes issued by our restaurant.

– In the space of a few weeks we have seen daily reads of over 350 on our new blog site; which is now being followed by other writers and has led to a successful uptake on events such as our recent jazz night and Mother’s Day.

– We have locally-sourced food and support a local brewery by selling their beers in our restaurant bar.

– We make an immense Nutella cheesecake. Even those without a sweet tooth want to bathe in this pudding.  Proposals are likely to have been made over this dessert.

We continue to be grateful to everyone who is supporting us online and by coming to dine in our restaurant with their friends, family and business colleagues – your votes for this award would be much appreciated.

VOTE HERE *AND HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN A CASE OF MOET*

01625 573 898 – Briscola Restaurant, 88 Palmerston Street, Bollington, Cheshire SK10 5PW

Suit-able Lunches

Booking a work buffet? It’s time to think outside the pizza box…

Everyone likes dirty take-out food every now and again, especially after punishing their liver, yet the market for fresh catering is our priority. With fresh, thin-based, gluten-free and generously topped pizzas, fresh salads and risottos on hand for corporate lunches, why do some businesses spend hundreds of pounds on pizzas which, in the words of one of our customers last week, “have the nutritional value of a sock”, and apparently require you to eat on the toilet in preparation for the rapid impact on your digestive system? It feels like a clash with the common provision of corporate gym memberships, lunchtime running groups and yoga classes.

This is either a matter of emperor’s new clothes, habit, sadism or that we simply need to speak up louder about our fresh catering services.

In addition to the steady stream of mid-week business lunches, our recent takeaway menu promotion has sparked a couple of enquiries about office-based corporate lunch provision. This has sparked an awareness of the working lunch trade – and how much of it is going to chain suppliers. Catering requests serve as a huge support to our local business – which is often booming at the weekend, but sees a quieter footfall in the weekdays. The weekday trade is very much appreciated. In addition to that, we cook with passion and buzz off helping to create an enjoyable business lunch and spare the hassle by bringing the food to your office.

Dieting? We have a range of takeaway salads and risottos. Vegan? No problem, we have vegan cheese and soya milk at the ready. Bizarre pregnancy cravings? We’ll happily add coal/mud/soap to a bespoke dish for you. And if you wish to dine in, we have recently catered for tables of over 20, and are happy to take a pre-order to have ready for your arrival.

So this post serves to remind the community that we not only offer vegan and wheat-free dishes but also a range of risottos, salads and pasta dishes. Leaving dos, birthdays, retirements, divorce parties, deceased-pet memorial services – we’ll happily cater for the lot.

As well as being keen to supply a good service for local businesses, we would like to help them impress non-local clients with local produce – we’ve been delighted to have business customers from London and the Lake District recently, and would be delighted to see this increase.