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.
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.