Guest Becomes Host at Winton House
James Maynard is now the General Manager at Winton House but he visited Winton near Edinburgh when looking for his own wedding venue. When he visited the castle for a second time, James heard they were looking for a general manager. By coincidence, James and his fiancée, Suzanne, were also looking for an opportunity to move to Scotland.
“Suzanne and I were living in London when we decided to look for a Scottish venue to get married in. Suzanne is originally from Falkirk in Scotland and wanted to move north.
“One very cold, wet June weekend we flew up and visited 8 wedding venues out of a long list of 50 we had researched.
“We visited venues in East Lothian, the Borders and Stirlingshire – Dundas Castle, Hopetoun House, Lennoxlove and Gean House – before deciding on Winton House.
“We chose Winton because it offered exclusive use and personal service, and had a warm welcoming atmosphere with open fires and friendly staff. It felt like a family home that could hold all our visitors!
“Suzanne and I invited 84 friends and family from as far afield as the States, Austria, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Australia. We hired Winton for the whole weekend with two overnight stays in the 8 grand bedrooms in the castle.
“A lone piper welcomed us from the tower, before we sipped Champagne at our reception on the oval lawn.
“Dinner was a formal affair in the dining room cooked up by Winton’s longest standing chef, Elizabeth Young. The retro menu included prawn and langoustine cocktail, Winton steak pie accompanied by colcannon, and East Lothian cranachan with raspberries and Glenkinchie malt whisky (yum!). The evening was finished off in traditional Winton style with a ceilidh in the ballroom.
“The icing on the cake was a surprise 21CC Fireworks display over the loch below the house.
“At our family breakfast in the Cabinet Room on the last morning, we were joined by Sir Francis Ogilvy, owner of Winton House, to hear what we had been up to.
“Everyone commented on the house’s beautiful setting, exclusivity and warm ambience: a great team at a great venue. No wonder our friends were so keen to get an invitation!”
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