Being one of the first photographers to photograph a wedding at the Belsfield after its refurbishment was a real treat. Everything was so crisp and new, so I spent a bit more time when carrying tripods in hallways and plonking bags down against walls. So, if a hotel in the Lake District were all about location, then this is it. It really is. Located right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Windermere, it is only a two minute walk to board a boat for a lake cruise but that walk is mainly through lush grounds, beautiful trees and with views out over Windermere.
The new interior is to die for. Easily the most up to date venue in the Lake District at the moment, with a stylish new glass reception subtle, well styled paint and really unbelievable rooms to photograph bridal prep in. There is also the added benefit of height as the Belsfield is built on top of a hill overlooking the boat launches. As a result of this, the sunsets can be epic. The terrace is a perfect place to photograph people milling around and also conduct group photographs when the weather is right. Obviously a location like this doesn’t come cheap to brides and grooms, but it really is worth every penny.
So, which locations work the best and also what is the layout? Weddings at the Belsfield are worked by an expert team, newly assembled after the redevelopment of the hotel. Locations in the dining room, the bar area and reception rooms can be expertly worked around their schedules for a wedding day. It is them that make the day flow and really dictate the parts of the hotel that can be used at what time. Outside is great, even when it is raining, due to the awesome canopy that offers shelter whilst still outside. The hotel is lighter now, so shooting inside with lots of light bouncing around is much easier and has opened up a new dimension to wedding portraits within the interiors.
Lastly…. Got to get this in. There is a new path at the back of the venue leading to the grassed areas. It is like a ski jump from one end and allows photographers to get a really shallow shot of brides and grooms, even full length and is one of the things that really makes the refurbishment amazing for me. A brilliant hotel, reborn and soon to be one of the most popular in Cumbria and the Lake District.