Sunday, 29 December 2013

Our Top 5 Marriage Proposal Ideas

New Year is famously one of the most popular times for marriage proposals.  So if you're thinking of popping the question this year, we've surveyed our team to come up with our ultimate proposal top 5.

Our Top 5 Marriage Proposal Ideas at Holdsworth House
  1. Spell out ‘Marry Me?’ on our lawn with rose petals. Then from the first floor private dining room window let your loved one see it for themselves
  2. Lead your partner up the steps and inside the historic stone built Gazebo, set with beautiful tea lights and a bottle of Champagne, then sink to one knee for the big question
  3. Take a bowl of marshmallows to toast on the open fireplace in our Courtyard, hide the engagement ring under the sweets
  4. Take a stroll to the beautiful love seat in the gardens, or beneath the decorative gazebo, and deliver your rehearsed lines
  5. Ask our chef to serve your partner’s engagement ring under a silver dome tray with dessert after your meal
We love a marriage proposal here, we're old romantics at heart. Although many Romeos like to do it their own unique way, if you're stumped for proposal ideas, you could opt for our romantic off the shelf (no pun intended) Ultimate Marriage Proposal Package.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Wedding Makeup Tips from Last Tango in Halifax Makeup Artist

Ladies, getting your makeup right any day of the week can be bad enough, but when it's your wedding day you certainly want to make sure you're looking your best.

We checked in with Last Tango in Halifax makeup artist Jessica Taylor (pictured with actress Anne Reid), to find out what it takes to get award-winning, on screen make up spot on. We were lucky enough to meet Jessica when she worked on the Last Tango in Halifax filming, which took place at Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant in September 2013.

Of course anyone familiar with Last Tango in Halifax will know that Alan and Celia tied the knot, not once but twice, in series two - that's some going! Holdsworth House was fortunate to be featured several times in the show since the creator, Sally Wainwright, selected the hotel on which to base many of the key scenes. So whilst the crew were around we managed to nab 10 minutes with Jessica to gleam some great tips on wedding day makeup and how she made up gorgeous bride Celia (played by Anne Reid).

HH: What makeup tips do you have for brides on their wedding day?

JT: Never go for anything too different to how you normally look, you need to feel comfortable. In the weeks before your wedding take extra special care of your skin, don't be tempted to try out new creams that promise eternal youth!! You could have a reaction to them, stick to what you know. Good quality products do have better ingredients but it's not necessary to spend a fortune.

Using a primer underneath your foundation helps to give it staying power, I like Smashbox makeup primer. Use a waterproof mascara and keep some powder and your favourite lipstick with you to touch up during the day.

HH: Any specific tips for mature brides?

JT: Maturer skin doesn't necessarily need more makeup, it's better to keep your make up lightweight because if the foundation is too heavy it can sit in fine lines and can look a bit cakey.

Matte eyeshadows always work best on older skin, shimmery/glittery eyeshadows are definitely a no no, they can make eyes look older. Bobbi Brown matte eyeshadows are great and they do a good range of colours, they are easy to apply and the pigment is good. Worth paying extra for.

A lip liner is always good to help accentuate the shape of your lips, MAC do a great pencil, spice, which suits all skin types and is soft and easy to apply.

If you are dark under your eyes use a good highlighter such as Christian Dior Skin Flash, use only on the dark areas don't be tempted to paint under the whole of your under eye area as this will accentuate any puffy areas. Don't be tempted to go for things like long false eyelashes. A good shaped eyebrow really helps frame the eyes; it's worth getting eyebrows professionally shaped ahead of the day.

HH: What are the makeup trends for 2014?

JT: Glamour is making a big comeback, gone are the 'natural' makeup looks. Strong eyeshadows with a good socket line are good on anyone.

Eyebrows, eyebrows, eyebrows are the big thing for 2014, but be careful not to go too over the top with them.

Manicured pointy nails are everywhere now, forget the old fashioned square shape of the last few years.

Big and bouncy hair is very on trend but of course, as always classic hair up styles are always perfect for weddings.

HH: How does the work you do for television differ from other makeup?

JT: Makeup for TV and film must be applied with precision and it's essential not to over powder, especially now with high definition TV which is very unforgiving, the slightest mistake will show up. In TV we are always creating a character and I like to make sure the characters look real, I don't like everyone to be too perfect. I have worked on many period dramas and in reality in 1890 your average girl wouldn't have worn makeup so mostly we are creating a 'no makeup' look, which involves covering any blemishes, accentuating good features without the viewer noticing there is any makeup on the actress. It's all about creating an illusion.

HH: What other shows have you worked on or are you planning to work on going forward?

JT: I have had a very varied career, I trained at Granada TV in Manchester and worked on programmes such as Coronation Street, Prime Suspect, Band of Gold, Moll Flanders. Since being freelance I have designed many shows including Cutting It (for which I won a Royal Television Award for best makeup design), Life On Mars, Cracker, The Village.

I am about to start filming a new series by Sally Wainwright called Happy Valley which will be filmed around Halifax and Hebden Bridge.

Many thanks to Jessica Taylor for these top makeup tips. Good luck for the Happy Valley series with Red Production and the newly commissioned Last Tango in Halifax series 3.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Last Tango in Halifax - The Wedding

So the secret is out, Alan and Celia are getting married and the gorgeous hotel chosen just happens to be... ahem... Holdsworth House in Halifax.

Hooray for writer Sally Wainwright for insisting as many scenes as possible were filmed in her native Halifax and hooray for Red Production Company for finding the right spots across Calderdale to do justice to Sally's brilliant imagination.

As the top independent hotel in Halifax, something like Last Tango certainly helps to put us on the global map. We've already welcomed guests from Scandinavia , where Last Tango is really popular. We've even had people enquiring about where to buy the fabric on our dining chairs (featured in episode 5).

A Romantic Weekend and A Wedding Venue

Episode 4 of Last Tango in Halifax showed Caroline and Kate escaping for a romantic weekend (also based on and filmed at Holdsworth House). The drama certainly unfolded and the weekend turned into a disaster for the less than romantic couple. At least Caroline thought Holdsworth House would be 'a good place for a wedding' in episode 5. Alan and Celia thought so too and booked the venue for Christmas Eve - so romantic.

The hotel's Last Tango in Halifax debut came when we saw Caroline and Kate arrive for their break and make their way down towards the manor's 380 year old entrance.

The next day's breakfast was filmed in our Mullioned Room (pictured left) where breakfast is really served to our hotel guests. It's a popular room for afternoon tea and dinner in Halifax too as it looks out over the landscaped gardens.

Pray Silence for the Filming

The filming took place in September 2013 and our team at the hotel remembers the week well. Throughout filming office phones had to be silenced, chairs on wheels were banned and office banter was stalled to ensure that no sounds were picked up on the microphones and no creaky floors creaked at the wrong moment in the offices above where filming took place.  We're quite used to this - we host many marriage ceremonies in the historic Hall so the team is well-rehearsed in being silent as important marriage vows are being made.

Kit and Caboodle

Holdsworth House has beautiful leaded mullion windows, historic beamed ceilings and large stone fireplaces giving it warm and cosy atmosphere. So not only did the film crew bring along their super high tech camera kit, we saw a temporary new cream carpet laid in the restaurant to help reflect the light upwards. Hey - whatever helps!!

We were pleased that the location team wanted to use Holdsworth House's restaurant food on screen. Plus we were delighted to have our actual wedding folders used by the wedding coordinator character.

Many people have asked if the wedding coordinator and the waiters were members of our team - no, they were all bona fide actors, although we're sure our team could have pulled off the roles perfectly too!

The Final Episode

What will the last episode bring? Well as Alan and Celia tie the knot on Christmas Eve we look forward to a few more key scenes from Holdsworth House being shown. We don't want to give anything away yet. But by 'eck, its a belter!

Huge thanks go to the production company and producer Karen Lewis for believing our team would handle the filming week professionally and without hitch. Of course we thank the brilliant Sally Wainwright, on behalf of the UK, for giving us all such a wonderful glued-to-the-set series of laughter and (a touch of) sadness. But most of all for showing the real Yorkshire, its glorious scenery and for highlighting the funny quirks that give us Yorkshire folk our uniqueness. Yes we suppose many of us really do speak like that and drink that much tea!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Recommended by the Mail on Sunday

Following the success of BAFTA-winning Last Tango in Halifax, the Mail on Sunday sent journalist Bridget McGrouther to Holdsworth House in Halifax - where several scenes for series two were filmed - to see what all the fuss was about.

Here's what she said: "My husband Simon and I jumped at the chance of a romantic rendezvous at the award-winning hotel with its cosy bedrooms - ours even had a luxurious four-poster bed.

Elegant: Bridget at Holdsworth House, which was home to the Last Tango cast and crew in September
Elegant: Bridget at Holdsworth House, which was home to the
Last Tango cast and crew in September
Dinner in a secluded corner by the stone-mullioned windows of the atmospheric restaurant with two AA Rosettes was sensational - seared king scallops with tangy sea herbs, the most tender, locally sourced steak and tasty venison as well as decadent desserts.

We enjoyed after-dinner coffees in the 'old hall', sitting by the inviting inglenook fireplace just like I imagine Alan and Celia did. In such idyllic surroundings, no wonder the romance of Last Tango's mature couple - former teenage sweethearts - was rekindled."

Read the full article online here >>