A LOCAL establishment has scooped a coveted award and general manager Diane Asken has revealed that their guest-friendly approach and tight-knit staff are the key to their success.

The Old Barn at Esholt won the prestigious I Do Magazine award for Best Wedding Venue in Yorkshire and Humberside a fortnight ago at an awards ceremony in Sheffield.

Ms Asken, who is from Wales but has lived in West Yorkshire since 1997, enthused: "We were chuffed just to be shortlisted down to the final eight, let alone winning it.

"We've entered the awards once before in 2014 and we've wanted to go in for it ever since, but we've just been so busy we'd never got the chance.

"I want thank our clients for voting as we couldn’t have done it without them."

She said the venue had been running wedding receptions since 2007 and owners Rob and Tina Sheldon were able to get a building licence for ceremonies since 2009.

After that important breakthrough, the place has never looked back.

Ms Asken said: "The business has been building year on year and we've had 66 weddings booked in for the year so far (April 2019-April 2020), including four this week.

"We have two function rooms licensed for ceremonies and people are realising, with us, you can get married at any time of year, even if it's not a Saturday and the weather is rubbish.

"I think we're popular because people like a barn wedding and they can get that feel at our venue, without having to start from scratch and bring their own things in, because we take away all that stress by doing it for them.

"We work with the couples to give them the wedding they want. and we're quite relaxed with our rules.

"We just offer a bespoke service, rather than lots of packages, and we don't up sell like hotels. People don't need to pay for upgrades if they want to add something to the day.

"We cater for all sorts. We've had people dressed as superheroes, we're animal friendly so we've had donkeys and dogs at the venue and we've just had a pirate themed wedding.

"Lots of rum was drunk that day."

Ms Asken was keen to shower praise on the staff at the Old Barn at Esholt, saying: "Our assistant manager Naomi (Desroy) is great and our chef Clair (Thrippleton) makes the best gravy and Yorkshire puddings around.

"We get a lot of positive comments on Facebook, especially about the food.

"The rest of the staff are great and we all look after each other. We actually have two teams on wedding days, one from the morning until the evening and then another from when the night guests arrive until the early hours.

"We often do back to back weddings so the staff have to work late to make sure everything is ready for the next day."