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Behind the Scenes

Posted by Nonsuch Mansion

Events are like theatre productions, there is always so much going on behind the scenes that most people never see.

Photographer Stephen Bunn caught some rare shots of the Nonsuch Mansion team hard at work during a recent wedding. You can see more of Stephen’s work at www.StephenBunnPhotography.com

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The grounds and gardens around the mansion are maintained by the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council team. You might have seen them on their tractors! They make sure that the outside of the mansion looks perfect.

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The first job of our day involves opening up each of the ten foot tall window shutters. There are twenty shutters in total, each made of heavy wood, some still with the original 200 year old mechanisms. All of the mansion rooms are south facing so once the shutters are open the sun streams in.

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Dressing The Orchid Room takes time, especially when you are a perfectionist. Here you can see Aini making her final checks at each individual place setting. The linen is ironed onto the tables, the cutlery must be spaced properly, the glasses re-polished, the place settings and flowers on the correct tables, each chair pushed to the same distance. Even though we are perfectionists, we can still set a room like this in super quick time – we’re used to working in London museums that don’t let caterers in to set up until they close to the public. Our record is transforming an empty room into a 12 table, 130 seat dining room in half an hour.

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Serving guests their first glass of fizz is an art form, nobody wants flat, warm champagne! We never, ever pour until the last possible minute no matter how many hundreds of guests there are. Providing great service is our absolute top priority and we aim to do this intuitively, thinking about what guests need before they realise they need it.

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Our chefs cook and serve up to 200 plates of piping hot food simultaneously per course, thats a potential total of 600 plates per dinner event plus canapés. Precision, a steady hand and an eye for details are all key attributes in a Nonsuch Mansion chef. Unlike in a restaurant or hotel, we only have one shot to get the food right.

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Our waiting team use a “snake” technique to serve the menu. The “snake” of waiters circles one table at a time and plates are placed in front of the guests at exactly the same time. This includes any special diets which means we have to calculate in advance which person in the “snake” carries each plate.

If you would like to see more of Stephen’s work you can see it here on www.stephenbunnphotography.com