The Stable Door Cafe at Shedfield Equestrian Centre in the Meon Valley steps up to help couples who want to get married
For many couples who planned to wed amidst the pandemic, the excitement once felt at the prospect of a new beginning was overshadowed by the difficulties faced in trying to plan the big day.
With dates changing and restrictions in place, many were faced with added struggles and for some, it meant the loss of money already paid which left little for a ‘Plan B’.
When Lucy Agius, owner of The Stable Door Café in Shedfield Equestrian Centre, saw the troubles these people were facing, she decided she had to help.
She said: ‘A lot of people were looking for venues but saying they’d lost deposits, or sometimes the full amount, even if they were rebooking the same venue but for a different date. I know what it’s like to struggle, so I just thought "you’ve got to do something” and I decided to offer my venue for free to couples getting married up until December 2023.’
The café has recently undergone a refurb from a standard venue to a rustic paradise and with its high ceilings, dance floor and bar area along with their café facilities, it can hold a wide range of events, from meetings, parties and Christmas celebrations to indoor bouncy castles and proms.
Lucy also prides herself on having an inclusive menu to ensure that no one is left out after customers told her of their struggles to eat out as a family with allergies. There are vegan and gluten-free options, plus meals and desserts covering 14 allergens. And coming from a Maltese family, Lucy has also started serving traditional Maltese food; the most popular dish being pastizzi.
The Stable Door Café was born when Lucy took over the café in August 2020 after spending a year running a buffet business.
With a new name and logo, The Stable Door began making meal deliveries, including Sunday roasts where Lucy was known to cook and deliver 111 in one day. The team includes Lucy’s daughter Ahryn, affectionately known as ‘Spud’.
She said: ‘Spud has worked pretty much as many hours as I have, and she’s been amazing. And we have Sam who’s been great and makes us laugh even on days when we don’t feel like laughing, and we’ve just taken little Mia on too, but some days we also rope our friends in. My daughter Shannen comes to help when we have shows on.’
The Stable Door is holding a Wedding Fair on Sunday, July 25 with other wedding-related businesses based on the grounds in a bid to make sure that hopeful couples can still have the wedding of their dreams, despite setbacks already faced. The fair will be free to enter and runs from 10am-4pm.
The Stable Door Café can be found on Facebook, or call 07835 968954.