I had a good feeling about the venue near Segovia ever since I saw it on the internet. So as we set off for the Casa Esquileo de Cabanillas del Monte I felt pretty excited. And cold – as me and J left Madrid the temperature plunged to -2 degrees.
The previous day we’d got a call from the first venue we went to see telling us they’d spoken to management about our 100 people wedding. And they’d come to the conclusion that finally, they couldn’t offer us a Saturday OR a Friday unless we had at least 200 guests!
After that I was feeling a bit nervous that nowhere would be able to accommodate our “tiny” wedding. What a joke – my two brothers’ weddings put together wouldn’t have equalled 100. Were we really such an oddity?
But I forgot about all of that as soon as the huge wooden doors were pulled open and we stepped into Casa Esquileo. It was just as rustic and charming as it looked on the website, even in the freezing cold of winter. You know the bit where Alice steps into wonderland? That’s exactly how I felt, swear down.
It’s basically an 18th century sheep-shearing house and gardens which have been preserved and is now a historical and cultural monument site. The owner Rodrigo – an elderly gentleman with a fur hat and French wax coat – explained that much to us as he showed us around. The house has been in his family for 700 years, he told us.
Flamenco music was blasting out over the speakers in the cobbled main hall (to keep the birds out, apparently) as we strolled in. And as I looked up at the wooden beams in the ceiling it hit me: I really want to get married here. I looked over at J to try and figure out if he was thinking the same, but I couldn’t catch his eye. He was looking at the graffiti on the walls.
“Are you going to paint over that?” he asked Rodrigo, who replied: “No, certainly not – some of that’s over 500 years old!”
Apart from that faux pas, we got on spectacularly well with the owner, who tried out the odd few words in English he knew on me. And isn’t it important you have that “connection” with the people who are going to help you plan your big day?
If we hired the venue, we’d have it until 6am on the morning after our wedding. There’d be no extra charge beyond the first four hours, or demanding money on the spot to continue the party. And we could make as much noise as we wanted.
The minus sides would be that we’d have to bring everything – not only the music equipment and the catering, but the tables and chairs. Yowzers! And it’s not exactly a taxi ride from Madrid – meaning people would have to stay close by and we would definitely have to put on a shuttle bus to get people home.
But the place is so lovely, so different from the other production line places we’ve seen. I’ve really fallen in love with it.equiptment.
Luckily J feels the same way. So now we need to talk dates with the general manager Maite, and sit down and figure out if we can actually do this. It’ll be more hassle than your purpose built hotel/restaurant/disco all in one venues, but if we can pull it off, it’ll be so so worth it.
I think really in our hearts we’ve already decided.