The Mill hosts its first wedding reception

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It was an extra special wedding day for Ruth Cooper-Green and James Hook, as they became the first couple to celebrate their marriage in the beautiful setting of The Mill, St Catherine’s Park.

The popular café and community hub, which supports the vital work of St Catherine’s Hospice, hosted its very first wedding reception on April 13 after the couple fell in love with its original features and charming atmosphere.

Ruth and James, from Leyland, were looking for an intimate, homely and welcoming venue for their evening celebrations, and were instantly drawn to the quaint café in Lostock Hall.

Ruth said: “We’ve been coming to The Mill since it opened – we absolutely love the food and the customer service is amazing.

“It was just perfect for us; we didn’t fancy a hotel or manor house, we wanted something cosy and intimate.”

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The Mill, which opened in 2014, dates back to the late 19th century and was originally a barn and part of Lostock Fold Farm, which was built on the site of the historic Lostock Mill. It’s thought the barn may well have been built from stone salvaged from the cotton mill, hence its name.

Ruth added: “It’s such a beautiful place and we were able to decorate it how we wanted, but we were mindful that we like it as it is and didn’t want to do too much to take away from the original features and friendly feel.”

Ruth and James met three years ago through mutual friends, and got engaged in July 2015 after he proposed in their garden.

Following a ceremony with close family and friends at Southport Register Office, the wedding party enjoyed a drinks reception and afternoon tea in the rustic café.

The newlyweds, who are parents to daughter Juliette, also wanted to support the important work of the hospice after seeing the compassionate care that some of their relatives and colleagues experienced at St Catherine’s.

All profits from The Mill and its outside catering service, The Mill Outside, go towards funding the charity, which costs £5.2m to run every year.

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Mark Bickley, assistant events and outside catering manager at The Mill, said: “We’ve catered for a few weddings and have another coming up this summer for a couple who are getting married in Spain, and are having a celebration beforehand in their garden. We’re looking at taking our large paella pans to fit in with the Spanish theme.

“But this is the first wedding we’ve hosted at The Mill itself, and it was such a wonderful occasion which we were privileged to be part of.

“As well as the café’s exposed brick and natural features, St Catherine’s Park also provides a stunning backdrop for photographs, with a sensory garden, bluebell wood, the River Lostock, lawns and impressive gateways and bridges.

“We’d like to thank Ruth and James for sharing this very memorable occasion with us, and wish them a very happy future.”

Photographs by Gemma Carter

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