10 Top Hotel Wedding Venues for 2023
With a new year comes fresh inspiration! Jane Anderson from the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 boutique hotel wedding venues around the UK
Choosing your wedding venue is the first stepping stone towards planning your special day. Once you've booked a stunning setting to frame your event, everything else soon falls into place. Jane Anderson from The Good Hotel Guide picks Britain’s best independent hotels for saying ‘I do!’ in 2023. From an oak panelled country house in a secluded corner of the New Forest to a grand Georgian mansion in the Scottish Highlands, these standout independent hotel venues will spark your imagination as you set your sights on the perfect backdrop.
1. Montagu Arms, Hampshire
For a beautiful wedding on the edge of the New Forest, the Montagu Arms has a quintessentially English style with wood-panelled rooms and Gertrude Jekyll-inspired gardens. This wisteria-covered Victorian building in a picturesque village by the Beaulieu River, where ponies wander, is the perfect wedding backdrop. Have your ceremony in a choice of The Terrace Restaurant which looks resplendent with wedding flowers, or The Oakwood Room with its oak paneling and cosy fire, or small weddings are held in the Paris Room. Wedding feasts are created by New Forest-born chef, Matthew Whitfield, with Michelin-star experience under his belt. There are two duplex suites among the 24 bedrooms, and some rooms have four-poster beds. All come with a welcome decanter of gin!
2. New House Country Hotel, Cardiff
For a Welsh wedding with plenty of panache, you can’t go wrong with the New House Country Hotel. This grand old manor house built by wealthy industrialist Thomas Lewis in the 1730s, has lost none of its charm with panoramic views over Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. It’s a fabulous venue for summer or winter weddings. The modern Glass Pergola in the courtyard hosts wedding ceremonies and breakfasts for up to 60 guests. For a larger gathering of up to 200, try the Wyndham Suite with views over the Severn Estuary or The Garden Marquee.
3. Star Castle, Scilly Isles
Twenty-eight miles off the southwest tip of mainland Cornwall, the Scilly Isles are a magical setting for a wedding with their sub tropical vegetation and white sand beaches. Come in springtime and adorn your wedding with the locally grown narcissi. Star Castle has more than a dash of the fairytale about it. This 16th century fortress was built in star formation on the highest point of St Mary’s island. These days, newlyweds not soldiers can raise a glass of bubbly on the ramparts with epic views over neighbouring islands before sitting down in the old officer’s mess with its stone walls and large Elizabethan fireplace.
4. Prestonfield House, Edinburgh
For an opulent wedding with a touch of Gothic, Prestonfield won’t disappoint. This grand baroque house near Holyrood Park, was once the home of Edinburgh’s Lord Provost and is now owned by star restaurateur James Thomson, who also own The Witchery by the Castle. Prestonfield can accommodate everything from an intimate soiree to a full-on reception in its guilt and red velvet stables. Newlyweds can spend their first night as a married couple in one of 23 indulgent suites, one with a silver chariot bath, gilded leather wall coverings, a four-poster with ostrich plumes and a private turret staircase. ‘More is more’ is definitely the mantra here.
5. Newforge House, Northern Ireland
Looking like something out of a Jane Austen novel, this classic Georgian country house knows a thing or two about weddings with sixth generation owners Louise and John Mathers at the helm. This is the perfect spot for a bijou wedding for up to 28 guests with exclusive use of extensive mature gardens and this picture postcard house. Exclusive hire includes overnight accommodation and breakfast for 12 guests. And you can toast the bride and groom with traditional champagne or go for the Newforge rhubarb and rose gin fizz.
6. Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon
This imposing Jacobean-style country house on the northeastern fringes of Dartmoor National Park has mullioned windows, wood panelled rooms, pretty courtyards, deep open fires, ornate plasterwork, and it frankly oozes romance. There are a grand total of five public rooms with a wedding license, usually followed by a champagne reception on the lawn, and the chef is on hand to create a bespoke wedding breakfast. With a wedding co-ordinator on site, stress will be brought down to a minimum. Newlyweds will love the four-poster Melton bedroom overlooking the sunken garden and fountain.
7. The Inn at Whitewell, Lancashire
For a beautiful wedding in the north west of England, The Inn at Whitewell is a prime candidate overlooking the River Hodder in the Forest of Bowland. This 18th century manor house celebrates its place in history with stone-flagged floors, hand-painted wallpaper, Victorian cabinet baths, romantic four-posters and a Vintage Bentley for hire. But don’t be fooled, this place can deliver a thoroughly modern wedding with everything from SkinSense spa treatments to forward thinking wedding breakfasts using fresh local produce. Couples can order their wedding wine and champagne from Bowland Forest Vintners, independent wine merchants with its shop at The Inn.
8. New House Farm, Lake District
For a serene Lake District wedding, New House Farm is set in the tranquil Lorton Vale north of Buttermere. This pretty whitewashed country guesthouse dating back to 1650 rises to the occasion with its winning mix of rustic authenticity and modern comforts. Couples can choose their atmospheric wedding spot, be it the Hayloft, the Cart Shed or the Milking Parlour, all with a backdrop of fields, fells and lawned gardens. New House Farm can cater for up to 130 guests, and there are five double en-suite bedrooms, with four posters in The Old Dairy and The Stable rooms.
9. Forss House, Scotland
For a remote wedding right at the northern tip of Scotland, Forss House is a beauty, set under the big skies of Caithness, enveloped in woodland and a curve of the River Forss. This grand Georgian mansion will wow your guests with its mix of ancient and modern, and a warm Scottish Highland welcome. Choose between al fresco ceremonies on the lawns in summer, or say 'I do' in the autumn with enchanting woodland photos, or best of all come in the winter months and make the most of the roaring fires and scent of pine needles. Fourteen bedrooms will keep close family and friends happy with touches of tartan and antiques amongst the modern décor.
10. Llangoed Hall, Wales
There surely aren’t many country house hotels that can claim to date back to 560AD, but Llangoed Hall is one. In more recent times, this grand old house deep in the Welsh countryside was owned and returned to its former glory days by Sir Bernard Ashley, husband of Laura Ashley. Beneath the history and opulence, there’s a light touch from the floral bedroom furnishings across 23 rooms to spectacular wedding breakfasts in the Orangery. Helpful, experienced staff offer advice on everything from florists to photographers. Couples who have tied the knot here have described it as a fairytale experience.
Words by Maria F. De Tommaso
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