15 The Best Wedding Venues in London

Serene, intimate and just so pretty, Merriscourt has all the ingredients for an elegant country celebration…

INTRODUCING MERRISCOURT, A SUPER-STYLISH, FAMILY-RUN WEDDING VENUE on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds. The estate is the home of Thomas Astor and his family, and is fully licensed for civil ceremonies. We love the intimate set-up here: choose from a trio of interlinking barns designed especially for special events. Each of the buildings has been beautifully restored and decorated – beams and historic Cotswolds stone walls – and the shared courtyard is perfect for al fresco Champagne in the summer. Beyond the barns, Merriscourt owns 500 acres of glorious English countryside, which would also be entirely at your disposal. Expect exceptional attention to detail when it comes to your wedding theme.

The team at Merriscourt works with an A-list of suppliers – the very best the Cotswolds has to offer – and is on hand 24/7 to tie up loose ends in the run-up to the big day. To top things off, there’s plenty of space for your wedding party to stay over in luxurious cottages in the Merriscourt grounds. The beautiful Old House sleeps 11, the Pump House sleeps two, and No.3, The Studio and a recently added cottage sleep six each – now to choose which lucky friends and family will join you overnight! Chic, elegant and completely unique, there’s no better place to make special memories than at Merriscourt.

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Cliveden House BERKSHIRE

Meghan Markle spent the night here before her wedding to Prince Harry – and for good reason. Once home to the Astor family, who had a reputation for throwing glitzy parties, this is an impressive historic pile: the dramatic driveway with a Fountain of Love; the National Trust parkland with the formal parterre; the dazzling French Dining Room with gilded Rococo panelling. Special mention also to the revamped spa and the vintage flotilla you can take along the River Thames. clivedenhouse.co.uk

Gleneagles PERTHSHIRE, SCOTLAND

Great news: this Highlands hero has a new events wing, Ochil House, which overlooks the croquet lawn (Brides loves the illustrations on the wall that pay tribute to Scottish inventions). The food is fantastic – lots of game and shellfish from Scotland’s natural larder – there’s a range of country pursuits, from horse riding to archery, and the Bob & Cloche beauty lodge is ideal for pre-do preening. gleneagles.com

Grantley Hall YORKSHIRE

The most exciting new country-house hotel to open in the Yorkshire Dales this year, restored 17thcentury Grantley Hall has an ornamental Japanese Garden and a bridal suite overlooking the fountains. Get wed in the Grantley Suite, which has a private bar and terrace, the outdoor Riverside Summer House or the Signature Restaurant. Then dance the night away at Valeria’s, the subterranean cocktail bar. grantleyhall.co.uk

Cliveden House BERKSHIRE

Meghan Markle spent the night here before her wedding to Prince Harry – and for good reason. Once home to the Astor family, who had a reputation for throwing glitzy parties, this is an impressive historic pile: the dramatic driveway with a Fountain of Love; the National Trust parkland with the formal parterre; the dazzling French Dining Room with gilded Rococo panelling. Special mention also to the revamped spa and the vintage flotilla you can take along the River Thames. clivedenhouse.co.uk

Barnsley House GLOUCESTERSHIRE

From sunny terraces to ornate lawns, the gardens here are glorious. If the weather is fine, exchange vows outside the Gothic Summerhouse, then eat in The Potager Restaurant. This hotel is exclusive-use only – make the most of the cinema and spa! – and there are more rooms at sister property The Village Pub, so everyone can stay nearby. barnsleyhouse.com

Another Place The Lake CUMBRIA

The hippest hotel in the Lake District (it’s from the same owners as Watergate Bay in Cornwall), this has heartsoaring views of the fells. Have your ceremony in glass-fronted restaurant The Living Space followed by Champagne on the terrace and your wedding breakfast in a tepee on the lakefront lawn. Save the next day for spa treatments and kayaking on Ullswater Lake. another.place/the-lake

Lucknam Park WILTSHIRE

Drive down the mile-long avenue lined with lime and beech trees and suddenly the Georgian Palladian mansion, which is surrounded by 500 acres of private parkland, comes into view. The beauty of Lucknam Park is that it’s equally suited to smaller celebrations – which happen in the Music Room, the walled garden or the Michelinstarred Restaurant Hywel Jones – as it is a three-day shebang that takes over the whole place. lucknampark.co.uk

Adare Manor CO. LIMERICK, IRELAND

Romance is woven into every inch of this stupendous estate on the Wild Atlantic Way, which reopened at the end of 2017 after a bells-and-whistles refurb. There’s a Grand Ballroom, walled garden and food made with the finest hand-picked ingredients. And that’s just for starters. Stay on for falconry and fishing, and treats in the La Mer spa. adaremanor.com

Heckfield Place HAMPSHIRE

There has been plenty of talk about Heckfield Place since its long-awaited opening last year. And boy, does it live up to the hype! The hotel has several different but equally stellar spaces, including the homely Hearth in the old stables with bare brick and exposed beams, and the glass Sun House, surrounded by wisteria, lavender and roses in the walled gardens. Menus are bespoke and overseen by culinary director, renowned chef Skye Gyngell. Need we say more? heckfieldplace.com

Rushton Hall NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

This Grade I-listed country-house hotel in Kettering has a magnificent entrance hall, lavish ballroom, dazzling new Orangery that overlooks the gardens and a Picture Gallery that comes with a charming minstrels’ balcony (it doubles up as the place for dancing and DJs). The events team can organise out-of-theordinary entertainment, too. Always wanted a Spitfire flyover or an ice-rink on your big day? Consider it done. rushtonhall.com

Lime Wood Hotel HAMPSHIRE

Laid-back luxury is the name of the game at this New Forest hideaway, which you can take over in its entirety during the week. Tuck into Italian-style sharing plates at the Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant before opening the glass roof of the courtyard to dance under the stars. Bed down in the Lake Cabin – cantilevered over the water, it feels like being on your very own private island. limewoodhotel.co.uk

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE

This is surely the loveliest château in the Loire, all creamy limestone neo-classical architecture with orchards, a pool, potager garden, Orangery and a forest with trails that lead to centuries-old statues. From a grand wedding (the ballroom is the pièce de résistance) to une petite soirée in the garden with fireworks and dancing, the possibilities are endless. chateaugrandluce.com

Babington House SOMERSET

This is Soho House’s original rural retreat – and it even has its own private chapel among the 18 acres of countryside. You’ll have the run of the Georgian manor, which means dinner in the Orangery overlooking the lake, drinks in the club bar (the DJ will spin the decks as loud and late as you like; sheep for neighbours = no curfew) and treatments in the Cowshed spa. Like what you see? Register your wedding gift list at Soho Home. babingtonhouse.co.uk

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