With Downton Abbey being such a hugely successful show both in America and in the UK, there has been a sudden surge of 1920’s fashions being injected into the wedding industry. Naturally, our trans-Atlantic cousins would struggle to find a wedding venue that truly reflects the nature of old English aristocracy, but here in Blighty, they are in abundance.
Function Fixers have put together 3 of what we think are the best venues for a Downton-inspired wedding – filled with refined elegance, English charm and traditional design, but also able to provide you with a fantastic ceremony, reception, staff service, accommodation and catering.
Eltham Lodge in Greenwich may not be as grand in scale as Downton, but it’s certainly as sophisticated and stylish. This smaller but charming and still spacious venue houses an oate staircase, hundreds of priceless portraits, and is set in acre upon acre of stunning golf course. The 17th Century interiors have been modeised for convenience but still retain their original character, and this is a fine example of a typical English manor house. The wedding breakfast can be crafted from an arrange of all-inclusive menus, all using hearty and locally sourced ingredients and all very good value for money – especially when tied in with the various drinks package options. The Eagleton Gray room holds 130 for a standing reception and seats 100 for dinner, and this stunning room is adoed with oate plasterwork, tall windows and glittering chandeliers – an ideal option for an affordable venue in easy reach of London, that still oozes Downton-style character.
Hawkesyard Estate in Staffordshire is picture-perfect for a country wedding. This beautiful venue dates back to the 13th century, and has been a home to various aristocrats and powerful figures over its long and prosperous life. It’s got classic Downton design elements such as the pointed turrets, tall chimneys and long, tree-lined driveway, but again, is on a much smaller scale. The 18th century Grand Hall is decorated with armour, family shields and paintings, and provides a spectacular backdrop for your wedding breakfast. The 200 acres of well-kept parkland provide endless opportunities for wedding photography, and also offer inviting spaces for summer drinks receptions.
The ultimate Downton theme can be executed at Stoneleigh Abbey – a picturesque and imposing venue set in 690 acres of beautiful grounds and owning a stretch of the River Avon in the West Midlands. If you’re looking for a high-end venue, this is a fantastic option. It started its life as a monastery in 1154, and has been added to and adapted over the years to form a stunning family home. Now, it plays host to a variety of corporate functions and is open to the public for guided tours, but after hours, becomes a lively and spectacular wedding venue. During the summer, you can opt to host your reception in the marquee, which overlooks the river and the house, and holds up to 900 people. Inside, the Banqueting Hall can seat a staggering 300 people for dinner in opulent, ancient and beautifully detailed surroundings, and you can even make your grand entrance and arrive by helicopter on Stoneleigh’s vey own private landing pad!