It’s a stone’s throw from London, perfect for large weddings and there’s plenty of al fresco options – including a sunken garden.
Venue style: Garden-Glam
Great for London based couples who are seeking a near-by garden-glam setting for a big wedding. The event spaces all have garden views and flexibility to add your own creative flair. If you have family and friends flying in from abroad it’s also in an ideal location, close to Gatwick and Luton airports.
Set the scene:
A long winding driveway meanders through the 300 acre estate leading to a 18th century mansion house, now known as The Grove Hotel. The vibe inside is unexpectedly modern, as a vast new wing has been added in recent years. The original part of the hotel – referred to as The Mansion – is full of character and charm, with wonky floorboards and dark hues. The hotel comes to life in summer months, its home to a large walled garden with outdoor pool, beach area and splendid formal gardens. There’s plenty of country pursuits on offer if you’re planning a wedding weekender.
There are three large event spaces, all located in the new part of the hotel so very swish and decked out with the latest modcons. The Amber Suite is the largest of the three accommodating up to 450 guests, the Cedar Suite is flooded with natural light and panoramic garden views and the Ivory Suite boasts its own private entrance. In summer months, guests can spill out into the formal gardens for your drinks reception from each suite. For an al fresco ceremony, we love the sunken garden which has a beautiful tree lined aisle. For an evening celebration, The Potting Shed, located in the Victorian walled garden is a paired back, rustic setting.
Food and drink:
The Glasshouse restaurant is at the heart of the hotel and provides a theatrical dining experience. The concept is cool, there’s lively food stations offering freshly made cuisine from all around the world. It’s the perfect place to host a relaxed dinner the night before your wedding. The hotel offers in-house catering for weddings, including Madhu’s who specialise in Indian cuisine. The kitchen garden provides fresh, seasonal ingredients to all the chefs – and we love the “garden to glass” seasonal cocktail menu.
There is plenty of accommodation for all of your wedding guests, rooms in the new wing are contemporary and have lovely garden views. There are 12 suites located in the original part of the hotel (the 18th century mansion house) which are much more charactful, with creaking floorboards and beautiful sash windows looking out onto the estate. Each suite is individually designed, we’d suggest the Villiers Suite for the newlyweds. It features dark burgundy tones, rich velvets, antique furniture, an open fireplace and a four poster bed – it’s sumptuous and oozes sexiness.
The Grove opened its doors as a five star hotel only 16 years ago. However, it holds a rich and varied history. Originally, it was the family home of the Earl of Clarendon and Queen Victoria was known to weekend here back in the day.
The hotel is home to The Sequoia Spa, which is modern and perfect for pre-wedding pampering or post-wedding relaxation. The main area is striking with vaulted ceiling and black mosaic-tiled swimming pool. Book the luxurious Inner Calm Massage the day before your wedding to fully relax ahead of all of the excitement.
The hotel is currently installing a living roof and makes the most of its kitchen garden on site, located in the walled garden. We love the foraged, seasonal cocktail menu, from “garden to glass”.
Budget: packages start from £169 per person (October to March) and £195 per person (April to September)
Capacity: up to 450 guests
Location: The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG
Related article: The Most Beautiful Micro-Wedding Venues in London