Set in a pretty town in North Hampshire, The Elvetham is your quintessential picture-perfect country venue. We were invited to visit experience a real wedding day at this gorgeous historic house, and we could not wait to see all that was in store.
The Elvetham dates back to 1086 when it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. We uncovered all sorts of historic treats whilst we were there – Queen Elizabeth I visited in 1591, and a tree she planted is still in the grounds today, and Jane Seymour, one of Henry VIII’s wives, loved The Elvetham too. And we can see why. If there was as much charm and beauty back then as there is today, they would have fallen in love with the place!
The hotel is set in 35 acres of beautiful gardens, with a sunken rose garden, sweet chapel, winding stream and formal lawns, and as we travelled along the sweeping driveway I was transported back to the days of elegant ladies in huge dresses – think Pride and Prejudice – although no sign of Mr Darcy…
We were the only guests staying as they had a wedding party the weekend we stayed, so we took our time to take in the 19thcentury grand red brick mansion house with its impressive old wooden front door. Persian rugs and high, painted ceilings greeted us alongside stained glass windows, and through them, glorious views.
Our suite was beautiful, with a lovely traditional feel and views out over the garden through pretty leaded windows. The bathroom was modern and clean with a huge bath and shower. It would be a great space for a bride to get ready, and as we gazed over the gardens, we got a little glimpse of our bride with her photographer, getting some shots amongst the sprawling grounds.
With the sun high in the sky, we explored the grounds. You really couldn’t ask for a better location for wedding pictures. Beautifully manicured lawns, flowers in bloom, lines of trees and in the distance, cows grazing, and we even spotted some deer. The Elveham is private and secluded, whilst still being within reach of London, for city brides who want a country wedding.
Weddings at The Elvetham
When it comes to weddings at The Elvetham, they have a ‘one wedding a day’ policy, and you can have exclusive use of the venue. There is a range of options for the ceremony; the Summerhouse, an outdoor venue, has the rolling Hampshire countryside as your backdrop; then there’s The Oak Room, Morning Room and The Library, all of which can be transformed to suit your theme, colour palette and wedding size. With beautiful oak panelling, stone fireplaces and stained glass windows, these rooms make an impressive backdrop for your wedding photos. Then there’s the Conservatory, for a little outside/inside feel – light and airy, but undercover!
The Elvetham can cater for up to 120 guests for a seated wedding breakfast or 200 for informal dining. You can also hire a marquee and have your celebration in the grounds, if you need to cater for a larger number of people, up to 600. The Elvetham also has 72 guest bedrooms, so your guests don’t have to go far to get some rest after celebrating with you all day.
They have a wonderful dining menu, which we sampled al fresco, as the evening was so warm and sunny. We enjoyed our dinner outside, sampling a duck terrine and salad, beef and roasted vegetables and a gorgeous pistachio mousse, which were also on the menu for the wedding guests. We then watched the wedding cake cutting before retreating to our suite for a lovely comfortable night’s sleep.
Breakfast the next morning came with gorgeous views and was so relaxing. Breathing the country air just seems to slow time down a little and help you relax.
And then we were on our way, still dreaming of getting lost amongst the rhododendrons and those corseted ladies strolling through the rose gardens. The Elvetham’s definitely a perfect escape for your country wedding. Thank you for having us!
Fleet Road, Hartley Wintney, Hook, RG27 8AS
General Enquiries & Accommodation 01252 759562
Weddings: 01252 847293