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Take a Closer Look at Orchardleigh Estate, Somerset

25th July 2019 |By | Be the first to comment

If you’re hunting for a wedding venue that will make you feel like royalty, it’s time to call off the search, because I’ve found it.

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Orchardleigh Estate in Somerset, and despite not even being engaged, I now can’t imagine getting married anywhere else.

Not content with just one breathtaking venue, the estate holds host to two wedding venues, along with a golf course, a boat house and a castle -but more on that later.

Orchardleigh Estate

While I was visiting, with my mother in tow, the main house was being set up for a wedding. It’s grand enough as it is, with fairy tale-esque banqueting halls and a real life library, but with countless tall flower arrangements being ferried around the premises, and the imposing fireplaces and stairways adorned with cascading blooms, it looked absolutely picture perfect for a wedding.

The property dates back to the 1800s, but was purchased by current owner, Chris Vincent, 20 years ago. It was derelict when he took the reins, and he has restored the venue to its former glory, with traditional décor, roaring fires and a very homely vibe, despite being larger than any home I’ve ever stepped foot it.

Chris runs the venue with his partner, Heather, who was born on the estate and has lived there her whole life. They’re actually getting married on the estate themselves in August 2019, and I was completely charmed by their love story.

Chris and Heather gave us a tour around the grounds, and engaged with every single member of staff we encountered, from gardeners, to chefs to waitresses; they knew them all by name, giving the venue a real family feel, which I know would be hugely comforting for any brides getting married there.

After a tour of the main house, we had a peek within The Walled Garden, which is home to The Orangery in Elmhay Park, the second venue on the estate. A wedding was taking place while we were there, so we didn’t nose about too much, but the beauty of this bolt hole has to be seen to be believed, so I’ll leave the picture to do the talking on this one.

Chris was driving us about the estate in his Range Rover (it was torrentially raining) and the next step on our tour was the 13th century chapel, surrounded by a moat. The chapel is fully licensed for weddings, and has no electricity, for a truly authentic feel. Filled with candles we can only imagine how romantic it would be.

Next up, we visited the estate’s castle – that’s right, there’s a castle and a stately home on the grounds. The castle holds host to two lodges, both with private hot tubs and state of the art fittings. The idea is that you stay in the lodges the night before the wedding, then in the house itself the night of the wedding, allowing you to revel in the estate’s impressive grounds for as long as you like. Chris mentioned that he’s yet to show anyone around the venue who hasn’t fallen in love with the lodges and booked them as well as the main house – and it’s easy to see why.

While we ate dinner in the golf club, an errant groomsman wandered in, lost on his way to the lodge he was staying in – this gives you an idea of the sheer size of the estate, and the privacy it affords couples.

Chris gave the lost boy directions back to the lodge, and I struggled to remember a time I’d seen a venue owner be quite so involved and engaged as this. It was the impeccably personal service I came to expect from this one of a kind venue, throughout our stay there.

Last on our tour was the boathouse, which is still in progress, but is potentially the most special spot on the estate.

Right on the lake, accessed only by boat or through a wooded area, sits a majestic stone building with impressive pillars and a private patio. Chris and Heather are renovating this into a private space for couples to retreat to the day after their wedding. It offers the ultimate in seclusion, for you to while away the first days of married life, and they’re planning to install a hottub on the terrace, as well as a top of the range wet room inside. Who needs to head off on a minimoon, when you’ve got this little slice of heaven right on the doorstep of your venue?

After seeing the boat house, I didn’t think things could get any more dreamy, and while there were no further buildings to be wowed by, Chris and Heather weren’t all out of surprises. They revealed that couples getting married can make their big entrance by helicopter (flown by Chris), or horse drawn carriage, driven by Heather.

It’s this combination of extra special details, and the incredible choice of spaces that makes Orchardleigh a real force to be reckoned with when it comes to wedding venues.

Elmhay Park Vital Facts

500 acre country estate 10 Miles from Bath
Indoor Banqueting for 80-300
Exclusive use of Walled Garden Orangery and Italian Garden
28 rooms sleeping 65+ guests. Further accommodation available.
Late licence; dance till dawn
Romantic island church on the estate
Two hours from Big Ben by car
Dog friendly rooms
Dry hire from £1,300
Packages inc food, wine and coordinator for up to 80 guests from £3,750

Orchardleigh Estate Vital Facts

500 acre country estate 10 miles from Bath
Indoor banqueting for 60-160
Exclusive use of house and formal gardens
41 Rooms sleeping 87 guests. Further accommodation available
Accommodation the night before at Orchardleigh Castle
Late licence dance until dawn
Outdoor wedding ceremonies
Romantic island church on the estate
Complimentary food tasting
Two hours from Big Ben by car
Dog friendly rooms
Use the house as if it were your own
Dry hire from £1,350
Packages inc food, wine and coordinator for up to 80 guests from £3,750

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