A light drizzle fell from the skies, soaking into the chalky earth of Dorset and pinging off the clay roof tiles of the elegantly understated Italian Villa at Compton Acres, the UK’s only authentic Italian villa. I made my way to the villa, housing both this exclusive use wedding venue and the award-winning catering company, Beales Gourmet.
It was the end of summer, but that didn’t stop the Italian Villa’s team of gardeners, who were busy transforming one of the over 10 acres of garden that hug the property. With backs bent against the falling rain and wheelbarrows filled with potted plants, they worked throughout the afternoon, ensuring the lawns were perfectly manicured, ready for an array of seasonal blooms.
My guide for the afternoon, the villa’s commercial manager, Justin, led me on a breathtaking tour of the facility, starting with the romantically-named Verona Suite. The gem of the Verona Suite is its balcony, an open space lined with demure columns, overlooking the celebrated Italian garden. During my visit, the garden was open to the public, and a mother and her small child made use of the slice of Italy hidden in Dorset. The garden, a picture-perfect feature of the suite is roped off during weddings, providing privacy for the couple and their guests, Justin explained. The Medici Suite stretches on the ground floor of the villa. It’s the largest suite on offer at the venue and leads directly to the Italian garden.
The Italian Villa celebrates a bustling peak season with brides wanting a taste of the Italian lifestyle (with or without the sun-drenched days) between the months of May to September. Demand is high at the Italian Villa with bookings already being taken and secured for couples seeking to marry in 2018.
As Justin continued to show me around the venue and the gardens, speaking of the philosophy of the venue, one thing became crystal clear: the goal of the staff at the Italian Villa is to ensure that their couples have an unforgettable, enchanting day. Whether that be through providing a menu of the couple’s family recipes to serve during the wedding breakfast or in switching on the snow machine and filling the garden with ready-made powder for those magical winter weddings – no task is too great when it comes to ensuring the weddings they host are memorable and exactly what the couple orders.
With a preferred supplier’s list featuring some of the best local wedding industry providers and their award-winning catering company on hand, couples wishing to marry at the Italian Villa can be sure to receive all they need to execute the aspirational wedding of their dreams.
Book yourself a visit on one of two open days in 2016: 8 May and 23 October to see the beauty of this stunning venue first hand. You’ll be won over by the incredible smells wafting from the kitchen, and you’ll fall in love with the charming and prestigious suites, the luxurious gardens and the welcoming and accommodating staff.