Wedding venue review: Millets Farm

Wedding venue review: Millets Farm

 

Millets Farm wedding venue

After a three year hiatus and some fantastic renovations, Millets Farm have reopened their Lakeview Suite to hold wedding receptions.

With amazing views of the lake, the farm on hand to entertain the whole family and a big versatile space, this is more than just a function room – this has wonderful charm and character.

 

Millets Farm location

I have visited Millets Farm many times as a parent and enjoyed the vast and ever growing facilities and attractions that it has on offer. We’ve enjoyed the maize maze, pick your own fruit, the garden centre, the new play barn and the delicious wares of the farm shop.

However I had never been upstairs, above the Farmhouse Kitchen, and seen the Lakeview Suite – a private space with it’s own access and outdoor balconies across some great views of the farm.

The restaurant building was built in 1990 but the Lakeview Suite has recently returned to weddings with a renovated, vaulted ceiling, wooden beams and panoramic views.

 

Spacious function room

It surprised me how much space this room has to offer. And the light pours in to the room. Don’t let one big open space be daunting as you can easily partition the room to act as different areas for your big day.

Plus it has a cosy bar and seating area to provide excellent places for guests to unwind and mingle.

The room hire includes 120 chairs plus round or trestle tables for your wedding reception. It is a great space to be able to decorate and make it your own.

Not only that but the whole space is remarkably quiet and peaceful even with it’s proximity to the farm and restaurant.

The facilities are great and this is brilliant value for money.

 

Catering partners

For one less thing to worry about organising, there is exclusive in house catering with some high quality food packages provided by catering partners, Oxford Farm Weddings. They create delicious, bespoke wedding menus at Millets Farm.

Plus look no further than the on site bakery for celebration cakes, whether that be a traditional wedding cake or perhaps a cake of cheese.

 

Far from just farm facitiies

Whilst this wedding venue isn’t currently licensed for ceremonies yet, it is something that they are seriously considering and is likely to be available in the not too distant future.

They also have plans for a beautiful pier by the lake to have your wedding photographs.

There’s also a boutique on site (Beauty within Millets) to get ready before the big day. 

Summary

Millets Farm is a family run business and they have lovingly renovated this space – using the three year break to refine their wedding packages. Lakeview Suite at Millets Farm feels like it’s a new wedding venue on the scene because they’ve returned with a space that is a bit different than the rest.  It is great value for money, with great facilities, amazing food packages and beautiful views.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue:
function room
Find out more: https://milletsfarmcentre.com/what-s-here/for-weddings.html
Location: Lakeview Suite, Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Oxfordshire, OX13 5HB
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 120-150
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: not licensed (yet!)
Venue hire: from £2000
Nearest church: St John the Baptist, Abingdon Road, Kingston Bagpuize, OX13 5AY
Wedding breakfast: packages from £60pp with Oxford Farm Weddings
Accommodation: local hotels and b&bs
Wedding fairs: Wedding Open Day 26th January 2019
Other things worth a mention:  a great family day out

image credits:

Photography | Matthew Pattimore Photography | https://www.matthewpattimorephotography.com/
Flowers | Flowers by Kirsty | https://www.flowersbykirsty.com/
Styling & décor | My Taylor Made Wedding | https://www.mytaylormadewedding.co.uk/
Chair bows | Bowtique Chair Covers | http://bowtiquechaircovers.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

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Wedding venue review: Merriscourt

Wedding venue review: Merriscourt

Merriscourt wedding venue review

Merriscourt is one of my favourite barn wedding venues in the heart of the Cotswolds. A vast expanse of space and possibilities; complete with modern facilities, accommodation and in house catering options.

It is a ‘one stop shop’ of a wedding venue which offers freedom, creativity, transparent pricing, and above all lots of space.

home from home wedding barn venue

There’s a real sense of calm and peacefulness about the surroundings and it feels very homely. You have full reign of the whole place during the event and can also stay over in one of it’s many accommodation options.

ample grounds

The venue is actually 3 interlinking converted barns around a beautiful central courtyard with a picturesque tree, giving a wonderful focal point from each of the surrounding barns.

Facilities

This wedding venue is blessed with high beamed ceilings, Cotswold stone walls adorned with subtle tapestries, and oodles of light.

Much more than just a blank canvas, this converted barn looks like a home from home. It’s your own house party for the weekend.

With space for a ceremony, drinks reception, sit down meal and dance floor without having to turn each space around; it rightly boasts lots of space. Plus there’s no need to relocate for any element of your special day with accommodation on site too.

 

Service

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad comment about Merriscourt. Couples have all said how great it is and that everything is clear so there’s no second guessing when wedding planning.

It would seem that Merriscourt can’t do enough for couples and go out of their way to ensure the day couples desire.

Plus from a wedding guest point of view, the staff seamlessly usher you through each aspect of the day from room to room.

Summary

This wedding venue is a real home from home that can be adapted just how you want it with an abundance of space and options. See an inspirational French foodie’s fête wedding at Merriscourt.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: http://merriscourt.com/
Location:
Merriscourt, Sarsden, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 6QX
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 150
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: Licensed Stone Barn
Venue hire: from £3480
Nearest church: All Saints Church, Church Road, Churchill, Chipping Norton OX7 6NU
Wedding breakfast: packages for canapes, sharing boards and bbqs. Three course meals from £36pp.
Accommodation: luxury accommodation in grounds sleeps total of 26
Wedding fairs:
 Wedding Fair around March/April time
Other things worth a mention: beautiful Bentley for hire as well

Wedding venue review: Ashmolean Museum

Wedding venue review: Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum wedding venue review

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t realise that you could get married at the magnificent Ashmolean Museum in Oxford – there are some wonderful unknown venue options on offer right on our doorsteps.

Photography by David Bostock Photography

Licensed wedding venues

In 1995, the law was changed to allow marriages to be conducted in other civil approved venues in addition to a registry office or religious premises. Now over 50% of ceremonies are carried out in these type of venues and there are some truly beautiful venues to choose from in Oxfordshire and the surrounding Cotswolds.

Whether in a barn, a manor house, a marquee, a museum, or a hotel, there are some amazing places to hold your wedding or special occasion. There’s something out there to accommodate most styles, guest numbers and budgets.

Photography by Martin Phelps Photography

Location of the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum is slap bang in the middle of a wonderful university city – steeped in history, with an abundance of amazing architecture, and nicknamed the ‘city of dreaming spires’.

Just a few minutes walk from the city centre shops is this impressive building, conveniently opposite the prestigious MacDonald Randolph Hotel, where guests often choose to stay and then can just walk across the road.

Photography by SLR Photography

Impressive backdrops

The Ashmolean Museum gives you maximum impact with minimal effort, as the backdrop of this venue needs no help in packing a punch – the wow factor is there for you already!

Photography by Charlie Flounders Photography

Galleries

One of the most striking things about this venue is there are many options and different ways you could use a combination of the galleries for your drinks reception, licensed ceremony, dinner and dancing. Each gallery has it’s own character, atmosphere and capacity that can be suited to your number of guests and requirements.

This is a venue which is quiet, personal and intimate, yet very much on the grand scale.

Once the museum has closed to the public, you have full rein of the venue from 5.30pm. For example, you could choose to have a drinks reception on the Rooftop Restaurant Terrace where it has a more contemporary feel; your wedding ceremony in the European Art Gallery with imposing portraits, picture perfect harpsichord playing and a sweeping staircase to make a grand entrance; dinner in the Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery; and then dancing in the Vaulted Café in the basement with booth style seating and nightclub feel.

There’s certainly nothing staid or boring about this museum. And whilst I visited on a grey day at the end of May, there still was loads of light pouring into the venue.

Photography by David Bostock Photography

Facilities

Brides come in through a side entrance secretly to avoid the guests who are coming in through the main entrance. Then the bride is often brought down the grand staircase to make an entrance into the European Art Gallery.

How awe-inspiring to spend your wedding day looking at some masterpieces and have statues looming over proceedings. All you need to decorate most of the galleries would be some up lighters for alcoves or where statues stand and spot lights for the aisle.

The Museum use Clerkwenwell Green as an exclusive catering partner to complete the wedding experience at the Ashmolean. Being a bespoke Events Catering Company based in Hoxton London, they too take the guests on a journey, delivering cool, confident and considered food that has been created with passion and designed carefully to showcase the best seasonal ingredients available throughout the year. Head Chef Mike Dewing was recently awarded ‘Chef Of The Year’ in 2017 by Benugo.

Chairs and tables are included in the price and they also offer a range of table linen, china and glassware.

Photography by Christina Savage Photography

Service

There doesn’t seem to be anything that is too much to ask of this venue. They seem extremely flexible to accommodate couples’ wishes for their big day. With the understandable exception of red wine (apart from in the dinner and dancing areas), anything seems to go!

Stacey is their amazing onsite wedding planner and she is on hand to help you through every detail and aspect of your wedding day. Not a cookie cutter style wedding in sight – just the personal touch all the way.

Photography by David Bostock Photography

Summary

This is a beautiful hidden gem of a wedding venue in Oxford. From the outside you don’t know the expanse of options that are available inside. It provides a truly wonderful labyrinth of options to hold a wedding or special occasion.

Photography by Life in Focus Photography

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue:
museum
Find out more: https://www.ashmolean.org/weddings-and-parties
Location: Beaumont Street,  Oxford, OX1 2PH
Wedding season: year round after 5.30pm
Guests: 20-150 depending on gallery
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: Licensed
Venue hire: tbd based on requirements and how many galleries you want to use for the day
Nearest church: St Mary Magdalen’s Church, 9 Magdalen St, Oxford OX1 3AE
Wedding breakfast: packages with Clerkwenwell Green
Accommodation: local hotels and b&bs and opposite the Randolph Hotel
Wedding fairs: Wedding Open Days throughout the year
Other things worth a mention: impressive backdrops in every room – your ‘something old’ sorted in an instant

Wedding venue review: Lapstone Barn

Wedding venue review: Lapstone Barn

If I was getting married again, this is the wedding venue where I’d choose to say ‘I do’! Its a brilliant compromise between a hotel and the blank canvas of a barn, which for me is the best of both worlds.

Location

Though slightly out of my normal radar, this wedding venue sits about 20 miles from Witney in the north of the Cotswolds. However it was well worth a visit to look around on such a glorious sunny day last month.

I feel really lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and it was wonderful to drive through such stunning countryside to get to this venue. Unfortunately, my drive was slightly longer than planned as I made the mistake of trying to find this venue from their postcode. It is much easier to find if you stick to the main roads, coming off the A44 towards Chipping Campden on the B4081. Or type ‘Lapstone Barn Wedding Venue’ in your Google maps!

There’s a lovely sense of escapism when you arrive and this venue feels like it’s completely in the middle of nowhere. Found not far from Batsford Arboretum, Dormy House and a stone’s throw away from Snowshill, with the lavender of the region echoed at the venue.

Industrial chic

This 18th century stable farm (and then a furniture shop until only last year) has recently been beautifully and breathtakingly done up to a luxurious finish. With all the class of a London venue alongside the tranquil and rural setting of the Cotswolds.

Industrial chic at it’s best and you can’t beat the backdrop and amazing scenery that this venue has to offer.

Grounds

After coming down the long drive, there’s a spacious car park out the front of this newly refurnished barn. Whilst the outside space was still a work in progress when I visited, you can still see the potential and vision that will come to life as soon as the warmer weather appears. With plans for a water feature and lavender in their courtyard and new tree being planted outside. Every aspect is being considered to provide stunning memories for your big day.

Facilities

There are two main parts to the inside of the venue, both exude a modern, classy and warm vibe.

The Stone Barn is more rustic and what you’d come to expect of a Cotswold barn venue and typically where couples choose to have their ceremonies. Then the Northwick Barn is a large industrial loft style extension where you could hold your wedding reception. But the options could also include the courtyard (which is also licensed).

Then there’s a further Tanner bar section with seating and a wood burning stove – hygge typified!

What struck me was that the venue seemed really light – both natural and artificial – with great expansive windows and doors, plus I loved the really modern light fittings.

On top of this, there are lots of places and separate areas to sit inside and outside, which would be great for people to break away during the reception or when music is playing.

Lapstone Barn offers all inclusive catering and bar packages and you can have the venue exclusively from 10am – 1am. There’s also a great area to get ready upstairs in the Hayloft where you can see your guests arriving along the drive.

Service

These new kids on the block are certainly not wet behind the ears, as they boast years of experience and an extensive list of suppliers in the wedding industry. They have worked on high-end bespoke marquee weddings and are bursting with ideas and expertise in creating stunning weddings.

They’ve got great vision and a brilliant eye for detail. They’ll even set the tables for you! So all you’re left to worry about is the decor, entertainment and getting yourself ready.

Summary

This wedding venue is a beautiful halfway house between a barn and a hotel. With the facilities of catering and a bar like a hotel, along with the charm and personalisation options of a barn.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: https://www.lapstonebarn.co.uk/
Location: B4081, Chipping Campden, GL55 6UR
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 140-200
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: Licensed inside and courtyard from £200
Venue hire: from £1500
Nearest church: St James’ Church, Church Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6JG
Wedding breakfast: packages from £43pp
Accommodation: local hotels and b&bs
Wedding fairs: Wedding Fair and Open Day 17th March 2018
Other things worth a mention: brilliant industrial loft style barn conversion

 

Wedding venue review: Eynsham Hall

Wedding venue review: Eynsham Hall

Well, if you’re looking for the WOW factor, turning in to the long drive way and getting a first glimpse at this wedding venue will get your jaw dropping and have your guests in awe.

Location

Set in rural Oxfordshire lies Eynsham Hall which, despite it’s name, is actually in North Leigh (on the road between Witney and Woodstock) rather than in Eynsham itself. After driving through wooded areas, you come upon some impressive gates that lead the way to the estate. The half-a-mile, tree-lined, driveway escorts you until the Hall slowly comes in to view.

Quirky details

Eynsham Hall pitches itself as a stately (but not stuffy) Jacobean manor. And this harmony of traditional and contemporary elements sit alongside each other seamlessly. I was delighted to look around this wedding venue at Christmas time and loved all the festive trees decorated individually in each room. And it’s the quirky attention to detail that pops up in every room making each one a bit different with their own talking points.

Grounds

Not only a grand stately home, but Eynsham Hall is surrounding by around 3,000 acres of beautiful parklands and formal gardens – perfect for your wedding photographs.

The terrace overlooks a fountain with a relaxing sound of the slow trickle of water. There’s also tennis courts, a pool, sauna and beauty treatments on site to enjoy before or after the big day.

Facilities

There is certainly no doubt that this is a stately home – proud of its heritage and exuding opulence from it’s very essence. With an amazing staircase to make a grand wedding entrance, oak panelled walls, foreboding portraits hanging, huge fireplaces and large arched windows with big window seats to perch and view the impressive gardens.

But this venue also oozes charm and elegance. It is relaxed and accessible just like the mismatched sofas and arms chairs in the lounge that invite you to sink in to them. And my eye kept being drawn up to the striking high ceilings to notice that each room had a slightly different modern twist for the chandeliers, whether that was using drinking glasses, stag antlers or even a spider’s web.

It also boasts a luxurious bridal suite including a big copper bath to enjoy. Plus the spacious Peacock Room for the bridal party to change and get ready in before the ceremony.

Service

For your wedding day, this would be your house and you’d feel at home and be made very welcome. This wedding venue only hosts one wedding a day so you have their exclusive and undivided attention.

The staff are slick behind the scenes and experienced at what makes a wedding work well. There’s options of which room to hold your ceremony (as well as whether you have it inside or outside). Whilst Eynsham Hall has always specialised in large scale celebrations, it has also announced the addition of a new and intimate licensed ceremony space for weddings for 40 guests from January 2018.

Space

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the number of different rooms at your disposable. You could use one room for the ceremony, the library for drinks, relax outside on the terrace and have a sit down meal in another room.

In my opinion this venue wouldn’t suit the diy couple who want to personalise everything, as the decor and surroundings already speak for themselves. There’s not much that you’d need to organise yourself. Although I think some chair covers may be needed in some rooms if the distinctive colour of the chairs doesn’t suit your own wedding theme.

Conclusion

This wedding venue needs no adaptation or adornment and will provide you with a lush backdrop to a stunning wedding, whether you’re after an impressive, plush do or an intimate affair.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: country house hotel
Find out more: http://www.eynshamhall.com/
Location: A4095, North Leigh, Witney OX29 6PN
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 80-150
Marquee option: marquee permitted
Ceremony: licensed inside or outside from £475
Venue hire: included in packages
Nearest church: Methodist Church, 1 Chapel Lane, North Leigh, Witney OX29 6SD
Wedding breakfast: packages from £115 per person in April-October (from £110 pp in winter months)
Accommodation: 35 rooms in the main house (plus 90 onsite)
Wedding fairs: several throughout the year – next on 25th February 2018
Other things worth a mention: check out the copper pipes of the beer pumps in the brasserie and yellow sofas in the contemporary bar

Local licensed wedding venues in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Local licensed wedding venues in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

Getting married at a licensed wedding venue in the Cotswolds

We live in such a stunning part of the country, commonly regarded as an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswolds is located in south central England and made up of 6 counties: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. It’s no wonder that every year 21,000+* of couples getting married in England choose to say ‘I do’ in a wedding venue in the Cotwolds.

Photography by Squib Photography

About the Cotswolds region

Mainly rural landscape, with it’s lush green countryside, the Cotswolds is a relaxing escape from the big cities. With acres of lavender fields, historical towns, stately homes and picturesque, chocolate box villages with their honey coloured limestone buildings. It’s no surprise that this region has many places that feature in the Britain’s richest towns list. And we are perfectly located amongst the ‘golden triangle’ of the Cotswold towns of Burford, Chipping Norton and Woodstock.

Photography by Farrow Photography

Wedding venues in the Cotswolds

Hanami Dream is based in West Oxfordshire and there are some truly beautiful venues to choose from in the surrounding Cotswolds. Whether in a barn, a manor house, a marquee or a hotel, there are some amazing places (with some breathtaking views) to hold your wedding or special occasion. There’s something out there to accommodate most styles, guest numbers and budgets.

Bride looking down in the garden | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Take a look at the venues with wedding licences where you can get married in West Oxfordshire:

  1. Bay Tree Hotel
  2. Blenheim Palace
  3. The Blue Boar
  4. Caswell House
  5. Cogges Manor Farm – see my wedding venue review for Cogges Manor Farm here
  6. Eynsham Hall – see my wedding venue review for Eynsham Hall here
  7. Ferryman Inn
  8. Friars Court
  9. Heythrop Park Hotel
  10. Merriscourt – see my wedding venue review for Merriscourt here
  11. Old Swan and Minster Mill – see my wedding venue review for Old Swan and Minster Mill here
  12. Oxleaze Barn – see my wedding venue review for Oxleaze Barn here
  13. The Cotswold Plough
  14. The Trout at Tadpole Bridge
  15. Oxford Witney Hotel (formerly Four Pillars Witney)
  16. Witney Lakes Resort
  17. Witney Registration Office – Windrush Room
  18. Woodstock Town Hall
  19. The Wychwood Golf Club

Not technically in Oxfordshire, but we also wanted to include new kid on the block in Chipping Campden:

20. Lapstone Barn – see my wedding venue review for Lapstone Barn here

Photography by Squib Photography

We are certainly spoilt for choice around here for amazing venues to hold a special occasion. For more details on how to pick your perfect wedding venue look out for my The Holy Trinity of Wedding Planning – Part 2: where.

*Data from Office of National Statistics www.ons.gov.uk Area of occurrence 2011. Based on 235,955 marriages in England. Based on 21,202 marriages in the Cotswolds (combined Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire).
Wedding venue review: Oxleaze Barn

Wedding venue review: Oxleaze Barn

Bridal party outside of the Barn | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.ukLocation
Not too far off the A361 (which runs from Burford to Swindon) is a beautiful wedding barn. You’d be forgiven to thinking you were in the middle of nowhere as this wedding venue location feels so remote. There’s a wonderful quietness to the surroundings and a lovely sense of still and calmness. It really is an escape from the busy city and a chance to be immersed in the countryside to celebrate your special day in style.

Year round
Oxleaze Barn is a tucked-away Gloucestershire barn with year-round warmth, thanks to its solar panel and biomass generated underfloor heating. Built in 1702 and beautifully renovated with some stunning original features, yet adapted efficiently to provide a comfortable space and offer weddings whatever the season.

Moongate at the end of the aisle | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Grounds
Tucked away in rolling Cotswold countryside, on a working farm, this wedding venue has ample parking, space for catering vans, a landscaped courtyard and firepit, along with access to a phenomenal private garden for your photographs.

Bridesmaid under arch in garden | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Facilities
It’s also well equipped, with a spacious Artist’s Studio to get ready, a state of the art commercial kitchen and luxurious toilet area, plus Chiavari chairs if you want them for your wedding set up. Cotswold Event Solutions are on hand for any other furniture requests and The Watering Hole manage the bar for them. There’s only one wedding a weekend so you’ll have the time to decorate and enjoy your day without feeling rushed.

Banquet style seating | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Service
With 4 years experience under their belts, this family run business have got the right mix of flexibility along with advice if/when couples require guidance. They offer a relaxed and friendly service partnered with a wonderful space that they are continuing to improve and evolve.

Space
This year their offering will include the expansion of additional barn space (The Milling Barn) which will give an extra area for the drinks reception and disco. In addition, they are converting a 3 double bedroom cottage for accommodation later this year.

Bride sat on Chivari chair in front of moongate wreath | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Conclusion
Oxleaze Barn is certainly an up and coming venue to watch out for. Plus it seems that it is one that is responding to couples’ requirements and developing their offering.

And see how this beautiful venue looks in my Journey to the Centre of the Earth inspirational styled bridal shoot.

Close up of cake in the maze | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: http://www.oxleazebarn.co.uk/
Location: Filkins, Gloucestershire, GL7 3RB
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 120 in The Barn
Marquee option: marquee permitted
Ceremony: Licensed inside from £250
Venue hire: from £1000
Nearest church: St Peter’s Church, Rouses Lane, Filkins, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3JF (0.0 miles)
Wedding breakfast: bring in own catering suppliers
Accommodation: 3 double bedroom cottage from February 2018
Wedding fairs: Open Day in February and October
Other things worth a mention: warm all year round

Wedding venue review: Cogges Manor Farm

Wedding venue review: Cogges Manor Farm

Couple outside the wedding barns at Cogges | The Secret Garden | modern Edwardian styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | greenery | perspex | Cogges Manor Farm | Witney | May 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Cogges Manor Farm is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns which provide a wonderful setting for celebrations.

I may be a little bias, as this venue has a special place in my heart – not only is it a beautiful local licensed wedding venue in my home town, but it is also a haven and wonderful place to escape with the children.

More than just a farm museum and set location for Downton Abbey, it also offers two rustic and untouched barns as a wedding venue. They are a perfect blank canvas where you can add your own personalised details to make your special day complete.

More and more couples are shying away from the cookie cutter approach to weddings and demanding a more unique and individual wedding.

This venue certainly helps couples who want to fulfil this ‘diy’ desire as there are hardly any restrictions or prescriptions. You have the freedom to use the suppliers of your choice, you can choose your own room layout and your own decoration to suit your theme for the day. Therefore, you have the option of taking this venue in a variety of different directions. It’s a really versatile space.

Don’t be under any illusions – it may take a little extra work than a ready made venue but you can make this place fit your theme perfectly.

And embrace the fact that it’s rustic – you’ll need to think about your catering options cleverly. For example it would lend itself very nicely for a hog roast, bbq, picnic or food vans.

It feels like the location is really rural but you’re actually right by the centre of town. And this is more than a shell of a building in the middle of a field – there are facilities (although you’ll need to bear in mind it is still rustic and a short walk to the toilets), accessible and ample parking, plus it’s close to bus routes and hotels.

What you do get is a lot of space (both inside and outside of the barns). And the beauty of Cogges is that it is more than just a wedding venue. Your guests can benefit from all the other facilities and attractions around the site in between the formalities of the day. And after 5pm, as well as the barns, the rest of the site is exclusively yours to enjoy too.

There’s a lovely laid back and friendly atmosphere at Cogges Manor Farm and loads of charming locations for photographs, such as the Manor House lawn, the walled garden or orchard and you can even include the farm animals in your photos!

They have a limited number of wedding slots per year and there is only one wedding per weekend.

I will be styling the venue for their Wedding Open Day on Sunday 17th September 11am-3pm. Come and see the barns dressed for wedding planning inspiration.

And see how stunning this venue looks in my Modern Edwardian Secret Garden inspirational styled bridal shoot.

Couple by walled garden | The Secret Garden | modern Edwardian styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | greenery | perspex | Cogges Manor Farm | Witney | May 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: www.cogges.org.uk
Location: Church Lane, Witney, OX28 3LA
Wedding season: March-October
Guests: 200 in Wheat Barn: 60 in Barley Barn
Marquee option: weighted marquee permitted
Ceremony: Licensed inside from £300
Venue hire: from £3050
Nearest church: St Mary’s Cogges, Church Lane, Witney, OX28 3LA (0.0 miles)
Wedding breakfast: bring in own catering suppliers
Accommodation: local b&bs
Wedding fairs: Open Day in Autumn
Other things worth a mention: so much more than just a wedding venue and very family friendly

St Mary’s Cogges Church | Witney

Wedding venue review: The Old Swan & Minster Mill

Wedding venue review: The Old Swan & Minster Mill

This place definitely has curb appeal. From first impressions you’d be forgiven in thinking it is a quaint looking pub set in an idyllic and remote Oxfordshire village. The traditional Cotswold stone buildings don’t disappoint but make sure you don’t judge a book solely by its cover, as this place is like a tardis and is expansive behind that initial beautiful façade.

What sprawls behind is a maze of wonder and great possibilities. A 5 star country inn set on the River Windrush surrounded by 65 acres of Cotswold wildflower meadows and riverside gardens. This is a destination to get away from the hectic, crowded city to a stunning and tranquil setting.

The river meanders effortlessly through the extensive grounds passing peaceful locations to trek to and discover: a disused boat house, bridges, tree swings and deckchairs along the riverbank. With fields to hold a festival style wedding , space to put up a marquee and a renovated barn for your evening reception.

You’d not be surprised to find Mole or Ratty scurrying along as the setting conjures up scenes from the Wind in the Willows with ease. You could relax in a riverside room with an outdoor fire pit on a private terrace. Plus there’s plenty of nooks and crannies for people to explore and retreat.

There’s an abundance of ways to enjoy the surroundings including rods to fish, tennis courts, a croquet lawn and even quirky duck races between bridges that people often incorporate in to their wedding day here. And some couples have sentimentally planted trees or roses in the grounds to mark their big day.

The river culminates alongside the beautiful Temple Garden, one of many places you can choose to hold your wedding ceremony. Complete with love seats and an amazing backdrop of a splendid willow tree draping it’s branches in to the river, flowing on it’s way to join the River Thames.

Inside doesn’t disappoint either with it’s grand, original Cotswold stone fireplaces dark wood, rich red upholstery and warm open fireplaces.

But this place isn’t stuck in the past, it is bang up to date with it’s eco outlook on recycling and even has it’s own turbo screw to power part of the venue. It also has a brand spanking new spa where you and your guests can unwind and get pampered. Plus there’s superb fresh local food and outstanding service. Which makes this a brilliant place to get married as it can be all encompassing – you can stay all weekend with your guests if you like!

It won’t appeal to all budgets nor all sizes of guest lists as this is an intimate wedding venue where you’ll be spoilt and can celebrate in style and luxury.

It’s versatile, tranquil, peaceful, relaxing, and so personal. There’s lots of options and locations within this venue to consider: restored barn, outside temple, marquee in magical gardens, inside historic reception rooms. It’s no wonder you’d want to stay the whole weekend to make sure you have time to enjoy the whole site!

See how stunning this venue looks in my Wind in the Willows inspirational styled bridal shoot.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: hotel
Find out more: http://www.oldswanminstermill.co.uk/
Location: Minster Lovell, near Witney, OX29 0RN
Wedding season: all year (except Christmas Day)
Guests (ceremony): 50 Guests (sit down meal): 50 in Minster Room
Guests (evening): 80 in Malthouse
Marquee option: 120-150
Ceremony: Licensed inside and outside £750
Nearest church: St Kenelm’s, Minster Lovell (0.4 miles)
Wedding breakfast: packages from £110pp to £225pp
Accommodation: 52 rooms & cottage from £185pp to £450pp
Wedding fairs: Open Evenings throughout the year | Wedding Fairs in spring and winter
Other things worth a mention: their delicious home made fudge, honey made by Minster bees and it has some dog friendly rooms

St Kenelm’s Church | Minster Lovell

 

Top 20 local wedding venues in the Cotswolds

Top 20 local wedding venues in the Cotswolds

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I always feel really lucky to live in such a stunning part of the country with it’s lush green countryside, acres of lavender fields and picturesque, chocolate box villages with their honey coloured limestone buildings.

Hanami Dream is based in Oxfordshire and there are some truly beautiful venues to choose from in the surrounding Cotswolds. Whether in a barn, a manor house, in a marquee or a hotel, there are some amazing places (with some breathtaking views) to hold your wedding or special occasion. There’s something out there to accommodate most styles, guest numbers and budgets.

Here is my pick of the top 20 venues in and around Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds that are fantastic wedding venues. Some of these you may of heard of before, some have been quite rightly showered with accolades, whilst some are wonderful hidden gems or for those couples who like to think outside of the ‘box’ (or building!)

 

The Bay Tree Hotel

venue | Bay Tree

This is my favourite wedding venue in the area (although perhaps I’m bias as I got married there!) Situated in the quintessentially English town of Burford, The Bay Tree Hotel is full of historical charm and contemporary style, boasting a setting to remember for your big day. Warm, relaxing and welcoming; this hotel is the perfect retreat for your wedding day.

As a small country house hotel, the Bay Tree Hotel is ideally suited to exclusive use weddings. On your Wedding Day they can give you exclusivity of the hotel from check-in (14.00) until check out the following morning. Once your last guests have arrived they close the front door allowing you to enjoy the atmosphere of a private house party with the advantage of their friendly and professional team to tend to your every need. Looking for something a little more low key? The Bay Tree has two beautiful rooms to choose from along with a licensed Cotswold garden!

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Blenheim Palace

venue | Blenheim Palace

A masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture set in more than 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped Parkland and award-winning Formal Gardens, Blenheim Palace provides a magnificent setting for your evening wedding, with a collection of six venue spaces to use for various elements of your event. From the stunning Orangery and Marlborough Room for your ceremony to the impressive Great Hall and ornate Long Library for your dinner and drinks receptions, and the Water Terraces for music and dancing, Blenheim Palace makes a perfect location for a wedding of any size and style.

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Cogges Manor Farm

venue | Cogges

A beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswold barn wedding venue, Cogges Manor Farm provides an idyllic rural location for your special day. This popular rustic wedding venue in Witney offers two stunning seventeeth century barns and a manor house which provide a wonderful setting for your celebrations. Cogges now offers a civil ceremony license and is next door to Cogges Parish Church.

The stunning and spacious Wheat Barn can seat up to 200 guests, with refurbished stone floor, and portable heating. The more intimate and adjacent Barley Barn can seat about 60 guests or is an ideal choice to use as a dance or ceremony area. Each barn can be hired separately, or as a combined hire. In addition to any indoor space you hire, you and your guests can use the outdoor space to wander and enjoy. Cogges has many perfect locations for your wedding photographs, such as the manor house lawn, the walled garden or the orchard and you can even include the farm animals in your photos.

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Cripps Barn

venue | Cripps Barn

Cripps Barn is a lovely old Cotswold stone barn set on its own in beautiful countryside near Bibury. It has flag stone floors, an open fire place and a large south facing terrace with fire pits and a bonfire in the garden.

Cripps Barn is a small family run business and the barn is the original party barn of all the barns now run by the company. If it is a relaxed feel you want, with incredible food and great service, this is the place for you. You can get married in the barn or outside in our lovely woodland glade.  After the wedding and the meal, the barn makes the perfect place to party.  You can dance the night away right up to 1.00 a.m. in the morning. They are known for their whole BBQ’d lambs, sirloin steak bricks or butterflied leg of lamb.  Alternatively you can have rotisserie chicken, suckling pig or duck. There is also free camping available in the next door field.

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Eynsham Hall

venue | Eynsham Hall

The quintessentially British Eynsham Hall, has recently completed a major £2.5 million refurbishment which includes the renovation of the main lounge and a range of main hall and lodge bedrooms, as well as the launch of a new Brasserie. The Brasserie offers some of the finest seasonal British food, with as much produce as possible sourced from local farms and suppliers, including nearby Kelmscott Farm.

The hotel is located in Oxfordshire and is set upon 3,000 acres of rolling parkland, providing a whimsical blend of elegant period features with a twist of modern design. There are matured trees, manicured topiary, formal gardens, ponds, fountains and terraces which create a fairy tale backdrop for your very special day. It offers stately charm, without the stuffiness, where you can enjoy the fresh country air in an elegant and intimate setting.
In addition to the Jacobean staircase that dominates the reception area and makes for a grand entrance for the Bride, the myriad of rooms are full of individual character and charm. They boast oak panelled walls, ornate ceilings, historic oil paintings, marble fireplaces, and large arched windows with views over the romantic gardens.

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Foxhill Manor

venue | Foxhill Manor

Foxhill Manor is a stunning grade II listed Cotswold manor house in the heart of the 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway. It belongs to the same family as the celebrated boutique hotel, Dormy House, but is just a little bit more exclusive. Originally built in 1909 by local Cotswolds craftsmen and designed by Yorkshire-born architect Joseph Lancaster Ball (one of the leading lights of the Arts & Crafts movement), it has under gone a complete renovation. Now, this former country home is open to guests as a private house hotel. Inside there are eight large suites and ample living space. It is also available to book as an exclusive use venue for private events and weddings.

Church service or civil ceremony, full wedding breakfast or Champagne reception, large floral arrangements and intricate cake decorations – a dedicated wedding co-ordinator is on hand to cater to every style of wedding at Foxhill Manor. Additional accommodation for guests is available at Dormy House or on the Estate at The Fish. With plenty of photo opportunities throughout the estate, including the private Japanese Garden, it is an ideal venue for weddings.

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Lains Barn

venue | Lains Barn

Lains Barn near Wantage was voted the best wedding venue in the UK by online wedding directory Guides for Brides in its 5* Customer Service Awards 2016. Lains Barn, parts of which date back to 1750, saw off competition from more than 8,000 other venues listed on the website to take first place last month. Judges described it as a “magnificent, historic” building with “beautiful” grounds that also left couples enough space to add a personal touches to their big day. Guides for Brides told the barn staff their award was down to “consistent feedback praising your experienced and dedicated team who help with the entire wedding planning process as well as giving general advice”.

This magnificent restored historic barn is beautifully located in rural Oxfordshire and is perfect for a barn wedding.

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Maybush Wedding Company

venue | Maybush Wedding Company

The Maybush Wedding Company is set in Newbridge on Thames, in rural West Oxfordshire, in a picturesque riverside setting where the oldest bridge crosses the River Thames and the wonderful Maybush Inn enjoys enviable position overlooking the river and meadows. They offer one of the best outdoor wedding package with the added benefit of an outdoor wedding where the logistics are taken care of with all the services (tipis, tents, toilets, showers, generators, lighting etc) already organised. Plus the added benefits of a bus bar, shepherds huts, luxury river barges and their trained chef and staff to offer the highest levels of quality in hospitality.

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Merriscourt

venue | Merriscourt

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds on the borders of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Merriscourt is an elegant and versatile choice of venue for the perfect wedding. Proudly ‘off the beaten track’, yet conveniently located for accommodation and transport links. Merriscourt is part of the Bruern Estate owned by the Astor Family and boasts two stunning airy inter-connected barns, with adjoining Gallery centering on a flower-filled Cotswold stone courtyard, perfect for a drinks reception or chilling out into the evening.

At Merriscourt they only have one wedding on any given weekend or as part of their midweek ‘Wedding Wednesday’ offering. The venue is exclusively yours. Invite your family and friends to join you the day before your big event, decorate the barns at your leisure and have a fun and relaxing day.

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Old Swan & Minster Mill, Minster Lovell

Nicola & Aiden's Wedding at The Old Swan & Minster Mill, Minster Lovell

Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, this authentic country house hotel and inn is an idyllic spot to hold your wedding celebrations, complete with a croquet lawn, weeping willows and the River Windrush.

Specialising in intimate weddings, it can host up to 50 guests for the ceremony, reception drinks, wedding breakfast and up to 110 guests for the evening reception. With 60 bedrooms, all of your guests can also stay in luxurious accommodation in the picturesque village of Old Minster.

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Riverside Weddings

venue | Riverside

If you want a truly unique wedding in which to use your creativity, choosing a field wedding at Riverside Weddings gives space and freedom to realize your dreams. Boarded by the tranquil Thames, with historic Newbridge (actually one of the oldest bridges) as the backdrop, you can revel in the Oxfordshire sunset and celebrate into the night. As well as oodles of space for any entertainment imaginable from fairground rides, punting, pony rides, fireworks to music around the campfire with guest camping and mooring you get the meadow for five days so have a calm set up and get the final touches perfect.

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Stone Barn

venue | Stone Barn

Stone Barn is a lovely old Cotswold stone barn, magnificently-isolated in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds countryside near Aldsworth. The Stone Barn is elegantly simple; with flag stone floors and an open fire place. Attached are Dutch Barns used as the dining area, and contains (they are pretty sure!) Britain’s largest barbecue. The Dutch Barns are split-level and have corrugated iron, polished concrete and sawn oak floors, and the view overlooks the spectacular, rolling Cotswold Hills with not another building in sight. After the wedding and the meal, the stone barn makes the perfect place to party – right up to 12.30am in the morning.

Stone Barn is a small family run business and if it is a relaxed feel you want, with incredible food and great service, then this is the place for you! They are known for their whole BBQ’d lambs, sirloin steak bricks or butterflied legs of lamb. They generally in a feast style on boards and in bowls to the centre of the tables. There is also free camping available in the next door field.

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The Swan Hotel, Bibury

venue_Swan Bibury

Situated on the banks of the enchanting River Coln, The Swan Hotel boasts a picture-perfect setting for your wedding, and with a dedicated wedding coordinator and friendly team of staff on hand, they can help make your big day extra special. Nestled in the village of Bibury, which is often known as the most beautiful village in England, is The Swan Hotel, a former Cotswold Coaching Inn and the perfect haven from which to spend your special day. Whether you’re planning a traditional big white wedding, a romantic, intimate day or even something a little different, they can accommodate your needs.

They have three locations licensed for wedding ceremonies; The Library – a cosy, homely room for intimate weddings of up to 24 guests, The Signet Room – an elegant dining room with wow-factor, for up to 110 guests and last but by no means least, the beautiful flower-filled, riverside gardens.

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Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa, Stow on the Wold

venue | Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa

Located in the heart of The Cotswolds, Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa is a 60 bedroom,  4 star country house hotel, nestled within 50 acres of grounds, offering breathtaking views of the beautiful Windrush Valley and rolling hills of The Cotswolds. Situated just outside the market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Wyck Hill is a truly romantic setting, with stunning views, beautiful gardens and a delightful combination of a traditional setting with modern facilities.

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And not forgetting these amazing places too:

We are certainly spoilt for choice around here for amazing venues to hold a special occasion. For more details on how to pick your perfect wedding venue look out for the next part of my Holy Trinity of Wedding Planning blog series coming soon – this will focus on the where element. Take a look at part one of who.