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Event organisers are rarely prepared to settle for second best, but then runners-up aren’t often as impressive as the ballroom at Brocket Hall, where the state banqueting table is only rivalled in length and age by that at Windsor Castle.
Capable of seating 54 guests, The Prime Minister’s Table dates back to 1823 and takes its name from the PM and Brocket Hall resident Lord Melbourne, who used to entertain royalty and heads of state at his beautiful stately home which, unlike the Queen’s abode, is now available to hire on an exclusive use basis. Obviously dominated by this magnificent piece of furniture, the ballroom comes into its own when it’s set for dinner (despite the name, there’s not really space for dancing in here), but it can also accommodate receptions for up to 150 people.
With sizable windows looking out onto the 543-acre estate, Brocket Hall’s premier entertainment space also features a notable collection of mirrors and oil paintings, while a gorgeous crystal chandelier hangs from a ceiling painted by Sir Francis Wheatley, whose bill made up half of the building’s completion costs. It goes without saying that this one’s for entertaining very special guests.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Autumn 2005.