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Not just a fancy name, the French Dining Room at Cliveden has actually had a past life in France, where it occupied an exactly proportioned space within Madame de Pompadour’s Chateau d’Asnieres outside Paris. It was brought to Cliveden in 1897 by the famously extravagant former resident, Lord Astor, who paid for every last facet of the wood-panelled Louis XV-style room to be disassembled and shipped to England, where it was painstakingly put back together.
Today, the decadent space is often used for film and photo shoots but it also makes a stunning setting for events. Anything from tea parties to fashion shows have been accommodated and the room even holds a civil wedding licence.
‘Every time I host guests in there, it makes my spine tingle,’ says Cliveden’s marketing manager Sarah Proctor, recalling a group of hairdressers who arrived in flamboyant 18th century costumes for a dinner there.
In terms of corporate functions, the space lends itself to daytime events such as business breakfasts and working lunches, thanks to huge windows giving beautiful views of the grounds.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events magazine, Spring 2006.