Getting married is meant to be the happiest day of your life. If you're a foodie, however, the stakes are even higher. Unless you love your wedding breakfast as much as the person you are tying the knot with, you're likely to remember your wedding day for all the wrong reasons. Here are six wedding venues where the food is guaranteed to be the icing on the cake of a delicious day.
If you’ve ever been to one of Richard Corrigan’s St Patrick’s Day parties, you’ll know that the Irish chef well and truly knows how to celebrate.
The formal Grill upstairs at Corrigan’s legendary seafood restaurant might seem the most obvious location within the three-floor site to hold a wedding reception. But while the 60-capacity room can be hired privately, the basement private dining room is better suited to celebrations. It seats 60 diners at round tables and has its own bar, while a late license means you can keep the party going until 3am.
There’s no room hire for either the Grill or the private room but there is a minimum spend in both of £3,000, plus 15% service charge.
Whichever space you book, a set menu for £78 per person might include the likes of asparagus with hen’s egg and Cornish crab butter followed by paupiettes of baked Dover sole and a mango and passion fruit parfait for pudding. House wine costs £35 per bottle, house Champagne is £79 per bottle and sommeliers are on hand with recommendations from the wine list.
The Connaught offers various private rooms for wedding receptions but to really impress, the hotel’s flagship Hélène Darroze dining room can be hired for £30,000 for 60 guests, seated either in the restaurant’s normal set-up, on four round tables or two rectangular tables.
The price includes a Champagne reception with canapés, a four-course menu, petit-fours and paired wines, as well as bells and whistles of flowers, place cards and personalised menus.
Dishes change regularly according to which ingredients are at their seasonal best, so wedding menus are chosen two to three weeks ahead of the big day from dishes on the main restaurant menu: think Isle of Skye langoustine with radish, enoki and coriander, or Basque country lamb with puntarella, spiny artichoke, anchovy and lemon.
Guest rooms in the hotel need to be arranged separately but with Mayfair on your doorstep, there’s no shortage of local accommodation options.
There are only four UK restaurants on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – and one of them is Lyle’s. If you’re looking for a foodie wedding venue, it doesn’t get any cooler than that.
There’s no hire fee for the restaurant, which seats 60 guests, but there is a minimum spend on food and drinks of £8,500, not including service. Bespoke seasonal menus start at £59.50 per person for four courses; additional courses can be added and the kitchen is happy to try and accommodate any favourite dishes from chef James Lowe’s menu.
House wine is £26, Prosecco £49 and Champagne £88, or you can bring your own wine with corkage charged at £15 per bottle.
There’s ample space for bands and DJs (or stream your playlist through Sonos speakers) and things wrap up at 11.30pm.
OUT OF LONDON
Chewton Glen is one of the best hotels in the South East, known as much for its spa and gardens (including an outdoor pool) as the quality of food served in The Dining Room restaurant. Executive chef Luke Matthews will help couples put together their perfect wedding breakfast while the restaurant’s sommelier advises on wine matches.
Wedding receptions are usually held in the hotel’s Lake Suite, which can host up to 140 for a sit-down meal and 200 for a reception and comes with 12 bedrooms attached. Wedding ceremonies can be held in the Summer House or, in fine weather, the walled garden, where drinks and canapés can also be served.
Fifteen packages start with the Heart’s Desire, at £215 per person, which includes two glasses of Champagne on arrival, canapés, a three-course wedding breakfast with half a bottle of wine per person and a glass of rosé Champagne for the toast. Get married from Monday to Thursday and the price is 20% cheaper.
Squirreled away down its own private lane in the picture-postcard village of Cuckfield, this Elizabethan manor house comes complete with hand-painted ceilings, stained glass windows, antiques and nine-acres of grounds – although the biggest attraction is chef Stephen Crane’s Michelin-starred cooking.
Dishes on the wedding menu might include cauliflower cheese soup followed by honey-roasted duck magret and warm treacle tart.
Receptions of up to 50 guests are held in the hotel’s Drawing Room, which is particularly cosy in winter thanks to an open fire, while parties of up to 120 are seated in the restaurant itself; both come with views of the garden where, in summer, drinks can be served on the croquet lawn.
With only 28 bedrooms, exclusive use, which starts at £10,500 with a minimum food spend of £5,000, is an attractive idea, and opens up the options of a marquee, music and dancing.
With its setting amid lily ponds, formal lawns and 120 acres of woodland, it’s hard to believe that this ivy-clad manor-house is only 45 minutes from central London. For a truly intimate wedding breakfast, the hotel’s flagship Matt Worswick at The Latymer restaurant can be hired for 17-20 guests for £1,000, while receptions of up to 100 can be accommodated in the hotel’s Stuart, Carolean and Library rooms (price upon request).
Dishes from Matt Worswick's three-course menu (£95 per person, including canapés, coffee and petit-fours) might include seared Orkney scallops with spiced Brixham crab and sauce americaine, seared fillet of Sussex beef with mushroom vol-au-vent, pommes dauphines and red wine jus, and chocolate délice with milk crumble and yoghurt sorbet.
The hotel can be hired exclusively from £90,000.
Not got round to proposing yet? Click here for nine brilliant suggestions on where to pop the question.