With a royal wedding and a royal baby on the way, I wanted to dig a little deeper into private event space in and outside of London. I'll start with Cliveden House, because it is one of my favorite places in the world. We also highlight Cliveden in our full London post.
Cliveden House is only about 30-45 minutes from central London, and right in the middle of quintessential English countryside. The House is steeped in history, which I’ll let you read about here. The gardens and grounds of Cliveden are spectacular, and belong to the U.K.'s National Trust.
Cliveden House is an incredible destination for a corporate retreat, milestone birthday or wedding. They have several private event spaces that mirror the uniqueness and history of the property itself. The staff is world class, and makes you feel as if you are the only one staying at the house. Recently award winning chef, André Garrett, came on as executive chef straight from the city lights of Mayfair. So every breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea will be top notch.
We had a group over several days, so we experienced everything: a picnic on the banks of the Thames, a champagne vintage boat ride followed by dinner in The French Dining Room, afternoon tea and a scavenger hunt.
One of my favorite people there is the house manager, Michael Chaloner, who has been there for over 20 years. Anything you tell him you need, he'll respond with "Leave it with me," meaning "I've got this. You can take it off of your mind and your to-do list," which is the best feeling when you're doing an event.
The private event spaces are outlined below. The photos don't do this place justice. You need to see Cliveden in person to feel the magic.
[UP TO 60 GUESTS FOR A WEDDING // 60 FOR DINNER // 100 FOR RECEPTION]
On a visit to Paris in 1897 William Waldorf Astor was shown the intricate gilded panelling in Madame de Pompadour’s 18th century dining room at the Château d’Asnières. The proportions exactly matched those of the dining room at Cliveden House, so he bought the panelling, table and chairs, then had the entire room reconstructed in his home (Cliveden). And to this day, The French Dining Room is a Rocco masterpiece with views of the river and surrounding Berkshire countryside.
[UP TO 40 FOR A WEDDING]
The Lady Astor Suite is upstairs on the first floor of the mansion. The large suite has very high ceilings and a large terrace overlooking the main terrace, the gardens and the River Thames stretching out below.
It is a perfect room for a wedding. To accommodate a wedding, the room is cleared of all furniture and set up with theater style seating. A champagne reception with hors d' oeuvres on the terrace afterwards creates a perfect place to toast before going to the French Dining Room for your reception dinner.
[UP TO 12 GUESTS FOR DINNER]
The Cellar Dining Room was once Lord Astor's private wine cellar, making it ideal for wine tasting. It has been restored with the brick walls and vaulted ceilings to highlight its stake in history. It is best for intimate dinners in a unique setting.
[UP TO 24 FOR DINNER // 40 FOR A WEDDING]
The Boudoir is a beautifully designed room that is on the ground floor of the House, located right next to the Great Room. It is a cozy space with period features and furnishings and large windows overlooking the Parterre and lawn.
[20 FOR BOARDROOM // 50 FOR THEATER // 48 FOR DINNER //60 FOR RECEPTION]
The Churchill has a more modern feel than some of the other event spaces, but along with that comes audio visual capabilities and other amenities you might need for a corporate retreat. The space opens to a beautiful courtyard.
Since Cliveden is surrounded by cozy English towns, you can also take a quick car ride to a traditional pub for dinner if you want something different. On our last night, we were wanting to go super casual so we had pizza delivered to Cliveden and ate it on one of the terraces. Evidently that doesn't happen very often. It was definitely more casual than what they're used to, and they really wanted to give us China and silverware to make things more formal. I didn't have the heart to tell them that we Americans would eat it right out of the box if they'd let us.
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