I’m often heard to say that one of the absolute perks of my job is being able to visit some amazing venues. Well, Great Fosters is one of those rare places which was so lovely it almost left me speechless - note the ‘almost’; this is me, after all!
A magnificent Grade I listed building, set in 50 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds, yet still within easy reach of London, it really is a perfect choice for a romantic, stylish wedding. I was lucky enough to visit on a bright, blue-sky day, but this is the sort of setting which looks equally appealing with a dusting of snow, or a carpet of autumnal colours.
The main building is grand, yet welcoming, and the reception hall is home to an amazing fireplace, and some of you will know how much I love a good fireplace! The building has been tastefully decorated and furnished in a classic, yet modern style - effortlessly luxurious.
Your wedding celebrations would usually take place in a separate wing of the house, completely independent of the public areas of the hotel. There is an Orangery, and an adjoining - and atmospheric - bar area, which leads into a 14th century, beamed Tithe Barn.
It’s up to you how you decide to configure things, as both The Orangery and the Barn work equally well for the ceremony or the wedding breakfast and reception.
The Orangery is where most couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony and, as the name suggests, it is an amazingly light, bright room, with floor to ceiling arched windows helping to add to the feeling of a warm and welcoming room. It is a lovely room as it is, but becomes a romantic, fairytale setting when couples choose to decorate it with flowers, lights and candles, at any time of year.
The Tithe Barn is a wonderful, historic building, with a lovely feel to it - if those walls could talk, I wonder what stories they could tell! Again, it is already a stunning room, but is even more magical when transformed with fairy lights and flowers - beautiful.
As well as these gorgeous rooms, (and a charming Garden Room for smaller celebrations), there is a pretty, thatched pavilion which would make an ideal location for an outdoor ceremony, and, of course, the opportunity for some beautiful photos in the gardens is definitely not to be missed.
Did I mention the Saxon moat? The formal gardens are surrounded on three sides by a moat, and there is also a sunken lily pond and a pretty, wooden Japanese bridge - an amazing place for a photo, or two!
The staff are as impressive as the hotel: welcoming, helpful and cheerful, and make you feel special from the moment you step through the door.
Just imagine your bespoke, Celebrant-led wedding ceremony in such wonderful surroundings - ‘wow’ factor times 10!
Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9UR