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Ajit Chug

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Posted by on in Venue Visits
Tabor Group - Parklands

Tabor Group - Parklands
Close your eyes and imagine your wedding is taking place in a 17th century manor house nested in one of the United Kingdom’s most ancient deer parks. Now open them because this is really happening. You know you have arrived because there is a huge, silk-lined pavilion waiting for you that easily handles 650 guests.
The venue is just west of the M11 north of Stansted. We took the B1383 and followed the private avenue through sweeping vistas and past open farmland. The deer park alone is 100 acres in extent - and that is a whole lot more generous than your average wedding venue.
Parklands is seriously big in other ways too. Besides the bridal cottage that is worth marrying or partnering for, there are 21 function rooms and of course the huge marquee. But we both know that weddings are made of more than four walls, a floor, a ceiling and a wedding cake. A venue must have a soul, and Parklands has that in abundance.


They specialise in cultural celebrations in timeless Asian tradition. Three reception rooms within genuine Elizabethan architecture accommodate up to 120 guests each and are ideal for smaller civil ceremonies. Book the ivory, silk-lined pavilion in the sweeping garden, and Parklands will reserve the entire estate for you and your appreciative guests!
The Tabor Parklands offers splendid add-ons free. These help ensure your wedding or partnership really is the day in your dreams, and sets your feet firmly at the start of a lifetime together. They offer a full planning service and have a kitchen that will bring smiles to your caterer’s eyes. We found the bridal changing studio delightful and the perfect touch for a well-planned day.
There are many wedding venues in the London area and the competition is intense. Having visited Parklands, we believe it offers something unique. This is by way of appreciation of Asian customs within an environment that stands back for none other in tradition. We recommend it wholeheartedly as a venue that your guests will tell their friends about, for a long time to come.


It was school holidays and we had the kids with us. Junior announced he wanted to watch planes taking off from Stansted Airport and we decided to go along with him and see what food was on offer. We found a child-friendly pub outside the security area, and dined on fish and chips that weren’t half bad.
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Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club

Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club

The Forest of Arden is just four miles from Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, yet set in rolling parkland within golf courses and peaceful lakes. It has in-house catering facilities and talented event planners - and everything else you need to turn a wedding celebration or a keynote conference into an event on the social calendar.
It was so easy to find we did not even bother to turn the satnav on. We left the N6 at Packlington Lane, travelled south though farmland and then followed Maxstoke Lane to our destination. We doubt there is a mother-in-law on earth who would fail to be impressed by the grand entrance and fine facilities, not to mention masses of parking right outside the door. We were pleased to learn that they have a variety of eighteen different venues to suit all requirements from intimate suite to a 350-seater conference, and also a marquee.


The Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club is a grand establishment with hospitable people and a warm heart. They allow service animals for people with disabilities, and have accessible guest rooms with wider openings. Be aware that this is a no-smoking establishment unless you step outside into the garden. There are also lovely walks that you can take across the golf courses to the lakes.
They claim to have the perfect wedding setting. We would add that this is within an elegant, extended country home in scenery that borders on the idyllic. They have many special touches like an outdoor barbeque open from April to October. We liked that. Who wants to sit inside when there is the twilight and the stars above to greet you, and your newly-married partner by your side.


The Forest of Arden accommodates wedding parties from 50 to 250 guests in their Arden, Woodlands, Aylseford and Packington Suites. You can book these on a self-catering basis and make your own arrangements. If you prefer an ‘all-in’ wedding package, they can lay the whole thing on for you, even down to the civil marriage officer.
By now, we were feeling distinctly peckish. The Oaks Grill and Bar looked a little posh for lunch so we headed for the Zest Restaurant on the terrace. We found the artichoke, pine nut and grilled vegetable salad with sweet balsamic delicious, and the views divine.

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Wrest Park

Wrest House, Silsoe
The stately English home of Wrest House is a short distance off the A6 in Bedfordshire, and halfway between Luton and Bedford amid rolling farmland. It has a 92-acre garden with gravel walk and waterway leading to an ornate folly, where there are opportunities for wonderful wedding snaps.


Wrest Park offers facilities for civil weddings and civil partnerships, and there is so much to choose from it is difficult to know where to start! Every Friday and Saturday, you have a choice of afternoon and evening hires. These are in a variety of richly decorated spaces in the main palatial building with oval entrance hall. Should you prefer a private event, you can book one every evening of the year.

  • The Wrest House Drawing Room accommodates 60 wedding guests in Versailles-style space with opulently decorated gilded ceiling, and matching wall panels and a fireplace. The entrance doors are massive so the bride can really arrive in style!
  • The Dining Room accommodating 60 guests (or 50 for a private dinner) is if anything even more elaborate, with columns along the length of it, a regally maroon carpet and a ceiling that would do justice to a cathedral.
  • If you prefer something more expansive, then the Grand Library seating 100 wedding guests (or 100 persons dining or at a cocktail part) might suit you better. The cases filled with historic books almost fade into insignificance compared to the high breath-taking ceiling with plenty of room for toasts to echo
  • Just beyond this lies the smaller Ante-Library with doors leading to a Terrace where there is ample room for 100 reception guests to admire views across vast lawns and gardens. It is a perfect place to do your thing alfresco in grand style!
  • Bur that is not all by far. There is a separate pavilion called the Orangery and it holds 170 guests for weddings, private dinners and cocktail evenings. They used to grow orange trees inside it, and the conservatory-style roof gives it the feeling of being ‘inside outside’.
  • And last but definitely not least there is a huge Marquee set on lawns beneath the generous shade of trees. Here, up to 1,000 people gather to dine and dance the night away in an atmosphere worthy of princes and princesses who like things more informal.


Wrest House hosts occasional ‘wedding showcases’ where the area’s best caterers, florists, lighting suppliers and photographers are on hand to help you with your planning. Remember that their prices are normally for venue only, and that all these things are extras. They have however recently made two exceptions to this in terms of dreamy offerings. These make weddings even more affordable and memorable at Wrest House. 
Their Ultimate Wedding Parcel prices well for 50 guests considering that it includes venue hire, catering, flowers and DJ too. Their Grand Wedding for a Grand costs just that, and embraces room hire for the wedding ceremony and drinks reception, plus exclusive use of the venue as a backdrop for your wedding snaps.


Since Wrest House does not have an a la carte, we popped into the local village Silsoe that developed around the needs of the grand establishment in its heyday. We found a 17th Century Free House that serves good pub grub. In chatting over lunch, we learned that there are dozens of hotels within easy driving distance of the venue. This suggests that wedding guests need have no problem finding stopovers in the area.

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Solomans Estate

Salomons Estate
Salomons Estate is arguably the most beautiful wedding venue we have visited deep in the heart of the Kentish countryside, where golden sandstone buildings recall the entrepreneurial genius of the man who founded the London and Westminster Bank. Salomons Estate is proof of what is possible when money is no object, and you can have exclusive use of this on your wedding day.


Salomons Estate is off the A26 between Royal Tunbridge Wells to the south and Tonbridge to the north. Turn west at Southborough, and drive down Speldhurst Road past open fields. The first time we arrived we were gobsmacked by the awesome beauty of the gracious buildings, and the huge parkland setting. Truly, if you want a marriage in the grand English style then you will find it here.


Being a wealthy man, Sir David Solomons splurged on impressive reception rooms when he built his country house two centuries ago. Wedding parties of up to 100 guests have exclusive use of the entire Ground Floor of the mansion plus the terrace and the gardens. What’s more, you have the run of the entire place if you take up their Exclusive Use Wedding Package.


Parties of up to 200 guests can select either the Gold Room or Conservatory for their drinks reception, with the option of spilling out onto the terraces. Following that, they move to the historic Victorian Theatre for the celebratory reception. Larger groups of up to 500 persons may book the amazing marquee tent besides the lake, which has integral restrooms, kitchen facility and bar.
Salomons Estate is the perfect place to arrange a traditional Asian wedding. Nothing is too much trouble for the helpful staff, and they have licenses for traditional marriages and civil partnerships. What’s more, you have your personal wedding host, events steward and kitchen assistant at your beck and call as if you were the lord and lady of the estate.


They also offer an opportunity to renew your marriage vows in the company of family and friends. After that, you could retire to the Bar & Bistro for the breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea of your choice.
After all the talking we decided to try the Bistro menu for ourselves. We had another wedding venue to visit afterwards, so we settled for the smoked salmon salad with capers, olives, watercress & lime dressing starter that went down well with earl grey tea.

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