We had our wedding this summer at Eshott Hall and wanted to post a review of our stay and of everything involved in holding our wedding at the hall. Most of the reviews on here seem to be from people who have stayed in it as part of their own holiday but since it's a very popular wedding venue we thought it might be useful to prospective newly-weds! From the start of the wedding planning to the morning after the wedding we really had nothing but positive experience of Eshott Hall.
If you haven't been to Eshott Hall, the setting is just spectacular – a beautiful tastefully decorated hall in large, well-maintained grounds. The house is light and airy, which is exactly what we were looking for. From the minute we drove up to the hall on our first visit when looking for wedding venues we knew that this was the only place we'd consider getting married. It's also not enormous, which means that it's probably best suited to moderately-sized parties. We were told that they had done weddings with up to 100 guests but I'd guess it would be most comfortable up to about 80-85. It’s certainly not in competition with the big halls where you could accommodate 150 or so guests, like Linden, Matfen, Slaley etc, but on the other hand it can be rather more personal than those places too. It's also really private, situated in its own woodland in the middle of nowhere, so nobody's going to intrude – but not for you if you like the kind of wedding where anyone and everyone comes out into the street to look at the bride!
We went for the wedding package which gives you exclusive use of the hall and its 11 bedrooms from the afternoon on the day before the wedding to the morning after the wedding, which means that guests have a relaxing stay extending over three days. The bedrooms are all beautiful and we thought that most of the rooms were actually bigger than they appeared from the photographs on Eshott Hall's website. A couple of the rooms (Italian room and the Versailles room at the front but also the Bainbridges room at the back) are just huge! All of them were well equipped en-suite rooms, from memory most have both a bath and a shower, but not all (I think there's one room that has only a bath).
In planning the big day the wedding coordinating staff were absolutely great. We were keen to customise our wedding weekend the way we wanted it and eschew quite a lot of the traditional parts, especially in terms of the running order for the day. The staff were more accommodating than we could have hoped for and seemed happy to advise us in every case where we needed it, but they also gave us all the freedom we wanted to let us make our own decisions too. In the 18 months between booking the hall and the day of the wedding we visited a few times for meetings (some excellent coffee and tray bakes!), for food tasting, had several conversations on the phone, and countless emails. We got exactly the kind of relaxed but refined feel of the wedding we had hoped for.
During the stay itself the experience was again what we had come to expect. Having exclusive use of the hall, it is almost entirely opened up so that all guests really feel at home staying there. While we'd already got to know the wedding coordinators, we also found the other staff working at the hotel to be just as professional and happy - the owners really should take pride in the team they have put together. Plenty of us had really pleasant chats with the bar staff, other waiting staff, and not to mention the wonderful night porter on duty at the time! Everything ran very smoothly on the day (last-minute wedding dress emergency aside!) and the staff have found a very effective way of staying out of sight at the moments when they are not required, but right on hand (often in numbers) whenever needed without any fuss – a number of our guests commented on how effective and professional the staff were, which is quite unusual I think for a wedding. When a particular decision needed to be made on the day, we were quietly taken to one side which meant that nothing was done without our agreement.
After the civil ceremony held by the Alnwick registrar (on the staircase in front of the stained glass mirror) the wedding breakfast followed in the ballroom. Here we had many comments from our guests along the lines that it was the best wedding food they'd ever had. And as we went around the tables talking to guests during the meal the completely empty plates were quite noticeable! The wedding breakfast meals are rather expensive per person (though there is a cheaper hog roast option) but the food is excellent quality. We were quite happy with the options on the least expensive of the wedding menus and every course was delicious, and just as it had been at the tasting. The vegetarian options also seemed to go down very well. To us it seemed that the more expensive menus weren't really worth the extra cost, though we didn't try them at the tasting. The prices of the drinks (at the bar and for the wine on the tables) were also kind of on the expensive side, but nothing particularly unusual for a wedding reception.
Having an early evening meal rather than an afternoon wedding breakfast, we had quite a tight schedule for the evening. The staff turned the ballroom around quickly though and within about 30 minutes (while guests were having coffee in the library) it was ready for an evening disco. Eshott Hall doesn't provide sound equipment or specific lighting for this so it needs to be hired in. This was one of the details that we arranged quite late on in our planning, but special mention here must go to Colin Cook (www.colincook.co.uk), who we hired to DJ the evening and who was exceptionally attentive to our needs. Such a lovely guy and so helpful, we were really glad we managed to book him. He is used to working at the hall and quickly got his equipment set up and gave us a wonderful evening of music and dancing. It’s worth noting that due to noise restrictions and disturbance from people leaving Eshott village late at night, music at the hall has to finish around 11:30-11:45pm so the evening has to finish by midnight.
Overall we were so happy with our wedding at Eshott Hall, and so many of our guests commented on the location, the staff, and the food that we couldn't imagine having had it anywhere else. We're so grateful to all the staff and it proved a perfect setting for a relaxed ‘away-from-it-all’ kind of wedding. We can't stop talking about it and reliving it, so if you're thinking of getting married there feel free to ask us any questions!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC