For architectural glory and luxuriant leafy backdrops, head for the countryside, says Anthea Gerrie
through to October and you can bring along your own choice of kosher caterers.
The country cousin of the Dorchester, this 70-room hotel and spa, less than an hour from London on the border of Windsor Great Park, boasts sunken gardens and a “pagoda” — this can form an exotic chupah for al fresco weddings during the spring and summer. Kosher catering is taken care of by Tony Page.
Those happy to bank on good weather can entertain up to 300 in a marquee, otherwise there is a choice of two rooms seating 80 to 90 and another two rooms catering for 30 at a more intimate event.
This Relais & Chateaux property outside Bath is perfect for a bijou celebration, with four private dining rooms, seating eight to 30. Known for its Michelinstarred food (kosher catering is not available), this golden stone country house is best for a lunch or afternoon tea, when guests can make the most of the beautiful grounds. Consider staying overnight, so you can indulge in some of its spa treatments and visit Bath and the Cotswolds en route.
Not the Knightsbridge hotel, but another by the same name in Carlton, Yorkshire. In 1,500 acres of private parkland, the ancestral home of the Duke of Norfolk is a magnificent 17th-century, Grade I listed pile, with three state rooms spanning 150ft
and a minstrel’s gallery. Just 30 miles from Leeds, the property can cater for 200-plus, but can also host much smaller gatherings. Up to 16 can sleep over and there is a bridal suite within a tower.
THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, HAMPSHIRE
This 500-acre English country estate is where Henry VIII first met Catherine of Aragon, writes Sharron
Livingston. The 18th-century manor is surrounded by 500 acres, with gardens, stable and a canal; the bridal pavillion is ideal as a backdrop for photos. Yet with the motorway a mile off, access is easy. The Four Seasons ballroom can host 200 and the Mandeville 100 for a seated dinner, while the outdoor banquet space can be used for wedding ceremonies and holds 300. There are other rooms for smaller parties. For a very intimate affair, you can hire the canal boat, which seats eight for a meal.
This country house hotel in the Lake District is in a sublime hilltop setting, a 90-minute drive of Manchester and overlooking Windermere. The hotel has its own lake and some of the region’s finest food (kosher catering is not available). Up to 60 can dine, followed by dancing in the Mirror Room.
This idyllic estate in north Devon is intended to be seen only by the bride and groom, with at most just a tiny cluster of guests. “Runaway weddings” are conducted in the summerhouse for couples who want a romantic marriage with no fuss — a rabbi could be sought from Bristol or Exeter to officiate. A top chef makes dinner à deux, or there is a Michelin-starred restaurant nearby. The package includes a two-night stay and a bottle of champagne.
The Grove, Hertfordshire, a favourite for kosher parties
Lucknam Park,ideal for afternoon tea and spa treats
Linthwaite Country House, Lake District enchantment
Space for a spectacular photo at The Grove
Four Seasons Hampshire
Characterful Micklefield Hall, Hertfordshire