Tags: Norfolk

Historic hideaways

21 Jun 2011

Historic hideaways

In our spotlight on wedding venues, we look at three of the region’s beautiful old buildings that add a touch of class to your celebrations.

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Seckford Hall Hotel & Restaurant,

Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 6NU

01394 385678


Style: Seckford Hall dates back to the Tudor period. Set in 34 acres of private Suffolk countryside, it has beautiful gardens and an idyllic lake.

Rooms: The hall is licensed for civil ceremonies and couples can have their receptions in the oak-panelled Great Hall which can seat up to 30 guests, or the Lakeside Suite which can accommodate 120. The elegant Marquee, with windows, French doors, carpet, chandeliers and heating can seat up to 140 people.

Menu: The styles range from the informal ‘finger piece’ buffet or the carved buffet, which include set tables and a seating plan, to the formal seated and served hot lunch.

Bar: The Lakeside Suite has its own bar, stocking a comprehensive drinks list, including some of the finest champagnes. The marquee is attached to the suite. Drinks can also be served on arrival, during the meal and for the toasts and cake cutting.

Accommodation: The hotel offers a choice of luxurious suites, some with private lounges, four-poster beds and spa baths, which can be reserved for the bride and groom’s first night. There are also five other bedrooms that can be made available to guests.

The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1RQ

01603 626402


Style: The Grade I-listed Assembly House is a grand, Georgian building in the heart of Norwich. Designed in 1754 by Sir Thomas Ivory, its impressive frontage features a sweeping drive, flowers and a fountain as well as a lawn perfect for drinks and photographs.

Rooms: With its stunning chandeliers, licensed bar, minstrels’ gallery and Steinway grand piano, The Music Room is licensed for civil ceremonies, catering for up to 160 people for an evening function.

The beautiful Noverre Ballroom with its high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, private entrance and bar caters for up to 250.

The Hobart Room, with feature fireplace and sash windows, caters for up to 40 people for a civil ceremony or wedding breakfast. The interconnecting Pierce, Sexton and Kent rooms offer great flexibility.

There is also The Grand Hall, for pre-dinner drinks and photographs.

Menu: Managed by Richard Hughes, chef patron of the acclaimed Lavender House Restaurant & Cookery School in Brundall, and Iain Wilson, who also owns Byfords Cafe, Deli and Posh B&B in Holt, there is a range of formal menus and buffet or tapas-style functions. Further menus include classic afternoon tea and options like canapés on arrival and bacon rolls at midnight!

Bar: Available in The Music Room and Noverre Ballroom, with a corkage charge for those providing their own.

Accommodation: None, but close to many good city hotels and B&Bs.

The West Wing at Ickworth,

Ickworth House, Horringer,

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 5QE

01284 735957


Style: Set in 1,800 acres of spectacular gardens and wooded parkland, Ickworth House is a historic Grade I listed building created in 1795 by the 4th Earl of Bristol.

Rooms: The impressive Gallery on the first floor of The West Wing overlooks the beautiful Italianate Gardens, and caters for up to 220 guests. The Court, adjacent to The Gallery, caters for up to 60 people while the marquee areas can seat up to 600 guests. The Orangery, catering for up to 100 guests, and beautiful gardens are available for reception drinks. On certain weekdays exclusive use of The West Wing is possible.

Menu: Head chef Ian Howell designs exciting and extensive wedding menus, featuring a variety of meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes, dessert, cheese boards and coffee. Buffet options range from bacon and sausage rolls, to freshly-cut sandwiches and finger foods, plus a canapé selection to accompany pre-dinner drinks.

Bar: The Gallery and The Court have a full bar facility. There is a corkage fee for those bringing their own wine.

Accommodation: There are no bedrooms at The West Wing; but rooms available at the Ickworth Hotel within The East Wing. Contact 01284 735350.

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