Huntsham Court – The Perfect Manor for any Occasion
April 23, 2018
As our taxi snaked up the long drive-way of Huntsham Court, we collectively let out a mini gasp. Although it was dark, the grandeur of this beautiful building was evident and we could tell from the silhouette that this was a sizeable manor. The grounds were also expansive, but we weren’t to witness this fully until the morning. On finally reaching the tall front doors, we alighted the taxi and were whisked into the stunning mansion to warm our toes by the fire and enjoy a glass of wine in the snug bar.
Huntsham Court has recently been restored to what I imagine was its former glory and this stunning building is now available to hire as a kind of home from home . Or to put it more accurately, as a luxurious mansion from a tiny shoe box in London. You could host a wedding here, a corporate offsite or just one hell of a party. With enough rooms to sleep pretty much everyone you might know (82 people to be exact) it’s the perfect location for any kind of celebration. It has a unique ambience, where unlike other mansions, this one feels homely and cosy whilst still retaining its grandeur. You can pick from one of the many reception rooms to relax in; the furnishings are plush and comfortable and you could spend the best part of a day melting into one of their sofas in front of an open fire.
Build for a baroness as a wedding gift in 1867, this building was commissioned to be one of the finest Victorian gothic mansions in the country, a brief which was most certainly fulfilled. It’s bursting with history, which makes the place all the more special and walking through the corridors of the mansion, with a little imagination, you get a picture of what 19th century life as a baroness would have been like. Part of the fun of staying at Huntsham Court is discovering all the various rooms in the many nooks and crannies of the house. We felt like children in an Alice in Wonderland style journey when peeking into each of the beautiful rooms.
The owners, Chris and Damien have done a wonderful job of injecting character into every room in the house (and there are many) so each one feels unique and different. They are all named after people who have had some significance to the house . The aptly named Duchess Room is a stunning suite with a bathroom bigger than my London flat, hosting not one, but two baths, side-by-side for the ultimate romantic bathing experience, with none of the squeeze. Our lodging was the floral suite, a huge room, with floral décor and luxurious furnishings including a dark wood four-poster bed and an organ. Chris and Damien have also built up a database of excellent suppliers, from a local curry house – Ceylon Curry who will deliver a wholesome feast for a casual dinner at home, to a top-end caterer who could create the banquet of your dreams, both of which we experienced and would highly recommend.
You can hire the venue completely dry or with staff, food and pretty much any other service you may need. The flexibility they offer is rare for a venue of that kind. There are also a range of activities available both on-site and nearby, from clay pigeon shooting to archery. Also nearby is Chris and Damien’s latest project: the Ginger Peanut, a boutique Restaurant with rooms in the nearby town of Bamptom, just a short drive away. The restaurant is a collaboration with Peter Mundy Catering and the food here is exceptional. I enjoyed a delicious sea bream fillet on a bed of creamy mash and greens and for dessert we were served what can only be described as little pieces of heaven: homemade fudge and strawberry marshmallows. The rooms here are also stylish, with modern decor throughout. The crescendo of the weekend was a black tie dinner hosted in the stunning dining room at Huntsham and catered for by Peter Mundy catering to celebrate 150 of Huntsham Court. Ladies were treated to a make-up masterclass by Jane Dare and hair-up by Hair by Hannah, both regular suppliers for the weddings held here.
We enjoyed an indulgent feast of arancini balls followed by venison wellington which was executed to perfection, with a crisp pastry casing and rare, pink meat inside. Dessert was a slice of the huge chocolate birthday cake which was served to mark 150 years of Huntsham Court. Leaving Huntsham was hard. The cold March night had graced the area with a blanket of snow which made the whole place look magical: like something out of a fairy tale. I could have spent a week holed up in front of the fire watching the snowflakes slowly settle onto the grounds of the house, from the warmth of inside. Huntsham is the perfect destination for a wedding or party of any kind. Gather your 80 closest friends or knock around with just a few of you for the weekend of a lifetime. Huntsham Court really is a special destination and with Chris and Damien at the helm, it’s in very good hands. Available to hire from £4,800 for the day.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Mel Hales