Keythorpe Hall wedding
Bucolic British bolthole meets sophisticated and sustainable micro-wedding venue
Your micro-wedding wish list is simple: a historic but contemporary country house, in the UK, with Michelin-standard food, that you can hire and retreat to as your own home for a weekend (or week) of wholesome hedonism with your favourite people. Oh, and it must be eco-conscious too. That’s not much to ask, right?! Not for Keythorpe Hall.
Keythorpe Hall is every
inch acre the English country house.
It’s hidden on a hilltop, on the Rutland/Leicestershire border, with 360° countryside views. It was built for entertaining by the 11th Lord Berners at a time when aristocrats used their estate’s resources to live (and party) well. That intention changed over the years … until the current owners restored and returned the house to its roots.
But it’s no museum piece…
Keythorpe Hall is a masterful mix of old and new
Keythorpe honours its heritage and has all the elegance you’d expect. The warm stone exterior is imposing but inviting. And inside you’ll find high ceilings, elaborate cornices, fabulous fireplaces, restored wooden floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide verdant views and let daylight flood in (thumbs up from the photographer!).
But there are some things you might not expect. Imagine chilling on a curved chesterfield with ancestral portraits above a period fireplace to your left – and bright geometric modern art to your right. Or taking a shower with a larger-than-lifesize mural of the 4th Baron Berners in full Elizabethan regalia on the wall. Or reaching out from beneath sumptuous sheets in your antique four-poster bed to switch off the light which has a shade created from handprinted botanicals by a local artist.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
But if it’s not a historic house frozen in time, what kind of place is it?
Keythorpe Hall isn’t a wedding venue
Say what?! It’s true. First and foremost: Keythorpe Hall is your home-from-home. And you maketh the rules. So you won’t find yourselves on a conveyor belt of couples obliged to follow a strict set of SSWOPs (Soulless standard wedding operating procedures).
It’s a phenomenally plush pad where you can retreat, relax, and revel in richness – without a garish green exit sign, temperamental bedroom keycard lock, or twin-packet of bourbon biscuits in sight.
All your creature comforts are catered for and there are thoughtful touches like vases of fresh flowers handpicked from the walled garden, mini decanters of brandy, and crisp apples served straight from the orchard with pots of sunflower seed butter.
Bliss! Even my ridiculously spoiled spaniels would approve.
But whilst it’s home, you won’t have to lift a finger. (You’re sold, aren’t you?!)
Keythorpe Hall is pretty standard … Michelin-standard
You’ll experience exceptional hospitality … but you won’t find the usual lobster, oyster, or caviar gastronomy. Keythorpe’s menus are renowned one-offs.
Many of the ingredients grow organically in Keythorpe’s walled garden. Which is managed by an ex-Italian army forager turned head gardener with a passion for wild food. So you’ll indulge in seasonal food so fresh and rare you won’t find it anywhere else. Like the wild hop shoots picked on the exact three days of the year they’re at their best.
Then Keythorpe’s top-notch resident chefs cook it – simply, so you can truly savour the flavour. You can even sit at the kitchen island with a glass of wine and watch them cook your dinner – world-class style.
But while it’s a growing/cooking team effort, you get a say too.
And you can be sure the drinks will match up. Keythorpe’s sommelier will help you pick a tipple to suit your mood, your activity, and the time of day.
You’re right. It isn’t designed to be wallet-friendly.
… But it is designed to be eco-friendly.
Keythorpe Hall loves – and lives – sustainable weddings
From heating to eating, everything is intentional and thoughtful. As an eco-conscious wedding photographer, I admire their approach.
Suppliers are as close by as possible. The milk comes from the neighbours’ cows. The botanical prints around the house are handmade with natural dyes by a local artist. And the soap is from a small artisan business a few miles away.
As well as fruit and veggies, the walled garden has endless rows of British blooms. Your wedding flowers can’t have better provenance than that!
And the wider estate is perfectly imperfect. Fallen trees are a haven for wildlife. And when it comes to the lawns, some areas are rough-cut to make it easy for birds of prey to hunt, and other sections are wilder for bees and butterflies.
So yep, Keythorpe is somewhere you can indulge and feel good about doing so.
But the thing that makes Keythorpe Hall one of the UK’s luxury micro-wedding venues?
The opportunity to make your day part of a lavish staycation.
Keythorpe Hall is a whole thing
Want to make a weekend, or even a week, of your celebrations? The Keythorpe team can help you curate an experience that suits you and your guests’ interests. And you don’t even have to come up with any ideas, much less organise anything.
Before your wedding
Want to bring your wedding to life yourself? If you arrive a few days before, you could try your hand at flower-picking on Keythorpe’s flower farm, and then work with a professional wedding florist to create your own tablescape or make flower crowns ready for the day. Why not book a tasting with the resident sommelier to choose your wedding wine or create your own after-dinner cocktails? Or perhaps pop to the local gin distillery to mix your own poison, and then pick fresh botanical tinctures from the walled garden to create a personal reception drink.
Your wedding day
You might start with an outdoor wedding ceremony on the back lawn overlooking the Leicestershire countryside. And then enjoy drinks and canapes in the garden – where the verdant backgrounds will make a great backdrop for your photos. Then you could have group photos and pictures of the two of you at the front of the house with its stately columns. Maybe follow that with a banquet-style wedding breakfast in the dining room – or outside on the terrace. And in the evening, why not enjoy drinks in the delightful double-drawing room – with your personal playlist performed by an acoustic duo?
After your wedding
Need a day to unwind? Take a walk in the woods, soak in the hot tub (wood-fired, of course), or lose yourself in a book under an ancient tree while you sip mocktails through
a straw the hollow stem of florists’ dill.
Feel more active? There’s a tennis court, croquet, and horse riding. If you have green fingers, you could take a lesson in growing fruit and vegetables from the resident expert team.
Got children on your guest list? They can learn how to harvest tomatoes and herbs in the walled garden, and then make pizzas with the chefs. (Actually, the grown-ups might enjoy that too!)
Want to explore the local area? The nearest town is Uppingham, which is famed for antique shops and art galleries. If the weather is good (or you’re a devoted all-weather activity bunny), head for Rutland Water. It’s a haven for bird watching, water sports, and cycling. And Nevill Holt opera is just a few miles away too.
Want to go further afield? Keythorpe Hall is right in the middle of the UK, which makes it easy to visit some of the UK’s most iconic places like Cambridge and Stratford upon Avon.
Keythorpe Hall will be everyone’s favourite memory
One of the many joys of a micro-wedding? Your budget goes further. With an exclusive guest list, you can treat yourselves to an extraordinary experience. Hoorah! And Keythorpe Hall is an ideal venue for a luxury micro wedding. It’ll make your day more than celebratory, it’ll also give you quality time to satisfy your soul in stylish surroundings and make lifelong memories with the people you love most.
Set your heart on a Keythorpe Hall wedding?
Want a relaxed and eco-friendly wedding photographer to capture your memories? I’d love to hear from you!
The images from this photoshoot are featured on Love My Dress blog. Check it out for lots of spring wedding inspiration with British-grown seasonal flowers.