May 17, 2019

Historic Private Dining Venues in the UK

Being such an ‘old’ country, we are lucky that the land is still filled with magnificent castles, manors and architectural gems dating back hundreds of years. Many of these historical masterpeices have become hotels over the years, making the most of their rich heritage and atmospheric surrounds. Here are some top venues throughout the country that are a feast for the eye as well as being able to provide a feast for your guests.

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin

HDV   Edinburgh Private Dining 5
Hotel Du Vin

A key part of both the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands is that all properties are located within historically significant and interesting buildings, it’s part of their innate charm. Arguably the Malmaison in Oxford and the Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh could be tagged as the most intriguing, being housed in a former prison and asylum respectively.

The Mal Oxford offers private dining rooms for parties between 10 to 150 in cells, the visitors’ waiting room and even has a rooftop terrace for receptions, while the Hotel du Vin is located just off the Royal Mile in the Old Town and dates back to 1743. It has two private rooms for 12 (or 40 standing) in Bedlam or up to 36 in the Burke & Hare Room.

Malmaison. Photo by Tanya Dedyukhina

Amberley Castle, Nr Arundel

This impressive hotel in a castle nestled on the edge of the South Downs boasts over 900 years of history and even warrants a mention in the Doomsday Book. With several private rooms for meetings and events, it can host 56 guests in the Queen’s Room restaurant, with the option of up to 250 within a marquee in the grounds. It’s also a stunningly picturesque venue for weddings from intimate gatherings of 12 to larger affairs up to 170.

Notley Abbey, Buckinghamshire

​The stunning grounds of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh’s former home, this unique country house has parts that date back to Medieval times and oozes historic charm. It’s a favourite for weddings and milestone celebrations, with the ability to host up to 60 in the Abbot’s Hall and up to 172 guests in the Monks Refectory. Its lawn is ideal for standing receptions and stunning firework displays can also be arranged on request.

Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter

The Cotswolds is world-renowned for its quaint chocolate box villaages dating back centuries, so it’s no surprise that the region offers a multitude of historically significant venues. Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter dates back to 1649 and can host parties up to 60 guests or up to 150 in a marquee within their beautiful grounds. It’s also a popular wedding venue and offers three packages starting at £12,500 for 50 guests.

Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

If a castle setting is more suited to your networking event, wedding or private party, Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe tailors events for each client. Indoor spaces include the atmospheric Medieval Banqueting Hall for up to 150 guests, and the tapestry lined, book-filled Dent Brocklehurst Library ideal for board meetings and smaller dinners. With 1,200 acres of land, stunning lawns and other outdoor areas, the grounds can also be used for events and marquees are available on request.

© Copyright Rob Farrow (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway

Another historic Cotswold gem is the Lygon Arms hotel. Dating back to the 16th-century, the property has had a multi-million pound refurbishment in the last few years, adding a spa and improved dining facilities including the Lygon Bar & Grill, ideal for large banquet for up to 100 guests or the Cromwell Room, which boasts a stunning Elizabethan fireplace, for smaller intimate dinners. They also offer the option of an exclusive use house party!

Seckford Hall, Woodbridge, Suffolk,

Dating back to the 1530s, Seckford Hall is filled with Tudor charm. It offers three spaces for private hire as well as the oak panelled Great Hall for up to 150 guests or the two smaller rooms – The Mulberry Room and The Boardroom for more intimate dinners. Weddings are also catered for and it’s worth checking out the Pavilion in the grounds – a perfect spot for saying your vows.

The Grange Estate, Hampshire

With five separate venues (including its own award-winning auditorium) within this extraordinary 600 acre estate, The Grange is admired as one of the country’s finest neoclassical architectural examples. Stunning distressed interiors lend themselves to relaxed luxury making it a very popular wedding and corporate event venue. There are four ground floor reception rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 100 guests for a seated event or 200 for a standing reception. Marquees are also available on request.  

Swinton Park, Ripon, North Yorkshire

This stunning Grade II listed private castle has been owned by the same family since the 1880s but dates back to the 1600s. An exquisite private dining room can host up to 20 guests, while there are also day and 24 hour business packages starting at just £40 per delegate as well as team building events for corporate entertainment. Weddings are also catered for with packages available for just two people to 50 guests.  

Blackfriars, Newcastle

The restaurant in this former Dominican friary dates back to 1239 and is believed to be the oldest dining room in the UK. Having hosted royalty from Edward III to Henry III, its history is as legendary as its beautiful stained-glass windows but it’s also been given a revamp recently by the current owners. Its medieval Banquet Hall can seat up to 50 guests on fabulous long oak tables and bespoke crafted chairs, while the more modern first floor Tasting Room is also popular for business receptions and corporate entertainment.