Two country house venues for events
When we’re looking for the perfect event venue to match a client’s needs, it’s essential to understand what kind of ambience the client is looking for. We often hear “we need to get away from it all,” or “we want to feel special.” That’s why it’s important for us to get to know country house hotels – they can deliver a mix of tranquil and inspirational surroundings, with the benefit of contemporary meeting and event spaces.
So, we were delighted when Handpicked Hotels invited us to explore two of their country house hotels in Surrey. First up was Nutfield Priory.
Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa
On arrival, the venue definitely made an impact – it’s a very striking building. This place has character, individuality, and charm. Set high on Nutfield Ridge within 12 acres of private grounds, the views are simply breathtaking. When you can see miles of rolling hills, you know it’s a venue without the distractions of the office.
But one of many pleasant distractions was the dining experience. We were treated to a six-course tasting menu at Cloisters Restaurant. This was perfectly suited to summer, with refreshing and fresh ingredients such as cucumber and rhubarb… although not together! Each dish was different and showcased a range of food from scallops to duck. It was very enjoyable and the atmosphere was wonderful.
Nutfield Priory has nine meeting rooms. The Fielden is the largest, with a maximum capacity of 100 in theatre style. With its own outside terrace, it’s ideal as a breakout area or somewhere for delegates to relax – and it has a private bar and cloakrooms, too.
This venue combines fine dining in an inspiring setting, and the bedrooms offer a high level of comfort, not to mention they’re beautifully designed. With easy access to the M25 and Gatwick Airport, this event space would be perfect for management meetings and small conferences.
Only six miles from the Surrey Hills, Woodlands Park is neatly nestled in eight acres of Surrey countryside. It’s a wonderful location. On arrival we were struck by the vintage feel of the venue – the building oozes history. In fact, this beautiful venue was once a favourite retreat for Oscar Wilde, the Prince of Wales and the actress Lillie Langtry.
They have a variety of meeting rooms which are good sizes. Two of them open out onto the land, which is perfect for hosting something in the summer, to make use of the outside space. The jewel in the crown is the Prince of Wales suite – with a capacity of 200, it’s their largest conference room and has an open outlook over the back lawns and patio – an ideal event space for a breakout area or team building activities.
The bedrooms have recently been renovated and are more modern than the rest of the hotel, which has a traditional feel. The Master Suite stood out by far – themed purple and silver, it felt very majestic and you would definitely feel like royalty staying the night here!
We ended our stay with some afternoon tea – typically British! It was all homemade, consisting of delicate Mini Pavlovas, Chocolate Eclairs and Cherry Bakewell Tarts.
To sum up, this venue would be ideal for meetings, small conferences and training events, and it’s within easy reach of central London, the M25 and Heathrow Airport.
What’s our verdict?
Both locations offer a high level of comfort, set within stunning surroundings. These beautiful grade-listed buildings, complete with a mix of traditional and modern features, took us away from it all. We wouldn’t hesitate to ‘handpick’ both venues when making recommendations to our clients.
Venue website: https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/