Venue No. 3

Yesterday, we went to see wedding venue no. 3.  And it was a vast improvement on no1 and no2.  So where were we?  We went to The Pavillion at Lane End, High Wycombe, part of the Lane End Conference Centre.

So here comes the walk through!  First impressions weren’t great, I didn’t take a picture of the entrance gate, so I’ve copied one here from Google street view, and it was obviously taken when the place was in a bit of a better shape, yesterday the white building on the right was looking like it needed a good clean / paint (imagine grey-green moss/mould on the walls) and the garden was over grown.  But if it looked like this, we’d be quite pleased!

However, as you come through the entrance gates and onto the drive, there are a lot of building that look a lot like this (ie not very attractive):

But, carry on walking (round to the right of that big hedge..) and you start to see views like this…

Ok, so it’s no county manor estate, but it’s clean and practical.  And the views of the grounds are lovely (imagine this on a hot, sunny, summers day, rather than a rainy Saturday in March)

How cute is that gazebo??  Just imagine it draped in flower garlands and streamers and fairy lights!!  And the lovely big patio, they said they’ve got loads more garden furniture to put out, and all of the doors from the reception room open out onto the patio, meaning there’s lots of light and air, but all very close by.

So, let’s have a look at the inside..  The lovely lady showing us round, Carolyn, explained that guests would first be served drinks on the patio, then brought through this ‘entry room’, before going down the hall to the reception room (on the right hand side of this corridor).  This ‘lobby’ type area is where further drinks would be served for guests to take through to the reception room, and also where evening guests could be greeted.  I like the organisation of it all 🙂

So, now for a peek into the reception room itself..

The venue say they can easily fit up to 120 seated guests for a wedding breakfast, so our numbers of about 85 would be perfect.  The room itself it lovely and bright and airy, with the high, sloped ceiling and huge windows and French doors looking out onto the patio and gardens.  The room is also air-conditioned, so if its a very hot day, doors and windows can be shut and we can be kept lovely and cool.  The bar is in this main room, and is apparently at ‘pub prices’.  So far, all very nice.  I’m not a massive fan of the gold and blue curtains, but I’m sure that’s something we can work around!  Another bonus for us is that what would usually be used for the ceremony room is also ours to use for the day.  It can be transformed into whatever we want – a children’s room, a games room, an old-people’s room, whatever.  The Mr instantly had the idea of setting up a projector or TV and having the Xbox Kinect going – not only great fun for kids and adults alike, but because it takes pictures as you play, we could end up with some cracking pictures of the guests in all kinds of compromised positions!!  What a fun idea!

So overall, lots of positives.  There is accommodation on site (over 100 on site, 35 in the adjoining building and the rest a bit further away in the main lodge), but these are very small rooms, as they were originally only used for single occupancy for conferences etc.  However they do seem to be priced quite reasonably at £70 for double occupancy, which includes full cooked breakfast the next morning.  Another positive is that the whole venue would be ours for the day, including the golf course.  So there would be no-one else wandering around, no other conferences or weddings.  Breakfast the next morning would be in the more formal dining room in the main lodge, but would only be for guests of the wedding – we’d have the whole place to ourselves.  Guests who are booked to stay can have full use of the facilities such as sports hall, tennis and basketball courts, gym and sauna and the golf course at no extra cost.  And with 26 acres of grounds, we’d be able to get some cracking photos.  I was so impressed when The Mr pointed out that all of the trees in the grounds would work beautifully for being covered in streamers, lanterns etc.  I’d not even told him about that!!!  He came up with that on his own!

On the (slight) down side, it is one of the more expensive venues we’ve looked at, with the basic packages (for our numbers) starting at £100pp and £37.50 for children under 12).  The rooms for staying in are small, and could prove problematic for guests with children – the rooms only have space for the double bed, and there are no twin or family rooms.  They also don’t provide cots, so those with babies would have to bring their own travel cots.  However they did say that children could be put on blow-up beds on the floor, but with the size of the room, that would take up most of the room!!  The rooms really are small.  However, the centre of High Wycombe is probably only 10-15 minutes away in a car / taxi, and there are a wealth of hotels there (including a Holiday Inn), so perhaps the option would be to put guests in mini-busses at the end of the night.  We’d miss out on the breakfast then though, which would be a shame.  Although I’ve just found the Tree Hotel at Cadmore End through a Google search.. and it looks lush…

This one is definitely on the shortlist for now.. but still lots to look at!