As I mentioned above, we have started looking for venues. Looking for a venue in London (unless you have a massive budget, which we don’t) is actually pretty tricky due to the huge number of options. I come from a small town and back home you have about 5-10 options maximum so choosing your venue is not that difficult, but in London the choice is so varied it’s overwhelming!
Most of the online search engines (google wedding + venue and you’ll get a list) keep returning the same swanky hotels in Central London. So I figured I’ll post reviews of the venues I’ve been to see, it might give other London brides out there ideas!
Here is the first one (taken from my blog [link removed per site policy]):
In our, so far unsuccessful, search for a wedding venue we went to take a look at a golf club. In theory a golf club could be an excellent option, picture a spacious club house set in beautiful grounds within easy reach of central London. We actually managed to find one smack bang in the North London area where a lot of our friends and family live so last Sunday we stopped by the North Middlesex Golf Club.
I rang the manager on Saturday to make an appointment but when we arrived the next day it turns out there was no manager on duty, a very friendly girl from the kitchen still showed us round, answered a few questions and took our details for the manager to call during the week. I don’t know about you but good communication and organization are very important to me. How a potential vendor responds to my intial queries is something I take into account when decided whether to buy their services or not, both in my private and professional life. So setting up an appointment when no one was there to see us is obviously not good, but to NMGC’s credit the staff was very helpful and they answered all my questions over the phone and email the following day.
Anyways, back to the venue and the juicy details I know everyone wants (not losing my sense of perspective here at all, promise). NMGC is situated in Friern Barnet and overlooks lovely grounds. The main club house is a large, white, period looking builidng where the main reception room opens up on to a terrace which in turns overlooks a sweeping lawn (golf course lawn, not up on my golfing vocabulary I’m afraid) with a fountain in the distance. Very pretty view and I could easily picture guests having drinks on the terrace before dinner. The reception room is a rectangular shape, very long and narrow but with huge amounts of natural light. I reckon the space could comfortably fit 60 people but not much more than that. Then there is an adjoining smaller square shaped room which can be used for a buffet or breakout area.
The club does in-house catering at reasonable prices and there is a fully stocked bar which normally serves the golf club members, drinks can either be purchased from here or corkage is a by London standard cheap £5 per wine bottle if you want to bring your own. Venue hire is very cheap at less than £500 and includes staff, linen, crockery etc.
So far so good right? Well, the only downside is that the whole place is a little run down and unloved. The terrace with the lovely view, for example, is actually full of weeds in between the stone slabs and has seen better days. The reception room has some water damage stains in the ceiling and the bathrooms (very clean) have not been modified in the last 20 years probably. The drive up and the front of the house is a bit messy, the flower pots are full of brown, wilted plants that should be cleared out. For those on a budget looking for a North London venue set in nice grounds or park land, this is no doubt a good option. But what can I say, it didn’t quite float my boat…