This hotel was our first choice venue but a shortage of rooms made us look elsewhere, however Charlie (the quirky owner) was wonderful from the moment we confirmed that we were relocating to The Hotel Grosvenor 10 days before the wedding! (Incidentally we have eaten lunch and taken coffee here fairly regularly before the wedding - it is consistently excellent in a unique way).
Charlie really sets the tone and standard for the rest of the staff here, they are young and certainly some are inexperienced but this is why this place works and others do not! Everyone here likes being here and it just shines through in genuine enthusiasm for the the guests and each other. We were made to feel part of the 'family' but at no time were the boundaries blurred and no request was too difficult, needless to say there was lots of laughter and we cannot stress how relaxed we were in our dealings with the Grosvenor Team, instinctively we knew that we could trust them.
Planning our day was a real team effort and ideas flowed easily in both directions culminating in a shared understanding of what we would each do and how. I had decided to do all of the decorations as I was totally inspired by the venue (including the flowers). The team led by James spent several hours the afternoon before the wedding in the ballroom with me polishing glass, tying hearts onto chairs and putting roses into jars, not to mention finding all of those little things that I had overlooked and offering last minute ideas - it was such fun.
Mark is the most understated and wonderful chef, he was genuinely happy with our chosen 7 course menu, he really brought our food to life with love on every plate. The challenges laid down were truely exceeded; perfect starters, the best beef ever (everyone's food was piping hot), Pavalova to die for and cheese as it should be, I could rave about the merits of every course and can still taste the food and wines especially the dessert wine!
The staff had to arrange the wedding cakes that had been made by my aunt and daughter - again no problem and they really presented them beautifully. Not one of our (mostly fussy) 27 guests had a single complaint, in fact we have repeatedly been told that this is the best wedding food ever!!! (and they are all looking forward to sharing our anniversaries......) Incidentally we started eating at about 2.30 and just kept going until the bacon butties at 9pm, which really rounded of the day swished down as they were with yet more champagne - the perfect finishing touch.
As part of the day Charlie promised us the services of James the bar manager who is a talented photographer and while we are unfortunately still awaiting the disc the photo's on the website are lovely. So guys when will we receive the rest of the photo's? This is our only complaint!
As an overview for those of you who are considering this as your venue do not hesitate, we were met, fed and watered to an exceptional standard and we have been to many splendid weddings. Be specific about any requests and don't worry about changing your mind as the team are really professional and they thrive when working with you.
Top tip - Firstly before making your decision do a mystery shop as we are confident that they are consistent with our review.
Other Tips and ideas:
1. The day after the wedding we had a post wedding lunch in the main dining room for 22 family members which was as great as the previous day so if your budget stretches it is really worth it.
2. Do take up the offer of lunch and a wine tasting to help you make your decisions as this can help you theme your day, also book a taxi or a room for afterwards to properly enjoy (we had to do the school run!!!)
3. Honeymoon Suite - double shower, roll top bath and fab coffee machine, we loved it, but the room does lack lighting for make-up and hair but I'm sure that Charlie has these minor glitches in hand. If you are staying the night before you will need to think carefully about these things to avoid stress on the day.
4. Get the parking sorted and agreed beforehand as this was a problem for some of our guests who had to feed the meter.
5. We entirely recommend our vintage car firm but not the local taxi firm who were late and lost property!
6. Agree exactly what, how and where the drinks reception will be conducted, include wet weather arrangements. (There had been a downpour during our wedding service and the puddles on the patio soaked the hem of my dress, but also guests were not really directed onto the patio and things were a little dis-jointed for a while).
7. Don't be tempted to 'over wedding' the ballroom, it is a natural and needs little extra to create a personal statement.
8. Have a final meeting with the staff the day before to deal with last minute arrangements and check understandings, expectations, etc. For us we had a couple of teenagers and wanted to ensure that there were no hangovers, lets say our system could do with refining!
9. Throw your bouquet from the balcony it was a real grand finalie for us and the guests as they left..... for the evening.
Regrets - not being able to arrange live music (we ran out of time).
Overall; as you will have read this was a wonderful day for us and our guests I hope that you have as much fun. We are both happy to be contacted to share our experience and answer any questions, Charlie has our number. In the mean time we will be booking our first anniversary dinner very soon! Wishing Charlie and the lovely staff as much happiness as we have and continue to enjoy, we wish them continued growth and every happiness for the future.
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- Also Known As:
- The Grosvenor Arms Shaftesbury, Dorset