After our visit to the very pretty Wick Farm, we drove 25 minutes to potential venue number two. Before I was even engaged, I knew that this venue would be on my list of places to see after it appeared on the last series of BBC Three's Don't Tell the Bride. What I didn't know was that there are 2 venues to choose from on site. The Water Mill and the Tithe Barn.
Sandra Meyer showed us around the Water Mill first. There's no denying that the venue is beautiful. They have made a feature of the mill inside, and have really used the space well, placing the ceremony and reception room at the top (with an outdoor terrace looking out onto the stream), the bar area on the middle floor and the toilets at the bottom. The grounds are stunning too, and on a sunny day would be awesome and will maximise the space.
I did like the look of the Mill, but my main concern was about access. My mother is in a wheelchair. There is access to the ceremony room as there is a hill behind the Mill, but she wouldn't be able to use the bar. And every time she would need to use the toilet facilities, she would have to go outside and down the hill. I just think that if our wedding was on a rainy day, this wouldn't be a fair deal for her. She would also have to go back up the hill, which would have been quite difficult as it was quite muddy and had lots of gravel.
Sandra then showed us the Tithe Barn. This was more our style anyway, but the minimum number they take is 80, which is exactly the number we are looking at. I already knew it would be too big for what we were looking for though.
This barn is beautiful, but it is vast! The ceremony would take place on the mezzanine meaning my mother wouldn't be able to attend. She would have to be seated in the main hall area below, and although we worked out that we could have about 20 others seated down there with her, it just didn't feel right for me.
These venues are beautiful, and would suit someone wanting a unique venue, great outdoor space and character. My main problem was the access, but I also felt that it was very corporate. This is no bad thing, but for my husband to be and I, it's just not what we're looking for.
I would recommend it, and it looked fantastic all dressed up on Don't Tell the Bride (series 4, episode 5) but it just didn't have the relaxed feel that we wanted.