I know a lot of you lovely brides and grooms to be live in and around Buckinghamshire – and today I have a very special feature for all of you. The charming folks at Stoke Place asked if we could come and visit their magnificent wedding venue and write about it on the blog. Luckily I was having an email chat with wedding photographer Damion Mower on the same day (Damion is one of our recommended wedding photographers and a regular feature on English Wedding) and he very kindly went along on behalf of us all to have a nosey around and tell us all about Stoke Place! – Damion, thank you! – It’s an incredibly beautiful venue with a choice of ceremony rooms and extensive landscaped gardens… as you’re about to see from the photos Damion took for us.
Nestled in the gorgeous Buckinghamshire countryside, approximately 30 minutes outside of London is the stunning Stoke Place country house. If you’re in the throes of deciding on your wedding venue then a visit to Stoke Place should certainly be on your shortlist. As you drive into the 26 acre estate you’re greeted by a mature row of hornbeam trees leading you to the country house.
The real beauty of Stoke Place slowly unravels itself once you enter the house and peek through the large bay windows which reveal a stunning parkland originally designed in the 18th Century by one of England’s most influential landscape architects, Lancelot Brown (Capability Brown). There is a strong sense of calm and relaxation across the grounds as the mix of natural beauty, abundant wildlife and the lake combine to create a serene vista.
All images by Damion Mower Photography (Buckinghamshire)
As a Buckinghamshire wedding photographer I couldn’t help but notice some lovely spots around the lake where you might get a cool reflection, or a romantic moment as newlyweds on the wooden pontoon that overhangs the edge of the lake. Walking across the parkland there are some quieter spots where a bride and groom can relax and not feel overlooked, offering a deep tree cover to create a contrasted background and enough pockets of light for flattering wedding photographs with a beautiful light glow. For a twist on the more traditional wedding portrait, there are crumbling brick walls full of texture and colour – a perfect backdrop for timeless wedding images.
The history of Stoke Place
Stoke Place was originally built by the royal chef Patrick Lamb in 1690 after gaining fame and riches from cooking feasts for the aristocracy. Latterly, it was bought by Lieutenant General Thomas Howard who landscaped the grounds and added additional wings. It remained in the family until the mid 1900s when it was sold to South Bucks District Council, who alongside The Cairn Collective began restoring the property to its full glory.
If you’re thinking about your wedding venue then Stoke Place effortlessly combines the elegance and classical style of a country house, offering extensive wedding facilities across its numerous banqueting rooms and halls as well as its 39 bedrooms.
The highlight of the venue is undoubtedly its grounds, creating a romantic feel to your wedding and providing the perfect backdrop for fabulous wedding photography.
To compete with the parkland, the wedding facilities offer enormous flexibility and are fully customisable, delivering a sense of intimacy and real personality to the wedding day, whilst the main house with its sweeping staircases, antique chandeliers and views into the garden gives your wedding that fairy tale impact that you won’t forget.
On the day Damion visited Stoke Place for us, there was a wedding set up – the decor and styling touches really show how beautiful a venue this can be, and I love how the bride and groom had created a magical space with fairy lights and a floral chandelier. Imagine this, as dusk falls and the lights bring the room to life…
The wedding breakfast room looked stunning on the day. The bride and groom had done a fabulous job of creating an intimate and delicate feel to the room, with baubles filled with leaves and tea lights, lots of reflections from the glassware and floral decorations that just accentuated the colours rather than shouted ‘look at me’. Personally I think this room makes for an even lovelier wedding breakfast room than it does a ceremony room – if you’re getting married at Stoke Place and you haven’t booked a photographer yet, get in touch and I’ll explain why!
The multiple and connecting rooms allow for wedding guests to move freely between locations (including the main house and its bedrooms) and makes the transition from reception to wedding breakfast to evening party seamless. Each room can be decorated and given its own unique identity and personal touch.
Dining and guest accommodation at Stoke Place
The bar area is a great place for people to gather and chat, spilling out into the garden on a nice day and offering a really fluid and relaxed space for guests to while away the time before food is served. On the day of my visit the wedding couple had arranged for some garden jenga and other traditional garden games.
Food is prepared by Stoke Place’s Michelin-recommended chef, David Jaram, offering high quality food, some of which is home-grown in their own vegetable garden and in pockets across the ground, carefully marked and peppered amongst the parkland. The wedding menus are extensive, with mouth-watering selections of canapés, meals and evening buffets to delight all of your guests.
For guests wanting to explore the venue or those wishing to stay overnight, Mark Hepton and his team offer a relaxed fine dining experience at the King and Lamb restaurant. An eclectic mix of hardwood flooring, cool lighting and bay windows make the restaurant feel modern yet elegant. Our dining experience at Stoke Place was fabulous – the restaurant manager recommended dishes and I took his recommendation on every dish. He was engaging and not pushy, felt like he was on your side and telling you the best things to pick from insider knowledge. In between courses he was chatting to guests and telling them bits of the history of the house and the area.
The bedroom was spacious and had a stunning view out onto the grounds through the traditional bay windows and drapes. Decorated with dark oak beams, wooden floors and an enormous bed with crisp linen. I slept soundly and did not hear anything from the wedding party, getting up early and taking another walk around the grounds to get a few pics. I had to decline breakfast as I was still full from the evening meal!
The staff were super attentive, friendly and relaxed with me just walking around and being nosey.
This really is a stunning place to get married, offering a gorgeous indoor and outdoor setting and delivering a romantic and country feel, just 30 minutes outside London. The team are focused and accommodating, making the experience for guests both unique and intimate. An all round winning combination.
Huge thanks to lovely wedding photographer and now Stoke Place expert(!) Damion Mower Photography for visiting Stoke Place for us to write this comprehensive and brilliant review! For more information on Stoke Place visit their website at www.thecairncollection.co.uk/hotels/stoke-place and to enquire about Damion’s availability to photograph your Buckinghamshire wedding visit https://damionmowerphotography.co.uk.