Just back from a mini break at the new - and very fabulous - Lime Wood Hotel. This country house hotel set in the heart of the New Forest National Park is where Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum recently tied the knot and I have to say they made a great choice. This is THE wedding venue for 2010.
The hotel has been designed by David Collins (who also cast his magic over The Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel and The Wolseley on Piccadilly) and the decor is classic with a quirky mix of antiques and art - the perfect backdrop for an ultra-stylish wedding. It's luxurious without feeling precious. The service is spot-on, and you feel as if you're being hosted at the home of a family-friend.
Lime Wood is available for weddings Monday through Thursday on an exclusive basis and is licensed for civil ceremonies. If you're planning a big party and inviting more than 80 guests, then my advice would be to have a marquee-style reception in the hotel's beautiful grounds. Reserve the Pavilion Suite for your Wedding Night while your guests enjoy the hotel's other 28 bedrooms and spacious Forest Suites. Re-group in the Main House for further partying the following day.
p.s. Spa lovers will be pleased to know that the Lime Wood spa is opening in the autumn and from what I saw during my tour of the building site, this is going to be a sparkling addition.
p.p.s. If you're a London-based bride you'll be happy to know that it takes just 1hr 30 to reach Lime Wood. For me, the perfect excuse for a repeat-visit.