Who wants to get married at Botleys Mansion?
I do! Muddy road tests this grand Palladian mansion near Chertsey in Surrey. Here's what you need to know.
I’ve attended weddings on beaches, fields, stately homes – hell, my own was at the local pub – and everyone’s idea of the perfect ‘I do’ is very personal. But if you’re looking for an intimate, homely, gorgeously luxe place in which to attach your ball and chain, Botleys Mansion, a wedding venue near Chertsey should be right up there.
It’s hard to test out a wedding venue when you’re already married, and as Hugh Jackman is still refusing to be my second husband (no need for the restraining order though Hugh), I did the next best thing – I spent an afternoon wafting around the mansion playing make-believe.
Botleys Mansion is a grand Palladian mansion house set in the Surrey countryside at Ottershaw just outside Chertsey. It’s ideally positioned along a long curving driveway – which offers a stunning ‘reveal’ of the mansion as you sweep around the bend – just a stone’s throw from the M25 and the M3 and only 30 minutes from central London (ideal for those who like to talk about the convenience – it really is!).
The mansion house was built in the 1760s and today is surrounded by 56 acres of parkland. As a wedding venue, it’s one of five venues in the Bijou collection – a small family-owned and family-run company specialising in planning and staging weddings.
It’s available for exclusive-use hire for 24 hours – from 11am on the day of your wedding until 11am the day after and as well offering a choice of entertaining spaces with a capacity from 50-250 guests, there are also 12 bedrooms including a bridal suite.
THE WOW FACTOR
The first wow moment comes when you’re cruising up the driveway as the mansion comes into view. It’s really quite something. Inside, the main entrance hall is your first glimpse of the mansion’s opulence – stone columns, full size marble statues and a self-playing grand piano.
There are two rooms to the left – the Morning Room at the front and the Green Room – and the Library is on the right. Each space is adaptable and can be utilised in various ways throughout the wedding. The Green Room is where couples often choose to say ‘I do’. There’s a soft and subtle ambience to this room, decorated in mint green, and with a capacity of 131 people it’s intimate and romantic.
The Morning Room is a lovely spot for post-ceremony drinks, and the Library is often where couples will take five and enjoy a nightcap, with close family and friends at the end of the wedding day. It’s also a great spot to set up a kids’ area – where children can be entertained.
Larger weddings take place in the Atrium – which can fit up to 250 people in for the ceremony. And we’re back talking about wow factor again – with a gorgeous sweeping staircase leading down to the space. It’s a large room and it’s likely this is where you’ll have your wedding banquet. There are wings on either side of The Atrium with space in the Fountain Wing on the right for a dance floor and in the Temple Wing on the left there’s room for comfy sofas to set up as a chill-out space, and also space for all other entertainment extras you might like to include such as chocolate fountains, photo booth or casino tables.
Doors lead from the Temple Wing to the Temple garden outside – and in the summer months guests can flow through from the inside to the outside, where lawn games such as Jenga and croquet can be set up. There’s also an option to have the wedding ceremony in the garden.
What makes Botleys Mansion different to other rural wedding venues? Well, you have the run of the place – the entire mansion. Plus you get the freedom to decorate the house as you would like. And if you’d like things to really go off with a bang, there’s also the option to have fireworks.
There are 12 bedrooms which includes the bridal suite. Each room – named after friends and family of the owners – has a stunning view as well as a ensuite bathrooms and a Sonos sound system. On the day after the wedding, breakfast for guests – is served in the Dining Room – around a stately dining table that seats at least 26 people.
As well as a stunning venue for your wedding, Bijou also provide a wedding planner who will take care of all the details, and on the actual day as well as the wedding manager to keep things running smoothly, there’s an operations manager plus teams of staff.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: If it’s a wow-factor wedding you’re after without the stress and hassle of organising it yourself, this is the place for you.
Not for: Low key and informal weddings, this is not.
The cost: Exclusive use in 2021 hire starts at £5,995 for Mon-Thurs during the low season; food and drink is from £119 per person; accommodation is from £170-£235 per room.
Botleys Mansion, Stonehill Road, Lyne, Chertsey, KT16 0AP