My daughter and I first visited Deer Park in 2014, it wasn’t too far away, there was a great deal on, and we immediately fell in love with it. At the first sign of a wedding free weekend, elusive in the summer months, we knew exactly where we wanted to go. After a few Tweets we were booked in for two nights and couldn’t wait!
There’s something really special about Deer Park Hotel; I think a big part of it is the welcoming atmosphere the minute you step through the door; one of the first things you see is a row of wellington boots and collection of umbrellas for guests to use when the weather turns. The building itself is beautiful, dating back to the mid 18th Century, and is set amongst 80 acres or beautiful parklands. Ella and I enjoyed rambling about and making the most of our surroundings. We also found out that Deer Park recently moved into the wedding industry, opening their doors for the first time as a venue! I can fully appreciate why couples would fall in love with the place – we did after all!
Ella and I stayed in the Garden Rooms, which are separate from the hotel but right next door to the Victorian walled garden, where they’ve just started growing their own produce for the restaurant. When we arrived at the room there was a map of the hotel and grounds showing all the different places to explore including: a bean bag chill out area, outdoor pizza oven and seating, and of course the beautiful grounds. Our journey to the hotel had been a little tortuous, several hours stuck in traffic jams in the burning sun, so while Ella started planning our visit I took full advantage of the comfortable bed and tried my best not to nod off. I may have made a note of who made the mattress and linens – I need them at home!
Dogs are always welcome at Deer Park, there’s even a little pamper shed for pooches, which is great after a muddy walk through the grounds. As a household of cat lovers we didn’t have a dog to take with us but Hugo, Deer Park’s pooch in residence, acted as our canine companion and joined us on our explorations. Hugo is easily the cutest dog we’ve met – he wears a bow tie and has his own Twitter account, @HugoGodfrey
The hotel caters really well for children with a dedicated menu – proper meals and not a chicken nugget in sight! The attention to detail made the dining experience extra special. I loved the labels next to the jars of breakfast cereals. Every meal was a treat.
Obviously I wanted to have a poke around Deer Park as a venue and Mark Godfrey, General Manager, was kind enough to show us both around with Hugo in tow. As well as getting married inside the hotel they have a new outside ceremony space. There’s stunning wisteria archway and wildlflower meadow that lead you to the private garden which is licenscensed for ceremonies. In the UK outdoor ceremonies are riskier than they would be in warmer climates, but the ceremony space at Deer Park is so beautiful it would be worth chancing it.
On the wedding night you can stay in your very own treehouse. We wanted to have a nose about inside but it was in use the weekend we visited. It looks so romantic at night though – the pathway is all lit up and it looks so enticing – just what you want for weddings and special occasions. Mark also showed us the hotels collection of classic cars that can be used by couples on their special day and I think it’s these little touches that make Deer Park stand out from other venues.
Ella wanted to help with my blog post and so as Mark showed us around she subjected him to her journalistic scrutiny and hard hitting questions.
Q: What makes Deer Park special?
A: The staff, gardens, grounds, and location. (We both agreed with this!)
Q: What three words would you use to describe Deer Park Hotel?
A: Tickety-boo, marvelous, and scrumptious!
Q: How does it feel to manage Deer Park?
A: It’s very rewarding and fun!
Q: Are you good friends with the staff?
A: Very good friends. A lot live on site and they work very hard and are really friendly.
Q: What are you working on?
A: We’re adding some new fencing to the grounds and continuing lots of new plants and flowers.
It was so nice to get away from everything and spend some much needed quality time with Ella; it really is one of our favourite places to stay and I am so excited that they’re now a wedding venue. I heartily recommend you taking some time for yourself and visiting Deer Park and the surrounding area. You won’t regret it!
Ella would like to finish by saying “When are we going back Mummy?”