Ardington House Weddings

Ardington House for Weddings and Parties

Wedding Couple

Ardington House is a stunning Georgian mansion in rural Oxfordshire, where you can have a traditional country wedding, far removed from your busy and boisterous urban life. Ardington House is a setting of such serene beauty all wedding jitters and city stress will quickly fade into oblivion.  The spectacular garden also host concerts and charity events, but if you marry there the bride and groom can be waved away in a boat decorated with flowers on Ardington Brook, which meanders along the border of the garden, for a very dramatic departure.

Ardington House is, with justification, in Simon Jenkins’ 1000 Best Houses in England. It is a stately red brick building surrounded by lovely gardens and stables, Lebanese cedars, and a tennis court on the edge of the very attractive village of Ardington. This is hunting country, and Ardington sits in the heartland of the Old North Berks and the Vale of the White Horse hunts.

Have the service in the nearby church and then head to the house for the reception, either in the house itself or in a marquee by the floodlit river. If a church wedding isn’t up your aisle, the house is licensed so you can get married in an intimate service at the bottom of the impressive staircase in the spacious hall or under the rotunda on the island.

Theatrical productions and operas are performed here, and family christenings and high days and holidays are celebrated in this glorious venue. In the summer the lawns provide a background for evenings in the ‘pleine aire,’ enjoying musical events with a picnic. These are great favourites with locals, and the joy is that evenings are not too hyped up or publicized to become corporate and lose the friendly, country house charm.

This is a family house that feels as if it is your own. So make yourself at home and fill it with your family and friends for the weekend. Have dinner in the romantic, dark green dining room the night before the wedding and stay in one of the suites or four double bedrooms. The in-house team work to make every wedding individual so every bride realizes her fairytale, whether that’s arriving on horseback or going away in a boat down the river. And wedding photographs look spectacular with the house in the background and horses grazing bedside the river. Whatever you choose, you’ll remember the calm, quiet, beauty of your special day at Ardington House.

Still not convinced? Get online and let the house speak for itself.

— Lucinda Baring

I went along to the village fete at Ardington House on an Indian summer afternoon in early September. To my delight I found a ‘fete champetre’ taking place on the lush green lawn with horses grazing in the fields around. A small boat with coloured banners and filled with people in straw boaters drifted slowly along the river, reminding me of Renoir’s sunny boating paintings. Picnics were spread on Bonnard-coloured blue and red gingham cloths beside the river. Turning on a spit in the mid-day sun was a huge pig with masses of black crackling, which tasted delicious in the clear afternoon. A communion of good humour, solidarity, home cooked dishes, and laughing children running between the stalls added up to a festive enjoyment of the good life and the joys of childhood.

I went into the marquee to see a display of glass vases filled with home-grown russet dahlias and yellow gladiolas and autumn blooms in the cut flower competition. The next table displayed garden vegetables decorated like foxes and Little Red Riding Hood. There was an aubergine with small pickled onion eyes and corn silk hair and beets dressed as mice. These were all made by under-9s. On sale were a menagerie of cakes made to look like castles and space ships cooked by under-14s. I was glad there was no trace of the designer, Yummy Mummy culture or expensive parental offering you would have found in Notting Hill’s village fete.

Piled onto a table were wine glasses brought back from holidays abroad, cache pots from Portugal, trays, and a jumble of household items. I left with a ceramic planter and an Edwardian biscuit barrel, a bargain for L1. I was very pleased with my finds.

The fete was a trip back in time to a happier and more secure age, which gave Ardington villagers and me a sense of well-being. This was a left-over of Old-fashioned England and a refreshing retreat from the hurly burly of our worrying credit crunch era. St. Mary’s Church roof funds will enjoy a healthy boost from the simple pleasures of this feast.

Mrs M

Ardington House
Ardington
Wantage
Oxfordshire OX12 8QA

01235 833244
www.ardingtonhouse.com

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