Prospective Wedding Venue: Ok, but left feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Just to make it clear we went to view New House Country Hotel as a prospective wedding venue, we didn't stay the night so this review is purely of the wedding spaces as opposed to what it's like as a hotel. However personally I've found it really helpful reading reviews of venues on TripAdvisor as prospective wedding hosts when booking viewings myself so thought I'd add in my thoughts for anyone who is planning to view/use NHCH as a venue :)
Originally we thought that this hotel would be one of, if not our top, contender but sadly it really didn't live up to expectations. Driving up to the house you can see that the view from the hotel is stunning- panoramic views over the city and on a clear day would provide a beautiful backdrop for photographs. You can hear the quiet hum of the M4 as soon as you get out of the car, but this might not bother some people in fairness and is relatively minor. Upon going into the hotel we had to wait 15 minutes past our appointment time as the planner was still talking with another couple. We were then shown both of the rooms that would cater for our needs - the Marquee and the Wyndham Suite. At this stage we were told that if another wedding was booked for the same weekend we and our guests would only be allowed access to half the hotel, and photo opportunities are also limited to 'your' half! Have to say this is the first venue we've looked at that wouldn't offer exclusivity, which again might be more important to some than others, turns out it's quite important to us!
The marquee itself is a good size space, very light, has its own bar, and thought has been put into how to change the space without having to move guests, which are all positive. On the downside there was a definite "tent smell" to it and the canopy had a lot (and I mean a lot!) of dead flies collected in it, which isn't so appealing. The Wyndham suite on the other other hand (inside the hotel) is much cleaner, modern decor which has been finished to a high standard and even comes with matching chairs that definitely wouldn't need covering so you could save money here. On the other hand it's a dark room (not much natural light and the colour scheme is dark purple) and there is no bar. We were told that for room change here guests would go into the lounge area of the hotel, which we weren't shown. I think we found ourselves wishing that you could combine the two spaces as that would make one really great room!
A few other details led to us going with another venue in the end - No external alcohol is permitted so you're forced to buy from the hotel itself, which isn't cheap. The menu was lacking in choice compared to other venues- again the options were ok, but when you're paying as much per head as you do for weddings you'd hope the choices would feel a bit special. Finally, the wedding co-ordinator was lovely and friendly, equally a few unsavoury comments were made about other weddings that have been hosted there which left me feeling a little uneasy- it was all said light-heartedly but I don't fancy becoming the next wedding to be laughed at!
We left feeling that the hotel was "ok", its certainly not dire by any means but just lacked the wow factor that we had from some other local venues. We were actually really surprised that when we priced up our other choice (which we're now booked with and definitely had that wow factor feeling) there was less than £900 difference between there and New House.
I think for some people none of these points would be deal-breaking issues, equally if anyone reads this and knows it would bug them then I hope this has been helpful! less