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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Jacob Farr

We checked out one of the UK's best rated wedding venues near Edinburgh

Planning a wedding can be super stressful and there is no more difficult choice than trying to find your dream venue.

After all it is one of the most important - and often most expensive - days of your life and you want to be able to look back on your special occasion feeling as though everything ran smoothly.

So when pondering on what would be the best option to host your loved ones for your nuptials you could do worse than to look at the venues that have been celebrated for their hosting abilities.

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Houstoun House in Broxburn, that are part of the MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, have won several awards in the recent past, with the most notable being the Platinum Award from booking site Bridebook for having 40 five star reviews in a row.

Not only were they celebrated by Bridebook but they were also commended at the British Wedding awards for venue of the year.

And since I myself am planning on tying the knot within the next twelve months, I thought why not head down to the venue to get a look around and experience what the venue has to offer.

Admittedly my fiancée and I were nervous about going away, we have an 11-week-old son who needs that newborn attention. At first I did not think we would be able to be accommodated at such a plush hotel but the staff were so supportive and encouraged us to come along.

Upon arrival we had a speedy check-in and when we got to our room we were greeted by a sweet treat tray that included a divine brownie and some traditional Scottish shortbread. We were booked in for seven at the restaurant and made our way down there after little Otis had had his fill of milk.

It was a touch tricky to get the buggy down the stairs and up the stairs to the restaurant but that is the price worth paying in such a historic listed building. The home was constructed in the 1500’s and boasts Mary Queen of Scots amongst its guests over the years.

The restaurant staff were incredibly friendly and gave us an amazing seat next to the fireplace. We were served a tasty house red and both chose different starters to get a feel for the menu.

My partner ordered the John Ross Smoked Salmon, avocado, dill, pickled shallot and lemon and I opted for the Chicken liver parfait , toasted brioche & plum chutney. Along With this we got the beer & black treacle sourdough, salted butter & rosemary oil - every single laste bite was tremendous.

For the mains, my soon to be wife ordered the slow cooked lamb shoulder with ‘French style pea’s’ along with truffled mash whereas I opted for the chicken, chickpea & coriander with lemon & apricot couscous - the hand cut chips with smoked paprika mayonnaise had also come recommended so we were gluttonous and ordered this too.

The food was cooked by the specialist chefs and was faultless. The same on-site team that cooks for the restaurant are also those that will be on hand to cook up a storm for you and your wedding guests.

General manager Andrew Boe says that they are extremely versatile and will always be open to suggestions from the couple. He says that if they want burgers on their wedding day, then they will have burgers, it is all about what their needs are.

The deserts jumped out at us and we decided upon the sticky toffee pudding and chocolate tart. Both were a real treat for anyone with a sweet tooth and show that every base would be covered when tying the knot.

When we retired to our room it was a space where we could be relaxed and roam around with the little man. Andrew says that the majority of the rooms are modelled in a similar fashion which means that guests can all expect to have their own area to let their hair down when making an occasion of your wedding.

The next morning we had a wee sit down to speak to Andrew and Charlotte, the events manager, to discuss all things weddings. Charlotte broke down the three packages that they offer.

First up is the Houstoun package which includes all the basics you need for a wedding from food, drink, room hire to your food and other bits and bobs. This comes in at £95 per guest and with all packages has a three month leisure membership thrown in for the couple.

Second was the deluxe package, this is designed to take all of the stress out of the day by covering absolutely everything that you need for your special day. Nothing is left out anf this comes in at £170pg.

Last is the Whirlwind package which is for those looking to get married in a hurry but with a guestlist of only 50 people. This comes in at 89pg.

All packages include the services of a dedicated wedding coordinator from Houstoun House’s professional team, ensuring that each special day is delivered to perfection.

Couples are also treated to a menu of complimentary extras on booking, including a red carpet arrival for guests, the support of a master of ceremonies for the full day, and accommodation in the luxurious bridal suite for the wedding night.

The Houstoun Suite seats up to 150 for wedding ceremonies and breakfasts and can accommodate up to 180 guests for the evening reception. The Strathbrock Suite is ideally suited for smaller weddings, seating up to 60 day guests and 80 evening guests.

With 73 luxurious and individually-styled bedrooms, including a unique bedroom in the tower, Houstoun House can be hired for exclusive use – an increasingly popular option for couples seeking to bring their loved ones together for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend.

Couples can book an appointment to visit Houstoun House on the venue’s open days on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th February, between 10am-5pm. Houstoun House is also hosting a wedding fayre on Saturday 25th February from 12pm-5pm, bringing together suppliers from across the industry under one roof.

There are several settings within the hotel where couples can choose to say their nuptials in front of around 200 guests or less. There is a dreamy courtyard, a beautiful purple tree in the grounds for the summer months, two separate halls or the restaurant for smaller gatherings.

Those looking to make a weekend of it can book out the Hunter’s room which is adjacent to their Vault room bar that has historic artefacts and a lush wood fire within it. The whole hotel can be booked out for guests who are also able to enjoy the leisure and spa facilities as well as Uphall golf club for a round or two.

Andrew Boe, general manager at Houstoun House, said: “At Houstoun House, our motto is ‘a day for you, made by us.’ We know that every couple is different, and our dedicated wedding team take pride in creating special days tailored to every individual need.

“Our solid track record of five-star reviews on Bridebook really is a wonderful way to begin the year. January and February are typically some of the busiest months for wedding bookings following a peak in engagements over the festive period, and we’ve seen a 30% increase in couples reserving their special day with us, compared to this time last year.

“Dates for 2023 are filling up, and we already have 23 weddings booked for next year, too. Weekends are still popular, but we’re seeing a rise in weekday bookings as well. We’re looking forward to helping all our couples celebrate in true five-star style this year.”

For anyone looking to find out more information on the hotel or to book a slot at the up and coming open day this Saturday, click here.


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