The Old Swan and Minster, an Idyllic Riverside Wedding Venue

The Old Swan and Minster - Transformed into an Idyllic Riverside Wedding Venue and Signature De Savary Boutique Bolt Hole

I was recently lucky enough to receive a delightful invitation from the de Savary Family to take a look at the latest addition to their stunning collection of luxury wedding venues, The Old Swan and Minster Mill in the heart of The Cotswolds. 

For those unfamiliar with the treasure trove of properties that have been transformed by a touch of the de Savary magic, their esteemed portfolio includes Skibo Castle, Stapleford Park, Bovey Castle and The St James's Club.

The de Savary’s latest wedding venue is an Oxfordshire boutique bolthole at the heart of Witney’s Old Minster village, on the banks of The River Windrush. It is an idyllic country retreat – welcoming and elegant with all the amenities you would expect of a signature de Savary property.

If you want an away from it all, stress free wedding then this blissful retreat is definitely for you. Your guests will be welcomed to a relaxed and generous affair not fraught with social airs and graces, and will capture the extraordinary festive spirit of the inn that is at the very heart of the de Savary Family’s philosophy for hospitality.

It has that fantastic mix of a wonderfully laid back atmosphere with first class service and highly attentive staff.  It is ideally suited to a ‘wedding weekend’ with all of the fantastic facilities of a de Savary property on hand. Think clay pigeon shooting, a spot of fishing, lazy picnics by the river, tennis, croquet, a relaxing massage in the spa, and ever so content parents as their children frolic in the flower meadows, or enjoy hours of fun at the little petting farm feeding the hens and collecting delicious free range eggs.

The Swan and Mister Mill is certainly a wedding venue for all seasons and offers the best of all worlds; warm and welcoming in the cooler months, enjoy a country house party with cosy corners and crackling log fires.  In the summer months, this traditional village setting becomes the epitome of ‘Englishness’ with it’s idyllic riverside terrace, croquet and afternoon tea with champagne in the scented rose garden or beneath the dramatic weeping willow trees.

As a wedding venue it is just about to get better still.  As with all de Savary venues, no expense is spared to give those magical finishing touches to create an idyllic, luxury wedding venue.  Due for completion early 2012, the magnificent Great Hall, with it’s dual-aspect views directly down the River Windrush, is surrounded by 65 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, meadows, woodland and an impressive riverside terrace.

Just a short stroll from the Garden Temple and the Minster Mill with its Minstrels Gallery (both licensed for ceremonies) the Great Hall will provide a further location for  a civil ceremony with a reception area for drinks, dining and unique glass dance floor over the river.

The Great Hall with it’s cathedral-style beamed ceiling and grand inglenook fireplace has been designed to blend into the surroundings of the warm honey-toned Cotswold stone.  In keeping with the rest of the Old Swann and minster, it will provide an  eclectic mix of old and new, traditionally styled and constructed yet brimming with modern technology and environmentally friendly throughout.

Perfect for a pre (or post) wedding haven to relax, polish  and pamper, the state-of-the-art Windrush Spa alongside the River Windrush is due to open in early 2012.  The luxurious spa will boast an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, steam and a full range of specialist treatments – bliss!

Following on from my stay at The Old Swan and Minster, it is now firmly top of my list for a wonderfully relaxing escape.  It is a place where as soon as you walk through the door you leave your cares behind - relax in wonderful surroundings whilst dining on first class food and receiving first rate service from the fantastically attentive staff.

Why not try it out for yourself?  Take a tour of this romantic riverside wedding venue with promise of yet greater things to come and combine it with a relaxing stay to charge your batteries before the wedding planning begins in earnest.  Book a romantic 4 poster suite and sample all that The Old Swann has to offer, your 'G to Be' will thank you for it – perhaps by treating you to a blissfully relaxing Yon-ka massage or two!

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