Category Archives: Venues

The Old Bridge Hotel has an extremely steep car park! I say this because, as a starting point for this post I was thinking about what characterised the Old Bridge in my mind and the car park was the first thing that came to me! I first visited the hotel about, well it must be nearly twenty years ago (yikes!!), in one of my first cars which was an old school black mini (very funny if you have met me as I`m 6′ 5″ tall!) which had seen better days and the handbrake kept slipping! You can guess the rest!

It also has a huge number (considering it`s relatively “bijou” size – love that word!) of different little areas to photograph in ranging from ivy clad corners, a walled garden, a riverside wooded area and overhanging trees outside to stylish big bathrooms, a rather cool contemporary bar area, traditional leather clad sofa sitting rooms and dining room, a bright almost conservatory style restaurant inside to mention but a few!

I have photographed a lot of weddings at the Old Bridge and have always thought of it as being a rather cosy and intimate venue. The staff are very attentive and organised and I have heard several recommendations for the food. In fact one couple I photographed there went there for a meal after they got engaged and booked the hotel for their wedding venue on the strength of the quality of food and service they received that evening! It`s riverside location is fantastic and lightwise, as the wedding celebrations draw into the evening, it is great as the sun warms the gorgeous walled garden during the afternoon and then sets over the river in the evening.

If you are planning a slightly more intimate wedding and are looking for a venue with masses of experience and also a touch of class then I would highly recommend the Old Bridge. You can visit the website here and see some more of my wedding pictures on their website here.

As I visualise the Jockey Club Rooms in my mind I get a sense of wonderful light, rich decor and a sense of classic opulence. (Wow, that was a bit of a wordy opening sentence!) It`s the quality of  light though that stands out in my mind and I know, that as a photographer, I do often judge venues by the quality of light available. The light in the JCR is wonderfully varied but there are several beautiful spots where it gently falls off through huge picture windows to provide a fantastic warmth and softness perfect for taking portraits. Almost everywhere, in most of the rooms, there is beautiful, soft directional lighting!

Enough of my light geeking!

The JCR are set off Newmarket High Street and are pretty much unique in that the place has a kind of gentleman`s club (but in a good way!) feel to it, combined with a classic English elegance combined with a funny sort of Billy Bunter humour! The gentleman`s toilets are to be seen to be believed and it is set in a glorious walled garden with a terrace, manicured lawns and gravelled walkways.

Inside the rooms are opulent (I love that word!) to say the least with chandaliers, open fireplaces, huge comfy leather sofas and chairs, thick carpeting, wallpaper and, of course, an ongoing racing theme in the huge number works of art on show.

Wedding wise the JCR is a fantastic venue. There is a beautiful lounge (with great light!) leading onto a large outdoor terrace with views over the lawns and gardens which are perfect for group shots whilst guests sip champagne and relax. There is also a large, separate dining room and another adjacent room which can be set up for the evening entertainment so that there is no waiting around for room changes etc. Everything feels very private and personal as the rooms are available exclusively for weddings and the staff show a real attention to detail that isn’t always apparent at other venues in my experience. The JCR have a specialist wedding planner, Victoria Mills, who is extremely experienced and helpful and I know that the couples whose weddings I have photographed at the JCR have found her help and support invaluable.

You can contact The Jockey Club Rooms via there website here.

The very name “secret garden” is immediately evocative of rambling roses, the hazy glow of summer, orchards, secret pathways and hidden corners, the excitement of discovery and Alice in Wonderland tea parties. The Secret Garden at Burwash manor doesn’t disappoint, it’s situation is perfect behind a high wobbly garden wall in the grounds of the old manor house – the sort of place you expect to see Peter Rabbit popping up from every so often! The manor house itself provides the perfect backdrop for pictures.

…………..and with a marquee erected in the gardens creates the perfect location for a unique wedding location.

The venue is accessed by what feels like a genuine secret entrance through the wall and you really do get the sense of moving through to a special and hidden space. The rest of the Burwash Manor site is made up of a large array of speciality shops and boutiques and it really does give the venue a really unique character.

I really enjoyed photographing at The Secret garden and would definately recommend it. You can vists their website here.