As you come down the winding road, you have The Olde Bell pub on one side, and their Tithe Barn on the other. We visited The Olde Bell during one of their wedding fairs. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly, thank you very much, and we proceeded to awkwardly walk around the open space and approach a few of the stalls. I was starting to think that we weren’t very good at playing it cool, when one of the events managers came to our rescue. The truth is, wedding fairs are great for getting a feel of what the venue offers, as well as discovering suppliers which know the venue inside and out, however I don’t believe that they are good for getting a proper idea as to whether a venue is right for you.
Image source: The Olde Bell
The Olde Bell venue staff were lovely, and we did end up being shown around. The Tithe Barn, which is a sensitively restored 16th Century Tudor barn has the original beams and exposed rafters, for us felt a little big. During your ceremony, the large room would be divided by a neutral-toned curtain, which would hide the tables which are set up for your wedding breakfast. While it is a clever idea and ensures a quick turnaround, the beige backdrop not only blocks the view of the barn, but it also wasn’t the most attractive. The space for the drinks reception felt a bit like an unused corridor, but on the plus side it overlooked the hog-roasting station.
I think that part of the wow-factor for a wedding venue is the initial sighting. The setting of a venue is what builds the atmosphere for the entrance. Unfortunately, The Tithe Barn is set on a car park, and while you can enter and exit at the rear, it doesn’t quite take your breath away. But you have to remember, its what’s on the inside that counts.
The plus side is that there is accommodation-a-plenty, with five bedrooms just outside of the barn, and more in The Olde Bell pub, where I also hear the food is pretty good – perfect for getting the family together for breakfast the morning after.
Lesson learnt: If you are serious about the venue, make an appointment to have a private viewing.