The medieval town of Rye, on the East Sussex/Kent border is fast becoming a not-so-secret hotspot for those looking for charming cobbled streets, history (it’s former defence, the Ypres Tower, dates back to 1250 and the church is almost 1000 years old!) and empty stretches of sandy beach – the seaside town is also the setting for E.F. Benson’s fictional town of ‘Tilling’ in the Mapp and Lucia novels and Rye featured in the recent BBC TV series of the same name.
So, it comes as no surprise that romantic Rye has stolen the hearts of many brides and grooms to be, who want to tie the knot in this quaint and magical medieval town.
One Rye wedding venue on the top of many a couple’s dream day wish list is The George in Rye; a Grade II listed 4-star hotel, located in the heart of the town and just minutes away from the vast beach at Camber Sands.
Dating back to 1575, when it was a coaching inn, The George in Rye is now one of England’s most highly regarded small hotels and has become well known for its ‘informal luxury’, welcoming atmosphere and fabulous food, with recent guests including; George Clooney, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner and Ian McKellen.
Available on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, The George in Rye appeals to couples looking to create a sophisticated occasion with a relaxed ‘house-party’ vibe. From intimate celebrations for 12, to receptions with all the trimmings for up to 120 guests, the luxury hotel offers complete flexibility and prides itself on its friendly, personal approach.
The original Regency Ballroom complete with minstrel’s gallery, chandeliers and silk hand-painted wallpaper, is unrivalled for its elegance – it seats up to 120 guests and is licensed for civil ceremonies. The 16th century Benson room is ideal for more intimate occasions and can be used alongside the ballroom for a drinks reception or a separate bar. The Benson room can also offer a private setting for dinner with friends and family the night before the wedding.
The George in Rye’s facilities are completely adaptable, allowing guests the option to marry either at the local historic town hall – under a minute’s walk from the Hotel – or within the Regency ballroom itself. If couples are blessed with sunshine, guests can enjoy a celebratory toast out in the courtyard garden while the bride and groom are whisked off to nearby Camber Sands beach for photos. During the winter months, an intimate drinks reception can be held within the elegant surroundings of the Benson Room before the grand ballroom is unveiled for the wedding breakfast.
The kitchen team have developed a selection of seasonal Wedding Breakfast menus using ingredients on offer from the local farms and fishermen around Rye. There is an extensive list of fine wines and champagne including a number of new generation English wines from vineyards in East Sussex and Kent. Although the two popular packages (Traditional and Indulgence) are used as a starting point, packages are customised to suit a couple’s individual requirements.
There are 34 individually-designed ensuite bedrooms to choose from. From contemporary, spacious junior suites to more traditional superior doubles, every room has been stamped with an eclectic style and the little details that make all the difference. Rooms feature Vi-Spring beds, Frette linen, William Holland copper and zinc baths, power showers, REN products, flat screen TVs, Ruark iPod docks and free WIFI. Junior Suites are truly romantic.