Say I Do with Searcys – Getting Married at our Most Iconic Venues15 February 2022
Synonymous with weddings and parties, Searcys has been at the heart of celebrations for the past 175 years, making memories for couples across its prestigious venues across the UK.
Established in 1847 by John Searcy, a confectioner to the Duke of Northumberland, Searcys quickly became renowned for its events and parties, with lavish balls catered by John himself. In fact, his wedding cakes were acclaimed for beautiful decorations which impressed brides and wedding guests alike. By the end of 19th century, Searcys became the capital’s most popular wedding caterer, serving royalty and aristocrats up and down the country.
London Society and the county families always had an excuse for celebrations – The Coming of Age, Christening, First Return Home After Marriage, and many more. As Royal Warrant holders to the Prince of Wales at the end of the 19th century, John Searcys & Sons was naturally commissioned to make Princess Maud’s (the youngest daughter of Edward VII) wedding cake. On 22 July 1896, Princess Maud married Prince Carl of Denmark, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.
Not long before the Royal Wedding, the business’s Chief Confectioner fell ill. John’s sons had planned to send a sincere note of apology to the Palace that they could not fulfil their duties.
When this news reached John, he told his sons to ‘dismiss all idea of cancellation’ and came out of retirement to bake wedding cake himself at his own home. Within days, John had created a magnificent five-tiered cake ‘fit for a princess’. The evening before the wedding, he delivered the masterpiece personally to his royal client.
Fast-forward to 2022, and Searcys continues to devote the same level of care and skill across its venues and events, paying tribute to our founder with those same values for dining and entertaining.
For a Regal Backdrop: The HAC
In the heart of the City, the Honourable Artillery Company makes for a grand wedding venue, set within an exquisite 18th Century country house set in five acres of picturesque gardens. From grand ceremonies to intimate gatherings, exchange your vows surrounded by your loved ones in one of four licensed rooms nestled within Armoury House and the Prince Consort Rooms, with bespoke packages tailored to every couple. For a picture-perfect backdrop, step out to the sprawling Artillery Garden for Champagne and canapés, with the added option of dining al-fresco and marquees.
The Armoury House, in particular, is steeped in history, full of Georgian character and adorned with numerous antiques and items of military memorabilia. A sweeping staircase from the entrance hall up to the first floor creates a fitting build-up to our most impressive space, the Long Room. A series of smaller spaces offer a range of looks and feels and include a library, a minstrels’ gallery, a bar and several lounge areas, which all make popular choices for more intimate weddings and civil ceremonies. The five-acre Artillery Garden is a unique open space in the City of London, working well for al fresco summer weddings and drinks receptions. It’s not just its size that makes the lawns so special, it’s the dual backdrops of the capital’s skyline and the beautiful Georgian manor house. The Prince Consort Room is also available for weddings, with high ceilings and neutral décor working as a blank canvas to decorate the space for your special day.
For Historic London: Vintners’ Hall
With its first Charter in 1363, the Vintners’ Company is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. With a history in the trade of wool and wine throughout the Middle Ages. Nowadays, this deeply historic Vintners’ Hall makes a truly ancient and unique wedding venue – with a grand banqueting hall adorned by wood panels and large crystal chandeliers ideal for regal scenes from the Middle Ages. The truly historic Livery Hall is a stunning venue for up to 120 wedding guests.
Located near Bank and St Paul’s Cathedral, the Hall offers a warm welcome and can be hired exclusively for weddings, so that the mansion is yours for the day.
FOR OLD MEETS NEW: THE VIEW AT LINCOLN’S INN FIELD, HOLBORN
The stunning combination of modern and classical architecture at Searcys’ newest venue, The View London makes for a versatile wedding venue, combining a contemporary staircase and state-of-the-art conference rooms. The two-tiered Lumley Library is a particularly dramatic location to tie the knot: it features a high panelled ceiling, a period balcony running around all four walls of the room, and a pronounced olive green and cream colour palette. Lincoln’s Inn Field venue is home to the Royal College of Surgeons of England, founded by the Royal Charter in 1800, and has a rich history of hosting weddings ever since.
FOR A TASTE OF PARIS: ST PANCRAS BRASSERIE AND CHAMPAGNE BAR, KINGS CROSS
Tie the knot under the arches of the station at the St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar by Searcys. With the station licensed for ceremonies on the Grand Terrace, say your vows under Tracey Emin’s ‘I want my time with you’ before enjoying a Champagne fountain reception at Europe’s longest Champagne Bar. The art deco brasserie is ready to host wedding breakfasts with a menu of seasonal British classics, and an optional dance floor for guests to strut their stuff. And with Paris one train journey away, the honeymoon is right on the doorstep.
One of the most elegant train stations in the world, this gothic Victorian masterpiece is an iconic wedding destination. The station’s most famous spots include the main hall (properly known as the ‘Barlow Shed,’ which when built was the largest enclosed space in the world); two famous statues (one of poet laureate Sir John Betjeman, and a second named Meeting Place); the famous Dent St. Pancras clock, the Eastern Arch leading to the hotel forecourt, and a ground floor level full of high spec retail spaces. Searcys Brasserie and Champagne Bar runs along the Eurostar concourse and is the longest Champagne bar in Europe. It’s also home to the original ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons, with impressive Art Deco interiors within the ornate red brick arches.
FOR ROOFTOP VIEWS AND HISTORIC DECOR: 30 EUSTON SQUARE
30 Euston Square is a prestigious venue in the heart of London, and home to the Royal College of General Practitioners. The stunning Grade II-listed building dates back to 1906, and still features an original grand Victorian façade and Greek Revival style entrance hall – both of which provide atmospheric backdrops for a truly unique wedding.
The Princes Gate Heritage Room within the venue offers the ideal setting for smaller, more intimate ceremonies, and is licensed for weddings and civil partnerships for up to 50 guests. Recently refurbished, it is an impeccably appointed private dining room in a sleek setting, boasting the original oak panelling and a fireplace. The high-class first-floor private lounge is great for receptions after the ceremony with beautiful furniture to match. 30 Euston Square is conveniently located in the heart of Kings Cross and also offers overnight accommodation for the guests.
FOR GEORGIAN OPULENCE: 10-11 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, ST JAMES
10-11 Carlton House Terrace – with its grand ballroom and Grade I-listed classical features – is one of Searcys’ most popular wedding locations. Home to The British Academy, Carlton House Terrace is a spectacular townhouse located in the heart of Westminster. The classically Georgian property was built with the striking backdrop of St James’s Park and Pall Mall during the late 1820s and early 1830s, and was once the Westminster home of former British Prime Minister William Gladstone. With views across St James’s Park, The Mall and many iconic London landmarks, the venue offers multiple picture-perfect rooms for celebrations, from intimate dos in the Music Room to grand weddings in the Wolfson Room.
Among the property’s treasures is the bright triple aspect Lee Reading Room flanked by bookshelves; a three-flight black marble staircase sweeping into a grand entrance hall; the French-style features by Detmar Blow and Ferdinand Billerey; and a trompe l’oeil painted ceiling. Hire the whole house for your special day, or go for one of the ten unique rooms available for private hire.
FOR DRAMATIC LOCATION: 116 PALL MALL
This outstanding Grade I-listed building in Mayfair makes for another spectacular wedding venue, conveniently situated just moments from iconic London locations such as Downing Street, Mayfair and Trafalgar Square. 116 Pall Mall showcases Georgian architecture in all its elegance and splendour, with flexible spaces for both the wedding ceremony and celebrations across five floors. The sweeping staircase makes for a dramatic entrance for the bride, and many of the period features are still intact.
FOR REGENCY-ERA GLAMOUR: FOR THE ROYAL INSTITUTION, MAYFAIR
This elegant Mayfair venue offers a mix of period and contemporary spaces for weddings of all sizes. With high ceilings and beautifully proportioned windows, the Royal Institution has event spaces that offer natural daylight and a wealth of historic features, all set against the backdrop of one of Mayfair’s most prestigious streets. From intimate ceremonies, in particular, the Royal Institution is a splendid central London wedding location.
There is a range of hireable spaces, meaning the Ri can provide your dream venue not only for saying your vows but also for a lavish banquet afterwards. The RI’s contemporary Mezzanine is ideal for a more modern occasion. The sweeping double staircase in the Grand Entrance is ideal for professional photos, while the original features of the first floor are perfectly suited for group shots.
FOR BRIDGERTON CHARM: No 11 CAVENDISH SQUARE, MARYLEBONE
Situated in the heart of London’s West End, No.11 Cavendish Square is a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse, which perfectly maintains its original features while combining them with an exquisite contemporary design. The venue houses 20 event spaces, with a light and airy Orangery and courtyard garden ideal for alfresco weddings in the summer. The Green House, Garden and Edwards rooms add to the variety of spaces that are perfect for hosting those special events. Finally, the Garden Room is situated in the oldest part of No.11 Cavendish Square, and retains much of its Georgian character – think high ceilings, ornate fireplaces and beautiful bay windows – for those attracted to that era. The courtyard garden features a delightfully lush green ‘living wall’ installation, another popular backdrop for bridal photographs.
FOR A MODERN POINT OF VIEW: THE GHERKIN
One of London’s most stunning landmark skyscrapers and the only one with 360º views across the City, weddings at Searcys at The Gherkin are all about showing the modern face of the capital. The iconic structure was completed by Sir Norman Foster in 2003, and is widely considered to be the ‘prettiest’ of all London’s skyscrapers. Properly referred to as 30 St Mary Axe, it takes its popular moniker from the unique shape, said to look like a gherkin. The Gherkin’s structure was created by a spiral of glass panels, topped with one large curved piece.
The panoramic views give way to a number of versatile spaces, suited to weddings of all sizes and formats. Levels 39 and 40, as well as smaller breakout rooms on Level 38, work well for micro-weddings, while the top floor bar can be hired out for a dramatic aisle and a space to say ‘I Do’.
FOR BRUTALIST ROMANCE: THE BARBICAN, LONDON
Being one of London’s most iconic Brutalist buildings, getting married at The Barbican is not for everyone. That said, the Barbican is one London’s most iconic buildings in the heart of the City, a post-war development that makes it an incredible and unique backdrop for your wedding. Its Conservatory is a botanical oasis famous for its cascading plants, a high glass roof and tranquil fish pools. Licensed to host wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, it is a magical space in which to entertain your friends and family.
FOR JANE AUSTIN: THE ROMAN BATHS AND PUMP ROOM
In the heart of the historic city of Bath, the grade I listed Pump Rooms are a magnificent location for a wedding. Built in the 1790s with its Corinthian columns, glittering chandeliers and a spa fountain, the fine Georgian building soon became the destination for high society to meet and ‘take the waters’ from the hot springs. They inspired the likes of Jane Austin and Mary Shelley. Now over 200 years later, the grand neo-classical style of the Pump Rooms creates the perfect ambience for weddings of all shapes and sizes.
A ROYALTY AND SPLENDOUR: BLENHEIM PALACE
The birthplace of Winston Churchill and a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, Blenheim Palace is surrounded by over 90 acres of formal gardens, and more than 2,000 acres of beautiful parkland, making it the perfect location for a truly spectacular wedding. For outdoor ceremonies and weddings, the Palace is surrounded by over 90 acres of formal gardens, including the Water Terraces, the Rose Garden and the Italian Garden. The South Lawn of the gardens can also be used to accommodate marquees for up to 2,000 weddings guests. Couples can also make use of specially created marquee pods overlooking the Italian Garden for more intimate gatherings.
SAY IT WITH SEARCYS
Searcys has launched its Champagne gifts online delivery. Stunning Champagne gift boxes of our Selected own Brut and Rosé cuvées are a perfect gift to celebrate an engagement or to thank your friends and family. They are available for 48-hour working day delivery nationwide. Originally developed for Searcys venues, its cuvées have been expertly developed by Champagne specialists and Searcys chefs to ensure a crisp and smooth taste in every sip. An elegant and fruity pour, the Brut encompasses aromas of peach and plum with notes of citrus, while the red fruits of the Rosé are dominated by strawberry and white flowers aromas.