ERROL PARK WEDDING VENUE REVIEW
As many of you know who read this blog, I’m a big advocate for venues that have some kind of spark or x-factor that elevate’s it above the competition. I’ve recently had a flick through the latest Scottish Wedding Directory and with one exception Northern Star has now played in every single major venue in Scotland, from the borders to the very tip of Scotland, highlands, Islands, you name it, we’ve played it. Does this qualify me to review wedding venues? Perhaps not, I don’t tend to see the daytime “stuff” as we arrive at 7pm most nights, and I never taste anything except buffets! (When I eventually retire, I never ever want to see another bacon roll!). Granted, a couple of years ago I wrote a hugely popular review on an equally popular venue, then actually attended a wedding as a guest and had to take down my piece as my opinion completely changed having sampled the day-time faire. I don’t write this blog to appease venues, as it has no bearing on our business, but I do want to write honestly and I’d never feature a venue that I don’t like, that’s not the purpose of this, I want to promote great service in the wedding industry. It really grinds my gears dear readers when I see bad service, considering the average spend for a wedding in Scotland, and I tend to avoid writing about big chain hotels because generally the wedding “procedure” is quite formulated… Not always, I got married in a Hilton group hotel and it was excellent, but you get my gist.
So when I arrived for the first time at the quite grandiose Errol Park, which is situated just outside Perth, I was keen to have a nosy round.
The venue dates back to 1747, with the main house being built in 1875 after a fire destroyed the original building the year before. Separate from the main house is a circular building with a large courtyard and a gothic style tower. Within that there is a lovely rustic and quite funky space for the evening reception, for us it was like playing a deluxe barn dance (Which is the type of event we do often, we’re popular with farmers for some reason!!), off the courtyard are many little nooks and rooms including the bar which is like something a design company would try and create down the shore in Leith as a “concept” except this is authentic and deeply cool. Lanterns hang from the ceilings and uplighter’s light the stonework in the courtyard which gives the building a great vibe. Large fire pits burn logs all night to keep guests warm if they choose to stand outside in the courtyard, but because the large double barn doors facing the band are left open, the music hits the area and on hot nights would be like playing an outdoor show, which is always a good thing!
The relaxed, unforced atmosphere was amazing. I can tell when I arrive at an uptight venue from the vibe of the guests, but everyone just seemed at home, having a great time…. The buffet was a hog-roast served in the courtyard, and during all this I could see one of the owners, Jamie mingling around the guests and making sure everyone was looked after (including us) this is a BIG plus point for me. To many times I arrive and the wedding co-ordinator “hands-off” the event to me, and goes home, or in the case of country house weddings, retire to the residential area, with instructions to keep the noise down… During the aforementioned break I managed to get a chat with Jamie who was kind enough to show me inside the main house. Reminiscent of the venues we tend to see in the far North the main house is dominated by a stunning staircase and some very grand reception rooms. I hate the word, but shabby chic comes to mind, but still elegant! It was clear that Jamie has a real passion for this venue and the service they provide.
I’ve not mentioned the gardens, but they rival Dundas Castle easily, visit their site for extensive photos!
So, to conclude this rather long piece, I have to ask why more people don’t look further north for a venue. At around 40 min from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and 10 min from Perth, have we found wedding perfection? An amazing venue, with great staff, great gardens, close to transport links, and all the atmosphere and beauty you could ask for… Maybe perfection is a bit strong, but it’s the closest I’ve seen for a long long time.