I always find when I walk into old buildings, I try to imagine some of the stories the walls have to tell. And I therefore think we are very lucky to be able to offer couples the chance to get married in one of the most important heritage sites in England.
Having opened her doors to visitors and pilgrims to Battle since 1420, this grand old lady has historic soul. She has hosted celebrations from medieval banquets to Georgian balls, Victorian luncheons to Edwardian tea dances.
Over the centuries flagons of ale, goblets of wine, flutes of champagne and copious cups of tea have been consumed beneath her eaves to the sounds of ladies’ chattering and gentlemen's laughter flooding through her walls.
With endless historic features from ancient beams to linenfold doors, witch’s marks to ward off evil spirits and a secret tunnel hidden under the Great Hall fireplace that runs beneath the Abbey walls, The Pilgrims Rest is a beautiful, historic venue like no other.
The Pilgrims Rest is perfect for weddings all year round, no matter what the weather; when the sun shines your guests can spill out into the rose gardens and, as the evenings draw in, stoke up her fires, light some candles watch as she sparkles into life.
At the Pilgrims Rest we offer you flexibility and choice on your wedding day. A unique venue where you can make your wedding day your own, with no corkage charges, no must-use suppliers and no hidden extras.
Our friendly and experienced team will hold your hand ensuring your wedding day goes without a hitch and guarantee that your wedding will be personal and unique to you. After all, we want you to write your very own chapter in this grand old lady’s history.
Photographer: Katie Rogers Photography
I have a photograph of my three children jumping in a huge puddle when they were all very small. It is a particular favourite. As a child, my mother would send us outside for plenty of fresh air whether it was sunny or torrential rain, so, following her example, I would wrap my little ones up in wellies and mackintoshes and religiously head off to the park. More often than not, we would be the only people there. We must have looked an odd site, running around in a downpour when the most of north London were nice and dry inside their homes. Odd maybe, but what fun we had!
Rain gave us puddles to splash around in; an empty park to play in but, more importantly, the big slide entirely to ourselves. Rain and the big slide was a perfect, albeit a slightly dangerous combination; the children would shoot down like mini torpedos squealing with laughter and I would try to catch them as they shot off the bottom. After a few hours, we would arrive home with bright red cheeks and hop in a hot bath.
The same principal of finding the fun in any weather and embracing it is especially true on your wedding day. I am not suggesting that standing in the rain for hours in a wedding dress is necessarily a good idea but also don’t let the thought of potential weather spoil your day. Fog and rain make very atmospheric photographs and some of the best wedding photos are taken when the weather turns. Just make sure you choose a venue that works no matter what the weather throws at you (ideally one with roaring fires where you can warm up when you return to the party).
The Pilgrims Rest is just such a venue. With three inglenook fireplaces and flickering candles; pretty rose and walled gardens, The Pilgrims Rest is a truly magical venue, full of rustic charm and historic soul - perfect for weddings at any time of year, come rain or shine. We have hosted weddings on sunny days, rainy days and foggy days and the weather has never ruined a wedding.
If you would like to book an appointment to view the venue then please call The Pilgrims Rest team on 07552873448 or email email@example.com.
Photographer: Sarah Williams Photography
Close your eyes and imagine the warmth of an open fire; the light of flickering candles; the company of your family and close friends. We have no exact word for this feeling - “Cosy” comes close but doesn’t quite hit the mark. The word we are searching for is “Hygge”. In Denmark, Hygge is a huge part of the Danes’ daily lives and, seeing that they are the happiest nation in the world, bringing a bit of Hygge into our own lives might not be such a bad idea.
And then of course, there is the decorating and styling. So far, you have created a Hygge feel by having your best people around you, good food and good wine, laughter and joy which is the most important element. The decorating is just the icing on this Hygge wedding cake but, for all those creative couples out there, also a fun part of the planning process.
Autumn is on its way so get foraging as nature provides all sorts of free ways to decorate your wedding. Scour local charity shops for old books and candlesticks. Pile up the books and group candles together in different heights - the drippier the better - so burn a few candles at home before the wedding to build up some wax on the sticks before your wedding day. Have some fun with crockery and glassware; there are some wonderful hire companies out there who have done the hard work for you and sourced some great vintage finds; mix them up to create interest and then go to town with all the little details. With a smaller guest list you will have more space to fill so throw caution to the wind and go big!
If you are still looking for a venue and like the thought of a Hygge wedding then look no further than The Pilgrims Rest. With three huge inglenook fireplaces, no corkage charges and no fixed suppliers, this candle loving venue is the embodiment of Hygge. Lots of the hard work has been done for you with furs, candles and plenty of wood included in the hire price - even seasonal looks are included with pealights galore and two beautiful dressing rooms. 600 years old this year and packed full of historic soul, this grand old lady is ready and raring to give you a big hug (or should I say Hygge?) on your wedding day.
If you would like more information please visit www.pilgrimsrestbattle.co.uk or contact us - tel: 07552 873448 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Jessica Bevan Photography and Georgina Piper Wedding
It was the Spring of 2016 and Sam, our new farrier, was attempting to lift the foot of our rescue donkey, Paris. Hating having his feet touched, he attempted to give Sam the slip and proceeded in throwing me face down into the gravel before cantering off down the field - ears forward -looking very rather smug.
Having only just met Sam, I wrongly thought he was a man of few words; what had started off as an awkward conversation quickly moved into a chatty one as he helped me drag a very stubborn donkey back up the field complete with a new set of playground knees for his owner.
At that time I was running The Pilgrims Rest as a cafe but had been itching to turn it into a wedding venue for some time. As we chatted, Sam mentioned that his girlfriend was looking to leave her job (and obligatory neck tie) in the events team of a 5* hotel. Sam headed home and announced to a bemused Amy that had found her a new job. Two days later she knocked on our front door; I was greeted by a huge smile and we hit it off straight away.
Amy was amazing from day one. In the early days she and I pulled out the old commercial kitchen, painted walls and scrubbed floors. I bought a book called “Building a website for idiots” - built one and launched the business. We had no wedding licence then, no chairs, let alone a mirror in the dressing room and looking back it is quite extraordinary we had any bookings at all!
But faith in our new venue came in the form of Zoya and Damien who loved it and booked nonetheless. By the time they married we had a wedding licence, chairs and a large dressing room mirror. Ever since we have kept improving, and adding to, the venue with seasonal looks, pea-lights galore and a second dressing room. It is funny looking back at old photographs and seeing how far we have come.
Initially, Amy would run the wedding days on her own - even cleaning the loos the following day (what was I thinking?). Our couples loved her and, as it turned out, so did Sam who finally proposed to his childhood sweetheart of 13 years on their favourite beach in Cornwall. Now happily married, Amy is on maternity leave with their new addition, the gorgeous little Jack who was born straight into lockdown. Not quite the maternity leave she was planning at all but we are all looking forward to having her back in January - 2021 is certainly going to be a busy year.
It was in early 2018 that Amy and I realised we needed another team member. We advertised, read though heaps of C.V’s and, although highly qualified and experienced, none of them felt right. One of our caterers mentioned he had met another Amy who he thought we would like. A phone call later, Amy-Lou bounced down the path to The Pilgrims Rest, laughed at my jokes (always a winner for me) and Amy and I knew we had found our girl - she was the perfect fit.
Amy-Lou (or Little Amy as I call her) is a self confessed geek and loves a spreadsheet almost as much as she loves weddings. This little power house has been incredible during the last few months working with couples during a very difficult time and I am eternally grateful for everything she has done. Recently she was bemoaning the fact she needed to take some holiday. “It’s very annoying”, she said, “It just gets in the way”. But to the West Country she finally headed with her own Sam for a staycation and is now back after a well earned break.
Talking of the West Country, another “A”, in the form of Anita, packed up her bags in Devon last year and moved to Battle, settling just across the road from The Pilgrims Rest. Her neighbour Tres, who makes the best coffee in Battle, brought her in one day to meet her new neighbours and is now another member of our team. Anita sprinkles her fairy dust wherever she goes keeping The Pilgrims Rest shining like a new pin; fluffing the furs; polishing the windows; even folding the loo paper into little points. She meets and greats and helps on wedding days and we really can’t remember how we managed without her.
Anita brings with her the four legged member of our team - Amber - her beautiful little dog. With a coat like velvet and a permanently wagging tail , Amber keeps Anita company while she dead heads the roses in the garden and sweeps up confetti.
We certainly have created an “A” team in more ways than one. Our most recent member of the team’s name doesn’t begin with an A but has the right vowel so we think it counts. Waverley joined our team a few weeks before the world turned upside down. As it turns out, she met her fiancé Luke right outside The Pilgrims Rest a few years ago. Back in the office once again after lockdown, she announced that they had finally decided to tie the knot and were nipping down to the registry office to say their “I do’s”.
Not knowing us especially well, being a team newbie, Waverley asked if they could take a few happy snaps outside The Pilgrims Rest in her dress. Well, we couldn’t idly stand by and have one of our team left out in the garden, so we suggested they made a morning of it getting ready in The Bryant and Fitzherbert dressing rooms. As a surprise wedding present, we asked the lovely Sarah Williams to come and capture their morning, and capture it she did. There were lots of tears (joyful ones) and smiles (huge ones) with both of them looking fabulous and very, very happy.
Choosing a venue is as much about the team behind the scenes as the venue itself. As you will see from our reviews the Pilgrims Rest team goes above and beyond to ensure your day goes without a hitch. It might be small, but it really is a perfectly formed “A” team.
If you would like receive more information about The Pilgrims Rest or arrange a personal video tour then please email us on email@example.com or call 07552873448 .
Photographer: Sarah Williams Photography and Darren Buss Photography