“ Address: Woburn Road / Marston Moreteyne / Bedfordshire / MK43 0NQ / England „
Finding the perfect location for your wedding is of the highest importance and shouldn't be done on a whim. Before we chose our location we looked around 5 different venues, one of which was 'The Swan' in Bedford (Read review on Swan). My parents and Grandparents both wanted us to get married there but we are two people who like something a little bit different to the norm, something with perhaps a little more character. We were limited to somewhere that held civil ceremonies and hadn't really found anything that particularly suited our fancy until we came across Marston Morteyne manor. It is set in the small town of Marston Morteyne which is located between Bedford and Milton and has good links to the M1 (5 minute drive) Keynes.
From Woburn and the M1 exit at Junction 13 and take the Bedford Road (A421). After approximately 2 miles you turn right at the roundabout and continue straight until you come to a T junction. turn right here and continue around a curved ben until you come to a small road on your right Turn there and then after 20 meters on your left you will see a small bridge with the manor on the other side.
The Manor History -
From 1562 the manor House of the village was occupied by Thomas Snagge (The Lord of the manor). When he passed the property was passed on to his son, Sir Thomas Snagge who was an MP for Bedford in 1586, Speaker in the House of Commons in 1588 and Sheriff of the county in 1607. Sir Thomas owned the Manor for 32 years until he died in 1626 when it was passed on to his eldest son, Thomas, the second who also later became sheriff. He died in 1675 and his sons, Thomas and Edward successfully inherited the property. The latter was succeeded by his only son Edward in 1715 who died in 1739.
The Snagges then sold the property to the Duchess of Marlborough who left it to her grandson the Honourable John Spencer. The Spencer's held the property until 1811 after which the Manor passed to the Alington Family. The Duke of Bedford bought the Manor from them in 1873. The building was renovated in 1880 when it was converted into the farm house of the Moat Farm. During the works all the oak panelling was removed to its present location in Woburn Abbey.
The farm and house were then sold in 1920 to the Franklin family who later sold it to the present owners' father, Mr E. J. Hillson in 1948 for the sum of £7,500. The house was converted into a restaurant and opened on the 1st August 1985 when the name changed to Morteyne Manor. Renowned chef Mark Hickman (who has his own column in the Bedfordshire on Sunday) and his wife Jacqui acquired and re-opened the restaurant in June 1996 and continue to do so today..
My Experience -
We approached Mark and Jacqui regarding our wedding and asked them how often they run them, they said they have around 2 a month although sometimes 2 a week so you can quickly assume they know what they are doing. They are very kind and seem to have a laid back approach which makes you feel most welcome.
The manor is wonderful; it has its own small lake in front with a small bridge across a stream that leads into the main gardens. The gardens themselves have beautiful flowers and plenty of bushes which provide a great cover from the surrounding villager, although it is very quiet anyway. We were offered a huge food list to choose from and they allowed us to have a choice of two menus that we could offer our guests, many of the other locations would only allow 1 set meal.
They took our details, our expected wedding date and told us what money needed to be paid and by when if we wished to choose them. Completely happy we booked them the next day and sent away our deposit cheque of £200.
There are two options with regards to weddings; you can have the dining room at the back of the house which holds around 60 people or the marquee which holds 130 people. The smaller room costs £200 and the marquee a whopping £900 on top, however, unless you have seen the marquee you cannot understand how worth it that £900 is. It is pure white with a chandelier and large round tables that can be decorated as you please. it is heated and has windows so it is wonderfully light.
The food was exquisite on the day of the wedding; all the orders were correct and everyone commented on how nice the food tasted. We paid £27.50 a head (3 course meal) and £12.99 for a drinks package which includes arrival drink, half a bottle of wine on the table per person and a champagne toast. One problem we had was with our buffet, we paid around £1000 for this and assumed we would get a bits and pieces buffet but we only got biscuits and cheese. It was nice but we thought £1000 was a lot for just biscuits and cheese.
The whole day we were well taken care of and it is clear that Jacqui and mark are extremely experienced at weddings. They pre booked a DJ for us who was brilliant and played all the right tunes to get everyone o the dance floor.
The venue also has a wonderful restaurant, prices are around £28.50 per head for a three course meal and tea / coffee.
The location of the manor means that any functions must stop at 12Pm but by that time you're pretty tired anyway. You have the option of hiring the bar (around 20), The Betty Howe Suite (12-18 guests), the Mulberry room (40-60 guests) or the marquee (130 guests max). There is also a large car park at the front of the restaurant for parking and the manor accommodates for disabled very well.
Overall the manor is a wonderful place for either a meal or an event, you are always well taken care of and things just flow smoothly, we had no major problems and Mark and Jacqui are a delight to deal with. The manor is beautiful and well looked after and is lovely for those all important photos.
Woburn Road, Marston Moreteyne, Bedfordshire,
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Thanks for reading!
Situated in a small rural village this manor is also ideal for wedding celebrations.