Charlotte Balbier

new venue alert: charlton hall

September 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

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If you’re in search of a brand-new venue that’s as cool as it is unique, then you just might be about to love us forever. As this afternoon, we have details of an a-maz-ing (!!) North East venue, set to open its doors to couples in April 2018, offering stylish celebrations like no other!

Set on a 150-acre estate in the heart of Northumberland coastal countryside, Charlton Hall is currently undergoing a huge renovation that will see elements of its heritage mixed with quirky and contemporary touches, resulting in a grand entertaining space made up of show-stopping function rooms, fabulous entertaining areas and incredible bedrooms.

Brought to you by the same people as those behind popular venue Doxford Barns, couples marrying at Charlton can be sure of first-class service, food and drink as standard.

Keen to remain up-to-the-minute with its progress, we’ve invited the team from Charlton Hall to take over the blog with the latest details of seriously stylish venue…

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Where is Charlton Hall located?

charlton hall say: Charlton Hall is based just off the A1 at Chathill, eight miles north of Alnwick and is set within a private 150-acre estate overlooking the coast towards Beadnell Bay.

Can you tell us about its history?

Charlton Hall is a Grade II listed Georgian hall by William Newton and formerly the family home of the late Reginald William Tudor Thorp, MBE of Alnwick – Alnwick’s oldest solicitor before he died in 2003.

Charlton Hall was acquired by Richard Shell in May 2017 and included in the sale were many original artefacts from the Hall, including auction notices from 1878, newspaper articles from 1935 and turn of the century antiques (desks, grandfather clocks, chairs) as well as other delightful memoirs, including a school sports trophy dating back to 1890!

We intend to incorporate as many of these artefacts into our upgrade of Charlton Hall to mix tradition with modern twists and eccentric interior design.

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What is the building currently like and how will it be transformed?

The building itself is currently under renovation as we upgrade the Hall whilst preserving its heritage and original Georgian features. To balance tradition with modernity, our lead designer Josephine Aynsley is introducing an eclectic mix of bold furniture, fabrics, tapestries and accessories to add even more character to the venue.

The renovation plans include enchanting function and entertaining rooms, a large formal drawing room with marble fireplace and dining room with floor-to-ceiling sash windows that look out towards the coast; our vision here is intended to make the venue ideal for intimate wedding breakfasts.

On the lower ground floor, Charlton Hall has a rare and unique assortment of intimate underground lounges and our plans here are to use the space for a dedicated whisky bar with booths for the after-party.

The menagerie of furniture included with the sale of Charlton Hall has heavily influenced our design team’s interior scheme, by re-claiming many of those pieces to create an authentic yet eclectic interior. Mixed with re-production pieces, the finished look aims to excite and inspire with our indulgent, luxurious and downright decadent taste!

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What type of feel will Charlton Hall have and what will its interior styling be like?

At every turn, the unique vision of Charlton Hall is a masterclass in interior design. The decor is adorned with soft furnishings, fabrics and accessories that are intriguingly mismatched, along with vibrant-coloured walls, antique pieces, playful artefacts, a mix of art and decorative lighting fixtures and yesteryear pictures that offer anatomical insights.

As you enter the grounds of Charlton Hall, its long private driveway is enshrouded by luscious English orchards and secret walled gardens to reveal the traditional exterior of Charlton Hall’s Georgian building. Inside, guests are greeted and led to the vibrant inner sanctum of either the drawing room or library, constructed around the central staircase.

Once inside, be prepared for bold interiors, decadent features and daring design as Charlton Hall’s tongue-in-cheek personality takes over with is provocative interiors and flamboyant colour scheme, heavily influenced by creatives – Tim Walker, Tom Dixon, Andrew Martin, Matthew Williamson, House of Hackney and Emma Shipley.

Light installations will cover the hallway including Tom Dixon Pendants, neon signs and flying cherubs levitating down the grand staircase to the hallway. Wallpapers by Pierre Frey and Harlequin feature prominently here.

The Breakfast Room takes inspiration from photographer Tim Walker with its accumulation of shadows and detail. Here the design team brings Harlequin Sumi wallpaper to life by cascading from the ceiling and down to the base of the original hand-painted floor boards. Andrew Martin’s sheers drape the windows to drench the room with sunlight that reflects off the opposing wall of mirrors.

The Library shies away from the “standard” library look by following the Hall’s level of opulence with bespoke accessories, large-scale chandeliers and bright colours. Our love for House of Hackney starts in the Study and climbs the staircase through fabrics, wallpapers and accessories. Having followed the inspirational artist Emma J Shipley for a number of years, we have also included many of her exquisite cushion designs throughout Charlton Hall to complement Josephine Aynsley’s bespoke cushions to suit each room.

At some point throughout your jaunt of the Hall, you will visit our toilets. Eyebrow-raising urinals combined with bespoke designed graffiti from our amazing artist Lynsey Jean Henderson juxtapose with the Pink Powder room for Foxy Ladies.

Throughout Charlton Hall our bespoke crafted bars will be backlit with changeable coloured LEDs and Tom Dixon fade pendants featuring prominently in our function and designated bar rooms.

Taking our handmade and specially hand dyed grand staircase runner upstairs, guests can indulge in the decadence of oversized mirrors that reflect our shimmering chandeliers, sit delicately on our leather conversation sofas in a little hideaway decorated with House of Hackney’s naughty monkey wallpaper, complete with specially designed rugs.

Delving downstairs into our underground vaults, you will find Charlton Hall’s after-hours playground of debauchery, cigars, drinking and where cards are dealt. Our in-house speakeasy plays host to this whisky and card room or if you fancy a dance, you’ll have to mind your head in our den that even Gatsby couldn’t imagine. Rich with silks, velvets, leather and laced with a decadent choice of beverages – who wouldn’t want to finish the night in such style?

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Will the Hall be an option for both the ceremony and reception, and how many guests can be catered for?

Yes. Charlton Hall can cater for up to 120 day guests and 150 evening guests.

What type of couple will Charlton appeal to?

The vibe at Charlton Hall is most likely to appeal to alternative couples looking to venture away from the norm. We have already had interest (and weddings booked) from couples in the fashion industry, successful musicians and hip creative types.

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What will the drink and dining options at the venue be like?

As cuisine at Charlton Hall will be served amongst the grandeur of our antique-filled, eccentric Georgian hall, we will reflect this concept in our culinary plans for weddings. It is fitting that we will serve traditional dishes with a contemporary twist using the finest, freshest ingredients from locally sourced Northumbrian produce on our doorstep.

As with our sister venue, Doxford Barns, the kitchen at Charlton Hall will be led by an award-winning head chef with a strong pedigree in order to build an impeccable reputation for food served with a relaxing and luxurious ambience, coupled with flawless service and above all exquisite food to satisfy even the most discerning palettes.

How will Charlton Hall stand out from other venues?

Charlton Hall doesn’t follow the path that other wedding venues have set. We don’t depend on what is accepted as the norm. We make our own rules, curate our own story and create our own myth. Our vision is to give couples marrying at Charlton the best experience in terms of service, ambience, choice and luxury to truly make their wedding day, a day they won’t forget.

In acquiring Charlton Hall, our vision was to bring the hall back to life. As the naughty older sister to Doxford Barns, Charlton Hall is a wonderland of glamour adorned with bespoke graffiti, hand painted interiors and antiques acquired through the sale to create an enchanted venue where guests can create memories and entertain in a setting for what we believe will become the most eccentric and luxurious venue in the North.

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How will your staff assist couples in their big day plans?

In-keeping with our award-winning team from Doxford Barns, we will offer a service level that will include wedding planning, support, supplier and recommendations for collaborations to help couples achieve their vision for their day. Whether this is in creating bespoke menus in partnership with our chef, to sourcing entertainment and accessories to complement colour schemes, our team will be there to support from start to finish.

Will guests be able to stay over at the venue and, if so, what is the accommodation going to be like?

Charlton Hall itself has six large bedrooms as well as period country cottages set within the grounds to accommodate more than 24 guests, along with plans for further bedrooms to be included within the Hall.

The bedrooms are named after each of Richard’s nearest and dearest ‘new generation stars’ for each of Charlton Hall’s suites. Each has its own cheeky character and they aren’t intended to be rooms you would live in but one you will enjoy your stay in!

The honeymoon suite ‘Princess Charlotte’ is tucked away in the quiet part of the house, allowing the bride and groom some quiet hideaway moments during their busy day. Enjoying the largest ensuite, Princess Charlotte offers the perfect morning room for our stunning brides to prepare for their big day.

Setting the stage for this gorgeous boudoir is our queen bed, or the Main Stage! Dressed in neon with ‘Kiss Me’ signs, tantalising tassel wall lights and perfect peacock side tables mirrored by the most beautiful existing dresser; what girl would want to leave this dreamscape!

Adorning the room with blush pink chairs and a scroll coffee table, we’ve created an idyllic corner for mothers and maids to sit and enjoy champagne whilst brides are being pampered with finishing touches. Dressed with Emma J Shipley cushions in exciting hues of hot pink and orange, the Princess Charlotte suite is filled with angelic blush tones of Pierre Frey and Matthew Williamson wallpaper.

We never do anything by halves and Princess Charlotte’s ensuite has the elegant freestanding bath, up-lit with its own cluster of mini chandeliers, House of Hackney Monkey wallpaper, slate tiles and hints of copper.

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When is the Hall set to open and how can couples find out more or arrange a viewing?

Charlton Hall will be open for weddings from April 2018 and we are inviting couples for private viewings now. To arrange a viewing, contact our wedding coordinators on: info@charltonhall.co.uk or call 01665 579173.

For more information, you can visit our website, or look us up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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