When House of Coco were offered the opportunity to spend a weekend at Bruisyard Hall we couldn’t help but squeal with excitement- after all, who wouldn’t want to experience being Lord or Lady of their own manor for a day or two. The prospect of jumping the social hierarchy queue for a weekend was of course not the only reason we were thrilled to spend time at Bruisyard; the manor is steeped in history and offers an experience like no other. The exclusivity of the house and barn along with the secluded nature of the grounds make this the ideal spot to celebrate a plethora of occasions from conferences and events to weddings and family gatherings.
Bruisyard Hall is a recipient of a 5* Gold Rating from Visit England and it is easy to see why. For reasons unknown Suffolk is an incredibly underpublicized county but attention should be brought to its sheer natural beauty, independent production and artisanal boutiques as well as its magnificent history and architecture. Bruisyard Hall is located on a peaceful and unspoilt estate, the property is a historic manor set in Suffolk’s picturesque countryside near Saxmundham. Dating back to 1354 Bruisyard Hall was originally a monastery for the Poor Clare Nuns and it maintains a rich history. Bruisyard Hall offers guests exclusive use of 700 acres of private land, forming the perfect backdrop for private parties, weddings and corporate events as well as bed and breakfasts, Monday – Thursday if the house has not been hired. Merely a 2.5 hour drive or a fast train journey from central London, guests will be delighted by its discreet location offering a tranquil escape, balancing modern indulgence with traditional elegance. In 2015 the property underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment that has lovingly restored the building to a truly exceptional standard, sensitively marrying traditional architecture and design with practical and luxurious advancements.
Bruisyard Hall has been home to many interesting historical figures including the Duke of Clarence, the Poor Clare nuns – 2nd Franciscan order established by Saint Claire of Assisi and Francis of Assisi in 1212, Sir Nicholas Hare – speaker of the House of Commons and the Rous family. The Hall has been in the Rous family for an impressive 400 years, a family whose local heritage prior to owning the Hall dates back to the 14th century. The current members of the Rous family deserve an awful lot of credit because if it was not for them Bruisyard Hall may not be standing. Due to the cost of maintaining such a large old building many of our precious manor houses and estates have been left to ruin. The Rous family made the brave decision to turn Bruisyard Hall into what it is today but this of course was not an easy task. As a result the wonderful transformation now means that many generations to come can enjoy the house and all it has to offer. Once serving as an Abbey, many original features of the property’s construction remain intact, including oak staircases, oak-beamed attics, a priest hole hidden above the main entrance and a faceless chiming clock in the attic, still in working order. Surrounded by such tangible history it is impossible not to marvel at the property’s resilience and majesty.
The Hall can accommodate up to 20 guests with an additional 2 rooms available in the adjacent Bruisyard Barn, enabling 24 guests to stay on the estate. All rooms have been carefully refurbished and compliment the history of the hall. Each room offers comfortable Vi-Spring beds, White Company amenities, Egyptian cotton linen, towels, towelling bathrobes and stunning countryside views. Rooms have been named after members of the family or the nuns that have lived there. The Anne Felbrigge Room is named after a descendent of the Royal family of Bohemia, a nun at Bruisyard during the 1300s and the earliest known owner and embroideress of the Felbrigge Psalter, the oldest surviving book in England to bear an embroided binding. Another room is named after Sir John Rous, nephew to Michael Hare who inherited the hall after Michael’s marriages failed to produce an heir. We were lucky enough to stay in the Sir John Rous room, the master bedroom and it was utterly spectacular, featuring a four poster bed and roll top bath.
Whilst the Hall exudes historic charm and grandiosity, it is now a modern-day house in which to relax and entertain and it has been designed accordingly. Practical needs such as WIFI, a games room and the attic bar are available to use and are packed with entertainment for all ages. Arguably one of the most important rooms of the house is the kitchen and this is at guest’s full disposal. Perhaps you are a keen cook and like the idea of preparing meals for all of your guests, in which case you would need to bring along your own ingredients to stock the cupboards and fridge. If you would like the opportunity to relax and take a break from cooking, why not hire the in-house fine dining caterer, Heathcote and Hare. They ensure guests can be certain not only of exquisite food but exceptional service, attention to detail and an acute awareness of style. In addition to set menus and catering packages, bespoke requests can also be catered for. Behind this delightful offering is Executive Chef David Newstead, who trained at London’s Dorchester Hotel, before going on to work in Germany, Riyadh, Antigua, Moscow and London’s Kensington Marriott. David is a culinary genius and House of Coco would like him to cook for us every evening! The food was everything we wanted and more and he graciously catered for the vegetarians creating deliciously appetising dishes that made even the meat eaters jealous. Whether or not you use the kitchen yourself it is impossible not to appreciate the beautiful country atmosphere in which it evokes. It was created by local craftsmen and every aspect of Bruisyard Hall’s kitchen where possible has been sourced from the Suffolk & English woodlands.
Now ladies, if you have been searching for your perfect wedding venue look no further. House of Coco is completely smitten by Bruisyard and we think that it is one of the most beautiful places to celebrate your wedding. The venue has everything you could ask for and more. It can accommodate for the smaller intimate wedding to the larger wedding and for those wanting a church ceremony, the Grade I listed church in Bruisyard village is just ½ mile from the venue. Alternatively should guests wish to marry within the grounds, The Barn can seat up to 140 guests. Bruisyard Barn is licensed and offers a Banqueting Hall, Medieval Hall and Minstrels’ Gallery, with parking for over 100 cars and a separate entrance to the Hall. A floor to ceiling window with large double doors fills the Banqueting Hall with light and provides views onto the south gardens and fields beyond. The space is rustically gorgeous however it is a complete blank canvas if you wish to decorate it. Here at House of Coco we visualise strings of fairy lights and fresh flowers between the beams and candles galore…entering the Barn makes it difficult to not get carried away! For the more intimate wedding, the Hall’s drawing room can host civil ceremonies for up to 30, against the backdrop of an original stone fireplace and gorgeous sash windows. If you are feeling particularly grand, why not hire out the exclusive use of the hall for the weekend to house your closest guests as well as the beautiful Bruisyard barn. Bruisyard offer many package deals that are well worth checking out if you are looking for the perfect venue for your big day.
One of the many wonderful things about Bruisyard Hall is that the possibilities are utterly endless. The hall can be used for many functions (not just weddings) and is a fabulous place to hold a conference or work event. Whether your conference or event is for 10 to 400, Bruisyard Hall and Barn can host anything from drinks receptions, corporate conferences, luncheons, business events, art exhibitions, concerts or private parties. It also offers inclusive or bespoke packages with no hidden extras. Your personal event manager will be on hand throughout to help your day run smoothly.
To enhance a stay at Bruisyard Hall, a range of country pursuits and activities such as clay-pigeon shooting, trout fishing on the estate, archery, team building, murder mystery events, horse riding, yoga and spa therapists can be arranged on request. The Bruisyard Hall team can also add bespoke touches such as a scrumptious Suffolk afternoon tea in the drawing room or a private car direct to the front door of the property. If you would like to venture outside the grounds why not pop on over to Southwold or Aldeburgh to experience what the local area has to offer including Adnams Brewery tours and champagne brunch river cruises upon the Allen Gardiner.
Here at House of Coco we were blown away by what Bruisyard Hall has to offer. It truly is a historic British gem that thankfully today due to the hard work and determination of the Rous family, can offer an array of activities, package options, wedding facilities, exquisite food plus much more, all wrapped up in a perfectly formed historic manor House. Before the visit we were brimming with excitement at the prospect of staying in such a beautiful house, not to mention the fact that it was so incredibly old and even since the stay we cannot stop gushing about how incredible it is. There are very few places as beautifully restored and with such fabulous offerings in the UK as Bruisyard Hall and we cannot wait to go back.
Bruisyard Hall (www.bruisyardhall.com, 01728 639000) is available to hire exclusively from £3,500 for a 3-night minimum weekend stay (Fri-Sun) or from £1,250 per night for a weekday stay (Mon – Thurs). The Hall sleeps 20 in ten rooms and guests have the use of the entire 600-acre estate.
Catering packages are available through Heathcote and Hare (www.heathcoteandhare.com), the estates own catering company, with breakfast packages starting at £10pp (continental) £12.50pp (cooked) and welcome hampers (serve 10) filled with local Suffolk produce £125 and Breakfast hampers £100.
Travel to Bruisyard is available with Abellio Greater Anglia (www.abelliogreateranglia.co.uk) from London Liverpool St. to Saxmundham.