I’m excited to be finally able to update my website with photos of Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter. Rockbeare (www.rockbearemanor.co.uk) is a new venue for PM Hospitality, who own and run the fantastically popular Coombe Lodge (www.coombelodge.co.uk) and Priston Mill (www.pristonmill.co.uk) wedding and event venues, with whom I have worked extensively since 2009.
Since October last year I’ve been making regular trips to Exeter to design and implement the interiors for this brand new exclusive use venue. Rockbeare dates from 1760, and is a Grade I listed Regency house, in over 100 acres of parkland, owned by the same family since 1855. The family were still resident when work began, and they have relocated just down the road, and are frequent visitors, excited to see their family home given new life.
The property is set over 3 levels, with beautiful high ceilings, chandeliers, large and light filled sash cord windows, and delicate plaster work. A new extension was added to the rear of the property, to provide a room large enough to seat large events, and is a sensitively designed, bright addition, with large french doors looking out onto the windows, and large lantern windows in the roof.
When I first visited, it was obvious that decoration and general maintenance had dilapidated over time, and PM Hospitality undertook very extensive renovations for the whole building.
Working with the Georgian proportions, original features and beautiful materials, ACHD designed and specified an interior to match. The furnishings, colours and styling have been chosen to reflect the elegant and delicate building, but with a luxurious and contemporary edge.
Guests enter via the main entrance, into a generous entrance hall, with sofas arranged around a lovely original fireplace.
To one side of this room is a bright and restful library, where sumptuous sofas and armchairs sit among the original bookcases and mirrors.
In the opposite wing, the Billiards Room has been refurbished to provide an atmospheric space in which visitors can challenge each other to a game!
The ground floor also provides a fully stocked bar area, PM Hospitality office, and ladies and gents toilets have been installed.
Wedding Ceremonies can be held in several areas of the house, but the top choice must be the original dining room, with its stunning original chandelier, and fine mouldings. Large windows flood the room with light, and views over the landscaped gardens.
Key to any successful venue are beautiful through spaces, and we have paid special attention to making the hallways and staircases feel as indulged as the feature rooms. Careful lighting, well chosen furniture and continuity of detailing all help create this. A new atrium space, with its lantern window over it, also provide ante-space to the new Ballroom.
On the first floor, there is a real ‘wow’ room. With hand painted, and unusual, classically themed frescoes adorning the walls, this room is particularly sensitive. It is to be used a very special bridal preparation room- a space in which the bride and bridesmaids can ready themselves and enjoy morning of their wedding. We chose sofas and armchairs, a mirror finished dressing table and coffee table, and other accessories to set off this fantastic room.
We are now busy embarking on the further extensive renovation and creation of 12 new bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, set on the first and second floors. These rooms are due to be available from April 2017, so watch this space for further updates! In the meantime, Rockbeare has hosted its first event, and is due to host its first wedding next month.