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Eco-friendly parties at Deer Park

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Historic Deer Park is a glorious venue in the rolling Devon hills. We sit down with Managing Director Mark Godfrey to find out about its superb eco-friendly weddings and celebrations.

Deer Park is approaching a huge milestone with a huge milestone with its 300th birthday – its 300th birthday – and it’s never looked and it’s never looked better. But at the heart of this exclusive-use mansion nestled in the rolling Devon hills is a spirit of innovation because the venue has long championed green and sustainable practices alongside legendary hospitality – with fabulous accommodation and mouthwatering menus.

Q What does the Sustainable Wedding Package at Deer Park include?

A Over the last seven years we have been adopting as many sustainable practices as possible. Our super eco-friendly wedding package includes cider made from our own fruit, which also works well in bottles for favours. Head Chef Hadleigh Barrett creates a seasonal plant-based feast with produce from our walled garden. Obviously the important element in an eco-friendly wedding is the reduction of waste, so we work with our couples to ensure that between us we make a di erence while everyone has an amazing experience!

Q Everyone loves a garden party. How do outdoor celebrations work here?

A We love being outside, and with 80 acres of grounds we have so much to o er. You can even enjoy a relaxed and intimate wedding in the Walled Garden. A short woodland walk takes you to the Summer House, which is now licensed for outdoor weddings and features a stunning fl ower aisle. Celebrations continue in the Italian Garden, set in front of the Georgian Orangery. Plus, there’s a large lawn for garden games and wild children!

Q A foodie extravaganza is promised here, with produce grown on site. What are your menu highlights?

A Food glorious food is our passion at Deer Park. Head Gardener Ollie produces masses of fabulous produce. We can do the fi nest fi ne-dining or something rustic on the South African Braai. There’s even the large Bushman wood-fi red oven for pizza – a favourite among guests are the chef’s amazing dessert pizzas. For super casual dining we o er delicious Vietnamese street food, tacos and burritos, healthy Buddha bowls or Greek mezze. Finish the night in front of the open fi res with ham & cheese toasties.

Q What accommodation do you have at Deer Park for the newlyweds and their guests?

A The fi rst romantic night of wedded bliss has got to be spent in a tree house, of course! But it all starts at The Playhouse where the bride and friends stay the night before. There’s a dining table that doubles up as a hair and beauty bar and a fridge full of bubbles. Meanwhile, the guys check into The Shed, equipped with a pool table, dartboard and outdoor BBQ kitchen. The main house has 14 ensuite bedrooms and an additional 15 garden rooms are available overlooking the orchard and grounds. If more accommodation is required, we can add yurts, bell tents or teepees.

Q What do you see weddings being like after Lockdown and what trends are coming through?

A Couples are adding on a day or two, going more informal and utilising the gardens. Certainly, we can see that retreat and festival-style weddings over a long lazy weekend are becoming the thing and many couples now want to go as eco-friendly as they can.

D E E R PA R K Deer Park Country House, Weston, Honiton, Devon 01404 41266; hello@deerpark.co.uk @deerparkcountryhouse, deerpark.co.uk