Pelham House is a Grade II listed building in Lewes, originally built in the 16th century and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. For many years the house was the private residence of the Pelham family, and then succession of other individuals, before being bought in 1928 by East Sussex County Council when it was used as its council offices.
In 2004 the house was sold to a family consortium and operated by them as a country town hotel until being bought in 2018 by Pelham House Lewes Ltd, for conversion into a B&B and specialist wedding venue.
After an extensive period of restoration, the former hotel and town house has been transformed into an exclusive-use wedding venue. With intimate spaces, sprawling suites, a sophisticated bar and endless manicured gardens, it is the perfect back drop for anyone’s big day.
Speaking to PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE, Mick Nash from Sedley Place Design, the designers and architects behind the refurbishment, said: “Working on a project like this is an interesting design brief. You want to have impact and show off what a wonderful place it can be, but you don’t want to over design it. Brides have to be able to visualise themselves in the space and must be able to personalise it where need be so you need to get the balance right – the bride needs enough flexibility to personalise her wedding while on the other hand, you have to really wow them with the venue when they come through the door.”
At Pelham House, The Goring Room can be configured for both intimate and large-scale gatherings with seats for up to 125 guests – rising to 150 with some standing. As the bride walks down the aisle, she is able to see the manicured gardens outside, with the happy couple exchanging rings and sharing a kiss in a pool of natural light that floods in from the drape-hung windows they stand before. Pelham House is also licensed to hold outdoor weddings with ceremonies taking place in The Gazebo, surrounded by the venues pristine manicured lawns with the rolling South Downs in the distance.
The Garden Room, which is just across the hall from The Blencowe Room, is where the main bar is located. A sophisticated space complete with tub chairs, brushed metals, muted colours and every cocktail under the sun, natural light floods in from the wall of almost-floor-ceiling windows.
Mick said: “One of the biggest features is the new bar. The house has the most beautiful garden which falls down a slope from the Georgian façade, with an outdoor ceremony space at the bottom. We wanted to bring the bar right alongside that so you really appreciate the garden. There are then large windows that overlook that bar which bring daylight into that space and also provide access to the terrace. It is a big statement bar with beautiful detail, a lovely robustness about it, lots of marble and beautifully lit back bar. We hope it will be one of the striking features of the venue that make people love it.”
Previously the drawing room, The Blencowe Room is now the stage for post-wedding dining and evening entertainment. Its historic wood panelling, dramatic marble pilasters and rich colour palette creates the perfect setting for a wedding reception. There are settings for between 50 to 150 guests with space for a band or a DJ, as well as a long top table.
Even with its town centre location, the sites peaceful landscaped gardens and clifftop views will make guests feel like they are a million miles from anywhere. The site has 29 beautifully appointed rooms for guests to say in and for the bride and groom; the spacious Pelham Suite comes complete with cosy sofas, a huge bed and standing bath.
“Feedback has been really good. I think it is going to be an enormously popular venue,” said Mick. “I think the community are happy to see the building restored and back into commercial use. Pelham House has always been a popular place to stay in Lewes, which is why the new owners also open Pelham House for B&B guests to enjoy between weddings.”
For more information, visit: https://pelhamhouseweddings.co.uk/
Band International is a family owned business, which has manufactured Wedding and Banqueting for over thirty years.
The chairs are made in Hungary by skilled craftsman, using traditional, bentwood techniques. Band’s revolutionary design enabling a stacking version of event chairs has since been widely adopted, but the bentwood seat at the heart of the chair remains unique to Band. This, together with using high quality, slow grown timber, is what gives Band chairs the lightness, strength, and reliable stacking, for which they are renowned
Band International customers include leading Event Companies, and the most discerning of venues, and its chairs have seen service at many celebrity and Royal functions both in the UK and abroad. Band has also produced a specially commissioned chair for Buckingham Palace.
The company supplied Sedley Place with several different models of chair for various projects, and has found their scrupulous approach and detailed research has made it a pleasure to work with them.
As well as taking a great pride in the quality of its products and service, Band is committed to operating in an ethical and sustainable manner. The factory in Hungary is a well- managed and safe environment. The chairs are made from FSC certified European wood, and years ago Band pre-empted the current drive to reduce plastic by introducing a robust re-useable ‘stack sack’ for deliveries.