Looking for a laid-back but luxurious venue, where two nights of celebrations are on the cards? Nicole Conner has found it just outside Edinburgh
Apart from all the obvious reasons we love festivals (hearing your fave bands with a tipple in hand being the main one), a huge selling point for so many of us is simply that we get to spend a whole weekend with our pals, enjoying great tunes and making memories, all without a care in the world.
It’s no surprise, really, that weddings are starting to follow suit: when you think about it, making a weekend of the celebrations, with a dinner the night before and a barbecue or brunch the day after (for reminiscing and curing any sore heads), makes total sense.
To get a flavour of what this might be like in the leafy Midlothian countryside, my partner and I trade our wellies and tent for five-star luxury at Rosebery Steading a few miles south of Edinburgh, where we’re spending a night at the rustic-luxe barn venue.
Rosebery is an A-listed 200-year-old farm village, and our home for the evening is the three-bed Dairy. (It is one of five properties at the venue, which together can sleep 28 guests in total.) It boasts bright, open spaces and is tastefully decorated with eclectic artworks and plush furnishings. After ditching our bags, we head off on a tour with Jo Kemp, weddings and events manager, to check out the versatile wedding spaces.
Couples really can put their own stamp on their big day: choose to host your ceremony in the Hayloft Barn (which can seat 100), where the wood and stone interiors make it easy to dress as you please. The vibe is similar in the Threshing Barn, which can also host 100 guests for the wedding breakfast. Although this venue is a blank canvas, it’s worth noting that the spaces need very little in the way of decorating; adding some candlesticks and seasonal blooms would do the trick.
However, it is the Steading’s enclosed courtyard that gets my mind buzzing with w-day ideas. My partner and I adore live music, and the festival vibe this space offers really appeals to us: there is ample room for a singer to entertain guests while they enjoy a glass of fizz, and food and drinks trucks are welcome in the evening. There are also two covered cart sheds in the courtyard, which are great breakout areas for mingling, and could host photobooths or face-painting stations (plus they make great spaces for pre- or post-wedding meals without disturbing the main rooms).
Rosebery Steading and Rosebery House are separated by a main road, so we hop in the car for the quick drive over to have a nosey round the grand mansion. (If you’re hiring both properties for your nuptials, there is transport to convey guests between the two.) Despite being traditional, Rosebery House is anything but drab: rather, it is a stylish blend of classic and quirky, from the ten grand bedrooms that look fit to star in Downton Abbey (22 guests can bunk here), to the hidden games room concealed behind a bookcase.
The star of the show for me is the Orangery: flooded with natural light, this is a divine space for an intimate wedding breakfast, and guests can mingle on the lawn while the room is transformed for the evening. There is also an unconsecrated chapel on the grounds for ceremonies.
We return to the Dairy for a relaxing evening, where we’re treated to dinner from the Edinburgh Catering Company (and we’ve not stopped raving about the chicken tagine since!). The firm is one of four caterers that couples can choose from, giving you a lot of scope to make the day bespoke.
Despite the laid-back vibe at Rosebery Steading there is no doubt that this venue is luxe. There is innovative sound and lighting technology in the barns and the properties are richly decorated. The staff also deserve recognition: they are on hand to help no matter what, and even if you’re going all out with the DIY, you will still feel supported.
Unlike any festival I’ve ever been to, I round off the evening with a bubble bath and a glass of wine, feeling thoroughly pampered. Marry here and I’m sure you’ll have the wedding of your dreams.
Looking for a rustic-luxe venue where you can make a weekend of your celebrations? Rosebery Steading could be for you…
Couples can throw grand bashes at Rosebery Steading: the Threshing Barn and the Hayloft accommodate up to 100 guests each for ceremony and reception. Prefer a more intimate affair? Rosebery House can seat up to 60 guests for dinner in the Orangery, and the private Dining Room can seat up to 20.
As Rosebery Steading works with external caterers, there isn’t an all-inclusive price for weddings. Both venues are hired on an exclusive-use 48-hour basis, with accommodation included. For off-peak midweek hire at the steading, prices start from £11,400. In peak season, midweek hire is £16,800. Over at Rosebery House, prices start at £10,800 for off-peak midweek and £13,800 for peak weekend hire.
There are five self-catering properties at Rosebery Steading, which can sleep 28 guests. The Farmhouse has four bedrooms with a private courtyard and large dining and kitchen areas. The Doocot and the Dairy both have three bedrooms; the former is split over two levels and the latter has an open-plan kitchen and dining room for socialising. Both the Library Cottage and the Gamekeeper’s Cottage have two bedrooms. There is room for a further 22 guests at Rosebery House, and both can be hired together.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
As you might imagine, the food options here are incredible. Couples can pick from a panel of four companies to create their wedding menus: Wilde Thyme, Stocks Events, Platter & Pop and the Edinburgh Catering Company. For Rosebery Steading, catering would start at £120pp. Rosebery House is from £140pp.
Rosebery Steading, Gorebridge, near Edinburgh