Welcome to the Iscoyd Park family
Regal columns frame a magnificent door. Immaculately manicured lawns spill out behind us as we slowly ascend the grand stone steps up to the entrance of Iscoyd Park. We should perhaps have felt intimidated by the grandeur, but as the heavy door was flung open and light and warmth washed over us we only felt one thing: like we were home.
Built in 1737 Iscoyd Park has been in owner Phil Godsal’s family for generations. Together with wife Susie, Phil has transformed the Georgian estate to accommodate guests. No; to enthusiastically welcome them in to the Godsal clan.
Iscoyd Park is not a hotel: there’s no formal reception desk, just the sunny reception of Phil, Susie and events manager Jen Paskell. Iscoyd Park is not the empty shell of a private hire house: as the Godsal’s family home there’s already life within the walls – fires crackle and the rich smells of fine foods float on the air. This is cosy luxury at its best. Although always on hand should you need them, the family allow their guests all the privacy they might want, encouraging them to relax, play, or party to their heart’s content as they would in their own home.
Most importantly, Iscoyd Park is not a wedding factory. Although available to hire for any occasion or celebration that might require some form of elaborate event or party, the house really lends itself to weddings. Indeed, Phil and Susie designed the interior with the flow of a wedding day in mind, from the ceremony and reception, to the sit down dinner and party, to the wants of the (inevitably worse for wear) guests the morning after.
We digress – Iscoyd Park is not a wedding factory: every single member of the team is personally invested in making sure ‘your wedding day will be the most special day of your life’ isn’t just a clichéd lie we tell little girls dressed in Disney princess outfits. Events manager Jen is as gregarious and exuberant as she is accommodating and organised, which conveniently ensures that all fun goes to plan on a wedding day.
The Fine Dining Company caters the weddings to a mouthwateringly high standard. Chefs Rupert and Dom taught us how to make an all day breakfast canapé stack comprising sausage, black pudding, a quails egg and brown sauce. As if that delectable delicacy didn’t already put them in our good books, they also kindly indulged our attempts to make an epic Jenga tower with their fresh ingredients.
Humbly calling himself a bartender, Jamie Stephenson is Iscoyd Park’s resident cocktail-maker-mixer-magic-man. A five times World Cocktail Champion, Jamie is on hand during weddings to shake up your average drinks menu, working with brides and grooms to create cocktails that’ll delight and surprise guests.
The real beauty of the Godsal’s desire not to run a wedding factory lies in the days, months and years after the wedding. Once that heavy front door is opened and you’re welcomed in to the Iscoyd Park family, you’re there for life. Phil and Susie keep in touch and offer couples discounts to come back and stay at the house over their anniversary. They even suggest planting a tree on the edge of the estate’s lake – a very visual reminder of the bride and groom’s growing connection both with each other and with Iscoyd Park.
A wedding in this house, nestled in the leafy Shropshire countryside, is very much the beginning of numerous life long family relationships: with your new spouse, with your new in-laws, with Phil and Susie, and with their magnificent house. Honestly, our time at Iscoyd Park was potentially one of the most special days of our lives and we weren’t even getting married. Throw in a handsome groom in a tailored tux and we’re not entirely sure how a day could get much better…!
Iscoyd Park, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 3AT; + 44 (0) 1948 780785
For more information, visit www.iscoydpark.com or send Phil and Susie an email at email@example.com