We're so excited to welcome the Criterion to the site. The name alone conjures up visions of a glorious past, for this historic venue was where Sir Conan Doyle first imagined the meeting between Dr Watson and the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes. It was where the Suffragettes gathered to mount their revolution, and where Sir Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George thrashed out their views. If you want to be part of such illustrious history and get married in the opulence of the neo-Byzantine architecture - gold and marble shimmering alongside the mosiacs, mirrors and plaques, then the Criterion should be top of your list. They are fully licensed for civil marriages and partnerships and can seat up to a 150 for lunch or dinner, or up to 250 for a canape reception.
We absolutely love this venue and it is without doubt one of our most romantic ones. Set in spectacular Cornish location with extensive mature gardens and dreamy views across the River Tamar, it's charms are very hard to ignore! Built in 1698 and re-modelled in 1809, it has a fascinating history [more of which later] and it also has its own utterly fabulous Bathing Hut [pictured] which is a separate stone building within the 2000 acre estate, standing on its own quayside and perfect for more intimate weddings or civil ceremonies.
On Sunday 19 October they are holding a Wedding Fair and so you will have the opportunity to explore this exquisite Castle.
We were so sad to miss the Festival’s Opening Weekend (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June} which was an in-depth look at the seven types of love with talks, debates, workshops, readings and performances. Highlights included writer and founding faculty member of The School of Life, Roman Krznaric, talking about the Different Varieties of Love; Dr Bettany Hughes and Professor Angie Hobbs discussing the nature and power of erotic love; and a Flirtology workshop with social social anthropologist Jean Smith.
Dr Bettany Hughes, said: “I’m fascinated by the millennia-long history of the power of love from the Bronze Age to the present day. We can learn a huge amount from the Ancient Greeks and in particular, Socrates. For him, Love has a purpose. It is the life force, the desire to do, to be, to think. It is the thing that makes us feel great about the world, and therefore makes us be great in it.”
The whole site has been transformed with love-themed exhibitions and installations including Sliding Gate, a series of play slides by Sean Griffiths of Modern Architect (previously of architecture firm FAT), which symbolise the ups and downs of family life and the strong bonds between families; Love Flags by Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner using the seven colours of the rainbow, signifying the peace and gay pride movements, which fly from the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall roofs, and the Jubilee Gardens flagpole; the Tunnel of Love by disability arts organisation Heart n Soul, a multi-media and sensory installation with vibrating floors, mirrors, love-songs soundtrack, which pays homage to the cheeky, flirty Tunnels of Love of yesteryear; Siege Weapons Of Love by Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich, giant bright pink inflatable cannons and a tank inviting visitors to make love not war, which is part of their Friendly Frontier Peace Campaign; and Pragma Tree: Growing Together, a playful installation by The Edible Bus Stop including a large tree, symbolising Pragma, a love that is enduring, patient and strong, and seating.