East Dene is a beautiful stone built mansion set in around 10 acres of woodland, gardens and play areas, with superb views and direct access to Monks Bay. Initially built in 1800, the mansion was extended in 1848 at which time it played a leading role in the growth and development of the delightful village of Bonchurch. For some years the home of Algernon Swinburne, the Victorian Poet, it has been visited by Queen Victoria, the Czar of Russia and many eminent literary figures including Charles Dickens.
Primarily a Victorian Family home, in the Sale notice in 1848, it was described as thus: “this singular rare and valuable property may be unhesitatingly designated the most perfect bijou in all the three kingdoms. On the island it has long been considered the pet place, as it lacks nothing that consummate taste and a liberal and profuse expenditure could accomplish.
East Dene provides a personal planning service for each occasion and we pride ourselves in exceeding your expectations!
We continue tradition as a Family home rapidly emerging as a premier venue for weddings for the “Rich and Famous” and the “girl next door” and we aim to make every occasion special and a little bit different.
Stella, our Wedding Co-ordinator, will advise you on all the little details to ensure the day runs seamlessly. From parking, timings to the special knife to cut your cake, everything will be thought about.
Robert, our enterprising and charismatic chef will provide a sumptuous banquet, a tantalising hot buffet or a speciality barbecue sourcing local produce wherever possible.
Suzi and our dedicated waiting team assure you of a service which is friendly, relaxed and professional.
To round off the perfect day we provide value accommodation in our own rooms for those who want to stay over and enjoy a wonderful Absolutely Full Breakfast.
We are happy to host a superb and memorable Reception following a wedding at the Church of your choice, or a full wedding service with a civil wedding or partnership in one of our four licensed rooms:
The Drawing Room: the ceremony can take place in our spectacularly decorated room looking out to sea, with room for 45-69 seated or 95 standing guests.
The Swinburne Lounge: this room also overlooks the sea and features a large attractive fireplace with an original Victorian mirror above, and ornately decorated ceiling with up to 30 seated or 50 standing guests.
The Conservatory: overlooking the sea, this is a lovely room with magnificent views all year round. The conservatory will accommodate 20 seated or 35 standing guests.
The Main Dining Room: this atmospheric room was the dining room for the Snowden-Henrys who lived at East Dene as a family in true Victorian splendour. It has the original marble tops, fireplace and oak panelling said to date back to the Spanish Armada. Up to 46 guests can be seated or 46 standing.
Welcome Drinks: The Reception may begin with a swing with a welcome glass of champagne, Pimms or Fruit Punch presented by our Hospitality Team. A selection of delicious canapés can be served to your guests if requested.
The Wedding Breakfast: We offer a wide range of choice from a traditional wedding breakfast to a barbecue! We are also happy to hear your ideas for something completely different! Tables will be appropriately dressed to co-ordinate with your chosen colour scheme or theme. We can suggest the best layout of each room according to your numbers. For numbers in excess of 48, you will need to hire a marquee on the hard standing, next to the Conservatory. This is linked to the main building by a covered walkway. We are happy to recommend a marquee company to suit your needs.
We are delighted if you wish to continue your celebrations into the evening by inviting additional guests. We can recommend a disco or band to entertain as your guests enjoy one of our lovely menus. We can provide a full bar service for your evening reception. Music will finish when the bar closes at 11pm and we would ask that non-resident guests leave within the hour. An extension for 1 hour is available on application at an additional cost.
Although we are not a hotel, we do have a number of twin and bunk-bedded rooms if you have guests who would like overnight accommodation. The Bed and Breakfast prices include Full English Breakfast!