From time to time we hear from brides who are looking for a “truly unique” wedding venue, and at last we have found one; Spitbank Fort. A stunning private island between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, the Fort offers exclusivity and stunning panoramic views across the Solent.
Built in the Solent 150 years ago to protect Portsmouth Harbour, Spitbank Fort is less than a mile from their departure lounge at the trendy Gunwharf Quay where you will be welcomed with coffee before taking the private 10 minute launch to the Fort.
Arriving at the Fort your guests will enjoy drinks and canapés in the Laurent Perrier Champagne lounge on comfortable sofas or in one of the alcoves which houses nautical memorabilia, games and a piano. The staff are happy to conduct tours or leave guests to explore the Fort, finding surprises at every turn including hidden bars, games rooms, TV lounges and a secret tunnel within the outer wall.
Up to 60 guests can join you to witness your wedding vows in the Crows Nest, with panoramic floor to ceiling windows and breath-taking views across to Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.
The wedding breakfast is served in a dining room with arched ceilings looking out onto the courtyard. The food is exceptional and imaginative; our first course of rabbit on a celeriac remoulade was served in a naval mess tin, followed by a fresh crab salad with gazpacho jelly then thick slices of rare roast beef with roasted root vegetables and enormous fluffy Yorkshire puddings. Depending on numbers – speeches, coffee and wedding cake can either be in the main dining room or up in the Crows Nest.
Now for the evening celebrations! From chatting around the fire pit to star-gazing from the rooftop jacuzzi – Spitbank Fort is not short of unique entertainment for you and your guests. It is possible to have your own private fireworks, but this comes with a hefty price tag of £9k as you have to shut the harbour down. However, a cheaper fantastic alternative is the Spitfire air display. Lanterns are also a possibility, but you need permission from the Queen’s Harbour Master to release them – very grand. The night doesn’t end there. You can then dance the night away with either a band or a more whacky option, like a silent disco on the rooftop.
The bride and groom are both guaranteed a 2 night stay on the fort (arriving the night before the wedding). However, when the wedding entertainment is over, the private launch will take your guests back to the mainland leaving you and your closest family and friends to enjoy the evening on your private retreat.
Spitbank Fort can accommodate up to 18 guests overnight. There are 7 double bedrooms, all of them beautifully and sympathetically designed with nautical memorabilia and an ensuite bathroom and window looking out over the Solent. One of the seven standard bedrooms has a water bed. There 2 larger suites including a stunning purple and silver bridal suite, each suite with a double bath and shower.
No Man’s Fort is the latest addition to Amazing Venue’s stunning collection which will be opening at Easter! We are visiting the stunning Fort in April, so keep an eye out for our review.