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The Reception Venue

The Orchard, Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

From their website (which has recently been updated):

"The Orchard, first planted in 1868, became a Tea Garden purely by chance. A group of Cambridge students asked Mrs Stevenson of Orchard House if she would serve them tea beneath the blossoming fruit trees rather than, as was usual, on the front lawn of the House. They were unaware that, on that spring morning in 1897, they had started a great Cambridge tradition.....

"...The students enjoyed their rural tea, and word spread around the colleges. The Orchard soon became a popular ‘up-river resort’ which was well known to Varsity men. The Stevensons’ advertising card also proudly announced that the Orchard was not connected to any Public House. With few exceptions, very little has changed in the Orchard since then....."

Except that they serve alcohol now :)

Here's a (rather extensive) list (also from the website) of some famous or "well known" people who've wandered through the Orchard and taken tea there (basically name any famous Cambridge bod and add a dash of any A-to-D list celebs you can think of):

Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein, A N Whitehead, Maynard Keynes, G M Trevelyan, Stephen Hawking, Crick and Watson (of DNA fame), Alan Turing (inventor of the Computer), Frank Whittle (inventor of the jet engine), Christopher Cockerell (inventor of the hovercraft), Rutherford (split the atom), Rupert Brooke, E M Forster, Virginia Woolf, Christopher Isherwood, J B Priestley, Lytton Strachey, A E Housman, Edward Thomas, Elroy Flecker, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Lowes Dickinson, Jeffrey Archer, Salman Rushdie, A A Milne, Leslie Charteris, J. G. Ballard, John Betjemen, King George VI, Prince Charles, Archbishop Runcie, Lord Owen, Lord Harewood, Pandit Nehru, Mallory (of Everest), Cecil Beaton, Norman Hartnell, James Mason, Herbert Lom, Robert Donat, Flora Robson, Emma Thompson, John Cleese, Peter Cooke, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Gryff Rees-Jones, Eric Idle, Jonathan Miller, Jimmy Edwards, Mike Read (DJ), Tim Rice, Clive James, David Frost, David Attenborough, Mary Archer, Germaine Greer, Alistair Cooke, Burgess, McClean, Philby, Blunt and Cairncross.

Not inspiring you?

Take a look at some of these pictures, then. Click on the image to see a larger version.....
The Orchard website has pictures of the room set up for a wedding, which can be found here.

NB: The function room looks like a builder's tip because, well, it was when I took the photos - they were finishing off the refurbishments when we called around.

The Orchard
This is the view you get when you first get past the serverey.
Orchard buildings
Looking back at the buildings when you're standing at the other end of the orchard
Function room
The recently built function room through the trees. Sorry, didn't see the random woman when I took the photo
Function room
Another view of the function room - the faded red tin-room was done on purpose. Honest!
The tree
This is the tree they recommended for having photos taken in front of on the day. Let's hope it's got a bit of greenery on it on the day otherwise it'll look like a pile of twisted twigs.
Top table view
Inside the function room, standing at the far end of where the top-table will be, looking out over the orchard through the glass fronted doors.
Space for band
This is where the band will go on the night (top table is to the left, the orchard to the right)
What the band see
Seeing the room from the bands' point of view (top table is to the right, the orchard to the left)
Tea room
The original tea room. It can be converted into a reception room for reception drinks if the weather's too bad to have them in the orchard itself

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