Not long after I first started visiting the Dr (my husband) in Southampton, back in the early days of our courtship, we spent a lot of time exploring the city. Despite having lived less than an hour away from Southampton for several years I had only ever really visited the theatre and the city centre. The Dr lived down by the docks and we set out one day for a walk. I spied an odd little old building near the ferry terminal. We wandered in and I swear there was something odd occurring there… A display of ‘genuine’ fairy skeletons downstairs and some kind of folk ukulele group playing upstairs. At this point in time it was functioning as a community arts space.

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Fast forward a year or two and the Wool House no longer houses fairy skeletons and has been transformed into a fantastic pub and restaurant. Paul and I had popped in a few times and loved the ale there – The Dancing Man Brewery is an award winning micro brewery and it took on the Wool House as it’s second venue after successfully running The Platform Tavern for almost 20 years. The Platform Tavern is known in the area for its ale, it’s live music and its tasty pies. We had dinner there for the Dr’s birthday a few years back and the food and drink were both excellent.

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The building itself is beautiful and has such character. Built in 1338 it has been a wool storage space, a prison, boat building warehouse and many other things. It has beautiful high ceilings, beams made of Spanish cedar and is currently decorated with heaps of fairy lights, work by local artists and 3 large windows over looking the harbour.

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As soon as we started looking for wedding venues we knew the Wool House was the only choice for us. It is unpretentious, rustic and just a little bit different. Plus the fact it’s just a few minutes walk from the register office! All rather perfect I think you’ll agree! Our first meeting with Mandy, the events manager (and the fact we’ve always found the staff to be friendly and helpful), only cemented our decision –  when she said “Tell us what you want and we’ll tell you if we can do it!” we knew we were in the right place.

These photos from our photographer Flo Westbrook show just how atmospheric it was there on our special day:

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It has a stunning spiral staircase taking you upstairs that had been decorated with trailing flowers and tea lights.

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We began our day by pulling the first pint – look carefully and you’ll see a photo of us on the pump – our beer was called ‘Amazing Grace’. It was such a lovely touch and a great photo opportunity!

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The table had been decorated beautifully with lots of little touches that I had delivered to Mandy, the events manager, the day before.

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The lighting is beautiful – very soft and twinkly, and Flo has captured the atmosphere perfectly here.

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Such a stunning space with those high beams and stone walls!

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Look at all those twinkly lights! Such a lovely backdrop for our photos!

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All in all, we’re so pleased with our choice of venue and everyone loved the food – we had a range of pies, with vegetables and golden roast potatoes, lovely flavours and great quality – one guest insisted there must have been half a chicken in her pie! The staff were attentive and polite, totally understanding of the needs of our party all the way down to our youngest guest who was just 4!

It is with a new career as a barmaid I say:

It’s only vintage but i like it!