Sometimes after the wedding of your dreams, it’s not always possible to go on a lavish honeymoon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fabulous mini-moon a little closer to home.
There are some truly unique and luxurious boutique style hotels in and around the UK but if you’re looking for something just a little bit special and different (well it is your mini-moon,) then we’ve found the perfect location, steeped in history, luxury accommodation, peace and tranquility, and amazing views – your very own Fort!
Sitting in the middle of the Solent in the English Channel is Spitbank Fort – built in 1870 as a defense against Napoleon III, offering so much luxury you’ll feel like Royalty. The perfect place to escape to, a unique retreat away from everyday life, where history meets luxury.
You can only reach the fort via a private boat that picks you up from Gunwharf Quay, in Portsmouth Harbour – It’s simple – check in at the Solents Office, (a two minute walk from your pick up point), drop your bags off and let your adventure begin. After a short ten-minute boat ride you arrive. It’s then time to carefully navigate the metal steps that take you onto the fort, where you’re greeted with a cool glass of champagne, that you can enjoy whilst sinking into the lavish chairs in the Victory Bar, taking in the amazing surroundings, before being given an official tour.
Spitbank has been lovingly restored to preserve its character and history; there is a story everywhere you turn. From the dark and mysterious wine cave to the metal tracks on the floor used to guide the wheels of the canons in days gone by – every nook and cranny brings you something new to discover, including the fort’s very own resident ghost!
Artifacts are everywhere and nowhere is out of bounds, the fort literally is yours for 24 hours along with 8 other couples (that’s if all the rooms are taken).
It’s a mini-moon so why not treat yourself to one of the two Admiral Suites, chic and stylish offering space in abundance, exposed brickwork and arched ceilings where the large metal hooks that used to hold the hammocks of soldiers still hanging from the rafters – (if the large, comfy bed with its crisp linen sheets is not to your liking, then the hammock is always an option!) Then there’s the awe-inspiring sea views that add to the nautical ambience, especially when accompanied with another glass of champagne. A bottle of ‘Spit’ water (the water is from Spitbank’s own artisan well, bottled on site no less, hence the name ‘Spit’ water), along with tea and coffee making facilities, makes you not want to leave your room – but that’s not possible when there’s a rooftop hot tub calling your name.
Lunch is served on the top deck of the fort in the Crow’s Nest bar, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Solent across to the Isle of Wight.
And then it’s up to you, dip back in the hot tub, explore the rabbit warren of rooms that lies beneath the bedroom floor, have a drink in the Victory Bar, fly a kite, fish, or just sit outside and admire the views – The choice is yours until 4.30pm when it’s time for tea and cake and maybe a little more champagne (if you manage to hook the string on a hook on the wall – a game that the soldiers used to play for hours on end to while away the time, you can win a glass or two of champagne).
Dinner in the evening is served in The Officer’s Mess Restaurant, having been previously featured on Michel Roux Jr’s Hidden Restaurants on Channel 4, you are guaranteed an impeccable menu serving things such as home cured duck pastrami, oriental seafood; Himalayan salt aged lamb and a dessert plate to share. When dinner is finished, it’s time to head back into the Victory Bar where cheese and biscuits, tea and coffee are served.
The night is young, you can stay in the bar, explore some more (if you’re feeling brave you can take a stroll around the inner walls (torch needed) which is where the ghost of Sergeant Henry Jones is said to walk), huddle around the open air firepit and roast marshmallows, even take another dip in the hot tub, the choice is yours.
At night the views from the top of the fort are just as breathtaking as in the day with the lights of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight glittering in the distance.
Retiring for the night, you are lulled to sleep by the lapping of the waves softly against the side of the fort.
Next morning breakfast is taken in the Officers Mess, before you have to embark and leave this magical place – your own sanctuary in the middle of the sea.
Who says you have to hop on a plane to the other side of the world for a secluded, romantic getaway?
Overnight stays at Spitbank Fort include dinner; a full Fort breakfast as well as boat transfers to and from the private island. Prices start from £799 per night (excluding activities).
Get Married at Spitbank Fort
For couples wanting to celebrate their wedding day somewhere extra special, Spitbank Fort is the ultimate private escape. For £145 per person, couples can enjoy the exclusive Silk wedding package, which includes all you need for your wedding celebration. With the option to add additional features, couples can customise the wedding package to make their day perfect. On arrival guests will be greeted with a chilled glass of Laurent-Perrier and selection of delicious canapés, followed by a sumptuous three course wedding banquet in the Officer’s Mess, with breathtaking views across the glistening sea. Spitbank Fort offers loved ones the chance to experience a truly unforgettable day with family and friends.