If ever I'm asked how I'd spend a win on the Euro Millions, I have prepared my answer. I'd buy a French château 40 minutes from Paris so I could roam around Montmartre like a fashionable hooligan mid-week and rent out my disgustingly fabulous stately home to wedding parties on the weekends. It goes without saying that Channel 4's Escape to the Château is my favourite thing on television, closely followed by Escape to the Château DIY, and I spend a considerable amount of wasted time scrolling through listings on the French property market.
With solid plans to style events internationally, I'm forever scouring the web for jaw-dropping venues both in France and further afield. Here are my top ten. Enjoy!
#1 As far as chateau's go, Château De Tourreau is the elite. 18th century and in the heart of Provence, this pink hued property boasts a large swimming pool, tennis courts, a library, gym, fully stocked wine cellar, fountains and fruit gardens. Set against 17 acres of land, your stay even includes a personal chef. I could cry. Joe Jonas married Sansa Stark here not long a go and the jealousy that's still pulsing through my veins is palpable. At around £5,000 per night I'm almost tempted to marry myself here.
#2 Nottoway Plantation and Resort located in Louisiana is the Souths largest antebellum mansion, with huge Grecian inspired white columns and grand balconies overlooking the Mississippi River and its famed river road, its like gazing at a fairy-tale. SO. STUNNING. Just imagine the wedding breakfast out on the lawn, a string quartet occupying the terrace and pony rides (because all weddings should include pony rides).
#3 If you haven't watched The Assassination of Gianni Versace then stop what you are doing immediately and settle down for the Netflix binge of your life. I've devoured it twice. Gianni's old crib in South Beach, Miami, is nearing the top of my 'eat their before I die' list and I also feel very committed to jumping into that pool after three glasses of champagne in a chiffon gown. The villa rental comes in at $10,000 with a minimum $35,000 food and beverage spend. Might just book and get it over with.
#4 The Palm House in Liverpool's Sefton Park has always been one of my dream venues. It reminds me of the glass gazebo in The Sound of Music in which Liesl leaps from bench to bench whilst singing to her Nazi love interest. Like that but on crack. This grade II Victorian glasshouse acts as a giant greenhouse, containing exotic plants from around the world. As far as botanical aesthetics go, this venue is perfect. Also substantially cheaper than the Versace mansion!
#5 The Boathouse is located in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NYC. This charming historic building overlooks the Lullwater and allows for breath-taking sunsets for your guests to witness over the lake, or so I've read. Wondering if it would be possible to hire in a load of swan shaped pedalo's? Also fireworks would be non-negotiable.
#6 The wedding scene in the Crazy Rich Asians, although a film set in a film studio somewhere, has got to be one of the most breath-taking bridal moments on record. The creative team behind the movie had the challenge of orchestrating a $40 million wedding venue, as described in the original novel, but on a much more modest budget. The moment that the bride walks down the aisle, water floods out in front of her to give the effect that she is literally walking on water. Brilliance.
#7 The Four Seasons Paris. Because Paris. I see this as a potential venue for Carrie had Aleksandr Petrovsky not let go of her hand at that art show that time. I don't even dare enquire on the price because we've all suffered enough lately.
#8 If taxidermy giraffe's suspended by balloons is your thing then the incredible Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, is your best bet. Oozing pure British eccentricity, set in 250 acres of countryside, your guests will have a field day marvelling at this luxury private homes contemporary art and curiosities. Sweeping staircases, ballrooms, secret cellar bars, a library and orangery all wait to be explored in this extravagantly quirky venue.
#9 Anywhere in Venice. As long as you make your entrance in the same manner as George and Amal Clooney's wedding party did then it doesn't matter if you exchange vows up a back alley. I'm giddy just looking at this flotilla of boats. The cost of an official marriage ceremony in Venice starts at £286 so on that note fetch me my life jacket.
#10 Okay, so Astley Hall, Chorley, may not technically be one of the worlds most sought after venue's, however it's a 5 minute walk from my house so that makes it convenient. I have watched family members and friends, even my parents, get married in our parks stately home and its always magical. Plus the ceiling in the drawing room is the most beautiful ceiling on earth. I'm free for personal tours anytime!