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About

On Hitched.co.uk since 2022

Last update: February 2024

Nestled away in the beautiful outskirts of Alton, Hampshire, The Departure Lounge Café is a quaint and memorable venue for a countryside wedding celebration. With intriguing vintage décor and rustic elements, this unique setting is ideal for those with love for alternative styles. Close to enchanting churches and registry offices, this hidden café invites you to honour your union in a manner that best reflects you.

Facilities and Capacity

The Departure Lounge Café caters to a maximum capacity of 150 guests across its eclectic venue grounds. In this rural setting of sweeping fields. You can enjoy a marquee reception in a 40-foot-by-40-foot structure fit for 150. Adorned in linings and fairy lights, this blank canvas is awaiting your personal touch. There is also a designated area for a live band or disco. The café offers an intimate space filled with aged-wood features, quirky signage and a private bar: an inviting atmosphere for guests to dine and drink in comfort. An array of scenery provides all the backdrops needed for those memorable wedding photographs.

Services Offered

At The Departure Lounge Café, a team will be on-hand to assist you at every step of your booking. The staff are here to make your wedding a stress-free, enjoyable experience. The venue is fully licensed and also offers an afternoon tea option for an added touch of vintage. When it comes to the food, we can provide a wonderful range of catering options, including hog roasts and BBQ's.

Frequently asked questions

Venue type:

In the country
Unusual weddings
Marquees and tents
Woodland and festival
Outdoor license
Unique weddings

Ceremony options:

Fire ceremony
Civil ceremony licence
Religious ceremony license

Dining options:

Seated meal facilities
Private catering allowed
Alcohol licence
Buffet meal facilities
In-house catering

Evening entertainment:

Marquee available
Dance floor
Entertainment licence
Live band facilities
Evening reception facilities
DJ facilities

Overnight accommodation:

Overnight accommodation for wedding couple
Overnight accommodation for guests

Venue staff assistance:

Wedding coordinator

Venue leisure facilities:

Beautician

Other features:

Exclusive use
Accessible facilities
Car parking
Helipad
Confetti permitted
Changing room for wedding guests
Pet-friendly
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Do you have any questions?

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5.0 out of 5 rating
14 reviews
  • Quality of the service
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Response time
    4.9 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    4.9 out of 5 rating
  • Value for money
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    5 out of 5 rating
100% Recommended by couples
RomanticGoldConfetti30028
Samantha P. Sent on 06/10/2023
5 out of 5 rating

Had the best wedding, just disappointed its all over

From the initial viewing stage Simon was very relaxed and answered my many many questions that I kept firing at him, there was no rush to look and it had a very chilled atmosphere. When we confirmed he promptly sent us the invoice and we paid our deposit. We were allowed to go in a couple of days before the big day to set up the marquee how we wanted it and there were barely any limitations on what we could have. We had complete creative control which was nice. Fast forward to the day and it was beautiful the lawn looked lovely with our arch on and the hay bales. Once the ceremony was over the reception drinks were ready and Simon and his team discreetly took down our arch and moved the hay to around the fire pits. He checked in and you knew he was there if you needed him but he wasn't pushy or in your face. After lunch they quickly removed some tables and the Dj was moved in it was pretty seamless, the team they have there go out of there way to help when you need and always had a smile. At the end of the evening we didn't have to help tidy or take anything down it was all done and packed for us ready to collect Sunday morning when we went for breakfast. I cannot recommend them all enough.
Lizzy
Lizzy Sent on 09/08/2023
5 out of 5 rating

Absolutley perfect

We had a wonderful wedding party / all round celebration at The Departure Lounge on Saturday and we honestly don't have a bad word to say about the whole experience. It was absolutely perfect and so many guests commented on how lovely the venue was.

From start to finish Simon and the team were absolutely amazing and so lovely, it felt like nothing was too much. The whole vibe at the venue was relaxed, friendly, positive and helpful every time we visited to look at the cafe and marquee and also when we came to set up.

We weren't manically running around trying to set up because we had the venue from the Wednesday, which gave us plenty of time! When the party was finished, Simon and the team took everything down for us so all that was left to do was collect everything.

We had such a fun evening - it was relaxed and there was plenty of dancing, which is exactly what we wanted. We honestly can't thank Simon and the team enough. Even the rain didn't dampen the mood!
Natalie
Natalie Sent on 03/07/2023
5 out of 5 rating

Perfect festival wedding

I can hand on heart say this venue made our wedding so amazing. Simon and team are so lovely and helpful. Nothing is too much. Food was amazing, the hog roast is not debatable GET IT. Simon even ended up organising our band too I actually didn’t have a clue what was happening after we picked it he just took control and sorted it all out. Loads of time to set up venue but the perk of not taking it down-luckily while you might have a sore head. Thank you once again xxx
Lex241987
Alexis B. Sent on 01/08/2023
5 out of 5 rating

Perfect day at a fabulous venue

If you are looking for an alternative, laid back and fun space that you can bring your own stamp/personality to without having to worry about every single logistic as with blank space venues, this just might be the perfect venue for you.

We’re still buzzing from our wedding at Departure Lounge Cafe, we could not have asked for a better day or for the Departure Lounge to be a more perfect place to host it.

The cafe/bar is decorated with quirky, vintage and antique memorabilia, with a fully stocked bar (we heard compliments on the gin selection and quality of the wine during the day). The marquee was great, more than plenty of room for our 60 guests to sit and dance and the grounds are very well maintained.

It was the perfect middle ground between a blank canvas venue and a standard venue. Plenty of freedom to make the day what we wanted and put our personalities into it, but with a helping hand. There was a lot of flexibility but the venue had so many optional add ons from cakes to decorations to catering if one would like.

I especially loved that this place is not a wedding factory, they only do one wedding a week which meant we got to set up the marquee in advance, weren’t having to clear everything up at the end of the night, and it meant we could feel relaxed making the space look the way we wanted and also felt like there was focus on our day.

We were able to the marquee ourselves with mostly handmade decorations but owner Simon was on hand to answer questions, lend equipment, and make sure all the last minute details were checked off. There were also a lot of cute details that came with the space, from the gardened marquee entrance to a vintage clock near the food area, fairy lights already up in the marquee, fire pits and hay bales for hire, to name a few. All our vendors were able to set up and operate seemlessly and the DLC team were great at making sure people and things were in the right place.

Simon and his team could not have been more accommodating, friendly, helpful, easy going but detail-oriented. We felt incredibly relaxed the entire time dealing with them.

We had the freedom to choose a caterer we had already really wanted for our day food but had our evening food catered by the Departure Lounge and we got lots of compliments on the delicious hog roast, salads and mac and cheese. Our guest left very full and happy!

We had the good fortune of beautiful weather and while we would have loved this place still in the rain, the space was just incredible fully set up. We loved seeing our friends spilling out from the marquee onto the lawn, sitting around the fire pits chatting, playing lawn games, ect. It felt like a very VIP festival and was just the atmosphere we wanted. As one of the marquee’s sides were up on our day, it all felt like one space, apart from the bar area which I was really pleased became a spot for people to have a quiet moment out of the sun and didn’t feel like guests were between two places.

Cannot recommend enough and thank you again to Simon and team for an even better day than we anticipated!
Laura
Laura E. Sent on 20/09/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Incredible from start to finish! Highly recommend!

Simon and the rest of the staff at departure lounge were absolutely amazing, they went above and beyond to help and make our day run as smoothly as possible :) thank you so so much!
HappyYellowHair7222
Gemma H. Sent on 23/05/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Fantastic!

We can’t recommend this venue highly enough! A beautiful ball tent marquee with a ceiling of fairy lights surrounded by a large field and backdrop of stunning trees and a gorgeous retro style bar fully stacked with a wide selection of generously priced drinks. The friendly and professional staff really can not do enough for you, always there with a smile and nothing was too much trouble! We had access to the venue for 3 days before the wedding to setup, during this time we had lunch and coffees in the cafe, all absolutely delicious! On the day the staff were so lovely to our guests and made sure everything went exactly to plan. The amazing team then packed everything down for us afterwards meaning all we had to do was swing by to collect it! Absolutely seamless, definitely recommend!
Current
Kristian Sent on 18/09/2021
5 out of 5 rating

An amazing wedding venue

We discovered the Departure Lounge whilst searching for a wedding venue in Hampshire. We knew the first time we visited that this was the perfect place for our needs. This was in February 2020, and we set the date for late July 2021 - as you can imagine, there was a lot of uncertainty about the day right up until the week beforehand due to the pandemic. Simon was very reassuring throughout this period, and thankfully our intended date fell on the first weekend after wedding restrictions were lifted. Despite us only being able to finalise our arrangements at the last minute, Simon and his team put everything together perfectly, going above and beyond for us. Nothing was too big an ask, and the day was very special for us and the guests.

If you are looking for a wedding venue that you can personalise and have lots of flexibility with suppliers and decoration, but you still have an amazing team on hand to help with logistics and organision, then we highly recommend the Departure Lounge - it is also perfect if you are looking for a 'festival' style wedding venue. We chose Simon's hog roast for our meal, which was fantastic and well received by the guests. There is a marquee already on site, so you do not need to hire this separately. We had 120 guests, which the venue comfortably fitted. We used external suppliers for evening food and our entertainment, and Simon helped them all set up on the day with no problem. He also had backup plans for incleement weather, but luckily the rain (just about) held off. I should also mention that the final cost was extremely affordable.

Aside from our wedding, we have popped in regularly for lunch and the food is always fantastic (we recommend the cheese and chips and Sophie's malteaser cheesecake if you're lucky enough to be there on a day it appears!), and we always have a lovely welcome. We cannot recommend the place highly enough.

Thank you so much Simon and the team for our wonderful wedding day!
LuxuriousIvoryBridesmaid780
Anneka G. Sent on 04/06/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Aidan and Anni wedding

We had our beautiful wedding at the Departure lounge for 150 guests and Simon and his team couldn't have been anymore amazing. From start to finish they helped us in organising the day and ensuring everything went perfect on the day itself. They were such a chilled yet professional team that really put us at ease. Great prices and a really beautiful venue. We would highly recommend The Depaefure Lounge to anyone!
S
Stuart H. Sent on 20/09/2023
5 out of 5 rating

The perfect wedding venue

Where do I start……We had the most incredible wedding party at the Departure Lounge last weekend. From our first meeting with Simon (who owns and manages the Departure Lounge) we knew it was the right venue for us.
We were able to personalise our celebration, safe in the knowledge that Simon and his team would pull off our dream day. From the start of the process nothing was too much trouble.
Simon’s suggestions were excellent – his responses to our questions/concerns were prompt and based on our requests he was able to help us design our perfect event.
A few days prior we were able to decorate the marquee – on the day itself we had the entire site to ourselves allowing privacy and ease of final setup.
The day/evening was a huge success and simon and his team worked so hard to ensure our request were met – with many smiles and laughs along the way! From playing our ceremony play list to setting up the Lawn Games, to making sure our glasses were full, every detail was attended to. Infact his team are so friendly we even invited them to dance with the DJ in the closing section. The food (hog roast) was exceptional, our guests commenting it was the best they had ever had.
We have absolutely no doubts about recommending the Departure Lounge as a stunning wedding venue or party venue – and you will have no regrets for making that choice for such a special occasion. Hurry, before it gets booked up…..Several of our guests have already expressed their interest in the venue.
Jane & Stu
Z
Zoe C. Sent on 25/06/2023
5 out of 5 rating

The most amazing venue

We couldn't be happier to have spent our wedding day at The Departure Lounge. If we were to do it all over again, we'd be back in a heartbeat. Absolutely everything was perfect.

The communication, help and advice from the moment we approached Simon for a quote was tip top. Nothing was ever too much of an ask and he made a busy (and potentially stressful) time so easy for us.

Simon and his team are genuinely nothing short of wonderful. Sophie and Tina were so lovely and helpful during the week we set up (and on the day!), and Jess and the lady behind the bar (whose name we sadly didn't get) went above and beyond in the evening to make sure everything went smoothly and that our guests (and us) had the very best time. This was not lost on our friends and family (or our photographer)... so many people have commented on how great the team were.

The food was also absolutely amazing too. We had the Ploughman's spread and the hog roast. Both were fantastic! Our guests have not stopped talking about the brie or the hog roast! The wine was delicious, and the bar very well stocked.

So many of our friends have been nervous in the run up to their weddings. We never, ever had that and that genuinely comes down to knowing that The Departure Lounge would do the most amazing job. It's safe to say the team went on to exceed our expectations beyond measure!

We really did have the best day, and we will forever be grateful to The Departure Lounge for that.
S
Sarah B. Sent on 20/01/2024
4.6 out of 5 rating

Wedding May 2023

We had our wedding reception at the departure lounge in May. From the first time we looked at the venue and met Simon, we were very excited about the opportunity to shape the venue exactly how we wanted and add lots of personal touches. Simon is cool calm and collected about any requests we could come up with, such as hanging a big hoop with disco balls off the pole of the marquee!

We had very wet weather but Simon took ownership of making sure everything still ran super smoothly between the cafe and the marquee for the hog roast, a roaming brass band, welcome drinks and everything in between. All ours friends and family said how lovely the food was and we were able to hire a food truck for the evening food.

If you want to put personal touches on your wedding day but still want to have a very accommodating venue manager, caterer and bar service we couldn't recommend enough! Thank you Simon and team!
L
Lisa Sent on 14/09/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Fab fab venue!

We loved our wedding day and it was all down to the staff of the departure lounge. The food, service, decor was amazing and we will always go back for the events and tea and cake! Wonderful place to spend with the family and a great stop off for breakfast or lunch! Always be sure to check their social media to know what events are on! Love the departure lounge!! Will be back soon!!
R
Jessica E. Sent on 20/10/2021
5 out of 5 rating

Insanely awesome place and people!

We had our wedding here on 28th August - honestly, Simon and the team made this entire process extremely enjoyable considering let’s face it wedding planning is not always fun 🤣
They were extremely helpful, friendly and bent over backwards to help us. The venue itself is amazing - we were given loads of options, freedom to do quite a lot, and the flexibility was great. The bar looks awesome, the field is spacious and the marquee was perfect for our needs. The food was amazing and everyone at the wedding had plenty of compliments towards the food, drinks and facility itself. The staff at this venue are some of the best I’ve worked with - they went above and beyond and myself and my partner extremely appreciate everything they’ve done for us. We’ve been incredibly busy since our wedding but we plan on stopping by when we can to express our gratitude in person. Not only is this an incredibly reasonably priced venue to get married at, with a great team to work with (especially Simon), it’s also an awesome bar with great food and drinks. Highly recommend this place! Thank you everyone at the Depature Lounge for making our day.
O
Olivia Sent on 27/09/2019
5 out of 5 rating

The most amazing wedding venue!

We stumbled across the venue last summer and as soon as we saw it and met with Simon, the owner, we knew it was the perfect venue for us. We had totally free reign over the styling of the marquee, and were given the week leading up to the wedding to decorate it at our leisure. The cafe is wonderful and quirky, and the field and grounds surrounding the café and marquee are huge and provided a lovely backdrop for photos.

Simon was fab through the planning. Every email was responded to quickly and thoroughly, and we really felt we got a personal touch by dealing directly with him throughout the process.

Food-wise, we had a hog-roast provided by the venue as our main meal, along with some really lovely sides, and salads. For evening food, we had a ploughman’s spread which included pate and cured meats. Both meals were delicious and went down so well with our guests, and the venue was very accommodating of dietary requirements.

This truly is the most incredible wedding venue. We have had many guests saying how wonderful it was, and because of its uniqueness we are confident that our guests will remember the day for years to come. Our wedding day was beyond our wildest dreams, a month on and we are still buzzing from how much fun we had. We really put a lot of that down to the venue – it is definitely a venue that not only allows, but encourages you to have fun with your wedding day. If you are looking for a venue which really lets you put your own stamp on your wedding day whilst certainly not breaking the bank, we would wholeheartedly recommend the Departure Lounge. To Simon and the team, thank you so much!
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Basingstoke Road GU34 4BH Alton (Hampshire)
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