If we had to keep our reviews short we could simply conclude that Bells at Killcare is the most luxurious retreat on the Central Coast, boasting Hampton's style cottages, a relaxing day spa, and a one-hat Italian restaurant run by internationally acclaimed chef Stefano Manfredi.
But there's so much more to this charming property that makes it such an exceptional wedding space. Take its location for example. Nestled amongst the pretty seaside villages of the Bouddi Peninsula, Bells is just 90 minutes drive from both Sydney and Newcastle, making it a convenient escape from either city. More scenic travel options include catching the ferry from Palm Beach or a seaplane from Rose Bay, while if you count Bells owner John Singleton amongst your speed dial numbers you can simply land your helicopter at the on-site helipad.
On arrival at the iconic manor house you'll immediately notice the fresh air, lush lawns, and crisp linen and its not long until the golden silence of Bells' isolated location and adults only policy causes you to take a deep breath and relax. Then, after a wander past the pool and vegetable garden and through the landscaped grounds you'll discover the twenty-five luxury suites, cottages and villas, all in signature shades of navy and soft white and adorned with Ralph Lauren furnishings. Within minutes of arriving you can't help but realise that Bells is the perfect setting for an elegant country wedding.
Despite its boutique label Bells offers a surprisingly wide range of options for weddings, including a choice of lunchtime or evening events. Lunchtime weddings feature an 11:30am ceremony followed by lunch at 12:30pm and a venue exit time of 5pm, making them perfect for smaller and more relaxed gatherings. Conversely evening weddings are well suited for those wanting to celebrate late into the night. With a 4:30pm ceremony and a 6pm reception start time, you then have until midnight to mingle, party and enjoy the well stocked bar.
Ceremonies are conducted on the finely manicured front lawn against the picturesque backdrop of the fountain and surrounding hedges, although the nearby pom-pom adorned tree and arbour are also available. Additionally Mr Singleton's recent purchase of the land next to Bells is expected to yield a chapel (and additional cottages) during 2014. Stay tuned for updates.
Following your ceremony a casual stroll around the beautiful grounds provides plenty of locations for photos while the coastal backdrops of the local bays and beaches are just a few minutes drive away.
Options continue with a choice of receptions spaces. The Conservatory is a large event room flooded with natural light which accommodates up to 120 seated guests or 220 for cocktails. It also has its own courtyard, kitchen and bar providing complete privacy from the restaurant and other hotel guests. For smaller groups the intimate setting of the Library is the perfect space to host a fine dining experience for up to 24 guests.
With either option your menu will be designed by Mr Manfredi, incorporating the chef's core tenets of simplicity and sustainability, and making use of ingredients from the award winning kitchen gardens and locally grown produce.
A retreat wouldn't be complete without a day spa and the LI'TYA spa at Bells offers a range of Aboriginal based healing therapies and products and special treatment packages for both brides and grooms.
All wedding bookings include a two storey spa cottage for the bride and groom on the night of their wedding. It's a fabulous kicker which we imagine goes down a treat because once you've had a taste of this Central Coast getaway you really won't want to leave.