A common mantra known by any realtor when discussing property purchases. But it can also apply to the location choices of your events, both personal, professional and milestone celebrations. Where you choose to host your next event can be a difficult choice based on many factors both economical as well as personal. Sometimes you want to be near the water or the beach. Other times it makes sense to host your event at a restaurant or a facility that provides some in house amenities. Maybe you want a location with a view? How about a location to convey historical or period significance? A place that will let you step back in time to a period of grandeur, The Gilded Age! What locations come to mind? Newport? The Berkshires? The Hudson Valley? Those locations are all well known for their Gilded Age “Cottages” as they were known as the summer homes of the upper class of the Victorian Era. Locally, we are fortunate to have a few such homes available as Waveny House in New Canaan, the Bendel Mansion at Stamford Museum and Nature Center, and Reid Castle at Manhattanville College to name a few of my favorites. There are a number of other locations to choose from in the area. But did you realize that you can host an event at the Lockwood Mathews Mansion in Norwalk CT? I recently had the honor and experience of attending a Murder Mystery event at Lockwood Mathews Mansion. Having only been there one other time for a Holiday gift shop, I was excited to view the space with a new purpose. The staff could not have been more helpful and friendly and willing to share their Mansion and its history with our group.
The home was the Summer Chateau of banking magnate and Railroad Tycoon, LeGrand Lockwood who sadly only owned and lived there for a short period of time before it was sold to the Mathews family. I won’t give away all the history that the Docent’s shared with me, you will have to visit for yourself to hear the love and enthusiasm they will share with you regarding the Museum. The first floor is available for events. It boasts a breathtaking staircase that would make a grand entrance for any bride or newlywed couple to descend to receive their guests. The staircase descends to the Grand Rotunda that has a 42ft ceiling! I heard there were scenes from the Stepford Wives filmed there! This Grand room can seat up to 160 guests or more for a cocktail type reception. During the summer, you can enjoy cocktails on the Rotunda. Recently they were preparing for a Great Gatsby era Tea held on Sunday November 3. Our event was held in the Billiards room. The mansion does have a kitchen that is available for caterers to use which comes in handy. Norwalk is now a retail destination with the opening of the new luxury SoNo mall. When you are finished shopping at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, I recommend you take a historic detour and visit the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. You will be enchanted by what you will find there!
Thank you to Kathy T. for the photos and to the staff at the Lockwood Mathews Mansion for their hospitality. Clients ask me all the time for suggestions for locations for their events. I keep a list that I am happy to share with you if you need some help getting creative. Call me and we can brainstorm together! Events can be held anywhere these days as kitchens can be portable and almost anything can be rented and spaces transformed. These Gilded age mansions do not need much additional décor to transform their space for your theme. These historic locations are some of my favorites as their ornate construction of quality, timeless materials never goes out of style. Like a good Chanel suit!😊