Kelham Hall, Newark

Kelham Hall, Kelham, Newark
Nottinghamshire NG23 5QX
.

According to its web site “Kelham Hall is a beautiful stately home located in the Trent valley.  The Hall provides a stunning backdrop for weddings, events and family days out.”  And for jive dances.

Ceroc Heaven, just about the most vibrant Ceroc franchise I know, holds dances there regularly and it is certainly a magnificent place to have the event.  It is on the fringe of a village, and to get to the car park you drive through the grounds, and then walk into the ancestral home (for such I imagine it was – designed by the chap who designed the original St Pancras Hotel).

The bar is spacious, and it is fun dancing under the dome.  Yes it can get a bit crowded and the seating is not ideal, unless you get there early, but having to walk the edges of the dance floor to get offered a dance is not the worst thing in the world.

But not only is it a fun place to dance, it also attracts a very good gathering of dancers.  Everyone asks everyone, and by and large everyone is very friendly.   I certainly try not to miss it.

However, be aware: sometimes you need to book in advance.  At one Christmas/New Year event I found some people walking disconsolately away having turned up without a ticket to an event that had sold out.  Check the website for the latest news.

  • Air conditioning: 4 out of 5 – reasonable air con and they have fans going which was fine.  Helped by the very high roof so the hot air moves up and out of the way.
  • Atmosphere: 5 out of 5.  Vibrant and fun every time I have been.
  • Do ladies ask men: 5 out of 5.  If you want to sit down, go and hide.  If you are standing at the end of the dance floor the chances are you will be asked.
  • Facilities: 5 out of 5 – there’s always a good free buffet, the bar is long and well stocked, there is plenty of car parking space.
  • Free water: Yes – help yourself at the bar.  How nice to see a bar that not only knows the Licensing Act but works in the spirit of the Act
  • Friendliness: 5 out of 5.  Some people do gather in their groups, and sit and watch, but if you want a dance just walk around and be asked, or ask.  Everyone is always very friendly, and some stay on the dance floor for hours.
  • Location: 3 out of 5.  It is right out in the countryside so unless you are very lucky you are going to have to travel a distance.  But this one is worth it.   You’ll need sat nav or a good map to find the village, but once there, there are signs indicating where you turn off the main road.  Just look for the country park.
  • Music: 5 out of 5.  Excellent always.  Music changes after 11pm to give some more interesting and imaginative pieces.
  • Parking: 4 out of 5.  I love the place so get there early, but I suspect the car parks get fairly full, and you might have to park on the roadside within the grounds.
  • Space: 5 out of 5 – these people are sensible, they only set the tickets up to a number that will make the venue exciting but not dangerously full.
  • Venue overall: 5 out of 5.   To jive in a stately home – even just once – must be worth a visit.