Traditionally, the most important decision a bride and groom made while planning their wedding was choosing the right venue for their celebration. Today’s couples, however, place just as much emphasis on the food. As a result, some couples go the route of renting an “empty” space and bringing in a high quality caterer of their choosing in order to deliver on both. I recently rediscovered a venue that offers both a gorgeous space and phenomenal food in one of Connecticut’s most picturesque towns. Welcome to the Simsbury 1820 House in Simsbury, CT!

Simsbury 1820 House / Metro Bis

Simsbury 1820 House / Metro Bis

Perched atop a hill overlooking Simsbury’s charming downtown, the Simsbury 1820 House is an elegant country inn with a rich history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this quintessential New England bed and breakfast and its 31 guest rooms have been graciously restored and feature luxurious, modern amenities in a period setting. After attending a friend’s wedding here years ago, I became smitten by its classic beauty and timeless charm. Now as a local resident, it strikes me as a place that strives for excellence and prides itself on being a gathering place for both the community and intimate celebrations.
As if all this wasn’t enough, it has now joined forces with the award-winning Metro Bis restaurant. Since its days as a snug bistro on Route 10 in Simsbury, Metro Bis has had an outstanding reputation for superb food and great service. Ranked in the top five restaurants in the state for American food according to the Zagat Survey, Metro Bis moved into the Simsbury 1820 House back in 2013. I knew the combination of the two was something special and would be a very attractive option to engaged couples planning their big day.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with its Innkeeper, Pamela Gutlon, and Courtney Febbroriello, co-owner of Metro Bis and wife of its celebrated chef, Chris Prosperi. Courtney is an accomplished author (her memoir, “Wife of the Chef”, was published in 2003) and runs both the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations at the restaurant.

Q: How long has Metro Bis been in business?

A: Metro Bis has been in business for 17 years–15 years at our bistro that was just up the road, and we’ve been here at the Simsbury 1820 House for the last two years. During that time, we’ve hosted numerous weddings, along with a variety of other private events including rehearsal dinners, showers, anniversaries, birthdays and retirements.

Q: Tell us about hosting a wedding here.

A: It’s a great place for hosting a wedding. Many of our couples choose to have both their ceremony and reception here, while their guests enjoy the convenience of staying on the property.
We host a large number of weddings on Sundays, when the restaurant is closed for business. They have access to the whole restaurant, so they can hold their ceremony on the restaurant’s large porch or at our ceremony space behind the Inn. The reception itself can be in the actual restaurant. If a couple is interested in a Sunday wedding, we just ask that they meet our $2,000 food and beverage minimum for opening up the restaurant. We also host weddings Mondays through Saturdays while the restaurant is open for business. In this case, our couples usually get married at the ceremony space and then move into our downstairs event space through its own private entrance.

Q: How many guests can you accommodate?

A: If the wedding reception is being held inside the restaurant, full seating is 70 guests. The downstairs event space can accommodate 120 guests.

Q: Do you offer wedding packages, or are they customized to the couples needs?

A: While we do have a couple of menus that we’ll provide to couples, the majority of the time they are customized for each wedding. We work with the bride and groom on what they’d like to serve their guests. We’ve even themed out the food for certain weddings. We’ve done Thai food, Indian food, French food. The reality is that our chefs are at a higher level, so we’re able to do this. We’re flexible and try to accommodate the couples’ wishes as best we can.

Q: What sets Metro Bis apart from other Inns that feature a restaurant on the premises?

A: We’re a full-service restaurant, so we have flexibility with the bar. There’s no need to bring in the alcohol from other suppliers. It’s all here.

Q: What is your most popular time of year for weddings? How far in advance should couples book their wedding?

A: We’re pretty busy Spring through Fall, although we do host winter weddings as well. We recommend couples book with us as soon as possible. We’ve had couples book two years in advance, while we’ve also accommodated last minute bookings.

Q: What makes the 1820 House special as a wedding venue?

A: The Inn gives you that destination feeling without having to go to Vermont. You’re local, but still have that feeling of being away, and you’re not spending a fortune to experience that atmosphere.
Sims 1820 Hse Lobby

The Lobby of the Simsbury 1820 House

Q: What is the Inn’s best feature?

A: Everything is right here…the whole experience. You can have the ceremony here, the reception and your guests can stay at the Inn. You don’t have to miss a minute of the celebration.

We want to thank Courtney and Pam for being a feature on our blog! Should you be interested in hosting your wedding at the Simsbury 1820 House and Metro Bis, please contact us . Together Down The Aisle and the Simsbury 1820 House along with the Metro Bis team will make your wedding day extraordinary!

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