A Crown Jewel of Wedding Venues
Marrying the splendor of a king’s country retreat with the modern amenities expected by today’s sophisticated couple, a complete transformation of Natirar is in progress. Restoration of the estate’s celebrated Mansion at Natirar – once owned by the royal family of Morocco – will be complete June 2017, introducing a new crown jewel for weddings and special events in New Jersey’s Somerset Hills.
Set on 500 acres of protected land less than an hour from New York City and 90 minutes from Philadelphia, the 1912 Tudor mansion is being returned to its palatial splendor. From copper and slate roofing to fine oak paneling, molded plaster ceilings, carved stone fireplaces, leaded glass windows and period lighting, no detail of the 35,000-square-foot home has been overlooked. The estate’s architectural details, including its intricate iron gates and graceful arches, will make a stunning backdrop for important portraits.
Natirar welcomes one celebration at a time to the Mansion, ensuring exclusivity for each group. Celebrants will find the Mansion’s Great Room an inviting space for indoor receptions and cocktails. Parties of an intimate size will be drawn to the Mansion’s formal Dining Room, and outside, the Marquee features a beautiful brick patio with arresting views of bucolic equestrian country. One of the most significant undertakings of the Mansion renovation is the addition of the Grand Ballroom, ideal for dinner and dancing for up to 225 guests. It is accessed from the Mansion via a connecting Conservatory. The new spaces complement the Mansion’s elegant aesthetic, with red brick walls, ample windows and vaulted ceilings, while also bringing in the natural sensibilities of the estate’s rustic-chic ambiance. At any point the wedding party can retreat to the Mansion’s Bride’s Room and Groom’s Room, which will offer a private space for dress bustling, reflection, and special moments with loved ones.
Couples will find the cuisine at Natirar as striking as its architecture and sweeping views. Cuisine draws heavily from produce harvested on the Farm at Natirar, located just a stone’s throw away from the Mansion. Meals will be prepared in the Mansion’s new state-of-the-art kitchen by Natirar’s award-winning Ninety Acres restaurant team, led by Executive Chef David C. Felton. Menus are planned around the season’s bounty, and special events at Natirar receive the same “Table at the Farm” culinary journey enjoyed by guests of Ninety Acres. Wines from the Natirar cellar are organized by sommelier Brooke Sabel, who guides couples through an award-winning 85-page wine menu to select vintages that complement their celebration. And the betrothed can offer a sweet surprise to their guests by way of jarred local honey, culled from the Farm’s four active beehives. This is but one example of the local flavor and special care afforded couples at Natirar.
As the Mansion’s transformation unfolds in preparation for next summer, weddings and celebrations continue on the Natirar estate, taking advantage of the restored carriage house that is home to Ninety Acres restaurant, and the surrounding gardens of the Farm. Both are also exquisite choices for pre-wedding events such as bridal showers and rehearsal dinners. And Natirar’s cooking school is a unique way to connect growing families or engage friends, offering hands-on classes led by renowned culinary personalities and wine and spirits experts.
Natirar is the vision of Founder Robert Wojtowicz, who has called upon best-in-class partners to bring his dream to life. Los Angeles-based interior design firm Smith/Firestone Associates and Philadelphia architectural firm Coscia Moos are overseeing the Mansion restoration and the Grand Ballroom design, respectively. Operation of the new facilities will be expertly overseen by BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company.