Hidden Treasures in RI

Much like cooking the same food all the time, it is easy to always think about the same places to hold events. Today the Stela team explored three incredible locations that don’t often cross our radar.

Our first stop today was the Westerly Armory (http://www.westerlyarmory.com). We had both been there before but not in recent years. It is a beautiful, historic venue large enough to hold 500 guests. Walking through the lobby of lovingly maintained dark woodwork is a quaint museum room which can be open for guests to peruse during an event. Entering the main room, the walls are a lovely neutral shade, the wooden floor is beautifully finished, and the windows are nicely shaded leaving a completely blank slate for any themed event. In addition the kitchen is immaculately clean and fully licensed with modern appliances in which any caterer would be happy to cook. The Armory even has tables and chairs available for reasonable rental. This hall could be a beautiful location for a wedding, family reunion or any other large party.

Driving north up Rt. 1 into Narragansett, we headed to see the South Ferry Church. (http://www.southferrychurch.org/history.htm) Turning at the tower at the Junction of Rtes. 1 and 138, we meandered down Bridgetown Rd. Heading toward the URI Bay Campus, the road narrows and whispers “you are in the country now”. There across from a historical cemetery on a large grassy plot is the sweetest little chapel. As we walked inside, the whitewashed walls and pale blue pews were framed by tall windows with a few red glass panes mixed in with mostly clear ones. There was a beautiful chandelier near the front of the chapel with wall sconces in between the windows. Looking down the hill from the church you have an expansive view of the Narragansett Bay which could easily serve as a backdrop for post wedding photos. When asked about non-sectarian chapels to hold weddings, most of us will probably mention the Watch Hill Chapel or the Avondale Chapel. But this gem is worth putting on your list.

Up Rt. 4 to I-95, we proceeded to Roger Williams Zoo. Within the grounds of this Providence oasis is the Roger Williams Park Casino that overlooks the pond and the gazebo. (http://www.providenceri.com/vacation/RWPCasino.html) The grounds around this old building are beautifully manicured but nothing compared to the elegance of the interior. The lower level boasts fabulous woodwork and a gas fireplace. Doors open to spill out onto an enormous veranda. This room can house an incredible cocktail hour without giving away the secret of the reception room on the upper level. The main ballroom upstairs has breathtaking art on the ceiling that gives you the feeling of being transported back in time and sets the stage for a most elegant affair. The woodwork has been incredibly maintained and adds richness to this room rarely seen elsewhere. The room is so beautiful it could easily stand on its own without adding anything but tables and chairs.

What an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon, uncovering hidden treasures in our little state. When looking for venues, it is so important to keep an open mind and explore the secret treasures hidden right here under our noses.


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