Expectation vs Reality

The importance of “Site Visits” and a few top tips on getting the most out of your show rounds...

You can’t believe everything you see on the internet…

After a recent business trip to the French Riviera I was reminded, yet again, how vitally important site inspections are to the success of any event. Whether the venue has been used in the past or for the first time, for large numbers or an intimate affair; walking the venue and experiencing the service has never been more important. We are living in a digital era in terms of virtual site visits and access to extensive image libraries on venue websites, and even google images can be a great source of research, however, there is quite a lot of misleading representation out there. Unless you have a keen eye for precise detail and a crystal ball predicting time scales it’s become increasingly difficult to identify the genuine state of a venue’s current aesthetics and soft furnishing.

My recent experience is quite comical and I take full responsibility for being so naïve especially since I am a huge advocate for site inspections and insist we arrange show rounds for our clients when the shortlist of potential venues has been decided. But more on that a bit later.

Not only is the physical appearance of a venue hugely important but there are a number of other benefits gained from visiting any potential event venue.

Some comments noted on show rounds vs images on the internet have been:

“Ooh this carpet looks worn and a bit tatty, hmm those windows look like they haven’t been cleaned in ages, the paint is chipped on every corner and doorway, did you notice the stain on the couch in that room…..”

There’s more to a site visit than meets the eye…

For me, the site visit begins within 5 meters of the front door or outside entrance and in some instances the journey from the airport. I have one important viewpoint in mind; the delegate journey. This starts with the sense of arrival and the all-important welcome. The sentiment felt as you enter a venue will often impact a delegate’s perception of the event. A warm and welcoming doorman, concierge or front of house reception can really have a positive influence and set the tone for the day or evening. Another key point to note at this stage of the site visit is that the venue is aware of your arrival and acknowledge that they are expecting you or your client. Being offered a quiet place to sit and a simple glass of water also goes a long way. Being left stood in reception unsure if you are even in the right building can influence the organisers decision and even cost a venue the business.

The proof is in the eating however there’s no such thing as a free meal….

It’s simply not economically viable for a venues or hotel to offer complimentary meals and beverages on every show round. Having experience working within hotels and venues, the number of site visits far out number confirmations so it is hugely important to manage this expectation. I do feel water is an absolute bare minimum and should always be offered at the very first part of the introduction process when meeting with the respective sales person.

This, however is not the point. What is important when visiting a venue is an opportunity to experience some form of hospitality, this makes up the second part of experiencing the product. Whether you have said yes please to a glass of tap water or requested a “Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato it’s all about how friendly and efficient the wait staff are. This will tell you everything you need to know about how well your delegates will be looked after. Happy, helpful and efficient staff are a direct reflection of the hotel management, culture and overall guest experience. I always find being greeted by the housekeeping team a key indicator of the staff sentiment towards the hotel and the guests.

One size certainly doesn’t fit all…

So we’ve experienced the wonderful sense of arrival, had our caffeine fix and run through the event brief in detail with the venue sales manager. Now it’s time to set off on the site visit. Location location location…is what’s going through my mind. After delegates arrive and have been directed to the respective reception area or pre-drinks space what is the flow of the event like? Does the reception space join onto the main space? Where are the cloak rooms and “WC’s” located? Are the service kitchens located close by? Are the breakout rooms on the same floor or easy to find? These are all the important logistical elements that create a successful event. In most cases where logistics are a concern, there is usually an alternative solution. This is when you can really work out if another room or space may work better or if there is any better utilization of the existing space. For example a terrace in warmer weather using the terrace for coffee breaks or pre drinks reception may be better than the foyer area.

Typically, venues are sold on the standard style and layout of the capacity charts and as event organisers we are always trying to do something new or different that will lead to better delegate experience and levels of engagement. This is a great opportunity to take inspiration from the venue and use the event spaces available to their full potential.

Takeways…

Your own photos/videos are a great way to keep top of mind awareness when viewing multiple venues. Floorplans and capacity charts are a great help with plotting out the event flow too. Having your agent with you on your show rounds means you’ll have great continuity from venue to venue as well as an impartial venue expert with your best interests in mind. Lastly, always set the expectation of what you are wanting to view and how much time you have for the show round. Ensure the venue is showcasing the relevant venues, spaces and bedrooms related to your booking. Site visits have a tendency to drag on for far too long and there is really no need to view every single bedroom type and all the meeting rooms on every occasion.

The “French Riviera” Experience…

I’m not an advocate for using Airbnb for corporate travel, however, I was due to spend 10 days on-site at the client’s expense and wanted to be realistic regarding accommodation costs (and comfort). Not only that but for protracted stays abroad serviced apartments do make an excellent alternative to hotel bedrooms. The traveller can have some creature comforts to hand like a decent refrigerator filled with their personal preferences as well as facilities to prepare meals and it’s generally easier to create a home away from home. With this said, I did as much due diligence as possible reviewing feedback, apartment images and location maps. Google maps is a great tool for better understanding the location and surrounding area. All this research on the internet didn’t really prepare me for what I landed up with but to better illustrate this I took my own comparative image.

Please note there has been no editing or trick photography done here whatsoever.

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss any event requirements or venue enquiries and our eager team of event specialists await your call!

Posted in Feb 2018

Inspirational “New Venues” Update – September 2017

Newest hotels and venues welcoming Londons visitors, delegates and guests

2017 is yet again proving to be a remarkable year for new hotel, venue & restaurant openings in London.

From an event and conferencing perspective these new venues are well received because with it comes more variety and enhanced value which is a key driver for organisers selecting London as a preferred event destination.

As one of Londons’ leading venue finding agencies we have experienced a real uplift in demand for venues that are different and unique but one prerequisite remains the same; they must exceed expectations in all areas especially, and above all, with service delivery. The great news is that the newest editions we’ve seen are on the higher end of the service spectrum with well established brands like The Ivy, Nobu, Soho House as well as some new brands like “Curio” by Hilton which is “a collection of unique hotels appealing to travellers seeking local discovery”

We are excited to share our list of the newest venues we think are ones to know about. A pdf version of this blog can me found here

  • Dorsett City
  • Trafalgar
  • Postal Museum
  • Ivy City Garden
  • Ivy Tower Bridge
  • Grace Hall

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss any event requirements or venue enquiries and our eager team of event specialists await your call

4 STAR HOTEL IN ALDGATE, CITY OF LONDON

The perfect hotel choice for both business and leisure travellers that offers stylish and contemporary accommodation for the most discerning guests to enjoy, relax, party and refresh.

This 13-storey hotel with 267 rooms including suites boasts modern architecture and design; alongside two restaurants, 24 hour gym, 4 meeting rooms and a destination rooftop terrace bar with a panoramic view of London’s most iconic skyline.

This luxury hotel blends innovative bold designs and thoughtful service with excellent dining and nightlife, entertaining both international visitors and Londoners under the same roof. The Trafalgar St. James is a true sanctuary to work, rest and play.

Enjoy a unique approach to event space at The Trafalgar St. James London. An enviable location in the heart of London is just the start – the hotel has the versatile and luxurious venues that will wow every guest.

Perfect for private dining for 14 guests in the private lounge “Biblio” or host a cocktail reception for up to 150 guests on the exclusive Rooftop Bar accented by panoramic views of London’s skyline including Nelson’s Column and the London Eye.

curio-hotels-logo

For more than 75 years, it was a vital artery in Britain’s communication network, hidden from view.

Located a stone’s throw from Farringdon Station and bordering trendy Exmouth Market, the impressive new event spaces at The Postal Museum and Mail Rail have a capacity of up to 275 people and will be available to hire for unique and experiential events.

Hold your event in a unique subterranean space, combined with a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride through the deserted ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels or perhaps contemporary museum space with the added benefit of a sunny courtyard

Unique space for private dinners, cocktail receptions & parties, product launches and award ceremonies. Great for  networking events and breakfast briefings too

Ideally located 2 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station, in Dashwood House, The Ivy City Garden’s private dining room provides the perfect setting for entertaining clients, colleagues and friends. Complimentary menu cards and place cards are provided for each event and each table is decorated with seasonal flowers and tea lights.

The Garden Room seats 24 guests on one long table, or 32 over four round tables of eight, and is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for drink and canapés receptions for up to 50 guests.

Situated on the first floor of the restaurant, The Garden Room private dining room has a lovely view of the historic Bishopsgate Gardens and St. Botolph Church, providing the perfect solace away from the bustling City of London.

The extraordinary development of the Tower Bridge district keeps getting better. Alongside a brand-new 900-seat theatre, a branch of the Ivy Brasserie has opened as part of the Berkeley Homes mixed-use development close to City Hall.

The riverfront-facing restaurant is a more casual version of the Covent Garden original, but the stunning views of Tower Bridge add to its wow-factor. An intimate alfresco terrace (which comes complete with blankets for colder nights) is perfect for those looking to get the full riverside experience.

The first floor can occasionally be hired exclusively.  The space can accommodate 38 guests seated and the room has its own private bar.

Period details dovetail with modern styling at this enchanting Leadenhall venue.

Opening Autumn 2017, Grace Hall will be a versatile, multi-faceted events space hosting 30 to 600 guests.

Step back in time and into this elegant art-deco hall, at the heart of the City. Grace Hall hosts up to 200 guests theatre-style, 170 seated and up to 600 standing across the venue’s four event spaces.

A light Bright , slightly vintage influenced interior.

A perfect sister venue to Banking Hall. Where Banking Hall is black and white and dramatic, Grace Hall is light and bright in honour of its name, with a subtle coloured lighting palette, loosely based on Robert Adams Interiors, which was the inspiration for James W O’Connor, the original architect of the Grace Hall.

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss our next team building event or activity and our team of event specialists look forward to being of service !

Warmest regards from all the Inspirational Venues & Events Team!

Posted September 2017

Interactive Cooking Experiences… a recipe for success!

Cooking up storm with team building activities on the menu !

When it comes to team building activities or executive retreats (generally for the smaller groups of up to 50 delegates) it’s always a challenge to provide an activity that is truly engaging and inclusive for all attendees. With all the fantastic food related TV shows like “Master Chef “and “Great British Bake Off”, we’ve seen a surge in corporates wanting to host cooking or baking experiences. These kinds of activities not only entertain attendees but provide a real lasting and invaluable new “life skill”.

Activities like cocktail making, Sushi making, wine tasting, gin making (although current and still very popular) have all been done before or slightly miss the mark in terms of longevity and inclusiveness. Some may not drink alcohol whilst others may not really enjoy Sushi. So with this, and because everyone is an expert in two things – “eating and sleeping” as we all do both every day of our life, there is now a diverse range of cooking experiences that will deliver engaging, entertaining and inclusive experiences to suit all budgets, delight the palettes and delegates.

We now have a number of excellent options in a vast range of locations so we thought we’d highlight three of our favourites this month. They include a London based provider, great for non “residential” team building activities and two destination hotels offering luxury and five star accommodation on site. And, of course, all venues mentioned offer brilliant meeting room facilities.

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss any event requirements or venue enquiries and our eager team of event specialists await your call

aveqia

AVEQIA London, right in the heart of the City

AVEQIA London is conveniently located minutes away from Farringdon, St. Paul’s , City Thameslink and Blackfriars stations on 2 St. Bride Street. The venue provides a sanctuary at the heart of the city marrying luxury, comfort and design through Scandinavian inspiration and craftsmanship, designed by architect Jenny Andersson.

Interactive Cooking

Interactive Cooking – a unique experience for all participants

Welcome to the perfect activity for meeting clients in a relaxed environment, socialising with colleagues or simply enjoying good food and drink together with friends and family.

David Berggren coined the term Interactive cooking (or Active Cooking in Swedish) back in 1999. Back then, it was all about an event where people could meet, cook a high class meal and simultaneously build and develop their relationships and this hasn’t changed. Interactive cooking is not a typical cooking class but an excellent way to socialise in a relaxed environment with food as the focal point and ice breaker.

Avequia’s Chefs have years of experience gleaned from working at top restaurants around the world and are as skilled with people as they are with food. The essentials for Interactive Cooking are their outstanding chefs, fresh produce and fantastic venues (a combination of an exclusive home kitchen and a luxurious restaurant); where everything from light and music that changes during the course of the evening to the interior design has been perfectly outlined.

But what is most amazing about this concept is what happens to people when they start cooking together. Whether you feel at home in the kitchen or never set your foot in one before, if you want to roll up your sleeves and get involved or if you prefer to mingle and add the finishing touches – it doesn’t matter. People open up, hierarchies, prejudices and traditional roles disappear and what is left is a group of people connecting and creating something enjoyable together.

Corporate Teambuilding

Corporate entertainment and internal teambuilding events often take place at a restaurant or at a music / sport event. The locations involved usually mean you are in an environment that only gives you the opportunity to converse with the people immediately next to you. Interactive Cooking however, is an interaction between all the participants of your group where you command your own kitchen studio and dining area exclusive to your party. The cooking part of the evening encourages mingling throughout the group and the dinner is conducted in the private dining room adjacent to the kitchen area, where your party will share a great culinary experience. AVEQIA is a luxurious restaurant and a social event rolled into one.

Interactive cooking is not a cooking class, however cooking is the engagement-building factor. Everyone can participate regardless of if they are keen to learn, just want to socialise and meet people, or eat some exceptionally good food. Interactive Cooking suits all participants, no matter the season, weather or dress code.

Choose Interactive cooking as a stand alone activity or combine a visit with a conference, team building or other activity. Click here for promotional video

Inspirational Venues & Events would be delighted to assist you with your next London based “cooking experience” so please do get in touch

Lainston House EXCLUSIVE_HOTELS

SEASON at Lainston House

Situated in Hampshire, in the stunning grounds of Lainston House an Exclusive Hotel, SEASON was born out of our great passion for food and dining.

CORPORATE AND PRIVATE BOOKINGS

Cooking or baking are two of the most natural, original and interactive ways to entertain and build relationships amongst colleagues or with clients… and are lots and lots of fun!
And the best thing is that ‘ability’ is neither here nor there –  ALL abilities are welcome at Season – and they make sure from the outset that everyone has an amazing time.
Accommodating groups of up to 24 willing delegates, perfect for team building, client entertaining or any group activity!

READY, STEADY, COOK!

The Cookery School is perfect for a colleagues team building day, as a thank you treat for staff or clients and works perfectly when used exclusively for these types of events.

Reserving the venue exclusively, they can create a day to inspire and ensure that all guests and delegates conclude their time with a great sense of achievement.

EXCLUSIVE USE

Taking over the school exclusively would include;
a full day in the cookery school along with private use of the historic Well House
Unlimited tea and coffee and a delicious interactive lunch with a glass of wine per person
There will be an apron and recipes for everyone to take away
Additionally they can organise a personalised Chef’s knife with your company logo along with a glass of Nyetimber, English sparkling wine to end the day and celebrate the team’s achievements.

MAKE AN EVENING OF IT

Alternatively, they have also created the following short courses that could form part of your day or a ‘cook-your-own’ informal and interactive evening meal:

Burger Experience | Bread Making | Sushi Making | Pasta Making | Classic Cake Making

There is also the opportunity to have a guided tour of their kitchen garden, pick-your-own Pimm’s or to finish the day or evening with a wine tasting or cocktail making class… perhaps using your corporate colours?

A few options to consider:

TEAM BUILDING INTERACTIVE DINNER

Delegates will make their own burgers under the guidance of our cookery school chef and enjoy the fruits of their labour in the relaxing space of the well house dining area.

This can be tailored to a variety of other interactive experiences to suit your group.

TEAM BUILDING SHORT COURSES

The following short courses are available to form part of your meeting or event in just 4 hours:
Bread Making
Sushi Making
Pasta Making
Classic Cake Making

BELMOND LE MANOIR AUX QUAT’SAISONS

Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is renowned for offering one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences.
Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is also one of the country’s most cherished manor house hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites.

The hotel received two Michelin stars in 1984, the first year of its opening, and, remarkably, has held them ever since.

Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, the luxury hotel enjoys an idyllic, typically English setting. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen—and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School—with ultra-fresh, organic produce, ensuring the Michelin-star restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence.

AMENITIES

Gardens
From the mushroom valley and orchards to the serene English water garden, a stroll through the verdant scenery will be one of many highlights to your stay.

You can also enjoy a fascinating insight into the unique flora of the hotel’s grounds with daily tours.

AT A GLANCE

  • ACCOMMODATION 32 rooms and suites
  • DINING Celebrated two Michelin-star restaurant by Raymond Blanc OBE
  • FEATURES Resplendent grounds with organic kitchen garden, Japanese garden and orchard
  • ACTIVITIES Raymond Blanc Cookery School and garden tours
  • EVENTS Private dining for up to 50 guests
  • LOCATION 8 miles from Oxford, 32 miles from London Heathrow Airport

THE RAYMOND BLANC COOKERY SCHOOL

Embrace your passion for food and learn to create phenomenal cuisine in a fun, relaxed setting.

Courses are suitable for all experience levels. From half-day introductions to residential programmes, dinner party master classes to children’s courses, there’s something for everyone. Many courses focus on recipes important to Raymond Blanc, showcasing dishes that inspired him to become the Michelin-starred chef he is today.

In addition to the hands-on learning experience, students benefit from a luxurious break in the enchanting surroundings of the hotel.

Enjoy a delicious informal lunch in the school and the chance to make new, like-minded friends.

Tuition by our expert chefs is led by Cookery School Director Mark Peregrine, who brings over 30 years’ experience to the role.

WINE & DINE PACKAGE

Treat friends, family or colleagues to a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience.

Venture into the manor’s hidden cellars where you’ll enjoy a tasting of wines from Raymond Blanc’s extensive travels. Then, champagne and canapés welcome you to The Raymond Blanc Cookery School for an expert demonstration. Finally, enjoy an exquisite four-course dinner with accompanying wines, coffee and petits fours.

 

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss our next team building event or activity and our team of event specialists look forward to being of service !

Warmest regards from all the Inspirational Venues & Events Team!

Posted July 2017

New Restaurants We Love – with private dining rooms…

New Restaurants We Love - with private dining rooms...

It seems 2017 is proving to be the year of choice for hoteliers to launch new properties and the city of choice is our very own London town!

There is a real buzz in the events and hospitality world and for us, as event organisers and venue finding specialists, it’s a hugely exciting time. It provides us with new products to sell and experience right on our doorstep but most importantly a new hotel entering the market provides our clients with that something new and exciting which will draw attendees and guests, engage existing audiences and create new fans.

In this segment we’ve highlighted just three of the newest restaurants that have entered the London market with nothing but stellar reviews.

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss any event requirements or venue enquiries and our eager team of event specialists await your call

The Ivy City Garden

Located in the historic Bishopsgate Gardens – one of the City’s few garden squares – and next-door to the famous St. Botolph church, The Ivy City Garden brings the familiar luxury of The Ivy, West Street to the City of London.

The Ivy Collection’s first site in the City of London features an all-day-dining menu, private dining room, and hidden garden offering a tranquil al fresco escape from the hustle and bustle of the Square Mile. The restaurant boasts a summer water fountain, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows opening onto a hidden garden with its own bar. The Ivy City Garden’s outdoor space has a retractable roof, allowing diners to enjoy the garden all year-round.

Private Dining – The Garden Room

The Garden Room at The Ivy City Garden seats 24 guests on one long table, or 32 over four round tables of eight, and is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for drink and canapés receptions for up to 50 guests.

Situated on the first floor of the restaurant, The Garden Room private dining room has a lovely view of the historic Bishopsgate Gardens and St. Botolph Church, providing the perfect solace away from the bustling City of London.

The walls of The Garden Room are adorned with blue woven fabric panelling and decorative antique mirrors inset into pale blue painted panels. Large star-shaped brass and antique mirror ceiling lights create a dramatic feature.

With a selection of menus available, specially created by Executive Chef, Sean Burbidge, The Garden Room is equally suited to corporate breakfasts, lunches and dinners as it is for private parties.

In addition, The Garden Room will feature a beautiful silk clad and pale orange onyx bar, decorated with antique brass rod detailing, making the room suitable for both seated dining and standing receptions.

Ideally located 2 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street Station, in Dashwood House, The Ivy City Garden’s private dining room provides the perfect setting for entertaining clients, friends and family. Complimentary menu cards and place cards are provided for each event and each table is decorated with seasonal flowers and tea lights.

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M Threadneedle Street

The multifaceted venue M Threadneedle St, houses our award-winning M Grill restaurant, a private members lounge, destination cocktail bar, wine tasting room, a secret den and four private dining and events spaces.

M is incredibly flexible for functions, private dining and exclusive events. With playful, yet luxurious decor, the six private dining rooms and event spaces are a happy union of energy and fun, with an undertone of gravitas and sophistication. Our dedicated Sales and Events Manager, is on hand to create bespoke experiences for parties of 10 – 600 guests, (including master classes and tastings), which will take you on a journey around both the venue and the flavours of six continents!

SPACE CAPACITY

The Locker Room – Functions for up to 18 guests

M BAR – Functions for up to 150 guests

M DEN – Functions for up to 100 guests

M GRILL Private Dining Room – Dining for up to 26 guests

Underground Station – Dining for 10 – 36 guests /Functions for 30 – 60 guests

The Hudson Room – Dining for 6 – 10 guests

The Wagyu Room – Dining for 10 – 24 guests /Functions for 15 – 35 guests

Conferencing – 10 – 100 guests

Exclusive Hires – 100 – 500 guests

 

mei-ume-logo-jpeg

MEI UME

Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square welcomes London’s most exciting new Asian dining venue, introducing a menu of authentic dishes from China and Japan with a modern approach.

Vibrant and fast-paced, the restaurant will include bar, lounge and table seating, as well as a Private Dining Room for up to 14.

Following the successful launch of Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square earlier this year, the Hotel is now set to open the doors to Mei Ume, a Japanese and Chinese restaurant designed to complement and diversify the Hotel’s existing food and beverage offering.

Demonstrating the part both cuisines play in the concept of the restaurant, the name Mei Ume is inspired by the Chinese and Japanese terms for plum blossom. Head Chef Tony Truong, formerly of Royal China, will lead the kitchen team, supported by Sushi Chef Mun Seok Choi from Sake no Hana and Dim Sum Chef Derrick Chen from Yauatcha.

The Mei Ume menu incorporates authentic dishes from both China and Japan with a modern approach. Head Chef Tony’s creative small plates, such as crispy baby squid with salted eggs, will be complemented by a selection of delicate steamed, baked and fried dim sum. Larger plates include stir-fried Dover sole with cloud ear mushroom and celery, and braised pork belly with crab. Served according to tradition across two courses, the Mei Ume whole Peking duck will be one of the restaurant’s standout dishes, served first with pancakes, leeks and cucumber, followed by crispy duck with salt and pepper.

Should you have any requirements for private dining please feel free to get in touch or visit our Private Dining Reservations website for some inspiration! 

We look forward to being of service! Warmest regards from all the Inspirational Venues & Events Team!

Posted July 2017

3 Of The Best – London’s Newest Hotel Openings

3 of the Best - London's Newest Hotel Openings

It seems 2017 is proving to be the year of choice for hoteliers to launch new properties and the city of choice is our very own London town!

There is a real buzz in the events and hospitality world and for us, as event organisers and venue finding specialists, it’s a hugely exciting time. It provides us with new products to sell and experience right on our doorstep but most importantly a new hotel entering the market provides our clients with that something new and exciting which will draw attendees and guests, engage existing audiences and create new fans.

So we’ve done the hard hat tours, we’ve seen the artist impressions, the mood boards and mock up rooms, we’ve had all the media hype, read fact sheets and press releases over the past year and for the past few months its been “stop telling us you’re funny, just make us laugh!” in a metaphorical sense of course.

And boy have we been laughing. Laughing with delight at what the outcome has been. So I thought it would be great to highlight just three stand out newcomers to the London market as they wouldn’t immediately strike you as natural hoteliers but more members club owners and restaurateurs.

In order of appearance…

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss any event requirements or venue enquiries and our eager team of event specialists await your call

The NED

1. The NED

Well what can be said about the NED without taking up the most part of ones morning. The collaboration of two premier hospitality legends (Soho Group & Sydell Group) delivers something very special that the City has been desperately needing for many years. A place with character and a bit of soul. A place to meet, dine, socialise, network, celebrate and stay. With over 6 excellent F&B outlets within one large space all pulled tactfully together by a central entertainment stage the venue has been a resounding success from day one.

You just need to walk in the doors, at any time during the day, to feel the real pulse of the city within it’s vibrant atmosphere. With an extensive members club (all hotel guests receive an all inclusive membership during their stay) there is more to this special establishment than initially meets the eye. You wouldn’t easily believe there are over 250 guest bedrooms together with a dedicated and tasteful meeting & conference floor. As a founder member, I have been along for the whole journey and after some initial teething issues I think they have certainly hit their stride. I sometimes feel it’s hard to leave the warm embrace of the NED and I’m sure you and your guests / delegates will feel the same!

Meetings & Events

Located in the heart of the City of London, each one of the meeting spaces boasts period features including walnut panelling and vintage chandeliers, as well as ample domed windows to allow for plenty of natural light. Rooms range in size from 21 square metres to 165 square metres, and can accommodate between 4 and 200 people. Food and drinks menus – ranging from cocktails and snacks to four-course dinners

The Ned has six Grade I-listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces available to hire on the historic and fully-restored sixth floor

Some Facts:

IN AN ICONIC BUILDING designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, The Ned has 252 bedrooms, nine restaurants, rooftop and indoor swimming pools, a gym, spa and hamam.

  • Ned’s Club offers members-only access to 2,401 sq metres of unique spaces

Meeting & Event spaces:

1: The Tapestry Room – A historic meeting place THE TAPESTRY THAT WRAPS all four walls of the room was the largest ever produced in England when it was created in the 1920s. Its walnut panelling and chandeliers are also original.
2: The Saloon – 18th-century opulence DOMINATED BY AN 18TH CENTURY CHANDELIER from London’s Devonshire House, The Saloon has ornate plasterwork, a restored parquet floor and a custom-made Oushak rug.
3: The Drawing Room – Cultured, with artistic flourishes CONNECTED TO THE SALOON, The Drawing Room has the feel of a library, with painted, panelled walls, etchings, lithographs and paintings from the period.
4: The RWB room – Oak-lined and snug THE ONLY ROOM LINED with oak rather than walnut panelling, The RWB Room, named after our owner, Ronald Wayne Burkle, is an intimate space with period art on the walls.
5: The Wren Room – NAMED AFTER SIR CHRISTOPHER Wren, who designed St Mildred’s Church, a previous occupant of the 27 Poultry site, this room has original chandeliers, wood panelling and a carpet inspired by large-leaf Verdure tapestries.
6: The Rose Room – NAMED AFTER THE ROSE TAVERN, which occupied the site before it was destroyed by the Great Fire, The Rose Room has original chandeliers, half-height panelling and a bespoke carpet.
 
Bedrooms –Brass and mahogany furniture, chandeliers and richly patterned furnishings decorate The Ned’s 252 bedrooms.
EACH ROOM CHANNELS 1920s and 1930s design, with vintage pieces, hand-knotted Afghan rugs and rain forest showers.
 
Enjoy temporary membership to Ned’s Club whilst in residence. Up on the roof and down in the basement, Ned’s Club offers a range of rooms and facilities for members.

The Curtain – Shoreditch

We walked in and instantly fell in love with the venue as it encapsulates everything that is “Shoreditch”. The hipster culture has been embraced and combined with real “NYC Soho” flair. From the in-house, extremely talented, art curator to the confident, personable and talented staff the Curtain delivers on every aspect of service within an aesthetic playground that delights all senses.

A hotel, restaurant, live music venue and members club The Curtain sits at the heart of Shoreditch, London’s most creative district. Centred around 120 guest rooms, including six suites, there is a rooftop pool and lounge, 24-hour gym, treatment rooms, co-working space and 6,000 square feet of event space, with a ballroom, screening room and more. The Curtain is a new landmark in a district bursting with personality.

Meetings & Events:

Whether it’s a grand dinner party, a board meeting or a product launch, The Curtain is bringing the ballroom back, reinvented with state-of-the-art tech for the modern age. Smaller groups can choose from equally stylish spaces: the clubby Screening Room or the decadent Suites and Loft Terraces, with views across the city.

The Ballroom:

With space for 200 seated and 350 standing, the latest tech, bespoke menus, flexible spaces and a dedicated planning team, there’s no detail too small

Screening Room:

Intimate and perfectly formed, the 42-seat lounge space has its own cocktail bar and is ideal for film screenings, gregarious gatherings and creative meetings.

Some Facts:
The Curtain Hotel and Members Club The Curtain Hotel features 120 guest rooms, including six suites, rooftop swimming pool and lounge, spa, 24-hour fitness centre, and more than 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space including ballroom and screening room. The Curtain Members will have access to all hotel areas as well as additional restaurant and bar spaces.

Red Rooster Shoreditch

Acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson brings his celebrated Harlem restaurant to Shoreditch. Red Rooster celebrates the roots of American cuisine; true southern soul food, the diverse culinary traditions of its original neighbourhood, along with Marcus’s Northern European upbringing. Samuelsson’s team will offer Red Rooster’s menu throughout the restaurant and bar and will consult on the food offering in The Curtain Members Club spaces.

Nobu, Shoreditch

(Has just opened so I’m yet to revisit the final product in person but the feedback has been brilliant so far!)

Instinctive and informal, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch delivers a captivating and unique escape with the perfect balance of luxury, fun, craft and theatre. Offering 150 thoughtfully designed guestrooms and suites and unveiling London’s newest Nobu Restaurant, the design blends the raw creative energy of East London with the understated luxury of Nobu.

The hotel’s architecture utilizes innovative printed, layered glass, the highly reflective façade balances privacy and exposure, and interacts with its surroundings through the interplay of colour, reflection and light.

Meetings & Events:

The spacious venues at Nobu Hotel Shoreditch are well-suited for business and corporate meetings of all sizes. Flexible rooms with natural light welcome meetings and receptions.  Our catering menus feature Japanese-fusion items inspired by Nobu to make the most of your time together.  Whether it is a large conference, or more of an intimate business meeting, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch provides all the equipment for your needs.

Located on the ground floor, the adaptable Kaijo event space boasts an abundance of natural daylight with private access via the hotel’s restaurant entrance. The versatility of Kaijo allows this room to be used as one large space accommodating 200 people for a cocktail reception or to be divided into six separate spaces for more intimate events.

There are a few other “new” hotels that have opened this year that are certainly worth a mentioned, namely the Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square and The Montcalm Royal London House on Finsbury Square, details can be found in a previous post here 

Should you have any questions, would like to arrange a viewing or are looking for an amazing venue for your next event please feel free to get in touch.

We look forward to being of service! Warmest regards from all the Inspirational Venues & Events Team!

Posted June 2017, by Graham Upton, Director

Inspirational Venues & The New Venues We Love for 2016 & 2017

Welcome to the mid year edition of the Inspirational Venues – “New Venues We Love” blog. After a lovely long summer break it’s a particularly busy period for the corporate events industry, for example London will welcome over 22,000 professional delegates for a single conference in early September alone. With so much going on, it should come as no surprise that there is a plethora of new venue and hotel openings scheduled for the London market over the next 18 months.

Being a London based Venue Finding Agency this gives us great confidence in the market as well as provides us with amazing new venues to shout about. Because sourcing and booking  venues is our business we’ve researched the market and are excited to introduce the new venues we think you aught to be aware of. Over the next two months we are arranging site visits (some may be hard hat tours) and please do let us know if you would be interested in viewing any of these venues.

Please feel free to get in touch to further discuss your requirements and our eager team of venue experts await your call.

Don’t forget…there’s only 15 more weeks until Christmas and we’d love to assist you find the perfect venue for this years event!

NEW HOTELS FOR THE LONDON MARKET

Nobu, Shoreditch

Nobu Hospitality will open the 150 room hotel at 10-50 Willow Street in the Shoreditch area of London with food and beverage menus to be developed by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa specifically and uniquely for the hotel. As with all Nobu properties, the design will reflect both the city of origin, as well as Nobu Hospitality’s signature east-meets-west philosophy.  The overall interior design is a creative collaboration between Ben Adams Architects, Studio Mica and Studio PCH. Additionally, the hotel will feature banqueting and meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and modern amenities combined with superior service.

 Arriving Early 2017

The Curtain Hotel and Members Club The Curtain Hotel will feature 120 guest rooms, including six suites, rooftop swimming pool and lounge, spa, 24-hour fitness centre, and more than 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space including ballroom and screening room. The Curtain Members will have access to all hotel areas as well as additional restaurant and bar spaces.

Red Rooster Shoreditch

Acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson brings his celebrated Harlem restaurant to Shoreditch. Red Rooster celebrates the roots of American cuisine; true southern soul food, the diverse culinary traditions of its original neighbourhood, along with Marcus’s Northern European upbringing. Samuelsson’s team will offer Red Rooster’s menu throughout the restaurant and bar and will consult on the food offering in The Curtain Members Club spaces.

A hotel, club and restaurants in the City of London

IN AN ICONIC BUILDING designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, The Ned has 252 bedrooms, nine restaurants, rooftop and indoor swimming pools, a gym, spa and hamam.

  • Ned’s Club offers members-only access to 2,401 sq metres of unique spaces
  • The Ned will open early 2017

Groups & Events – A variety of grand, historic spaces in the heart of the city of London

THE NED’S SIX PRIVATE hire rooms and two terraces are among the building’s most elegant spaces – all benefit from natural light and have a dedicated reception area.
 
1: The Tapestry Room – A historic meeting place THE TAPESTRY THAT WRAPS all four walls of the room was the largest ever produced in England when it was created in the 1920s. Its walnut panelling and chandeliers are also original.
2: The Saloon – 18th-century opulence DOMINATED BY AN 18TH CENTURY CHANDELIER from London’s Devonshire House, The Saloon has ornate plasterwork, a restored parquet floor and a custom-made Oushak rug.
3: The Drawing Room – Cultured, with artistic flourishes CONNECTED TO THE SALOON, The Drawing Room has the feel of a library, with painted, panelled walls, etchings, lithographs and paintings from the period.
4: The RWB room – Oak-lined and snug THE ONLY ROOM LINED with oak rather than walnut panelling, The RWB Room, named after our owner, Ronald Wayne Burkle, is an intimate space with period art on the walls.
5: The Wren Room – NAMED AFTER SIR CHRISTOPHER Wren, who designed St Mildred’s Church, a previous occupant of the 27 Poultry site, this room has original chandeliers, wood panelling and a carpet inspired by large-leaf Verdure tapestries.
6: The Rose Room – NAMED AFTER THE ROSE TAVERN, which occupied the site before it was destroyed by the Great Fire, The Rose Room has original chandeliers, half-height panelling and a bespoke carpet.
 
Bedrooms –Brass and mahogany furniture, chandeliers and richly patterned furnishings decorate The Ned’s 252 bedrooms.
EACH ROOM CHANNELS 1920s and 1930s design, with vintage pieces, hand-knotted Afghan rugs and rain forest showers.
 
Enjoy temporary membership to Ned’s Club whilst in residence. Up on the roof and down in the basement, Ned’s Club offers a range of rooms and facilities for members.

MontcalmWhere corporate London meets creative London, there’s innovation in the air. To the south, St Pauls, the Thames and the corporate strongholds of the City. To the north, the creative and digital pioneers of Shoreditch and Tech City. At the heart of it all, Londons newest luxury hotel – a unique new destination for workers, weekenders and urban explorers to experience an area alive with possibility. As autumn arrives, they’ll be putting the finishing touches to 256 beautifully designed bedrooms, some looking out over the lawns of Finsbury Square. Subtle mid-century styling meets twenty-first century tech throughout, from the alluring lobby to the striking new rooftop bar, revealing a fresh perspective of the city. With a spa, gym, destination restaurant and cutting edge meeting spaces too, giving The Montcalm Royal London House an exciting new future.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LONDON AT TEN TRINITY SQUARE IS SET TO OPEN LATE 2016. Midway between the West End and the East End, and just a short walk to the City of London, Four Seasons is ideal for business or leisure. This intimate five-star luxury London hotel features just 100 accommodations, including 10 signature suites – some with ornate original plasterwork and soaring ceilings. Two destination restaurants – Asian and French – are enhanced by a vibrant bar and lounge in The Rotunda. For relaxation, there’s the City’s most lavish spa sanctuary. Every experience is unified by thoughtful, intelligent Four Seasons service.

SERVICES & AMENITIES

  • Three London restaurants, including French, Asian and The Rotunda bar and lounge
  • 24-hour In-Room Dining
  • Luxurious London spa
  • State-of-the-art fitness centre
  • Finishing Touches nail salon
  • Two ballrooms and three function rooms for elegant events
  • Indoor pool and vitality pool
  • Complimentary standard Wi-Fi

Hard Rock Hotel London to open in summer of 2018

Hard Rock International and GLH Hotels have announced plans for a Hard Rock Hotel in London and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018 on the site of the Cumberland Hotel at the crossroads of Oxford Street and Park Lane. The Cumberland Hotel was a regular haunt of Jimi Hendrix and is a short walk from the city’s Hard Rock Cafe. Hamish Dodds, Chief Executive Officer at Hard Rock International, says: “From our foundation in 1971 with the opening of the first Hard Rock Cafe in London to the many days and nights spent at the legendary Hard Rock Calling festival in Hyde Park, London has always been a special city as the birthplace of our brand. “We look forward to completing the circle and establishing the Hard Rock Hotel in London, a legendary musical city that brought the greatest styles of rock to the world stage.” The music-inspired, 900-room hotel will feature displays and a memorabilia vault housing some of the brand’s more than 80,000 historical pieces. Hard Rock Hotel London will also feature a lobby lounge offering live music, an on-site Hard Rock Cafe a Rock Shop and a speakeasy bar. Hard Rock International currently has 23 hotels and 11 casinos around the world.