I am fortunate enough to live just a stone’s throw away from Foxhills so when we put our FAM trip together I was pretty proud to be able to show off this gorgeous 400-acre estate that I have become very attached to. Our group of seven Event Managers all took the train from London Waterloo to Woking which is only 25 minutes then a short 10-minute taxi ride to the property.
Foxhills is a family owned property, Managing Director Marc Hayton and his family have owned the property for almost 35 years and last Friday, our group of seven event managers started our FAM trip with a few glasses of bubbly and a chat with Marc. Marc’s passion for Foxhills is evident and it set the tone for what was such a lovely evening showcasing all that Foxhills has to offer.
After bubbles and catching up with the group, it was off to see all of the meeting and events spaces with Gillian Hackett (Sales Manager). Foxhills has 70 bedrooms and suites from standard rooms to deluxe suites. The rooms are all stunning with very comfy beds, huge bathrooms and very importantly lots and lots of plug sockets. The rooms feature a very well stocked mini bar, workspace for your delegates (and you) and have a lovely comfy vibe.
In terms of meeting and events spaces, Foxhills has some pretty impressive rates. DDR packages start from £90 per person including room hire and VAT, with 24-hour rates from £280 per person including VAT which is great. There is a range of events spaces with the largest being The Clubhouse. The Clubhouse fits up to 150 theatre style and can host up to 200 for a drinks reception. This would make the perfect room for a gala dinner at your away day or retreat as it sits separately to the rest of the property yet is only a short 1 minute walk away from the main house. Foxhills has a further eight meeting spaces with the smallest one to fit up to eight boardroom style. There really is a space to suit all requirements and you can find further details here.
After our site visit we had a few hours of free time to try out the spa and gym (spa obviously) or any one of the many options at Foxhills including tennis, golf or even just exploring the grounds. The spa at Foxhills is something else, named UK residential spa of the year in 2015, the facilities are fabulous and would make an excellent option for your delegates whilst they have some downtime. Golf is obviously always a win and the three courses mean golf would work very well as an activity option for your event.
Up next for our group was dinner in one of their fabulous private dining rooms where we were lucky enough to have the tasting menu. The Manor Restaurant is Foxhills’ fine dining restaurant and holds two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence. It really is one of Surrey’s finest restaurants. Six courses later which included Loin, Shoulder, Sweet Breads, Haricot Blanc, Goat’s Cur and Cherries, Pistachio, Rye Crisp as two of the six courses which were amazing. The stunning food with some fabulous wine made for a really lovely evening with the group.
We have such a lovely time on our FAM trips at Eventprofslive. We are so grateful to our members for giving up their Friday nights/Saturday mornings and of course our fabulous hotels and venues that host us.
For more information on Foxhills, you can contact Gillian. A huge thank you for hosting us, we can’t wait to come back!
I have a wonderful invite to a FAM trip to nice in November from a Friday so just one day out of the office.
Do get in touch for further information along with exact dates/times. All flights, accomodation and meals will be covered.
You will be seeing two fabulous properties in Nice and Monaco.
You must book international events in these locations.
Michelle & Kate
I keep accidently loading the Goodwood website rather than Google in my browser because I literally must have looked at the site hundreds of times before our FAM trip and to be honest, writing this blog was super hard. There is literally so much to do and see that I have struggled to keep it to a respectable word limit.
When you hear the word Goodwood, you think of the revival, you think of the racetrack, the racecourse and our stunning English countryside. When our members attended our FAM trip on 1 September, they now hear the word Goodwood and think of so much more…
Goodwood is situated near Chichester and Haslemere stations. Haslemere is just 50 minutes from London and then a short taxi ride to the estate from the station. The estate itself dates back to 1570 however it was the first Duke of Richmond whom originally rented Goodwood as he was quite partial to fox hunting which began the long family history of Goodwood Estate. After his initial rental, The Duke bought himself the house in 1697 where it has been passed down to generations ever since. The Earl of March, the 10th Duke of Richmond’s son is whom we have to thank for the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival Meeting and who currently lives in this stunning estate! There is literally so much history here, every which way you turn you are exposed to it. It is fascinating.
Our FAM commenced by checking into our rooms. Our group all stayed in Goodwood Hotel which has 91 beautifully presented bedrooms, a health club and a spa. The hotel is broken down in four categories. Suites, Character Rooms, Garden Rooms and Signature Rooms and we obviously all had to check each other’s out and they were gorgeous. After we had checked-in, we were off to Goodwood House for afternoon tea which was amazing and would certainly suite a group size of around 20. Afternoon tea has a long tradition at Goodwood Estate and it was pretty special. Those macarons where amazing!
Next up after afternoon tea we went to try our hand at clay pigeon shooting which was so much fun. Over the years I have had a few goes here and there but doing it at Goodwood is something different. The team of instructors are so patient and lovely with a lot of experience of the estate. Talking to them was almost as fun as the actual shooting.
Next up on our agenda was our all-important site visit to see all the event spaces and at Goodwood, you certainly have a variety of spaces in either Goodwood Hotel, The Kennels or in Goodwood House. The spaces would accommodate everything from a special dinner party to an offsite away day and everything in between. There are a variety of breakouts in each of the three main spaces. You can read about all the spaces here.
After seeing all the spaces it was off for a private dinner in The Kennels. Arriving by our very own red Routemaster bus (which is available for your events), we had a tour of The Kennels before champagne in the library. The Kennels is Goodwood’s central clubhouse for all of the Estate’s sporting members however you can take a space exclusively for your event. The private dining room was lovely and the food superb. The staff were ever so fabulous in their service and the group had such a lovely evening. After our dinner it was back onto our bus and to the bar where we finished our evening.
Next morning it was a wonderful breakfast in the hotel followed by a surprise. Our group was lucky enough to try their hand at a few of the activities that Goodwood has on offer. Off we went to the aerodrome for a private flying lesson which I still can’t believe we had the privilege of experiencing. Two of us went up in our own plane where one of us was able to take the controls and actually fly. The views up there were stunning and the instructors so helpful. This would make an amazing idea for your team building activities. You can also incorporate grapefruit bombing from the planes onto targets! After the flying we were off to the world famous race track to do a lap.
The racecourse is also a wonderful idea for your team building activity. Starting from only £99, you can try your hand at power slides, handbrakes and J-turns (whatever they are?!). You can find more information on the flying and track here. As well as flying and track experiences, Goodwood also has two championship golf courses! Seriously, there is so much you can do that would suit everyone in your group.
After our lunch it was off to one of my favourite restaurants, Farmer, Butcher, Chef on the estate. The menu consists of local produce from one of the only self-sustaining organic farms in Europe. The food was wonderful and we dined in the private section of the restaurant which would accommodate a group up to 50. You can imagine though by this point we had sampled afternoon tea, canapes, a private dinner and a huge breakfast so by the time we got to lunch we were struggling!
We had such an amazing time at our FAM trip at Goodwood Estate. The versatility of all the different spaces for meetings and events combined with so many different options for activities would make for an amazing away day, retreat, conference where with up to 100 guests (using the Hound Lodge) you could take it over exclusively. Thank you so much to Goodwood for hosting our group. For further information please contact them here and tell them Eventprofslive sent you!
Our August FAM was held at Stoke Park with 12 of our members. Everyone knows Stoke Park for their golf course and that famous scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary where Daniel Clever recites poetry to Bridget in the lake before he falls in! What many people aren’t aware of though is that there are 49 exquisite bedrooms and some of the most stunning grounds to which Stoke Park calls its home.
Stoke Park was founded in 1908 and is steeped in rich heritage. The Sunday Express said “it is a perfect exercise in Country House Splendour” and it really is. The properties 49 luxury bedrooms and suites are a mix of modern and traditional and our group stayed in rooms split between both the mansion house (traditional) and the pavilion (more modern) parts of the hotel which are just a short walk between.
We started our FAM with buggy tours around the glorious golf course learning about the 27 hole course, the grounds and how corporate golf days would run which was great for those members of our group who look after the corporate hospitality for their firms. After the tour of the golf facilities, it was on to the meeting and event spaces. Stoke Park offers 9 meeting rooms ranging from The Ballroom which can accommodate up to 72 for dinner down to the chapel which you could use for a small, intimate round table. You can find all the meeting room capacities here.
After our tour, we had time to change before dinner and a few glasses of champagne where we chatted and got to know one of our new members. Next up was dinner in Humphry’s which is Stoke Parks’ 3 AA Rosette restaurants which is fabulous. The food was stunning and we were all delighted when Head Chef Chris Wheeler popped out to say hello.
We had such a lovely time at Stoke Park the following day using the spa facilities and having a long luxurious breakfast in the mansion house.
Stoke Park is a fabulous choice for an away day or retreat for a small group. The activity options are endless for your team building on the stunning grounds, the food is wonderful and the meeting spaces all work very well.
For further information, you can contact Stoke Park here.
Thanks so much to Stoke Park for hosting Eventprofslive; we can't wait to come back!
Invite a group of lovely ladies to afternoon tea on a Friday at The Landmark and watch how fast the acceptances come in.... Our event was at capacity within an hour!
Last Friday we were lucky enough to be hosted by the gorgeous Landmark Hotel for a site visit of all their meeting and event spaces, their bedrooms and afternoon tea to finish it off. What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon.
I love The Landmark, i love all of its history. Did you know that the hotel opened with 700 bedrooms in 1899 and was originally called The Great Central Hotel or that is was the last of the great Victorian railway hotels constructed during ‘the golden age of steam’? No? We didn't either. I also didn't know that during World War 1 and World War 2 it was requisitioned by the Government for convalescing officers and soldiers on leave and for almost 40 years of its history it was used as office space for the headquarters of The British Railways Board. I find its history fascinating and our group learnt all about the hotel in the first part of our site visit. We held an interactive quiz as a way of learning all about the hotel and it was great fun.
After our quiz we moved on to the site visit of the bedrooms and meeting and event spaces. The Landmark has 14 event spaces with the majority having floor to ceiling windows and that all important natural daylight. The largest space, The Grand Ballroom, can fit up to 750 and it is just gorgeous. My favourite space though has to be The Tower Suite which fits up to 60 for a drinks reception or 40 boardroom. The view from the Suite is stunning and the design and flow of the room just works so well.
After our site visit it was off to afternoon tea in the WInter Garden which was exceptional. We started with a (a few whoops) glasses of champagne and started our tea with sandwiches before moving on to scones then the all important cakes. Every minute dietary requirement was catered for and the food was so lovely. We all loved it as did our families when we got home as The Landmark gave us each a takeaway of what we couldn't finish.
I really loved our event at The Landmark. Our group was wonderful and we all enjoyed our tea with Raffaella (Landmark) and Mickael (Leading Hotels) whom hosted us.
If you would like further information on any of the meeting and event spaces a The Landmark you can contact Raffaella here.
Last Thursday we hosted a fabulous group of event managers at the Ritz. The date of our event coincidently fell on the second birthday for Eventprofslive (can you believe it two years?) and so it was quite the event with 20 of our corporate event mangers including the lovely Karis and Hatty whom have been with us since day one (thanks ladies).
Our event started at 6.30 pm and every single person was early (even me) which meant a little time to catch-up on all the gossip (both events and otherwise). I am so proud of our group, we are all avid users on social media and all follow each other so we always know what everyone has been up to. Our group is fast becoming a group of friends which is wonderful when you want to share events related information and ask the questions you may not feel comfortable asking your direct team.
Our event stared by being whisked off to see all of the stunning spaces in the Ritz. A few of our members had never been before so it was great to see them in awe. There are six stunning private meeting rooms, each one featuring spectacular period interiors but possess the latest av equipment. You can find a full description of all the rooms here.
After the site visit, we ended up in The William Kent private garden which is where we remained for the duration of the evening. The garden can fit up to 100 for a standing reception and would be a great idea for drinks before a private dinner (either in the Ritz or elsewhere) or, perhaps you could use it for pre-theatre drinks and canapes.
If you would like any further information on The Ritz, please contact Sarah here. If you would like more information on Eventprofslive either to become a member or, to host us. You can email us here.
A few months back, we at Eventprofslive held a poll to see what sorts of places our members would like to see more of and private dining spaces came up a lot. I would say I am asked to recommend private dining spaces almost daily in my role as well so, our June event was held in one of the private dining rooms at Cabotte, a French restaurant in the heart of the City. There were 16 of us that attended the event and pretty much all of us had walked past not realising there were some pretty fab private dining spaces inside!
Cabotte only opened late last year and was founded by two Master Sommeliers with extensive London restaurant experience. Having an event with its focus on great wine and French food is never going to be hard to sell is it!
On arrival, we had a few glasses of lovely wine and sampled their canapes while we were introduced to the venue by Sarah Kinsey who is the Events Manager at Cabotte. Sarah talked us through the various formats available within the private spaces and took us on a tour of the restaurant. On the first floor, there are two private dining rooms which both have their unique feel but are in keeping with the main restaurant downstairs. The Jeroboam Room (which is where we were for the evening) can accommodate up to 16 guests on one table, the space would also work well for a standing reception/wine tasting for between 30 – 40 people. The room has ample natural day light and over looks Gresham Street – not that you would know it as the sound proofing is very good. The second room, the Magnum Room, can accommodate up to 10 guests and has a great chef's view of the kitchen along with a Eurocave with a great wine selection! The venue is flexible and depending on the day of the week/month, they would be open to full exclusive hire of the restaurant or a section of the restaurant. As well as the private dining opportunities for events the restaurant also offers several wines tasting events so something worth checking out as we all get asked for venues for wine tastings constantly!
Once the tour was over it was time for dinner and it was delicious! Our main course was pan fried sea bream, sauce vierge & black olive tapenade and for those who had room after all the wine, canapes and the our main, we were served the biggest crème brulee ever! A fair few of us got through it which isn’t surprising – we tend to get side tracked with all the gossip (I mean events talk). We finished the evening off with more wine, teas/coffees and more conversation. We had a lovely evening catching up with our members over dinner at Cabotte…. great company, excellent conversations over stunning food and wine in a lovely setting!
If you would like any further information on Cabotte, you can contact Sarah here.
We have lots more events coming up for 2017, if you would like to attend you can Tweet us or email us here. Have a great summer eventprofsere to edit.
Our June FAM trip was held at the stunning South Lodge Hotel last Friday. South Lodge marks the third property from Exclusive that have hosted Eventprofslive for FAM trips and South Lodge sure did impress us.
We arrived on Friday for a 3.00 pm check-in with time to relax in our rooms before we had afternoon tea on their stunning grounds. Afternoon tea is a bit of tradition here and they certainly do it well. There were some pretty impressive teas on their list with everything from chocolate tea to white raspberry and peach. The cakes, scones and sandwiches weren’t bad either. My favourite were the scones! After a bit of events related chat we had a cake tasting competition with two of our members going head to head for the win. We had to have a sudden death round with a tie on the question “which restaurant has three Michelin stars” being the question that gave us the winner. The answer was The Fat Duck and our winner received a lovely gift from South Lodge.
After our afternoon tea we had a bit of time in our rooms before heading off to “The Pass” for an interactive canape session. The Pass is a three AA Rosette restaurant where Chef Ian Swainson serves up some pretty amazing culinary creations. This would be an amazing idea to have as part of your event for small groups and I think groups of up to 15 I think would work best. Chef talks you through, step by step, each of his dishes and lets you pass them around at the end. They really were stunning both visually and taste wise. I loved this part of our FAM trip and felt quite privileged to be part of it.
After our interactive canape session, we headed off to the wine cellar which was also very impressive. Whilst in the cellar you can be guided by their sommeliers or you can go it alone, sampling the different wines available. The cellar works by buying a card from reception with a monetary sum on it where you use it to try the different wines which cost different prices depending on the type and size of the glass. The 16 wines on offer are held in their state-of-the-art machine that ensures the wines are always maintained to their peak and served at the perfect temperature. I also spied some wonderful looking cheese boards as well and can’t wait to go back with the husband to give those a try. The cellar would work well for a small group for tastings or, to use it for tastings and dinner as there is a wonderful dining table that would accommodate up to 20.
Up next was the site visit of the stunning property which has 75 perfectly appointed suites and rooms with most having those spectacular views over the South Downs. The meeting spaces at South Lodge are unique in that they are all contained in the same area which makes it ever so easy for us Event Managers. The largest room will fit up to 170 with the smallest 16. All the meeting rooms have natural daylight which is wonderful. As a bonus and an exclusive energy stations to keep guests going throughout their day are wonderful.
After the wine tasting it was time for dinner where we had our own private room and had a lovely meal and a lot of chat. Drinks at the bar (for some until 3.00 am) to wrap up the day and then off to bed in our lovely rooms. Waking up to that amazing view over the grounds was truly special. South Lodge really is a stunning property and I would definitely recommend it for away days and retreats. Only 10 minutes from Horsham rail station and only 50 minutes from London Victoria, it is perfect.
We had such a wonderful time on our FAM trip and I can't wait to go back! if you need any further information on South Lodge or Eventprofslive, please contact us.
Last Friday we held our May FAM trip at Brooklands Hotel and Mercedes-Benz World and we had the best time. I will be honest, I have lived just a 5-minute drive from both for years and have never been and I am now wondering why. The Brooklands site is home to one of Britain’s most famous racing heritage circuits and was one of the world’s first race tracks that opened in 1907. It is pretty impressive when you see it.
Our group all checked-in to their fabulous rooms by 3.00 pm before meeting up for a few glasses of champagne and our site visit. Some of the group were smart enough to arrive a little earlier and try out the spa. The spa has some amazing offers on for both leisure and groups so well worth checking that out. Our site visit around all the spaces was a welcome surprise as I have to say, I did not expect to see the amount of meeting spaces Brooklands has and I am pretty sure the group didn't either… There are five suites in total with Brooklands being the largest. All of the meeting spaces have inbuilt av with complimentary Wi-Fi, LC projector and screen, plasmas, lapel and handheld microphones and the all-important thing that delegates simply can’t live without… NATURAL DAYLIGHT! Ha ha Every single meeting room had natural daylight which is amazing.
After our site visit, we sat down for dinner in the 1907 restaurant where we dined a la carte. The restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes and you can see why. I have been going on about the purple potato gnocchi I had for my starter all week. It was amazing and I want the recipe although there is no way I would be able to recreate it I am going to give it a good try.
After dinner, we moved off to the bar where the 1920’s decor meant we felt pretty glamorous sipping our cocktails. After a few drinks, a lot of non-related events chat we all went off to bed, ready for our early start and driving morning. We left the bar patrons to it - 1907 bar is fab and very buzzy. It was such a good atmosphere… It would be great for delegates after their own private dinner for those that want to carry on having a few drinks.
The next day it was up bright and early for breakfast (which was lovely, especially the sausages), before making the short 2-minute walk to Mercedes-Benz World. MBW is their purpose-built Under 17s driving facilities with handling circuits, wet skid circle, wet straight and 10-acre 0ff-road course. Hand on heart I had no idea what any of these were but now I do and oh my goodness was it fun. Our group started with a 15-minute briefing on safety procedures before we all had our own 20-minute driving experience I literally smiled the whole time. It was so much fun and I actually learnt a lot. This would be an amazing idea for a team building activity for your away days and retreats!
The staff are amazing and so well organised and I would definitely send a group back. I really loved it.
After the driving, it was off for a tour of the meeting and event spaces at MBW and there are a lot there as well. There are 12 separate event spaces and you can see their capacities here.
We all had such a good time and I was so pleased to have found another fab hotel for away days and conferences.
Our second ever EventProfsLive event was held at the Andaz Hotel nearly 2 years ago and a lot has changed....we've gone from 10 to over 150 members and as the Andaz has gone through their own changes since then, we decided it was about time we returned and return we did, and in style... We had a pamper evening in our own private suite!
If you have been living on Mars and aren't aware, The Andaz Hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of the City of London with 14 unique spaces for events.
On Friday, we said goodbye to the week and hello to the weekend with some champagne in the gorgeous lounge...the first thing you notice at this hotel is how helpful and friendly the staff are, within 2 minutes of arrival our bags and coats had been whisked away and replaced with a glass of bubbles! The hotel has moved away from the traditional "front desk" for check-in and replaced this with an interactive desk with helpful staff and iPads - so much more welcoming and modern and we love it!
After catching up with the fabulous Federica and Abigail from the Andaz and our lovely members, we moved onto a tour of the event spaces.
The hotel has 14 spaces to suit a range of events from small boardroom meetings, private dining spaces, large conferences for up to 250 people or standing drinks reception for up to 500 people. Federica and Abigail are amazing and full of unique ideas of how the spaces can be used. Of all the spaces, the highlights for us on the tour were the Temple, the Studio and 1901....
The Temple has to be one of the best event secrets ever (sssh keep it a secret!) it is a grade 1 listed Masonic temple that was built in 1912 and was hidden before World War II and not discovered until recently. The Temple really does have a wow factor and is perfect for dinners, drinks receptions, fashion shows, creative events and about a million other types of events...
The Studio is a complete modern contrast to the Temple, this space has a New York loft feel. It has a floor to ceiling walls of wine; (we would like to work our way through that!) A working kitchen adds an interactive element to your meeting, and the hotel can bring Chefs in from their various restaurants to add this interactive element from a sushi making lesson, cocktail making, bread making, interactive canapes etc. A lovely touch to the studio is a wall of photos of people that have inspired the hotel including their own Chef from Miyako the uber famous Japanese restaurant.
A recent change to the hotel is that 1901 is now an event space and it is gorgeous! Perfect for drinks receptions or a seated dinner. This space can hold up to 180 people and is worth checking out!
As well as the event spaces, the hotel has two restaurants, a wine lounge, champagne bar and a pub! All of these can be taken exclusively.
We love a bedroom so we also checked out one of the newly refurbished bedrooms. The hotel is currently working their way through refurbishing the bedrooms. The room we saw looked amazing with the most fabulous bathroom - we are suckers for a good bathroom! Technology was also a big factor in the room refurbishment, the TVs all have access to Netflix which we love.
After the tour, we moved onto our pamper evening - very much needed after everyone's busy week! Our pamper evening took place in a gorgeous suite, we were welcomed by a glass of champagne and was served delicious food throughout the evening. The food was amazing and such a variety of healthy and less healthy options - the perfect combo! The service from the staff was outstanding.
During the evening we were spoilt by a neck and shoulder massages and also all got our hair done. It really was such a special evening. We were pampered by Pamper Me (www.pamperme.co.uk), they are beauty therapists that deliver expert treatments at events, companies and at home. We highly recommend them! They can do all treatments from massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and hair styling. I have held a few ladies only corporate events and know that Pamper Me would be perfect - so lovely and so professional!
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm