Our November London event was held at the amazing The Ned. We fell in love with this venue and saw the full potential when we carried out our hard hat site visit in August 2016 - falling in love with a building site, a first for everything right!?!
For anyone that has not heard of The Ned, the hotel officially opened in April this year and is one of the newest 5 star properties in the heart of the City. As well as being a hotel and members' club, there are 9 restaurants, indoor & rooftop pools, a gym, spa and the all important 6 event spaces! The hotel is part of the Soho House family so you know you are in a safe pair of hands!
On a chilly November evening, we hosted 15 corporate event managers in the Princes Dome which is located in the members' club space. The Princes Dome is a perfect spot for an intimate drinks reception or dinner with amazing views of the City just outside the space. After all catching up over champagne it was off for a tour of the event spaces.
The hotel has 252 bedrooms which are all decorated to an amazing standard, you feel like you are stepping back in time to the glamorous 1920s era. We viewed a 2 bedroom suite which would work really well for press interviews, small boardroom meetings as well as a drinks reception. As well as the glamorous decor, the amenities are fantastic within the bedrooms - you would leave feeling just as glam as the venue after testing out all the Cowshed products that are in the bedrooms!
The event spaces are all located on the 6th floor providing lots of varied and unique options for events for up to 210. The Tapestry Room is the largest space and is truly breathtaking with a tapestry dating back to 1920 wrapped around the upper walls of the space. It is ever so versatile - we've been lucky enough to witness it set up in the past for so many events but we have to say the set up we saw on this evening was amazing - a winter wonderland Christmas theme!! Other spaces on this floor include the Saloon which can accommodate up to 110 people with natural daylight. We all know that in London it is really hard to find outdoor space - so look no further the Ned has two terraces within the event suite with fantastic views of the City including St Paul's. We could go on and on about the spaces… further information on the capacities/options etc can be found here.
On the ground floor, street level of the property lays the former Banking Hall which is also the hotel’s check-in and concierge desk which also houses 9 restaurants and bars - you could eat here every day and not have to eat in the same restaurant twice! There is always a great atmosphere within this space with live music in the evenings. We both really love Cecconi's a great spot for breakfast meetings or to unwind at the end of a long day with a yummy bowl of pasta and a glass of red (or two).
Other things on offer include beauty and grooming areas - they are currently making some exciting changes to these areas, we can't wait for them to be finalised. Ned Friends (those lucky people who have a membership) also get access to Ned's Club which includes an amazing terrace - you feel like you are in Spain! - with a heated rooftop pool, an exclusive restaurant on the terrace, access to the amazing original Vaults that now houses a fabulous bar along with access to the gym, spa and exclusive invites to events.
We finished off the evening back in the Princes Dome where we chatted further with delicious canapes, bowl food and desserts washed down with champagne and fantastic service from the catering and hosting teams - not bad at all for a Monday evening!
To explore holding an event at the Ned, reach out to Justin Loriquer.
If you would like to join in the fun and attend our events, please drop us an email with your full details.
We have run a lot of FAM trips these past few years and have seen some amazing hotels and venues. We have also had the privilege of taking part in some very unique team building activities. Some of things we’ve done and the elation I’ve felt experiencing them defy an explanation. A few Fridays ago was one of those experiences, it was so unique our group absolutely loved it.
Our FAM trip for November was spread out over two properties, Heathfield House and Chewton Glen, both in the New Forest and around an hour and a half (via train) from London’s Waterloo.
First up was Heathfield house, a 300-year-old property that has been renovated so lavishly with the most stunning period furniture. The estate can fit 4 – 36 guests and consists of Heathfied House, The Coach House and The Magnolia Cottage. Each of the three properties can be taken on their own or, the whole estate exclusively. We were lucky enough to stay in Heathfield House which has 12 bedrooms and is just a minute walk away from the other two properties. Our FAM started with champagne on arrival into the stunning sun filled dining room which could seat up to 20 for board or any meetings before being turned around to host a private breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had a scrumptious afternoon tea, produced by the house’s own private chef and then breakfast the following day – the food was amazing.
After our tea, it was off for a tour of the house and the 12 stunning, individually appointed bedrooms (each with their own bathroom) along with the basement games area, the cinema room and the communal living areas any one of which would provide a fabulous place to meet informally.
We would definitely recommend Heathfield House for a small board or group away day. Being able to have a group of 12 take the house exclusively with private meeting spaces, private chef and fabulous grounds for outdoor pursuits and activities would make it the perfect location for those confidential, high level board meetings. As well as corporate uses, the house is the most perfect location for private group gatherings for special occasions. A special birthday or family gathering where you would have everyone in the same house would be amazing. If you did have a larger group you could take both The Coach House (four bedrooms) and The Magnolia Cottage (two bedrooms). For further information on any of the houses for either private or personal use you can contact Rachel Spackman (Estates Manager) here and please tell her we sent you!
After our tea it was up to our rooms for some free time (where I am pretty sure everyone had a bubble bath to test out the stunning bathrooms) and then, it was dressed up and ready to head to Chewton Glen for a private dinner and tour of the hotel. A few of our group had never been to Chewton Glen before and they were pretty blown away. It is just stunning, every bedroom is different with its own individual design and all equally as beautiful. Even the lowest category room is big and the furnishings are gorgeous. Chetwon Glen is synonymous for style, glamour and sophistication and I know the group weren’t disappointed. In terms of meeting and event space, Chewton Glen has four main spaces; The Lake Suite, The Wardroom and The Library, The Club Room and Mission Meeting Rooms. With capacities from 8 to 200 you can read all about them here.
For our dinner, we had our own private dining room with the most amazing menu that was very hard to choose from. Paired with our sommeliers suggested wine, it really was a remarkable meal. The dining room would be perfect for a small group or for a private occasion. The service ever so attentive and the door means you still feel part of the main restaurant whilst being in your own private room.
After dinner we headed back to Heathfield House where a few of our members stayed up for one last drink but I was pretty keen to snuggle up in the amazing bed! We had an early breakfast call before heading back to Chewton Glen for a special surprise.
After our specially prepared breakfast back in the morning room, it was off to Chewton Glen and to The Kitchen for a half day cooking class which hand on heart, was outstanding. As a group we have experienced a few amazing cooking classes and I hand on heart have enjoyed every single one. The cooking classes in The Kitchen though are pretty amazing. We were lucky enough to do a half day Italian class which was wonderful. I learnt so much that even today I am still cooking using the skills I learnt and as a team building activity it works so well. The class runs for around 2 hours, all with your own work station but facing a team members so you get to practice each and every single dish but can still work as a team by comparing and chatting the whole way through.
This FAM was so good. To be able to see two properties was such a treat, both of which we would have no hesitation in using both professionally and personally. A big thank you to Heathfield House and to the fabulous Lisa at Chewton Glen for hosting us.
Our October FAM Trip was held at The Grand on Brighton’s iconic seafront. We wanted to keep this one small and intimate so just four of us set off last Friday which lucky for us, turned out to be a day basked in the most amazing sunshine. It really did feel like a summer’s day in late October.
Our group started with check-in at 3.00 pm into our stunning rooms, all seafront views and absolutely huge. A cheeky Brighton Gin and tonic was waiting for us alongside some fabulous chocolates and it set the tone for the rest of our FAM…indulgence!
First up on our site visit was a short walk across the road to the i360. The i360 is a 162-meter viewing tower which was built by the team that built and designed the London Eye. It is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and all I can say is wowsers. The views alongside the experience are just amazing and I know our group now have a lot of ideas on how they could produce some stunning events either on the tower or, in one of the many meeting spaces (all with natural daylight and a stunning view of the seafront). You can read about all the spaces here.
After a cheeky glass of Nye Timber sparkling wine on the i360 whilst we enjoyed some stunning views of the South Downs and of Brighton, we made the two minute walk across the road back to The Grand where an amazing afternoon tea was waiting for us in the Victoria Terrace where we got to know Kirsty (Corporate Account Manager) for The Grand and caught up on all things #eventprofs. Two of our members had just been to Japan and one just engaged so there was plenty to talk about.
Our site visit of the nine meeting and event spaces was fabulous as there were events being set up so we were fortunate enough to see The Empress Suite in all its glory in full set-up mode. The room is best suited for large-scale events which can fit up to 600 for a private dinner. It is huge and it’s sea-facing which a huge draw for any event. It certainly has that “wow” factor. The other eight meeting and events spaces range from accommodating 8 to 900 and you can see all the spaces here.
After a quick change, it was down for a mini cocktail master class with The Grands’ resident cocktail making guru! He was so fun and really made our night. Such a wonderful idea for a team building activity. We made some amazing cocktails which were very swiftly Instagrammed! Ha ha After cocktails it was off for dinner in GB1. GB1 is a 2 AA Rosette restaurant and offers (quite rightly) freshly caught seafood straight from Brighton’s shores. The food was amazing and the staff were outstanding. Our waitress was fabulous and if all of the staff at The Grand share her bubbly, professional personality then you would definitely be in great hands with your event.
After dinner, we were all quite well behaved for once and headed off to bed after dinner ready to get up early and hit the spa. I love a spa (don’t we all) and this one is gorgeous. The relaxation area is unlike anything I have seen and I added so many pictures of it to Pinterest for ideas for my dressing room (sorry hubs this is going to cost you). I had the signature gold champagne facial which was 55 minutes of bliss. If there was an option to hire out the spa exclusively as part of your event then your guests would talk about it for years to come. It really is stunning and the pictures I have do not do it justice. After the spa, it was, unfortunately, time to leave for me however a couple of our group decided to spend the day exploring Brighton which they loved.
This was a really great FAM that I know made us look at The Grand for the location for away days, retreats, conferences and events overall. The spaces are really so versatile and the location is perfect.
Contact Kirsty Gammer here for any further information.
We are now looking at FAMs for 2018 and are booking up fast. If you would like to attend as a corporate buyer, or host, please get in touch with us!
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm