We have been lucky enough to host two groups at Pennyhill Park for FAM trips in the past 12 months and every single member, every trip has fallen in love with it just as we have.
Pennyhill Park is situated in Bagshot, just a short 35 minute train journey from London. Synonymous for its amazing Spa and the England Training group being on its doorstep we corporate events managers in the know, know just how amazing a venue it is for corporate events as well.
Our FAM trip started with a 3.00 pm check-in and a short walk over to the spa for our very own spa workshop with a senior beautician. Headbands on and makeup stripped bear, we learnt the correct way to cleanse, tone and moisturise and had a great laugh whilst we did it. Up next was what everyone had been waiting for, an afternoon of total bliss in the award winning spa. Those that know me, know that I have pestered my husband repeatedly for membership to the spa at Pennyhill Park and I haven’t given up hope (hint hint hubs). It is just amazing, there are so many different treatment rooms and pools you don’t know where to start. I am fairly certain we tried all of them, and the prosecco and a light snack (just to make sure all bases where covered) before we headed off to our amazing rooms to get ready for our show round and dinner.
Pennyhill park has 124 individually designed rooms and suites and no two are the same. I must have stayed in Pennyhill Park now at least seven times over the years and I have never been in the same room twice. They are seriously stunning with so much character and I know from experience that your meeting attendees will love them. They are gorgeous and all hi-tech with high speed Wi-Fi (comp) throughout and in-room IPads so anything you need to do/or order is just a click away.
In regards the meeting and event spaces you are also spoilt for choice. The main meeting rooms are the Balmoral and Sandringham and used in combination can take up to 200 theatre using the Sandringham for up to 50 or, as your breakout for teas and coffees.
There are a further 18 other rooms for meetings up to 80 guests all with natural daylight and all just perfect. You can see the capacity charts here. Alongside the fab meeting rooms are the latest av equipment and very tasty healthy snack boxes to give your meeting attendees tea breaks with a different. All included in their DDR.
After our site visit we headed off for dinner to the Brasserie which whilst is a casual dining experience holds 2 AA Rosettes and is also the main restaurant for breakfast each morning. Alongside the Brasserie, is Matt Workswick at The Latymer, Pennyhill Park’s Michelin Starred restaurant. You are really are spoilt for choice. Imagine hosting your board dinner in The Latymer?!
After dinner it was off to the bar for a few civilised drinks (ha ha) before heading off to bed, ready for a full day of the spa the following day. The bar at Pennyhill is fabulous, a mix of residents and dinner guests and such a lovely atmosphere with the live music. You could sit there for hours.
We would love to thank Pennyhill for their continued support of Eventprofslive and allowing us to bring our lovely members to see the venue that Kate and I have fallen in love with. It really does make for a stunning venue with exemplary service and wonderful staff. Thanks to Dom for hosting us as well, we can’t wait to come back.
For more information on Pennyhill Park for your meeting and events, please reach out to Ratnesh here.
We at Eventprofslive are finally out of winter, we know this because this morning we had a breakfast event at The Hospital Club and we had 100 percent attendance! This would never happen in winter for an early start though it may also have something to do with the intrigue of our venue! Every one of our members had heard of it but never actually been.
The Hospital Club is based just by Covent Garden station and is a private members club for the creative industries offering the facilities it needs to connect, collaborate and create. Split over seven stories, the building has so many amazing spaces for hire from a fully equipped tv and music studio and screening room to different sized function and event spaces and to top it all off – 15 stunning hotel rooms. The spaces can be utilized for events from 2 to 300 and you can find out more about all of the spaces here. The types of events that would suit the spaces perfectly range from general meetings to conferences, drinks receptions, lunches and dinners to private screenings. One of my favourite rooms is the Oak Room which has its own bar, lounge and adjoining balcony. The events you could hold in this room would be amazing with a capacity to take up to 125 standing, it even has its own DJ setup, ready to go!
Our event started at 8.00 am with a site visit of all the lovely event spaces followed by a tasty breakfast and catch-up with the group. I have hosted quite a few events at The Hospital Club and the food has always been outstanding. The restaurant has a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association which means their approach to locally produced food is always in season and will always (as I have witnessed) be fabulous. One of my favourite ever tastings I did was at The Hospital Club.
After a quick catch-up it was a tour of the bedrooms and then off to work which meant we all pretty much got to work on time! The bedrooms were launched in 2015 and where designed by Russell Sage Studios. They are stunning and range from standard rooms up to suites with state-of-the-art sound and vision AND rainforest showers. The best thing though is the evening turndown cocktail trolley.
We loved our breakfast and show round – big thanks to Simone and the team for hosting us. For more information on The Hospital Club or any of their meeting and events spaces contact them here.
I wrote this last year and had such a fab response. With all the current chat on keeping healthy as an Event Professional, I thought I would share it again. I am travelling so much in 2018 and I know I will stick to below religiously to keep up my health!
I used to be a Flight Attendant. For six years I travelled the world be it working on a 14-hour flight to New York or 5-hour flight to Istanbul so when I travel for work now, I know what you need to do to feel great at the other side!
Here are my top tips for ensuring you feel great when you’re travelling and working away.
When we used to think of Chelsea we thought of the show Made in Chelsea…one of our guilty pleasures! That all changed this week when we quickly learned the rules of football for our last Eventprofslive event of 2017 at Chelsea FC for the Chelsea vs AFC Bournemouth EFL Cup Quarter Final match.
Making sure we saw our year in style, we hosted a small group of our members for an exclusive hospitality evening to see and learn about the conference facilities (yes it's not all about the football there) and the hospitality options for entertaining clients that Chelsea has to offer. The evening kicked off (see what we did there using the football lingo!) the only way it should in December with a glass of bubbles in the Drake Suite which on match days hosts the all of the corporate hospitality.
After catching up with each other we all enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner before wrapping ourselves up to head out to the stand for the match which although was outdoors, it was quite toasty. As we headed out to the stand, we had a big surprise for our guests – we were sitting in the Directors box!!! The Directors box provides fantastic views of the match on the halfway line in the West Stand.
The hospitality packages in the Drake Suite provide clients with great seats on the West Stand as well as ample networking time pre-match, during halftime and post-match. After watching the first half we warmed ourselves up by tucking into delicious mini pies – very apt for a football match. Post-match we were off for amazing drinks and food in the Directors Lounge which is a stunning area and available for private hire. There are a variety of hospitality packages available to host clients at Stamford Bridge from bronze level to platinum level.
As mentioned earlier, Stamford Bridge is not just about the football it also has event facilities for up to 1,000 delegates that can be hired on non-match days. The venue has 25 function rooms and 60 syndicate rooms providing plenty of options for meetings, exhibitions, award dinners, conferences etc in a unique setting. A full breakdown of the conference facilities can be found here. The venue is also perfect for team building events including the option for your own mini-tournament on the pitch – a fantastic option for those briefs of "a money can't buy experience". We really liked the atmosphere and setting of the Directors Lounge, this space is perfect for an intimate drinks reception or dinner for VIP clients in a luxury and unique setting with Chelsea FC’s most treasured trophies on display.
For more information on the event options, reach out to the lovely Jennifer O'Higgins or Hayley Smith from the Stamford Bridge Events team.
A big thank you to Jen and Hayley for hosting us so amazingly we all had a fantastic evening and left being mini football fans (ssshhh don't tell anyone!).
And that is a wrap on our events programme for 2017, we held 21 events this year and each one was very special and memorable. A big thank you to all the venues and suppliers who hosted us this year along with a thank you to our members for their support. We have lots planned for 2018 and our membership window is now open (boom another football reference... aren't we clever?!... ). To sign up please see the link to join on our Upcoming Events page to complete the application form.
As you can tell we've been typical Event Managers and gone straight into the options for conferences and hospitality rather than going into detail on the football action – final score was 2 - 1 taking Chelsea into the semi-finals against Arsenal. We are no sports commentators so a full breakdown for those football fans can be found on the BBC Sports page that will do more justice to the match than us
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm