Who doesn't want to stay in "the loveliest castle in the world", I mean seriously, if you received an invitation to attend an event there could you say no? We certainly couldn't and last Friday our March FAM was held at Leeds Castle which really is, the loveliest castle in the world.
Leeds Castle is not in Leeds (as most of us originally thought) , it is in Maidstone Kent and just 50 minutes from London Victoria. Our FAM started with a fabulous afternoon tea in the Maidens Tower Long Gallery where we caught up with the Leeds Castle team, Meet Beyond London and Conference Maidstone. After a brief intro it was off outside for a bit of falconry and to meet the stars of Leeds Castle, the birds! There are five different experiences that you can incorporate into your event, we loved it (especially the Owls) and you can read more about it here.
After meeting the birds it was time to check-in and have a bit of leisure time to enjoy our stunning rooms. Each of The Castle State Rooms have their own stories. As you can imagine the Castle is steeped in history and it was so fascinating to read about what our room had been in the past two hundred years and more importantly... who had slept there. Apart from being stunning in decoration, the beds where out of this world comfortable. I don't know if I am getting old but I literally sat on mine, sunk into it and nodded off. They are the most comfortable beds ever.
Our group then met in the Library for a welcome drink before a full tour of the castle to learn all about its history. The castle's most famous owner was of course King Henry VIII and you can read more about all the fascinating history here.
After the tour it was off for a fabulous dinner in the Dining Room where we got to know our hosts and dined on asparagus tart, duck and cake for pudding. It really was a lovely evening! A few of us had a nightcap and then it was off to those comfy beds. Up early for breakfast and a morning to explore the grounds before heading back to London!
When holding your corporate event at Leeds Castle, there are three types of accommodation available. The Castle State Rooms (eight in total) which consists of eight charming rooms, many of which offering breath-taking views over the moat. The castle bedrooms (seven in total) are styled around members of the housekeeping staff during the 1920s and a further 17 bedrooms are available in Stable Courtyard, just a few minutes walk away from the Castle Island. The Maiden's Tower, on the Castle Island, has five en-suite bedrooms offering complete luxury for the hosts and their guests. Currently the 24 hour rate is only £245 plus vat which is amazing when you consider the experience you are giving your delegates.
In terms of activity options, you are spoilt for choice. Just a short drive away you have Go Ape which is one of the best team building activities around. You have golf, falconry and Segways as well and can bring anything in (within reason).
We loved our FAM to Leeds Castle and feel so privleged to be able to showcase all these amaging hotels, venues and spaces that would work so well for corporates both in and around London.
If you would like any more information on Leeds Castle or to host one of our corporate FAM tips or events, drop us a line.
Our first event of 2018 took it back to where we first had the idea for Eventprofslive initially....The Mondrian Hotel located on the Southbank. It was great to head back to see how much The Mondrian, and Eventprofslive has evolved!
For those who have not been to The Mondrian, you must – it oozes glamour all whilst looking out with amazing views overlooking the River Thames and the stunning City of London.
A few of us were lucky enough to check out the new Agua Bathhouse and Spa which is based in the Mondrian and quite unexpected. The spa has six private treatment rooms, a nail and grooming lounge, steam rooms and the most elegant spa lounge we've seen - the perfect spot to relax with a glass of bubbles which is what we did! The spa area would make a great area to add a special touch to your events or a great place to pop in for a cheeky manicure!
After the spa it was off to The Rumpus Room which is a stunning rooftop bar with fantastic views of London - we LOVE this space! The space can hold up to 250 people for a drinks reception and there is also an outdoor balcony for those who wish to take in the views with some fresh air. The Rumpus Room is also perfect for semi-private areas if you need a drinks space for a smaller group before dinner in the hotel's private dining space. Our group loved this space - fantastic views of London, attentive waiting staff all with delicious food and drinks whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the live entertainment.
When you are the space don't forget to check out the photo booth as well which provided hours of entertainment and photos we are not willing to share!
Although very important on our events, it wasn't all eating, drinking and chatting! After we all caught up it was off to check out the event spaces which are really versatile with options to suit all group sizes. The main meeting space is located on its own, self-contained level which is perfect if you want exclusivity and privacy. On this floor, there are 4 studios that can either be opened as one room for up to 275 guests for a conference or, split into 4 rooms for smaller meetings/breakout sessions.
The Studio Foyer has a great movie theme throughout with references to the film world which we loved. The Screening Room is a state of the art movie theatre for up to 57 guests in a luxury setting, a great spot for product launches, a screening of the latest (or a favourite) film or even a quirky breakout room. The Foyer itself is also a great option for a drinks and canapés reception before heading into the Screening Room for the film.
Up next on our site visit was the popular Dandeylan Bar which is famous for its cocktails! This space, like the rest of the hotel, is super cool and the bartenders add to this with their mixology skills. This space can hold up to 200 people on exclusive hire or there is an area at the back for semi-private hire for smaller groups. This space is also a great option for a day conference space as there is a projector and black-out blinds if wish to hide the wonderful view to discuss that "special project".
Within the restaurant, there is a cute private dining room for up to 22 guests. It has a luxury feel with leather chairs, a solid wooden table and the stunning original "S" and "C" gold letters on the wall from the original signage. The area is made private with sliding glass doors and has its own private terrace - perfect for some pre-dinner drinks (well maybe in a few months’ time once the sun makes an appearance!). The menu is a feasting menu providing lots of options for your guests but also adds that interactive / less formal feel which is super trendy now. The restaurant - like the rest of the hotel - is very flexible so if you would prefer a formal menu just ask.
The hotel is a great spot for eating, drinking and meeting so something for everyone - we highly recommend you check it out!
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm