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.
As London based Event Managers, we pride ourselves on knowing all about the various event spaces available on our doorsteps, on Wednesday night our pride was a little deflated as our first stop on our venue safari was completely unknown?!
Yep you read that right, the first stop of the evening! We appreciate how busy our members are so for June’s event in London we held our event at two venues so they could maximise their time and see two great event spaces.
Our first stop was the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel which has an Art Deco feel and has just had refurbishment which has been done to a very high stand and certainly ads to that feeling - it looks very glam! We started off with a glass of bubbles and lots of chat in the Smith & Whistle Bar, the bar has lots of natural day light and is a great place to hold an exclusive drinks reception. After catching up, we headed off on a tour of the event spaces, there are five event spaces at the hotel with the most impressive being the Ballroom which can accommodate up to 1,200 people! We were seriously impressed and we know a few enquiries have already been made for this space from our group just a day after our event. As well as the Ballroom, there are various other spaces perfect for board room meetings, breakout rooms or private dining spaces. As well as the Art Deco feel of the hotel, it is steeped in history from the Queen having her dancing lessons in one of the event spaces as a child to the Ballroom being plan B for Parliament during WWII in the event of Parliament being bombed. After a history lesson and a tour of the spaces, we headed back to the bar for some canapés and drinks. Read more about the event spaces
After eating one too many canapes, we walked off some of the calories by walking to the Le Meridien Piccadilly which is a 10 minute walk from the Sheraton Grand. First stop was to the Terrace within the hotel which is a British grill restaurant and lounge area for pre-dinner drinks. The hidden secret with the Terrace is that there is actually outside space! The Terrace is an ideal space for either a drinks reception or private dining space - the food we had was delicious! There are seven event spaces at the Le Meridien Piccadilly for up to 250 delegates, our favourite space is the Oak Room which is gorgeous - you can imagine the glam parties that took place here when the hotel first opened, apparently an elephant was a guest of honour in the Oak Room at one New Year’s Eve party! Excluding elephants, the Oak Room can accommodate up to 200 people for a standing reception. Read more about the event spaces at the Le Meridien Piccadilly.
Further information or to book a site visit at these hotels, reach out to Victoria Sullivan, Sales Manager for the hotel group.
Ever since it was announced that Nobu was opening a hotel in Shoreditch we knew we would love it - so when we held an Eventprofslive event there last week they had a lot to live up to! And boy did they live up to our expectations!!
We started off the evening in the lobby bar with bubbles and a selection of bar snacks - OMG the yellowtail sashimi still dreaming of that now! The lobby bar has a super relaxing feel and makes a great first impression for your delegates as well as a great place for a late-night drink!
After chatting and consuming as much of that yellowtail sashimi as possible, we headed off to check out the bedrooms. The bedrooms and suites are all designed with a contemporary feel and would make your delegates feel right at home! Overall there are 150 bedrooms of which 7 are suites. The Miyabi Suite that we viewed has a fantastic private balcony, an amazing free standing bath in the bedroom and it was super handy that you can close off the bedroom from the living room so if needed meetings could take place in the living room of the suite.
The event spaces are located on the ground floor, it is a super flexible and versatile space. It can either be used as one room for up to 200 delegates or divided into 6 separate rooms. The space has fantastic natural day light with floor to ceiling windows and the space has a private entrance from the main hotel. Within the main restaurant, there are 2 private dining spaces - although separated by curtains from the main restaurant which is not an issue if your guests like to soak up the atmosphere but if they are having business conversations we would recommend using the spaces within the main event space for private dining. The highlight for the group was the main restaurant and bar which can be hired exclusively that even has its own terrace. It would be a fantastic space for a drinks and canapés reception. You can also have a semi-private area in the bar for a smaller drinks and canapés reception. Read more here for the event spaces.
We can guarantee that if you hold an event here that your delegates would be fed so well! The food was incredible, after seeing the spaces we headed off to the bar in the restaurant where we had our own area reserved. The food was incredible, highlights included the black cod and the prawn tempura...who am I kidding it was all a highlight! Can't wait to return!!
For further information reach out to Layla Jensen.
Who doesn’t love flowers? I mean we work in a very creative industry and when styling our events, the florals can either make or break your event. I would say it’s one of my favourite parts of our roles, being able to work with an amazing florist to bring your vision to life!
On Monday morning we had the pleasure of having one of this months networking events at Pinstripes and Peonies whom are based in the New Covent Garden Flower Market. I’ve always wanted to go to the market and have worked with Rouri before at Pinstripes & Peonies so I knew our members would love them and the morning Rouri had prepared for them.
Despite the rain we all arrived to their warehouse (which is in the flower market) to meet the team and over coffee with some pretty amazing pastries (please send me the name of that bakery Rouri) before being taken on a tour of the market. I like to think we all know our craft well but I fear not nearly as well as Rouri knows flowers. Creative Director Ruari leads the team which has over 40 years combined experience. Having studied law at university and then training as a chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche, we are delighted that Ruari found his natural talent in floristry and his passion and talent for his craft is evident. We learnt all about the best flowers for the seasons, what to look for when buying flowers for ourselves and the most important thing we learnt is that a long lead time means better flowers! Seriously and I am so guilty of this, giving them a weeks’ notice is not doing my event any favours in sourcing and sometimes growing the best flowers for my event so if I take only one thing away from our event, it's this.
One of the reasons I love Pinstripes & Peonies is their approach to philanthropy and sustainability. They have been supporting Floral Angels since 2003. If you have yet to hear about Floral Angles they are amazing. They work to donate all the flowers us event managers do not have use for after our events to worthy beneficiaries like homeless shelters and care homes. It really does make you happy to know all those beautiful flowers aren’t being wasted and they are also in the same warehouse as Pinstripes & Peonies which makes it even easier to suppor them.
After the tour it was back to the workshop for a flower making masterclass which was up there with one of the best things I’ve done. Given expert instruction by the in-house florist, we then had the opportunity to build our arrangements step by step! I loved it, you really switch off and am seriously so proud of what we created. They have pride of place on my dining table at home and I had some lovely compliments carrying them on the tube on the way home.
We said our thankyous (wish I’d nicked more pastries) and made our way to the office by 10.30, arrangements in tow ready to proudly show off our creative flair.
Pinstripes & Peonies are accredited at some pretty fabulous venues and can also work outside of London, you can contact the team here!
The motto of The Vineyard is "We love wine. We eat, sleep and drink it" coincidently we do too so the Vineyard was the perfect fit for our February FAM trip.
The Vineyard is a 5 star luxury hotel in Berkshire - the journey from London Paddington takes less than 1 hour, and for our FAM, we were met at the station by our own personal driver, John, who was super friendly and provided us with lots of information on the hotel and the local area in the short 10 minute journey. Within 1 hour 20 minutes of leaving our desks we were standing in the stunning reception with a glass of wine in our hand which is ideal for Off sites and Away Days.
The hotel has 49 bedrooms, 32 of which are gorgeous suites. The group were all lucky enough to stay in the Atrium Suites which provide ample space for your delegates to comfortably work in the living room area of their suite without feeling like they are in their bedroom. The suites all have a lovely balcony providing views of the surrounding countryside and just feel so luxurious!
If your group were going to extend their stay or wanted to explore outside of the property, the local area provides an array of opportunities to add on elements to your event including golf, an experience at Bombay Sapphire Distillery, shopping experience at Bicester Village, horse racing at Newbury and for those Downton Abbey fans or international delegates looking for the typical English experience Highclere Castle is close by.
The hotel has five event spaces with the largest event suite having a capacity for up to 160 delegates. The event spaces all have that important natural daylight and what was very obvious from all our interactions with all members of staff, your delegates would receive impeccable service. The hotel is perfect for exclusive use providing your delegates with that "special" feel.
As you can see from our intro, the hotel is all about wine and for us, one of the highlights of the evening was having a private tour of one of the wine cellars. The hotel has over 30,000 bottles in their cellars with 3,000 bins which makes it quite the collection and so fascinating. The wine cellar would be a great addition to add onto your event with each tour accommodating up to 15 people.
After soaking up the atmosphere (and the smell of wine) in the wine cellar, we were more than ready to taste some! We were extremely lucky to join the wine experience that was taking place - a five course tasting menu with paired wines in one of the lovely event spaces The food was incredible, the service was impeccable and the wine was divine - we learnt a lot about wine and felt quite privileged to be able to taste a few that we would usually not be privy to. It really is a special experience.
With that lovely full feeling of an amazing evening of food and wine, we actually retired to our suites much earlier than usual and surprisingly woke up feeling very fresh faced the next day! So much so we enjoyed the day relaxing in the spa within the hotel before we begrudgingly got back on the train to London.
If your delegates love good food, good wine and impeccable service then the Vineyard is for you. For more information, reach out to Sarah Birch at the Vineyard who will be very happy to provide you with further information.
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.
We are slowly making our way through all of the fabulous Exclusive Hotels and Venues and last Friday we were off to Fanhams Hall, a Grade II Jacobean mansion house located in Ware for our first FAM of 2018. From Liverpool Street, the venue is just a 45 minute train ride away and only 60 minutes from Heathrow which is very handy.
Our group arrived at 3.00 pm for an amazing light lunch and a chat with Jonathan, MD of Fanham’s Hall before heading off on a site visit of all the meeting and event spaces and there are a lot. Fanhams Hall has 24 meeting and syndicate rooms. Of these 20, 12 are principal meeting rooms and a further 12 are breakout rooms, all flexible in their layouts and all of them having loads of lovely natural daylight. The biggest space, The Hertford and Ware is perfect for larger meetings and is very modern and sleek in design with the most amazing views and fits up to 70 cabaret. Amongst all the meeting and event spaces you will find the long gallery which is my favourite. The long gallery was originally a stunning picture gallery with ornate chandeliers and dual aspect views of the gorgeous gardens, there is also two small syndicate rooms that work with it to make it a wonderful, different option for that board level away day. You can find more on the capacities of all the meeting rooms here.
In the midst of our site visit of the event spaces, we headed outside to see all of the venues grounds and the Japanese Tea Gardens which are truly spectacular. They would make a stunning backdrop for your onsite activities. I really fell in love with them they were just so unexpected...
After our site visit it was back to our rooms to freshen up ready for our welcome drinks and private dinner which was superb. Our chef certainly served up an amazing menu and words (but I hope pictures can) cannot describe the desert. It was AMAZING and provided a good lining for the next part of our site visit… the Karaoke Klub. I can’t quite put into words how fun our night was but I will try.
The Karaoke Club is the venue’s Klub which is a completely self-contained stand alone venue where your guests can sing their hearts out. It also has its own bar and I think adding this on to any offsite/away day would be amazing. It is so good for team building. We certainly had the best time.
The next morning, with some very sore heads we all met up for breakfast and had a giggle about the nights signing stars. This was such a wonderful FAM trip, thank you so much to Fanhams for having us!
We really think Fanhams would work beautifully for a away day or meeting. They have some very competitive 24 hour rates and combined with its proximity to London’s Liverpool Street and those magical gardens it’s definitely worth looking at!
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!
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.
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