bao bun

Amsterdam to Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown – Old Fire Station Tunbridge

Last night, the husband and I attended a pop-up event at The Old Fire Station in Tonbridge with Chef Justin Brown.  Built in 1901, the fire station stood empty after its closure for nearly 35 years before it was purchased by a local, and turned into an amazing space that hosts pop-ups for restaurants, bars, artists and much more.

The venue is just a short train ride from London and very close to Tunbridge station. Last night however we decided to drive and it only took 45 minutes from Weybridge and as I had literally tried every wine on the menu, it probably wasn’t as pleasant a drive on the way home as it was going there. “Lairy” I think Bradley likes to call me when I have been drinking white wine! ha ha

The event last night started at 7.30 pm and was sold out to capacity with 40 covers. On arrival, we sat on a shared table next to a lovely couple and my new friend and I started with wine one on the list. The wine/beer list isn’t extensive, however it is all local wines, with last nights offerings coming from the Hush Heath Estate, Staplehurst in Kent. Of all of them, “Skye’s English Chardonnay was my favourite, and at only £5 for a large glass it was lovely.

Our Chef, Justin Brown trained at the Landmark (one of my favourite hotels) and has also worked with an array of amazing Chef’s including Jamie Oliver.  Justin also worked at private members club the Harrington Club owned by Ronnie Wood and has worked a lot in my other home Australia,  so Bradley and I were very excited for the evening.

We started with confit salmon which was poached in olive oil and had some lovely horseradish cream with it before moving onto a cauliflower risotto.

The cauliflower risotto was probably my favourite part of the menu. Its texture and taste was lovely.  Next up was the bao bun which is a steamed bun with crispy chicken and cabbage slaw inside.  You can see from my picture what it looks like and if I could make them myself, I would eat them every day. I have never had anything like them and Bradley even had seconds!

After the bao bun we had a good sized piece of brie with black truffle and then chocolate mouse with frozen yoghurt and pomegranate molasses which tasted amazing.  It tasted like a melted chocolate bar as a mouse (not very descriptive I know) but it was sooo good (not sure how many calories I need to put in My Fitness Pal for that one!)

Our night at the Tonbridge Fire Station was lots of fun and something different. It really is a great event space and it would be great to hire for a group if you were doing a conference in a nearby hotel. The space would also suit a private, intimate party as it is so unique. I am looking forward to seeing what other pop-ups they host in the future.

For more information on the venue, contact Sam here.

The Old Fire Station – Castle Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BH

 

 

 

 

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Intercontinental Mar Menor Golf Resort & Spa

I was in two minds on whether to write this blog post, I don’t want to jinx this little gem I’ve found but hey ho..

I’ve just spent the last four hours at the fabulous Intercontinental Hotel, Mar Menor. That husband sure does love the golf so whilst Bradley gets to play at a different course to his usual, I get to visit the spa at the hotel for the day and I can get though the four hours it takes him to play 18 holes wanting an extra hour because I’m so content.


The spa is located on the ground floor of the hotel, and I’ve come to adore it. It has loads of treatment rooms and lovely staff that do an amazing job.   I make a booking to accommodate going to it’s fab gym, a few treatments, a little dip in the thermal pools, a steam and then a few wines waiting for Bradley to finish.

This time, I paid only 76Euros to use all the facilities, have a facial and an amazing pedicure.  I know it’s never going to be London prices but it’s pretty bloody cheap.

You can find a link to the hotel here. I usually email to get an appointment as I don’t speak Spanish…yet!

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MURCIA – VENUES

LA VISTA – PERALEJA GOLF RESORT – SUCINA

Every time we come to our second home in Sucina, I make it a priority to have dinner (at least once) at La Vista.

Just a short drive from the town centre of Sucina, La Vista is located in the Peraleja Golf Resort with views spanning not only the course, but of the stunning Mar Menor.

Every time we go, the menu is completely different and whilst limited on its offerings (which I think shows a better menu), it has something to cater for all. My husband and I adore steak and it’s hard not to choose it every-time (also its boring) so last night we skipped the starters after I had irritated the hell out of him all day by complaining how fat I was and went straight for the mains. I had the rack of lamb on minty mash with some pretty tasty peas and the husband went for the duck. Whilst mine was amazing, I had serious food envy as the duck was not only huge but cooked to absolute perfection and served on pak choi and these amazing cabbage deep fried ball things (am sure there is a technical name).

The wine list is extensive and it is here that we first discovered Paco & Lola white wine which has become one of my favourites.  We had a bottle of that to start and then realising we’d ordered lamb and duck, had a few glasses of fab Copa Vino De La Casa which was only 4.50EUR a glass.  Now I say glass but it was more like half a bottle per glass and it was lovely. After dinner we each had a Disaronino and shared a mini-cheesecake which was also outstanding.

I love this place and will continue to go back. The service is outstanding, every waitress we have had has been exceptional with the Head Chef coming out at the end of the evening to say hello to everyone is another draw for me. I love that kind of service/detail.

In terms of holding a private event there, at the end of the restaurant there is a private dining room that would accommodate I would say 10 and cant see why a full restaurant buyout wouldn’t be allowed. I would love to use it for a summer party, gala dinner or perhaps an awards dinner.  That balcony overlooking the golf course and the Mar Menor offers some pretty amazing views.

Our bill came to 102.20EUR which I think was cheap for one of Sucina’s fanciest restaurants.

Rio Lounge 2

Top tips to heat up your summer holiday event

Rio Lounge are a leading independent event hire company. They are a supplier of stylish, cool and contemporary hire furniture to the commercial and private sector and supply for  weddings, product launches, garden parties, conferences, exhibitions, film premieres, festivals and hospitality events.

Below they take you through the top tips to heat up your summer holiday and I know which ones I am stealing! 

Are you planning a big ‘do’ this summer? Whether it’s a family knees-up, a barbecue for friends, a corporate event or a party to celebrate a special occasion, now is the time to start making it happen. The fun starts here; you have the power to transform your summer event into something really memorable and different by following some of these sizzling tips to help your summer party go with a bang.

1.   Make summer a statement

Create a seasonal sensation with classic summer features. You could fill giant silver bowls with boozy punch, play croquet on the lawn or create a fake beach complete with deck chairs and ice cream. Wherever you can, let your guests savour the unique delights that summer has to offer; deck out your venue with opulent blossoms, offer tasty seasonal fare such as asparagus and strawberries, and serve refreshing drinks – Pimms, Mojitos and pink lemonade would all hit the spot.

2.   Entertain in comfort and style

Don’t underestimate the power of high quality, stylish furniture.  Whether yours is a chilled out gathering or an elegant event, choosing the right tables, chairs and other accessories will transform your venue and let your guests relax and mingle in style. Daybeds are a fantastic and practical feature to promote that beach party feel, while funky bar stools and elegant dining chairs will set the tone for people to eat, drink and be merry!

3.   Weather it out

This is a big one. While some parts of the world will guarantee you endless long, sunny summer days perfect for partying, the UK just isn’t one of them, as anyone who has experienced the soggy disappointment of a typical August Bank Holiday will understand. So, while your imagination runs wild with thoughts of tanned guests soaking up the sun by the pool, remember to always factor in a wet weather contingency when planning an event. Make sure there’s a sheltered area and patio heaters you can use if the weather isn’t on your side, and that any outdoor furniture can be transferred indoors with minimal fuss. Don’t rely solely on an outdoor entertainment option; give your guests something exciting to focus on if rain spoils play, whether it be music, dance or party games.

4.   Game on

Talking of games, this is where a summer party can really come into its own – so get everyone in the summer party spirit by laying on plenty of fun and games. Activities like Twister and Giant Jenga are fabulous fun for all ages, and also transfer well to an indoor setting if the need arises. Or you could hold a summer sports day with egg and spoon races to get everyone in that end-of-term, summer holiday mood. Add to the festive feel with piñatas or bubble kits.

In conclusion

Whatever your event, you’re off to a great start by holding it in the summer. While the weather can’t be guaranteed, you do have long days of sunlight and amazing seasonal produce on your side. Just make sure you capitalise on all the best bits of summer, while making contingency plans for less-than-ideal meteorological occurrences. The rest is up to you!

Email – hire@riolounge.co.uk

Address

Units 1-5 Roe End Farm
Roe End Lane Markyate
Hertfordshire AL3 8AQ

Telephone 0845 46 77483

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Eventprofslive event at Chel-Ski

Hands down, our event last Tuesday was one of my favourites we have done for Eventprofslive and I was only a spectator.

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I really struggle with ideas for team building events and some of the better ones have been done to death. With Chel-Ski, I’ve found group activity gold. Chel-Ski only opened in December last year so your forgiven if you’ve not yet heard about them. Located in the heart of Chelsea, they provides a controlled setting for ski and snowboard lessons and a bit of training.  The best way to describe it is a huge treadmill covered in fake snow carpet  and our group loved it.

Our event actually started next door at Clip n Climb which is a series of climbing walls that you tackle whilst “clipped” into a safety harness. Our members had a great time and if I could post the video of the lovely Karis on one of the climbs without her killing me, I would. She had a ball and I have seriously never laughed so much in my life.
After spending about 45 minutes trying various climbs, jumps and slides, our group moved through to Chel-Ski and tried their hands on the slopes and I couldn’t get them off… even for a drink.

Now you’re not allowed, quite rightly, to consume alcohol before you climb or ski but you can afterwards so the group had a few glasses of bubbles and tucked into some pretty amazing fondue and canapés. The cafe has a variety of menu options available to groups and the fondue was pretty amazing.

As a venue for corporates, this is a pretty great option.  It is something different, interesting and I imagine with clip-n-climb would bring out everyone’s competitive side. You can find more details on pricing via their websites here and contact the lovely Jo Whittaker for further information!

 

So you want to start your own events business?

So you want to start your own events business?

The Guardian is currently presenting Masterclasses, an international programme of face-to-face courses across film, food and drink, gardening and next weekend our favourite topic… events and how to start your own events business.

“This masterclass will help you to develop your idea and get your venture up-and-running. During this comprehensive day of talks, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of working in the events industry – whether you want to run a pop-up or events catering business, or work as a freelancer.So you want to start your own events business?”

We have secured 20% off the course for our lovely Eventprofslive members.  Click here for the link to purchase tickets at the discounted rate and really hope to see you there! I am signing up!

A executive business woman leaving a plane

Travelling well for #Eventprofs

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.

  • Water is key. Drink water, not booze on the plane.  On a holiday I will knock back wine like it’s the last bottle on the face of the earth but on a work trip… never! Every part of your event, from the site visit to flying out to the actual conference you should be observing and taking it all in. How fast is the service? where do the buses leave from? how smooth is customs? I take in absolutely everything and don’t want to miss a thing so whilst it might be tempting to have that wine, don’t! it’s just not worth it. Drinking water is essential to keep you hydrated during the flight. You’re sharper when your hydrated, less sluggish or I find, have more energy.
  • Look professional. I know it’s tempting to wear jeans (and I have once or twice) but I try not to. Even when your flying out way before your clients you are still representing your company when you arrive at the hotel or meeting your suppliers. I always want to look professional and I just don’t think jeans project that image. sorry!

A executive business woman leaving a plane

  • Over-pack. Who cares if you have to check your bag in? personally, I would rather have too much than not enough. Every day on-site you need to look professional and presentable. Don’t wear the same outfit from yesterday for god’s sake. Presentation counts for a lot and by bringing more than you need, you won’t be left scrounging around for something to wear when that alarm goes off at 6.00 am.
  • Work out. Blah – it drives me insane when people say they don’t have time to exercise. Every single person has the same amount of hours in the day and if some can, you can. Get up early it really is that simple. So you went to bed at 2.00 am after a gala dinner and have to get up at 6.00 am to check breakfast. So what, 30 minutes extra sleep will make NO DIFFERENCE and the benefits of squeezing in a quick workout will make you feel way better than an extra 30 minutes sleep. Just set the alarm and do it. Exercise is important to keep a healthy mind and keep focus. I think it is so important to try to fit in some form of exercise every day. Sporty lady choosing apple over donut
  • Eat Well. When you’re working away, it is so tempting to buffet-it-up at every meal, because it is there and it is easy and it is fuel but it is just going to make you feel like crap. Try and think ahead so you don’t let yourself get so hungry that you hit the buffet. I like to take along my own protein bars, nuts and fruit in my bag so that if I am running low I will always have something on hand. Try it!

 

Let me know what your top tips are for staying healthy when travelling?

 

I miss blogging

I haven’t had time to do a proper post for ages, I have six half written but between trying to figure out a still new job and our #eventprofslive group that has just boomed, all my blogging is going over to that site, making it fance…  I just haven’t had the time.

Over the years I have always found it grounding and I love referring back to what I have written so I need to make it a priority I guess.. I just need to get up even earlier.

Tonight I am off to The Shard for its third birthday (I think it’s the third) and last night I was at Manna in Primrose Hill so I will have plenty to write about.

Have a good day all!