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The Hinds Head – Bray

Yesterday I had lunch with my family for my birthday at The Hinds Head in Bray. I actually thought I was booking The Crown which I have been to before but because I am quite moron like, I got the names mixed up and we ended up at The Hinds Head!

The Hinds Head is located in one of the prettiest parts of England I think.  Bray is about a ten minute drive from the centre of Windsor and is on a three-mile stretch of the very picturesque Thames.  Owned by Heston Blumenthal, The Hinds Head is a Michelin starred pub who earned its star in 2012 along with a variety of other accolades.

The pub was built-in the 15th century and it has such a warm, welcoming feeling when you go inside (think roaring fires and leather chairs) and if you manage to see the low ceilings in time before you crack your head, you know you are about to be in for a treat.

Our booking was for 1.45 pm and the pub was relatively quite. We were offered a selection of tables and choose one right by the window.  We were so lucky with the weather yesterday and the sun was streaming through the windows, it was gorgeous.

In terms of size, the menu is quite small which I like.  There was an offering of 6 or 7 starters and mains, along with steaks and a handful of snacks which we choose to have as starters. I can’t do a starter and a main anymore. Am getting fatter as I get older and although I would love to, I just can’t have 2 courses.  The snacks however were a good alternative and between us, we had one of each to share. My mother-in-law said the Devils on horseback were the best she had eaten and I went for the scotch egg. The picture below pretty much sums it up. It was amazing!

For mains, I had something I would never ever usually choose.. I had the ham and leek pie which was outstanding. It wasn’t huge and i was grateful and it came served with new potatoes and was honestly, just perfect. The pasty was gorgeous, the chicken tender and well-balanced with bacon and leek.  My husband had the bone in sirloin of veal which he also said was the best he had ever had and ma and pa both had the Cotswold white chicken breast with lettuce, bacon and broad-beans which they both enjoyed!

We didn’t have pudding but were brought out a lovely cake for my birthday which we all shared. We had 2 beers, 2 glasses of champagne and a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and all in all, our bill came to £214.00 which I don’t think bad at all for a lovely lunch.

I will definitely  go back and would highly recommend for a special occasion. We were well looked after by the team and the whole day was perfect.

The Hinds Head
High Street
Bray
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 2AB


High St, Bray SL6 2AB

 

 

A Newspaper Column in the Classifieds with the Vacancy of Event Manager, Circled with a Azure Highlighter. Blurred Image with Selective focus. Job Search Concept. 3D Illustration.

Corporate Event Managers do it better…

I am a corporate event manger.  Lucky for me I have always worked in corporate events. I worked my way up by landing a role as an event co-coordinator before being promoted to events executive.  I then worked very hard to get a promotion to events manager to now working in a senior events adviser role. I have put in the years, the early starts and in the beginning, shed a few tears (mostly at failed av).  I have gone from putting badges together all day to managing 300 person international conferences.. on my own. I love my job and I honestly think corporate events roles are the best. I may though be biased and as I don’t really have any experience in any other types of events andI don’t really know how I can comment. But I am! #lol

Being a corporate event manager means every single day is different. One day you might be organising a breakfast seminar, the next a drinks reception at a swanky bar all whilst working on the firm Christmas party at the end of the year and a conference in Dubai a month after that. It is long hours, it is stressful days BUT it is fun and I wouldn’t do anything else!

Getting a role in corporate is hard. From people I speak to in the industry, it is one of the most sought after gigs so, here are a few tips for getting into corporate:

  • Offer to do unpaid work experience. If you can’t afford to do it free, or already have a job so you can’t find the time, then do it out of hours, take a weeks leave, anything, just get some experience and the opportunity to wow someone.
  • Go for a role in a organisation that will allow you to move around.  I started as a PA many years ago in a law firm.  I studied an events diploma in my spare time and when the role came up, I went for it!
  • Network, network, network. Networking is key. Go to events where you will meet other people that are doing the job you want. Ask questions, ask how they got in and get yourself known. If I meet someone I know is looking for a role and I hear of one, I always let them know.

If you need any advice at all please drop me a line. Like I said, I think being a corporate event manger is the best and I am more than happy to share the love.

 

 

 

24 hour Social Media

Monday morning and tweets I sent on Saturday are getting a response?!

Event Consult

Whether you have a team of social media managers or only a lone person looking after it. Your social media channels need to be covered 24 hours a day #fact.

I cannot tell you how irritating it is to send a tweet or a DM to a company on the weekend to have to wait until 9.00 am Monday for a response. It’s not professional and it’s not going to cut it for too much longer…

In the events and hospitality field it is paramount that someone is managing your social media 24/7. What if a restaurant had a series of tweets about bad service aimed at them and the social media manager only noticed on Monday morning?

What if you were a hotel and a celebrity was tweeting about how much…

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My Interview with Eventopedia

Last week I was interviewed by Eventopedia. You can read the interview here.  Eventopedia helps Event Managers plan their events with ease. It’s an independent resource and I find it ever so useful in my role.

It is so great to be featured as a influential Event Manager each week on their weekly leaderboard and to be able to talk about Eventprofslive – Kate and I are so proud of the way our group is growing!

 

Eventprofslive

Eventprofslive is a networking group for Event Managers setup and run by Event Managers!11928685_10153490985521224_2089140882_n

We know there are a few in our industry however what we couldn’t find when we decided to set up Eventprofslive was a networking group run by people actually working in the industry, every day, 9 to 5 (or more like 7 to 8) and we think that makes our group unique.

We think this is important when you need advice, information and support and hopefully, that’s where we can help. img_0058

We have monthly breakfast, lunch and evening events in London to see new spaces, network and have a few drinks.

 
For further information email eventprofsnetworking@gmail.com

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Darts

London based Flight club is very hot right now and quite rightly so. It seems people just can’t get enough of darts and after a few throws last week with darts expert Justin Irwin, I can see why.

I like to think outside of the box with my events and try to do things a little differently so, I threw out a question to my social media network a few months back asking how to find a darts expert. The lovely Amanda Thurlow came back with a suggestion to check out the Capital Arrows website which is a fab website that helps you find darts pubs in London and also has a lot of really great information on darts.  The website lead me to Justin (phew… see the power of social media) whom I then contacted and the rest is history.

Justin has now come along to two of my events in which I hired the private room at the Three Lords pub in Aldgate and my clients have loved it.  Justin is amazing with the guests and is very flexible in terms of how you want the event to run. He will come back to you with a suggested itinerary and in, in the case of my latest event, adapt to a not so structured event and let people get a feel for darts at their own leisure.

I really hope to do another darts event soon and if you are looking for some help for your event, I would recommend you get in touch with Justin here.

 

Eventprofslive – FAM Trip

There is a three letter word that, as an Event Manager, sparks more interest than most for me and that is FAM. I love a FAM trip. I love being able to experience a location and a hotel first hand. See how they treat their guests, how comfy are their beds, how do they check people in… the list is endless and by attending a FAM trip you develop this amazing knowledge of that venue that stays with you forever, ready to recommend should it suit a particular brief.

Eventprofslive had its very first FAM trip just two weeks ago at the stunning Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club.  Our group of Event Managers were just eight in total and we had a fabulous time.

Ashdown Park is situated just 30 minutes from London and then just a 10 minute taxi ride from its closest station, East Grinstead. The hotel is part of the Elite Group of hotels (everyone knows Luton Hoo) and has 106 bedrooms in total and when Kate and I checked in to ours, we immediately called each other to come and check each other’s out. The first thing I do is check out the bathroom (I love a bathroom) and filled with Molton Brown treats, a very impressive shower with too many jets to count meant I was in heaven.

We had invited a select few of event and hotel bookers to our FAM Trip. The majority of our group arrived around 6.00 pm where after checking-in, we met in the foyer with Chillisauce whom had organised a treasure hunt around the hotel’s vast grounds for us.  This was an amazing way to see all the grounds of the hotel (including its lake, on-site golf course and meeting spaces) and after 45 minutes and some very odd selfies (all part of the treasure hunt) we headed back to the main house to award the winners and cringe at the photos!

After our team building it was on to the most important part of the trip… For our group, it’s all about the meeting rooms and there is definitely something unique about the spaces at Ashdown Park.  Meeting rooms with amazing arched ceilings and natural daylight via stained glass windows would make for impressive syndicate rooms and the hotels “Richard Towneley Suite” can seat up to 250 (split over two floors) and also offers six syndicate rooms, all self-contained.  There is even an original organ in there! You can view the capacity charts here.

After a quick nip back to the hotel to change, we were back in the foyer to meet the hotel’s General Manager and Group Business Development Manager for some cocktail making, very tasty canapes (what diet) and a lovely dinner in the private dining room.  Chef Andrew Wilson is in charge of the menu and his Michelin Starred experience is very much evident in his food and presentation.  The food was amazing and paired well with some great conversation on everything from events to weekend plans being discussed.

After dinner a few of us stayed up chatting away in one of the hotels fab private rooms and having a few wines before turning into the oh-so-comfy beds.

Next morning it was a run(stroll) thorugh one of the hotels 3 jogging tracks, a scare by some of the deer on premises and then a trip to the gym, a swin and a massage! Absolute bliss. The gym is fully equipt and the swimming pool and Jacuzzi were very popular with the group.

I adore Ashdown Park it would work so well for any number of events, retreats and conferences.  For more information on the hotel or events assistance you can contact Carina here.

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The Caledonian Club – Eventprofslive

Early in the month, my networking group held their May event at The Caledonian Club.  Our networking group is run by Kate and I for event managers and each month we hold a breakfast and an evening networking event in and around London.  We have just recently started hosting FAM trips as well (we’re pretty busy).  If you would like to know more you can email us here.  I hope you enjoy the blog!

Earlier this month we held our May Eventprofslive networking event at the beautiful Caledonian Club.  Situated in Belgravia, The Caledonian Club is a little bit of Scotland in the city and on the 17th of May, we welcomed 15 members to see the stunning spaces.

The club has a private entrance for corporate and private events with the capacity to seat up to 200.  Whilst it is a private members club, membership is not necessary in order to hold your event there and with its eight function rooms spanning over the five floors of the club, add in an outdoor terrace and you have every type of event space covered.  The venue is even licenced to hold weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.  It really would be perfect for a wedding as it also has 39 bedrooms in its original clubhouse from single rooms to junior suites.

Our event commenced at 6.30 pm and as always tube delays meant a few of us were a little late however we got there in the end and arrived to a very welcome glass of prosecco and canapes.

The service at the Caledonian club is outstanding and all of our guests commented on how often their glasses were re-filled and how amazing the canapés were.  After a brief welcome speech by the GM,  we were shown in groups around the stunning spaces and there really are a lot!

After our show round we mingled and welcomed four new members to the group and got to know them a little better.

We had a great time at the Caledonian Club and already have two members whom use the spaces and am pretty sure they will have a few more clients after our event.

The Caledonian Club is located at 9 Halkin Street, SW1X 7DR and you can find out more information by contacting Lyndsey at Park Lane Events.

 

 

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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