So tomorrow I am off to the BAFTAs and I couldn’t be more excited. For an Event Manager, the organisation involved in an event of this calibre is quite frankly, overwhelming. I am great with international events, gala dinners and everything in-between but the scale and pressure of organising the BAFTAs must be something else!
So tomorrow, I have the alarm set for 7.00 am for hair, makeup and squeezing into my dress. We need to be at The Royal Albert Hall for 7.00 pm for the awards and I am going with my husband, as a guest for a change! I get to enjoy without the stress. I can’t wait to write about it on Monday for the blog…
Look out for me on the red carpet!
Herbert Berger at Innholders Hall – January Event
“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into abundance or not at all”
What a quote! Our second event for January was held at Innholders Hall, a fabulous venue in central London (just by Cannon Street Station) with a fabulous reputation for fine food and wine. The food was absolutely outstanding.
On a cold Monday evening, 13 of our members arrived at Innholders to be met by Elena, the very glamorous Events & Marketing Manager of Innholders and our host for the evening. After a few glasses of champagne and some pretty outstanding canapes, we moved off for a tour of the venue and the kitchen where we were very lucky to meet Herbert Berger, Chef Director at Innholders Hall whom brings contemporary, classic and seasonal cooking to Innholders with his three times Michelin Stars.
Innholders Hall has a variety of spaces to suit all events with The Great Hall, with its original cladding dating back to 1670 being to hold up to 150 theatre/48 cabaret, The Old Court Room being able to hold up to 30 reception and The New Court Room being able to host up to 35 reception/23 boardroom. There really is a variety of spaces to suit all and all rooms are equally as stunning.
After our tour we were given a welcome speech by the very charismatic John (whom has been looking after Innholders Hall for quite some time) before moving off for dinner.
Dinner was served with matching wines and was quite honestly, amazing. Each of our 4 courses was perfect and along with some pretty funny conversations (obviously about events!!) it made for a lovely evening.
We would like to thank Herbert, Elena and the lovely team so much for hosting us and if you would like more information on Innholders Hall please do contact Elena here (and tell her we sent you!)
First day back to work after nearly 3 weeks off and I am looking forward to it. It made me think of this quote. I have no idea who said it, it’s cited as being everyone from Confucius to Marc Anthony lol – Happy Wednesday all!
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”
It’s been a while since my motivation posts – I am still motivated, just busy! ha ha
I love this quote and am going to use it today seen as I have been wide awake since 3.00 am with jet lag…
My husband is my inspiration for this one – he is building his own dream and is doing amazing at it!
“Build your own dreams or someone will hire you to built theirs”
Our last FAM trip for the year was held at Pennyhill Park who certainly looked after the group well. Our group arrived at Sunningdale station where we were whisked off to Pennyhill Park, just a 15 minute drive from the station. On arriving at the property, you are immediately blown away by the grounds and you very much feel like you are amongst the fab Surrey countryside.
Our group started with a site visit, seeing the screening room first where we were given a brief overview of the property whilst we snacked on sweets and popcorn (which all can be branded bespoke). The screening room would be fabulous addition to your event, you could use it for so many things. After the screening room we made our way around the various event space which all had state-of-the-art technology and super-fast Wi-Fi. All the event spaces have natural daylight and range from rooms to accommodate up to 200 people. What really blew us away was the inbuilt av – not having to bring in external equipment makes life so much easier.
After we had our site visit of Pennyhill Park we were whisked away once again to another Exclusive property, Royal Berkshire. Royal Berkshire is a 63 bedroom property that has 11 meeting and function rooms and would be amazing for a buyout for a small event. You would have the whole property and it would work so well for a multitude of events. I loved the mix of new and old style reflected in both the bedrooms and the meeting rooms and attendees would be blown away by the “energy zone” where delegates could grab a coffee and play a game of old school Pac Man or the “55” Smart Screens in the meeting rooms. They even have huge bean bags in some of the meeting rooms for something completely different. The Royal Berkshire would work ever so well as an overflow hotel if you needed more than the 123 bedrooms than Pennyhill Park can provide as well.
After seeing our second property it was back to Pennyhill Park for a bit of downtime where nearly every one of us had a bath in our amazing bedrooms. One of our guests had a room that had a horizontal shower, the other had a piano and a room split over two floors. I had a uber cool ying/yang bath which I managed to use not once but three times in 24 hours where you can dim the lights and watch tv. It was hand on heart.. AMAZING and I will remember it forever (am already trying to convince the husband we should put one in our bathroom)!
Pre-dinner drinks were up next where the owner of PennyHill Park, Mr Danny Pecorelli judged a cocktail competition for us where we each had to test a cocktail and name the ingredients. The cocktails are part of the hotels exclusive cocktail list on the bar menu and most of us, I am proud to say, did pretty well. We then moved over for dinner in the private dining room where we had the most amazing meal of mushroom risotto to start and an amazing chump of lamb, most of us where hard pressed to finish the pudding. We may have struggled however we still ate it all!
As always, after dinner drinks where great fun and a lot of the group had very sore heads the next morning. The hotel’s bar is fabulous with live music and a great atmosphere, it was so much fun.
Saturday morning saw us with free time to explore the hotel and the all-important spa! I am yet to mention the spa as it needs its own paragraph. The spa is quite frankly my now most favourite place in the world and I am practically begging my husband to buy me membership. It is one of Europe’s best spas and you can see why. The spa contains over 20 different treatment rooms and is set of 45,000 sw. ft. of pure relaxation.
There are 8 indoor pools and hot tubs and steam rooms, ice igloos and you can actually take yourself on a thermal sequencing journey through all the rooms. This would be amazing as an add on to your group event for both men and women – it is just fabulous. Along with the spa, there is a 9-hole golf course and an abundance of grounds that you can use for a variety of team building activities.
Our group loved Pennyhill Park. If you need any information on the property for your events you can contact Ratnesh, here.
Last Friday, 8 of our members set off from London to Eastbourne for our September FAM trip to The Grand. The Grand is the only 5 star luxury hotel to be found on the British coastline and it is a beautiful looking property that stands prominently on the coastline and makes you think of old world glamour.
Our trip started with a glass of champagne or two and some amazing canapes, served in the Great Hall (which is where the hotel serves its famous afternoon tea, usually with strings in the background) whilst we waited for all of our members to arrive. After getting to know each other and catching up a bit, we moved on to our site visit which is the important part (well that and the champagne).
The Grand has 17 fully equipped meeting rooms which work for all types of events from small meetings to large conferences to receptions for up to 350 people. I particularly like the Compton room which is part of the Devonshire Suite which can take up to 120 cabaret. This room has it’s own private bar and purposely build stage. It would be perfect for a gala dinner! You can read all about the hotel’s meeting spaces and capacities here.
After our site visit, we met with Chillisauce whom had a little surprise for us. We were to be competing in two teams in “the Qube” (you can read more about it here) in a race to complete some nail biting activities. It was so fun and we had a go at two of the activities before we moved into the private dining room which can host up to 14 for a private dinner with a balcony overlooking The Great Hall. The room is gorgeous and we had a wonderful dinner in there. The food was amazing, we had Pancetta wrapped aged beef fillet with truffle leek risotto and for pudding, Belgian chocolate and orange assiette along with about 10 glasses of wine. We were very well looked after, the food was stunning, and had some hilarious conversations over dinner that are still making me laugh. As I always say, our group isn’t just all events, we have all become quite good friends and it is so good to catch-up with everyone and get to know new people.
This is the second time I have now been to The Grand in the last few months and I really love it. You feel really relaxed when you are here and taking a walk along the beach the next day always seems to make me feel amazing.
We think this hotel would be perfect for small conferences, people wanting to get away from London and would be amazing for a corporate cycling trip. The hotel has a fab outdoor heated pool and bar area as well which would be the perfect place to host your pre-dinner drinks before moving into either the private dining room of one of the other beautiful rooms.
Thanks ever so much to the team at The Grand for looking after us and to Chillisauce for letting us experience such a fun team building activity.
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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 St, Bray SL6 2AB
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.